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After reading Don Gammill, Jr’s PF-9 review, I was compelled to get my hands on a PF-9 for myself.  What was the source of this compulsion? I can’t say precisely, but I’m sure it had something to do with the considerable bulk of my other 9mm (a full-size Ruger P-95) and the marginal caliber of my other carry gun, a .380 Makarov.

I’ve been looking for a small carry gun in a caliber that I already shoot and reload. Since I’m not a fan of subcompact .45 ACPs with small magazines and big recoil, this narrowed my choices to the .357 Magnum and 9mm Parabellum. I’ve shot some very small Kahr 9mms and came away impressed, and I’ve always liked Ruger’s SP-101 in .357 Magnum. I came within a hair (not really a hair, more like a hundred bucks) of buying a 3″ SP-101 last month, but I didn’t. It was beyond my modest budget. Just like a weekend in Vegas, it’s a good idea for me to know my limit before I go to a gun store, and to stick to it.

I checked out dozens of snubnoses and subcompacts at a gun show a few weeks ago, and then I read Don’s review of the Kel-Tec PF-9. Warts and all, his review sealed the deal for me. I sold the Makarov to free up some funds and some real estate in my gun safe, and I ordered the PF-9 from an online retailer for $259.

It arrived in the tiniest hard pistol case I’ve ever seen, and I was pleased to discover that I’d received a higher-priced Parkerized pistol for the bargain-basement price of the standard blued model. My next two impressions were “OMG, that’s f***ing tiny!” and “Don wasn’t kidding about that trigger reset.” But I remain amazed that $259 plus shipping and transfer fee actually gets you a ‘real gun’ in a major caliber. The PF9 has all the bits you expect in a real gun: visible and adjustable sights, a slide that stays open after the last shot, a magazine release where you expect to find it, and even an accessory rail.

But not all of these ‘real gun’ bits are not quite what they seem. The adjustable sights are snag-free and easy to see, but on my pistol they don’t have enough adjustment range. The slide release lever is only a ‘slide lock’ to hold the slide open after the last shot. Magazine retention is solid (no accidental drops) but the mags don’t drop free. The accessory rail is mil-spec, but it’s too short to accept most lights or lasers. In these details, the execution of the PF-9 falls a little bit short of its expectations.

Size and Weight:

Kel-Tec advertises the PF-9 as the ‘thinnest, lightest production 9mm in the world’ and I have no reason to doubt them. It is exactly half the weight of my Ruger P-95 9mm with exactly half the firepower as well.

It is amazingly flat and thin. It makes many compact .380s like Bersas and Walthers seem both cumbersome and portly by comparison. It’s shorter, thinner, and 10 ounces lighter than a Walther PPK which holds fewer rounds of a lesser caliber. My .380 Makarov, an ugly Soviet sister of the Walther PP, was an absolute pig by comparison.

The PF-9 conceals very easily; easier, in fact, than a J-Frame S&W, the gold standard of a deep-concealment handgun. In a low-slung belly band holster, it completely disappears under a pair of Levi’s and a t-shirt. When the weather gets hotter, I have few doubts that it will conceal perfectly well under cargo shorts and a tank top. This particular method of carry doesn’t allow for a very rapid presentation, but it demonstrates that you can carry the PF-9 anywhere the law allows.

Go ahead, take off your jacket! Reach for that can of soup on the top shelf, with your strong hand! Lean over and try to ‘print’ the PF-9 against your clothing! Trust me, nobody will notice.


I agreed with Don’s critique of the PF-9’s overly-aggressive grip texture, so before I left I fashioned my own Hogue-style grip wrap from a  short section of bicycle inner-tube. The result is a soft, slightly grippy surface which softens the texture of the grip. It doesn’t bulk out the grip, and on my black-framed gun (no great beauty to begin with) it doesn’t even look too unsightly.

Even with my homemade Schwinn/Hogue grip wrap, however, the PF-9’s recoil is snappy. This should be no surprise from a 9mm that weighs barely a pound fully loaded, and is actually milder than I had expected. I’ve shot .40 and .45 subcompacts, much heavier than the 13-ounce PF-9, and positively hated their recoil. The PF-9 recoils much like a steel-framed .38 snubnose; it’s not a creampuff but it’s not a punisher. Well, not too much of a punisher.

The trigger pull is long and moderately heavy, but it’s fairly smooth and it only stacks slightly toward the end. Resetting the trigger requires you to release it *all* the way forward, just like a double-action revolver. I never encountered Don’s problem of ‘short-stroking’ the trigger, possibly because I spend a fair amount of time shooting double-action with my S&W Model 686. The hammer is partially cocked by the cycling of the slide, so there is no second-strike capacity if you encounter a misfire.

As noted above, the PF-9 has remarkably good sights for such a small pistol. The front sight features a large white dot which grabs your attention when you’re raising the gun up to the target. I like it a lot, and I wish the rear sight were a little bit wider to match it. The rear sight is a well rounded snag-free unit, made of a tough polymer. It can be adjusted for windage by loosening a small Allen screw, and Kel-Tec says it can be shimmed with aluminum foil to adjust for elevation.


The good sights helped the PF-9 achieve accuracy that was more than acceptable for such a minuscule gun. In deliberate aimed fire, it gave me consistent 2″ and 3″ groups, with an occasional single flier. My best 7-shot group was 1.9″. In order to zero the sights to the point of impact, I had to drift the rear sight as far right as it could go. It still shoots an inch left at 7 yards, but I can live with ‘minute of beer can’ accuracy at real world gunfighting distances.

Rapid-fire with the PF-9 is a lot like rapid-fire with a .38 snubnose, except that the sights are a lot better and you’ve got eight shots to work with instead of five.  It kept all eight shots in a paper-plate sized group, shooting as fast as I could. With so little trigger time on the gun, I was pretty happy with this performance.


This isn’t a range gun or a target pistol, so it damned well better go bang every time you pull the trigger. I shot through a box of Remington 115 grain FMJs, a box of Hornady 115 grain Critical Defense hollowpoints, and a bag of home-grown 124 grain FMJs. Feeding and ejection were 100% reliable with everything I shot. Ignition was 100% reliable with factory ammunition, but the PF-9 did not reliably ignite my 9mm handloads.

Spent cases showed fairly light primer strikes, and my reloads used CCI primers which are reported to be harder to ignite than other primer brands. In any event, Kel-Tec is sending me a new firing pin and spring which should solve the problem. For free. They also recommended that I clean out the firing pin channel, which I’ve done and which may have solved the problem already. It was, to put it politely, absolutely filthy.

But even if the handload problem never really resolves itself, I’ll always be completely satisfied with a defensive pistol that is 100% reliable with factory ammo. I’m favorably impressed with the overall reliability of this tiny pistol, even though I’m only halfway through the suggested break-in period of 250 rounds.


The PF-9 is a lot more pistol (and, in its critical dimensions, a lot less pistol) than anything  within $200 of its price point. It’s got every advantage over snubnose .38s: more bullets, easier concealment, better accuracy, and better ballistics. It’s not as tiny as the newest batch of ultra-compact .380s, but the marginal increase in size brings lots of benefits like better ballistics, more firepower, and usable combat sights. It’s not as feature-laden as larger 9mms, but it’s much more likely to be there on your hip (or in your pocket; it fits just about anywhere) when you really need it.

In the world of full-powered deep concealment pistols, its only real competition is the Kahr PM-9. If the PM-9 is as good as the other Kahr’s I’ve shot, and if money were no object, I’d probably pick the Kahr in a heartbeat. Money IS an object for most of us, however, and the Kahr is more than twice the price of the Kel-Tec.

The Kel-Tec PF-9 represents a lot of compromises between concealment, combat power, and handling. I respect Don’s opinion, and perhaps if I’d started with a Kel-Tec P3AT I wouldn’t be as impressed with the compromises that had to be made in up-sizing that gun to a larger caliber. As it is, I’m impressed with the features it provides at a simply amazing price. If it continues to be as accurate and reliable as it has been so far, I expect I will carry it for years to come.

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  1. You are a braver man than I; the recoil of standard-pressure 9mm's is quite enough for me!

    Kel-Tec says the PF-9 can handle +P ammunition (in limited amounts) but the gun clearly is not optimized for it. As you experienced, the extra-harsh recoil can induce 'limp-wrist' FTFs and FTEs even when you use impeccable shooting technique. I also heard from a law enforcement friend that Cor-Bon 9mm +P will cycle the PF-9's slide so quickly that the magazine spring doesn't have time to lift a fresh round into place. This turns the PF-9 into a six-shot manual repeater

    Since you mention shooting Wolf ammunition, you should know that Kel-Tec recommends shooting only brass-cased rounds through the PF-9. The extractor is a sharp and somewhat dainty bit of hardened steel, and shooting steel-cased ammo subjects it to much more battering than it is designed to survive.

    If it does break, a PF-9 extractor will only cost you $4.00 including shipping. I kid you not; this is a hell of a deal, but even Next Day Air delivery won't help you much if your defensive pistol breaks down when you really need it.

    • My new PF-9 doesn’t “go bang every time” either. After purchase (new) I went to the range with three types of 9mm FMJ brass ammo. Out of about 100 rounds and using 2 different clips, it would jam after almost every shot. The most I too got was 3 consecutive shots without a jam. Often it was every shot. I dissembled it, cleaned and lubed it and that made no difference.

      So, today I called Kel-Tec and got a recording, then I emailed them and got no response. This gun has the worst trigger pull of any of my 30+ handguns, the manufacturer is un responsive, the retailer didn’t give me a receipt with my name on it like Kel-Tec requires for a return so I’m feeling semi-screwed. I own a piece of junk from a un-responsive company. In good conscience I can’t even sell a crappy gun to third party.

      I sending it to Kel-Tec today and hopefully we can get it working long enough for me to sell it in operating condition.

      • RGB’s comment reminds me of my experience with another small handgun, a Bersa Thunder 380. Like his PF-9, the Bersa is so bad that I would consider it unethical to sell it to another party. Had I had the foresight to Google terms like “Bersa thunder stovepipe” and “Bersa Thunder Jams”, I could have saved myslef from this situation. That’s why I am checking out reviews, as well as Googling every conceivable problem, related to other potential purchases – such as the PF-9.

      • hmm thats interesting, had a pf9 2 years ago that needed the magazine release replaced under warrenty and went to them in person in daytona and they fixed it no questions asked in like 30 minutes and then fired a mag through it just to make sure everything worked good.

  2. I have a PF9 in hard chrome and carry it most every day. Hot in the 90's or cold as it gets my little friend is with me. Yes I have a Kahr as well as H&K or the old 1911 and I love all of them as well, but the Kel Tec is more comfortable and slips into obscurity in my pocket until needed.

    No rust (Hard Chrome), no muss, no fuss this little pistol goes bang every time. Yes as is my choice I do a fluff and buff on every pistol I own before I go to the range for the first time. Feed ramp, chamber, oh and yes don't forget the bolt face of the slide to a super smooth finish. This little one eats anything. No FTF or FTE it just goes bang and somewhere around 500 rounds down range so far of all types of factory and home grown rounds.

    Take care of them and treat them well. They will take care of you when you need it to.

    • Unfortunately my PF-9 doesn’t “go bang every time”. I bought it new, took it home and cleaned it lubed the slide and went to the range. Out of 100 rounds of new Winchester ammo, I could not get more than 3 consecutive shots without a jam. I wasn’t limp wristing it, the sucker just wouldn’t shoot. Typically the spent case would jam on ejection against the next round, sometimes it wouldn’t even try to eject the spent case. I have many guns and am a very experienced shooter. I bought this cheap one as I was told it was reliable and a steal that the price. I’m sorry I didn’t open my wallet farther and get something more reliable. I suppose I shall see how they honor the warrant then I’m selling it, paying more and buying a quality weapon. I should have known if you buy a $230 gun you get $230 quality.

  3. Since I wrote this review, my magazines are now dropping free as they should when the magazine release is pressed. I haven't shot it since the review, but I've subjected it to another detailed cleaning and lubing. I'd guess that there was a slight imperfection pinching the magazine in the well, and that repeated manipulation of the magazines has now properly worn it down.

    This was clearly a break-in issue, which has happily resolved itself. Considering all the garbage I cleaned out of the firing pin channel, I believe that the light primer strikes will be resolved as well. It would have been nice to review a properly broken-in gun, but that wouldn't tell other prospective purchasers what kinds of potential problems they should be aware of.

    There are some semi-auto pistols (notably Springfield XDs) that seem to jump out of the box fully functional and reliable, as if they had already been broken in at the factory and then carefully refinished. The PF-9 is not such a pistol.

  4. I'm expecting to pick up my new PF-9 tomorrow afternoon. After reading this, I now know to tear it down and detail clean it before taking it to the range. I'm a little confused how a new pistol could have such a filthy firing pin channel- but I guess it happens. Thanks for the review- one of the best I've read online.

  5. I have a safe full of weapons, including kimbers, wilson combat etc. I have a kel tec pf9 on my side. Yes you can feel it when you shoot it but my gosh i love this little gun. I finally found the answer of "what is the best ccw gun" , one that you will keep on you at ALL times.I love this weapon, but my suggestion is to put hogue jr grips and a trigger shoe on it.

  6. I was checking out a PF-9 at a gun show and it left me disappointed.

    The PF-9’s grip is totally uncomfortable. What the hell are those little plastic blocks for?
    And for somebody with large hands like myself the gun is totally uncomfortable to hold. If holding it is uncomfortable than shooting it is going to be a lot more uncomfortable. I understand it is designed for a life threatening situation where you won’t notice if it is uncomfortable to fire, but still a gun needs to be comfortable enough to practice with.

    However, I have to say you can’t beat the price.

    • To those who always complain about thier hands being to big….that means the gun is small. if you got a gun that was comfortable with your “BIG” hands, you would have a “BIG” gun….the idea of the kel tec pf9 is concealment, not “announcement” as in see the “BIG” imprint my gun leaves under my shirt, guess what I am carrying a GUN!!! look at me!!! I will live with the small grips of a “small” gun and no-one need know i am carrying a sidearm.

  7. The PF-9 is my deep cover carry weapon. I have a smart carry holster rig (size small) in which I carry two extra mags and it virtually disappears under my gym shorts. I carry everywhere including the gym, and while riding my 27″ mountain bike. I would describe the recoil as snappy but manageable. Critical to achieve a grip which allows for maximum control so try several manipulations until you find the grip that yields the best control. When wearing a belt – i.e., Jeans or Cargo shorts – I carry the PF-9 in a Minotaur MTAC on my right hip, and it rides like it’s not there. Now that it’s winter, I carry my Glock 29 with the PF-9 as the back-up; carry on, and carry often – Big Daddy Clause.

  8. Using an inner tube makes it a Pirelli Grip 🙂
    If the recoil is bothering you, cut a piece of Dr. Schools Gel pad and put it
    under the tube where the web of your hand is bothered.
    I’m pretty sure the manual says do not use reloads – I found that they would
    almost always jam in the chamber requireing agressive removal.
    I found it necessary to epoxy the curved magazine extension to the bottom of the
    flat magazine extension to keep my finger from being mashed against the bottom
    of the trigger guard. The extra 1/8 inch made all the difference in comfort.

  9. I have owned a pf-9 for about a year. As stated it is easy to carry. The accuracy is amazing. 25 yards hit the 6″ target 4 out the 7 shots one bulls eye. The 4 misses where my fault. at 20 ft. 3″ groups every time. The trigger is smooth, but it takes practice to get used to. Buff it up real good, clean the slide rails, polish the feed ramp , It just get’s better. This pistol has never missed a beat ever. One thing I did change is I bought the blued model, so I duracoted the slide.

  10. after watching all my buddies buy everything from springfields to tarus… and letting them spend their money as ginny pigs, taking everything into consideration i bought a pf9… They all laughed, but guess what? do to weight, size, and a few other things, im the only one who always has my gun with me.. I guess the laugh is on them when bullets start flying and their weapon is on the nitestand at home. Heres a tip.. the houge rubber grib as you mentioned really makes the gun better to shoot, and I used my little grinding tool to whittle down the finger grip to fit my hand better. I also polished out the slide, ramp and etc.. I like pretty! the steel slide will polish out like chrome. I use a fobus plastic paddle holster for easy on and off. Best gun buy I ever made!

  11. Dave, you carry a concealed weapon in the gym? Get a grip, man. Time to stop watching Rambo and Death Wish and take a look in the mirror.

    • dude you realize that the purpose of a concealed carry is to take your your gun with you ALL the time you never know where a situation were to break out it very well could be at the gym. so keep your uninformed oppinions to yourself

    • Bro you are in the wrong place- go hug a tree. “Carry” is called carry for a reason. Many LE’s and those in other professions need to carry at all times, particularly if working undercover, for a myriad of reasons. Don’t comment on things you know nothing about.

  12. It is what it is… an inexpensive little blaster that will get the job done providing you do your part. Shoot it, learn it, fix it if needed and go on. I purchased one to supplement my P3AT when .380 ammo was running $70.00 @box. Needless to say, I developed a load for that 380 that has been proven to be worth the effort.

    The PF9 will not fit your front pocket as well as a P3AT will, but the trade off is worth it in terms of power and ammo capacity. I’m a sawed off runt so I have to consider these things. The PF9 is a sleeper in all of “Gundom”, it will do if you can do! Kel Tec service is second to none, a great little gun made in America. When I purchased the PF9, I ordered Six magazines for it plus some spare standby parts for the P3AT. Kel Tec charged me for the magazines, but threw the 3AT parts in for free. What the hell do I have to complain about?

    Although I don’t carry the PF9 after fixing my ammo problem with the P3AT, this PF9 is not for sale, get your own! After running about 300 rds of various ammo through it with no FTF, it’s a keeper!

    Thanks George (Kel Tec) for birthing this little gun, you did well!

  13. I’ve had my PF-9 for about two years and have had zero failures or problems with the trigger re-setting. (While the trigger pull is long, it’s very smooth with very little stacking.) Even though I have the brushed chrome version, I wouldn’t call this pistol attractive, but this pistol is not meant impress folks at the range. The PF-9 is meant for social business.

    I have a Crossbreed inside-the-waist-band, holster. The only other hand gun that comes close to being as easy or comfortable to conceal is my S &W J-frame. As another posted, the PF-9 is probably easier for most people to shoot accurately than a snubby revolver. I enjoy shooting my J-frame more than the Kel-Tec, but I have to admit that the Kel-Tec is easier to shoot accurately with the same amount of practice.

    There are copy-cats out there like the Ruger LC9 and SIG Sauer’s P290, but they are more expensive, especially the SIG. The PF-9 might be the best overall value in the subcompact pistol category.

  14. Took my PF-9 to a range on Tuesday. Fired about 30 rounds (Remington “bulk pack” and Federal Premium Defense). Experienced one or two FTF per magazine due to light primer strikes. My gunsmith told me to give it 300 rounds to break in, then re-evaluate. Fired another 220 rounds today. FTF decreased, but still happening up to twice in one magazine. Thankfully, a few mags worth of 9mm today didn’t have any FTF.

    I figure I will 100 through it and if it is flawless, I will be happy to a backup/”car gun” — if not, I’ll let the gunsmith give it a go.

    By the way, firing 220 rounds just to break it in showed me that the gun is accurate enough, demands a well-chosen grip with one’s fingers placed for least bite, and it spews brass just about everywhere.

  15. Purchased a new PF-9 last week, and took it to the range on Saturday. Fired 100 rounds of Winchester white box, in magazine loads that varied from 3-6 rounds. Virtually every magazine had at least one fired round that failed to extract. I sent it back to Kel-Tec the same day, hopefully they can fix the extractor issue. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this gun, and look forward to putting some more rounds through it.

    • Ya know Red78,
      I had the EXACT same problem with my PF9 trying to shoot the Winchester “white box” 115 gr FMJ. The gun was double-feeding almost at every shot. Quite frustrating. However, it shoots flawlessly on every other brand I’ve used – target rounds and defensive rounds.. I don’t think you have a problem with the gun. There’s something going on with that white box ammo that is not consistent. I guess that’s why it’s cheaper and sold at Walmarts and Academy.

  16. The Kel-Tec PF-9 is good pocket defence automatic, I picked up one used not too long ago, recoil needless to say is much more felt than with the smaller .32ACP’s or the .380’s, after purchasing my PF-9 I had to take a small piece of emery paper and smooth around the trigger as when this piece was removed from the mold it was not smoothed off and pinced my finger not much but noticeable, years ago I purchased a Kel-Tec P-32 and felt it was the worst piece of junk I ever purchased, 95% misfires and ultimately a riggr pull that only Charles Atlas could pull, vowed I would never buy a Kel-Tec again ! Guess early quality control was terrible at Kel-Tec, I love the PF-9 and feel it is a great carry weapon !

  17. I went shooting my Kel-Tec PF-9 today with a box of Remington ammo, no problems hit the target with every shot, recoil not bad at all, a great pocket pistol to carry, definately far superior to the big derringers the .45/.410, Bond and American Arms etc, try shooting an American Arms Derringer in .44 magnum, the most painful weapon I ever fired ! The Kel-Tec PF-9 is fun to shoot in comparsion !

  18. Forgot to mention my Kel-Tec PF-9 seems to work the best with Remington 115 grain bullets ! A word of advice to each one of you, AVOID reloaded ammo for any of your weapons ! Unless you know who reloaded the ammo ! On occasion a person especially here in the western states will find reloaded ammo for sale at yard sales, swap meets etc, DO NOT BUY IT ! I have seen reloaded ammo reloaded to magnum in power that could destroy your weapon and even cause death or injury to the shooter, I made the mistake of buying some “swap meet” ammo, one round had no powder just the primer, bullet stuck in the barrel, thank God it was not an automatic but a .38 special, had to push the bullet out with a cleaning rod ! So always beware of that “good buy” as it probably was reloaded by an amateur !

    • I bought a PF9 w/crimson trace already installed & zeroed back in March. Finger space between laser and trigger is tight but well worth the addition. Wife even likes it and will shoot it! Haven’t found holster yet but looking…. It is what it is, a ccw. I ran 100 rounds thru at the range w/o a single problem other than a tender trigger finger.

  19. Just recently purchased a PF-9. After I figured out why it kept dropping the magazine (I was holding it wrong) I keep getting FTFs. I’m not too recoil-sensitive; my primary CCW is an LCR .357. I have owned/carried a Taurus PT-1911 and a GLOCK 27. Never any reliability issues with either. Is it just my pistol, or am I doing something wrong here? Thank you.

  20. @MrBill:

    I had some failures to fire, which went away after Kel Tec sent me a new firing pin and spring. I also *gently* deburred and cleaned the firing pin channel in the slide.

    Call their Customer Service, and you’ll have replacement parts in a few days.

  21. Actually they’re failures to feed. It fires and ejects just fine. I tried polishing the feed ramp with a felt tip Dremel bit and buffing compound; didn’t seem to help. I emailed Kel-Tec about the issue. Haven’t heard back yet.

  22. I’ve owned several Kel-Tecs over the years..I recently purchased a kel tec pf9…..I’ve put just over 250 rounds of Blazer FMJ ammo and 80+ rds of Remington 147 HP through the gun..I’ve had several stove pipes during the first 100 rds.. flawless since..I’m suprised at the guns accuracy…and its size (or like of size)..It takes a little while to get use to the trigger…but overall I’m pleased with the purchase

  23. picked up PF-9 tonight at a local gun show…traded off the worst purchase of my life for it ( Taurus TCP 380–the gun was unreliable and the sights were hideous NEVER BUYING A TAURUS AGAIN EVER

    impressed by the size and simplicity…cannot wait to hit the range Sunday with this little beauty–and thanks for the info on picking up Remington 115 FMJs to take along!!

    • I own a Taurus 24/7 9mm…had maybe 4 jams through the first 200 rounds. Never a jam since. Taurus for the most part makes good handguns. My 24/7 is accurate and has little recoil.

    • I too have owned several Tauruses (Tauri? Tauren?) and had no reliability problems EVER with either one. I believe I had premature slide lockback once on my 840 out of probably 1000 rounds, and I’ve had zero failures of any type with my 740 after about 250. Only reason I’m considering selling the 740 is the recoil is a bit too much for me to handle in such a small gun. You should have contacted Taurus customer support. My 840 broke about 6 months in and they got it up and running in less than a month.

      But I very well may be selling my 740 and picking this up instead.

  24. I recently purchase the PF9 from a friend on mine who is a dealer. He and I teach concealed carry here in Oklahoma. I had multiple FTE’s at the range (Behind my house) the first time out. I tried three different kinds of ammo. I called Kel Tec the following Monday and they sent me out a new extractor, spring, and screw. Received them on Wednesday, installed them in about ten minutes, and went out back again.
    No failures whatsoever! Gun ate everything i gave it and is very accurate for such a small pistol. Customer service is excellent. Yes there are guns out there that will perform flawlessly out of the box for at least an additional 100.00 the Ruger LC9 comes to mind, but the trigger break on it is horrendous just as on my LCP.

  25. I recently purchased a PF9,very accurate for such a small pistol.Haven’t got to shoot it that much but so far no FTF or FTE.Recoil is a little stout but manageable Will make an excellent concealed carry.

  26. I owned a PF-9 for about two years, it is great for pocket carry but I found it a real paint to shoot. I understand that these are guns meant for carrying a lot and shooting little, but I also believe you need to practice with what you carry so when the time comes you will actually hit what you intend.

    The PF-9 became very reliable after a fluf & buf, but it was never a fun gun to shoot. The recoil is very stout and the trigger is horendous. I traded for a Kahr PM9 and it is night and day. The PM9 is a little bigger than the PF-9 in all aspects (dimention and weight), but it is still very confortable to carry and best of all I can actually go to the range and put down 200 rounds and still have feeling in my hands. The trigger and recoil are lot better! Yes, it is almost 3 times more expensive, but for me it was worth it. The new CM9 should be just as good at about 1.5 times the PF-9 price. I may get one to stash somewhere for emergency!

  27. You did say to take a dremel and smooth out the bottom of the rail. When I fire the last round drop the clip and insert another one, the slide release doesn’t work correctly? Is that normal for the pf-9? All my other handguns don’t have this issue.

  28. I love this weapon. I had the .380 Kel Tec, and I was never very impressed with its reliability nor accuracy. Straight out of the box, with absolutely no tinkering, using Winchester Whitebox, Tul, Georgia Arms reloads, and Blazers, I have *never* had a malfunction, misfire, or problem with the PF9 in about 1000 rounds of practice. I carry inside the front pocket, strong side, using a Desantis Nemises holster, and I keep a spare mag in any other available pocket. For less than $300, this is my little hidden ace filled with Winchester Ranger XT a-hole repellant. I LOVE this weapon.

  29. if you need to speed reload, you need a lot more than any pistol, much less a pocket pistol. Guys complain about weight, especially if carrying in a front pants pocket, and then complain about recoil. Well, you get more recoil when you cut the weight. You can always add weight in the form of lead inserts, to the grip panels.

  30. I live in Arizona and have had a CCW permit for several years. I’ve owned a PF-9 for about three years. Prior to getting it, my other guns were so bulky, I only carried when I was going into an unfamiliar and in my mind dangerous situations. Out here a large fanny pack screams “Gun!”. Once I got the PF-9 it has been my constant companion. I had trouble initially with it feeding “social ammo”. I could get off about three shots and then a stove pipe. There was never a problem with FMJ ammo. After trying several brands I settled on the Hornady Self Defense round and have had no problems since. I own other guns that I would rather shoot, but none I would rather carry. Life is full of compromises. I work in an office so I use an appendix carry with a inexpensive holster that allows me to tuck my shirt with only the metal clip showing over the belt.
    After a six month dry spell, I went to the range yesterday and ran through 100 rounds of Blazer FMJ without any problems. Being a cheap guy, I use silhouette targets that I have shrunk to be reproducible on an 8.5X11 piece of paper. The 7 ring is about 4.5″ X 6.5″. An advantage of this size target is that anywhere on the paper would probably neutralize a threat. I re-familiarized myself with the trigger pull, I did not consider it to be heavy or notice any loading at the end, just long. It had the sharp recoil I remembered, which is normal for a small gun. At 21 feet I was hitting a 2″ wide 5″ tall string about an inch to the right of the “X” if I used the sights. I moved the target in to 12′ (room size) and shot by looking at the target and not aiming as would probably happen in a self defense situation. I kept 13 out of 15 on the paper. My final 10 rounds were at 21 feet using the sites. Most were 9’s and 10’s with one 8 for a score of 93 on my reduced target. In summary, the PF-9 is not a tack driver, but it is an excellent carry piece that is light and concealable and uses readily available ammo that would neutralize a threat quicker than the smaller calibers. When the “Obama Ammo Rush” was in full swing, .380 ammo was scarce and expensive, but 9mm was always available at about 2/3 the price. I have had no problem with it feeding FMJ ammo, but had to experiment to find a brand of social ammo that would feed consistently.

  31. I haven’t been to the range yet, however this is my first PF-9 by Kel Tech. I’m retired now and have carried for 38 years my colt 1911, and still do. had 380’s for back up, 32 cal etc. So I’m very pleased with the PF-9, it will become my new carry gun, anyway I’m by no means a fluff kind of a guy, but can somebody out there tell me how and the H–l do I get the seventh round into the mag. Please advise me by email. Thanks so much.

    • Don’t know if you received a reply yet. I was just browsing the internet and came across this post. Guys at the keltec owner site say the magazine spring is sometimes loaded upside -down, and a dissassemble and flip usually always fixes the 7th round dilemma…

  32. bought a PF 9 yesterday, just got back from the boonies, shot factories, good & old crappy reloads–simply love the litte gun. Does hurt slighty to shoot, but it aint a target gun your going to shoot that much. Wear gloves-no problem. I am a retierd law man so I played with a few guns in my time. I usually cary a Tarus melinum in .45 ACP. It has a lot more punch than the .9mm, all things considered, I will have the little PF-9 with me ALL the time. It simply is so darn easy to hide, & shoots so great. What good is a gun in your safe when you might need it ? The best $300 I ever spent . Will shoot it more for breakin, but have all the confidence in the world that it would save my life. God bless Americ

  33. I own A PF- 9 also, the sights I did have a problem with ,So I purchased crimson trace laser sights for it , The sights fit to the trigger loop one half each side then has screws to clamp the sights together they made a world of difference on my aim, the on button is a natural grip when you squeese the handle to hold the gun in position. I now carry the PF-9 more then I do my colt 45 ultra light.

  34. I’m torn between the concept of this PF9; smallest possible 9mm, not real easy to shoot, etc, and the other cc option; less caliber, easier to shoot well, MAYBE less potential problems which is a Bersa Thunder cc 380. Yes…380. The 380 is an expensive rnd to shoot but there are a lot of really good designs out there for the 380 cartridge. Just not sure which way to go.

    So is it better to carry the 9mm in a gun which pushes the limits of the gun that carries the rnd, or get a lesser caliber more suited for the gun’s size?

  35. i have owned my pf9 for 2 months now and have shot over 500 rounds of all kind of diff, ammo i have many smith wheel guns a glock,and a few others,[back to the kel tec] i was armed with my smith ,mod 19 357, 2and halfinch,but now i carry the kel tec every day all day everyplace i go, and i dont know what the other guys are talking about but i honestly shoot all bullseye within 12 yards,and i shot alot,my buddy has a p89 ruger and i took him shoting and my little kel tec embarresed him and those were his words,they are the BEST DEEP CONCELMENT HAND GUN OUT THERE FOR UNDER 600 BUCKS,[i know for 600 bucks we can have 2] i like the fact its a no frills good reliable gun, i wont get rid of my mod 27 glock becuse i love that gun also,but that stays in my breifcase while the keltec goes in and out of reseraunts, stores, shopping,banking, its always with me, thats just my opinion, and i have been CC for 27 years, i will follow keltec’s upcomming guns,

  36. Have only put 100 rounds through my PF9 but love it so far. Comfort and handling are noticeably improved with the “bicycle tire tube” type of remedy. Best to order a very thin rubber grip cover on ebay made specifically for this gun; cost was about $6.95 and well worth it. By the way, the Makarov is noticeably more powerful than a 380. The 9×19 Makarov is a very “hot” round and closer ballistically to the 9mm parabellum. The Makarov is all steel and slightly heavy but inexpensive, reliable and accurate.

    • Which ones on ebay are paper thin? I’ve tried a bicycle inner tube on my P95. I cut it to the shape I wanted, it doesn’t have finger grooves, it costs $4, and I can make 10 more with the one inner tube. Is it the best solution? It’s not the best material, but it’s good to experiment with.

  37. I love my PF9. For it’s intended purpose, it’s the best on the market. Easy to conceal and more power than a 32 or 380. I have had no problems with mine …. no FTL or FTE. I find it’s accuracy amazing for such a small gun. I did not find the recoil bad at all. I’m a but puzzled by people complaining about it.

    I noticed several people mentioning Kahr. Look up who own Kahn…. they are not getting a dime of my money, no matter how good the gun is.

  38. I would never carry this gun for personal defense, unless I wanted to use to throw at my attacker to give me time to run away. The biggest piece of crap I have ever seen. It did not feed and eject reliably from the start. I have sent it back to Kel-Tec twice and it has not been repaired. Now they want me to pay the shipping to send it back. That is $100. I am glad it was relatively cheap, I only wasted $250. It sits on the shelf in the closet a useless hunk of metal and plastic.

  39. I have almost bought one of these two or three times but stopped just short because I couldn’t get past the feeling I was buying a “kit” gun. I have yet to find a reason why I should shell out $300 for it and a couple of mags, only to have to spend the next three or four weeks fixing all the things on it (fluff and buff, smooth out the bottom of the rail with a dremmel tool, polish the feed ramp, FTF, FTE) that should have been done at the factory. Why should we have to do all of this after we buy it. I’m not a gunsmith, and quite frankly, I’m confused as to why all this has to be if you buy this weapon. There are other guns for concealed carry that don’t have these issues for not that much more money. I guess I’m asking someone to explain to me where the incentive is……….

    • You *might* have to fluff and buff. Most owners don’t have to do anything at all, and anyway, it ain’t gunsmithing. I’d be careful assuming that other, more expensive, guns in the tiny-9mm category have a much better track record. If you want to go double the price, the Kahr PM9 does have a trustworthy track record, but you could just as easily get a Ruger LC9 or other competitor with issues as you could the Kel-Tec.

      The incentive is that it’s really small and lightweight while still remaining shootable, at a very reasonable price. There are other guns for concealed carry that are unlikely to have issues, true, but if you’re an experienced CCW person, you’ll know that size and weight have a major effect on your willingness to carry the gun in all circumstances. And if you’re a regular schlub with a regular job, you’ll appreciate not having to plunk down an extra hundred or more for a 5-shot wheelgun or the Ruger, or the over-$600 price tag for the Kahr.

  40. Chris:
    You most likely DID get the blued PF-9 that you ordered, and not the parkerized model. Look at the label on your factory hard case to verify. The blued finish on the Kel Tec guns is very rough and dull, and can look a lot like parkerizing, but will rust and wear off pretty quickly and easily. When Kel Tec parkerizes a pistol, they also put the finish on the barrel hood (they do the same with the hard-chrome finish). Blued pistols come with no finish on the barrel hood. Since the pistol pictured has the barrel hood “in the white”, then it almost certainly is blued.

  41. A gun, any gun, should be reliable out of the box. I feel it is the manufactures job to ship them that way. I would not buy a gun that needs to be “tinkered” with to get it to shoot reliably. Don’t want reliability issues on my mind when I need to draw my weapon in my line of work.

  42. I purchased my Kel Tech PF-9 (Tan cerakote slide, black frame) yesterday. I was looking at a .40 Smith&Wesson, It was much larger and bulkier but carried a large amount of fire power (15round) but the price was a little to much. Once I asked to hold the tan/black Kel Tech I felt excited. For a weapon that is so small to have a nice 9mm punch puts a glimmer in my eye. I immediately started asking questions about this interesting handgun. After hearing a little more about the weapon I decided to purchased it, along with a Uncle Mike’s (Inside the pant holster) and a pinky extension and a few boxes of ammunition.
    When I arrived home I started looking up some reviews about the pro’s and cons of this weapon. I found that roughly 20% of the owners have a issue or malfunction with they’re KelTech PF-9. Witch meant that I needed to send some rounds down range at first light. With no cleaning or lubrication just fresh from the box, I put 100 rounds though that thing and all I can say is that it was 100%. Only a eject error that happened once. I used one really old 9mm round that I found in my car from my last handgun over a year ago. So I used at the end. But it kept firing after that mishap. I fell in love at first trigger pull and you just cant beat the price! The recoil was not as bad as I thought it would be. The sight picture was pretty damn good. It is accurate for the barrel length I think and as for the trigger, it I didn’t mind it at all. Its a Firearm! Not a bunny rabbit! Man handle it but treat it well and it will keep you alive when the time comes.

  43. Just came back from the range with my brand new PF9. What a disappointment it was. I was having failure to extract and jams every two to three rounds. Tried contacting Kel-Tec and just received a recording (another disappointment). Now Im not sure if I can return for warranty because I have no receipt with my name on it. (more disappointment) Kel-Tec what a let down.

  44. this author was clearly paid to write this article. keltec pf9 is a piece of garbage. i had a better 30 yard grouping with an hk p30 then i did with the keltec pf9 at 7 yards.

    • FP9 is a good pistol for the purpose. I’ve shot about 500 rounds thru mine and while it’s anything but a range gun, it’s a shooter. It’s light , comfortable to carry and conceals well.

      I’m guessing you dont own one.

  45. I’ve had my Pf9 for about 8 months and have about 400 rounds through it. No failures to function at all. However, My hand loads using a lead 124 gr round nose that I cast hard keyholes about 30% of the time. I took it to the gunsmith where I purchased it and he slugged the bore at .3575. He said these guns are set up for 155 gr loads and often don’t like larger bullets. The gun went back to Keltec and they sent it back with a whole new slide assembly – but the same results at the range. I tried my 110 gr .356 mold and got as good accuracy as with factory jacketed 115 gr ammo (which is as good accuracy as can be expected out of this size gun – 100% center of mass hits when paying attention to the trigger pull). I have not had any of the problems some other reviewers have discussed, at least so far. I am very happy with the gun, and I really like how well it conceals while being a full 9mm. I do wish they had recurved the trigger guard. My finger slips off the trigger guard every shot, but it is not a problem since super rapid fire is basically impossible anyway.


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