PNW Guns Forum
Go Back   PNW Guns > PNW Guns > Reviews

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
Tinker Pearce's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2013
From: Seattle, WA
Posts: 12
Kel-Tec PF9 modified

Kel-Tec PF9 Review
(this is an older review reprinted from my website)
I recently picked up a 'lightly used' Kel-Tec PF-9 that the original owner had accessorized and thought that I'd share... The original owner reportedly didn't like the recoil and traded it in. I got a very good deal on this gun or I would have been unlikely to consider it...

Calibers: 9x19mm
Weight unloaded (no magazine) : 12.7 oz.
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz.
Loaded weight w/Laser: 20 oz.
Length : 5-13/16"
Height : 4-5/8" (as shown)
Width : .88" (1-3/16" incl. Pocket Clip)
Barrel Length : 3.1"
Capacity : 7 + 1 rounds

Magazine Grip Extension Plate
Pocket/belt clip
Arma-Laser for PF-9

The PF-9 is a locked-breech delayed recoil semi-automatic with a revolver-style double-action (only) trigger, a steel slide and a polymer frame. Its maker bills it as the flattest and lightest 9mm ever made. The gun's manufacturer says that you can run a limited quantity of +P ammo through the gun but that firing excessive amounts of this ammunition will accelerate wear. The pistol is provided with a 5/64 inch Allen Wrench to allow removal of the extractor. . The Magazine Grip Extension Plate was provided with the gun when new along with a standard flat magazine base plate. The standard sights are high-visibility three-dot sights. This model has the contrasting hard-chromed slide and has an MSRP of $390 though you can get them quite a bit cheaper than that on the open market. The Arma-Laser unit is specific to the PF-9 and retails for $159- again these are commonly available for rather less than that. The laser is adjustable for elevation and windage with the Allen Wrench provided with the laser. The polymer casing of the laser is a good match for the gun's frame.

I took this gun out to the local range to try it out naturally. I brought 100 rounds of Fiochi 115gr FMC ammo, a handful of Corbon 115Gr +P JHP and even a couple of Mag-Safe PFPs. To dispose of reliability issues (which reportedly plagued some early guns) the gun functioned flawlessly. On a whim I loaded the mag with an empty casing and hit the slide-release. The gun chambered the empty casing! The magazine sits quite high in the well so it is a fairly straight-shot from there to the chamber.

Accuracy is quite acceptable. With very little practice I was able to shoot sub-1 inch groups at 7 yards and not much larger groups at 15 yards, the longest distance that I fired the gun at. The gun shot very close to point-of aim at both ranges, closely enough that any variance might as easily been me as the gun. While I had little trouble it should be said that this isn't the easiest gun in the world to achieve tack-driving accuracy with. The trigger pull isn't light and stacks notably as you approach release. On the other hand it is smooth, and with practice you can use the 'stacking' to your advantage- effectively cocking the piece with the trigger and pausing for a split-second to refine your sight-picture before applying the bit of additional pressure needed to fire the piece.

The Laser had apparently never been sighted in. Using the provided Allen wrench I was quickly able to adjust the beam to match the point of impact of the rounds at 7 yards. This caused the rounds to strike 3 inches high at 15 yards but given the parallax between the beam emitter and the short barrel I didn't mind and found it easy to compensate for this. Once adjusted the beam stayed 'sighted-in' through all subsequent firing. I was not able to fire quite as tight of groups using the laser, but this is the first time that I have used a laser on a handgun so that's to be expected. The Laser has a small 'off-switch' located on the bottom, but is designed to be left in the 'on' position. The manufacturer states that the batteries are good for up to one year on 'stand-by' but that if the gun is shot regularly you can anticipate changing the batteries 3-4 times a year. The laser is activated by a skin-conductivity plate located inside the front of the trigger-guard. This intrudes into the trigger-guard far enough that persons with large fingers (like myself) might find it difficult to fit the trigger-finger in while wearing gloves. I don't know if gloves would activate the laser, but it's unlikely to be an issue as I don't normally wear gloves, even in the winter-time.

Unfortunately this also means that you have to insert your finger into the trigger-guard to activate the laser; I'd much prefer that they relocate these plates to the outer-edge where a normally extended trigger-finger would activate the laser naturally without having to put your finger on the trigger.

A number of reviewers have commented on the recoil and it is quite sharp; that's only to be expected in a lightweight gun shooting a powerful cartridge. I suspect that many people (like the gun's original owner) will find it quite unpleasant. The texturing of the grip has also come in for criticism as being too sharp but I did not find this to be the case when actually firing. While the recoil is definitely not pleasant I experienced no soreness or rubbing from the afternoon's shooting.

The gun is quite light and flat, and the pocket-clip does hold it in place well in a waist-band or pocket though surely a proper holster would be more secure. Despite the short sight-radius and stagey trigger-pull I had no difficulty shooting the gun accurately. This would be a very good gun for concealed carry and as mentioned the recoil is sharp, but not so bad as to preclude practicing extensively with the gun if you are willing to put up with it. The gun is very easy to disassemble for cleaning; simply lock the slide back and hook a fingernail in the plate just ahead of the slide-release and withdraw it, then slide the slide assembly forward off of the rails.

As to the laser: in addition to my reservations mentioned above I view it's primary function as intimidation; many people don't seem to realize that a laser on a handgun only really helps if you are already a good shot. Frankly I can fire faster and more accurately with the sights than I can with the laser. While the laser does allow some versatility (like firing accurately from 'the hip' or in reduced lighting conditions) I would never have bought one separately to mount on the gun. On the other hand it's a neat-o gadget and I'm a guy, so I won't be removing it! I'll practice with it and will try to learn to get the most out of it. The manufacturer recommends that you not dry-fire these guns, so Snap-Caps will be needed for practice.

If the gun continues to display the reliability that it has so far I'd have no qualms about recommending this gun for low-profile concealed carry, with the same caveat that I always apply that the user practice extensively!

Addendum: The week after I wrote this review on a whim I loaded the magazine with empty cartridge cases and hand-cycled them through the gun. The empty cases chambered and ejected without a bobble. Extraordinary!

Further Addendum: After firing 700 rounds the long projection on the ejector broke. I called the factory and they promptly sent me a new ejector, no questions asked. The amazing thing was that the with the broken extractor the gun would experience intermittent failures to eject with low-powered 'range ammo,' but it continued to function flawlessly with high-powered defensive ammo. This gun has been sold on to a friend who promptly named it 'Winona.' If you understand that reference you are well and truly a geek; I got it immediately of course.

Last edited by Tinker Pearce; 02-03-2013 at 08:07 AM. Reason: needed editing
Join PNW Guns

Welcome to PNW Guns, a gun and firearm community for gun owners in the Pacific Northwest. We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the PNW Guns family!

Old 12-27-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
Betty Rocker's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2013
From: Gresham, OR
Posts: 10
Thanks for this review! I am pretty new to firearms, but had decided a while back that I was going to buy a handgun and wanted something concealable. I was originally looking at ruger 380 lcp, but felt it was much too small to actually hold comfortably and shoot. The keltec was the best fit for my grip. I have only put about 100 rounds thru it, but the kick is actually helping me become a better shot.,
Old 12-27-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
sunofnun's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2009
From: s. greenlake bitch
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by Betty Rocker View Post
the kick is actually helping me become a better shot.,

Nice work!! Lots of folks don't realize that shooting a small pistol is really difficult.. and when you get proficient, it makes you far better with a longer gun. have you ever shot a 1911?
Old 12-28-2013, 02:43 AM   #4
Betty Rocker's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2013
From: Gresham, OR
Posts: 10
No, I haven't shot a 1911, I have mostly shot glocks before buying the PF9. But I hear 1911s are pretty nice guns.
Old 12-29-2013, 01:21 AM   #5
richardlpalmer's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2009
From: Kirkland, WA
Posts: 1,318
Excellent review. Thanks!

I have an LCP but it's not the easiest gun to shoot. I mean, in a SHTF moment it'd be just fine. But for practice at the range it's not as easy as you might think. The Sig P238 is MUCH easier to shoot comfortably and reliably.

And Betty, 1911s are wonderful guns -- they're notably thin, as they're magazines are single stack rather than the double stack of the Glocks you've been shooting.
Old 12-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
Betty Rocker's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2013
From: Gresham, OR
Posts: 10
I have heard that Sigs are also a great guns. I hear alot of negatives about Keltec, but for the price, am I really expecting much? NO. I decided to go with a 9 mm because 380 ammo is just about as hard to find as 22 LR. It was a good bargain new. I have noticed that the kel tec is a bit finnicky, but again, this really doesn't bother me. Since I am basically learning to shoot on my own, I dont mind that i have a few hiccups. It helps me learn faster. I really am much more into rifles, but in the urban area I live in, there isn't that much use for them.

  PNW Guns > PNW Guns > Reviews

keltec, modified, pf9

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Facebook @pnwguns PNW Guns RSS Feed

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2009 - 2010 PNW Guns. All rights reserved.