My new (to me) Kahr P9 - Review and Range Report

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Hunley, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Hunley

    Hunley Active Member

    A while back I traded NGIB my stainless Springer GI for something more sensible as an EDC back in August. Before the 1911 kool-aid drinkers start in, I am a fan of the gun. However, when you have 4 titanium screws and 3 rods fusing you from L3 to S1 in your lumbar spine, that much weight on the hip is not comfortable and can cause a great deal of pain. It was a great gun, and was a classier carry piece for more formal situations. It just wasn't reasonable for me to carry it if it was going to cause me pain.

    I was very impressed with the fit and finish of the gun. For those unfamiliar with it, the P9 is just a dressed up CW9 with more hand work and milling. The rifling is also polygonal instead of standard. It came with night sights, two holsters (even swap), and some ammo (even swap with some .45 of mine).

    Well, I've been carrying it for a while now. It has replaced my 642 Airweight and 1911 as an EDC. It's so light, I sometimes forget it's there. Very thin, sleek, points well, and is just plain comfortable to hold (even though I have big hands). It makes the Glock 27 I used to have look like a cinderblock and my 642 bulky. The trigger is phenomenal.


    I finally got some free time (I'm student teaching full-time this semester, and the school district is on fall break this week), so I decided to actually go and fire the gun I've been trusting my life to (Yes, I'm bad...). Since I had to take care of business in Savannah, I decided to hit up Patrick's.

    The first 20 rounds were 115gr. JHPs from MA Customs at 15 feet. They grouped pretty well.

    Then I went to 50 rounds of MA Customs 115gr. FMJ reloads at 20 feet. The performance was okay, but you could tell they were reloads. I did have one failure to feed, but this was due to a round that I could see was too long before placing it in the magazine. I just decided to place it in to see if it would feed. More fliers here, but I think it was a combination of ammo and shooter. I also did try to get some head shots on the small guy, so those at the bottom aren't that bad.

    I then proceeded to shoot 50 rounds of Independence 115gr. FMJ and 50 rounds of Federal Champion 115gr. FMJ. The Independence grouped very well, even at 25 and 30 feet. I started playing with distances, although this is not a distance gun, just to see what it was capable of. No picture of it, but flinches and trigger issues were definitely more apparent at distances beyond 15 feet. Still, groups were respectable. Again, this isn't a match gun, so I consider anything "minute of a man's head/vitals" to be good

    For the grand finale, I put up an adhesive reactive target on the original target and shot 12 rounds of 115gr. Hornady Critical Defense at 20 feet. Like almost everything I have ever shot by Hornady, it grouped well. I thought I took pictures, but my phone lost them.

    I then covered those holes and shot what was going to be 12 rounds of 124gr. +P Speer GDHP at 20 feet. Wow... While the entire CW and P line of Kahr pistols is +P rated, I would not recommend it if you planned to make any sort of distant shots. The gun worked fine, but the shooter had a bit of a jolt. I decided to fire the remaining rounds from the box of 20. To see if there would be any improvements. Grouping started to improve, but +P is far from tame in this tiny package. The best thing I have to compare it to would be a DoubleTap or Buffalo Bore 158gr. +P hollowpoint in a 642. Snappy ain't the word for it. However, keep in mind this is someone with big hands firing a small gun. Your results may vary. I plan to keep some in the backup mag, but I wouldn't use it for ranged shots.

    I took it home, cleaned it, and cleaned the mags. The wife has made me start cleaning my guns outside due to the smell of CLP, Shooter's Choice, RemOil, etc. stinking up the house. Disassembling the gun is a breeze, and it cleaned up quickly. In disassembling one of the mags, which by the way make Glock mags look like a Rubic's Cube, I managed to lose one of the small plastic pieces with a nipple that goes between the floorplate and the spring. This was out of a new mag the wife bought me for it, so I replaced it with one from one of the older mags that came with the gun. I looked everywhere before giving up, even crawling on the ground under the porch.

    - Slim and lightweight
    - Easy to conceal OWB or IWB
    - Comfortable to shoot, even if you have big hands
    - Accurate, especially for what it is
    - Easy to maintain/KISS engineering
    - +P Rated
    - Feeds like a champ
    - Low recoil on loads within standard pressure specifications, even at the top end
    - Phenomenal trigger
    - Massive extractor

    - Holsters not easy to find (in stores at least)
    - Magazines expensive
    - +P probably going to be uncomfortable to shoot
    - Might forget you're wearing it and walk into an off limits place
    - If you aren't used to a DA trigger, it will take some getting used to
    - No "double strike"/"second chance" capability if you get a hard/bad primer
    - Availability

    I don't know why more places don't carry these guns. The whole lineup seems to have rave reviews, customer service (from what I've read) is top notch, and it's probably the last carry gun I'll buy for a LONG time. I feel that comfortable about it.
  2. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

    Nice review. :righton:
    I carry mostly Glocks but I'm experimenting with the P9's "ugly sister", the CW9, as an alternative to a revolver when circumstances allow. So far, so good! They run best when clean and well-lubed. Every issue I have seen thus far has been after they have gotten dirty and dry, especially before they have had several hundred rounds through them.
    I'll probably be in the market for some spare 8 shot Kahr mags soon.

  3. 175FO

    175FO Member

    Nice post, how did you enjoy the range at patrick's? I will soon own a Kahr CW9 similar as you said to the p9, but cheaper with less frills. I have so far put 100 round of FMJ (american eagle and magtech) through it with no issues whatsoever. I haven't shot +p yet but i can image it would be a little much for that light of a gun. We have been carrying the CW series for a while and I think you're right, more places should be carrying Kahr. I think most of them, other than the CW's, are a little over priced but they are still nice guns. Also for all of you NRA instructors out there Kahr does have a discount program which places their guns at the equivalant of dealer cost, sometimes even less, although it does take 8 weeks for delivery.
  4. Hunley

    Hunley Active Member

    Patrick's and I have a love/hate relationship: I love to spend money there, but I hate to hear from the wife after I do. :lol:
    Been to the range plenty of times, but not as much as I would like. I like that the price went down. Bought plenty of SD ammo from there. Bought the FNP 45 USG that sits on my night stand, and sometimes sees me through the woods, from there. Best gun I ever bought.

    Matt always does right by me. He sold me a box of the same GDHPs I shot through the gun at a good price. If i had the dough, I would've bought the Mosin Nagant y'all have in a heartbeat.

    I think name recognition has a lot to do with Kahr's absence in most stores. Everyone knows Glock and S&W. Most people have heard or Sig, Ruger, or Springfield. It's the companies like Kahr and FNH that really become "shooters' guns".
  5. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    Congrats on an excellent choice. And you are a much better shot than I am. Maybe my K9 is too heavy for me ?

    The only con for me is the struggle to press the slide lock out to field strip it (holding the slide back just the right amount while pressing...)
    I've got a system now but the recoil spring is mighty strong in this little gun.

  6. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

    Except for some of their value-priced pistols (CW), I believe the retail price of new Kahr pistols does not help their popularity. Don't get me wrong, they are good pistols that address important niches. But they can and do price them much higher than they should be, IMHO. If someone like Glock or S&W applied their resources to developing and offering a reasonably priced, reliable single stack 9mm / 40SW ultra subcompact in the $400 range ($500 with night sights), I believe it would have a major impact on what Kahr can charge in this arena.

    Also affecting Kahr's popularity amongst US firearms owners is the fact that their owner and founder of Kahr is Justin Moon (whose birth name is Kook Jin Moon). Kahr is a subsidiary of Saeilo, a subsidiary of the Unification Church International's holding company, which is controlled by Justin's father, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (yes, that is correct, the founder of the Unification Church). Justin is also the chairman of the Tongil Group, a South Korean business group which supports Unification Church projects. Justin founded Kahr with money borrowed from his father and Saeilo.

    From what I have read on this over time, it is reasonable in my opinion to gather that there is likely an indirect, if not a more obvious, ongoing relationship between Kahr, Saeilo, Tongil and the Unification Church. Some believe he is next in line to lead the Unification Church after his father steps down.

    For more insight into Justin Moon, Kahr and their interrelation with the Unification Church, you might want to check this out.

    Because of the reputation of the Unification Church in the United States, and the distinct likelihood that Kahr profits and revenues may be at least indirectly benefiting the Unification Church and the Reverend Moon, I believe the desire of some U.S. shooters to own Kahr products is muted.

    Something I've always noticed is that every published Kahr ad I've ever seen always features photos of Asian models holding their products, most often pretty Korean models. I've asked about this for some time, and finally I met a Kahr rep that told me it is by design from Justin himself.
  7. Hunley

    Hunley Active Member

    The P series can be had for far less than what the MSRP is. Their website lists this gun, new, with night sights, as having an $875 retail. Gunbroker has BuyItNows for $639.

    I agree about Glock and S&W, though. A single stack M&P in 9mm would be great.

    I had no idea about the ties to the Unification Movement. Interesting.
  8. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

    True, but considering what the going prices are for new Glocks, S&W and Springfields and with their out of the box reliability and dependability, I believe the Kahr single stacks should still be priced lower. Of course, Kahr does have some patents on techniques and designs they use to make their guns small and thin. They can price at those levels until someone comes up with a lower priced alternative that fills the same market niche.