Kel-tec PF9 Trigger reset?


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ABBOBERG
October 29, 2007, 04:40 PM
I own a Kel-tec PF9 and just read the test report in Gun Test magazine. They gave it an "F" because if you short stroke the trigger (don't allow it to reset all the way forward) and pull it back again, you will disable the trigger for that round and have to chamber a new round (if you have one). I have shot this gun a bit at the range and didn't notice the problem until I read the article. Sure enough, mine malfunctions the same way as the Gun Test sample! Apparantly, this is mentioned in the owners manual, so it must be a design flaw Kel-tec hadn't fixed before the gun was put on the market. Gun Test is of the opinion that in a self-defense situation, a person could be nervous and short stroke the trigger, possibly losing his tactical advantage, hence the "F" rating. Would you have given the gun an "F" for this?

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40SW
October 29, 2007, 04:48 PM
In fairness did they do it the same way with the P11, which has been on the market much longer (for many years). Is the P11 set up the same way? and in fairness, this could happen with a number of different makes and models, and not just Kel Tec.

Brian Williams
October 29, 2007, 05:21 PM
I know the P-11 is different from the PF-9, and I know that you can double strike the P-11 but not the PF-9. I had a problem with inserting a mag with the PF-9 when it was slide closed and the striker at half notch, we could not get it in til we pulled the trigger and decocked the striker.

Euclidean
October 29, 2007, 06:13 PM
There's already tweaks and other fixes for the PF 9 trigger anyway. Personally, I think all handguns have weak spots and one should be aware of them and train for them.

gbelleh
October 29, 2007, 06:43 PM
I carried a PF-9 all summer. I am aware of this issue, but it's not a problem for me.

RecoilRob
October 29, 2007, 07:15 PM
That is NOT a 'design flaw'. It is the way it is. Partially loading the hammer reduces the pull length and effort but eliminates your ability to re-strike without retracting the slide.

People who own the pistols should know this already. If you short stroke the trigger, the pistol will not function. That is an operator/training problem.

People who have a lazy trigger finger (from shooting Glocks and 1911's) need to train themselves to fully release the trigger. DA revolver shooters have NO problems with the KT triggers.

Some people are always looking to blame the machine for a software malfunction.

wally
October 29, 2007, 07:28 PM
If you are training with the PF-9 as a revolver replacement, shouldn't be a problem. But if you are used to SA autos where the first tactile "click" cues you that the gun is ready to fire again you could have troubles with it.

That said, the first 75 rounds thru my new PF-9 functioned 100% out of the box and I didn't know about this issue until now -- the recoil is stout enough that I never noticed the first "click" as the trigger comes forward and didn't have any issues with it. Just verfied the issue exists in my gun with snap caps.

I fancy small guns so I wanted one for the collection, no serious intent to carry it since for that I have a Kahr PM40. Verified the Kahr trigger has no such issue its not reset until it comes forward enough to pickup the full stroke.

IMHO it is a design flaw as there should not be a false reset in any trigger either its come forward far enough to pickup the action and fire again when pulled or its not. Most revolvers have a similar "flaw" in that if you slowly come forward you can find a spot where if you start to pull back, the trigger will be frozen and will not move back until you let it come forward all the way. The revolvers, unlike the PF-9 will fire the next round as soon as you recover from the short stroke and allow the full reset to complete. The PF-9 does a light strike and will not fire until the slide is partially retracted and the trigger allowed fully forward again to reset.

--wally.

alamo
October 29, 2007, 07:38 PM
I lost faith in Gun Tests a long time ago when they gave the Makarov a "Don't Buy" rating. They also had numerous inaccuracies in their Rohrbaugh evalution. This is just another example.

The PF-9 has exactly the same trigger design as the P-32 and P-3AT. They didn't have any problem with them.

Nikdfish
October 29, 2007, 07:49 PM
Like Wally said, a partial slide retraction (mayber 3/8 of an inch?) will reset the trigger & permit a full length trigger pull. It's a technique I have used in the past when dry firing (always with a snap cap in place ...). It might also be useful if a round didn't fire on the first strike & you wanted to try a second strike as opposed ejecting the unfired round.

Nick

alamo
October 29, 2007, 08:15 PM
Here's the letter sent by Rohrbaugh to Gun Tests following the review of their pistol. It was posted on the Rohrbaugh forum. Interesting reading to say the least:

http://www.rohrbaughforum.com/YaBB.cgi?board=R9S;action=display;num=1091220026

wally
October 29, 2007, 09:16 PM
I've shot over 1000 rounds thru the combination of my original P3AT and its replacement (after the walking assembly pin problem ruined the frame) and never noticed this issue. However, I am glad to learn of this potential issue from a short trigger stroke on the forum instead of while under stress. Forwarned is forarmed.

--wally.

tnieto2004
October 29, 2007, 09:52 PM
I have a p-11 and as was mentioned I don't think they have the same problem ..

MachIVshooter
October 29, 2007, 11:14 PM
Guess I never noticed it. The only issue I've had with my PF9 was a very peculiar problem when using +p+ handloads. Because the firing pin in the PF9 is actually held forward by the hammer during unlock, the violent ejection of the +p+ rounds caused a small peice of brass to be stripped from the primer by the firing pin. This tiny piece of brass then stuck in the firing pin hole and caused light strikes (FTF) on the subsequent round. Dryfiring dislodged the hitch hiker and the gun would then fire, but the occurance was frequent enough for me to decide that +p is maximum (FWIW, these +P+ loads were very warm, pushing 115 grain Gold dots from my S&W 5906 at 1412 FPS/avg.)

40SW
October 30, 2007, 07:49 AM
"I lost faith in Gun Tests a long time ago when they gave the Makarov a "Don't Buy" rating."

Alamo:
I would agree 100%. Any review that gives the Makarov (one of the most dependable and reliable pistols in history) a "don't buy" rating is a magazine that would loose my faith instantly. Now!!!!, if they pointed out both positives and negatives of different variants, I would look at it as objective, but to give it a blatant "Don't buy" is insane. I have both Russian and Bulgarian variants. Even my so called "Polish" Makarovs have never had a hickup. My Maks are chambered in both 9x18 and .380ACP. I cannot remember ever having a feeding or extraction problem. They are accurate, reliable and fun to shoot.
Gun Tests likes to tout itself as the Consumer Reports of gun reviews, but I have to agree with alot of the users on this forum, some of their "recommendations" leave you with your head shaking and saying . "What the?!!!?!!!?".
Getting back to the PF9 and their review thereof, To give an "F" rating simply because of the trigger reset issue would be idiotic, consider the inherent design , action, and the intent of the pistol. Hopefully they pointed out the compensating factors, the positives , and compared it to similar designs on the market, if they did not, then the review is worthless.

obxned
October 30, 2007, 12:15 PM
The PF-9 trigger is very similar in design to the P3AT, but I've never heard this said before, and the .380 has been out there for years.

Wilson 17&26
October 30, 2007, 03:31 PM
I own a Kel-tec PF9 and just read the test report in Gun Test magazine. They gave it an "F" because if you short stroke the trigger (don't allow it to reset all the way forward) and pull it back again, you will disable the trigger for that round and have to chamber a new round (if you have one).

Did Gun Test magazine ever rate the Kel-Tec P-32 or P-3AT. If so, they should have received that same ďFĒ rating as the trigger & hammer block systems are the same.

It is possible to modify this trigger system to not require a full trigger pull but it slightly increases the possibility of a ND and causes excessive wear on some internal parts, which must then be inspected regularly after modification. I donít recommend it.

PS you donít have to chamber a new round as you can pull the slide back only a ľ inch or so to re-c0ck the pistol, then a full trigger pull for a bang.

Clipper
October 30, 2007, 03:36 PM
Anyone with good trigger habits should have no problems. Those with sloppy trigger habits need to ask what THEY can learn to properly use a pistol trigger, since they should be fully releasing the trigger between shots with ALL pistols.

Wilson 17&26
October 30, 2007, 03:39 PM
Is the P11 set up the same way?

The P-11 doesnít have a hammer block system. The P-32, P-3AT and PF-9 use a hammer block.

ABBOBERG
October 30, 2007, 04:08 PM
Out of curiousity, I checked to see if my P-32 had the same problem. It does.

I appreciate all the responses to this post. I also agree that Gun Test should not have given the PF-9 an "F". They must consider what the user base out there for this gun is. Based on the replies, most of you guys treat this as a range gun. In other words, its not a big deal to pull back the slide a little bit to reset the trigger. I truly believe the Gun Test guys were thinking of the PF-9 in context of self-defense. If you are trying to protect your life of that of a loved one, a short stroke would be more likely to happen, and you might not have the peace of mind to pull back the slide a very short distance. This would be a problem if you were on you last shot.

For a range gun, I would give it a "C" (harsh recoil, large muzzle blast, less accurate than other range guns). For my own self defense, the best grade I could give it would be a "D". Even though I only shoot DAO guns, I have no experience in a real shooting and wouldn't want to take a chance on this trigger.

What I am really curious about is how many cops carry this as a backup gun. I would think that cops have a lot more experience on the street and wouldn't take a chance on this gun.

Clipper
October 30, 2007, 04:53 PM
WHAT?? The PF-9 most certainly is not a range gun, and is designed for SD! If you are having trigger reset problems, the problem is you, not the pistol. If you don't think you can remember how to shoot it properly under pressure, it's because you don't know how to shoot properly. We have an expression in the toolroom, "The poor machinist always blames the machine".

alamo
October 30, 2007, 11:08 PM
Based on the replies, most of you guys treat this as a range gun.

I don't think that likely at all. There are much better choices for a range gun than a small, lightweight pistol.


would think that cops have a lot more experience on the street and wouldn't take a chance on this gun.

Quite a few LEOs frequent the KTOG forum that carry the P-3AT as a back-up. It has the same trigger design as the PF-9 as well as the P-32. The P-32 came out in 1999. This "problem" is a not real issue and is certainly not some recent discovery, except perhaps in the dubious minds of the folks at Gun Tests.

The Lone Haranguer
October 30, 2007, 11:20 PM
If you don't care for a trigger that absolutely requires that it return fully forward to reset, then you won't like Ruger revolvers, either. I don't see this as being a problem.

alamo
October 30, 2007, 11:22 PM
The Makarov trigger can be short stroked as well. It needs to return forward a pretty fair amount too in order to reset.

ShooterMcGavin
October 31, 2007, 04:55 AM
Here is how my PF-9 works, as I just tested this:
1. Load it with a Snap Cap.
2. Pull trigger through its complete stroke and hold it back.
-the hammer is dropped.
3. While the trigger is still being held back, pull the slide back by hand in order to c0ck the hammer half way. This simulates the slide motion during recoil.
4. Slowly release the trigger to the fake-reset point (half way) and then pull the trigger again.
-the trigger is prevented from being pulled completely. The hammer does not drop a second time.... however...
5. Release the trigger completely.
6. Pull the trigger through its full stroke.
-the hammer drops again.

I believe it is that last part that people are complaining about. Even if I short stroke the trigger after the hammer has been c0cked half way, once I release the trigger fully, I can pull the trigger and the hammer will drop. Am I misunderstanding something here?

I'm not sure why my PF-9 is different than all those mentioned above :scrutiny:

40SW
October 31, 2007, 07:50 AM
So in the end, unless Gun Tests does a thoughrough comparison of the same DAO action and trigger setup as the PF9 with other makes/models on the market ,both from Kel Tec and from other manufacturers, then it is a worthless review, regardless of whether they give it an A+ or an F.
If I'm reading an automotive review magazine, I want to see a Ford F150 truck comparing to something like a Dodge RAM and not a Honda Accord. They should stick with apples to apples and not apples to oranges. , otherwise they are going to loose credibility.

Wilson 17&26
October 31, 2007, 09:45 AM
Am I misunderstanding something here?

When the hammer falls, you get a light strike with insufficient energy to ignite the primer. Try it with real ammo at the range. If you eject the unfired round you will see a dimple in the primer.

philbo
October 31, 2007, 10:10 AM
I lost faith in Gun Tests a long time ago...

+100
for me it was when they reviewed the XD45 and harped on the fact that it didn't have a frame mounted safety... Haven't seen them do this with other autos including Glock, Kahr, Keltec, etc.

I owned a PF9 for a short period, and while it wasn't for me I would definitely recommend the gun for someone who wanted a major caliber pistol in a small package. It was very reliable. After I read the Guntest report I couldn't believe they gave the pistol an F for their failure to learn the manual of arms for a new pistol. I think it is one more example of the writers bias influencing a review and recommendation. Just one more reason I won't be renewing my subscription when it expires.

ABBOBERG
October 31, 2007, 12:11 PM
WHAT?? The PF-9 most certainly is not a range gun, and is designed for SD! If you are having trigger reset problems, the problem is you, not the pistol. If you don't think you can remember how to shoot it properly under pressure, it's because you don't know how to shoot properly. We have an expression in the toolroom, "The poor machinist always blames the machine".

I just go by what I am reading on THR. People seem to be using the PF9 as a range gun. They are certainly not "putting 1000 rounds through it...yada yada" in self defense. I guess I really don't know how many rounds qualify a "range gun".

As far as shooting under pressure, not everyone has the skill to focus like a machininst does, where the pressure is extreme when you've got 70-100 hours into a part and you still have the possibility to screw it up. Most people are not machinists and are not used to being "precise under pressure". I am not a machinist and would not want to be precise with a trigger when being assaulted by a BG. My PF9 remains a collector item.

Wilson 17&26
October 31, 2007, 01:58 PM
Most people are not machinists and are not used to being "precise under pressure". I am not a machinist and would not want to be precise with a trigger when being assaulted by a BG. My PF9 remains a collector item.

There is no such thing as a perfect trigger for everyone. Iím certain that there are some folks that would shoot themselves in the leg drawing a Glock under pressure with itís light short trigger pull. If you do not believe you can not adjust to Kel-Tec P-32, P-3AT or PF-9 trigger I believe you would do well to sell the pistol and put those dollars into a gun that gives you more fun and protection.

ShooterMcGavin
October 31, 2007, 02:03 PM
When the hammer falls, you get a light strike with insufficient energy to ignite the primer. Try it with real ammo at the range. If you eject the unfired round you will see a dimple in the primer.
Thanks for clarifying, Wilson.

I will try this at the range. Although, I believe I once short-stroked the trigger with live ammo and the round did eventually fire. Maybe that was ammo with a "friendly" primer?
I imagine the behavior could be determined with good reliability by simply assuring that the hammer is pulled back the same distance after short-stroking. If it is pulled back as far as when done properly, the drop should generate the same force. ...at least, I think :) I won't rely on that; I will try it at the range.

Partially loading the hammer reduces the pull length and effort but eliminates your ability to re-strike without retracting the slide.
I think my confusion arose from this post. It gave me the impression that there would be NO re-strike, instead of a light-strike.

As far as the review goes.... I think the short-stroke behavior should be noted information, but I don't think it warrants an "F" rating. My biggest concern with the issue is the misleading reset. It doesn't matter though. It simply reinforces how I feel about any gun - train regularly and know your weapon!

RecoilRob
October 31, 2007, 07:50 PM
I'm sorry, didn't mean to mislead you Shooter. The PF-9, P-32 and P-3AT have a hammer block that holds the hammer partially cocked after firing a shot or racking the slide. Pulling the trigger finishes the cocking and releases it.

Failing to fully release the trigger before pulling it again drops the hammer from the partially cocked position on the hammer block. Many guns WILL fire semi-reliably this way. One fellow was complaining about his pistols spotty reliability and it took a little while before it was figured out that he was shooting it all the time from the semi-cocked position. Once he started fully stroking the trigger his problems went away!

Holding the hammer partially cocked DOES reduce the workload on the trigger pulling it to full cock. That was the intent of the change from P-11 to PF-9 style design. But, the PF-9 type mechanism will NOT re-strike a dud without retracting the slide the aforementioned 1/4" to reset the hammer. The trigger can't pull the hammer from fully down like the P-11 can. You DO have restrike ability with the P-11 so if that is important to you, the 11 is the way to go in the KT line.

Again, sorry if my words confused you. Hope things are clearer now.

ShooterMcGavin
November 1, 2007, 12:27 AM
No problem Rob. Sometimes I read too much into simple things :)

Failing to fully release the trigger before pulling it again drops the hammer from the partially cocked position on the hammer block.
This is NOT the behavior with my PF-9. When the trigger is pulled before it is allowed to fully reset (short-stroke), the hammer does not drop from the half-cocked position. In that instance, the hammer does not move from its half-cocked position (forward or backward), and the trigger is blocked from being pulled. When the trigger is later fully released and pulled, the hammer is pulled back to it's fully-cocked position and dropped.

I used a metal ruler to measure the distance the hammer is pulled back for both instances - a full trigger pull, and an attempted short-stroke followed by a full release and then a full trigger pull. If there is a difference in the amount the hammer is pulled backwards for the full stroke, it is undetectable.

Is it possible that guns made at different times have different designs? My serial number is R3Jxx.

MachIVshooter
November 1, 2007, 01:08 AM
Most people are not machinists and are not used to being "precise under pressure". I am not a machinist and would not want to be precise with a trigger when being assaulted by a BG. My PF9 remains a collector item.

There's nothing precise about firing a PF9. Squeeze-release-squeeze-release-squeeze-release.............

Kinda like every other gun out there.

Wilson 17&26
November 1, 2007, 01:10 AM
Is it possible that guns made at different times have different designs? My serial number is R3Jxx.

No, this is the same trigger system that Kel-Tec introduced with the P-32 a dozen years ago. Try short stroking it with live ammo. If it goes bang rather than producing a dimple when short stroked, your hammer block is not properly protecting you from a ND or your firing pin spring doesnít have the proper tension.

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