Kahr PM9 or S&W 642

Kahr PM9 or S&W 642

This is a discussion on Kahr PM9 or S&W 642 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I want to get something smaller than my H&K P2000SK for the rare times I want something smaller to carry. I'm having a hard time ...

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Thread: Kahr PM9 or S&W 642

  1. #1
    Member Array sbebenelli's Avatar
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    Sep 2008

    Kahr PM9 or S&W 642

    I want to get something smaller than my H&K P2000SK for the rare times I want something smaller to carry.

    I'm having a hard time deciding between the Kahr PM9 or S&W 642. I see a lot of people like the Kahr but I also see some that have problems. It seems like everybody likes the 642. The one without the lock anyway.

    What's the pros and cons of either one?

    I'd be pocket carrying it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array redbird's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I have both and to me the 642 w/ CT grips is more practical for everyday carry. That being said I have pocket carried my PM9 for years and there are times when I am working inter city locations I carry both and a 1911,or a Glock 21, or a Sig 245.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Kansas City
    I have both a PM9 and a Smitty M&P340 J-frame. Honestly it just depends on my pants and which one will work best with what I am wearing that day.

    They are both great firearms. The new Kahrs should have the kinks worked out of them. Sorry not much help on suggesting one over the other.

  4. #4
    Member Array JLeon's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal View Post
    The new Kahrs should have the kinks worked out of them.
    Unfortunately, they still have the peening issue with the PM9. I'm on my second peened barrel.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Eastern NC / Pirate Country
    I to own and carry both of these fine pistols and its a hard pick to choose between the two. It kind of depends on if you prefer semi-autos or revolvers. I guess if I had to carry just one gun it would be the 642 because I think revolvers are simple and generally more reliable. Both are very good options and I lake to have options.

    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

  6. #6
    Member Array SouthernZ71's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    I love my 642 (no lock)
    Very reliable little gun, and goes many many places with me
    Grass Roots North Carolina
    NRA Life Member

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Kansas City
    Quote Originally Posted by JLeon View Post
    Unfortunately, they still have the peening issue with the PM9. I'm on my second peened barrel.

    Define peening. Do you mean the little indentions on the top of the barrel where it meets the slide when the slide is back all the way?

    My PM45 has these, my PM9 does not. They both have been flawless so I am not worried about these on the PM45. If I was worried about it I am sure that a little dremel work would smooth this right out.

  8. #8
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    I have and carry both often. I have to say that the PM9 carrys better in almost every situation, but the little J frame holds it own.

    I've said it a bunch of times and I'll say it again; The PM9 is not a good gun for a newer shooter. Its small, lightweight made with very tight tolerances and you must read directions and follow them.
    Any one of those "problems" can create a bad experiance for the newer shooter, and the Kahr has all of them. But, if you understand that going in and are willing to work with yourself and the pistol, the Kahr's are the way to go in a compact CCW. I've had my PM9 from the first production run and havent had any issues with it. I shoot it a lot.

    The J frame is the standard small gun. Its hard to go wrong with a 642/442. They are quality built, easy to use and carry and pretty darn inexpensive compared to the Kahr. People have been carrying them for generations now, and they have served well. Its tough to argue with the J frames history.
    The downside of the J frame is that it is a complete different platform from what you are used to. Shooting it is different, reloading it is different... everything is different. It will take a little more training to be competant with it.

    I've recently started carrying a 442 as a bug, and have challenged myself to become a wicked scary good with a J frame. It has taken a little more work so far than I expected, I'm so used to an auto platform that I stumbled on reloads and had some trouble on the combat courses, but its worth it. The little J frame has proven itself years ago, and there is no reason why its not a excellent choice now too.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  9. #9
    New Member Array mini14jac's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Both are excellent carry guns.

    They are similar in: size, loaded weight, quaility, power.
    To me, the Kahr was easier to shoot accurately, easier to control, and has a better trigger.
    (The Kahr does have two more shots.)

    Ammo is also cheaper for the 9.

    A lot of new S&W Airweight owners complain about the recoil of the small guns.
    It would be great if you could find one to shoot before buying.
    My wife's 642 was no fun to shoot at all with the small boot grips. But, after I started shooting a 12oz. J frame, her gun was a piece of cake.

    To answer the question about peening:
    It's where the front of the barrel "hood" begins to curl up from repeated impact against the slide.
    It can eventually stop the gun from functioning.
    Some did use a Dremel to remove the "lip" and it came right back.
    If you do a search for "peening" on the Kahr forum on GlockTalk, you'll find plenty of info.
    The bottom line is: if a gun is designed correctly, with quality steel components, you won't have barrel peening.

    My PM9 was flawless for over 2000 rounds, then started to peen.
    I have read reports of guns that have gone many more rounds, with no issues, but other owners are still reporting peening.

    I hope Kahr can resolve this, as the PM9 is close to the ultimate carry gun, in my opinion.

    My current gun for IWB/OWB carry is CW9, and I am very impressed with it.
    "Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle."
    PS. 144:1 NIV

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