The Truth About George Zimmerman’s Kel Tec PF-9

We’ve published three reviews of the Kel Tec PF-9 over the years, but RF thought it would be a good idea to provide a brief overview for the less gun-savvy readers Googling onto our website in the aftermath of that shooting in Florida. So here’s the quick and dirty run down . . .

The PF-9′s made by Kel Tec. The Florida-based gunmaker didn’t get to the top of the American sales charts by making the world’s best firearms; Kel Tec makes acceptable firearms at a reasonable price. They’re not bad, but they’re not top-tier firearms either.

The Kel Tec PF9 is a self-defense handgun, pure and simple. There are no bells and whistles. For example, there’s no external safety (a switch that must be flicked for the gun to fire), no flared magazine well (a wider opening to make it easier to put bullets/cartridges into the gun under pressure).

The PF-9 is classified as a sub-compact handgun. In other words, it’s an extremely small firearm that’s relatively easy to conceal. As Kel Tec’s website proclaims, the PF-9 is one of the lightest (18.2 oz. fully loaded) and flattest (0.88″ wide) 9mm pistols made.

The PF-9 is what’s called a “double action only” handgun. When you pull the trigger, the movement cocks (pulls backwards) and releases (allows forwards) the hammer (the bit that strikes the cartridge, ignites the charge and sends the bullet out of the muzzle). In that sense, the PF-9 shoots like a revolver (that hasn’t been pre-cocked).

Only worse. The PF-9′s trigger requires less finger effort than most revolvers (5 lbs. of force) but there’s little to no “feel.” You don’t know exactly when the hammer will release. This makes the PF-9 hard to shoot accurately over long distances—unless you have lots of skill and plenty of practice.

That’s not really a problem. Most violent encounters happen at “bad breath” distances; the closer the target the less accuracy required. The PF-9 is more than accurate enough for close-in self-defense.

The PF-9 shoots America’s most popular “caliber” (bullet size): 9mm. Before the recent development of the PF-9 and similar sub-compacts, small guns shot smaller bullets. The 9mm caliber PF-9 generates more muzzle energy (roughly speaking “force”) and shoots a greater variety of less expensive ammunition than the previous generation of sub-compacts.

There are a few drawback to the PF-9′s size . . .

1. The PF-9 tends to get caught-up in clothing when a shooter tries to remove it in a hurry.

Carrying the gun in a proper holster and practicing drawing it from concealment dramatically reduces the chances of this potential problem. But many people who carry handguns this small and (let’s face it) cheap don’t “invest” in a good holster or spend much time practicing unholstering at the range. Even worse there are a number of people who simply pop one of these in a pocket and carry it that way, which makes getting the gun out and into the fight extremely difficult.

2.  Shooting the PF-9 creates considerable recoil: the equal and opposite reaction that occurs when the explosion inside the gun sends the bullet forwards.

The smaller the gun, the harder it is to control the recoil for follow-up shots. Recoil can also be painful; reducing the chances that the PF-9′s owner will practice shooting their gun.

3. Small guns are more likely to malfunction than their bigger brothers.

A shooter has to grip a gun like the PF-9 properly for the firearm to cycle (eject a spent cartridge and load another bullet). Smaller guns are harder to grip than bigger guns. And small guns can be ammo sensitive; failing to feed or fire or eject certain types of ammo.

The Kel Tec PF-9 retails for $333. (Gun stores usually sell the PF-9 for a little under three bills.) A roughly similar Ruger LC9 retails for $443, while a “baby Glock” retails for $438. Again, the Kel Tec has a big advantage in terms of concealability.

In short, the PF-9 is the cheap bastard’s carry piece. Small, concealable and deadly.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

104 Responses to The Truth About George Zimmerman’s Kel Tec PF-9

  1. avatarmp says:

    I think you’re being overly critical of the kel tec’s

    Smallest, thinnest lightest 9mm made, actually quite a feat of engineering. Because of the physics involved (size/weight) finicky about ammo and the shooter but reliable when both are accounted for . Widely copied- the lcp and the lc9 are just straight rip offs by ruger. I will never buy or carry any firearm based on price and dont carry the kel tec’s because they (or I) am “cheap”.

    • Don’t get me wrong — they work, they shoot, and they’re a fine choice for a self defense gun. But they’re the Honda Civic of the gun world. They do it all, but there are models that do it better.

      • avatarJames says:

        I lol’d at “the honda civic of the gun world.” People at work are looking at me funny.

      • avatarg says:

        I think Honda Civics might be insulted by the comparison!

        Now if you said they were Kias…

        • avatarDaniel Tate says:

          I think you hit the nail on the head with comparing them to a Kia. Honda Civics are VERY reliable and don’t break down often. Kel-Tecs are garbage and known for having all kinds of problems and needing to be sent back to be fixed. That’s why you hear people say they got a “good one”. I would never trust my life to a Kel-Tec. About the only thing they do well is making a small, concealable gun that is very cheap.

          I once had a man in a wheelchair in my place of work and he warned all of us to never purchase a Kia because he got into a car accident at around 45 mph and every safety feature on the car failed (airbags, seat belt, etc.) and now he was paralyzed from the waist down. It may be a very affordable car even when new, but that’s about the only thing it has going for it. I would much rather have a used Honda Civic or Toyota than a brand new Kia any day. Just like I would much rather have a used Glock or Smith and Wesson revolver than a new Kel-Tec PF9.

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      Actually, the DB9 is smaller, thinner, and lighter.

      • avatarMr. Wonderful says:

        Small, thinner, lighter paperweight. I heard the DB9 is not reliable.

        • avatarBruce says:

          The DB9 holds one less round for it’s smaller size and no last round slide lock. I carry a PF9 when none of my Sigs will hide in what I’m wearing despite the fact that Sig now makes a gun in this size. The Sig P290 is heavier, holds fewer rounds, and manages to be less comfortable to hold, for double the money.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      I’ve used a PF-9. I have two complaints:

      1) It has a ridiculously long trigger pull and incredibly long reset on the trigger – it’s incredibly hard to be accurate or fast with follow up shots

      2) There’s just too much felt recoil. Perhaps this could be mitigated by changing the recoil spring, but, in stock form at least, it’s hard to control the rise of the gun as well as it downright HURTS your fingers to shoot it.

      If they put a little effort into fixing those two issues, I think it would be one of the best concealed carry guns out there.

      • avatarBill says:

        That was my impression as well when I shot my friend’s PF-9. He bought it because he is a cheap bastard and he has had nothing but problems with it. Every kind of malfunction with a wide range of ammo.

    • avatarJackson Forest says:

      Has anyone ever fired the Kel Tec pf9 at a target from 4″ away? With the mass and density of a body? Something like the practice testing dummy used for punching.. Curious to know what type of damage to expect.. Would it go through a body if fired 4″ away from it?

  2. avatarMichael B. says:

    I’m wondering if it didn’t load another round because he didn’t have a proper grip on it or because someone had their hand on top of the slide.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    I’d personally prefer a revolver of similar size. Tiny nineys are very nice, but tiny revolvers will not jam or fail to feed, which is what may have happened to Zimmerman’s pistol. I wouldn’t shoot a competition with a snubby, but for close work or as a contact weapon, the snubby is unparalleled.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      I’ll have to see how a revolver with a trigger job feels. I really hate the heavy double action trigger pulls. I cut my right index finger to the bone as a kid and as a result permanently lost some strength and range of motion. Not enough to make normal everyday tasks an issue, but double action trigger pulls take a huge amount of effort for me. I’m fine with single action or striker fired guns, but I detest double action.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Good issue, CarlosT. I recently bought an Apex trigger kit for my snubby, intending to install it myself. Unfortunately, the factory overtorked the screws holding the side plate, so I can’t remove it to do the install.

        I’m going to use a penetrating oil and heat to free the screws. Then I’ll do the install and write it up for TTAG.

    • avatarTherapist says:

      Agreed, people look down at revolvers but don’t think that in many defensive cases a semi-auto becomes a single shot. Unless the attacker politely agrees to back away so a contact shot isn’t necessary and give enough space to assume correct grip and avoid limp wristing. Just depends on how things play out in real life.

      • avatarDubya Bee says:

        I saw videos of police training, and they were practicing close-contact shooting with semi-automatics. They started with two shots pointing the muzzle down towards the attackers legs (to back him up), followed by two shots to center mass.

        I guess it could still FTF during the first shots, but it did seem like a good way to minimize that risk.

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      Why does it always have to be one or the other? Am I the only one who loves both semi-autos and revolvers? Both have strengths and weaknesses, and that’s why I prefer to carry both. A .357 snubbie is quick to retrieve and perfect for those bad-breath range, last minute shots, and as a backup. Carrying the snubbie allows you to carry a full size, or compact, .45 ACP concealed well enough to not be visible. If you may not have the time to retrieve the .45 go for the .357.

  4. avatar4strokes says:

    The problem with guns this size? Any auto loader can be kept out of battery if the right force is applied during firing.
    I to prefer a J frame, but for the money the Kel Tec is not a bad gun.

    • avatarmp says:

      Can’t any autoloader be kept out of battery with the right force regardless of size?

      • avatar4strokes says:

        That is exactly what I am saying – everything from a baby Browning to a Desert Eagle

        • avatarST says:

          A Springfield Armory /HS Industries XD has a standoff cap on the guiderod to prevent close contact from pushing the weapon out of battery. A full size Desert Eagle cannot be placed out of battery at contact distance on account of the “slide” only moving in the back 1/4 of the weapon. Of course, the latter scenario implies the attacker stuck around AFTER staring down a Desert Eagle’s business end.

        • avatarRalph says:

          The Desert Eagle has a fixed barrel, a rotating bolt and no out-of-battery problems. I still wouldn’t want to do a contact shot with a .50AE. The blowback would be just a wee bit messy.

    • avatarDerek says:

      With the right force applied, it isn’t very hard to prevent the cylinder on a revolver from revolving either.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Yes, if you grab the gun around the cylinder, it won’t turn. Similarly, if you grab the slide of a pistol, it won’t cycle. If you take a contact shot with a revolver, the cylinder will rotate just fine. A contact shot with most pistols creates a jam.

        • avatarMadDawg J says:

          And if the revolver has been cocked to single action the cylinder won’t need to rotate.

          And if you are a fan of 70′s ninja movies you also know that a well thrown throwing star will stop the hammer of a revolver from hitting the primer.

  5. avatarMike S says:

    J frame FTW

  6. avatarmp says:

    I wonder if the reports of how the gun was found (loaded mag empty chamber) are just more nit wittery by the press like “.9mm”. Does anyone have a real source for a malf from the kel tec?

    • avatar4strokes says:

      I have not seen one yet. With all the crap this is generating the best you can hope for is some of the real details leak from the grand jury.

    • avatarRalph says:

      If the Kel-Tec did go out of battery or jammed because the pistol was limp-wristed or shot in contact, that would not be a malfunction. It’s just physics. The same can happen to almost any pistol.

  7. avatarLeftShooter says:

    Even with 7+1 9MM capability, I’ll stick with my 5-shot .38 Special +P model 340 J-frame that weighs about 13.4 oz loaded.

  8. avatarDon says:

    Or as my local news has called it a “tec 9″. :)

  9. avatarBenjamin says:

    It worked good enough to save George Z’s life. Remember the famous statement: If it saves one life…. well, there you have it.

    • avatarVigilantis says:

      Was Martin going to force-feed him Skittles until he died of diabetes?

      • avatarGS650G says:

        No, he was content to merely beat him in the head instead.

      • avatarMarc Vellat says:

        Ever notice how when any Trayvon defender wants to bolster the case for him being a cherub they can be counted on to trot out the “iced tea & Skittles” comments, as though only an innocent child would go out in the rain for candy? Do a little research on “sizzurp” (AKA “Purple drank”, etc.). TM’s mission that night was to buy cheap cigars so he could smoke some blunts, and the ingredients needed for his favorite blend of Robittusin-fueled “lean”. The disgusting shame of this the pro-TM parades featuring Skittles led by white-guilt libtards and race-baiters (the former might not have known the candy’s true purpose, but the latter did and did nothing to disabuse them of their innocence).

        • avatar2hotel9 says:

          My favorite part of the Kangaroo Court in FLA in the last couple of days is the ME who called Zimmerman’s head injuries “inconsequential”, though she was not the doctor who examined the injuries on the night in question. Given that she is a friend of the State Attorney overseeing this prosecution, the same State Attorney who appointed her to her current position, exactly how objective IS she. Add to that the Prosecutor bullying the police officers to change their sworn affidavits concerning the incident and, well, I am seeing a pattern here. And anyone one else watching all of this who has the least amount of intelligence is also seeing it.

          And no, I am not a Zimmerman fanboy. He SHOULD have been charged with manslaughter based on his own statements on the incident.

        • avatarNicole says:

          Jolly Ranchers are the preferred and most commonly used candy to make lean. Since you brought it up, I thought I would let you know.

  10. avatarGeoff says:

    My Co-Worker had multiple malfunction’s with his PF-9, including FTF’s, FTE’s. He sent it back to Kel-tec and they replaced everything but his barrel and frame and sent it back. a few months after getting it back he attempted to unload it to place it into his safe, the slide became jammed and would not come out of battery. He tried to force the slide back with his strong hand and fumbled the gun. He violated the golden rule and tried to grab it as it fell. His Right hand covered the muzzle and his left entered the trigger guard. result was a 115g JHP through his hand. He has returned to work and got rid of the PF-9 and bought a SR9-C. Needless to say we are both unsurprised to find it may have malfunctioned.

    • avatarDubya Bee says:

      Maybe if he has a good attorney (I hope), this could provide them with the impetus to clean up their quality-control act. Everything I read about KelTec, and my own experience, indicate that they sell some passable guns and some deeply flawed guns. I can’t believe they stay in business with a model like that.

      • avatarRalph says:

        A good lawyer? Man, the guy would need Edward Bennet Freakin’ William and Gerry Spence, together. The poor guy shot himself in the hand. End of story.

  11. avatarJP in Tennessee says:

    I carry a PF-9 in my right front pocket, in a sleeve holster, loaded with Hornaday Critical Defense. I shoot it alot (50-100 rounds a week) and have never had a malfunction.

  12. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I’m sorry, but every time I read about Kel Tec firearms, I think of Ron Popiel and Ronco.

  13. avatar"Dr."Dave says:

    You know, guns are kind of like a parachute. When you need one, you REALLY need one, and nothing else is really gona do the job.

    So do you go out and get a cheap parachute from a company with a reputation for dubious quality control, or do you go get one from a good, well known company? Personally, I went out and got the best damn gun I could, screw the money.

    Kel-Tec has the WORST quality control in the firearms industry. I know this because I work as an armorer/RSO/Instructor at a shooting range, and when peoples guns have issues, they bring them to me a lot of the time. Sometimes I can fix them, sometimes they have to go back for warranty.

    I see more problems with Kel-Tecs than any other firearm. Next in line is Taurus.

    They both make lots of small, cheap guns that novices buy in droves.

    You might have a Taurus or a Kel-Tec that works…And that doesn’t mean the company is any good, it just means you’re lucky.

    How long is your luck going to hold out? Are you really going to trust your life to a handgun that was built as quickly and as cheaply as possible?

    Zimmerman did, and he’s extremely lucky the first round did the job. The PF9 has horrible problems with FTFs and FTEs. Its one of those guns that are extremely vulnerable to limp wristing, and will malfunction with regularity if shoot at an odd angle and with out a perfect grip…

    So what its small?

    I carry all day, every day, almost with out exception. I do it in a Blade Tech IWB holster, and I do it with a full sized handgun. Its really not that hard to do.

    • avatarBobTrent says:

      “I went out and got the best damn gun I could, screw the money.”

      The police who picks it off you and adds it to his personal collection or sells it will thank you. Having a quality expensive gun may get you let go. If you have a cheapo pot-metal gun it may be worth more to the cop as a gun bust.

      From the police property room supervisor in a major metropolitan police dept. According to him the high end guns that came in were from major crimes while the junk was mostly from “stop-and-frisk” confiscations.

    • avatarGreg Abbott says:

      This is like reading a review from 16 year old writer on MSN. Keltec manufactures a weapon that fits its intended market to a T and in fact is the leader in in small arms design. I carried a P-11 for 4 years and never had a single issue and have since given it to my wife for her car carry. Your expert asesment on both Keltec and Taurus is lacking as well. The reason you see failures at your range is from thoses who have never actually fired the weapon to break them in. Both manufacturers strongly recommend at least 200 rounds of break-in before considering the gun reliable and failures are common withing that period. I have had Taurus PT-101, 24-7 Pro, and PT-728 (380) that after break-in have never failed once so I’d say the odds do not support your conclusion regarding reliability. Also, I qualified for the last (2) of my (4) CHL in Texas with a Keltec P3AT and and the PT-738 scoring 240+ both times. Go ahead and buy a Kimber. Just don’t come back to web crying about it when someone steals it out of your truck.

    • avatardoggfish says:

      Its funny how everyone is a expert on keltec…i know more than a few gunsmiths…not including the owners of knob creek gun range; these people give a whole lotta praise to keltec for making good weapons. I love how people say well I know this person has one thats junk…..I have owned a Keltec PLR-16 for 5 years or so…Not one stopage no one FTF..shoots as well as my DoubleStar AR-15 pistol which is worth as 3 times as much. Gotta love the snooty Sig and Glock owners who think because they got drilled in the rear end paying for these overpriced guns. While at one time Kel-Tec was owned by Intratec they have little else in common. Believe me the expensive gun makers make junk too I.E. S&W Sigma,S&W 59,AMT Hardballer, Glock 36.

    • avatarjamie says:

      You make a funny analogy about the parachute.

      People keep defending KelTec beause “they have such a great warranty”.

      Imagine chosing a Parachute with “a really great warranty”.

  14. Odd synchronicity.

    I just took my FP-9 out to the range this past Sunday. I was impressed by how accurate the gun was. The trigger pull was long-ish but much less painful than the S&W bodyguard .38 I tried out. Recoil is snappish but it was easier to handle, oddly, than the S&W M&P compact 9.

    I did have some failures to feed. The problem seems to be that I kept hitting the mag release slighly during recoil. More practice and a different grip may help that.

    It’s very small, very light and is my ‘go-to’ carry gun if I’m wearing dress slacks or I need to deep conceal carry.

    All that said, I vastly prefer my XD 9 or XD 45.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      The Ruger LC9 is a hell of a piece.

      • avatarLeftShooter says:

        I thought so too, until mine started light-striking. Which is particularly problematic since the LC-9 doesn’t have second-strike capability. I sent it back to Ruger and their fix has eliminated everything except my vivid memory of the gun refusing to go bang when I pulled the trigger. I’d never carry that particular gun as my primary or only defensive firearm.

  15. avatarMatt G. says:

    “We’ve published three reviews of the Kel Tec PF-9 over the years, but RF thought it would be a good idea to provide a brief overview for the less gun-savvy readers Googling onto our website in the aftermath of that shooting in Florida. So here’s the quick and dirty run down . . .”

    I plugged this paragraph into my Truth Translator and got this;
    “We’ve already posted three articles about the PF-9 that literally anyone can find with 4 minutes of searching, but we wanted to get a bigger piece of that juicy google search traffic so we decided to rehash some random facts in an article and put both zimmerman’s name and the gun in the title…”

  16. avatar2hotel9 says:

    For a pocket rocket I carry Beretta 21A loaded with CCI QuickShok hollow points. People poopoo .22LR, right up to the point one blows through their torso, then they sing a different tune entirely. Add to that the fact it is incredibly LOUD at close quarters range and it works quite well, for that limited area of use, of course.

    I get consistent 3 inch groups at 25 feet, and that is about all you can realistically expect from any caliber of pocket rocket.

  17. avatarJonathan says:

    You make so many generalizations that are so very far from the truth… especially: “Small guns are more likely to malfunction than their bigger brothers”. Who are you to review a gun company so critically when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about?

  18. avatarJay Bree says:

    I don’t get the trash talk about the PF9. It’s a light, concealable carry gun, not an object de’ art. It’s perfectly suited for what it’s designed to do…stop attackers by being small , light and cheap enough to carry each and every day without worry.

    Yeah, you can pay a lot more money and get a Kimber or the like, but it’s going to be heavier, more expensive and no more capable than putting a big hole in , say… a 6’2″ attacker than the Keltec is. By the way it’s made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty. Mine cost me 219$ on local sale.

    -Jay

    Yes it has recoil. If you can’t handle that, perhaps Airsoft is a better choice.

    • avatarBobTrent says:

      Depending on the rep of your police dept., a high end gun may be cheap insurance against being arrested from a “stop-and-frisk.”

  19. avatarVincent D. says:

    I used to be scared of guns. Then I bought myself a PF9.

    I’m Still scared of guns, so I carry my PF9 with me every day.

    It helps me feel a little less scared of guns knowing that I actually have a way I could protect myself and my kin from evil that would seek to do us harm.

    Some folks will never see this until reflection of personal tragedy shows them that it could have been prevented by carrying a gun at the time. My advice to anybody who is scared of guns is simple; Go buy a gun, protect what you are afraid of losing.

  20. avatarNauga says:

    OK, if you say so.

  21. avatarDustin says:

    Dr.Dave I must be screwed cause I carry a Taurus ultralite .38 in my right front pocket and a keltec pf9 in my waist band, both loaded with hornday critical defense.

  22. avatarnick rebac says:

    thanks alot guys and girls, now i am really confuuiseed.

  23. avatarJet says:

    “I don’t get the trash talk about kel- tecs” because they are trash and people like to talk about them. As a former p3at owner it doesn’t surprise me. They are intrinsically unsound guns. They use cheap parts for their hammer springs. Google it. You need to fluff and buff until they cycle like they should have or send them back to kt. And then you only have a 95% reliable gun if you are lucky. I would find these kt owners with supposedly perfect guns to be funny if it weren’t so sad that they want to rely on such a weapon. Seriously, if someone I cared about owned one I would buy it from them and turn it over to the police to ensure it was junked. I’m not even kidding. I never thought I could dislike a gun so much until I bought a kel tec. And then I learned about the kt apologists EVERYWHERE

  24. avatarRich says:

    Wow! It’s got a light trigger pull? My KelTec P11 has a horrible trigger. It’s got to be up around 15 pounds. My wife can’t even fire it.
    I didn’t buy it because it was cheap, but because in the late 1990s, it was very light, very small 9MM pistol.

  25. avatarJohn In PC says:

    I have a Taurus 709 Slim and have fired several hundred rounds through it, no problem. I had trouble shooting tight groups till I improved my technique. Yes I’m a cheap bastard for not overpaying for a more expensive gun that does the same thing. A lot of Harley peple look down their nose at a Honda as it passes their broke down hog. Who is the dummy?

  26. avatarJusticeForTravyon says:

    Go with Boberg’s XRS9. I did and never looked back

  27. avatarJaredFromTampa says:

    Because, what? It’s such a reliable handgun? Thanks but no thanks. I’ll stick to my $250 PF9 for EDC. Good for you that you have the funds to blow on a $1K POS. At least my POS costs less than what I make in a week.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/07/eric-nelson/boberg-xr9-s-review-part-deux/

  28. avatarJackson Forest says:

    Has anyone ever fired the Kel Tec pf9 from 4″ away from target? With mass and density of body/human? Specifically, what type of damage is to be expected at that range on someone weighing 160lbs, thin, or athletic build? Would a bullet go threw subject? Any test done on human like sparring dummy or aparatus?

  29. avatarBobTrent says:

    I had an AMT .380 Backup SA. It appeared well made and got good reviews.
    Yes, small autos like it have to be held firmly for them to cycle reliably. Mine would occasionally fail to fire and sometimes stovepiped when I first got it. Upon inspecting the primers, they were not dented well, making the hammer spring suspect.
    I bought a longer spring from a local gunsmith and cut it carefully to a length which made the coils just touch when the hammer was fully cocked. Made it harder to charge the chamber but I could still do it one-handed. Never misfired after putting the new spring in.
    Before the new spring, it also failed to cycle on occasion. Perhaps the new stronger spring increased the cycling speed and forced so that the slide bounced back more forcibly?
    Never stovepiped again either. The ejection port is wide open across the top of the slide. It would eject right, left, or center. The new spring fixed three problems.
    With this palm pistol I was able to consistently hit the ring of an NRA pistol target, about 6″ diameter, from 50′ and a man-torso-size target from 100′. I was amazed at such accuracy from a 2″ barrelled palm pistol.
    Fired several boxes through it and a box of Winchester Silvertips and after the spring replacement never a failure.
    I was suspicious of battering wear on the slide rail on the frame at the back. The fit between the groove in the slide and the rail on the frame seemed too loose and not enough overlap. Of course this gun is not intended for putting 1,000 rounds a weekend through for years.

  30. avatarJay Bree says:

    “Wow! It’s got a light trigger pull? My KelTec P11 has a horrible trigger”

    Which might be a relevant fact if we were discussing a P11.

    But we’re not.

  31. avatarGary the Gun Nut says:

    I’m wondering why all of you posting here on this site who apparently have much experience with handguns in general and/or the Kel Tec model used by Zimmerman have failed to note the fact that it was impossible for him to draw his gun as he described in the police video taken the day after the shooting?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      How, exactly, is it impossible? Be specific. In your mind, where is he carrying, what is happening, and what precludes him from drawing his weapon?

    • avatar2hotel9 says:

      Matt beat me to it! So, gary, ‘splain to us how it was impossible. You can use diagrams, a CIA style cartoon, whatever you want. Just prove your “point”.

      • avatarGary the Gun Nut says:

        In order to draw your gun from your hip holster your elbow must extend a significant distance behind your back. This is impossible while you are flat on your back, as Zimmerman would have been in the encounter as he described it in his own words starting at about 10 minutes into the video at

        If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself (and don’t forget to have a 170 pound person sit on top of you while doing so, for added realism have them pound on you at the same time).

        BTW, I don’t have any problem whatsoever with someone using a gun to legitimately defend themselves.

        I do, however, have a problem with someone using a gun to kill someone else, then lying about it, and then no one can see through their lies or is willing to call them on it.

        • avatar2hotel9 says:

          So, lets us summarize. According to Sanford PD statements and Florida State Police investigators’ statements and FBI investigators’ statements Zimmerman’s statements on the incident are consistent with the evidence and truthful. But you say it is all a lie. Okey dokey, then. Perhaps you should be telling this to DoJ and NAACP, since clearly you know more about the incident than all the people who investigated it.

  32. avatar2hotel9 says:

    And yes, I have been in the position of having a person on top of me and hellbent on killing me. I’m still here, he is dead after I put a kabar into his ribcage twice. A kabar that was in a reversed sheath sob and under me and under the pistol belt of my web gear. When you are fighting for your life NOTHING is impossible, just improbable.

    • avatarGary the Gun Nut says:

      Was is it possible that Zimmerman “somehow” managed to get the draw on Martin?

      Possible? Yes.

      Likely. No.

      In fact, it was so extremely unlikely as to approach the point of near impossibility.

      Bottom line: His story is so unbelievable and unrealistic that only the gullible would fall for it. Or, of course, someone quite willing to overlook its inherent contradictions and sheer impossibility because they want to believe in the righteousness of what Zimmerman did (i.e., shoot a scary black teenager, who apparently many feel deserved to be killed, in self-defense).

      As I said, if someone is going to claim self-defense when they kill someone, then their story must be not only plausible but physically possible as well.

      Zimmerman’s story regarding just the shooting event itself was not only inconsistent, it was just not physically possible for it to have happened the way HE said it did.

      This then calls into question other important elements of his story, such as that Martin was the aggressor and/or that he was on top beating Zimmerman.

      Finally, let me ask you this: If someone claims they shot and killed someone else in self-defense when that person came at them with a knife, but all of the victim’s bullet wounds were in his or her back, would you still believe the shooter and accept his or her claim?

      Probably not.

      So why should it be any different with Zimmerman?

      • avatar2hotel9 says:

        So, you have built this whole fantasy, why tell us? Take it to DoJ. You clearly know more about the whole case than any of the people who investigated it.

        • avatarGary the Gun Nut says:

          It’s not a fantasy; it’s an analysis of Zimmerman’s story based on reason and logic.

          I actually began watching the trial with an open mind and was somewhat sympathetic to Zimmerman.

          While I didn’t think that his being beaten up by Martin (if it was true) was enough to justify his killing him, I did feel that if Martin reached for Zimmerman’s gun as Zimmerman claimed, that that would be grounds for shooting Martin.

          But then I came to the stark realization that Zimmerman couldn’t have done what he said he did in the police video, and that meant his whole story was based on a lie.

          Of course, as is well known Zimmerman gave multiple and varying accounts of what happened. So I looked at some of those as well to see if they made any more sense.

          The reason why actually I came to this web site was during my search for information on Zimmerman’s gun, as in the Osterman book Zimmerman claimed that Martin jammed his gun with his fingers:

          “For a brief moment I had control of the wrist, but I knew when he felt the sidearm at my waist with his leg. He took his hand that was covering my nose and went for the gun, saying, “You’re gonna die now, motherf—–.’ Somehow, I broke his grip on the gun where the guy grabbed it between the rear sight and the hammer. I got the gun in my hand, raised it toward the guy’s chest and pulled the trigger.”
          http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/21/169233/george-zimmermans-friends-book.html#.Ue87AI0_sco#storylink=cpy

          However, aside from the fact that this differs from Zimmerman’s account in the police video (in which he said that Martin reached for the gun with his hand, not that he felt it with his leg) as you know jamming the Kel Tec by sticking your finger between the hammer and firing pin is impossible (unlike with the Colt Eagle, which I own), and so it is just another lie told by Zimmerman and only serves to further discredit his claim to self-defense.

          I am somewhat surprised that none of you on this web site were aware of the multiple problems with Zimmerman’s account of the shooting event itself story and continue to support him despite that fact that none of his stories ring true.

          As for as why I am doing this, well just say that for me it is sort of a real life whodunit mystery, and I have no particular axe to grind other than to try and solve that mystery.

          I also believe in the principles that our system of justice is founded on, one of which is that it is better that 10 guilty men go free than that 1 innocent man be imprisoned (which in this case means we only have 9 more to go).

        • avatar2hotel9 says:

          Wow, lets us start with the funniest line in your little tirade, “I have no particular axe to grind”. Yes. Clearly you do. And then on to #2, “based on reason and logic.” Damned good thing I didn’t have a mouth full of coffee when I read that this morning. Okey dokey. We get it. You are pissed off because your leftist ideology took it in the a$$. We understand now.

          Oh? When are you going to get this pissed off about the thousands of black men murdered by other black men? Oh, yea. Never.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          “While I didn’t think that his being beaten up by Martin (if it was true) was enough to justify his killing him…

          I’m sorry his injuries didn’t meet your standards, but you understand, right, that he didn’t have to have a scratch on him, he just needed to be in fear for his life?

          “Of course, as is well known Zimmerman gave multiple and varying accounts of what happened.”

          The lead investigator on the case, who knew every single detail up, down, and sideways, and had the time and resources to break it down every which way, found the only inconsistencies between any and all statements GZ gave to be inconsequential. I believe his answer, when asked about the inconsistencies was, “No material differences.” I think I’m going to go ahead take his judgment and opinion over yours, if you don’t mind.

          As far as any conclusions you drew or judgments you made from the Osterman book, well, you clearly didn’t watch his testimony during the trial. The Osterman book was written, from memory, based on one retelling of the story from GZ to Mr. Osterman the day after it happened. GZ told the story, briefly, to Mr. Osterman one time while Mr. Osterman was driving GZ to buy clothes and stuff. He was not taking notes, just listening. Mr. Osterman then wrote the book from memory some six months later, without any further input or consultation from GZ. By his own admission during his testimony, he interpolated and extrapolated and filled in details that he didn’t know or couldn’t remember. It is full of factual inconsistencies to both what GZ said, and to what the evidence later showed. It is completely useless as a source of factual information.

  33. avatarGary the Gun Nut says:

    Just analyze Zimmerman’s own account of the shooting event…

    Zimmerman: I said “no, help me, I need help”

    And…I don’t know what they did, but that’s when my jacket moved up…
    (Z places hand on his side and runs it up along his rib cage)

    I had my firearm on my right-hand side hip.
    (Z places hand back on hip to show the location of his firearm and then slides his hand back up his rib cage again to demonstrate how firearm was exposed)

    He saw it. I feel like he saw it…he looked at it, he (Martin) said “You’re going to die tonight motherfucker!”

    And he reached for it. He reached…like I felt his arm going down my side. I grabbed
    it…
    (Z demonstrates how he trapped Martin’s hand/lower arm under his own upper arm)

    and I just grabbed my firearm and shot him…somehow.
    (While saying this Zimmerman demonstrates his quick draw technique, but of course does so while standing, without a real firearm in hand, and without a real live struggling person’s hand/arm trapped beneath his own.)

    As I said (and you of on this web site would know) in order to drawn a gun on the same side as your shooting hand, you must extend your arm at the elbow a significant distance behind your back, which is impossible to do while flat on your back on the ground.

    Now some may argue that Zimmerman was able to arch his back enough to give him room to extend his arm in this fashion.

    However, this argument is unconvincing due to the fact that according to Zimmerman, Martin was on top on him and had him more or less pinned to the ground (i.e., ground and pound).

    And he wouldn’t just have to arch his back slightly, he would have to arch it to such an extent that he lifted his hips a distance of some 6-12 inches (or more) off the ground. Even without someone heavy sitting on top of you (and supposedly pounding on you) this is extremely difficult to do.

    Also, when you do this (arch your back such that your hips are lifted off the ground a sufficient distance to get to/draw your gun), since your weight is now placed on your shoulders and upper arm, this still makes it extremely difficult (as in nearly impossible) to draw your gun, especially with a heavy weight on top of you.

    Yes, there have been cases reported of women lifting a car enough for a trapped child to escape, but this is rather unusual and I’m not sure it really applies to Zimmerman (i.e., different mechanics involved; that is, Zimmerman’s arm would have been more or less immobilized when he arched his back).

    As Zimmerman’s MMA trainer testified, he was “soft” and even after a year of regular training, only rated a 0.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of fighting skills.
    Remember, Zimmerman claims to have been struggling for a good 30-40 seconds, and that means he would have been physically exhausted at that point.

    But now he suddenly has the strength to lift up his body with an added 170 pounds on top of him. Really?

    Of course, it is also possible to draw a gun from your side by extending your elbow straight out sideways from your rib cage. This is a more awkward maneuver, but it can be done.

    However, Zimmerman indicates that he trapped Martin’s hand between his upper arm and rib cage, and then runs his hand up his side in a regular draw. Zimmerman doesn’t say or indicate that he extended his arm sideways (i.e., away from his body at his elbow), he demonstrates how he slid his arm straight up his side to draw his gun.

    And even if he would have that means Martin’s trapped hand would have been instantly freed to grab the gun (and he was in a much better position to do so). So one would assume that Martin would have now grabbed for the gun (the alternative is that he just let Zimmerman shoot him).

    Yet Zimmerman never claims that there was a struggle for the gun, only that he shot Martin, “somehow”.

    So exactly how did Zimmerman draw his gun and shoot Martin as he demonstrated in the police video?

    Answer: He didn’t, as it was physically impossible for him to do so in the manner he described and demonstrated.

    Was is it possible that Zimmerman “somehow” managed to get the draw on Martin?

    Possible? Yes.

    Likely. No.

    In fact, it was extremely unlikely to the point of near impossibility.

    Bottom line: Zimmerman’s story is so totally unbelievable that only the gullible would fall for it. Or, of course, someone quite willing to overlook its inherent contradictions and sheer impossibility because they want to believe in the righteousness of what Zimmerman did (i.e., shoot a scary black teenager, who apparently many feel deserved to be killed, in self-defense).

    As I said, if someone is going to claim self-defense when they kill someone, then their story must be not only plausible but physically possible as well.

    Zimmerman’s story regarding just the shooting event itself was not only inconsistent, it was just not physically possible for it to have happened the way he said it did.

    This then calls into question other important elements of his story, such as that Martin was the aggressor and/or that he was on top beating Zimmerman.

    Finally, let me ask you this: If someone claims they shot and killed someone else in self-defense when that person came at them with a knife, but all of the victim’s bullet wounds were in his or her back, would you still believe the shooter and accept his or her claim?

    Probably not.

    So why should it be any different with Zimmerman?

    • avatar2hotel9 says:

      You keep regaling us with this fantasy. Why? Go tell DoJ, since you know so much more about it than any of the investigators involved.

    • avatarJason says:

      Sounds like this is coming from someone who has never been in a fight that went to the ground. And this is the one argument everyone from the Left keeps falling back to.

      Let me sum up in one sentence the ignorance of the Left’s argument about Zimmerman not being able to draw:

      FIGHTS THAT GO TO THE GROUND ARE NOT STATIC, THEY ARE INSANELY CHAOTIC.

      Why do you think you get so sore after doing MMA style training? Because you use muscles and bend your body in ways it normally does not move or function.

      But if you still don’t agree, here are some basic fighting kinetics. If Trayvon was in a true ground and pound position, when he throws a left punch, the weight of his legs shifts from left to right, easing the pressure (ever so softly) from his left leg on Zimmerman’s right hip (or vice versa for a left handed draw.)

  34. avatarIIIper says:

    I know this is a late response, but I wanted to formally call BS on “Gary the Gun Nut”. In fact, I just did this drill recently as part of a “scenario” match. Starting position was flat on your back and you were required to draw from that position. Human beings have all sorts of complex joints and to claim it is impossible to retrieve a gun from your strong-side holster, or from a side or front mounted IWB holster is just silly. Of course you can. Stop reading right now, lay on your back and do it. It’s easy. Does it change your motion from your normal draw? Yes. But it’s more than possible.

    As for Kel-Tec, I have a P-11, a PF-9 and a P-32. All have been very reliable. They don’t have the best fit or finish and the triggers are terrible (by design, who in their right mind would pocket carry something with a light/short trigger?) Admittedly, the PF-9 and P-32 don’t have a lot of rounds through them, but certainly over 1000. My P-11 however, has over 11,000 rounds through it and has proven to be extremely reliable. It has had one warranty repair when the slide stopped locking back (the little meat tab snapped of at around 8,000 rounds).

    • avatar2hotel9 says:

      From perusing “gary”s other comments around here it is painfully clear that all he knows about guns comes from the Brady Campaign and Democrat Party news letters, and googling. Never forget the wealth of misinformation available by googling “firearms”, “gun”, 2nd Amendment and “right to bear arms”. Try them! It will make for quite a few laughs, and some actual facts, you just got to sift through all the leftarded crap to find them.

      As for Kel Tec handguns, I have fired a couple, don’t own one. I was OK with the ones I fired, a PF9 and I believe a P 11. Only fired a couple of mags through each and had no problems. It all comes down to maintaining and practicing with what you carry.

      Edit, gots to remember them tenses!!!!

  35. avatarJason says:

    I have a Kel Tec pf9 and have never had one single FTE or FTF since I have owned it. I have fed it every single 9×19 round on the market except +P’s and not one single problem. I have shot over 1,000 rounds of various ammo through it. I guess I either got a great gun, or it has something to do with my meticulous care I give all my firearms, particularly the ones I use for EDC (clean once a week, rotate magazines, lube once a week.) Sundays after church is my set time I take an hour and clean my carry weapons (Bulgarian Makarov, Kel Tec PF9, and the wife’s Ruger LCR.)

    I can shoot groups that touch each other at 30 feet, well beyond the “bad breath” range of most deadly encounters. My double-taps at close range, fired from the hip and point and shoot are both well within the kill zone.

    Compared to a Glock or Sig, the slide takes a lot more force to move, which would help in a Gun Grab scenario. I practice from all sorts of shooting positions, including on my back. It is kind of easy actually to draw from my IWB holster while on my back.

    I love my PF9 and it has not given me one reason to not trust my life or my family’s lives to the performance of this little 9mm.

    If anything, it is combat-proven by George.

    • avatarme says:

      “groups that touch each other” at 30 feet? I assume you mean overlapping bullet holes? With a pocket gun that has a trigger like an Arrow staple gun?

      Clearly, sir, you are a vastly better shot than I.

  36. avatarJason says:

    Three and five shot groups that touch at least one hole to another hole.

    I live on a lot of land and can go shoot whenever I want to, even from my back porch. I get a lot of trigger time in whenever I can. The adjustable rear sights on the PF9 have allowed me to have great accuracy with a gun not known for it.

    The trigger pull is horrendous, but with practice is manageable. I like the fact the pull is so hard because it is a pocket pistol without a safety.

    On my second and following shots, I don’t let the trigger return to its full position forward, instead just enough for it to reset. This is also the result of many hours of practice.

    Is it the pinnacle of self defense firearms? Hell no, far from it. But when I bought it, I had little money so I became great with what I had. Now when I switch between the PF9 and another pistol, I can write my name with other high-end pistols because of the meticulous practice with the PF9.

  37. avatarRook says:

    Hmmm, my only conclusion about the PF9 is that it is and does exactly what it designed for. I only have my own anecdotal evidence(and a lit of anonymous internet crap) that tells me that gun go bang when I pulls trigger. It isn’t nice. It isn’t pretty, and I don’t even like it. I have owned an XD, many glocks, several 1911s from Kimber to Rock Island, M&Ps, SAAs, Blackhawks, Ruger sp, well anyway, you get it. You name it, I’ve owned it, shot it and prolly carried it. The little ugly junker works and fits anywhere. That’s its sole value. All my other guns have a role, and they fill them very well. It is not a matter of either/or but rather, the more the merrier. Could care less about the technicalities of the GZ case. There is no such thing as stop and frisk in GA, and if there were, I have a license and the cop would lose his badge by morning. Now, I would never carry a gun I hadn’t proved myself. I would not tell someone to just buy any gun based on anything but their needs and what they have proved works. When a gun doesn’t work, I sell it. That has only happened with a Marlin model 60 jamomatic 22. All guns can fail, but so can my brakes, my own strength, or a seemingly sound blade. Know your weapon.

  38. avataranthony clark says:

    Couple things. First keltec may be cheap, but its also likely that they became popular because of the weight and width of the pistol, while still maintaining shootability.
    second, ruger’s complete ripoff of the keltec has the same reliability issues at around 100 dollars more, and no glock msrp is 438 try 5 plus.

  39. avatarJIm Henson says:

    Gun opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. I own Kimbers, Glocks, Keltecs, Rugers and CZ’s. I think overall CZ has the best handguns, maybe that is why the CZ 75 is the number one law enforcement handgun in the world. Glocks are great firearms, but are not a good choice for a novice. You can say whatever you want about Keltec, but they are always out of stock at the shows and it is hard to beat great innovation. Take for example the gas piston driven PLR or the 9mm Sub 2000. I carry a Pf9 with Winchester ranger 128 grain plus P talons loaded. It is my backup. If you don’t think it could save your ass, just ask George Zimmerman. I am not saying I support or denounce him for what took place, it is unfortunate that young Treyvon lost his life. On the other hand, I would not doubt the efficiency of my Keltec Pf9. You gotta just laugh at all the gun brand name dropping commenters on this site, I wonder how many of them really even own a handgun and have a concealed permit. How many carry in condition one? Just sayin.

    • avatar2hotel9 says:

      “You gotta just laugh at all the gun brand name dropping commenters on this site, I wonder how many of them really even own a handgun and have a concealed permit. How many carry in condition one? Just sayin.”

      Using your “logic” clearly you don’t own any guns. See how that works, skippie? And Trayvon died because his PARENTS raised him to be terminally stupid, they and only they are to blame for his death.

  40. avatarCm says:

    That’s right – it’s a cheap bastard’s gun. I own one, and love it for what it is: it’ll tuck into the pants with that bolt-on belt clip. It can be picky about what rounds it wants – but it easier to conceal than those fat glocks. Great gun.

  41. avatarCw says:

    I own a keltec 9…same model…and have no complaints…I am a female…and have no problem concealing this gun that’s for sure…no problems with it hanging up in my clothing…no problems firing this gun…no problems with the recoil…nothing…as far as the guns recoi lbeing painful lol…really? Have you shot this model before? It has no kickback at all…I practice with mine all the time…emptying clips back to back…its never left me sore…and always fired on demand…the trigger is harder because why? The gun has no safety…therefore the long squeeze is the safety…I own many guns…a keltec ..glocks..s&w..rugurs…along with a few 12gauges…and my keltec 9mm is a great gun…have no problems with it…and I love the size and weight….it’s accurate…and “gun go bang when I pulls the trigger” lol …I carry it often along with my ruger 380 which is super small…but I think Alot of people here are judging this gun without even shooting one themselves…
    you can never believe everything yup read on the internet-Abraham Lincoln
    ;-)

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