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Test-driving a Kahr

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ImJustRick, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. ImJustRick

    ImJustRick Active Member

    Ha ha, sorry for the stupid headline.

    So I'm sick of carrying my Ruger P95. It's huge, it's heavy, it's impossible to conceal. It's totally 100% accurate and it feeds everything. Never a FTE, FTF, no hiccups of any kind. But I work in a no-carry office, and I cannot for the life of me keep that thing hidden.

    So I was on the KelTec P11 kick for a while, but that's still a little hefty. Then I was 90% sold on the P32, but I just can't sit right with a .32. I feeel like if I'm going to risk my job and trust my life to a piece of hardware, I want it small BUT with enough punch.

    So I think I'm sold on the Kahr MK9. It looks great, it's sort of affordable, it carries less ammo than I'd like but at least enough, and it's microscopic. They seem to get rave reviews on here and elsewhere on the web, so I think I'm gonna pick one up.

    I went to my nearby shop (oh brother, do I hate that place) and they had an E9. Heavy? Check. Small? Sort of, check. Not as small as the MK but a lot smaller than the behemoth I'm used t. Purdy? CHECK! Looks good, seems really well made (wow, was the slide release tight!), felt good in my hand.

    I'm going to go to my range and see about renting some of the Kahrs they have, see what I think of them. And if that goes as I suspect it will, hello Kahr, goodbye Ruger.

    Is this switch an insane leap? Will the transition from jumbo gun to mini-small make me crazy? Your thoughts on the MK9?


  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    You should be able to carry at least one extra 7 round (extended) mag.

    And I would use the 6 round flush fitting mag in the gun so you could have 6 + 1.

    I don't really have any experience with the Kahrs as of yet, but I've heard some people suggest standard pressure ammo not +P. I'd like to hear from some Kahr owners as well.
  3. pytron

    pytron Well-Known Member

    I see an MK9 or PM9 in my distant future (3-5 years). However, I'd also like to get the Ruger P95 for a house gun. Let me know if you are getting rid of it. I may have to put off buying the MP3 player for my truck.

    That said, I have only handled the E9 and have not shot any Kahr firearms. However, the fit was very good and the craftsmanship seemed excellent. Not to mention that have been given good marks around here. I will defer to others who actually have working knowledge.

  4. ImJustRick

    ImJustRick Active Member


    Sent you an PM.

    I'm in Seattle, too, so that might work out great.


    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    Ok, the skinny on Kahrs....The E9 is a good gun, but spend the extra on the K or MK. Same basic gun but the K's steel dovetailed sights and extra nicities make it...er, well nicer :rolleyes:
    The no +P ammo thing is bogus...I shot the hottest 40 rnds I could find for mine...lots of them. Shoot the hell out of any of them with whatever you want.
    We have 6 K's and MK's in the family and all have been absolutely perfect. The like to eat recoil springs more often than other guns...but thats the nature of the design.
    Heres a pic of my Custom K40....god I hate that! Every gun Ive had I start to work on and POOF! All of a sudden its a Custom. :fire:
    Rent, steal, beg, borrow, whatever you can do to shoot one.
    Then go to gunsamerica.com and check stuff out....once in a while a screamin deal will be had....pretty often at times.
  6. ImJustRick

    ImJustRick Active Member


    Sweet, thanks for that lead. I've used gunbroker.com and auctionarms.com, but gunsamerica looks great.

    Here where I live I have been...er... "unsatisfied" with the local gun shops. The one closest to me is sort of famous for being filty, rude and full of Lorcins. :rolleyes: Oh, and they're overpriced, too.


  7. stretcharmstrong

    stretcharmstrong Well-Known Member

    I bought my mk9 with no experience shooting small guns. It took ALOT of practice but now it's one of my favorites at the range. The gun is very accurate in a combat sense and is really fun to shoot.
  8. Random Discharge

    Random Discharge Well-Known Member

    I have both a K9 and MK9. I've had a P9 and K40, but we parted ways.

    The P9 had a habit of failing to lock open on an empty magazine-the P9 slide lock and rail support design are not compatible in my opinion. Fit had to be perfect for the P9 to work right, and the plastic rails bowed-not conducive to perfect fit. The K40 was pleasant enough, I just didn't like the 40S&W caliber.

    With the complaints out of the way, the K9 is hands down my favorite CCW sized pistol. It is easily controlled due to its excellent grip, weight, and low barrel design. The light DAO striker trigger is easy to use and pull is the same for every shot, but long enough to require a deliberate trigger pull. It is incredibly easy to shoot accurately for its size. The nickel finish is holding up great. I've heard the black oxide finished versions rust if you look at them wrong, so think about stickng with stainless steel or nickel (which rules out the E9 you're looking at). Kahrs can be finicky about reloads due to their tight chambers-if you reload you'll need a size guage to weed out the ones that will lodge in the chamber. I've not had problems with any commercial quality reloads, but mine have stuck. With good quality ammo function is flawless.

    I think the MK9 or PM9 may fit your needs for a "must conceal or lose job" gun. You still get 9mm power, but in a smaller package. I've heard the PM9 plastic frame has been redesigned relative to the P9 to solve the P9 reliability problems, but I only have experience with an MK9. Perhaps some PM9 owners can chime in on that. The PM9 appears to be in a class by itself for power versus size and weight.

    Everything I said about the K9 goes for the MK9, except I find the MK9 considerably tougher to get good groups with due to the shorter sight radius, the smaller grip, or the hard plastic grip versus the hogue rubber grip on the K9, or some combination of all the above. I doubt the design is significantly less accurate, but that's possible too. I can still get good groups with it at defensive range and would not feel uncomfortable with my accuracy w.r.t. CCW, but if you're into driving tacks, I recommend the full size Kahr.

    Let us know what you end up with,
  9. Greybeard

    Greybeard Well-Known Member

    Compared to the Ruger, ANY of the Kahrs will seem tiny. Agree with others that the K-9 is a great gun, but, to me, heavy. I just got the PM-9 a few weeks back and am just beyond 200 round break-in period. It is quite concealable, especially with the 6-roung mag, altho the base plate edges are pretty sharp. 7-round mag that come with it has more user-friendly edges and makes grip almost as long as K-9.

    PM-9 goes 19.4 ounces loaded, which to me, is still "heavy" compared to an ultralight j-frames that still keeps jumping back in my jeans. Looking like PM-9 may be relegated primarily to ankle rig role for me, where it actually hides a little easier than j-frame with oversize grip. K-9 has been quite accurate and reliable for last 6 years. Am hoping to be equally pleased with PM-9. time will tell.
  10. USGuns

    USGuns Well-Known Member


    Let us know what you decide, ImJustRick. I too have a Ruger P95 which has been a terrific gun but like you, it just doesn't work for CCW for average sized people. But I'm going to hang on to mine for my house gun.

    I've been eyeballing the Kahr K9 Elite 98 for sometime now and think I might pick one up soon. The K9 seems to be a good compromise between concealability and shootability.

    Good luck and have fun.
  11. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    I'm up to 300 rounds of S&B and 250 rounds of the declassified 124 Gr +P Gold Dots through my Kahr P9 Covert with zero failures. Completely reliable and a blast to shoot. The +P ammo is pretty flippy but very controlable. I usually say that I can keep 5 shots in about 2" at 15 yards shooting slow and using my railing (on my deck) as a rest but the last couple times I've tried, the groups are closer to 3", maybe inching up towards 4". Still, plenty combat accurate.

    You mention the KelTec P11 being too hefty... The Kahr E9 weighs a full 10oz more than the P11 does and holds 3 less rounds to boot! Granted, the KelTec is 0.1" thicker than the Kahr. I like the Kahr and the KelTec but the E11 is definately lighter weight.

  12. ImJustRick

    ImJustRick Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Wow, my random thoughts generated more feedback than I expected!

    Anyhow, I looked at the E9 only because I've never even touched a Kahr and that's all the gun shop I went to had. So to answer Random Discharge - it's looking like the MK9 or bust. Though I like the idea of the polymer version... I wonder if it's harder to control?

    Agreed, USGuns - the P95 is an awesome house gun. I bought it because full capacity mags are cheap and it's simple enough that even my better half could deal with it if need be. But on reflection, 16 + 1 is going to be more than I'll need (I hope!) and she won't touch the firearm in any event, so I'm looking for one "fits all the uses" piece.

    Cratz2 - Nice pic. As far as the KelTec P11, there's something about the fit & finish that just doesnt seem, well, finished to me. :) And I'm more concerned with overall size than weight. If I could carry the Ruger up until now, *everything* will seem light! The P11 is longer and taller, isn't it?

    I hate to let my Ruger go, because it has been very very good to me. But I won't need a CCW at all if I'm sitting at home unemployed because I got canned for carrying at work!

    Thanks again, all of you.

  13. tomkatz

    tomkatz Well-Known Member

    pcrccw....nice k40, and I'll second what you said. Kahrs will digest just about any good ammo, factory recommends recoil spring every 1000 rds. I have mk and k9, my wife carries a k9 also, never a malfunction with any of them. I use 115gr. cor-bon, these guns just rock!.....tom :cool:

    ps...I just sent my mk9 slide to kahr for nightsights, got some free stuff in the deal, Javier in the shop is a good guy....tl
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Actually, according to their respective manufacturers, the P11 is smaller in pretty much every way thought their fit and finish certainly are not comparable. I currently carry a P9 Covert and a P32 everyday and both have been completely reliable and I have complete faith in each of them. I've owned two other P32s though never a P11. I've shot several Kahrs and they have been consistantly reliable and seem to be made with quality parts and labor.

    Height: P11 - 4.3", E9 - 4.5"
    Length: P11 - 5.6", E9 - 6.0"
    Width: P11 - 1", E9 - 0.9"
    Weight: P11 - 14oz, E9 - 23oz
  15. Landric

    Landric Well-Known Member


    I have a nickel K40 that I bought new in 1998. Its a great gun, accurate, reliable, sweet trigger. When it was brand new it had some FTF problems after about 100 rounds. It always worked 100% for the first 100 rounds, but after that if I kept shooting it without cleaning it I would get a FTF now and then. That problem cleared up after about 500 rounds though, and now I can shoot 200-250 rounds without any problems developing (and I haven't shot more than that without cleaning it, so I don't know at what point it would start to have problems).

    I bought the K40 rather than the K9 because at the time I worked for a department that issued the .40, and so I could get free practice and carry ammo if I went with a .40 for off-duty/backup. I have since switched departments and don't have that advantage anymore.

    I would like to have a K9, and if I had to choose between a K40 and a K9, I think I would go K9 simply because the .40 in such a small gun is not really a great deal of fun to shoot. I think the 9mm would be much easier to control in rapid fire than the .40 is in the Kahr platform. So, once I can afford it, the K9 is a few guns down on my must have list. I don't care much for the MK9 because I don't like the short grip, but that is the only reason. Kahr makes a quality product and I expect you will be very happy with the MK9 if you decide to purchase one.

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