Kel-Tec PF-9 Review by
OfficerResource.com member Lewisipso
It’s always a good holiday when receiving a new gun as a present. My family presented me with the newest member of the lewisipso gun family on Christmas day. Behind the wrapping paper was a new Kel-Tec PF-9/9mm pistol. I had been on the hunt for a slimmer, easier to conceal handgun as a back up weapon for some time. Knowing there are a lot of sub compact weapons on the market, the choice was not easy. It was however narrowed down by my stature. Those of you who know me, being the small person that I am, concealing something like a sub compact Glock, as an on duty back up gun never was going to happen despite my best efforts. After some searching around and different considerations I found the PF-9 worthy to check out.
I know, I know, the 9mm is considered by some to be a mouse load but I have carried and depended on the 9mm for several years as my primary caliber. I am a .45 man as a primary choice off duty and a .40 cal by on duty policy so I am not worried about carrying a 9mm as a secondary at any time.
My Kel Tec came in a simple black plastic box, a trigger lock (that won’t be used), an allen wrench, and a magazine finger extension. The magazine base plate was no easy feat to change either I might add. Once on it won’t come off by accident. The magazine did not seem to want to seat easily upon initial insert and appeared to hang up on the release mechanism on the inside of the pistol grip. I will mention now that this issue was temporary and with use has self corrected.
The Kel-Tec website, http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/pf9.htm relating to the PF-9, says it will be available in blued, parkerized, and hard chrome finishes. Grips will be in black, grey, and olive drab. My weapon is an all black version with the slide being the blued or parkerized. The technical specifications, again according to the website, are as follows. Calibers: 9mm Luger 9x19mm Weight unloaded: 12.7 oz. 360g Loaded magazine: 2.8 oz. 81g Length: 5.85″ 149mm Height: 4.3″ 109mm Width: .88″ 22mm Barrel Length: 3.1″ 80mm Capacity: 7 + 1. Another reviewer’s claim is that the PF-9′s trigger pull is at 5 to 6 pounds. If that’s true it’s the hardest 5 to 6 I’ve ever pulled. Needless to say the term ‘accidental discharge’ and PF-9 should not go together. That’s a plus in my book since in a “it’s gone to hell in a hand basket” situation you won’t care what the trigger pull is and probably won’t notice. The frame/receiver is, of course, polymer/plastic, whatever term floats your boat. The only thing I have seen so far that I don’t care for is the full length guide rod. It is made of plastic and I am not a fan of that.
I greatly appreciate the feel of this weapon and it’s weight. Of course that is also because of my stature. My small hands fit this weapon just fine. Those of you with large hands may not care for it. The finger extension makes the weapon fit my hand perfectly although I wonder if a person with large hands would like it at all. Keeping the flat magazine plate and letting the lower part of the hand fall below the grip may be more comfortable. I have yet to be uncomfortable carrying it in a pocket or IWB holster. Ditto for the way I carry it on duty. If you want to know how I do that then contact me personally in the forums. That isn’t information I publish for just anyone to see.
The first trip to the range held another surprise. 100 Winchester target rounds was the meal of choice and I was hoping it was hungry. I loaded the first 7+1 and stepped up to the target and got busy. Boys and girls I’ll tell you quick that my wife doesn’t have an attitude like this pistol does. And my wife is very outspoken. Just ask her and she’ll tell you. Good grief! This thing kicks like a Missouri mule and feels like the hoof hit your hand. As far as recoil goes, well, I’ve had more fun at a funeral. Alas that is the price you pay for a small, lightweight and concealable pistol. Having a proper grip and not locking your elbows does makes it quite manageable but still noticeable.
I was also pleasantly surprised at the accuracy for a 3” barrel. At 10 feet I was able to put 3 rounds right on top of each other. At 50 feet I was able to put 3 rounds in the black of the head and 3 rounds in the 9 ring. I want to try that again before I call it broken in. I think I can do better at the 50 foot distance.
The weapon managed three failures to feed. Two were failure to completely seat the round in the chamber and one was a failure to pick up a round from the magazine. I was not impressed at all with that but for the remainder of the the shooting time I could not make the malfunctions repeat. I thought perhaps I was applying too much downward pressure on the magazine with the magazine extension. It also may be a faulty magazine or release. Either way it did not happen again. I will definitely keep an eye on this. A simple miss feed drill was all that was needed to put the weapon back in service each time.
Not everyone is a 9mm fan and the recoil may be a deterrent for some potential owners. However on weapon overall I have to say I’m impressed. This may not be a daily carry for some but for me I will keep this weapon in the forefront. As long as it continues to perform as it did on its first outing, and I expect better with time, it will certainly be my choice for a BUG.
Here is the target I mentioned. The circled area is the 3 rounds from 10 feet.