Just tell me it will be OK!


April 30, 2006, 03:48 AM
Ok ladies and gents, I need some counceling. I’m rather new to the use of Handguns as defensive tools. I’ve handled long guns and hand guns for years but mostly as recreation. Never really gave them much REAL thought for defense. Was never Anti Gun, just ... well... young and stupid. So With marriage and real possessions and Katrina and Rita, I got real serious about having, learning, and using a defensive hand gun. I know. I’m a little late to the party but I’m here now... where’s the buffet?

Enter my Kahr MK9. I fell in love with her. She was perfect. She fit my hand. The sight picture was a thing of beauty. But, *sniff* I... I. It’s so hard to say this. She failed me today at the range. Her extractor just flat broke. It looks like an old die cast toy that you finally bent enough that it has shattered.

I used to love carrying her everywhere. She would be on my hip everywhere I went. But now *chokes back tears*, as I write my letters to customer service, I just look at her... sitting there. A useless paper weight. My confidence is shot. How can I ever trust her again?????

In all seriousness. I was MAD when it happened. I had all this nifty ammo and I had to shoot my wife’s G19. But then, later, it began to hit me. HOLY $#|^! What if that had been a serious SHTF situation?

Sooooo, my question is; How do you cope with this blow to your psyche and confidence? I know there are the obvious responses of ; Get it fixed, get it back to the range, shoot her ‘til you are confident. But is there anything else y’all do to get your lobes around trusting a gun again?

BTW, I think I was just taught a valuable lesson about the need for a backup gun.

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Don't Tread On Me
April 30, 2006, 04:11 AM
No offense, but Kahr is garbage. I've had one myself.

Supposedly, their quality was top-notch early on, but in the last 5-6 years, they've been pretty bad.

They are the kings of concealability. Perfect size, perfect controls. Kahr has the look of pure quality, but underneath, where it counts - it is NOT.

I had a slide stop shatter on me. For a nearly $700 gun, the Kahr is a let down. They shouldn't be using so many MIM junk parts on load-bearing stress areas on a gun of that price. No excuse for that. As far as I'm concerned, I could care less what warranty you have, if the gun BREAKS when you need it, no warranty will save you. They absolutely should not be priced where they are. They are in the Sig range of pricing, but with no where near the quality.

My confidence in Kahr was permanently shattered. I wil be looking forward to the (thinner than a Kahr) Kel-tec 9mm coming up. While it doesn't inspire confidence in the way it looks or feels, the one that I've had works flawlessly. And at least when you gamble with Keltec, you aren't going to get beat out of a few hundred dollars if it doesn't work out. The way Kahr's been going these days, I think the odds of getting a lemon with a Kahr are just as much as with a Keltec.

OH, and arthurcw, I can't tell you it will just be ok. Whatever broke on the Kahr broke because it was a lame part. The replacement will be a lame part also. Too much MIM junk parts for my tastes.

30-06 lover
April 30, 2006, 04:20 AM
It will be okay.

April 30, 2006, 04:25 AM
a keltec p11 can help you find the love again.

April 30, 2006, 01:08 PM
Fix the Kahr, relegate it to back-up status, and buy a compact 1911 as your primary carry pistol. If you are not comfortable with carrying a single-action pistol cocked and locked, get a Para-Ordnance LDA series pistol.

April 30, 2006, 01:22 PM
thats why i carry a glock 26. Yes its a bit heavy and bulky compared to a keltec or a kahr, but no one will sanely argue the reliability of a properly maintained glock. Besides, 11+1 rnds of 9mm on tap is nice to have :evil:

April 30, 2006, 03:56 PM
I have yet to see anything made by the hand of man, that can't break. I've even seen a steel trailer ball break.

Get your gun fixed, (that's why there are gunsmiths) and get on with life.

Don't Tread On Me
April 30, 2006, 05:43 PM
Cajun is correct, everything breaks. But the frequency of which something will break within a particular type or group is the issue.

Steel breaks less than MIM. You can quantify the strength of one material over another, and that has a direct impact on the percentage of failures, or the life expectancy of the part. I've seen first hand how pot-metal AR parts bend, wear, and break with low round counts vs. properly made, hard steel, heat treated parts running on and on with no visible wear at all.

MIM and other methods are not done as improvements, they are done as a cost savings measure. They offer no structural strength or wear improvement over an all steel part. They are cheaper to make. Unfortunately, the cost savings aren't passed on to you as is obvious with the price of the pistol. Steel costs more to buy, more to machine, and more to finish. I don't mind some parts made with cheaper materials, so long as they aren't critical parts - like a slide stop or whatever else. The few steel parts that are used are usually not treated at all or roughly machined.

Pistols like the CZ cost less money, and have lots of steel. They can do it with real materials, and for less. That means the MIM monkeys (there are more than just Kahr) are just stealing your money.

April 30, 2006, 07:34 PM
Thanks guys.

Especially CajunBass; Yes I know it, but I needed to hear it.
My wife is well meaning and sweet, but I needed to hear it from a pro.

BTW: The MRS. said, "Sweetie, its a gun, not a wife... if IT p*sses you off, you can get another one." I do love her.

April 30, 2006, 08:45 PM
an XD will give you love no matter what you give her back. She will never fail you.

April 30, 2006, 10:09 PM
You've said it yourself that you finished shooting with your wife's "G19".Doesn't that tell you something?:D

May 1, 2006, 02:23 AM
Got nothing against Glocks except for the fact I can't shoot them very well. They don't fit my had AT ALL. I find myself having to contort my paws, wrist, and forearms to get them to fire any where near the x ring. Great gun! But its really of no use to me.

Sadly, I have freakishly small hands for a man (don't worry, everything else is up to code), so very few defensive caliber auto-loaders really give me a good fit. Some single stack (Compact) 1911's sorta work depending on the trigger. Very little else does... well, I did paw a Rohrbaugh at the last gun show, but I was not impressed with the gun, although it DID fit my hand. I could see it as a BUG ( a very pricey BUG). But still only a bug because of its sights.

The P-11 also (Sorta) fits my hand, but only just. Maybe after they work the bugs out of the PF-9, I'll look at that one.

Aside from that, I'd have to step to some of the J-frame wheelies to get a good solid grip. But I'm holding off on surrendering the idea of an auto-loader.

I have considered getting a used G26 and letting someone do a grip resizing and see if it helps.

I would LOVE a mainstream gun. I really would. But the Kahr was just the best fit. Period. I guess Ill get her fixed and give her another chance. I did have 1100 rounds though it, so well see.

I will probably start looking for a BUG though. There are many .380s on down that fit my hands quite well. And while Im not ready to surrender my hopes of a true defensive caliber auto-loader yet, Id have no issue with a pocket BUG in .380

May 1, 2006, 05:33 AM
Have you tried a Sig P239. They have pretty small grips for a 9mm. Sig P225 is almost as good. If you cant' hold either of those 2 guns, then you really do need to step down to a .280 or smaller. Maybe a Sig P230...

May 1, 2006, 05:52 AM
Especially CajunBass; Yes I know it, but I needed to hear it.
My wife is well meaning and sweet, but I needed to hear it from a pro.

Boy have I got YOU fooled. :D

I've just been around long enough to not let things like that get me in a frazzle. I bought a brand new truck one time that blew the engine the first day I had it. Stuff really does happen.

I had a Kel-Tec, P-11 that I really liked. You said it sort of fit your hand. Did you have a pinky finger magazine extension on it? That helps a lot.

I say I used to have a Kel-Tec. Nothing at all wrong with the gun after 1000 rounds. I just happened to see another gun I wanted more so I traded it.

May 1, 2006, 06:20 AM
The upshot of this whole discussion is to have as many backup's as you can afford and care for. That way when one breaks, just slide another one in position until you get your favorite back. It's kind of like dating, you always need a back up just in case you wear out your welcome.

Working Man
May 1, 2006, 06:25 AM
then you really do need to step down to a .280 or smaller. :scrutiny:

Or perhaps a .380. I love my Walther PPK/S, very tight, real steel feel, a little
small for my hands but I'm working on how I hold it.

May 1, 2006, 06:40 AM
I've paid $1000 or more, for 3 different guns now. The 1st one was my Kimber Ultra Elite, and the extractor broke on it with less than 300 rounds through it. Got the extractor replaced & it's been 100% ever since.

I had an all-steel Para-Ordnance P-14 & after countless rounds through it, the slide stop broke and I watched the slide go slip slidin' away toward the target-I'd like to tell you that it was a 10-ring hit, but....

As CajunBass stated, anything can break; even an XD-9.


May 1, 2006, 06:58 AM
Your experience with Kahr is close to my own. Nothing broke on my P9, but after ~400 rounds the slide still failed to fully close every 20th round or so. Plus it never fit my hand quite right anyway, so now the local Gander Mountain has it sitting in their case. I'd suggest looking hard at the SIG P239 as well, my brother has one that is very reliable and accurate. Being a single stack 9mm it's very thin. Try to get your hands on a 1911 with a short trigger, thin grips and a flat mainspring housing as well. I've seen people with very small hands shoot them well with a little practice, the great thing about the 1911 is that it's very easy to change out parts to fit it to your hand. Good luck.

May 1, 2006, 07:17 AM
You might want to consider the BHP in 9mm. It may be a bit big for your hands, but picking one up and holding it @ your local gunshop shouldn't cost you anything but a few minutes of your time. If it turns out that it fits, you haven't lost anything, and if you buy one for yourself you can probably rest easy for the rest of your days. I've got one that's going on 16 years old now, and never a problem. I paid about $450 for the thing back in 1990. If some of the posts i see here are correct about the $700 price tag for the Kahr, you paid damned near as much for that as the HP is currently going for these days, so the price shouldn't be an issue. Check out the BHP.

May 1, 2006, 08:20 AM
I once had a 2.5" Diamondback. VERY nice gun. Firing pin broke. I replaced it. It broke again. I read everything I could find, certainly including Kuhnhausen. I examined that gun six ways from Sunday. I couldn't find out why the firing pin broke. I bought a new hammer (kept my bobbed hammer and replaced the firing pin again) and installed it. I then sold that Diamondback and I have never been sorry I sold it. It was a nice thing to play with in front of targets, but I couldn't seriously call it a gun, as in defensive tool.

BTW, that hammer is now in my Agent (drop-in), and I've never had a bit of trouble from it. I still have no idea why that DB broke two firing pins.

I'm not a big fan of carrying just one gun, but when I do, it is certainly a revolver.

May 1, 2006, 08:34 AM
The mention of the BHP gives me an excuse to ask a question that's been on my mind for a few months (since I bought one!).

I know a number of 1911 manufacturers are using MIM for a number of components (some applications are questionable, at best...).

Question: Are the current/recent BHPs using MIM for extractors, slide locks, etc???

Oh, back on topic: CajunBass is correct that even the finest machine can break. I feel a vintage S&W or Ruger revolver (I'm old enough to like pinned & recessed, and the old "Six" lineup) is about as close to 100% reliability as one can find. But, Murphy the Lawmaker cannot be discounted!

My solution: Buy quality, test for reliability, maintain & inspect regularly ...

Sort of like the old joke about the mathematician caught trying to carry a bomb onto an airplane. When taken into custody and questioned, he stated his "bomb" was actually nonfunctional, and he had packed it to increase the level of safety on his flight. The TSA questioned this, and the mathematician assured them he had researched the matter thoroughly. The chances of his boarding a plane with a bomb on board was calculated at 1 in one million; the chances of his boarding a plane with TWO bombs on board were only one in ten billion, so . . . :o

May 1, 2006, 09:46 AM

May 1, 2006, 09:59 AM
arthurcw - It will be OK; do yourself a favor though (IMHO) you need an all metal Kahr. I went through 3 plastic ones w/ "0" luck, but now have:
Grips; my own creations. This k9 Elite '03 that I won't ever give up.
"Junk"; I strongly disagree..!

Eric Howland
Savannah, GA.

May 1, 2006, 10:04 AM
I dont think BHP's have a single MIM piece.
I dont think Kahrs are junk. This stuff happens.
I have seen more XD's with broken extractors than I have Kahrs.

Yes it will be ok. If you want to use it as an excuse to buy another gun,
then it won't be okay. Go buy a new gun RIGHT NOW!!!

May 1, 2006, 01:51 PM
erh: My Kahr is an all metal MK9 elite 2K. Heavy little buger, but nice. I have some friends with PM's but I like the metal ones.

BTW: How did you make the grips?

mattk: If you want to use it as an excuse to buy another gun,
then it won't be okay. Go buy a new gun RIGHT NOW!!!

um... YOU ARE RIGHT! Man, It's only out of concern that I am going to the gun store. It's not greed. GIM'ME GIM'ME GIM'ME!

Gordon Fink
May 1, 2006, 05:24 PM
All guns are junk, so just get a new extractor and be happy. :)

~G. Fink

May 1, 2006, 10:45 PM
I found my extractor loosened up and re tensioning was all it needed. That is not enough for me so I have a spare now I keep in the truck. I may keep tensing this old "B" stamped SS extractor that came in a SA 1911. I may swap it after my next range trip and save it for range trips only.
This part I understand has a poor history.

Once it is fixed maybe a lil research on the parts and a spare to keep at home or in vehicle for when you lose confidence in it. Or it breaks. Get a smith to prefit spares.

May 1, 2006, 11:20 PM
Pistols like the CZ cost less money, and have lots of steel. They can do it with real materials, and for less. That means the MIM monkeys (there are more than just Kahr) are just stealing your money.

I'm a diehard CZ fan, but I've had some parts break on my 75B (firing pin and trigger spring). I got it fixed, shot four or five hundred rounds through it, and pronounced it ready for duty again. No gun is perfect, and brands don't guarantee reliability either - I've seen SIGs that were jammomatics (not common, but it happens) and GLOCK springs are made the same as everyone else's, not of some futuristic hyperalloy. You have to replace recoil springs and such regularly anyway for all autoloaders - is anyone really surprised a part can break occasionally?

arthurcw, get it fixed and shoot a few hundred rounds through it. If it's back to normal, I'd say all is well.

May 2, 2006, 02:20 AM
Just get your gun fixed and don't listen to the bashers who will always tell you their sob story how an entire manufacture sucks because they got one bad gun. Don't put to much stock in the talk about how bad MIM parts are either if I was you. Get on the old www. and get some answers about MIM parts if your worried about their use in your firearm.Some of the guys around here are set in their ways and when something isn't what their used to or like you will here their horror stories about how bad they are. MIM parts are just one of many topics.

May 2, 2006, 04:17 AM
My primary concealed carry guns are a Glock 29 10mm and a Sig P239 .40S&W. Both are great. The Glock, being a double stack, is somewhat bulkier than the Sig but the extra umph of 10mm is worth the slightly less confort. As for those with small hands, the Sig is an excellant option. It is a single stack, which also means less printing, that holds 7+1 .40S&W/.357Sig or 8+1 9mm. Just my 2 cents.

May 2, 2006, 04:22 AM
Get yourself a GLOCK or SIG, you'll be good to go from then on out.

May 2, 2006, 05:22 AM
I have probably put atleast 3000 rounds through my Springfield XD 9mm with no problems. Just a suggestion.

May 2, 2006, 05:45 AM
Mechanical things will fail -- it doesn't mean that the whole pistol is a piece of crap. Just buy a new extractor and press on.

May 2, 2006, 07:13 AM
Her extractor just flat broke. It looks like an old die cast toy that you finally bent enough that it has shattered.

Figure out why it failed. Have you been dropping rounds directly into the chamber? Was it contacting the barrel? I'm unsure of other possibilities, but see if you can ascertain the reason for failure.

When you do cleanings, inspect the part. Take a handle of a plastic spoon (a handy cleaning tool, KFC has the best ones......) and work the extractor back and forth while inspecting it.

Finally, get it fixed and stop doing what weakened it (if anything). I am not sure of the quality of the recent Kahrs, but the older steel ones were very good.

I have seen parts fail on $36M aircraft that were carrying weapons which cause great concern. Sure, those parts should not have failed either, but they did. Parts is parts. Nothing is foolproof. Inspect your carry gun as well as clean it. Know what the parts should look like, and suspect any thing that is out of the norm. Perform preventative maintenance. Otherwise, you are asking for this kind of failure. The inspections and preventative maintenance will save your tail. Changing guns will not. All guns have the potential for failure. Choosing another gun without instituting a system of preventing failures from occuring is an open door for another incident.

May 2, 2006, 09:42 AM

The Real Hawkeye
May 2, 2006, 09:56 AM
No offense, but Kahr is garbage.I bought my P9 when it first hit the market. After uncounted thousands of rounds, it has never failed. Eventually, a small plastic part did break, but guess what, it still worked flawlessly while broken. I eventually sent it back, and they replaced it with a steel part, which is how they are making them now (I guess a lot of people had that plastic part break). She still works 100%. I have every confidence in a Kahr P9. Just have them replace the extractor, and carry a back up gun. Alternatively, after getting the extractor fixed, buy another Kahr. Test out the new car with what you will be carrying to your satisfaction, then never shoot it again, short of shooting out old ammo and replacing it. Only carry the new Kahr, and practice exclusively with you old Kahr. This way, you will likely never wear out a part on the new gun, and it will be in great shape for a SHTF situation, should it be called upon. All guns suffer from parts breakage from time to time. Just ask a police or military armorer. Just something you have to deal with.

May 2, 2006, 01:20 PM
Why it broke is a real good question. I do a thorough cleaning and inspection after each shoot and do a wipe down, barrel swab, and quick inspection every couple of weeks if I haven't been to the range. I shoot every other week (mostly) so it stays clean. I work all the mechanisms to test them and the extractor moved fine. It still does (what is left of it anyway).

I never drop rounds in the chamber; and the only other person who shoots it (wife) never did either.

There is no mark on the barrel suggesting it was slamming against it.

I have to just assume it's a bad part. I first thought it was some grit or something that got into the works and did not allow the extractor to move, but it seems to move freely.

The only other thing I can think of is that the round's casing was somehow messed up and snapped the extractor (?). But even then I would have expected a jam or FTF first? Unfortunately at the range I have access to, no one polices their brass so finding my casings is always a chore under the best of circumstances. I went late in the day so the brass fairy was already quite pleased with her work there. Finding my 9mm case among the perma-brass surface was not gonna happen.

Anyone else have any idea what else I should inspect before it goes back home to Massachusetts for a visit?

May 2, 2006, 02:54 PM
If you can get a good deal (got mine for $850) an H&K P7M8 is a wonderful carry piece. Acruate, reliable, and can still cycle and run w/o an ejector (fluted chamber. However they are expensive, parts and mags are expensive, etc. Great weapon to own if you can get a good deal however.


May 2, 2006, 03:51 PM
If you have small hands try a Walther99 or SW99, a Ruger P95 might fit, but heavy for carry, Browning Hi-powers, the sigs mentioned above are good too. 1911's fit good, I just don't like their less than awesome reliability. I know, I know, flame me.

The Real Hawkeye
May 2, 2006, 04:36 PM
I just don't like their less than awesome reliability. I know, I know, flame me.No flame, you're just dead wrong. I've had and been shooting 1911s since the early 1980s. Must have had fifteen of them at one time or another. The vast majority were as reliable as a typical Sig or Glock. I have five that I would stake my life on right now. After many thousands of rounds through each, none of them have ever malfunctioned in any way, using modern hollow point ammo. I'll bet, though, that the 1911s that you've had experience with were all compact and/or lightweight ones. No, I'm no psychic. It's just that whenever I hear complaints about the unreliability of 1911s, the guy who says it isn't into full sized all steel guns. The guns I have are all either Commander sized or full sized, and all but one is all steel. This is as they were designed to be. The nature of the design makes it very hard to get them to work reliably when cut short or lightened up. Takes more tuning to get them reliable when short and light. If you want a dead reliable 1911, and don't want to mess with it, buy a Springfield Armory full sized all steel 1911A1. You will not be sorry. These carry and conceal as well or better than the chopped down 1911s. Sounds hard to believe, but it's true.

May 2, 2006, 06:39 PM
I thought Kahr's were pretty pricey. How about a Kimber?

I'd say Ruger for a full size but I don't think they make a small CCW model.

Have you tried one of the little Glocks. I had a guy at the range say some nice things about my Kimber so I asked about his little pocket Glock(it was a tiny 45)

Well I handed my kimber and a mag and he handed me his Glock it was very accurate and the DA trigger was really nice. I shot a nice group.

I don't think you could go wrong with one of the small Glocks.

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