When Korth announced its PRS along with this great video a bit over a year ago, I was certainly intrigued. However, a fixed-barrel 1911 with a semi-locked, roller-delayed blowback action also seemed like a bit of a gimmick born out of an engineer’s wet dream as a showcase of talent. I also assumed the price would be astronomical. When we saw Korth at the SHOT Show range day with a PRS along with the new Sky Marshal, a 9mm revolver that doesn’t require moon clips, we knew it was hands-on time . . .
As you saw in the beginning of the video, 9×19 rounds drop smoothly and easily into the Sky Marshal’s cylinder. I’m pretty sure they’re headspacing off the case mouth like usual, but at the same time when you work the extractor it does engage the rims and confidently ejects the empty brass.
Despite my own feelings that it looks awfully tacticool and therefore aesthetically like something you’re more likely to see out of a lower-end manufacturer, it’s definitely a Korth. It’s oh-so-darn smooth. The cylinder inserts like hot butter into Rosie O’Donnell’s mouth, and the double action trigger pull is unbelievably light and smooth. Everything about it is tight and precise and smooth as silk. It kicks a fair bit for a 9mm because it’s so light, but it was still a pleasure to shoot.
What surprised me most is an MSRP in the $900-something range! That may be a record low for a Korth (at least adjusted for inflation and such).
And then we get to the PRS:
From photos online I thought it looked a bit silly with a taller-than-normal slide for a 1911 — Korth had to make space for all of the roller locker shenanigans. The thing is like a dang Swiss watch inside (check out that previously-linked video).
But it feels like every last one of those parts was hand polished and fitted, along with every other part on the pistol. It’s easily the smoothest 1911 I have ever felt. A lot of that is the fact that there is no real lockup, so there’s basically no initial resistance to overcome when you rack the slide (assuming the hammer is cocked). The recoil spring did not feel very stiff at all, so pulling back on the slide was as easy as [eating] pie and as smooth as a greased mirror.
Considering how light that recoil spring is and the fact that the blowback action seems only barely delayed, I can’t believe it didn’t feel like the thing was beating itself to death upon firing. It was smooth and gentle, though, and it did not feel to me like the slide was impacting the frame with undue force. I can’t exactly explain this, but I can say that it was accurate, controllable, refined, and quite impressive.
My only complaint would be the trigger. It seemed too light and a little bit wobbly. The break was fine, just soft. As the rest of the pistol feels like indestructible billet, the trigger just stood out as feeling fragile in comparison. Too dainty, maybe.
MSRP is apparently $3,000. Not cheap, obviously, but it’s literally half or less of what I expected to hear. For those who enjoy fancy mechanical watches with lots of complications, I’m not sure how you’re going to prevent a PRS from living in your safe eventually. As I’m a bit of an engineering geek myself and my expectations were exceeded with the PRS, plus the possibilities for barrel accessories as seen in Korth’s PRS video, I’m going to have a hard time staying away from this thing myself. Even if it’s literally worth more than the car I drive. It would probably be pretty chummy with my HK P7, though.