February 26, 2016: Kel Tec PF9 Review

At the Gun Store:  The Kel Tec PF9 is a short recoil operated DAO with an internal hammer.  The hammer is visible from the rear but it does not protrude at any point in the firing sequence. 

The specs from Kel Tec differ from what I put in the Fact Sheet. The Kel-Tec spec for width lists .88 inches.  That is true of the slide if you measure at the serrations and the grip if measured between the gator skin bumps.  I measure the widest point which is at the slide release. 

The rear sight is held with a Allen screw which allows some adjustment.

The frame has an accessory rail with a single notch. Crimson Trace makes the LG-435 which provides an integrated looking laser with finger grip activation. 

The length of pull (measured from the back strap to the face of the trigger) is a long at 2.925”. That’s to get your finger on the trigger.  There is about 0.13” of take up before you start getting the resistance of the trigger pull.  I measured the pull weight at 5.5 pounds.  The pull is long at about 0.54”.  I don’t notice the trigger pull weight stacking on as I pulled . 

There are two noticeable “clicks” during the trigger reset. You have to get to the second click before the trigger is reset. 

The instruction manual warns not to dry fire this gun. Some spring loaded snap caps will be essential for dry fire practice. 

At the Range: To date, this is the most uncomfortable gun I have shot.  The light weight and thin grip transfer recoil energy into your hand.  It’s just physics.  You can’t cheat that. 

For my grip I get just enough with the magazine extension that has been trimmed to take off the leading edge. It makes a big difference in controlling the gun.  With the extension I can get three fingers on the front strap.  I trimmed the leading edge off the factory grip extension to make it more comfortable. 

I greatly prefer shooting this gun with the magazine grip extension. The width of my three fingers when gripping is 2.2″.  The distance under the trigger guard to the bottom of the standard magazine is 1.72″.  Not long enough to get past the middle of the little finger.  Therefore I get no rotational resistance out of the little finger.  Even when using a two hand grip with an off-hand finger on the front of the trigger guard, the rotational force of recoil is enough press the trigger finger into a resistance role after the round goes off.  

This is an example of the trade off with concealed carry guns.  You would like to carry something with the size and weight of the PF9 but if you actually had to use it you’d rather pull out a 1911 from your secret place.  Since there are no wearable versions of the Tartis or Hermione Granger’s beaded handbag, you’ve got to decide where you want to be on the scale between concealment and ability to shoot.

The gun has defensive accuracy. I have not fired my standard 3 shot group at 45’ yet.  I can get sub 2” groups at 15’. 

I have shot the usual WalMart selection of 9mm ammo through this gun without a problem from any of them. Jacketed hollow points have functioned reliably.  As with any gun used for personal protection,  shot several hundred rounds of your preferred defensive load to ensure reliability.  This suggestion is not just for Kel Tec, but for any gun used for self-defense.

In Concealment: The purpose of this gun is for concealed carry and for that it excels.  For carry the light weight and thin design are excellent.  As a carry gun under a shoulder it is comfortable all day long.  You are not restricted from moderate activity.   I would suggest the Cerakote or chromed finish on the slide to combat the effects of perspiration. 

As with any carry gun it needs to be in a holster.

. Greg Poole – February 26, 2016

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