Range Report -- Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact (ongoing)
Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact: Range Report #1
This is intended to be an ongoing history of working my new Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact pistol at the range. I will track the number of shots, jams/failures, goal while at the range, general comments on ergonomics and performance, and cleanings ... over the life of the pistol, from new. Each range session, I will come back and post further comments as to performance, what I'm trying to achieve at the range sessions, how the gun's parts are holding up, how recent gunsmithing changes are working, and so on.
Hopefully, someone will find this useful, either when considering purchase of a PM9 or as a reference for reliability.
Gun -- Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact polymer pistol, with 7rd "extended" magazines and factory tritium night sights.
Purpose -- Evaluating for possible daily concealed carry, at this time.
July 20, 2006 -- First range session, after purchase.
Rounds -- 150 shots, varying between FMJ range rounds, 100 JHP and 100 JHP +P.
- Goal -- Begin the break-in process on this gun, to evaluate for possible use as a go-everywhere concealed carry weapon.
- Initial Field Strip and Cleaning -- Disassembled prior to range session and fully cleaned the gun. With an oiled patch, cleaned the barrel, rails, guide rod, magazine well, all magazines and followers. Wiped down all surfaces with a dry cloth. Re-oiled all friction surfaces with a lightly-oiled patch. Cycled slide 10x.
- Problem During Field Strip -- Interestingly, the slide failed to come off, after I took, out the slide stop, flicked the trigger and attempted to remove it. For about a full minute, nothing I could do would make the slide either come off the frame's rails or cycle back along the rails. It was jammed within about a half-inch range of movement. Finally got it to move. Looking at the rails on the frame, small areas of chewed plastic appeared both at the fore/aft edges of "holes" along the rails, as well as on the "corners" of the rails. The problem isn't in the "well" of the rails, where the slide's rail runs. It's more of the extraneous areas on the plastic, perhaps flashing and not the exact rail surface. Unknown if this is normal, as this is my first polymer pistol. Unknown if this is actually causing any problems. Just noting the symptoms I am finding, both visually and functionally. Tried reinstalling and removing the slide a handful of times, each with the same result: stuck slide for a brief period. Strange. Disheartening, as this is the first pistol in 15yrs of shooting that has ever done this, across dozens of guns I've disassembled.
- Feel -- This is a small gun. A bit wide, similar to a small Glock, but shorter and with a very slim/short grip and frame. Feels far smaller than a Colt Officer's 1911. It's amazingly light in the hand, about the weight of a S&W 442 Airweight revolver. Points very well, though point of aim appears to be a bit high and to the left of where it should be (by a small degree).
- Grip -- Slim and short. Definitely shorter (less height) than a Colt Officer's 1911 frame. I have reasonably wide hands, such that smaller frames are generally a problem. With the right pistol, I'm prepared to give up this, so long as control is still maintained and concealability is served. The slim nature is wonderful, for concealment. It reminds me of the ultra-slim Browning BDM, which is amazingly flat for a double-stack setup. This PM9 is ultra-slim in a single-stack format. Very flat. Very concealable. Short such that only two fingers can get a good purchase with the stock 6rd magazine, though the 7rd "extension" magazine affords plenty of grip area. Checkering/lines on the frame afford good purchase, yet don't bite hard into the hand even across 250 rds.
- Magazine Eject Button -- Very much out of the way, even though I'm shooting left-handed. Easy to manipulate. No sharp edges on this button.
- Ergonomics – Fairly nice. A bit too thin to make it feel natural. A bit too short to be a good plinking gun. But it points naturally and otherwise feels good in the hand. The slide is a good half of the overall weight of the gun, so it definitely feels top heavy. Strange feeling, but easily overcome. To me, Kahrs are typically extremely sharp-edged. This PM9 isn't bad. They've done about a "half-melt" process on the gun, to eliminate the worst of this. Will be fine for concealed carry. The sharpest edges are on the tritium night sights. The slide stop pin/lever seems to have been skipped during any "melt" procedure, though perhaps that's by design, as it is not a problem.
- Shots -- 50rds Remington/UMC FMJ, 100rds Remington JHP, 100rds Federal/Tactical JHP +P. Mostly, I shot 7+1 using the 7rd magazine. That is, cycled one round into the chamber and then topped off the magazine, then I let 'er rip.
- Usage –- 22 magazines of 7+1. A couple of mags done in ~5% low-light conditions.
- Aim -- (Left-handed shooter, BTW.) Did not focus on considering the point-of-aim, as this range session was about the break-in process. The POA appears to be a bit off, sighting a bit high and to the left. Further testing will consider this.
- Ejection – Fairly consistent, sharp ejects. Brass ejected hard and behind me, slightly to the right.
- Slide Action -- Stiff slide, when racking the slide manually. Should loosen up as several hundred rounds are put through it.
- Jams/failures -- Three failures to feed (FTF). No failures to eject (FTE). In each case of FTF, racking the slide resolved the problem and the slide went into battery with a round in the chamber. Likely, these failures are a combination of (a) the stiff springs, (b) a barrel ramp that needs polishing and possibly (c) the slide/rame rail failure to rack/disassemble (though this last element is a guess).
- Holstering -- No holster, at this point. In anticipation of keeping this as my primary backup gun, I have a pocket holster being made by K&D. Will review this at a future time.
- Cleaning at Range -- Given the slide racking/disassembly problems noted above, I did stop a couple of times to do a simple field strip and lube during the range session. Same slide problem. Gouges in the plastic on the frame's rails continued to grow in side and degree of "chewing" that was evident.
Overall, so far this is a mixed bag. It feels reasonably good in the hand, though the ultra-slim nature takes a hundred rounds to get used to. It's a compromise, but one that can be easily handled. It shoots very, very well, with natural pointing and good accuracy. Reliable performance. Three FTF's are normal, given a brand new pistol and being early on in the break-in process. Will monitor this element, though I anticipate this will go away over time. All controls are easily manipulated.
Range Report #3 -- Kahr PM9 9mm subcompact -- Sept 6, 2006
Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact: Range Report #3
Today, I sent another 100 rds of FMJ through the PM9. Short session. This is the third range session for this PM9.
Gun -- Kahr PM9 9mm sub-compact polymer pistol, with 7rd "extended" magazines.
Purpose -- Evaluating for possible daily concealed carry.
Date -- September 6, 2006
Rounds -- 100 rounds of Remington FMJ 115gr 9mm.
- Goal -- Brief session today, to focus on simple feeding and reliability. Lots of one-shot cycling; lots of magazine changes; lots of cycling of the slide.
- Field Strip and Cleaning -- Disassembled prior to range session and fully cleaned the gun. With an oiled patch, cleaned the barrel, rails, guide rod, magazine well, all magazines and followers. Wiped down all surfaces with a dry cloth. Re-oiled all friction surfaces with a lightly-oiled patch. Cycled slide 10x.
- Feel -- Still feels stiff and new, but there haven't been many rounds through this pistol, yet.
- Shots -- 100 rounds of Remington (green box) FMJ 115gr 9mm range ammo.
- Usage –- 15 mags of 7+1. Mmostly done one-shot, then cycled, then another shot, then cycled, etc.
- Aim -- (Left-handed shooter, BTW.) All shots at 50ft, using 8" paper plates on a cardboard backing. My eyes don't focus well in the dim light of my indoor range at 50ft, so my accuracy was pretty bad. Most shots tended to strike a couple/three inches low and to the right. This corresponds with ~1.5" POA differences @ 10yds, during prior range sessions (also impacing low and to the right of POA).
- Ejection –- Mostly, brass kicked out hard behind me, slightly to the right.
- Slide Action -- The slide is still quite stiff, being a new gun. It is continuing to loosen up, some. But it's still not buttery smooth like other guns I have (CZ P01, Browning BDM). Part of the reason is that it's so short; partly, because it's plastic-on-metal and still new. Partly, because I am focusing very hard on minute differences, problems, in order to gauge its reliability and character.
- Jams/failures -- Six FTF, total. Two during normal cycling after a shot, and four during manual racking of the slide following a magazine change. In each instance, the nose of the bullet dipped low into the chamber and jammed up below the feed ramp. I'm pretty sure that each jammed up in very nearly the same place. Four were in the 7rd magazine, while two were in the 6rd magazine. That's six FTF today, same as last session. Six in 100 rounds fired. 6% failure. That's pretty damned bad, by any standard. Uncertain of the cause(s), yet.
- Cleaning -- Simple wipe-down and left it uncleaned, as I'll be shooting again on the weekend.
The jamming continues. I don't know whether it's due to the slide's apparent stiffness, or due to sticking of the slide's motion, or due to the magazine lips, followers or springs, or that the feed ramp and cmaber area needs polishing. The slide is still failing to reliably remove during field stripping, though I have had a few quick/easy times with it. That's still disconcerting, to be sure.
No pics, today, since this was such a brief session.
Will probably takes pics this weekend, to continue logging the issues for Kahr's gunsmithing shop. Hopefully they'll be able to offer some advice for the gouges on the plastic slide, and correction for the feeding issues.