Kahr PM-9 vs. Beretta Nano


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wombat13
April 17, 2012, 04:43 PM
I had a chance to rent a few small 9mms last week (Ruger LC9, Kahr PM-9, and Beretta Nano). I didn't like the LC9 nearly as much as the Kahr or the Beretta.

What is the proper term for the factory sights used on the Kahr? The front sight had a dot. The rear site was notched like most handgun sights, but it had a vertical white bar in the middle rather than a dot on both sides. I found it much easier to reacquire the sight picture with that sight.

The pros of the Kahr were the sight and the trigger (very smooth compared to other handguns I'm familiar with: XD45, M&P9c, Nano, LC9). I did not like the way the magazine doesn't sit flush. It looked like poor QC, but now I know this is normal. It still seems odd.

The Nano's trigger wasn't as good as the Kahr, but the grip felt better in my hand and there was a little more room for a two handed grip.

I shot the Kahr just a little bit better than the Nano, likely because of the trigger and sights. I think the Nano with the Kahr style sights would be just right and it appears that changing the sights on the Nano should be quite easy.

Are there any other important considerations? Is either one a pain to clean? Are both capable of firing hot loads?

Thanks.

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1KPerDay
April 17, 2012, 05:12 PM
What's the size difference, if any, between the Nano and the Kahr? My SIG has the post/dot type sights and I like them MUCH better than the 3-dot or glock-type U-dot.

wombat13
April 17, 2012, 05:38 PM
What's the size difference, if any, between the Nano and the Kahr? My SIG has the post/dot type sights and I like them MUCH better than the 3-dot or glock-type U-dot.
They are virtually the same size. The Nano is a couple ounces heavier, probably because it has a metal chassis which will allow switching to aftermarket grips (if anyone makes them).

Here are the specs. Apparently the Kahr is slightly smaller, but I didn't think it was a noticeable difference.

http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-PM9.asp

http://www.berettausa.com/products/nano/

1KPerDay
April 17, 2012, 07:05 PM
Thanks.

TonyT
April 17, 2012, 08:39 PM
I carried a Glock-36 for several years and it was a relaible and very controlable pistol. I finally opted for pocket carry of a Kahr PM-9m in a pocket holster. It is my constant companion. It has been reliable and surprisingy accurate. I enjoy the trigger of the Kahr pistols much like very light DA revolver triggers\.

BamAlmighty
April 17, 2012, 09:49 PM
From personal experience the Kahr trumps the Beretta.

1) Not as bulky
2) Not as top heavy
3) Better trigger

LightningMan
April 17, 2012, 11:35 PM
The Kahr has a slide lock reliease lever the Nano doesn't. I own a PM9 & P380 and really like them both, also handled a Nano, didn't like the trigger, and that it didn't have the slide reliease lever. IMO buy the Kahr. LM

kellmark
April 18, 2012, 12:51 AM
Last week I went to buy the Kahr PM9 locally. I have always had a desire for one. I handled the stainless version. Long but not bad trigger pull. But I like the black version for carry, as it is much less visible if you have to take it out. Nothing in stock. Had to order for delivery which I was willing to do.
The prices quoted were out of this world. $699 plus tax. And you have to break it in for 200 rounds. And I was not a fan of the sights. I prefer the 3 dot.
Then I asked to see a Nano. It fit my hand better than the Kahr and fit my pocket just fine. And has the 3 dot sights fully adjustable. I don't care about it not having the slide release lever. But the Kahr has to use it to load the round from the magazine. You can' t load it by pulling back the slide and releasing it. I also prefer the very smooth profile of the Berreta and the slide does lock back on the last shot. Either gun can be carried safely with 6 plus 1. I also like that both magazines on the Beretta are the same flush fit, instead of the extended extra one for the Kahr. I also like the little more weight of the Beretta. It is certainly not excessive. And as far as the trigger pull, even though the Beretta is heavier, either one would do for me. In fact, the Beretta isn't that much different to me than my Ruger DAO LCR .357 Revolver which I am very comfortable shooting. And no break in required.
But the real kicker was that the Beretta was a little less than $400 plus tax. I could not see any reason to pay more than $300 more for the Kahr after tax. (I know there is the Kahr CM9, but I just can't warm up to it as it is stainless not black and has just 1 mag).
Anyway, to each his own. The Beretta is now comfortably in my pocket.

LightningMan
April 18, 2012, 08:14 AM
kellmark, you really don't have to use the slide lock reliease to load the PM9, like Kahr strongly suggest that you do. The reason is, some people fail to let it snap forward, they somewhat ride it forward a bit before letting go, and that will cause a jam. As far as a break in period, I'm guessing that can vary, as I had only one FTF within the first 50 rounds, and from there on out its been smooth sailing. LM

wombat13
April 18, 2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks for all of the comments. I can easily see why some would prefer the PM9 and some the Nano. Both seem like well made weapons. A few follow up questions for owners:

1. Why do some much prefer having a slide release lever? Being left-handed I never use one since it involves too much grip shifting to reach. Now that I think about it, I really liked that the Nano locked open when empty. IIRC, I had to switch the PM9 to my right hand in order to manipulate the slide lock lever with my right hand thumb while racking the slide with my left hand. Not very lefty-friendly.

2. What is the takedown procedure for the Nano? My understanding is that the PM9 takedown is a bit complicated (compared to my XD45 and M&P9c).

3. Who are the primary makers of aftermarket post/dot style sights? I would like to find out if there will be any such sights for the Nano.

Thanks.

group17
April 18, 2012, 11:39 AM
If the price is a deal breaker for the PM-9 try the CM-9. $400 Same size, weight, trigger... Only comes with a chrome slide. Mine has been problem free.
I like the slide lock back over the nano's lack of one as well.

elrowe
April 18, 2012, 11:49 AM
Definitely look to the CM9 - it came out after I bought my PM9, but it's mechanically identical, just not as spiffy on the finish. I am not a Beretta fan based on 20-odd years of carrying the M9/92F, so I've never even picked up a Nano, however, I am very happy with the PM9 after about three years of practice with it (1000 or so rounds) and occasional carry when my primary hasn't been practical. Go with the Meprolight night sights instead of the standard combat sights. I added them after the first few range sessions.

Also, if you do buy it, spend $30 or so to get an A-Grip, it makes it feel like a totally new gun. http://www.kahr.com/Grips/Kahr-Agrip-MK-PM-and-CM-Series-and-Covert.asp

Missed your question on takedown procedures it's actually really easy -although I'm not a big fan of any pistol that requires a trigger pull to disassemble (kinda like Glocks), there's a link to the video instructions right under the product photo thumbnails here: http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-PM9.asp

Also, don't think of it as a slide release, think of it as a slide lock. You should never press it to release the slide, it's less reliable under stress, instead, grip the back of the slide, pull, and release. That will also solve the lefty problem, my sister-in-law is lefty and had the same problem with her P380 until I trained that out of her.

kellmark
April 18, 2012, 12:26 PM
wombat13. The Nano is actually very easy to take down. Once the gun is empty you can either pull the trigger (safely) or push in a small pin on the ride side and that will disarm the trigger without having to pull it. Then there is a screw on the right side that you rotate 1/4 turn to the left (counterclockwise). You can use a coin, or a small screwdriver. No problem. The slide then just comes off toward the front and the rest is basically the same as any other gun, with the recoil springs, barrel, etc coming out easily. Putting it back together is even easier. When you put the slide back on, everything aligns automatically.

LightningMan, I appreciate your comments on the Kahr, and I think it is a very good gun. But for me, the Nano does it.

Scimmia
April 18, 2012, 12:46 PM
1. Why do some much prefer having a slide release lever? Being left-handed I never use one since it involves too much grip shifting to reach. Now that I think about it, I really liked that the Nano locked open when empty. IIRC, I had to switch the PM9 to my right hand in order to manipulate the slide lock lever with my right hand thumb while racking the slide with my left hand. Not very lefty-friendly.

The PM9/CM9 should also lock open on empty, and can be operated the same way with a bit of practice. As LightingMan said, the issue is simply that you need to release the slide quickly and don't let it drag on your fingers or ride it forward. Kahr strongly recommends using the slide release because a lot of people don't seem capable of releasing the slide quickly enough.

2. What is the takedown procedure for the Nano? My understanding is that the PM9 takedown is a bit complicated (compared to my XD45 and M&P9c).

The only people that find the takedown procedure for the PM9/CM9 complicated are those that have never disassembled anything but a Glock. You hold the slide back, push the slide stop out, and pull the trigger while removing the slide. Very similar to many other guns, and no tools needed like with the Nano. Yes, it's more complicated than a Glock in that you need to line things up to remove the slide stop, but I can do it in around 5 seconds, including checking to make sure it's unloaded.

wombat13
April 18, 2012, 02:14 PM
Also, don't think of it as a slide release, think of it as a slide lock. You should never press it to release the slide, it's less reliable under stress, instead, grip the back of the slide, pull, and release. That will also solve the lefty problem, my sister-in-law is lefty and had the same problem with her P380 until I trained that out of her.

My understanding is that Kahr actually recommends that you use the slide release lever rather than slingshotting the slide. I never use the slide release lever because they are a pain to use left-handed. I was asking why some other posters in this thread seem to much prefer that a handgun have such a lever. What is the advantage? I agree with you that slingshotting is preferred, so who cares if it has a release lever?

K1500
April 18, 2012, 02:17 PM
One additional contender to look at is the S&W Shield. It is similar in size and price to the CM9 but looks to me to be better constructed and more comfortable. I like how the CM9 feels, the Shield just feels better to me. Keep in mind it comes with 2 mags included vs 1 for the Kahr when comparing price. That puts them about even.

wombat13
April 18, 2012, 05:26 PM
One additional contender to look at is the S&W Shield. It is similar in size and price to the CM9 but looks to me to be better constructed and more comfortable. I like how the CM9 feels, the Shield just feels better to me. Keep in mind it comes with 2 mags included vs 1 for the Kahr when comparing price. That puts them about even.
No manual safeties for me, so I will pass on the Shield.

LightningMan
April 18, 2012, 08:33 PM
wambat13 Quote; My understanding is that Kahr actually recommends that you use the slide release lever rather than slingshotting the slide. I never use the slide release lever because they are a pain to use left-handed. I was asking why some other posters in this thread seem to much prefer that a handgun have such a lever. What is the advantage? I agree with you that slingshotting is preferred, so who cares if it has a release lever?
I don't know if there is an advantage, but here's a question. If you want to lock the slide back but don't have the empty magazine inserted, what would be the best way without the lever slide lock?
I have some small pistols without the lever, Kel-Tec P3AT, Ruger LCP, & Diamondback DB9, and just a few weeks ago had problems with the DB9 feeding. I had many FTF and having a lever slide-lock would have made clearing them much easier. I pinched the hell out of my hand because I had to hold the slide back while trying to remove the magazine, lost my hold on the slide and slammed shut on some of my hand meat. OUCH! BTW that DB9 is sent in for repairs. LM.

GratefulGuy1234
April 18, 2012, 09:19 PM
Hi I'd just like to chime in that I went the Kahr route instead of the Nano and I have had a nightmare experience with the CM9, with the customer care department, with everything... I have over $250 in ammo and range fees and my weapon is still locking the slide back when there are still rounds in the mag. This happens about 1 out of 30 times. Unacceptable. It is at the factory now, this is the third time.

I know that there are some folks that have had issues with their nanos, but I think it's only a handful. Head over the the Kahr forums and you will find a mixed bag of 'I love Kahr and I have had zero issues' and 'I can't stand this company and my firearm is horrible'.

I love the way the CM9 shoots, how it conceals, but it doesn't need to be concealable when it's only good as a range gun.

YMMV, but I bought one, took a chance and now I am BURNED. Time, money, etc all down the drain. I'm sure I'll take one heck of a loss on it if I decide to get rid of it now... I really wanted it to work. Beware.

Scott

K1500
April 18, 2012, 11:53 PM
Scott, a sample of 2 is not large, but I have run 2 shields with no failures of any kind using a wide variety of ammo. I too looked at the cm9 but went with the shield. Best of luck.

popeye
April 22, 2012, 10:08 AM
I decided to buy both the Nano and CM9, and sort them out. I too like the blackened slide on a Kahr but the additional $$ for the option is ridiculous. Guns were both about $400 new and I stretched the budget to get them both. After some range time with both I traded the Kahr off on a used not abused G26. The Nano is well built and fit and finish is excellent. The CM9 not so much. The Nano fired 150 trouble free rounds. The 150 through the Kahr produced a couple FTE's. Once Beretta produce a 7 round mag (and promised options) for the Nano I will be happier. Thru trial and error I found the Ruger lc9 +0 mag extension works on the Nano mags.

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