Kel Tec PF-9 User Review (With Pic)

This is a discussion on Kel Tec PF-9 User Review (With Pic) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Range Report As promised in this thread , I will pass along my findings and thoughts on the PF-9 after a day at the range ...

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Thread: Kel Tec PF-9 User Review (With Pic)

  1. #1
    Member Array Soular's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Kel Tec PF-9 User Review (With Pic)

    Range Report
    As promised in this thread, I will pass along my findings and thoughts on the PF-9 after a day at the range and a day of carry. If you are not up for a long read, skip to the bottom and read the nutshell review.

    The Bad

    OUCH!
    Fit & Finish: This is where Kel Tec takes the biggest hit. Out of the box, this is an EXTREMELY painful gun to hold much less shoot. Anyone who says otherwise is either a Kel Tec fanboy that is in denial, or has never shot a quality (read expensive) handgun. Notice I say OUT OF THE BOX. You have to know when you are buying a sub $300 handgun that they have to minimize manufacturing costs wherever possible. Fortunately they spent their money on what counts. What you end up with out of the box (or what I ended up with anyway) is an extremely well designed and reliable firearm that needs a little attention to detail. In the matter of a little over an hour, and for about $15, I was able to transform this gun from a 2 to an 8 on a scale from 1-10 in comfort. One piece of fine, and one piece of ultra fine sandpaper and a Hogue Handall Jr. are the necessary parts. All of the seams on the frame are sharp and need some love from the sandpaper. In particular, the trigger, trigger guard, and rear of the front of the grip. Kel Tek was a bit overzealous on their grip texture as the rear of the gun has what are essentially vertical polymer blades that will literally cut the webbing in your palm. I sanded them off completely at the bottom (the portions not covered by the Hogue grips). I will underline this for emphasis, because I cannot convey properly the world of difference that this <$10 piece of rubber makes. The Hogue Handall Jr. MAKES this gun! Kel Tec should just include one in the box, or better yet, integrate it into the design of the grip.

    The Good

    Reliability: I shot 200 rounds of WWB, and 25 rounds of Federal Tactical HST 124g +p and had ZERO failures of any kind. Casings were ejected away from my face, as they should be. VERY please with reliability and it gets my nod of approval and is now in my EDC rotation.

    Accuracy: Pleasantly surprised! I will not reference group size because I am probably the limiting factor on any of my weapons, but my groups are better than with my Glocks and only slightly behind my top groups which are with a Sig 229 w/ a DA/SA trigger. The sights are easy to see in low lighting and the front sight is easily acquired during drills.

    Ergonomics: While the basics of weight and size are easily seen on paper, some guns are just not well balanced or feel awkward when held or fired. I am partial to the grip angle on my Glocks, and also fond of the 229, and the feel of this gun is not quite on that level, but it is really good. I prefer it over my LCP and find it equal to the PPS.

    Comfort / Shoot ability: You have seen the bad listed above, so I will only be referring here to post work sanding and Hogue installation. I shot 250 rounds through this gun in about 1.5 Hrs. While I was there, I also shot another 100 rounds through several other handguns. My hand was not sore or even uncomfortable. The grip and DIY melt work made a very real difference in the handling if this gun. That being said, I will probably never shoot more than 50-100 rounds through this gun at the range again. (Just like my LCP) Just enough to retain my confidence and familiarity with it, but most of my range time and drills will be relegated to the Glocks and Sigs.

    Nutshell
    Kel Tec has managed to design and build a reliable and extremely concealable weapon that is priced so that anyone can obtain it. You can buy this gun and carry it stock, but you are doing yourself an injustice. Take the time, do the work that Kel Tec cannot afford to do at this price point. Round the sharp edges, add a Hogue or equivalent grip sleeve and ENJOY both concealing and shooting this great little gun.



    -Soular
    Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. -C. S. Lewis

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the well written review.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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    Excellent review. It is a good firearm for the price and maybe even a little more.
    "Mind own business"
    "Always cut cards"

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Fantastic review and great work on improving the ergonomics and comfort of the gun. I have a Hogue Handall grip on my HK USP Compact and it makes a world of difference in terms of ergonomics, comfort and recoil reduction. Plus, it just looks awesome!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soular View Post
    Anyone who says otherwise is either a Kel Tec fanboy that is in denial, or has never shot a quality (read expensive) handgun.
    That statement is a bit disingenuous. I can say without a bit of fanboism having shot my fair share of expensive guns I find the grip of a gen 3 glock 17 10 times more uncomfortable to hold then the PF9. As far as shooting goes your right. The problem is because up until now it has been the lightest semi auto 9mm on the market that there has been nothing to compare it to. The trigger sucks horribly.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    When I got mine for Christmas a couple years ago I proceeded to shoot over 200 rounds through it. I didn't find it painful or really all that uncomfortable.
    I really love mine and would love to get another to go with it. Great review thanks .

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    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    great review and congrats on the new Kel Tec

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    I enjoy a thorough review, either pro or con, even if I don't happen to agree. Kel-Tec is nearby (an hour's drive), and has something of a hit-or-miss reputation. That's the price one pays for producing "inexpensive" firearms, but they do seem to attempt to make things right. There are probably many more happy Kel-Tec owners than unhappy, and that goes for every brand, regardless of price.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Member Array Lateck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review. I'm looking for a smaller gun then my SR9c... I am waiting on the P250 or LC9 but the Kel-Tec has been on my list...

    Lateck,
    Proud Ruger & SIG owner, in the Free State of Arizona

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    Member Array Soular's Avatar
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    I did want to add that the reviewed gun is the Hard Chrome version and was purchased new in Jan 2011 from a dealer with fairly high stock rotation. The serial number is in the "RTLXX" series. I only mention this because I am aware of some problems that earlier models may have experienced. Also, as OldVet eludes to, there does seem to be some fairly significant sample variation, so keep in mind that I am reviewing the sample that I ended up with. YMMV.
    Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. -C. S. Lewis

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    VIP Member Array Brass63's Avatar
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    Great review Soular. I have an identical HC version, and found everything you said to be true.
    Shooting it, even with the Houge grip, reminds me a little of holding a firecracker. (Don't ask me how I know.)
    Not excited about the trigger. But it's been 100% reliable.
    It's the perfect BUG.
    I'm not letting mine go.
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    Member Array Geezer Glide's Avatar
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    I've never figured out why Kel Tec put a rail on a pocket gun. I sanded the sharp edges of the slot that goes across the rail on mine. Those sharp edges wanted to snag when drawing from a pocket holster.

    Mine is in my front pocket almost daily. It ain't goin' nowhere.

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    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Great review and thanks. My Dad just bought a PF-9. When the weather turns nicer we are going to go wring it out.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. PSALM 144:1

    I CLING to my guns and my Bible.

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    Senior Member Array GlockJS's Avatar
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    Nice report. I'm one of the few(as it seems) that took my Kel Tec PF9 right out the box and kept it just that way. No grips, no sanding, no nothing.

    It shoots well, hasn't failed, or jumped outta my hand when firing to date. She's sitting in my front pocket right now as I type.
    Glock 26 9mm, Ruger LCR .357mag

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    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."-Clint Smith

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    Member Array nizachon's Avatar
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    Great review, Soular, thank you!

    Would you mind re-posting your review at Kel-Tec Owner's Group Forum (PF-9)?
    Last edited by nizachon; January 30th, 2011 at 02:38 PM.

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