Kel-Tec PF-9 vs. Kahr CW9 Comparison


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wally
November 13, 2007, 10:19 PM
Recently picked up a Kel-Tec PF-9, guns that are small for their caliber are a large part of my collection so now that I've shot it a bit thought you might like some comparison photos and a few opinions.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67217&stc=1&d=1195004650


Executive sumary: Since you can usually find the CW9 or (even better CW40) for about $90-100 more than the PF-9, I'd go with the Kahr for the significantly better trigger, marginally better sights, and much better mag release button and slide lock lever.

The PF-9 is a bit smaller and a bit thinner. In my hand the CW9 is much more pleasent to shoot -- slightly longer grip and ~1/4" smaller girth below the trigger guard makes a large difference for me. YMMV. I generally run 50 rounds a week thru my CW9 as an analog for the PM40 I usually carry and never have an issue with comfort. I had to take a rest after every two mags of the PF-9 and shoot something else for a while.

Here is a photo of the gripsl L to R: CW9, PF-9, PM40, P3AT
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67218&stc=1&d=1195004749

Here is a view form the front:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67219&stc=1&d=1195005025

Here is the top view of the slides, P3AT on top, CW9 on bottom.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67220&stc=1&d=1195005143

Finally a side view of the guns stacked on top of each other with the P3AT on top, CW9 on the bottom.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67221&stc=1&d=1195005401


My Kahr CW9 had to go back for warranty repair before compleating its first box of ammo, but its been fine since. So far, for the first 100 rounds the PF-9 has been 100% -- 50 rounds of my 147gr hard cast lead reloads that are the staple food of my CW9, 25 115gr Blazer Brass FMJ and some Federal 147gr Hydrashok and 147gr Winchester Ranger SXT JHP.

I'd rate them a toss up accuracy wise, although the better trigger will make the Kahr seem more accurate for most folks. Probably my biggest complaints about the PF-9 are that you have to partially depress the mag catch to insert the mag. Iits a bear to push the button to release the mag (no chance of it happening by accident, a feature not a bug?) -- I have to shift my grip, speed reloads are going to be very difficult (but since I almost never carry a spare mag no real issue for me). And its hear impossible to release the slide with the hold open lever, slingshot is the way to go.

If money was a serious issue, I'd be comfortable with the PF-9 as the PM40 will cost you what would buy a P3AT and PF-9, but if you can swing it, at only ~$100 more I think the CW9 (or CW40) is a better overall choice if the slightly larger size is not a showstopper for you as its much easier to shoot it well.

--wally.

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wally
November 13, 2007, 10:25 PM
Since its another carry option in this size range here are a few photos of the PF-9 next to my S&W SC-360 .357Mag. Price is about the same if you are willing to buy a Taurus J-frame revolver. The SC360 is my second most common carry behind my Kahr PM40.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67224&stc=1&d=1195007023

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67225&stc=1&d=1195007081

--wally.

KONY
November 13, 2007, 11:18 PM
Great info! Thanks! :cool:

scurtis_34471
November 14, 2007, 12:35 AM
How shootable is the PM40? I'm seriously looking for a gun in this size class and am sort of debating between the PM9, CW9, MK9 and Walther PPS.

wally
November 14, 2007, 07:54 AM
I find the PM40 very shootable with 180gr Winchester SXT. Its a pussycat compared to the .357Mag SC360 with 158gr Hydrashoks :)

But recoil is stout enough I got the CW9 for practice that was easier on my hand and wallet.

--wally.

scurtis_34471
November 14, 2007, 12:27 PM
If I get a Kahr, it will be 9mm. I'm mostly just skittish because of all the bad feedback I've come across online. It seems similar to Kel Tec: some guns are flawless and some are complete disasters and there is no way to predict when you will get.

Euclidean
November 14, 2007, 01:13 PM
Good thread. I personally chose the PF-9 over the Kahr CW series for the reasons you suggested, and I'm not really convinced the Kahr would have done anything for me personally the PF-9 doesn't. The ever so slightly larger size of the Kahr was a deal breaker too, believe it or not.

The more expensive Kahrs are probably significantly better guns, but to me that's apples to oranges. When you compare the polymer Kahr to the PF-9 I don't see any significant difference for my intended purposes. Others may have different needs of course.

They really do compare to each other very well, you could think of the Kel Tec as an inexpensive alternative. That's why I think this will be a big seller for them, no one else quite has something like this on the market at that price point.

Bobo
November 14, 2007, 10:02 PM
Great comparison and photos - thanks!!

MrBill120
November 14, 2007, 10:14 PM
I had a Kahr K-9, circa 1998. Loved it. Not a single FTF/FTE. ....but....I'm a G-26 man now. The G-26 carries on the ankle better for me....
Does anyone know what there connection between Kahr and Sun Myung Moon is???

markmc753
November 14, 2007, 10:45 PM
Buy a Kahr and you indirectly (though not very indirectly) fund a fairly well know cult -- "The Moonies"

scurtis_34471
November 15, 2007, 12:41 AM
The guy who owns Kahr Arms is the son of Sun Yun Moon, the founder of the Unification Church. He donates some of his personal wealth to his father's church, but the company is not owned by the Moonies. Why would I boycot a business just because of the owner's religion?

That said, I do think Reverend Sun Yun Moon is probably the greatest con artist alive today and is a shining example for all who aspire to fleece the flock.

Mat, not doormat
November 20, 2007, 06:43 PM
What, if any, is the difference in percieved recoil between the Kahr, and the Kel-Tec? I've not yet found a PF-9 to shoot, but remember the P-11 as being obnoxious in that department. Recently rented a Kahr PM-9, and was expecting the same or worse, but it was remarkably shootable. Counter guy said a lot of people feel the same way. probably a difference in height of bore axis, or something. Sounded like a reasonable theory to me. So, is there a noticeable difference between the two, with the same ammo?

~~~Mat

CoRoMo
November 20, 2007, 06:46 PM
See... we need more of these types of posts.
Those pics are very informative, almost like Bobo's chart.
Thanks wally!!

ArfinGreebly
November 20, 2007, 07:56 PM
It's worth noting that some of the pistols with a shorter grip will not engage all four fingers.

Which, for many people is no big deal.

For me, since my third finger doesn't grip real well (knuckle problem), I need to engage the fourth (little) finger.

I can't do that on the PF-9 without a mag/grip extender.

If your ability to shoot the gun effectively depends on having all your fingers engaged, keep that in mind as you survey your carry candidates.

I actually went up a whole size class (to the Taurus PT911 in 9mm) to overcome this. I'm now looking for a compact single stack 9mm in approximately that profile.

It would indeed be ironic if I had to go with a 1911 format to get a flat-enough gun with a long-enough grip.

wally
November 20, 2007, 11:00 PM
So, is there a noticeable difference between the two, with the same ammo?


I thought I'd expressed my opinion of it in the initial post:
The PF-9 is a bit smaller and a bit thinner. In my hand the CW9 is much more pleasent to shoot -- slightly longer grip and ~1/4" smaller girth below the trigger guard makes a large difference for me. YMMV.

--wally.

GunNut
November 20, 2007, 11:49 PM
Great write up.

I currently have a S&W 340PD and have considered picking up a PF-9, but having seen your comparison I think i'll stick with the 340PD.

Corner Pocket
November 30, 2007, 08:11 AM
Hats off to you, Wally, for some very helpful information. It's posts like yours that add much value to a group such as this.

Happy shooting! :D

Corner Pocket

peyton
November 30, 2007, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the pictures!! I plan on renewing my CCW when I get out of the sandbox and the size comparisons help me determine what I am going to buy next.

jwxspoon
November 30, 2007, 10:42 AM
Great info!

Lately I've found myself alternating carry between the PF9 and my CZ2075. The CZ weighs more but is still a comfortable IWB carry with the right holster.

jw

MCgunner
November 30, 2007, 10:46 AM
I've fired a 340 with magnums, talk about obnoxious! LOL I don't find my P11 that bad in recoil, routinely put 100 rounds a session out of it. I do have a Hogue sleeve and a mag extension for it, carry it without the mag extention in a pocket.

What is Kahr customer service like? I've heard nothing, but kudos for KT.

The guy who owns Kahr Arms is the son of Sun Yun Moon, the founder of the Unification Church. He donates some of his personal wealth to his father's church, but the company is not owned by the Moonies. Why would I boycot a business just because of the owner's religion?

Wow, now there's something I haven't heard. Weird. I wouldn't NOT buy a Kahr because of that, but I don't consider the moonies a "religion", either. It's a quite scary cult IMHO.

The stainless slide option for the Kahr (I'm assuming that is stainless) might be worth the extra 100 bucks IMHO, but size is critical in a pocket carry and I find my P11 on edge of being too large. It is quite light. Light is right for pocket carry. The PF9 is slightly thinner and lighter and that's a good thing.

Great post, thanks! I don't think I'm in the market for either, my P11 serves me well, but I do wanna pick up a P3AT.

romma
November 30, 2007, 10:51 AM
I'm mostly just skittish because of all the bad feedback I've come across online.

I have read lots of good feedback too! I have written a fair share of the feedback myself so I know!

rjohnson4405
November 30, 2007, 10:54 AM
Very helpful post, again THANK YOU! (not yelling, think singing).

I must go look at Kahr's site now, I really don't want to settle for 380 (9mm cheaper and better) so the Kahr's seem to be able still be pocket guns in 9mm and since I'm pretty tall (6'4" ish) my pockets tend to be pretty large and I'm thinking a Kahr would fit nicely...

jfh
November 30, 2007, 11:10 AM
Thanks for your pics, Wally. I'd missed this thread until now--but you've addressed the questions I have about my next carry-type gun purchase very nicely.

I made an impulse buy earlier this fall of a P3AT--after checking out some of the pro / con threads about Kel-Tec. Although it isn't fully broken in yet, and I have had some FTFs, I'm awfully impressed with it as a BUG. I've had my eye on the Kahrs for years--but elected to get a j-frame when I started to carry this year.

The one factor I'm looking at now is the trigger guard size / trigger access. Both the Kel-Tecs have smaller access, and I've noticed the difference in handling / shooting them.

Do you see this as an issue? And, can you add any more about the PF-9? I really am tempted to go buy one, and probably would, save for the lack of reassurance about whether or not the teething issues for it are all sorted out.

Jim H.

poppy
November 30, 2007, 11:27 AM
This is one of the best posts I've seen on this forum. I had been considering the PF-9 because of cost and my experience with the P32, but now I'll probably stick with my Kahr's (P9 and K9). Thanks.

buzz_knox
November 30, 2007, 11:39 AM
How/why did you take the photo of the revolver while it was loaded?

philbo
November 30, 2007, 02:09 PM
How/why did you take the photo of the revolver while it was loaded?

Looks like it just came out of his pocket! :)

Great post. I just came to the same conclusion regarding the PF9 and the Kahr CW9 last weekend. The Kahr is the keeper of the two for exactly the reasons you named.

jahwarrior
November 30, 2007, 07:04 PM
excellent thread! my brother bought the pf9, and other than reassembling it (:banghead:), we've had a blast shooting it.

wally
November 30, 2007, 09:48 PM
How/why did you take the photo of the revolver while it was loaded?Looks like it just came out of his pocket!

Bingo! I was carrying the J-frame that day and after taking the autoloader photos I thought I should throw in the J-frame comparison.


I've had very good customer service from both Kahr & Kel-Tec. Guns this small for their caliber are touchy. When you get one, don't be surprised if it has to go back initially or need repair more often than a full sized gun would.


Thanks for all the great feedback and comments.

--wally.

orionengnr
November 30, 2007, 10:13 PM
I've used Kahr Customer Service once, with excellent results.

I've owned four Kel-Tecs and used Kel-Tec Customer Service at least four times so far. They are great about sending free parts, but those parts have not, to date, resolved my problems. :mad:

The other noteworthy difference is the trigger. There is no comparison betweeen my PM9's trigger and my P-32, P3AT (two of them) or P-11.

If you enjoyed reading about "Kel-Tec PF-9 vs. Kahr CW9 Comparison" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!