Kahr Advice, Please: New MK9 with FTE Problems

This is a discussion on Kahr Advice, Please: New MK9 with FTE Problems within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I started a thread abut a week ago over at a kahrtalk.com about my first impressions and break-in of my new Kahr MK9. Experienced a ...

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Thread: Kahr Advice, Please: New MK9 with FTE Problems

  1. #1
    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Kahr Advice, Please: New MK9 with FTE Problems

    I started a thread abut a week ago over at a kahrtalk.com about my first impressions and break-in of my new Kahr MK9. Experienced a few malfunctions during break in, but was willing to overlook them. I have now had 3 total range sessions, however, and am continuing to experience FTE problems. While I was willing to overlook these issue during (and immediately after) break-in, I am now (after 410 rounds) starting to worry about the gun's reliability. Below is the range session break down. I would greatly appreciate all advice!

    First Session:
    Rounds Fired: 135
    Ammunition: Combination of WWB and Federal Champion (both from Walmart)
    FTE: 4
    FTF: 2 (all after FTEs)
    None of the failures were ammo or mag (six rund vs. seven round) specific

    Second Session:
    Rounds Fired: 140
    Ammunition: Combination of WWB and Federal Champion (both from Walmart)
    FTE: 3
    The first two malfunctions happened within the 200 round break-in period. They also happened in instances where I chambered a round, removed the magazine and topped it off so as to recreate +1 scenarios (6+1 and 7+1 depending on the magazine). After that session, I was not sure if malfunctions were shooter induced by improperly loading the top round after chambering one. The third malfunction happened well after completing the break-in, but I cannot rule out shooter error, as I was pretty tired by that time and could have limp-wristed it.

    Third Session:
    Rounds Fired: 135
    Ammunition: Federal Champion (124 rds) and Federal Hydrashock JHP (11 rds)
    FTE: 5
    FTF: 2 (all after FTEs)
    First 70 rounds went off without malfunctions, at which point I tried to test my +1 theory (mags topped of with one in pipe are prone to failures). Sure enough, the second round (the one that I added to the mag after chambering one) failed to eject. This happened with both the 6 and 7 round mags. Theory confirmed, right? Well, perhaps not. While the next mag (6 rounder) had no malfunctions, the one immediately after (7 rounder) had 2 FTEs and 1 FTFeed, which happened after trying to clear the first FTE. Had 1 additional FTE with the next mag (a six rounder). The next 31 rounds (24 loaded in 6 rounder and 7 in the seven round mag) went off without failures of any kind. None of the failures were with the (few) JHP rounds shot. I should note that, in an attempt to eliminate shooter error in loading the mags, I used a Maglula to load all rounds fired.

    I really love this gun, but am starting to worry about its reliability (or lack thereof). What do you think might be the issue? Or am I making much ado about nothing? Should I contact Kahr, or would I be jumping the proverbial gun?

    As a reminder, I bought the gun new, so the 410 rounds detailed above are the only ones that have been fired through it.

    Thanks in advance for your time,
    DSS
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    Let's clear up a little ambiguity. By "FTF" do you mean failure to FEED or failure to FIRE? I assume the former, but please clarify.

    I think you have ruled out ammo as a problem. The failure to feed only happens after a failure to eject, so that problem likely goes away if the FTE does. So lets look at ejection. I would strip the slide off the gun and look closely at the extractor. Does it look broken at all (Kahr extractors have some complex shapes, so without another one to compare to it might be hard to tell)? Slip a live round under the extractor. Does the case stay in place even if you shake the slide a bit? The extractor should hold a case against gravity, but also not be so tight that it's hard to remove it.

    Then look at the breech face. Should be reasonably smooth. Any burrs or anything appearing unusual?

    Does the firing pin indentation on fired cases look uniform, or does it look teardrop shaped? The latter indicates a timing problem, such as the gun unlocking too soon after firing, before the firing pin has rebounded clear of the breech face.

    Next, take the barrel out of the slide and drop a round into the chamber. Does it slide right in, or do you have to push it in to seat it? A rough or tight or dirty chamber can grab a round so tightly the extractor will jump off the cartridge rim when the slide cycles. Inadequate extractor spring force will have the same effect. There is a tiny coil spring applying axial force on the Kahr extractor, and if it's bad that could also be the source of the problem.

    Lastly, you might disassemble the slide if you're mechanically inclined. There is some good guidance on YouTube, just search for "disassemble Kahr slide". When I stripped my CW9 I was surprised at the metal shavings that came out when I flushed it clean, but none was big enough to interfere with proper operation. Just not as clean as I would have hoped for.

    Those are just a few things to look at, which might save you the hassle of shipping a gun back to the factory. But if you're not sure what you're looking for, give Kahr a call and describe the problems you're having.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Let's clear up a little ambiguity. By "FTF" do you mean failure to FEED or failure to FIRE? I assume the former, but please clarify.

    I think you have ruled out ammo as a problem. The failure to feed only happens after a failure to eject, so that problem likely goes away if the FTE does. So lets look at ejection. I would strip the slide off the gun and look closely at the extractor. Does it look broken at all (Kahr extractors have some complex shapes, so without another one to compare to it might be hard to tell)? Slip a live round under the extractor. Does the case stay in place even if you shake the slide a bit? The extractor should hold a case against gravity, but also not be so tight that it's hard to remove it.

    Then look at the breech face. Should be reasonably smooth. Any burrs or anything appearing unusual?

    Does the firing pin indentation on fired cases look uniform, or does it look teardrop shaped? The latter indicates a timing problem, such as the gun unlocking too soon after firing, before the firing pin has rebounded clear of the breech face.

    Next, take the barrel out of the slide and drop a round into the chamber. Does it slide right in, or do you have to push it in to seat it? A rough or tight or dirty chamber can grab a round so tightly the extractor will jump off the cartridge rim when the slide cycles. Inadequate extractor spring force will have the same effect. There is a tiny coil spring applying axial force on the Kahr extractor, and if it's bad that could also be the source of the problem.

    Lastly, you might disassemble the slide if you're mechanically inclined. There is some good guidance on YouTube, just search for "disassemble Kahr slide". When I stripped my CW9 I was surprised at the metal shavings that came out when I flushed it clean, but none was big enough to interfere with proper operation. Just not as clean as I would have hoped for.

    Those are just a few things to look at, which might save you the hassle of shipping a gun back to the factory. But if you're not sure what you're looking for, give Kahr a call and describe the problems you're having.
    Many thanks for your thorough response, Smitty. I will try my hand at your recommendations and report back. To clear up any ambiguity, I was indeed referring to failures to feed.

    Regards,
    DSS
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Good advice but I wouldn't have spent that many rounds befor calling Kahr. Sounds like extraction issues. You nan check for obvious things but it may just need to be tuned. Once you get it back it should be good but I know its a pain sending in a new gun! The post above is good.

    Gideon

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Let's clear up a little ambiguity. By "FTF" do you mean failure to FEED or failure to FIRE? I assume the former, but please clarify.

    I think you have ruled out ammo as a problem. The failure to feed only happens after a failure to eject, so that problem likely goes away if the FTE does. So lets look at ejection. I would strip the slide off the gun and look closely at the extractor. Does it look broken at all (Kahr extractors have some complex shapes, so without another one to compare to it might be hard to tell)? Slip a live round under the extractor. Does the case stay in place even if you shake the slide a bit? The extractor should hold a case against gravity, but also not be so tight that it's hard to remove it.

    Then look at the breech face. Should be reasonably smooth. Any burrs or anything appearing unusual?

    Does the firing pin indentation on fired cases look uniform, or does it look teardrop shaped? The latter indicates a timing problem, such as the gun unlocking too soon after firing, before the firing pin has rebounded clear of the breech face.

    Next, take the barrel out of the slide and drop a round into the chamber. Does it slide right in, or do you have to push it in to seat it? A rough or tight or dirty chamber can grab a round so tightly the extractor will jump off the cartridge rim when the slide cycles. Inadequate extractor spring force will have the same effect. There is a tiny coil spring applying axial force on the Kahr extractor, and if it's bad that could also be the source of the problem.

    Lastly, you might disassemble the slide if you're mechanically inclined. There is some good guidance on YouTube, just search for "disassemble Kahr slide". When I stripped my CW9 I was surprised at the metal shavings that came out when I flushed it clean, but none was big enough to interfere with proper operation. Just not as clean as I would have hoped for.

    Those are just a few things to look at, which might save you the hassle of shipping a gun back to the factory. But if you're not sure what you're looking for, give Kahr a call and describe the problems you're having.
    Smitty: Tried some of your suggestions and here are my observations.

    1) The extractor does not appear damaged or broken, at least to my untrained eye.

    2) Slipped a round under the extractor, and it retained it against gravity and some slight shaking without making it difficult to remove.

    3) The breech face looks and feels smooth and free of nicks and burrs.

    4) The round slid right into the chamber without any force or resistance.

    5) Pimer strike indentations on fired cartridges are consistent and on par with the pictures on the Kahr manual (note that the manual states that slightly odd-shaped indentations are normal in Khars given their operation).

    The only thing I did not try (because I am not mechanically inclined at all) was to disassemble the slide.

    I think I will just reach out to Kahr tomorrow.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Best,
    DSS
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gideon. That's exactly what I'll do. DSS
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    Quote Originally Posted by dss07 View Post
    Smitty: Tried some of your suggestions and here are my observations.

    1) The extractor does not appear damaged or broken, at least to my untrained eye.

    2) Slipped a round under the extractor, and it retained it against gravity and some slight shaking without making it difficult to remove.

    3) The breech face looks and feels smooth and free of nicks and burrs.

    4) The round slid right into the chamber without any force or resistance.

    5) Pimer strike indentations on fired cartridges are consistent and on par with the pictures on the Kahr manual (note that the manual states that slightly odd-shaped indentations are normal in Khars given their operation).

    The only thing I did not try (because I am not mechanically inclined at all) was to disassemble the slide.

    I think I will just reach out to Kahr tomorrow.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Best,
    DSS
    Let us know what they do for you!
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Called Kahr today. After describing the problem and what I had done to trouble-shoot it, they concluded that a gunsmith had to look at firearm. I live in DC, so sending and receiving a handgun is a veritable nightmare. But I just don't feel comfortable ignoring the FTE issues, especially because it is a brand new firearm. So I will likely be making arrangements to ship to them in the next few weeks.

    Will keep you all posted.

    DSS
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    New Member Array xaman's Avatar
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    I can send you a pic of a new / undamaged extractor, since I just replaced mine and the spring. Of course, mine was well used, so there was more reason to go to those lengths. There's no reason for yours to be damaged unless you've been dropping the slide on a chambered round, Kahr says that will eat up the extractor.

    The slide disassembly isn't that difficult. I'm not mechanically inclined, but made it through without too much aggravation.

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xaman View Post
    I can send you a pic of a new / undamaged extractor, since I just replaced mine and the spring. Of course, mine was well used, so there was more reason to go to those lengths. There's no reason for yours to be damaged unless you've been dropping the slide on a chambered round, Kahr says that will eat up the extractor.

    The slide disassembly isn't that difficult. I'm not mechanically inclined, but made it through without too much aggravation.
    Thanks, xaman. Those pictures would definitely come handy.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    Member Array dss07's Avatar
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    Received my MK9 back from the mother-ship today. Service invoice states that they replaced the recoil spring and ejector, test fired with positive results (no mention of round count), and lubed the firearm. Not sure when I will have a chance to take her to the range, but will report back as soon as I do.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    S&W M&P9
    Kahr MK9

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I'm interested in reading your results
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