Anything better for me than a Kahr K9?


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tek610
October 9, 2012, 06:46 PM
I've been researching my next carry piece for what feels like months now, and I think I've arrived at a decision. But before I make my move, I figured I'd consult my favorite forum and tap into all the wonderful gun wisdom found here on THR.

I recently purchased a Walther PPS (after tons of research and shooting) for my wife to carry, and we both love it. But I want a different pistol, to keep our collection diverse.

I've arrived at the Kahr K9 because it seems to be as close to the perfect carry weapon (for me) that I can find. No pistol is absolutely perfect, and I think I'm fully aware of the downsides of the K9, but- well, we'll see after I get some more advice.

I want metal. Steel preferably, but I would consider alloy. I like the idea of a soft-shooter for more range fun, and quicker second-shot acquisition. I have a great gun belt, so the added weight compared to a similarly sized polymer won't bother me.

9mm. I currently carry a Glock 21, and .45 ammo is expensive. With the wife's PPS, we can buy 9mm in bulk and shoot more.

Slim, single-stack. My G21 can feel like a cinderblock on my waist sometimes. Summer carry is difficult at best.

DAO. Since I'm used to the Glock, I don't want to learn a new trigger style. I like shooting all types, but for carry and defense, I want simple and consistent.

No external safety. Again, simple and consistent. Just like the Glock and the PPS.

Small, but not TOO small. I like to get all three non-trigger fingers on the grip.

Now, I'm aware of some drawbacks:

Some don't like the trigger, but I understand it's smooth. Long, but smooth. I've shot a CW9, but I don't really remember exactly how it felt. I think I could get used to it. I own and frequently shoot a S&W revolver. Similar to the Kahr trigger, but even heavier.

I've heard that the mags tend to shed their contents when carried loose, but I don't intend to carry a spare mag, at least not for the forseeable future. That could change, though. If I did, I wouldn't carry it loose in a pocket.

The price- yes it's a costly compared to other options, but if it's as well built as folks claim, I'm willing to pay the premium for a well-crafted machine. If I go ahead with it, I'd want the elite version.

Is there anything I'm missing? It seems to fit the bill more than anything else I've seen available.

I'm not a wealthy man, so I tend to look at purchases like this as an investment, and I like to have all of my bases covered before I make a 700-800 dollar mistake.

Heck, I'll research a pair of socks before I go shopping. It drives my wife nuts!

Thanks friends. Again, I LOVE this forum. There is none better IMO.

tek610

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ponchsox
October 9, 2012, 06:57 PM
K9 is a fine choice. You pretty much summed it up well. The only other negative I can think of is it can be heavy for some as a carry piece. If you look around there are great deals on used NYPD trade ins.

MagicD
October 9, 2012, 07:04 PM
Had one which I added Elite trigger and Big Dot nite sights...eventually sold it for weight and trigger issues.replaced with pre 70 Colt LWC... JMHO

ZGunner
October 9, 2012, 07:06 PM
I know it doesn't meet some of your criteria but have you looked at the M&P Shield? I've been trying to find one since I heard about it. I love my M&P 9c so much but I'd like to have a slim version.

I believe there is a very good review of it by a member of this site, complete with video.

tek610
October 9, 2012, 07:21 PM
I should add: I'm looking to buy brand new. For this purchase, not interested in the risks of a used weapon.

Zgunner- I initially considered the Shield, which by all accounts seems to be a fine gun. But where I live (and online) it seems I'm more likely to find Jimmy Hoffa than a Shield for sale. If I ever get a chance to buy one, I probably will. If I don't like it, reselling it would be a piece of cake.. :)

JERRY
October 9, 2012, 07:27 PM
The K9 is about all that you could ask for especially given your criteria.

the all steel Kahrs leave nothing to want except for weight for those whom want to pocket carry.

tek610
October 9, 2012, 07:28 PM
Twinny-

I didn't realize that, thanks for the info. I've owned and frequently shot my Glock for more than a decade with zero failures.

I've never owned a steel pistol before. I like the idea of the heft a steel gun would provide.

It's something I will take into consideration. Thanks.

mic_poo
October 9, 2012, 08:46 PM
I've just recently been looking at the P9. I like the lighter package of the poly frame, with the longer (than the PM) grip.

I've loved all my kahrs.

CZ57
October 9, 2012, 10:56 PM
Check out some online dealers like Bud's. You should be able to find a Shield. It's the best pistol in this size class. Better even than the PPS and I have experience with both. ;)

speedway
October 9, 2012, 10:57 PM
The k9 is a good gun.

I paid about 400 otd for my old one.

Heavy and solid piece.

9mmepiphany
October 9, 2012, 11:49 PM
The K9 is a very nice gun with the only downside for some being the extra weight.

The K9 is Kahr's flagship model and has had any issues addressed long ago. I carry a CW9 because I was looking for something to replace my S&W M642 (alloy frame) and have been pretty happy as the CW9 is more accurate and has a trigger closer to a K-frame (I did have my Kahr cleaned up a bit).

I have a couple of friends who choose the K9 over the P or CW because they found it battered their hand less during training classes or long practice sessions. My only regret in choosing the CW over the P (based on price) is that I like it so much that I wish I had the more stylish engraving and contouring on the slide.

It shares time with my Springfield EMP as the gun which I most often carry

kokapelli
October 10, 2012, 10:18 AM
I purchased a K9 when they first came out and it has been flawless over all these years, but I would not buy one now simply because of it's limited ammo capacity.

340PD
October 10, 2012, 10:46 AM
You said you like revolver triggers. That said, you should love a well broken in Kahr. My PM9 is like shooting a S&W revolver with the best trigger job in the world. Mine is long, but smooth as silk. Shooting my Kahr and transitioning to my 340PD is easy for me.

k_dawg
October 10, 2012, 06:37 PM
CM9 here.

While it is the polymer frame and the 'less fancy' slide/barrel, the trigger is perhaps the closest semi-auto to a good DOA revolver.

Since it is not a range gun, and is now my minimum/concealed carry, I wanted the weight savings over the metal frames.

verdun59
October 10, 2012, 06:47 PM
You should buy it. The grip fits naturally into your hand , at least mine did. It shoots well and the trigger gets better. In a rare fit of stupidity I sold mine to buy a Glock (which is long gone) and it's the only gun I wish I had not sold. It is a little heavy but you seem to be aware of that, so hey you're good to go. It's a good choice.

Jim PHL
October 11, 2012, 02:08 PM
Another choice that fits your criteria would be a Smith & Wesson 3953. This is the DAO version of their extremely popular 3913, which has a TDA trigger system. The only point of criteria that would be hard to meet would be finding one new in the box as they've not been made for a few years. (Spare parts are plentiful and reasonably priced so no issues there.) I would think you could easily find one in the $325-$375 range, possibly even lower for a "shooter", maybe as high as $400 if you did find one NIB. I have owned more than one of these and would personally not go that high unless it was in pristine condition and only then if I was interested in it as a collectible. I once bought 2 that were pretty much identical, only a couple hundred serial numbers apart, and paid less than $650 out the door for the pair. (One mag each, no boxes.)

The first gun I bought when I got my carry permit years ago was a Kahr K40. I thought it was the perfect combination of size, weight, capacity and ease of use. I still feel that way, actually. It 's a great gun; accurate and reliable and fun to shoot due to it's weight relative to its size. (I'm not sure of the term I'm looking for but it has to do with size/weight ratio; i.e.: a 32 oz gun that's __this big vs a 32 oz gun that's __this big.)

Anyway, I moved away from it only because of moving away from the .40 S+W caliber in general and not due to any dis-satisfaction with the gun. I have since then considered a K9 occasionally but really like the "3rd Generation" S+W's and have stuck mainly with them. You'll find the Smith to be close in height, length and width to the Kahr but lighter due to the aluminum frame vs. the Kahr's steel. Pro's and con's for both choices there.

I am not saying either is better or worse than the other. I think you'd be very happy with either or both. Just that if you are looking for options that fit your criteria you might want to check one out before making your final decision. Good luck in your search.

c1ogden
October 13, 2012, 01:51 AM
But I want a different pistol, to keep our collection diverse.



I can understand that but there's a lot to be said for commonality. I have duplicates of almost all of my carry guns and I always take both when I travel. If one goes down I have another that I can just drop into the same holster and use the same mags for. A few years ago I had one of my Kahr K9s go down with a broken firing pin during a qualification shoot. I was able to finish the shoot with my other K9 and the second one became my carry gun until I got the parts to repair the first one. Redundancy is good!

tek610
October 13, 2012, 02:36 AM
Still researching (until I have the money to drop- hopefully within the next month).

I figure if I have enough to buy the pricey Kahr, I'll have enough to buy most alternatives if I change my mind.

The Smith 3953 is intriguing. How is the trigger on those?

If I could find one to shoot, or if I found one to buy that I could inspect before risking my money on a used gun, it might be a viable alternative. Folks that own 'em really seem to love 'em (same with the DA/SA 3913).

Decisions, decisions.

I love all the advice, guys. I'll keep y'all posted when I make my move.

Until then, keep it coming- I dig all the opinions...

TEK

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 04:21 PM
DAO. Since I'm used to the Glock, I don't want to learn a new trigger style.

The K9 is a good guns and should serve you well. However, the trigger pull is not anything like that of a glock. It is a longer pull and a much longer reset.

tek610
October 13, 2012, 10:01 PM
The K9 is a good guns and should serve you well. However, the trigger pull is not anything like that of a glock. It is a longer pull and a much longer reset.
That's true- I understand that. I guess my point was, I like the consistent trigger pull, and would prefer it over DA/SA..

Thanks for the clarification!

Rembrandt
October 13, 2012, 10:16 PM
Another alternative would be the Boberg.....I love mine!

http://www.bobergarms.com/

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/959.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/960.jpg

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 10:50 PM
For my money I would (and did) buy a kahr before the Boberg. While the Boberg is inovative and there is a degree of exclusivity in owning one, the only thing it offers that a CM9, or MK9 if you want steel, doesn't is a very slight dimensional difference and perhaps 50 feet per second. It is a largely unproven design that had early reports of reliability issues and has very limited support. One can also buy a Kahr today.

usp9
October 14, 2012, 09:02 AM
Another Model that gives you everything the K9 offers is the T9. One advantage the T9 has over the K9 is that it comes with the "elite" trigger as standard. It also has a longer barrel/sightline and a extra round in the longer grip. The only disadvantages are the larger size to conceal and lack of any alternative grip panels.

The K9 is a great size, available with three grips styles, has a Crimson Trace laser available and many types of sights. Holsters are easier to find.

Having said that, and know the heft anf weight is a factor, I'd suggest that the TP9 is another great model from Kahr. I enjoy shooting it more than either my K9 or T9. If I were to carry a Kahr it would probably be a P9 or my favorite TP9.

No bad choice in any of them. It's a matter of preferences.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/Pistols/Kahr/Kahrgroup001-1.jpg

tarosean
October 14, 2012, 09:56 AM
Polymer frames last longer, as do slides that impact upon polymer frames. Alloy frames crack pretty early on in their service lifes, and steel ones crack (and cause cracked slides) a lot earlier than polymer slides. The more compact the gun, the worse such impacts and shortened life span is.

You got any proof to those claims or just anecdotal evidence?

Kahr33556
October 14, 2012, 10:25 AM
Have you looked at the nano.I have not looked at it yet just throwing it out there

drjterrell
October 14, 2012, 01:00 PM
I just picked up a K9 last week and am AMAZED at how good it feels in the hand. Haven't gotten to the range yet, but maybe able to today. Only downside for me is finding mags. Good luck!

The_Armed_Therapist
October 14, 2012, 02:28 PM
I'm a big fan of the K9/K40! They also sound perfect for what you want, unless you alter criteria. There isn't really anything else in that size class that comes in metal. I can think of many that are smaller, and many that are larger.

usp9
October 14, 2012, 03:49 PM
Only downside for me is finding mags. Good luck!

Here you go.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/kak99mm7rdst.html

Many others in the internet ether as well.

tek610
October 14, 2012, 05:12 PM
Another Model that gives you everything the K9 offers is the T9. One advantage the T9 has over the K9 is that it comes with the "elite" trigger as standard. It also has a longer barrel/sightline and a extra round in the longer grip. The only disadvantages are the larger size to conceal and lack of any alternative grip panels.

The K9 is a great size, available with three grips styles, has a Crimson Trace laser available and many types of sights. Holsters are easier to find.

Having said that, and know the heft anf weight is a factor, I'd suggest that the TP9 is another great model from Kahr. I enjoy shooting it more than either my K9 or T9. If I were to carry a Kahr it would probably be a P9 or my favorite TP9.

No bad choice in any of them. It's a matter of preferences.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/Pistols/Kahr/Kahrgroup001-1.jpg
USP- that's a fine looking collection! I was born and raised in NOVA. Might have to look you up next time I visit!

I considered the T9, but I think the K9 is that perfect compromise of concealability and shootability. T9- just a bit big, MK9- just a bit small...

Girodin
October 14, 2012, 05:50 PM
nly downside for me is finding mags. Good luck!

You can find them all over online.

The Lone Haranguer
October 15, 2012, 08:28 AM
The Kahr trigger pull is nothing like that of a Glock, but is not quite like that of a revolver, either. The pressure is even all the way to the end of the stroke, with no "roll" of the hammer going over center to cock or the cylinder turning, and the gun actually firing is a bit of a surprise. You can still do good work with this trigger once you get used to it. The S&W DAO is more revolver-like.

drjterrell said:
I just picked up a K9 last week and am AMAZED at how good it feels in the hand.
I have seen it remarked, more than once, that it feels good in a variety of hand sizes. It does in mine (on the small side of medium).

9mmepiphany
October 15, 2012, 01:05 PM
but is not quite like that of a revolver, either. The pressure is even all the way to the end of the stroke, with no "roll" of the hammer going over center to cock or the cylinder turning, and the gun actually firing is a bit of a surprise. You can still do good work with this trigger once you get used to it.
That is why I usually describe it as feeling like a tuned K-frame action.

My old PPC gun, built on a S&W M-14, trigger stroke would be described the same way. The objective was the get the trigger to roll off without a hint that it was about to.

It has only been in the last few years that autoloader shooters have commonly accepted that it is easier to shoot accurately, when shooting quickly, with a rolling break.

tek610
October 16, 2012, 11:13 PM
I just returned from the range where my wife and I broke the cherry on our new PPS, and I also rented a Kahr P9 (they didn't have a K9 for rent or for sale).

Man- I loved it. It fit my hands well, wasn't too snappy, and that trigger- smooth with a surprise break- just as everyone has described. I was hitting the 10 ring all evening with ease.

If I was on the fence about Kahr before tonight, that has completely disappeared. It's the one.

That being said- I haven't felt the K9 yet. As it is all steel, it will be even softer than the P9, but heavier on the belt.

My only dilemma now (besides accumulating funds) is- K9? or P9?

Pretty sure a K9 is in my immediate future. Thank for all the feedback, and if there's any more opinions and advice out there, keep it coming!

tek

Random Discharge
October 17, 2012, 10:27 PM
You're not concerned with a little extra weight. Get the K9, NOT the P9.

I've had both, and I still have the K9. I've gone throught a lot of semi-autos over the years that I no longer have. I still have the K9.

Recognizing you liked the P9, if you can imagine it, the K9 fits even better in your hand and shoots smoother. The extra heft adds to controllability. The P frames have also had reliability teething pains.

You can dress up a K9 with wood grip panels that are also smoother against cloth for concealed carry, or you can go with the standard Hogue's, which are incredible too.

I've tried a K40, but I found the 40 in this platform too snappy for follow-up shots.

The K9 is the ideal compromise, with very little compromise at all, in so many ways. You won't be disappointed.

CZguy
October 18, 2012, 12:04 AM
You're not concerned with a little extra weight. Get the K9, NOT the P9.


But after you get tired of hitching up your belt, the P series is a really good compromise for a carry gun.

tek610
October 18, 2012, 06:38 PM
After shooting a P9, I'm sure I'll end up with both, but to start, I'm going with a K9. truly Man's best friend :)

Within 30 days, I'll have one on my Beltman belt.


Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

chris in va
October 18, 2012, 08:12 PM
I've had my K9 for about four years. No malfunctions and recoil is very manageable. The smooth trigger pull actually reduces the tendency to flinch, increasing accuracy. The grip is amazingly ergonomic, and I like to call it my 'little big gun' as it still fits my large hands.

Big decision though. P9 vs K9. I would NOT pay full new price though as MSRP is absurdly over the top for what you get. Consider the cheaper CW9 as you can shoot lead through it if you want to save some ammo costs. The K9 and P9 have poly rifling.

Sometimes the K9 heft gets a bit much when carried in a pocket, so the P9 would shine in that regard.

Skylerbone
October 19, 2012, 01:16 PM
I'm really enjoying my K9 and must say I'll be on the lookout for used models when they crop up. At this point I wouldn't hesitate as used prices are generally excellent. They do feel good in the hand, if a bit slick on the frontstrap. I beveled my magwell and I think my smith may be getting his checkering files out soon. The detail strip is the only other modest downside IMO.

Impureclient
October 19, 2012, 11:38 PM
I have a K9 an CW9 and the trigger on the K9 is much smoother and seems a tad lighter. The break for sure feels better like it was worked on, breaks like glass which feels weird after that long pull on it. The K9 was a police trade in from NYPD. The extra weight over it's plastic brother is not an issue at all. I carry with shorts 99% of the time and half the time it is just drawstring/elastic band and I really don't notice a difference when carrying either one. It does seem to shoot easier than the CW9 from the little I have shot it so far. I have a little over 1000 rounds in the CW9 so I know it's well broken in. That and I dry fired it at least a couple thousand more times. The K9 still feels better and I know that whoever carried it barely shot it as it really looked unused. I will switch to carrying the K9 all the time after I've had a couple hundred rounds through it so I can trust it. The K9 does feel better in the hand than a stock P9. The P9 and Cw9 are the same plastic grips. After installing a Hogue grip cover over that stock plastic though they are about the same though now as far as fit in the hand. I still like the K9 better overall as it just feels better carrying metal.

Snowdog
October 20, 2012, 02:01 AM
I still on occasion carry the K9, but switch not because I found a better choice but because my wife took an interest in it and I wanted to foster any interest in firearms she may have. So, I purchased a Bersa UC9 (a nice budget 9mm) to replace it and later an M&P40c which I now carry.

I must say that the K9 is a very solid choice for CCW. I carried mine for over a decade after purchasing it new in '97 and I'd have no problems carrying it again. They are wonderful pistols.

My current carry M&P40c, occasional carry UC9 and former carry K9.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5069/5892354740_531b9b4bcd_z.jpg

tek610
October 25, 2012, 10:49 PM
I ordered a brand new K9 tonight. It should arrive at my FFL in a couple of days. Total price including shipping was under $700 (Elite 2003).

I am SUPER EXCITED :D

Thanks for all the advice friends!

tek610

Jeff22
November 1, 2012, 07:13 AM
I bought a Kahr P9 in 9mm right after they came out in the spring of 2000.

I bought a used Kahr K9 from a friend in 2010. (Iím at least the 3rd owner. The K9 has the Birdsong Black-Teflon finish and XS big dot night sights)

I've fired both guns a lot without any problems. (I usually run about 500 rnds a year through each gun)

The Kahr trigger stroke is a little weird and some people really donít like it. I was able to adjust to the trigger stroke without any problems.

I like the Kahr pistols for concealment purposes because they're THIN. I have big hands and long fingers. Oddly enough, the Kahr K9 or P9 feels better in my hand than a Glock 26 or 27. YMMV

I have a friend who has a Kahr T9, which is somewhat bigger. I've only shot it a little bit, but found it pleasant to shoot and I liked the slightly longer grip.

Anecdotal evidence would suggest that Kahr pistols in calibers other than 9mm or in the smaller frame sizes sometimes have functioning and reliability issues.

CZguy
November 1, 2012, 10:35 AM
Anecdotal evidence would suggest that Kahr pistols in calibers other than 9mm or in the smaller frame sizes sometimes have functioning and reliability issues.

I carry a P45 daily, and a P380 on Sunday. Neither gun has ever had a problem.

rodinal220
November 1, 2012, 04:32 PM
HK P7 either a PSP with the euro-release of the American M8 thumb release.

tek610
November 2, 2012, 02:46 AM
I picked it up today. Break-in commences tomorrow!

Thanks again for all the advice!


tek610

Skylerbone
November 2, 2012, 03:11 AM
Congratulations and good shooting.

Snowdog
November 2, 2012, 06:42 AM
Congrats!
Give us a range report when you find the time.

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