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Kel-Tec P-32 and Kahr PM9 comparison (lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Candiru, Apr 19, 2005.

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  1. Candiru

    Candiru Member

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    After renting and enjoying a P-32 at a local range, I decided to get one for myself. My motivations were threefold: Although I already own a Kahr PM9, I wanted a gun that could be left in the car without fear of being out $600 if it were stolen. Secondly, it would be nice to have a gun that could be concealed places even the already-tiny PM9 couldn't. Finally, it was just plain fun to shoot.

    First, the obligatory glamor shot. (As with almost all the photos, click for a larger, bandwidth-gobbling version.)

    [​IMG]

    I was surprised by how tiny the P-32 was compared to the PM9, even though the two guns are pretty close in size if you trust the manufacturers' numbers. Problem is, you can't: The numbers were misleading in part because Kahr publishes the slide length, not overall length, of their guns. Tricksy.


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    The length difference is most pronounced from the top down...

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    ...and the width is noticeable from the rear.

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    The most dramatic angle is from the front, although the relative slide:barrel ratios make the .32 barrel of the P-32 appear almost the same size as the PM9's barrel:

    [​IMG]


    When you look at the size of the magazines and ammo, though, the difference is clear. That's Federal 124-grain +P EFMJ on the left and Federal 71-grain ball on the right.

    [​IMG]

    I've done a gentle fluff-and-buff followed by a Candiru-grade cleaning and greasing, but the action is still a little stiff. Oh darn, looks like I'll have to break it in at the range!
     
  2. Candiru

    Candiru Member

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    More photos, this time with comparison to other things. As always, click for bigger versions.

    First, alcohol and firearms do not mix.
    [​IMG]

    You need good hands to shoot mouseguns accurately:
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    Both fit on a CD jewel case. More or less.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Candiru

    Candiru Member

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    Finally, some shots of the guns in hand(s):


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    And a combined shot:

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    Here's how they fit when gripped:

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    And how they look from my angle:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Thanks for the comparison! Can't wait for the range report. ;)
     
  5. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    You have an interesting taste in guns!!
    My two current carry pistols are the P3AT and the MK9 Elite 98!!!
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I have the exact same pair.

    The PM-9 goes just about everywhere, and when I encounter a situation where the 9mm is a tad too large the P-32 takes its place.

    I originally had a blued P-32, but had extraction problems. When a new extractor didn't fix it, I sent it back to Kel-Tec. I asked them to also charge me for the hard chrome job. They sent me back a brand new pistol, with my old SN on it. I have had no further problems with it. I carry a Cor-Bon HP in the pipe, followed by a magazine full of S&B ball.

    The PM-9 digests everything, and is presently full of Golden Saber 124s.
     
  7. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I also have the exact pair and carry them both whenever legal. Both guns have worked great for me.

    Have fun breaking in the P-32. :)
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    Same logic, but I prefer bigger holes so I've a PM40 and P3AT.

    --wally.
     
  9. Glockamole

    Glockamole Member

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    I have the P9 covert and the P32 to go with my Glock 26. Carry one of them depending on weather and where I'm going. Had an extractor problem as well with the P32. Kel-Tec replaced slide with a hard chromed one for $20. Runs flawless now.
     
  10. revjross

    revjross Member

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    Great Pictures!!!! I have a PM9 and a Kel-Tec 3-AT that I alternate with. --- I really like both guns.
     
  11. dmallind

    dmallind Member

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    Well count me in this combo group too - have a PM9 and a P3AT although I am selling off the latter since my normal attire of business casual pretty much allows me to carry the Kahr anywhere, and I shoot much better with it let alone the additional potency it provides.

    However for really really deep conceal needs it's hard to beat the KelTecs at a reasonable price point.
     
  12. DarkKnight01

    DarkKnight01 Member

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    Wow I never realized how slim the Kahr is... its even smaller than I thought... for some reason I thought it would be fatter... Ima havta get me one now Thanks Alot !!! (grumbles to self about shelling out a buncha money for a lil neato lookin gun)
     
  13. halfacop

    halfacop Member

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    Both nice guns! I am currently looking for a Kahr PM9 to swap for my GLOCK 27. I need a bit smaller piece for back up duty carry than the GLOCK. So when you boys get sick of those "horriable Kahrs" give me a jingle and I'll swap ya! :cool:
     
  14. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

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    PM9 Recoil?

    I have both a P-32 and a Bersa Thunder .380, both of which I can carry in a pocket, But have been giving the PM9 a pretty hard look lately as it looks even slimmer and smaller than the Bersa AND packs a more respectable round.
    In theory.

    I like to practice alot with my carry guns at the range and a rule of thumb I use is that a carry piece also has to be reasonably comfortable for at least 100-150 (maybe 200-300 rds) round range session. Bothe the KT and the Bersa are fun and comfortable to shoot even over an extended range session.

    But given the portency of the 9mm round, whats the PM9 like to practice with? I've heard where the P3AT, given its size and .380 rd, is nasty to practice with....pretty much a 50 rd gun for range work. Is the PM9 in the same category?

    Also, given similiar barrel sizes between the PM9 and the Bersa, am I really gaining much of an advatage with the 9mm vs the .380 (considering I do carry Remington Golden Sabre ammo in the Bersa, ammo which has a good rep in this gun).

    Does look like sizewise the Kahr would be easier to carry vs the Bersa, but in the real world, would the advantage, round vs round be more theoretical than practical?

    In my P-32 I carry the Hydra-shok which (if you can believe Golden Loki's gelatin test results) make the .32ACP a reasonable SD cartridge. At least, enough of a cartridge to get you out of harms way vs a prolonged gunfight.
     
  15. cls12vg30

    cls12vg30 Member

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    Wow that is a great combo. I have a P32 identical to that pictured, it goes just about everywhere, either in the primary IWB position or weak-side pocket as backup, as always depending on weather and situation.

    I haven't been able to bring myself to chunk down the change for a Kahr yet, my current preferred primary is an FEG SMC-918, which compares well with the Bersa Thunder .380. Like the Bersa, it's a Walther clone, with the shortest (PPK-style) barrel. Unlike the Bersa, it's chambered in 9mm Makarov, which gives a little more oomph and a little less ammo selection. No Golden Sabres available at present (though my .380 gun is loaded with them), it's loaded with two of my remaining discontinued Cor-bons followed up by Hornady XTP's followed up by Fiocchi ball. Waiting anxiously for that 9x18 PowRBall that is rumored to be in the works, hope it's as hot as the Cor-bon JHP's..........
     
  16. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    I also carry that exact combo and for the same reasons. They are both also a joy to shoot.

    The_Shootist - In response to your questions I would say the PM9 will shoot as well as or better than your bursa. For me the Kahr has very little felt recoil. I can take a box of Winchester white box 100rnd value pack to the range and then wonder where all my ammo went. That may be because it fits my hand quite well.

    Is the round better? Yes. I know the bullet diameter is the same as your .380 but you get another 2mm of case space and it makes a difference. Check out the ballistics table from any of the ammo makers to see some of the numbers. An exaggerated example is the .38 special and .357 magnum. Same size barrel, maybe even the SAME barrel, but look at the difference in performance. .380 might be a good round but personally I want the best round I can get.

    And given that I also own a P3AT I'll chime in on that too. Overall a good gun. Many have issues when new and require a little buff work to be made reliable. Mine did also. It does fire the .380 but thats where the comparison to your bursa ends. It can be unpleasent to shoot. Recoil is snappy and the grip is both short and narrow. You will most likely NOT want to be putting 100 rounds through it at the range. On the upside it's really small and can go places no other .380 will. If you decide to get one pick up a couple of the grip extensions for the magazine. It's just a little sliver of plastic that sticks out from the base of the magazine but it gives your ring finger something to sit on and helps keep the weapon stable while firing. It made mine WAY more comfortable to shoot.
     
  17. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Member

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    I also like the looks of those two fine pistols. I do wish Kel-Tec would include a silver trigger with their hard chrome package. It’s a pain to have to do it your self but I think it’s worth the trouble :)
    hcp32st.gif
     
  18. onedownfourup

    onedownfourup Member

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    Same combo

    I picked up the P32 at the gun show in Phoenix last weekend, to go with my Kahr PM9. The PM9 is the usual carry gun, but the P32 is perfect for deep concealment. The PM9 is fun to shoot. It doesn't have a painful recoil and I usually put 200 rounds through it at a time. The P32 seems to be somewhat more reliable than the P3AT according to Internet reports, although many owners have no prob's at all with the latter gun. The PM9 is supposed to be pretty good in the reliability department, but mine is back at the factory right now after a series of failures to feed. When I get it back I'm going to lube it like crazy and hope that resolves the issue.
     
  19. mini14jac

    mini14jac Member

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    +1 to that!
    I never get tired of shooting the PM9.

    I've used the same combo for a while.
    The only difference now is that I've replaced the P32 with a P3AT.
    No real size difference.

    When you can't carry at all, the little KelTec goes.
    When you've got a little more leeway, it's the Kahr.
     
  20. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

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    Ok - So whats a Good Pocket Holster

    ....for the PM9, given that I'd probably like to use it for (large) pocket carry?
     
  21. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    nice pics, and thanx for posting.

    but why didn't you complete the straight flush?

    :D
     
  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Great post--I've been thinking about a Kahr PM9.

    I wish someone would do a post like that comparing a PPK (not a /S) with a PM9...
     
  23. Candiru

    Candiru Member

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    I bought a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster, which seemed to do the trick. However, the cut and fabric of my pants makes the PM9 print like crazy, so I went to a Coverup from Tucker Gunleather.

    Hey, you gotta play the cards you're dealt... ;)

    For those who are interested, I'm changing from 124-grain +P to 105-grain low-recoil EFMJ due to recoil of the +P rounds, which makes follow-up shots difficult.
     
  24. mrhuckins

    mrhuckins Guest

    I like them both. Can I borrow the pair from someone? Just for a little while?? I'll give them right back, I promice :D
     
  25. USGuns

    USGuns Member

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    340pd, Quality

    GREAT pics Candiru, thanks! Appreciate all the good work.
    You wouldn't happen to have a S&W 340PD to take pics of too, would ya??? ;)

    How would you compare the "quality" of the P32 vs. the PM9? Kahr pistols in general have a reputation for excellent quality but Kel-Tec's been making the P32 for quite sometime now and has made thousands of them, you'd think they'd be perfect by now! :scrutiny:
     
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