When choos­ing a con­ceal-car­ry-weapon (CCW), I had many things to con­sid­er.

1) Con­ceal­a­bil­i­ty in typ­i­cal cloth­ing worn in Hous­ton, Texas

2) Stop­ping pow­er, includ­ing reli­a­bil­i­ty.

3) Avail­abil­i­ty and price of ammu­ni­tion, both pre and post-SHTF.

4) Bud­get — I was will­ing to spend >$1000 for a qual­i­ty car­ry weapon.

The trade-off that struck me imme­di­ate­ly was con­ceal-abil­i­ty ver­sus stop­ping pow­er. Cer­tain­ly, I would love to car­ry a full-framed .45 on a dai­ly basis, but my typ­i­cal cloth­ing will not allow it. That is, in order for me to prop­er­ly con­ceal the weapon, it had to fit in the front pock­et of jeans, dock­ers or pock­et-shorts. The only .45 that was close to the required size was a Glock G36 and even that was too large. So, my options imme­di­ate­ly nar­rowed to a small frame 9 mm. I dis­missed a .380 as it objec­tive­ly has less stop­ping pow­er than a JHP 9 mm round. .380 ammo is also more expen­sive and more rare than 9 mm.

As I sur­veyed the range of avail­able com­pact 9 mm, I got a strong rec­om­men­da­tion for a Kahr PM9. It fit my cri­te­ria for con­ceal-abil­i­ty and stop­ping pow­er as well as has a good rep­u­ta­tion for reli­a­bil­i­ty and dura­bil­i­ty.


Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I was not able to shoot this gun pri­or to buy­ing it. I was able to shoot a Kahr P9 which is the larg­er mod­el and was hap­py with both the accu­ra­cy and recoil. Since it fit all my buy­ing para­me­ters, I pur­chased it. As you can see from the pic­ture above, it is a small gun, with not enough room to fit all four fin­gers and thumb on the grip. While this does present some accu­ra­cy and recoil issues, I still am able to accu­rate­ly shoot out to 15–20 yards. With the avail­able extend­ed mag­a­zine, accu­ra­cy improves some­what. How­ev­er, for con­ceal-abil­i­ty, a six round mag­a­zine will be required where­as the sev­en round mag­a­zine can be car­ried as a spare. Note that the gun can be used on a 6 + 1 or 7 +1 con­fig­u­ra­tion.

The oth­er issue with the PM9 is a lack of a safe­ty. This is off­set by a very tight trig­ger and a long trig­ger pull. To me, not hav­ing a safe­ty makes the PM9 sim­i­lar to a dou­ble action revolver. Since I am used to shoot­ing dou­ble action, this is not an issue for me.  Not hav­ing a safe­ty increas­es the risk of an acci­den­tal dis­charge, but is also one less thing to remem­ber in a defen­sive sit­u­a­tion. The trig­ger is smooth, but requires prac­tice to main­tain prop­er accu­ra­cy.

To date, I have put 300 rounds through the gun with three issues. There were two feed­ing fail­ures with reg­u­lar range ammo and one fir­ing pin fail­ure. I also had trou­bles with JHP ammu­ni­tion get­ting stuck when loaded in a 7+1 con­fig­u­ra­tion. It was then dif­fi­cult to man­u­al­ly eject a round from the cham­ber.  I nev­er had ejec­tion prob­lems while fir­ing the weapon and can­not con­sis­tent­ly recre­ate the JHP man­u­al ejec­tion issue.  I am left to assume that the ammo had some abnor­mal­i­ty that caused the issue.

Over­all, I am hap­py with the PM9. It can be con­cealed, has suf­fi­cient stop­ping pow­er and high­ly-avail­able and rea­son­ably-priced ammu­ni­tion. It is my hope that the feed­ing prob­lems will be min­i­mal as the break in peri­od pass­es.  If you are look­ing for a sub­com­pact 9 mm, my rec­om­men­da­tion is to seri­ous­ly con­sid­er a Kahr PM9.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email