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View Full Version : Compact Kahrs: Worth the extra cash?


Dannicus
09-23-2011, 9:33 PM
I'm in the market for a sub-compact 9mm and the PM9 is looking like it fits the bill pretty well on paper. I dig that it's extremely light, very compact, and that it's striker fired. I am kindof put off by the molded-in rail setup in the dust cover area, tho. I've read a couple of discussions about it and some have the opinion that it's "a carry weapon, not a range gun". To me that sounds like folks are dismissing durability in favor light weight and compactness on the Kahr. I think that's BS. I should be able to put a couple hundred practice rounds a month through ANY gun and not worry about a frame failure for years.

The alternative is the much cheaper LC9 although it is heavier and a bit larger. It feels sturdier and is designed a bit more robust. I'd just have to get used to the heavier and longer trigger. I'm completely indifferent about the "bonus" safety features.

Any further opinions?

9mmepiphany
09-23-2011, 9:45 PM
I've always taken, it's "a carry weapon, not a range gun" to mean it isn't comfortable to shoot for an extended session...I usually refer them to the Kahr MK9

Dannicus
09-23-2011, 9:54 PM
I've always taken, it's "a carry weapon, not a range gun" to mean it isn't comfortable to shoot for an extended session...I usually refer them to the Kahr MK9

I can understand that view. The recoil doesn't bother me with most lightweights. I usually just go through a box or two of cheap FMJ before putting it away in favor of something in .22lr.

If it were a .40 I'd probably leave it home, tho. I might be a wuss, but IMO, .40s are pretty rude in sub form.

Dannicus
09-23-2011, 10:17 PM
Wow, somehow I totally missed this: Ruger LC9 vs. Kahr PM9 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=479801):facepalm:

RollingCode3
09-23-2011, 10:29 PM
Kahr cw9 = $349
kahr cm9 = $450

Dannicus
09-23-2011, 10:40 PM
Kahr cw9 = $349
kahr cm9 = $450

CW9 = Not as compact
CM9 = Not CA Approved

Cutest
09-23-2011, 10:59 PM
You want a better trigger over LC9, get the Kahr. You don't want iffy reliability, get the LC9.

InGrAM
09-23-2011, 11:29 PM
I always thought that I would want a super compact, pocket pistol, like a kahr P380, pm9, or sig p238 for CC. It turned out after awhile, that I like having a larger pistol for CC :eek: (shocking, right?). I just feel more secure with a compact to full sized firearm. With modern CC holsters it is quite easy to conceal them as well. Especially if you live in a colder area of CA. Also, they are funner to shoot.

I understand where you are coming from.

I carry a kel-tec p-11 for hot weather. In the winter I will carry a Commander or M&P. The kel-tec is a perfect size for a summer CC gun. Also it carries 11 rounds of 9mm and is as cheap as the LC9. Just something to think about.

Steve-O
09-24-2011, 3:07 AM
Slight threadjack, do I recall correctly that some of the polymer framed Kahrs were problematic in the recent past? Have all the kinks been worked out of them?

I am in the same boat as the OP, basically looking for the smallest, affordable 9mm I can find. The PM9 looks like it might work.

Sir Stunna Lot
09-24-2011, 4:22 AM
Get the CW9, it is more comfortable to shoot and more affordable.

the only benefit of the PM9 is that it can fit inside your pants pocket

shadow65
09-24-2011, 4:39 AM
I've had a PM9 for some years now. It's not considered a "range weapon" due to the small size and associated recoil. But I have never had an issue with the 9mm recoil.
It is easy to conceal and will carry in an ankle rig.
But with the proper holster, a bigger weapon isn't hard to conceal.
I'm one of those guys that has just never found any weapon or holster that I was satisfied for concealment wearing a T-shirt.
Dave N

Dannicus
09-24-2011, 7:19 AM
I've had a PM9 for some years now. It's not considered a "range weapon" due to the small size and associated recoil. But I have never had an issue with the 9mm recoil.
It is easy to conceal and will carry in an ankle rig.
But with the proper holster, a bigger weapon isn't hard to conceal.
I'm one of those guys that has just never found any weapon or holster that I was satisfied for concealment wearing a T-shirt.
Dave N

Same here. The only holsters I've ever been comfortable with were ankle and shoulder holsters. A smaller gun could open up the option of waist carry for me. I'm not one to change the way I dress just to make a carry rig work. A shoulder holster was fine for most of the year when I lived in Washington due to the cooler climate, but tees and shorts have to be an option here in CA.

okglockman
09-24-2011, 7:21 AM
I personally like my Kahr and haven't have any issues with it. For a backup, I'll generally carry the LCP or Keltec because of their lighter weight. The think I like about the Kahr is it's ability to handle +P Buffalo Bore Ammo.

jaucoin
09-24-2011, 7:22 AM
I have Kahr PM9 and it is a range weapon. I have even shot several IDPA matches and did pretty well considering the size of gun. The recoil is very manageable, don't even notice the recoil difference between the PM9 and Sig P226 anymore. I have not had a single malfunction or issue with this gun even after about 1000 rounds so far. I carry the PM9 is both a crossbreed mini-tuck and desantis pocket holster and it just disappears in the crossbreed.

Agent Orange
09-24-2011, 7:30 AM
I own a CW9 with appx 2K rounds through it without a single problem other a couple of stoppages during the break in period. There's a guy on the KahrTalk forum that claims to have over 20K rounds through his PM9.

yzernie
09-24-2011, 8:24 AM
You want a better trigger over LC9, get the Kahr. You don't want iffy reliability, get the LC9.
Links?

brianm767
09-24-2011, 8:42 AM
Yes the Kahr PM9 is well worth the money over a LC9. The LC9 is bigger and heavier and I don't want a safety on a carry gun, oh and the Kahr trigger is much better.

Kahr CW9 is a better alternative to the LC9, it's the cheaper version of the Kahr P9 , both the CW9 and P9 are 1/2" taller and longer than a PM9, thier abut the same size of the LC9, but a little heavier.

Kahr CM9 would be a great choice if you have access to one (Off Roster) cheaper version of the PM9, but not roster approved.

A off Roster Keltec PF9 would also be a good choice if I wasn't going to fork out the money for a Kahr PM9 even though it's not a premier brand, it's very light, and compact, but like some Kahrs, some have been finicky, and you need a way to get around the roster. Single shot, PPT, or Family transfer from out of state.

I have not heard any one who has owned or shot both the LC9 and Kahr PM9 and preferred the Ruger, now when it comes to their .380's, I had a Kahr P380 and Ruger LCP, I preferred the Kahr P380, but I can honestly say, it is not worth the extra money over a proven reliable Ruger LCP.

geeknow
09-24-2011, 8:52 AM
I have a pm9, and love it. Yes, it cost a bunch, especially with night sights and crimson trace. However, it performs, and is freaky accurate. I believe in it, and know it will perform. Also, it is much more pleasant to shoot than the lcp.

BamBam-31
09-24-2011, 9:00 AM
I only have experience with my Kahr MK9 Elite 98, but it has proven to be very accurate and reliable. The trigger is long but surprisingly smooth, like a nice revo. Being an all metal gun, it's a little heavier than the PM9, but you don't ever have to worry about durability (and the extra weight can be mitigated to a great extent with a good holster set-up). I purchased mine for $450 NIB, IIRC, but that was several years ago.

jyo
09-24-2011, 12:26 PM
I have to go for the CW9---have two (one for me, one for wife)---a touch bigger than the PM9, but a better grip---not hard to shoot, recoil not bad, super nice trigger and reliable in a slim lightweight package. I have shot the PM9 and liked it, but prefer the longer grip of the CW9. A high quality pistol you can depend on.

mugiwara
09-24-2011, 12:32 PM
just got an mk9 with superfly holster for 450... to me it was worth every penny, i love it.

Exile Machine
09-24-2011, 12:47 PM
I had a Kahr PM9, great little concealable gun. I used to clip it in a cheap Uncle Mike's IWB holster to my gym shorts. No belt. Never a problem. I did not find it enjoyable to shoot at the range though, and I never was as accurate with it as my Glock 21. I eventually decided I wanted to carry the Glock instead and so I sold the PM9. It's amazing how easy it is to conceal a full sized glock but you never forget you are wearing it. That could almost happen with the PM9, it was so light.
-Mark

Kelvrick
09-24-2011, 1:20 PM
I've owned a pm9 but now carry a p9. That little bit of slide and grip length does so much for comfort and usability while not making that much of a difference in concealability. I use a whitehat holster at 3 o clock. 5'9 and 169lb

cudakidd
09-24-2011, 5:18 PM
Same here. The only holsters I've ever been comfortable with were ankle and shoulder holsters. A smaller gun could open up the option of waist carry for me. I'm not one to change the way I dress just to make a carry rig work. A shoulder holster was fine for most of the year when I lived in Washington due to the cooler climate, but tees and shorts have to be an option here in CA.

I've had a PM9 for some years now. It's not considered a "range weapon" due to the small size and associated recoil. But I have never had an issue with the 9mm recoil.
It is easy to conceal and will carry in an ankle rig.
But with the proper holster, a bigger weapon isn't hard to conceal.
I'm one of those guys that has just never found any weapon or holster that I was satisfied for concealment wearing a T-shirt.
Dave N __________________


I have a CW9, PM9, MK9 and M9. As the above guys have stated I love my PM in a ankle holster, put XS big dot sights on it as well. It is on my CCW.

The CW is a little big and only one round, it won't take XS sights so Crimson trace trigger guard unit on it.

I bought the two stainless, "M" series before the polymer frame models came out, crimson trace grips on them.

None of the recoil is unpleasant, 9mm is very managable. But even at 5'11 and 215 pounds and not being overweight (i.e. nowhere to hide it!) with the normal hotter weather here I find a ankle holster is the best bet.

Serafino
09-26-2011, 10:31 AM
Because the PM9 is slightly more fussy than a P9, and the recoil springs need to be replaced more often, I bought a P9 and did the 'covert' modification to it so it takes PM9 mags. With A&G grip extensions added to the longer magazines I have the best of both worlds--a pocket carry 9 mm which becomes a P9 when my reload mag goes in (yes I have to choose my pants carefully for this and plan to mod some pockets). I do notice a small improvement in shot consistency with the extended grip. You can do the same mod to a CW9.

I have a Hogue grip sleeve on mine, and added a sort of palm swell under the sleeve along the back strap which has made it easier to get correct finger placement on the trigger for my long fingers. I recently qualified with it for my CCW and shooting it under pressure was nothing but fun.

Briancnelson
09-26-2011, 11:30 AM
I know two people in sane states who get to CCW regularly. Both of them started out with tiny little subcompact pistols.

Both of them now carry 4" pistols in supertuck holsters. One a Glock and one an XD. Even in cargo shorts and a light shirt, neither of them print noticably. Both of them sold their subcompacts as being suboptimal for a lot of reasons.

I think you are better off finding a holster arrangement that lets you carry a reasonably sized pistol comfortably than you are trying to sort out which subcompact has the least flaws. You'll likely shoot better with an ordinary size duty gun if you ever really need it.

That's just my .02 from talking to people who do it regularly. Wish I could, but here in LA, unless I get really famous or rich, it won't happen.

Serafino
09-26-2011, 12:13 PM
The whole "carry a bigger gun" thing is completely correct--except when it won't work.

A lot of us have to wear business casual clothes during the day. Depending on your body type this puts limitations on what you can carry. Throw in concern about how long it takes you to present your weapon and your limitations narrow even further. I have a thickish waist so I can't do IWB carry. I want fastest possible presentation so pocket carry has a lot of appeal for me, but I also sit down a lot so a shoulder rig is also in my stable. I plan to revisit double-stacks for that, but so far I can barely conceal a single-stack that way after a lot of attention to clothing choice.

My point being, you have to work out what will work for you, and that is going to be very different for some people.

The most important thing about all of this is learn to be objective about it. There are people out there who are trying to make stuff work that is going to get them called in.