Kahr P9


July 27, 2005, 04:37 PM
Anyone on the Board have any experience with the P9? The model with the plastic frame.

How is the recoil? I beleive the weight is only around 18oz. Also, I have heard they are difficult to take down for cleaning.

Any information positive or neagative will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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July 27, 2005, 05:31 PM
Recoil seems quite manageable, and I find it a snap to take down for cleaning. Incredibly reliable, with the right ammo (some hollowpoints don't feed well).

Pretty darned accurate, too, for such a small pistol.

July 27, 2005, 07:36 PM
I own a P9 and like it a lot. Its fit-to-hand and trigger are both
excellent, although its recoil spring is fairly stiff. Like its little
brother the PM9, the P9 has pronounced muzzle flip. The recoil is
surprisingly minor for a gun its size and weight, thanks to the low bore
axis and solid construction, but it's still harsher than a heavier gun.
Due to the narrow grip, extended range sessions (150+ rounds) leave mild
bruising around the web of my thumb that is gone by the end of the next

The tightness of the design leads to a well-known issue with Kahrs and
hollowpoints: Hand-chambering a round occasionally leads to the bullet
hanging up on the feed ramp if one rides the slide while releasing it.
Many address this by polishing their feed ramps. Kahr recommends
chambering a round by locking the slide back and then using the release
lever, which has always been 100% reliable for me. Just because I'm
paranoid, I also use 115-grain Speer Gold Dots, which have small meplats
and hand-chamber reliably. On a personal note, I don't think this is in
any way restricted to Kahrs, since I've run into the exact same issue
with a .40 cal Glock.

Takedown is simple, but requires pulling the trigger: Verify empty
chamber, verify empty chamber, verify empty chamber again, align the
witness marks on slide and frame, push out the slide stop/slide release
lever (this will take the blunt end of a plastic screwdriver or
equivalent the first couple times), then gently remove the slide while
pulling the trigger. Getting the guide rod and spring back into place
takes some effort because the spring is stiff.

Kahrs are very precisely machined and assembled, so they benefit from a
little more lubrication than one might expect. I've had good results
with Tetra grease on metal-to-metal contact areas and Tetra oil in the
rail grooves.

Hope that helps.

July 27, 2005, 08:11 PM
+1 on Candiru. I carry a P9 daily and shoot probably 150-200 rounds a month through it (probably 2500 total now). The muzzle flip is pronounced, but manageable. I've been very happy with mine, 1 FTF in the first 200 rounds, nothing since. I would rent one and try it if you can.

July 27, 2005, 09:28 PM
I think this fits better into autoloaders forum. :)

July 28, 2005, 06:54 PM
I just got one and I had some problems. The trigger would not reset but I think I found out the problem. It only happened with the 8rd mag and not the regular 7rd mag. I think the mag was pushing something out of whack so I stopped using it. It has been 100% since but I still don't trust it yet. I am going to take it out a few more times and run a few more hundred rds through it and then if it is still going strong, I will make it a carry gun like I was planning.

August 9, 2005, 04:19 AM
howdy folks,

just curious to know if there's any update on that P9?

Albanian? have you tried yours out again after repair?
does it load well now?

interesting that i just today, while exploring 870's <that story lives in shotguns>,
i looked at and handled a Kahr P9.

In addition to soon adding an 870 to the safe, I have been pondering the idea of either replacing (hope not) or supplementing (preferable) my S&W3914 with something a bit smaller 9x19.

I asked the salesperson in the store, what would you recommend in a 9?
First he pulls out Sig. nice. <feels weight; glances at price tag>
Now a Glock 26. yeah, felt this one before. nice also. <feels width; glances at price tag>
then a PM9. umm. this nice for my smaller hand.

then the P9. Wow. Wow!
Weight is amazing. Ergonomic feeling.
Trigger pull. Wow, long, but major smooth.
i was immediately impressed.
Hmmm. :rolleyes:

So I leave the shop, ride my bike to park for afternoon shade on a hot day.
return home. do 3-4 hours of surfing re: 3914 v. Glock v. P/PM9/K9.

Official web sites of SM, Glock, Kahr. Several reviews.
2-3 dozen threads on THR (search, keywords: 3913/14; Glock 26; Kahr P/PM9/K9)

Interesting reading.

So, it seems to me i've learned these things among others:

3913/14 is one of the best 9mm's SW ever built, & in the top 10 auto's ever built
the safety issue (SW external v. lack of it in Glock & Kahr) is of importance in SD
early Kahr P9's had some issues with slide hangs, which seem to have been resolved in later builds as long as one follows manu advice re chamber loads (lock slide back, release) & perhaps use recommended rnds.
lots and lots of people like their PM9's & K9's

Hmm. What's a guy to do? :confused:

Given that i'm leaning towards dropping a few cents for either a P9, a PM9, a K9 (unlikely a Glock ...yet), i'm wondering if any of you kind folks have anything to add, positive or negative about any of them. :o

Thanks for any updates.
Hope all of you are cool in this hot summer air. :cool:


August 9, 2005, 11:21 PM
"Albanian? have you tried yours out again after repair?
does it load well now?"

Well, I got the parts from Kahr for free but I did take it out and shoot it one more time before I decided to replace anything. I didn't have a single problem with any of the 7rd mags but the one 8rd mag that it came with caused the trigger reset problem. I stopped using the 8rd mag and went back to the 7rd mags (good thing I have a bunch of them) and I have not had anymore problem. I guess there was something about the 8rd mag that was causing the problem. Until I find out what the exact problem was/is, I don't yet feel 100% confident in it.

I have to confess that I did carry it one time. I was going to an area at night where a gun would be a good thing to have and I wanted to see how the P-9 carried. I had my trusty S&W 642 as well but I wanted to carry the P-9. It was even more comfortable than my K-9. I really did forget it was there. I think once this proves to be 100%, it is going to be my primary CCW.

I got the P-9 because I feel they are more comfortable than the PM9 and also probably more reliable due to the extra slide length. I use IWB carry so being flat is much more important than being short. Being light is always a plus. It is much more comfortable than the 642 when carried IWB. The 642 is the worlds best coat pocket carry gun but the Kahr P9 may be one of the best IWB guns out there.

August 10, 2005, 12:33 AM

Thanks very much for that update. Very interesting.

Glad to hear that you've made progress solving that issue, or at least reducing the frequency of the malfunction. Hope the problem is over. If you (or others) develop any hypotheses about what caused the glitch, please post it here.

(Interesting that it happens only with the 8 rnd clip. <warning: unprofessional opinion ahead by autopistol novice> I'm betting that there's something different in spring tension or something that affects the slide ... i know little to nothing about gun design, but knowledge of systems in general has taught me that, regardless of system, sometimes little changes can have huge and unexpected effects.)

I'm also pleased to hear this news for myself. I confess that i have "fallen for" the P9. One of those love at first touch things. For me, it looked good, but felt even better. It's that it just fit my hand so comfortably. Admittedly, that may not be the case for all, but for my hand, it rocks. Since I've got relatively small hands, I am even able to get all 4 fingers onto the grip, unlike some of the smaller compacts (subcompacts?) I've handled. Yet, it would definitely stow easier than the 3914.

I've been handling my 3914 a good bit in the last 24 hours - unloaded - working with draw, smooth safety removal, aim...the whole technique. It still feels very good to me (even though after reading some threads last night about 3913/14's, I'd be interested in trying some different grips. Hogue's synthetics maybe?).

It's been too long since its spend a few hours at the range. I need to take it out for a few hundred rounds soon.

Still, i can only really afford one HG right now, and honestly only have need for one (adjunct to the 870, coming soon), so i'm having uncontrollable thoughts of trading in the 3914 for the P9 (plus a couple of cents, of course).

For a basic SD, CCW weapon, (my main car is an 870) for a guy whose not a collector, why should I have two autos of the same caliber, of similar size (3914 a bit bigger of course), even if the 3914 is a very decent gun with good reliability, reportedly one of the best autos that SW has produced? (Not a rhethorical question, by the way. I'm open to opinions about that.)

So, my point, given that I'm having this urge to seriously consider a P9, nice to know there's one less out there with a problem owned by a person who seems to understand HG's better than I do. :o

Related question. I've just purchased a Bianchi Black Widow Model 5 for my 3914. (It's not even here yet.) I've always only worn belt holsters.

In recent days, after reading several threads, I'm reading more about IWB holsters, and have been researching some. I haven't even seen any yet in real time, but from images on the I-net, I'm drawn to the Milt Sparks Versa Max II or the Watch 6.

I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion of IWB holsters, it's about P9 (and I'm glad for that), but I'd enjoy hearing any opinions about which makes and models of IWB people might recommend specifically for the P9 (or other pistols in it's size class). Hopefully, that's not too far off topic.

{I confess, I'm not sure I would like an IWB or not, since I haven't tried one yet. I'm about 6' and fairly thin, so i wonder if my boney pelvis will allow comfortable wearing. (Gees, I realize, I'm not even quite sure where the placement normally is.) But i'll bring that up in a more appropriate thread.}

As always, ideas are welcome, either on list or via PM.

Thanks for another interesting & informative thread.


August 10, 2005, 03:01 AM
I have an early P9. The only real "issue" I've been having is that the trigger pin likes to back out slightly while shooting. I just simply push the pin back in after I'm done for the day. New production has solved this with a through-pin that looks like a cheap fix, but still works. Another minor gripe is that the magazines will often let go of the top round when they're being carried in a pouch or pocket.

Aside from that, for portability vs. shootability they are extremely hard to beat.

August 10, 2005, 06:10 PM
"Another minor gripe is that the magazines will often let go of the top round when they're being carried in a pouch or pocket."

That seems to be true of all Kahr mags. I have found the best thing to do is carry them in a mag pouch that fit the mags snug. Also make sure you push the cartridges all the way back into the mag. Most of the time, they will click and stay in place better.

I don't like to hear that you are thinking of trading the 3914 for the P-9. I would not do that since your 3914 is reliable. I am a HUGE Kahr fan but the K-9 is what I consider to be the cream of the crop, not the P-9. To be perfectly honest, I think the P-9 is not up to the K-9 standards. The K-9 would not save you any weight over the 3914 but it would save you some width and size. If you carry it in a good holster and belt, you will never notice the weight I promise. Had Kahr made the P-9 with an alloy or titanium frame, I would be in hog heaven. I guess I just don't like plastic.

My P-9 seems to be working now but it has a ways to go before I trust it like I trust the K-9s that I have. The K-9s feel like a million bucks but the P-9 feels like a plastic gun. Take that for whatever it is worth. I am going to do a few range sessions and try to break the P-9. I am going to beat on it until it fails or doesn't. If it doesn't, I will feel much better about it. I plan on breaking it and sending it back to Kahr for repairs. It is going to be a trial by fire. I'll keep you posted.

August 10, 2005, 09:37 PM

Thanks for your continued thoughts on this.

Good point re the P9 v. K9. I haven't fond...er, handled the latter yet, but the shop where I saw the P9 has 3 K9's.

And good news: the K9 is $40 less than a P9.

Always did like a mutt better than a plastic breed.

After reading your post, I read many reviews about the K9. I'm liking what I'm reading. It seems nearly the same design as the P9 but in steel. It's about seven ounces heavier than the latter, which precludes pocket carry (which I won't do anyway), but should help with recoil. Even the first generation were less error prone than the P's. The newer ones are reportedly closer to flawless.

Plus, if global warming is real (joke: it's already begun),
the K9 won't distort as quickly in the heat. :D

Good call. Thanks for the heads up. Sometimes, I overlook the obvious.

I'll keep you posted.


{{{Wait...what's that sound? Why, it's the sound of a 3914 about to get traded for something a bit more compact. It's been fun, baby, but ... :evil: }}}

August 11, 2005, 11:08 PM
A few hours ago, I took the plunge. Went to the shop to try the K9. Liked it even better than the P9, and approximately an order of magnitude more than the SW3914 that I traded in for it. The feeling, weight and balance is remarkable.

The darn thing stuck to my hand, so all I could do was pay for it and take it home. :p

Can't wait to get it to the range.

Unless you're really wanting to save a few ounces, I'd suggest at least taking a look at the K9. The reviews are even better than for the P9, with seemingly fewer problems.

I've posted some pics of the new baby in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1851448#post1851448).

Thanks again to Albanian on the heads up about the K9. Very good call.


August 12, 2005, 07:07 AM
Congratulations on your new Kahr K9. These are fine guns.

Your thread is timely, as I claimed a used K9 Elite 98 a couple of weeks back. I say "claimed" because my lack of tradeable gun equity meant that I had to put it on layaway. Soon it will be mine, all mine.

At any rate, I think I handled every 9mm carry gun this side of the Rohrbaugh. The Kahr was the best for me. It isn't "snort up your nose and cough out should trouble arise" small or allow you to repel your foes with a hail of lead. It just seems to strike the proper balance between totability and shootability. Beyond that, the elegant design and jewel-like construction sold it for me. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.

August 13, 2005, 02:33 PM
Glad to hear you got a gun that you wanted and that fits you better. The S&W 3914 is a solid reliable gun that I would trust but if it didn't fit you well, the Kahr should be much better. I have medium sized hands with short fingers and I also like to really feel like I have a grip on my guns. The largest gun that I feel good with is my Beretta 92fs. It is larger than a Glock 19 but for some reason I don't feel like I can grip the Glock as well. You really have to at least hold the gun before you decide it will fit.

The Kahr K-9 is an excellent choice as a CCW. It is well made and accurate and reliable. The P-9 is a little more hit or miss. Almost all of the complaints about Kahr stem from the plastic guns not the all steel ones. The K-9 is the original and still champ IMHO. It is by far my favorite handgun of all time and I have owned many. There are a few things that you should know about the K-9 however. You must do the 200rd break in before you judge reliabilty on these guns. There may be a few jams during break in but that doesn't mean it is not going to be a reliable gun. All of mine have had a jam or two during the first 200rds but have shaped up after. I also find that a feed ramp and chamber polish is a great idea. You can have a gunsmith do it or do it yourself if you want to save some money. Kahr's chambers tend to be tight so a little polishing works wonders. Kahrs are built a little tighter than most pistols and that is why they are more accurate for their size than you expect. The trigger on the Kahr is unique, it is not like a SA or DA, it may take some time to get used to. You will probably find that you are not as accurate with the Kahr as you were with the S&W 3914 at first. Don't let this bother you because with practice, you will see your groups shrink and your speed increase. It doesn't take a ton of practice but you need to learn the way the new trigger feels. If you are like me, you will become faster and more accurate with the Kahr than you were with many other pistols. The Kahr is a combat handgun by birth. It can shoot some tight groups in slow fire but it really shines in rapid fire. It is controlable thanks to the lowest bore axis around and well designed grip. The all steel construction helps tame the recoil as well. I find that I don't even notice the recoil from the K-9. The P-9 has very mild recoil as well, this make me think that the reduction is due mostly to design and not so much to shear weight.

After break in, there is not much that needs to be done to a K-9. A drop of oil on the trigger once in a while is good since when the trigger gets dry, it feels rougher and heavier. Your trigger will improve with shooting as well, it will get even smoother and lighter.

Take down will probably be a pain the first few times. Get an object that will fit in the chamber enough to keep the slide open the proper distance and it will make it much easier. I used a tapered piece of plastic and tapped the slide catch out with the handle of a screw driver. Easy as pie if you do it that way. The slide catch will be hard to depress if locked back on an empty mag, that is normal. Just drop the mag or pull the slide a little to the rear to release the slide catch. The recoil spring should be replaced every two thousand rds because it will wear out. I had an E-9 that had several thousand rds without a spring change and there were parts on the gun that showed some excess wear. It was like the slide and frame were getting more battered than normal. Just change it when you get 2k rds through it and you will be fine. I had about 3K rds through the E-9 before I noticed the wear. It takes a while to shoot 3K rds through a K-9 so it is not like you are going to be replacing springs every few months. Other than that, it is pretty much trouble free.

I think you have one of the finest pistols money can buy and one of the best handguns ever made. I am as impressed with the K-9 as can be. It is a joy to hold and surprising to shoot. It comes with good sights and grips so no need to spend money on those unless you want night sights. I don't both since the K-9 points so well, I feel like I can aim it with having to see the sights if I had too. You have an American gun that is made better than anything else in the price range from any place on earth. That is something to be proud of.

August 13, 2005, 11:05 PM
I like my Kahrs. The K-9 has factory nite sights, the P-9 has Ashley Outdoors big dot tritium sights. The K-9 does bedroom duty and the P-9 gets to see more daylight. Both guns use the same holsters, mags, ammunition, and presentation drills. Ammunition of choice is Cor-Bon 115 +p. The steel K-9 gets shot more with +P ammunition. I don't seem to be able to shoot the P-9 as accurately at 25 yards. I 'spect it has to do with the weight as much as the larger front sight. I too am a fan of the Kahr pistol.

My only complaint with Kahr has to do with detail cleaning. Detail cleaning has been limited to swishing the slide assembly around in some diesel oil, and blowing out whatever residue which might remain with brake shoe cleaner. So far, that seems to work just fine. The Kahrs don't have a lot of 'tinker factor' built in. Not much you can do to them, nor, I suspect, should do to 'em.

Although I'm a confirmed 45AcP fan, I'v found that I can go places with the Colt Pocket 9 or either Kahr where a 45 would be conspicious.

That said, I really, really do want a Norinco Commander sized 1911. :)


August 14, 2005, 12:13 AM
So Salty mentioned his choice of rounds for his K9 & P9: 115 gr Corbon +p.

At least two others in this thread have also mentioned ammo, again in the 115 range. Hmmm. Interesting. A small sample size suggests lighter rounds, maybe for greater speed?

So, at the risk of opening a can of worms about stopping power, penetration, expansion, yada yada yada (which is NOT my intention), I'm curious to know what others shoot in their Kahr's. Since this is a thread about Kahr 9's (P or K, mostly), I'm most interested in those guns, not other 9's.

That is, I'm curious about what Kahr owners shoot in their K9's or P9's, and why?

Not that it isn't an interesting question about other 9's, but I'm just trying to understand the Kahr's right now, what works best in them for whatever reason.

I haven't even shot my new K9 yet. Instead, before I do, I've been reading volumes - repeat VOLUMES - on line about ammo, trying to suss out which would be best for this gun, including all the unsettled (and unsettleable) arguments :cuss: about which (caliber, style, size) is "the magic bullet". Useful, but after a while, one gets the impression that this is going no where.

Still, i guess we all have our favorites for our respective reasons.

For me, I propose that after a couple of hundred Federal 115 gr FMJ's for break in (specified as required by the manual), I will try out the following rounds for defense rounds (but am very open to suggestions by Kahr shooters, especially K9 shooters):

Corbon PowRBall
Remington Golden Saber HPJ 124 gr
Federal Hydrashok 124 gr

At least one review I read on the Kahr web site claimed the latter offered the tightest most consistent groupings.

A couple of ideas I'm also playing with, picked up in my reading:

Load each of your spare magazines with different rounds. A "summer magazine" has standard hollow points because of lighter clothing worn in summer, but in winter, load it with PowrBalls.

Load each magazine with two different kinds of rounds, alternating, say, an expansive round with a more penetrating round.

OK, let them opinions fly. ;)


August 14, 2005, 01:51 AM
Well, I shoot mostly inexpensive FMJs like S&B, WWB, or CCI Blazers for practice. I had some old Win Black Talons that I thought seemed to make more impact down range but I never did any tests other than shooting into mud piles to see which ammo kicked up the most mud. :) Not that it matters but the Black Talons seemed to make the mud explode while the other JHPs seemed less powerful. I know that is such a ghetto way to test ammo but that is what I did. :o The Cor-Bons were a distant second place and all the others were even less impressive.

For my money, I think you can't go too far wrong with any COr-Bon load and if you don't want to research too much, just buy Cor-Bon and shoot a few boxes to make sure they function and you should be fine. I carry Speer 124gr Gold Dots in all my 9mms because I feel it has the right balance of penetration, expansion and bullet weight. It is not too heavy or too light and doesn't fragment on impact like a Glasser (Sp?) will do. I feel it is a good compromise round for any situation. I always prefer to be well prepared for any situation rather than be perfectly prepared for one situation. As I know I will never know what the situation is when it comes, it is best to try and cover your bases if you can.

The 9mm is a compromise, the Kahr K-9 is a compromise and there are certain loads that are a compromise. I think that is a good thing.

August 14, 2005, 02:40 AM
I carry standard-pressure 115-grain Speer Gold Dots. Unfortunately, I have no compelling ballistic argument for this choice. My reasoning is that 115-grain 9mm ammo is inexpensive, so I can practice a lot. Even better, Speer Lawman has almost identical recoil behavior to the Gold Dot line, so it's like practicing with my carry ammo. Honestly, I think worrying about self-defense ammo choice beyond a certain point is a waste of time. Having a gun and putting rounds on target are the more important considerations. If you've got a Kahr, you've made those considerations a lot easier to meet.

August 14, 2005, 04:27 AM
... to practice your 2-3" groupings can be found here:


I printed off two of them tonight (Midway pistol target & Remington Circle target) for two reasons: 1) in anticipation of going to the range on Tuesday, 2) to practice quick aiming with an unloaded gun in a dimly lit studio from 10 yds (let alone 15) which suggested to me that i may want to consider Tritium sights for this K9.


August 14, 2005, 05:26 AM
these are even better. in a zip file.


August 14, 2005, 08:55 AM
I mostly shoot WWB 115gr FMJ in my K9s. I carry Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHP.

I went with Speer since I could get their repackaged 250 round cartons for cheap to familiarize myself with the round and then buy some of their regular ammo to carry.

I would be fine with a round from any of the big name manufacturers.

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