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With the increasing liberalization of concealed carry weapons (CCW) laws, plastic pocket nines are all the rage. Entire armies of business casual CCW license holders have snapped-up the shrunken shooters, entranced by the micro-nines’ combination of lightweight and lethality. Add in the price and availability advantages of 9mm ammunition compared to .380, and the mass market pocket nines are good to stow. Just ask Ruger, whose LC9 is a runaway best-seller. The tradeoff of course is shootability . . .

There’s no getting around it: the smaller and lighter the gun (especially when firing a +p 9mm self defense round), the less fun it is to shoot. Less fun means less range time means less proficiency means less effectiveness.

Even with masochistic practice sessions, the polymer pocket nine’s inherent “snappiness” makes follow-up shots a bit . . . challenging. All things being equal—a dubious proposition in many ways—a nine millimeter bullet may be more lethal than a .380. But if you can’t put more than one piece of lead in the Bad Guy’s center mass, that’s not good.

Kahr Arms is a big player in the plastic fantastic pistol segment. But the company still offers an all-steel alternative to the slightly-larger-than-a-mouse gun genre: the Kahr MK9. If push came to shove, the Kahr Arm’s pistol’s extra heft could very well be a godsend. But first things first . . .

Fit and Finish

Justin Moon started Kahr Arms with an all-steel single-stack DAO 9×19. Moon conceived the K9 as a back-up gun for off-duty police officers. As such it was designed for concealment. It’s a fine gun, an example of transcendent engineering. The MK9 is the K9’s evolution.

The first thing you notice when you pick up an MK9 is its density. Unlike its polymer competitors, the MK9 feels like what you thought a gun would feel like when you were a kid; the same satisfaction you get when you hold an all-steel 1911. It’s the knowledge that you’re holding something that was hammered into existence, rather than extruded into a mold.


The steel-framed MK9 shares roughly the same dimensions of its popular polymer counterpart, the PM9 (or its more attainable non-polygonal doppelganger the CM9).  The MK9’s a little bit thicker than the PM9, even with its slim nylon grips (which I replaced with wood). Like its siblings, the MK9 sports a 3” polygonal barrel and holds six rounds in its slim single-stack magazine.

Saving sticker shock for later, let’s just say you get what you pay for. The MK9’s fit and finish are superb. There isn’t a single rough edge or ill-considered detail. Everything on this pistol is CNC machined; the fit is super tight. So tight I could barely work the slide during the first few hundred rounds. But more than that, the MK9 oozes quintessence; it’s a timeless design with brick shithouse quality.

That said, our test gun had some tooling marks on the inside of the slide. It’s a huge deal, but I did look at the inside of an older K9 and the internal milling was flawless, suggesting a potential decline in QC. You have been warned . . .

Unlike the Ruger LC9, the MK9 is Glock simple: no manual or extraneous safeties. Trigger, slide stop, mag release. Done. The factory sights dot-the-‘i’/lollipop style make for quick target acquisition. My eyes really prefer this arrangement over the traditional 3-dot setup; it’s a shame Kahr’s “factory” night sights don’t retain this format.

Kahr ships the MK9 with one flush-fit six-round magazine (it actually protrudes a little bit from the mag-well) and one seven-round magazine with a pinky extension. The seven-rounder’s plastic extension is comfortable but fugly. In fact, the mags’ finish looks more like galvanized gutter pipe than stainless steel. The mags are a real let-down considering the MK9’s staggeringly beautiful satin finish.


The MK9 points naturally and falls naturally to hand. Illustrating the importance of ergonomics, my first five-shot group grouped within an inch-and-a-half at seven yards. The MK9’s double-action only (DAO) trigger pull may be as long as War and Peace, but it’s silky smooth. If you’ve shot a Smith & Wesson J-frame, the Kahr steel semi’s trigger will not be unfamiliar. If you haven’t, trust me: MK9’s go-pedal is miles better than its micro-DAO pistol competition.

The bang switch takes some getting used to, though. My first couple of hundred rounds were a little jumpy. I was shooting it like a semi, feeling for the trigger break. The MK9’s trigger has no stacking whatsoever to indicate an imminent break. This unpredictability helps keep shooters from pre-compensating for recoil (i.e. flinching or pushing the gun’s nose down). When it comes to combat accuracy, that’s a good thing.

Recoil with standard pressure 115gr rounds is not an issue. Use a standard loading and you can shoot the MK9 all day every day. Insert +P rounds (e.g. Buffalo Bore and Double Tap +P+) and you’ll be grateful for the MK9’s extra heft. The rounds are a handful, but not what I’d call painful. While you could fire hotter rounds through a polymer pistol—hand pain not being an issue in the heat of battle—you’d be far less likely to get more than one round on target. And less-than-likely to practice doing so.

As with just about all their guns, Kahr recommends a break-in period of about 200 rounds for the MK9. More is better. I had five or so failures to eject (FTE) in the first hundred. I put that down to the ammo (115gr American Eagle); the cheap and light stuff probably doesn’t have enough energy to cycle the dual-spring slide setup. At about round 175ish, I had a Monarch round fail to seat properly in the chamber. I discarded it and the rest of the mag fed properly. The gun has been 100 percent reliable during the next 800 rounds.


Kahr faces stiff competition in the polymer ultra-compact segment. Their steel mini-nine, not so much. The MK9 goes up against the less-than-reliably reliable Kimber Solo and the jewel-like spring change-fest known as the Rorbaugh R9. I guess there just isn’t much of a market for a relatively heavy mini-nine.

Truth be told, most shooters find the MK series a little too heavy for pocket carry. This is not a gun you can just shove into a pocket (nor should you). The Kahr MK9 rides comfortably and discreetly in a Crossbreed Mini-Tuck or Remora IWB. But carrying it thus opens the door to the inevitable question: why not carry an equally heavy (if larger) compact or even full-size nine? Or .40? Or .45?

As always, it’s a question of personal preference. For some people the Kahr MK9 has the heritage, aesthetics, durability, simplicity, reliability and (most importantly) shootability they seek in an everyday carry gun. Most people wouldn’t opt for an all-steel Kahr MK9 but those who do won’t regret it.


Model: M9093
Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 6+1, 7+1 (magazine with grip extension)
Overall Length: 5.3”
Barrel Length: 3.0” polygonal rifling; 1 – 10 RH
Height: 4.0”
Slide Width: .90”
Weight (unloaded): Pistol 22.1 ounces, Magazine 1.9 ounces
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Matte stainless steel
Grips: Wraparound, textured hard nylon
MSRP: $855.00 (about $700 street)

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style * * * * *
Well-proportioned and well-machined, the MK9 is a timeless design. It may be an isolated opinion, but I hereby submit it as a contender for best-looking pocket pistol. Ralph: you and your Kimber Solo take note.

Ergonomics (carry) * * * *
The MK9’s weight may prohibit pocket carry for most, but the semi disappears into a nice IWB setup.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
The trigger is the perfect DAO bangswitch. It’s a little difficult to keep your mitts on with the stock grips, though. Adding a Handall Jr. or Kahr’s Pau Ferro grips make the MK9 into a 5-star shooter.

Reliability * * * *
Early problems have not been indicative of overall reliability. All guns should be broken in. However, I’ll take one star away since it doesn’t like cheap, weaker ammo. At least it didn’t during the first 200 rounds.

Customize This * * * *
No railage but Kahr offers night sights and Crimson Trace Lasergrips. I may fit XS Big Dots down the road. Meanwhile, there are plenty of holster options.

Overall Rating * * * * *
Svelte, sexy, and potent. An excellent compromise between weight and power, style and practicality. When my CHL comes in, I’ll never leave home without it.

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  1. Ok – I have to post something under this article because I used to own a 9mm Kahr PM9 with the polymer frame. I carried it everyday for about a year and while I liked the gun. There were a few things about it I did not like and ended up trading it away for something else. I do not like break in periods, and 200 rounds minimum is what Kahr recommends. Ok – did that; and then I decided to run another 300 rounds through it of both FMJ and defense loads. After that 300 round session, the polymer frame near the barrel was bulging away from the slide on both sides. A quick google search brought up others like me who took an extra step and contacted Kahr. Kahr said this was something that would not affect the function of the pistol, and that was the end of the discussion. Took the pistol back to my LGS that day and got myself a Glock 26. If I have to go any smaller than that, it will be my Ruger LCR and that is it. I have sworn off the smaller pocket style pistols for good.

    • ” I do not like break in periods, and 200 rounds minimum is what Kahr recommends.”

      Isn’t shooting it the way to break in a gun?

      • I don’t understand people who don’t like to shoot a new gun. It’s not like the break in period on a new motorcycle, when you’re not allowed to really wring it out. It doesn’t take long to rip 200 rounds through a semi-auto.

        • It doesn’t take long to rip 200 rounds through a semi-auto.
          What that semi-auto happens to be a pocket pistol and it gets progressively less fun with each magazine-full, it starts to take a while.

    • Sounds a bit like my story. For the weight of the MK9 I would just carry a G26 which is equal or even lighter with more capacity.

    • “the polymer frame near the barrel was bulging away from the slide on both sides. ”

      That’s how it’s designed – look at a brand new one at your LGS.

      The frame is designed with a bulge on either side of the barrel.

    • That bulge is normal and is part of how the frame is designed. You just didn’t notice it until you shot it a lot. New ones have it too.

    • My main problem with Kahr was 1. lousy customer service, 2. mags that allowed the rounds to come out. This was a continual problem, drop a mag in your pocket and you end up with a pocketful of rounds. Solution, get rid the Kahr. Problem solved! Call Kahr and see how far you get with over that issue. This is a lousy design.

      • Had an MK9 for 10+ yrs. My first Internet, used gun purchase. Needed a new recoil spring assembly, Kahr shipped me one for free. Just the other day, after thousands of rounds, I broke the recoil spring assembly, Kahr sent me another one for free. I’ve got no complaints. I buy their swag, and am glad to advertise for them.

  2. I too have a pm9. I like the pistol, I hate the mags. They will allow the rounds to dump. I contacted Kahr about this and I was told to just carry them in a tight fitting case. The mags design is such that they will do this. I personally find this to be a flaw in design. Leave it to those krazy koreans to sell crap on our market.
    I now carry a Sig P238. Not a target gun, but it will function as needed, and the rounds don’t drop out of the mag. I am considering getting the new P938.

    • I’ve carried a PM9 and an MK9. My mags would dump rounds occasionally in a pocket right at the beginning. Once I had a couple hundred rounds through them and the gun this dumping stopped. I’ve haven’t lost a round unexpectedly from one of these broken-in Kahr mags in nearly 5 years of loose pocket carry (same experience with 5 different mags). I suspect, the face of the follower gets roughened up with use and it helps retain the rounds better.

      If you don’t want to have to break in the guns and mags, the Kahrs are not for you. If you regularly shoot your carry gun, they’ll break in just fine in a range session or so.

  3. The Kahr MK9 was my first pistol, and I still think that for what it is, it is a nice little pistol. Nicely sized for concealment, solidly reliable, decent caliber, comfortable for my hands, and accurate. The steel Kahrs have (if the internets are to be believed,) always been a bit more reliable and less persnickety about such things as slingshotting the slide than their polymer counterparts, which is why I purchased an MK instead of a PM in the first place.

    My only complaints about it are:

    (1) The trigger. It’s smooth, but it’s way too long for my preferences. I’ve practiced a lot with it over the years, and I’ve gotten better with it, but I still don’t like it.

    (2) Although it’s ‘pocketable’, it really isn’t as much of a pocket pistol as I’d hoped. Sure, it will fit in the pocket of pretty much any pants I own, but if I put it in the front pocket, it will often bulge a little bit, and the weight makes it uncomfortable for me if I’m carrying it all day long. It’s more comfortable in the back pocket, but it often sticks out unless I’m wearing cargo pants/shorts with a generously-sized back pocket, meaning I have to wear some sort of covering garment (which kinda defeats the purpose of pocket carry.) Because of this, the MK9 started migrating to my OWB holster, in which it is highly concealable…but, again, I had purchased it hoping to be able to pocket carry. (Maybe if I’d gone into it thinking I’d primarily carry on the belt, I wouldn’t have been as disappointed in this aspect.)

    I eventually decided that since I was carrying it OWB over 50% of the time anyway, and since I really wanted something with a trigger more to my liking, to purchase a Springfield EMP. It is almost as concealable as the MK9 in its OWB holster, and the trigger is exactly what I wanted.

    I still love my little Kahr, but it only comes out of the safe on range days, or on those times when my only option is pocket carry. (That said, there has been the occasional thought of replacing it for pocket duty with a .380 pistol like the Taurus TCP, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to part with the Kahr.)

  4. “Justin Moon started Kahr Arms with an all-steel single-stack DAO 9×1.9…”


    I guess Justin was kickin’ with the .9mm crowd before it was cool.

  5. From what I’ve seen, Kahr makes guns that look great on paper, but that a lot of people complain about. I’ll pass- There are *plenty* of offerings out there that shoot reliably out of the box.

    One minor quibble–

    “It’s the knowledge that you’re holding a machine with a dark purpose. Think of it as a much more powerful double-action-only Walther PPK and enjoy the 007 fantasy.”

    With respect, I would argue that we should try to avoid this kind of thinking. It doesn’t lend credence to our political goals, for one thing. And while for the vast majority of people I suppose it’s harmless, dwelling of the seduction of this “dark purpose” sounds like the sort of thing a real nutjob would contemplate before acting on his own dark purposes.

    We should strive, I think, to consider our firearms as mere tools without ascribing any kind of mysticism to them. I suspect if we train ourselves to *not* think of a gun as something that is “cool”, we will find ourselves better mentally equipped to decide when and whether to use them.

    Or maybe I’m just a soulless killjoy. Meh.

    • I have to agree. Guns are mere tools that can be used for a variety of purposes. Because of the political environment, I agree that we should not use language that would mislead those not friendly to our cause to believe we have some “dark purpose” for our firearms. They are a tool for protection, but also a source of enjoyment in the shooting hobby. Have fun, shoot safely.

    • I agree that safeguarding our rights is paramount in this political climate. And while I admit that the language I chose was intentionally dramatic, I don’t think we can really ignore the fact that a gun like this has self-defense as its primary goal any more easily than we can that guns are cool. I can’t imagine a darker purpose than harming or killing another human being even in the defense of loved ones or oneself. Evidential of an aesthetic of firearms are ratings of style and the convention of giving women’s names to our guns–both of which are important to the relationship one develops with a weapon. I tend to think: the deeper the relationship, the greater the skill and familiarity. My intention was to be honest about my impressions.

  6. I carry an Diamondback DB9 (“Debbie” in my creepy give your gun a girls name fashion) that I had to send back to the factory. They sent it back with a new receiver. It functions just fine, but I sometimes wish I had sprung for a Kahr.

    Don’t tell Debbie.

    • ““Debbie” in my creepy give your gun a girls name fashion”

      I do the same. All my guns, cars and motorcycles are named after the women they remind me of.

      • All my guns, cars and motorcycles are named after the women they remind me of.

        Me, too, which is why I have a gun that I call “That Bitch.”

        • Hahahaha…!!!! Thanks for the laugh! I’m gonna figure out which of my girls will inherit that moniker.

  7. Yes! Thank you for this review, as it is tough to find good thorough reviews of the Kahr’s steel offerings. Any chance we could get some pictures of you wearing the Crossbreed+gun to get a feeling for how small it is on a hip?

    One thing I would LOVE to see, if someone could provide it, is a comparison between the k9 and mk9. Are they mostly the same? Sure, but it would be awesome to see a side-by-side that looked at their shootability and concealability (ignoring, for the sake of science, a pocket holster, since the k9 would be too big for that). For instance, one question I have is whether there is really any perceived operational difference between the two if you were to use the extended mag on the mk9. In this configuration, is there any difference in their concealablity/comfort in an IWB hip holster?

    Thanks again for the great review!

    • Thanks for the kind words. As far as the MK/K debate goes, I’ve owned both. If you have no intention of carrying in the pocket and can get away with a slightly bigger gun, the K9 is the way to go. The stock grips are the bees’ knees and the extra 1/2 inch will yield slightly better velocity and sight radius. It’s still tiny, and very comfortable. Be wary of the trigger, though. Unless you get one of the pricier “elite” models, you will almost certainly get an NYPD trigger. It’s just a tad too long and detracts from an otherwise very refined pistol.

  8. I am not a fan of small automatics, particularly in the larger calibers. They sacrifice accuracy and controlability (the muzzle flip on a small nine is worse than it is on a 1911) for an insiginificant concealment advantage. In warm weather, you can conceal a full sized 1911 or M-9 with a longer shirt. I recomend several LL Bean products that don’t scream “I have a gun” out ot the world at large. I bought a XDm Compact 9 last fall and while it is shorter than a full size its boxy shape prints more than my big guns do.

    So I will leave the Kahr, NANO or LC9 to the OFWGs who get all sweated up from carry a few extra pounds on their hip.

    • Well? What are your LLBean recommendations…?

      I’ve not seen muzzle flip to be much of an issue on the MK9 because it is so heavy to begin with. (Contra the P/CW/PM Kahrs, which are all polymer-framed, and much lighter.)

    • Since I’m not an OFWG I’d rather get arrested for open carry than wear L.L. Bean.

    • tdiinva, the Sig P290 that I tested last year had less muzzle flip than most full-size 9mms.

  9. GL Kohler, nice review. The Kahr sure is a pretty piece, but a Kimber Solo Carry Pro it is not. And unfortunately, it wasn’t my Kimber, just a T&E gun. Which makes me sad. Sniff.

  10. Is “It’s a huge deal, but I did look at the inside of an older K9 and the internal milling was flawless, suggesting a potential decline in QC. You have been warned . . .” supposed to be “It’s not a huge deal,”

    • Correct. I didn’t intend to aggrandize this flaw. All the important bits were nicely machined, but the corners of the inside of the slide had some marks. No effect on functionality or value.

  11. Sure a lot of people on here who should spend more time reading the review and thanking you for writing it, instead of pointing out every little imperfection. A human wrote it. Move along.

  12. Just a note to anyone who is thinking about buying a Kahr. I purchased a CW9 that was made about three months ago new from buds guns. The problem is not with BGs but with Kahr.
    I took the gun to the range and every other shot the mag fell out and it was not me hitting the MR. I called Kahr and they did send an all metal one to replace the plastic one. I refitted it and that seemed to take care of the problem as it did not happen again, but I then took the CW to the range a third time and the recoil spring broke. I called Kahr and was told I would have to send it back to Kahr on my dime. So to put it in simple terms I had to pay 20 dollars to send the gun back wait 6 weeks for them to look at it for a 2 dollar their cost 8 dollar my cost RS.

    Now I will contrast that with two other problems I have just had this week, One of my Smith and Wesson M&P mags was not working correctly and was over stripping the round. I called Smith and they did not even want a serial number, they just said, whats your address and one is on its way. WOW thats service

    The second example of great CS is Glock. I have a 19 2nd gen from about 95 that I purchased new, put it in my safe and have not even broken it in. My brother called me and said he was getting two Glocks and that he had been reading that the guide rods made of plastic seems to be a problem to some owners. I then went to the safe and checked my GR and it was missing about half the round plastic circle that holds the spring on in the rear and fits into the grove of the lug on the bbl. I called Glock and said its and old gun but I really have not shot it, they did not care it was what is the serial no, and one is on its way hope this fixes the problem.

    Contrast this CS at Smith and Glock with that of Kahr. I called a third time to Kahr to see if I could get a different agent as maybe this guy with a heavy English accent was just having a bad life. I got him every time and asked why he always answered the phone. He said he was one of two techs for all of Kahr. Well that answers that question. Next I told him I was shooting RAM ammo and was told to stop right there that any reloads void Kahrs warranty. I asked him if it would work for Kahr if I bought two and used them as book ends, if that would keep the warranty alive and well. LOL.

    Kahr seems to be loosing their edge as this great company that pays attention to detail and makes a great gun to one that has horrible to non existent CS and guns with problems. To give full disclosure I did have a previous problem with the CW, and Kahr did send me a replacement mag catch all metal that took care of it or at lasted seemed to as I did not get to shoot as much to test it out before the spring broke. But they also have had a lot of problems with this as far as I can read on line although they will most likely not admit it.

    So if you are looking for a Kahr, you may want to consider something else. As for me I am going to replace the spring with a wolf spring from midway and then sell it and buy a M&P c or G26, which I should have done in the first place

    • What the heck do you do with your guns to have all these problems? 🙂 I shoot every week and used to shoot a few thousand rounds a month when I was into serious competition and never had the problems you describe. Just bad luck maybe?

  13. Have an orginal K9, all steel pistol. I have shot the hell out of it. The black finish is about 60%. Not the slightest problem. Runs good, feels good, accurate, reliable. Shoot it, clean and oil it and put it back in the box next to my bed. Only hit is it’s like packing a brick. When I carry it, I use a butt pack type carrier and it’s fine but don’t use a pocket holster because I want to keep my pants on.
    GREAT pistol.

    • Must agree, my K9 is absolutely the best I’ve had..carry an iwb crossbreed holster, weight is no issue. It shoots amazing and has a ton of mileage. Still my edc after 8yrs.

  14. Thanks for the review.

    Newbie here, 6 months now, so I have very little to compare it to, but the first handgun I bought is a used MK9. It’s a very early, GAxxxx SN so according to my research, it’s one of the earliest MK9’s produced. That may explain, in part, why I like it so much – well machined/built and obviously already broken in. Because it’s an early GA, the frame was different from all the other MK9’s, so I can’t put wooden grips or a laser on it … whoopdydoo. It’s a gun, not a toy fire truck.

    I’ve rented several polymer 9’s, even the Kahr PM9, didn’t like any of them. Too light. Felt like they were going to just fall apart any minute. My MK9, however, is solid. Feels natural in my hand. And returns easily to target after firing each round. The polymers were like trying to control a run-away garden hose. Might as well just throw the gun at the target.

    After putting about 2,000 rounds through it, I’ve had one FTE – the casing hung up in the ejection port. That’s it. Otherwise flawless.

    And it shoots where I point it. Long trigger pull, but super smooth.

    Carries and conceals well in a De Santis Cozy Partner IWB.

    Hah! Have three handguns but haven’t named them. Have to consider that!

    I’m sure that I will own other handguns in the future, but I know I won’t be parting with my MK9. That one’s going to be passed on to my kids.

  15. I have to chime in here…

    My very first gun was the Kahr MK9. (I still have it and would never sell or trade it)

    This little gun has been flawless since round 1 went down range with no FTF, FTE or light strikes…EVER! no matter what ammo I fed it.

    Best DOA trigger..EVER! beats them all hands down. All gun manufactures could take lessons from Kahr on how to design and build a near perfect trigger. Now remove or reduce the long take-up on the trigger and you would have perfection.

    So much more good then bad about this gun, but it’s been covered in this review and many others.

    As to why I bought this gun, well I bought this gun when it was only 1 or 2 years on the market and there was nothing on the market at the time that was a true compact or mico. Everything out was either full or near full size with a reduce height grip and too thick for my idea of concealed carry. I wanted a full size round and the 9mm was the smallest cal I would move down too and there she was, the MK9 which fit the bill. Yes, I know, there where some nice so called compact 1911’s out there, but remember, they didn’t fit my idea of a concealed carry gun.

    As for the weight, with a proper belt and carry rig, it’s no more noticeable then today’s poly guns.

    And to QA issue with Kahr guns today, I cannot speak to as mine was bought when Kahr meant quality.

    I would not recommend a Kahr poly gun, but the all stainless, I’d still recommend, but then I’d point out that there are many quality compact, mico guns on the market today that are far cheaper and are just as good, maybe even better especially if Kahr QA has gone downhill.

    If I was looking for a mico 9mm today, I’d buy the shield before any other.

  16. I have a Kahr MK40 and a K9, love them both. They are two of the most accurate shooters I have. I had a M&P 9Compact, it was nice, but either Kahr is nicer. Yes, they are costly in comparison, but they are solid, quality and I have night sights on both of them. I’d take a Kahr MK or K over the LC9 or P290 anyday. I have a Shield 40 and prefer that over the P290 and LC9. Feels nicer and I am more accurate. Still, my MK40 is one of my all time favorite guns. I just wish they offered the rubberized grips like the K has for the MK; I put a Hogue Handall Jr on my MK40, does wonders for it. I also bought the K 40 extended mag, so it packs 7 + 1 that way; yes it sticks out a little.

  17. I’ve read the review and all the posts. Here’s my experience with Kahr. I bought one of the original, blued Kahr K9s in 1995 as a back-up/off duty weapon. It functioned flawlessly, thousands of rounds, from round 1 ’till 1998 when Kahr introduced their 2’nd generation K9. I sold the original and bought a new-version stainless model. It had been milled in a few places making it just a tad lighter. From 1998 ’till 2012 and about 10k rounds, it worked without a single failure of ANY kind. ZERO, ZLICH, NADA failures! I have 4 mags and rotate them weekly. I replace the internal gun springs with Wolff springs on the recommended schedule. At qualification, Spring 1012, the trigger return spring broke. Sent it back to Kahr. Even though it was long out of warranty, the fixed it, gratis. Turn around was two weeks. Spring 2013 qualification, not locking back on empty mag. I replaced the mag springs, followers and just to be sure, the slide stop lever. No hitches since. I can’t speak for their plastic guns or the Mk9, but Kahr has done right by me.

  18. I just bought a used MK9. GA prefix–1997. Well broken in– functions flawlessly. But I couldn’t depress mag release button because of the wood grips. Cut a thumb relief which helps but mag release still extremely stiff. May have to cut a coil off mag release catch spring. Of course Kahr does not approve of this. This pistol has the best trigger I’ve ever seen on a Kahr and shoots as well or better than any I own. My biggest problem with this one is case mouth mangling. I’m a reloader and that brass is like gold to me. None of the Kahrs I’ve ever owned did this. Anybody else have this problem? If so did you find a solution?

  19. I’ve had an MK40 since before the elites came out.

    I can only say the gun has been good to me. Initially the gun would have stoppages with 180 grain bullets due to length. The break in period did point out an issue with my gun, it was a transitional model from when they redesigned the recoil spring and rod. Basically I had the old rod and spring in the newer frame. I also had an issue with the slide stop getting bumped by the bullet ogive passing the stop during cycling. I sent the gun back, Kahr fixed the stop and updated to the proper recoil spring assembly. I went through a second 200 round break in with no problems. It works with all 180 grain hollow points and FMJ’s now but I tend to stick to 155’s.

    I can’t complain about the CS from Kahr. They did what needed to be done in a timely manner.

  20. I have owned my MK9 for 3 years now, bought from a friend with approx 50 rounds through it. I had no problems during the “break in” period and so far after a couple thousand rounds it has performed perfectly. I agree with the shabby finish on the magazine, but who cares. It isn’t seen anyway. I like the feel of a real steel gun, this is one I will never let go.

  21. Just ordered a K40 and a MK9 I’ll hit you back after the break in period. Any recommendations on IWB/Shoulder holsters and ankle carry would be helpful. Best range/carry ammo etc

  22. Well, here we are, 9 years after this article was posted.
    I’ve owned the MK9 since 2013. Truth be told, it came to me by accident. I had ordered a K9 and they ordered this by mistake. I figured I’d give it a go and I’m glad I did.
    It was my one of my main carry weapons, simply for the fact that I could stash it with an IWB holster and barley know it was there. Overall I’d say I’ve put around 1000 rounds through it over the years and I love the way it shoots and more important, I shoot well with it. I had one malfunction, early on, within the first 100 rounds with a FTF but not one afterwards. (and I’ve shot pretty much anything and everything through it) I load it with Federal HST 124 grain, standard pressure, for carry (as I do with any of my 9mm) and it seems to love them.
    My only gripe, really, was that it could have used some checkering filed into the front and rear strapping. Skateboard tape works fine though. I guess I could (and probably should) send it out to have it done. I do like it enough, to spend a little more on it.
    I’m so glad that I ended up with the MK over the other similar poly models. The extra weight helps with recoil, in my opinion, plus it feels like you’re really holding something. (like a mini howitzer)
    It’s light on Ammo, only holding 6+1 (or 7+1 with the extended mag) but I’ve got a few spare mags that easily fit in my pocket. Besides, I probably won’t need 15 rounds, if it ever came down to it (hopefully never) when shot placement is more than satisfactory at 7 yards. Really not bad at 25 yards either, for that matter.
    I’ll probably never part with it, although I don’t carry it as often as I used to. I tend to stick either with my Sig Sauer P225 A1 (yeah it’s an odd model breed but I LOVE it) or my Kimber Eclipse Pro Carry II. It’s really situational as to how I’m dressing that day.
    The Kahr fits under anything though.
    If you have a chance to pick one up, I’d say go for it. No regrets here.

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  24. A friend was reducing his personal inventory and gave his old GA serial number MK9 to me. What a guy, right?

    I love it! It has been my daily carry in a belly band holster. I am of the camp that thinks 6 or 7 shots is going to be likely all I’ll be able to get off in a real encounter, so not holding 15 is not a concern.

    I do like the non-stacking trigger but wish it were a bit shorter. As it is I have to hold both thumbs off the body, pull my trigger finger out more than I’m used to and keep my nails extra well trimmed. Otherwise I run out of trigger pull distance before the shot finally goes off. Just a matter of range time, muscle memory retraining and nail clippers.

    I cut a short length of bicycle inner tubing and slid it over the grip. Looks professional, it’s very snug, and I love the grip now.

    Thanks for the original review and all these comments over the years.

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