Kahr PM9 Review Chris Stockton
Picking a Carry pistol
I have heard the question a thousand times from both students and firearms instructors alike: “What is the best Carry pistol?” When I respond to this question I always first explain that choosing a carry pistol is much like picking a new pair of shoes. There are many choices and many brands, but first you truly need to analyze what you wear on a daily basis in order to effectively pick a firearm that you can carry. Other concerns will be weight, accuracy, reliability, size, caliber, sights, and how the gun feels. Today, there are so many different choices, but many beginners just want a simple answer to what is best. After reviewing many different firearms, I have found the best carry pistol for the days where you can’t hide a large pistol. I always recommend for people to carry the biggest caliber they can shoot most effectively and will carry every day. A 9mm in your pocket is much better than having a .45 at home. Another common mistake people make is they shoot well and often practice with a 9mm, but instead carry a .45 which they have little practice with and are not as good of a shot. It’s not the guy with the biggest caliber who will win in a gun fight, it will be the person who can hit the target. The pistol being reviewed comes in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45. This review will be of the Kahr PM9 in 9mm.
Size matters when selecting a pistol to carry with great ease, and I set out to find something that could pack the punch in the smallest size, but maintain 100% reliability. I have tested many pistols that fit into this category such as Glock, Sig, Smith and Wesson as well as Taurus models, but I found them to be much bigger than desired or lacking in caliber size. The ideal carry pistol should be something that you can slip into your pocket whether you are wearing dress pants or jeans and remain undetectable. After shooting 6 pistols in this category, (pocket pistols) I have found the most effective choice for the use of a pocket pistol is without a doubt, a Kahr PM9. The Kahr pistol was the first 9mm that I could slip into my pocket without the slightest trace of it being there; yet it still packs the punch of a 9mm. I have trained many students for concealed carry and NRA instructors on the Kahr PM9 and found many of the Glock sub-compact owners end up wishing they would have bought or end up buying a Micro series Kahr, due to the ultra thin size and much smoother trigger of the Kahr.
When I first picked up the pistol, I soon realized why a 200 round break in was recommended by the manufacture. The manufacture engineered everything with tight tolerances which led to shocking accuracy. I was not aware a pistol of this size could be this accurate as it by far beat any of the other pistols I have shot that are similar in size or even larger for that matter. There is a culmination of reasons why this pistol is more accurate than those of similar size, and the first thing I noticed off the bat was how smooth the trigger was, especially for a double action. Once you take up the slack in the trigger, the trigger is a very crisp and smooth break. The trigger isn’t a hair trigger or very light because that as everyone knows wouldn’t be safe for a pocket pistol; however the trigger is so smooth that you don’t notice the weight. The next reason for accuracy is the tight tolerances which are tight enough for impressive accuracy while keeping 100% reliability. If a gun jams in a self defense situation it could mean your life, so with this in mind, I don’t and won’t carry a pistol that fires 99% of the time because with my luck, the day I need it will be the day it jams due to the 1%.
A fellow NRA firearms instructor who also tested the Kahr showed more success shooting targets quickly than he did with a full size Glock G17. That blew me away because usually longer sight radius means better accuracy and this is true, but if you’re shooting fast, the configuration of the sights is what truly matters, and the Kahr has the best out of the box configuration. The sights are configured with a white bar-dot, combat sight, which is the reason why I believe it is much easier to hit targets quicker than with other pistols that are configured with the traditional three dot sights. It is also easier to see the bar-dot in low light which is a big plus.
The weight of this pistol has to be one of the lightest 9mm pistols. In fact, it was even lighter than many of the .380 pistols I have tested. The frame is made of polymer and has good ergonomics making it easy to shoot. The finish on the gun is a non-reflective stainless slide (or black). Many female shooters instantly fall in love with the PM9 pistol calling it “cute” and complementing the size, weight as well as ease of use.
This pistol is simply amazing espically when you compare them to others out there. I have seen many other pistols attemp to make a small 9mm but Kahr really hit this one out of the park. Before you buy a small pocket size pistol find a dealer that has one of these and give it a try!
Kahr has since designed a new PM9 that has a manual safety for those of you looking for that feature. The biggest advantage to that gun was the trigger! It had a very short trigger pull and quick reset making this pistol even more fun to shoot. In the coming months we plan to have a review on that pistol and a K9 model as well. With the new review we will be incorporating some video as well!