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Kel-tec PF9 Trigger reset?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ABBOBERG, Oct 29, 2007.


    ABBOBERG Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. 40SW

    40SW Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  4. Euclidean

    Euclidean Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. gbelleh

    gbelleh Well-Known Member

    I carried a PF-9 all summer. I am aware of this issue, but it's not a problem for me.
  6. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    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.

  8. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Nikdfish

    Nikdfish Well-Known Member

    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.

  10. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

  11. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    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.

  12. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Well-Known Member

    I have a p-11 and as was mentioned I don't think they have the same problem ..
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    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.)
  14. 40SW

    40SW Well-Known Member

    "I lost faith in Gun Tests a long time ago when they gave the Makarov a "Don't Buy" rating."

    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.
  15. obxned

    obxned Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Well-Known Member

    Did Gun Test magazine ever rate the Kel-Tec P-32 or P-3AT. If so, they should have received that same “F” 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 don’t recommend it.

    PS you don’t have to chamber a new round as you can pull the slide back only a ¼ inch or so to re-c0ck the pistol, then a full trigger pull for a bang.
  17. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Well-Known Member

    The P-11 doesn’t have a hammer block system. The P-32, P-3AT and PF-9 use a hammer block.

    ABBOBERG Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    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".

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