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Concealed Carry Pistol Review – Kel-Tec PF-9

I’m going to start a small series of posts on concealed carry pistols, and the pro’s and con’s of each, based on my experience with the pistol. Lets start it off with the Kel-Tec PF-9.

Kel-Tec PF-9

The first pistol I purchased specifically for the purpose of carrying, was a Kel-Tec PF-9. At the time, it was the smallest, thinnest 9mm pistol on the market. I bought it to use as a pocket gun, thinking that having 8 rounds of 9mm in my pocket would make for a great concealed carry pistol. The Kel-Tec comes at a bargain price, I believe I paid under $300 for mine.

The Kel-Tec PF-9 is a double action only (DAO) pistol, meaning that every time the trigger is pulled, the hammer is cocked by the action of the trigger, then released. This results in a long, heavy trigger pull, much like a double action revolver.  This pistol utilizes dual uncaptured recoil springs, which ride on a polymer guide rod. The springs being uncaptured can make for a fun experience the first time you take the pistol down, and shoot the guide rod across the room, where you then have to race your dog to find it, so he doesn’t chew it up before you get to it… ask me how I know…

I’ve fed mine all sorts of ammo, including some very hot +P rounds (which I do not believe are recommended by Kel-Tec) and it has eaten them all without issue, with the exception of some really hot loaded 147gr JHP reloads that I acquired, and even then, I only could make the pistol hiccup once with a double feed.

Being such a small, thin pistol chambered in a service caliber, the PF-9 can be a bit of a handful if you aren’t ready for it. It has a pretty good snap, much like firing .38+P from an airweight revolver. The trigger pull on the PF-9 is pretty long, and heavy, and at least mine has some clicks and pops during the take up, making it hard to shoot with great accuracy, although, I have learned to shoot the pistol well, it definitely takes a LOT of practice to get used to the long, heavy, gritty trigger.

Being a pistol that comes at a lower price point, I could definitely tell that Kel-Tec cut some corners to keep the price low. Mine had a lot of plastic flashing that needed to be cut off with a razor, and the supposedly parkerized finish on the slide began to wear off the first time I placed the pistol into a holster.The general feel of this pistol is poor, and it feels cheap compared to other pistols.

The sights on the PF-9 are a pretty standard 3 dot setup, with a rudimentary adjustable rear sight, and the front is staked onto the slide. To my knowledge there is no option for night sights for the PF-9.

I’m not big on counting rounds, but I would estimate that I have somewhere between 500 and 700 rounds through the PF-9, which I know isn’t very many. During this time this pistol has become very loose where the slide meets the frame. Also, the take-down pin had a small burr left on it at the factory, which has begun to take some gouges out of the slide on the inside.

Overall the PF-9 is an OK pistol. It goes bang, and is about as accurate as you would expect a pocket 9mm to be. It is very slim, and easy to conceal, although it may be a little too big for pocket carry. Recoil is sharp, and mine at least, does not like the heavier 147gr loads.The overall fit, and finish is poor, and the trigger is pretty bad as well.Being that mine has loosened up so much, I do not have much faith in it when it comes to concealed carry, so it tends to stay in the safe, unless I absolutely, positively cannot carry any other pistol.

Overall, I’d give it a C.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

One comment

  1. Kevin Boaz (Scari)

    Not to mention how the pistol hurts the webbing between the thumb and forefinger, I had one and after about 2-3 mags that area always was hurting me so I'd just stop practicing with it for the day. Overall a decent pistol for what it is but I don't think I'll go out of my way to grab another.

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