Kahr PM9 FTF - Failure to Feed


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jdjohnston
March 4, 2008, 09:08 AM
Sorry, long post but I wanted to get all the details out there...

Purchased a Kahr PM9 in January '08 to replace my XD sub .40 as an everday CCW since I was tending to leave my XD at home because of the weight. Really liked everything I saw on the Kahr PM9 and felt it was the right size and caliber for me to feel competent/secure carrying. Got one for a really good price with the night sights so I didn't feel like it was an overpriced as some have commented. Long story short...

I went to the range and put 300 rounds through it just to make sure I completed the break in period. Pretty accurate gun and wasn't too uncomfortable to shoot but was definitely feeling it after those 300 rounds. I was using the Winchester whitebox 9mm luger. I had 0 FTF and/or jams. I stripped the gun (wow, thats a challenge) and gave it a good cleaning. I decided to carry the speer gold dot +P short barrel. Now here is where my problem starts. With either of the 6 or 7 round magazines fully loaded, I get a FTF from manually pulling the slide back everytime with the speer but feeds fine with one less cartridge in the magazine. When loading from the slide locked, cartridge feeds fine, although it sounds a little rough. I can get the cartridge to load while manually pulling the slide back but I have to really pull with a lot of force and let it release quickly, almost like duplicating the force of releasing the slide lock. I found quite a few commentts on this issue but many seem to be related to the recall of earlier models. My s/n is not in that range. I called a friend who purchased one of these around the same time and asked him his experience and he has had the same issue, solving by moving away from the GD HP to another brand FMJ. I haven't called Kahr yet but plan to do that tomorrow. I guess I don't think its the handgun itself, but I have also read the spring tension in the magazines is so tight, the first cartridge "sits up" improperly. I am now left with two options, carry it with a fully chambered round and only 5 in the mag (with the short magazine) which makes me a little uncomfortable with the lack of safeties as well as I am in no way comfortable carrying with 6+1 in the short magazine as I am pretty confident after the first round is discharged I will have a FTF; not a fun event after you have discharged your weapon in a personal defence situation.

Any thoughts, suggestions. I do see the Kahr PM9 come up in discussions for small CCW suggestions and I think prospective buyers should be aware of what could be a consistent issue. I do really like the gun and think it is one of the best all around small personal defense options for CCW. I could be missing smething and this could also be my inexperience with the PM9 so I look forward to hearing what Kahr has to say. I will post back my feedback from Kahr once I speak with them.

BTW, love THR and its wealth of insight and information. Great resource!!! Thanks to all the members...

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NGIB
March 4, 2008, 12:04 PM
All Kahrs are built to chamber the first round from a locked slide. It's even in the owners manual that manually racking the slide may cause problems. If it chambers OK from releasing a locked slide, it's working like it should...

Cowboy2
March 4, 2008, 01:37 PM
+1, its in the manual.

12many
March 4, 2008, 02:23 PM
I wonder why it would chamber from a locked slide but not from a pull back racking of the slide? Seems like the same spring tension pushing the slide forward either way.

DAdams
March 4, 2008, 02:38 PM
It's a great pocket auto.

Since it is a given it will eventually be (made) right, if it has to go back to Kahr, you may want to send it back sooner than later and have them take a look at it. I have a series VC 7XXX and the more rounds I put through it the worse it got. Since I got it back it has been flawless with three different popular JHPs. When I spoke with the Kahr tech prior to sending it in he indicated it is capable of handling any good quality factory ammunition. FMJ or JHP.

I was disappointed that when tossing the dice and purchasing one a year ago I didn't get one of the proverbial "100%" out of the box models, but following one trip back and very good customer service on Kahr's part I am subsequently very satisfied.

If it chambers OK from releasing a locked slide, it's working like it should...

If this is the only issue and it feeds, fires extracts and ejects everthing else, you don't have a problem.

NGIB
March 4, 2008, 02:42 PM
I wonder why it would chamber from a locked slide but not from a pull back racking of the slide? Seems like the same spring tension pushing the slide forward either way.

Who knows but Kahr warns you that problems will occur if you don't follow the locked slide instructions...

h0ss
March 4, 2008, 02:45 PM
I own a pm9.

Yeah, like stated above it actually recommends in the manual to chamber the first round by locking the slide back, inserting a full mag, and using the slide release.

Others have also mentioned using the "slingshot' method. Which is basically as you described, pull the slide back hard and release quickly. This usually works.

You say you got a good deal on the gun, so i am assuming it is used? Either way, you said you put 300 rounds through it, and if it is used, it has already had some more.

Unless it was sent back to the factory for new slide/barrel and then immediately sold by the original owner. Which seems to be common for some pm9's. If that is true, then try running a few hundred more through. Actually, try that regardless. You can practice and break the pistol in at the same time.

I actually took my pm9's barrel out, and used a pencil and a tiny strip of high grit wet sand paper to smooth out the feedramp. If you look at your feedramp, it might look a little rough. I put the tiny strip of sand paper (cut out about the width and length of the feedramp) on the eraser of the pencil and wet sanded it over the kitchen sink. I actually did that before the break in when i got my new barrel from the factory.

It helps speed up the break in time and might actually loosen it up so you can chamber a round without using the slide stop and without using a lot of force. I can chamber my pm9 quite easily with a full mag.

Cowboy2
March 4, 2008, 04:47 PM
I just re-read your post, and I'm curious about some things. If you are worried about carrying with one in the chamber, why did you choose a pm9? And why do you think it will jam feeding the first round when fired with a full mag and one in the pipe? Did you test this at the range?

If I'm reading your comments right, you want to carry it with a fully loaded short mag (6 rounds), with the chamber empty, because it doesn't have a manual safety (well, beyond your trigger finger). Then if trouble arises, you want to jack a shell in the action. Is that right? If that's the case, you might want to look into getting a good pocket or hip holster to cover the trigger, rather than trying to get the gun to do something the manufacturer says its not designed to do (load via sling-shoting the slide).

Colt
March 4, 2008, 05:22 PM
Sling-shotting is for collectibles, to prevent wear on the slide and release.

Use the slide release on a "working" gun. You'll fight like you train. Are you going to sling-shot the Kahr between mags when the SHTF?

I own a PM9. It took me a while to break the SS habit, too.

Dan-O
March 4, 2008, 08:52 PM
Sell me yours. That way I can give one to the wifey for her to carry.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w71/dantruesdale/100_2510.jpg

wally
March 4, 2008, 09:03 PM
Small for their caliber have their quirks. IF the manual says feed from slide lock with the lever and it works, but manually cycling does not, follow the manufacturer's recommendation!

--wally.

Hawaiian
March 4, 2008, 09:17 PM
Like other said, use the slide lock. And it could help if you polished out the feed ramp.

Mountie855
March 4, 2008, 10:30 PM
Maybe 2 yrs ago bought a PM9, black slide, nite sights, 4 extra mags. Figured this would be the ultimate carry piece now that I am retired from LE.

Major disappointment- initially, ftf/ftc at least once every mag, some more than once. In addition, shot 10-12" high at 12 yds or so, and 8" right, several different factory loads.

Long story short, back to Kahr 3 times over 7-8 months. Now, maybe 98% reliable, shoots 3" high (avg) at 12 yds or so, and 2" left. Any lint, etc. and loading from slide lock will often ftc.

Bought 340 TALO SS + lasergrips for replacement; not as flat, holds fewer rounds, but goes bang every time! Kahr will be sold. Considered sending to Cyl & Slide for the reliability pkg, but decided to return to revolvers.

Have several semiautos in 9mm- XD, S&W's, KelTecs - all extremely reliable. Maybe the size of the PM9 is a factor, but I just don't feel confident about its reliability.

kokapelli
March 5, 2008, 01:35 PM
I too have a PM9 with blackened stainless slide and night sights.
It has been 100% reliable with every type of ammo I have tried. I carry with Gold Dot +P for short barrels.

As instructed, I always use the slide release to load the first round and allways carry with a round chambered.

rbernie
March 5, 2008, 02:42 PM
Sling-shotting is for collectibles, to prevent wear on the slide and release.

Use the slide release on a "working" gun. You'll fight like you train. Are you going to sling-shot the Kahr between mags when the SHTF?Sorry for the thread drift, but I had to answer this question.

YES, I use the slingshot method on every pistol I own. Each pistol has a different shape/size/location for the slide release, but the slingshot method works on all pistols equally. It also requires no fine motor skills whatsoever, and works equally regardless of spring tension in the mags and such variables. There are many who cannot physically drop the slide on a PM9 using the slide release due to a lack of thumb strength but who can do so via the slingshot method.

Implying that somehow using the slingshot method is NOT appropriate for use under duress strikes me as ill-advised, and flies in the face of much that passes for professional training.

romma
March 5, 2008, 02:53 PM
I carry mine with a round chambered... The double action feature is the safety!

jdjohnston
March 6, 2008, 11:38 AM
Thanks for everyones input. Just to clarify some points. Gun was NIB when purchased at gun show from reputable dealer that I had done business with in the past and paid $549 which included the NS and after comparing with big box local sporting good store thought was a very good deal. Gun was manufactured in October of 2007.

Yes, everyone who posted regarding what the manual states about feeding the first round via the locked slide method is correct. And yes, the PM9 feeds every time the round is chambered using this method.

I called Kahr CS (more on that at the end of the post) yesterday to run past them my experience with FTF and how I want to chamber the first round (slingshot method) and what their thoughts were. Kahr CS did not say "...the manual states you must chamber the first round via the slide lock method" and actually it didn't even come up. Kahr said it should function chambering the round the way I want to do it. BTW, I know a few PM9 owners and most of them chamber the first round as I am trying to do and it works, although with one, similar issue chambering Speer Gold Dot and other hollow points. Kahr wants me to first try something and they sent me a new slide release lever/pin to install which I received today and replaced. We left the conversation with me trying the new pin and if that did not resolve the issue, they would have me send it back. I still had the FTF issue with the Speer but I also purchased some Remington UMC FNEB and they do feed properly using the manual slide method. So it looks as if I will be sending the PM9 back for some service on it, probably some polishing of the feed ramp as suggested by h0ss. No worries, I still like the PM9 and feel it provides the best CCW for my situation when feeding the round how I want to. One thing that Kahr did also mention and seems to be a sentiment shared in other threads is the 200 round break in period is not necessarily a hard fast rule- it provides reliable functionality but the handgun really starts to hum at 600-700+ rounds.

Kahr Customer Service
Very attentive and they answer the phone immediately. Knowledgeable and truly listened to try and help me solve my issue. A rarity in any industry with customer support in this day. I received the replacement part the next day. This has been my first experience ever contacting a handguns manufacturer and Kahr has set a high bar in my opinion for contacting manufacturer support.

jdjohnston
March 6, 2008, 12:15 PM
I also understand why in others situations the weapon is carried with a chambered round. My position/reasoning of wanting to carry this without a round chambered is this and has nothing to do with safety of a round chambered and accidental discharge. My primary application of carrying the PM9 is as a very, very CCW. I use a small IWB holster and it does not have any thumb break or locking system. I have seen people go to their gun the first sign of any confrontation or threat, to each his own and the repercussions that accompany those decisions. Now, of course if there is a serious threat of death or bodily injury, by all means, draw and fire. In my situation, there is a distinct possibly we are going to tussle or go to the ground before I would draw my weapon. If my handgun falls out during the struggle and a round is chambered, the BG picks it up and game over. Without a round chambered, natural reaction if someone is intent and not familiar with the handgun is to pull the trigger. They would then have to chamber a round manually and this would give me the opportunity to get my weapon back. Is this the optimal situation? Probably not but it works for my situation.

Colt, in this situation and because of the nature of carrying this weapon, I do not carry a second magazine although I do train sometimes with a second magazine attached but thats not normal for my carry habits with this weapon. I need to neutralize any threat with the 6 cartridges in the low profile magazine or provide enough time for retreat. I train repeatedly drawing my weapon from the IWB concealment holster, chambering a round and firing. I am proficient and comfortable doing this, so it works for me. :)

jdjohnston
March 6, 2008, 12:17 PM
also understand why in others situations the weapon is carried with a chambered round. My position/reasoning of wanting to carry this without a round chambered is this and has nothing to do with safety of a round chambered and accidental discharge. My primary application of carrying the PM9 is as a very, very CCW. I use a small IWB holster and it does not have any thumb break or locking system. I have seen people go to their gun the first sign of any confrontation or threat, to each his own and the repercussions that accompany those decisions. Now, of course if there is a serious threat of death or bodily injury, by all means, draw and fire. In my situation, there is a distinct possibly we are going to tussle or go to the ground before I would draw my weapon. If my handgun falls out during the struggle and a round is chambered, the BG picks it up and game over. Without a round chambered, natural reaction if someone is intent and not familiar with the handgun is to pull the trigger. They would then have to chamber a round manually and this would give me the opportunity to get my weapon back. Is this the optimal situation? Probably not but it works for my situation.

Colt, in this situation and because of the nature of carrying this weapon, I do not carry a second magazine although I do train sometimes with a second magazine attached but thats not normal for my carry habits with this weapon. I need to neutralize any threat with the 6 cartridges in the low profile magazine or provide enough time for retreat. I train repeatedly drawing my weapon from the IWB concealment holster, chambering a round and firing. I am proficient and comfortable doing this, so it works for me. :)

Alan Fud
March 8, 2008, 11:23 AM
... Bought 340 TALO SS ...Isn't that a nice gun? I've got the 340SS and the 360SS.

PS: Just to keep this on subject, I purchased a NIB PM9 a few days ago and was going to give it a workout this week-end but due to rain and mud, it'll have to wait until next week-end.

road_king
March 8, 2008, 01:31 PM
If you don't chamber a round as recommended and don't carry with a round chambered - this may not be the gun for you!:)

.cheese.
March 8, 2008, 02:53 PM
1) Use the slide lock
2) After you've put 1k rounds down-range or more, the issue will go away. It needs to break in before you can easily chamber a round by pulling back the slide and releasing.

3) Just carry it with a round chambered for pete's sake.

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