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Kahr PM9 Review


I like the DAO style trigger.  It is very smooth....much more so than I had expected.  No gritty or rough spots either.  I don't have an trigger pull gauge so I can't tell you how many pounds it takes.  I am, though, very satisfied with the stock trigger and can't think of a reason I would want to change it.


Here is a comparison photo of the six and seven round mags.  The seven round magazine allows your little finger a place to be other than tucked under the pistol as when using the six round mag. 

The PM9's action is based on a locked breech.  Slide movement is managed by a dual-spring stainless guide rod system. The barrel has an integral ramp, and the slide locks open after the magazine is emptied. The slide release is positioned for right handed (strong side) shooters.  It is operated by the right hand thumb or the trigger finger if you happen to be left-handed.  The PM9 has a striker block safety which prevents firing unless the trigger is pulled. As mentioned earlier, there are no external safeties and no magazine safety either.


Shown here with my Benchmade pocket knife.  The PM9 is indeed a small package.  The sights sport a black finish with the front sight having a white dot which is aligned over the white post displayed on the rear sight....a "dot the i" type of sight configuration.  The manual states the sights can be drifted in the slide if adjustment is required.  I've not found evidence of this needing to be done after browsing a number of PM9 threads in the firearms forums. 


The frame seems to be amply stippled/checkered to ensure a good grip, even when using the 6 round magazine.  The serrations at the rear of the slide give you a good surface to grab for racking the slide.  Given the small mass of the slide, the recoil spring set is pretty stout as the 9mm cartridge demands it considering the weight of the slide.  I could see where some folks might have an issue manually cycling the slide....just something to consider or at least check into before deciding on a purchase.

One issue I found with mine was discovered after I was examining the PM9 at home.  With the magazine inserted, racking the slide provides for a gritty feeling.  With the magazine removed (which was the way I handled it in the store), it is smooth.  I tried it with the other mag and obtained the same results.  The same was found after trying it with the two just purchased mags that arrived from an on-line company.  All of the mags are Kahr manufactured.  I'll see how it all is after I run the requisite 200 rounds through it, per the owner's manual.  Having heard nothing but good things about Kahr's customer service, I'm not too worried about it.  I am confident it will get resolved one way or the other.

I'll continue this review after I get some range time with the PM9.  I'm really looking forward to giving it a try.

Update:  08/24/2009

I made it to the range today and spent a few hours with the PM9, a couple of different 9mm loads, my chronograph, and my XD9.  I first wanted to bench mark the loads using my XD9 before seeing what the PM9's 3" barrel produced.


Here is the first PM9 target I shot.  I was using my 115 gr TMJ reloads.  The 14 shot group (two 7 round mags) measured 2.5" @ 7 yards.  By the end of the range session, my groups were about half this size at this distance. 

The short story....I am completely satisfied with the PM9's performance.  The trigger was as smooth as it felt during dry practice.  It is quite a contrast from my XD9 but none the less, still very manageable.   

I had zero jams and only one cartridge that didn't fully go into battery.  A little nudge with a finger and the slide dropped home without any further issue. 

As I mentioned, I fed the PM9 my standard 9mm reload.  It uses a Berry's Mfg. 115 gr TMJ bullet sitting on 5 grains of Unique.  Coming out of the XD9's 4" service length barrel, the 115 gr bullet averages 1152 FPS.  The same cartridge from the PM9's 3" barrel drops to 1019 FPS. 

I tried a box of Winchester White Box that was left over from a Front Sight trip.  The 115 gr. FMJ bullet coming out of the XD9 clocked 1202 FPS.  The same cartridge from the PM9 averaged 1064 FPS. 

I also had a partial box of Federal 95 gr. Law Enforcement ammo.  The PM9 got this lighter weight bullet out the barrel at 1143 FPS while the XD9's longer barrel pushed out the little bullet at 1300 FPS. 

So, the 3" barrel of the PM9 sees about a 10% muzzle velocity drop compared to the XD9.  I'm OK with that.  That is the price one pays for the concealability factor the Kahr PM9. 

I broke out a standard Front Sight target to see how much control I had during multiple shot scenarios.  With my range timer running, I emptied two six shot magazines, starting from the low ready, at the target.  The first string of six was 3.15 seconds and the second string was 3.02 seconds.  Both strings had all six rounds in the 5 point zone (the thoracic cavity) on the target.  The recovery time, shot to shot, is a little longer compared to what I average with my XD9.  The added weight of XD9 reduces muzzle flip and allows me to reacquire the sight picture faster for the next shot.  No, I don't subscribe to spray and pray.

So the Kahr PM9 is a keeper, no doubt about it.  I'm looking forward to many more sessions at the range as I get familiar with it and work it into CCW duty. 

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