Saturday, December 4, 2010

REVIEW: Barrett 82A1 .50 Cal.

You've seen them on TV, online, in magazines and in the movies. One of the most recent as of the writing of this article is the sniper shots taken in the Hurt Locker which won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture (I didn't think it deserved it but that's another story). But most people haven't actually pulled the trigger of any Barrett .50 cal. model.

This summer, my wife and I had the good fortune to shoot a Barrett 82A1. This isn't a technical review of the rifle but rather a commentary on what it's like to shoot a rifle that, in less than 20 years, has become a legend. Not a legend like the Winchester .30-30 but a a legend in it's unique power and range.

Some quick specs. The 82A1 is manufactured in the Murfreesboro, TN. It's 57" in overall length and weighs 31 lbs. with a 29" barrel (a 20" is optional) and without accessories or scope. There are two caliber options, .416 Barrett and .50 BMG (tested). It has a semi-automatic action with a 10-round magazine that's the size of a small cigar humidor. The base price is $9,345 MSRP (another "Holy Cow"). Add some options like an accessory rail and high powered scope and you're paying as much for a gun as you would for a low-mileage, two-year old, fully-loaded Honda Civic. Street prices at your local shop can be $800 lower but the demand for these rifles is keeping prices pretty high.

If you think it might be fun to shoot a .50 cal, you'd be right. When you see the size of the rounds, you can't help but feel a little nervous excitement. And you can't help thinking, "Holy Cow." The second "Holy Cow" comes when you find out that rounds cost $5 each unless you find a good online supplier of military surplus, then they can be a slow as $2.75 a piece. Holy cow!

.50 BMG on the far left

We pulled a fast one on my wife and sat her down behind Barrett with zero briefing on it's recoil. She's shot a lot of pistols and rifles so she knew that a rifle of that size would pack some punch, but as you can see in the video, she had no idea it'd kick as hard as it did.

We would have had a lot less recoil shooting prone, but the ground was wet from rain the previous day so we shot off of a makeshift table. The wooden slats weren't bolted down so they moved a bit adding to the backward shift in momentum. When you are about to pull the trigger for the first time, you keep thinking to yourself, "relax, squeeze easy, relax, exhale" knowing there's going to be a big bang after a millimeter of finger travel. BANG!



So how bad was the recoil? Actually not too bad. Lift a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun to your shoulder and pull the trigger and you'll feel more pain than the Barrett dishes out. The recoil system in the 82A1 cushions the blow so it's not like taking a whack from a wooden baseball bat (like a pump 12-guage). Rather it's like a an offensive lineman giving you forceful shoulder push. It doesn't hurt but it's hard to stop yourself from moving backward. As you can see in the video, us heavier guys aren't as displaced as my light-weight wife (sell love that I called her light weight) but we still get pushed back quite a bit.
We were shooting at about 80 yards - way too close for that rifle. Shooting a Barrett 82A1 at 80-yards is like shooting a .38 Special at 80-yards. Neither were made for that distance. While we were blowing the heck out of the small barrel we were shooting at, we didn't do any real accuracy tests except one. But most shots were pretty close to where we were aiming. The owner of the rifle did shoot a golf ball off of a golf tee, but again we were only at 80-yards. It was a direct hit first try.
If you get the chance to shoot a Barrett 82A1 or any Barrett model, jump at the opportunity! Shoot as many rounds as you can afford. I say "afford" because at $3-5 a round, do the kind thing and offer to pay for the ammo you shoot. At least offer. Then brace yourself a thrill and make sure someone is shooting some video with your digital camera.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

REVIEW: Taurus PT709 Slim

UPDATES at the end of the review
3/27/2016 - Magazine issues and broken spring plate and dehorning those sharp tips on the front of the slide!

2/13/2012 - Crimson Trace Laserguard and Traction Grips.

Carrying concealed is a exercise in compromise. The variables are almost limitless, due not only to gun caliber, but also due to people's body sizes and shapes. Google search, "What is the best carry gun" and you get back 29,000,000 hits, each author giving his/her own advice or, as many articles do, leave you with no real suggestions just some broad ideas.

For me, I'm always looking for that balance of caliber, gun weight, gun size, price, ease of concealment, etc. I love the size of the Ruger LCP, but the little pistol feels awkwardly small in the hand and day-to-day is a .380 enough? I have a Kimber Ultra Carry II in .45 ACP, but fully loaded, it's heavy and harder to conceal than my Taurus Model 85 .38 Special. I love the little revolver, is 5-shots in the Model 85 enough? Can I really reload a revolver under stress? See what I mean?

I was definitely going to get a small 9mm semi-auto but I hadn't done it. After shooting the Kahr PM9 several times, I was really leaning toward it. But when Taurus announced the 9mm PT709 Slim I was intrigued. My interest increased when a friend of mine bought one and reported that he loved it.

While at a local gun shop, I had the luxury of handling lots of small 9mm pistols side-by-side.

After deliberating, I purchased the Taurus PT709 Slim. It seemed to strike the best balance of size, caliber, capacity and price for my purposes. The first thing you notice when you pick the pistol up is the thin grip. The grip is the hardest part of a conceal gun to keep hidden so Taurus kept the one on the 709 thin and short. Your pinkie hangs off the end - yet another compromise - but it's a carry item. Overall, the gun feels really good in my hand and the checkering molded into the provides a good, solid grip. The way a pistol feels in a gun store isn't very telling in regard to how it performs.

Even before real shooting, the double action pull seemed a bit heavy and the single action break was a bit hard - just a bit. So, I popped in a snap cap and dry fired it about 100 times and it seemed to smooth out.

The Taurus PT709 is a SA/DA with second strike abilities. I got to test this at the range when a round of cheap Wal-Mart Winchester white box didn't fire. It worked as advertised, after pulling though the double action, the primer popped and the gun fired.

At the range the PT709 proved itself. I sent 100 rounds down range at a variety of distances. The pistol was shooting low and to the left at first, but after adjusting the sights, it seemed to be dialed in. The recoil of the gun is very manageable. For a short nosed semi-auto muzzle lift isn't very bad. To put is in perspective, it's not nearly as bad as the Kahr PM9 but worse than a Walther PPS.

My friend Doug (really accurate marksman) picked up the PT709 for the first time and snapped off seven rounds, in 1-1.5 second intervals, and kept them all in a three inch group at seven yards. Not a bad accomplishment for a regular guy his first time 'at bat' with a new gun. I didn't have the same result my first time. My grouping was about 5-inches but I started pulling them in the second and third magazine.

Notice the target pictures above. Standing freehand, I was able to shoot a 2.6-inch group on an 8-inch Orange Peel target and a 1.7-inch group (on a 5.5-inch Orange Peel target) at 50-feet resting on a sandbag. On the bags, I loaded the pistol with the full 7+1 rounds. I was pretty happy with the outcome. The PT709 isn't a target pistol (and I was using cheap Walmart ammo), it's a short barrel defense pistol, so these results are more than satisfactory. I'm sure a professional marksman shooting high quality match grade ammo could do even better.




After a two boxes of 50, I started noticing that the trigger was much smoother and the break was much lighter. As the trigger improved, so did my shooting.

Overall, there's nothing really "blow me away" impressive about the Taurus PT709 Slim. It does have a nice mix of things that make it desirable to some and will make it less so to others. It has a SA trigger, that after some break in, is really nice. There's the critical DA second-strike ability if a round doesn't fire the first time. It has a thumb safety for those that feel better using it (I don't use it when carrying). There is a built in trigger safety. It has low-profile, adjustable sights (similar to the Glock). It's thin and really easy to carry concealed, even for a medium framed guy like me. It's holds eight rounds of a proven defense caliber. It comes in all black, stainless (mine) and titanium. It's super easy to breakdown and clean. It's very accurate. And it's relatively inexpensive, $415 for the stainless version, under $379 for the blued version.

Some of the negatives: It's a little longer than the Kahr. Some people dislike Taurus (I agree that they have had a past with ups and downs but they seem to be really dialed in now). It has a thumb safety (don't like it, don't use it).

While the gun lacks 'super wow factor', I really like it and am glad that I bought it. I'm carrying it in a CrossBreed Super Tuck where it's invisible and extremely comfortable.

Taurus has really upped the ante and it producing some inventive, good-looking and reliable firearms.  I have no problems trusting my safety to the Taurus PT709. Plus, it's so easy to conceal, so there are no excuses to leave home without it. My conclusion is that the price to performance ratio definitely puts it in the 'consideration' category when shopping for a small, carry 9mm.

UPDATE #1:
My Taurus PT709 Slim now has over 800 rounds through it and it's performed flawlessly. Other than a few feeding issues early on, the last 700 rounds have fed and fired without a single hiccup. As you can see in the accompanying photo, I've added a Pearce Magazine Extension and a Hogue Handall Jr. Grip Sleeve. Both additions have really improved the purchase I can get on the grip and have improved accuracy.

Also in the picture is my friend's Ruger LC9. We shot these to guns side-by-side and surprisingly, the Taurus actually outperformed it in several tests. Click this link to read that review. I've read several reviews of people getting 709 Slim lemons and I can believe that could happen. Luckily, I purchased a peach.

UPDATE #2:

I put a Crimson Trace Laserguard on my Taurus 709 Slim. Unfortunately, the Hogue Handall Jr. grip doesn't fit with the Laserguard installed. That's too bad because I liked the the grip so much I'm tempted to remove the laser and sell it on eBay and so I can put the grip back on. But, along with the Lasergrip, I bought another Crossbreed holster to accommodate the new shape of the pistol (in the photo the Taurus 738 TCP is at the top in a MiniTuck and Slim is bottom in a SuperTuck). Those two items were a lot of money while the Handall Jr. was $7. Geez. I'm going to look into getting some grip tape and see if that works. I'll keep you posted and the Handall might fit my buddy's Ruger LC9.


I have Crimson Trace lasers several of my carry guns and I love them. They're reliable, bright and well built. The Laserguard I have on my Taurus TCP is awesome. It is so logically designed it's idiot proof. Just hold the gun like normal and the laser turns on. No thinking and no change of habit, like the LaserMax, just use a proper shooting grip and it works. I have found that I have to sight them in, shoot them, then re-sight them before they'll stay put but that's not a big deal. You gotta love the folks at Crimson Trace.


So, I'm going to live with it as is for at least 90 days, shoot a couple hundred rounds with it and see how it goes. I'm looking forward to hitting the 1,000 round mark with the Slim. That should happen pretty soon.



UPDATE #3:

 As you just read above, before I could install the Crimson Trace Laserguard, I had to remove my beloved Hogue Handall Jr. grip sleeve. So, in it's place I added a Tractiongrip from Tractiongrips.com.  Tractiongrips has several precut systems for a variety of pistols. I bought one that was custom made for my Taurus 738 TCP, but they didn't have one for my 709 Slim.

I traded a few emails with Donald Meyers, of Tractiongrips, and he sounded optimistic about creating a custom set for the 709 Slim in the future. The absence of a custom set didn't stop me from buying though. After sorting though the pictures, I thought that the set created for the Smith & Wesson Sigma Series ($6.99) might work with a little trimming, and I was right. I used the oval pieces in the thumb dimples (if that's what you call them) and I trimmed down the side panels so they fit perfectly. I had enough left over for a small piece on the Pearce pinky extensions on each magazine. Luckily, I'd bought a universal Tractiongrips set ($4.99) that I trimmed down for the back strap.

After a quick trip to the range, specifically to test the Tractiongrips on my Taurus TCP and 709 Slim, I can tell you that I love them. On the TCP, the grips do little to alleviate the discomfort of shooting a tiny .380 but they do amazing work of keeping the pistol securely in your hand without adding any bulk. On the 709 Slim, the gun felt glued to my hand without feeling sticky and almost made me forget my Hogue grip sleeve.

As for concealed carry? I've only had them a couple of days but in that time, I haven't noticed any clothing snag or other issues though I've only carried the 709 Slim once and the TCP three times. So far so good. I just hope they stay adhered for at least six-months. Any longer than that and I'd consider it a bonus. But for $6.99 if I have to replace them once a year, I'd be fine with that. I'll let you know in six months.

UPDATE #4:
 Recently, I was practicing dropping and reloading magazines when, upon hitting the ground, the extended base-plate slid forward. When I examined the situation closer, I noticed that the spring plate had snapped. While I am a Taurus fan, I have to believe that this would not have happened with my Glock nor either one of my M&Ps nor my Ruger. It also proliferates my, and others, feeling that Taurus' are built with a little less quality than other mainstream brands. I have put thousands of rounds thought my Slim with virtually no malfunction but this is something that disappoints me.

I set off to buy couple of new magazines while I waited to see what Taurus had to say about the broken spring plate.

I shopped around and found some PT709 Slim magazines on eBay. When the magazine arrived I anxiously opened the packaging and slipped the magazine in and...it got stuck. STUCK! It would not go into the mag-well! I got out my trusty Harbor Freight calipers (see image) and sure enough, the new magazine was half a millimeter thicker than the original. That's not much but it's enough.

This was one of the new "Made in the USA" orange package versions. The last one I bought in the grey and black packaging fit perfectly.

Luckily, the eBay vendor refunded my money without hesitation and mentioned that "a batch did seem to be bad." This might explain why there has been such a shortage of magazines. If Taurus moved the manufacturing of the 709 Slim Mags from Brazil to the US and there was a tooling issue, this might have had a big chain reaction on supply.
UPDATE #6:

The PT709 Slim is designed to be carried concealed. The single-stack, less-than-an-inch profile and compact frame are near perfect for comfortable, inside-the-waistband carry–the way I carry most often even in an open carry state.

But, have you noticed that the front of the slide, on either side of the front sight, are two really sharp points! For a CCW that's designed to be hidden away, sharp points suck! They can poke into your skin and, over time, wear a hole in your pants.

Notice in the photo of the Slim in my Crossbreed how the nose sticks down below the kydex and the leather. You start to feel those horns. Now, notice how I had a local gunsmith de-horn the slide. Much better. For thirty bucks, he melted the tips, blended the front sides and bead blasted it to match the original finish. Overall, it looks pretty good. I'd call it 7/10 on looks but 10/10 on comfort. This is something I should have done a long time ago.








Tuesday, February 23, 2010

REVIEW: Ruger LCR

The Purchase: I was at a local gun store to buy 9mm and while looking at pistols, my wife announced that she wanted to get her carry permit and thus wanted to buy a handgun. I was floored because for the past few years, I've been trying to get her to do it. The next step was to find a gun she liked and was right for it's intended purpose - personal defense.

We were in luck, the store just received 88 firearms earlier that morning so there was a lot in stock. The thing I didn't want to do was be overly suggestive to any one gun. I wanted my wife to look at a variety of items then narrow it down to two or three then I would make suggestions to help her pin it down to 'the one'.

The sales manager, Bob, was very helpful. He held nothing back. He sat gun after fun on the counter. She got to handle things like a baby Glock (grip too thick), Walther PPS (ugly), Kahr PM9 (reviewed here) and CW9 (too hard to pull the slide), Ruger LCP .380 (too small), Smith & Wesson .38 Feather Weight (trigger too hard to pull), Taurus PT709 Slim (slide too hard to pull) and on and on we searched. She mentioned to Bob that she didn't like having to pull a slide back and was a little concerned about jams that semi-autos can have. I bit my tongue and kept quiet as Bob's eyes lit up. "Hey, I have something that just came in that you might like, I'll be right back."

Bob reappeared with a white box with RUGER written in red letters on it. He sat the box down and opened it. My heart skipped a beat when he pulled out an LCR (the polymer framed Light Compact Revolver). I had read about them but had never handled one. It was all I could do to not to grab it out of my wife's hands. Bob said, "Go head and pull the trigger."

She did and her eyes lit up. "It's light like the Smith but easy to pull the trigger."

I couldn't stay quiet. I piped up, "They built a new trigger mechanism from scratch. It's supposed to be really light." I held out my hand, "Can I try it?" She handed over the polymer gun. Oh, it felt so nice in the hand. It was so light and the Hogue grip was very comfortable (this won't matter in the long run as you'll soon see).

We all three weighed the pros and cons of semi-autos vs. revolvers. Semi-autos: more capacity/lighter triggers - but can jam. Revolvers: fewer rounds - but work every time you pull the trigger/don't need to be as meticulously clean to work. The choice seemed simple and even better, it was my wife's decision alone. She went for the LCR. Deep inside I was thrilled.

The Gun: The revolver is revolutionary. From the inside out, it's been designed from scratch. But just like when the Glock came out in the 80s (like 'it's a plastic gun that can go through airport security), there is some misinformation about the LCR. It's not an all polymer revolver. The back/bottom part of the frame is polymer (grip, trigger guard and back part of the frame) while the top frame around the cylinder and outer barrel are aluminum. The cylinder, trigger and inner barrel are steel. For some reason, I thought the whole frame was polymer with the key stress parts being steel (in 2010 Taurus is releasing an all polymer framed .38 Special).

There are two things that set it apart from other small framed, snub-nosed revolvers - the trigger and the distribution of weight. Immediately you notice that steel snubs are front heavy while some of the UL models are actually too light and can really punish the palm of your hand. The LCR feels perfectly balanced and weighted. Second, the trigger pull is like nothing you've ever felt in a small frame revolver. After 500+ rounds, my Taurus Model 85 has a really smooth trigger, but the LCR is smoother and lighter right out of the box (and after 150 rounds and about 150 dry fire cycles - with snap caps - it's like butter).




Shooting it: Once loaded with target rounds, the guns weight shifts back a bit but it's still light. As I pulled the trigger for the first time, I was expecting that Smith & Wesson Feather Weight palm slap. But interestingly, recoil felt lighter than my Taurus Model 85 UltraLite. One reason is that I use a hard plastic Crimson Trace grip. The hard plastic won't catch on clothing but it won't absorb recoil either. Make no mistake, the gun kicks but it's very manageable. The Hogue grip really helps and the finger slots make it easy to keep ahold of the gun as it fires.

The first time my wife pulled the trigger she flinched like crazy anticipating the recoil. After the first shot, she was amazed that it didn't hurt her hand and started gaining confidence with each shot. By the end of the day and 100 rounds, her hand was a little sore but geez, she shot 100 rounds!

The sights are VERY useable for a snub. The black sights provide lots of contrast and there's just enough light between the sides of the back and front sights to allow for pretty good aiming. My Model 85's sights are useless in anything but bright daylight. It's one reason I put a CT laser on it. I wrote earlier that the nice Hogue grips were not going to be an issue because we will be putting Crimsom Trace Laser Grips on the LCR too.

When push comes to shove, nothing beats the simplicity of laser sights. They allow you to keep your eye on the perp while aiming and shooting, they are great in low-light situations when a lot of crimes take place (black sights are useless at night unless they are illuminated by Tritium) and they increase the perceived threat level to the bad guy (for better or worse). The LCR will have them installed soon.

After some warm-up shots, we really tried to free hand some shots at a target 10 feet away. The results were acceptable for the distance, cadence of fire and newness to the firearm. See the accompanying picture (target rounds were used in the photo - 9 shots in the 8" ring, we never saw where the 10th hit).

We then switched to some +P Hornady Critical Defense rounds. I have to say, I really couldn't tell the difference in recoil. Next time, I'm going to have someone blind load the cylinder with both +P and target loads to see if I can tell which is which. Some say the polymer helps absorb the recoil, I don't know if its true, but the recoil is very tolerable for such a light weight gun.

I've shot many "exciting new guns" that were let downs in action. The Ruger LCR is not one of those. I was excited to shoot one and I hoped it lived up to the hype. It did. I was impressed with every aspect of the firearm. This is rare as guns are really an exercise in compromises.

If you need or want a conceal carry revolver, this is your gun. Skip the S&W Feather Weight, the trigger is way too heavy (especially for my wife and probably your wife/girlfriend too) and the thing kicks way too hard for the same wives. Ruger has built a perfect defense gun that will very likely change the future of revolvers. Just look at Taurus following suit (see photo to the left).



Start by finding one (good luck), then feel how nice it feels in your hand, then pull the trigger and feel the silky smooth action, then feel the money leaving your bank account as you walk out of the store with your new Ruger LCR...

UPDATE: We took the Ruger LCR back out for another workout. My wife shot 90 rounds through it again (I only got 10 this time). Her consistent accuracy was impressive. The trigger on the LCR continues to get smoother with every pull. Personally, I love shooting this revolver! The more rounds I put through it, the more you realize how nice it is. I think I'm going to try to sell my Taurus Model 85 and get one for myself.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: Kahr Arms PM9

Saturday I went to a local gun store to buy some overpriced .45 ACP ammo and the parking lot was packed! Normally, there are a few cars there and on CCW class days there are about 10 cars, but yesterday there were easily 20. It was hard to find a place to park!

Whether they’re carrying on a daily basis or not, there’s no doubt that carry classes are overflowing. Gone are the days when a card carrying, permit holder was in a small fraternity. Now days everyone has one. Since so many people are getting licensed to carry, it stands to reason that small, easy to conceal pistols and revolvers are going to be more popular than ever. Well, they are and Kahr knows it.

Kahr Arms is an American pistol manufacturer that was founded by Kook Jin "Justin" Moon, son of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. For all of you familiar with “Moonies” this church will sound familiar to you.


I chuckled when I heard that but it’s true. The good news is that “Justin” loves guns, got a carry permit at 18 years of age and didn’t like the quality and selection of many of the small guns on the market. So in 1995, he started a company who’s goal was to build high quality, compact, semi-automatic pistols.

When my buddy Bruce told me over lunch that he was going to buy a PM9, I had to bite my lip to keep from yelling, “Hallelujah!” I shot a PM40 a few months ago and was impresses but didn’t get a lot of time with the gun.

You see, Bruce was looking for a Ruger LCP so he called our local Sportsman’s Warehouse and found out that it was going to be a while on an LCP but that a Kahr PM9 was on the truck coming in on Wednesday. I don’t know how things are in your part of the US, but out here guns are strangely scarce. So if you find something you want, buy it right then and there.

In my opinion, Bruce did a very smart thing. He burned a vacation day, showed up at Sportsman’s Warehouse at 10 am sharp (as they opened) and bought the beautiful, all black PM9, with Tritium night sites on the spot. He wasn’t taking any chances.

He took the gun out on Purchase Day and ran 100 rounds through it to make sure it was ready for testing. I spoke to him on the phone and anxiously asked how it shot. He replied very calmly, “Well personally, I think it shoots pretty nicely.”


The gun is a Kahr PM9094N, in black stainless (very cool) with night sites. It comes with two magazines, a standard 6-rounder and an extended 7-rounder with pinky extension.

Saturday at the range, we shot a variety of guns before getting to the Kahr. But once I picked it up, I knew it was something special. It was very well balanced, very light - but not too light, and very small- but not too small. It was pretty close to perfect. BUT it does have one very interesting flaw. For that, you’ll need to keep reading.

We took some pictures and video then loaded the magazine with 6 rounds. I knew this first mag was going to be a bit wild as I got used to the trigger so I asked Bruce to shoot some video.




The guns shoots well. Very well. Even though the gun had only 100 rounds through it, the DA only trigger was light and easy. Because it’s DA only, the trigger must be completely released before you feel the reset “click”. It’s like shooting a revolver with a super light, 5 pound trigger.

After two mags, I shook my head and wrote these words in my review journal, “Sweet. Light DA trigger, easy to shoot, recoil is very manageable. Very Sweet,”. For a small gun, the recoil is surprisingly light. The gun kicks way less than the Kel-Tec P-3AT we reviewed. I was yet again impressed. The DA only trigger is so easy to pull, it's hard to believe. It makes one wonder why all DA triggers can't be this smooth and easy and why it took so long for a company to figure it out.

As for accuracy? At 10/75 yards, my standard pistol test ranges, the gun was surprising. As you can see in the accompanying photo, there are four magazines that were shot into the target. They are clearly labeled. The first two were loaded with 6 rounds each, the last two were loaded with 5 rounds since I only had 10 left.


Target at 30 feet, standing, shooting two-handed.
Set 1: I still hadn’t figured out if the gun was a dot-on-the-10-ring or dot-below-the-10-ring pistol. I put the dot below the 10 ring and shot six holes in the neck. (The 5 shots in the black circle below were shot with my Taurus Model 85 .38 Special)

Set 2: With the front dot on the bull, I was all over the head but not too bad as this was my first outing with the gun (one lucky bull and five real shots).

Sets 3 and 4: Two mags of five, eight on target, two that were low and to the left. Likely my trigger finger, not the gun.

For an ultra-compact, short-barreled, DA only pistol, I was more than happy with the results. Ok, light DA trigger, accurate, small, easy to handle, shoots well, etc. What’s the flaw?


Notice in the photo that there’s a small gap between the pinky rest and the bottom of the pistol grip. Every time you pull the trigger with the extended magazine in place, that gap pinches the dog out of your pinky. Every time.

If that mag was the only option, I’d be pissed! Yes, it’s more comfortable, but dang it! All I can say is that Kahr really needs to find a solution to that problem. I’ve shot lots of extended mags and have never had this problem. They all fit snug without a finger-pinching gap.

Personally, I’d rarely shoot the extended mag anyway. I’d never carry it that way as the extra length kills the concealability (my spell check doesn’t recognize that word, hmm) and why practice with a mag you won’t use in real life?

Overall, that’s a small, but real problem. If you want a small, light weight conceal carry gun and don’t mind shelling out some extra money (Kahr’s are sold at a premium price) the Kahr PM9 is a real winner. You get a great shooting, sexy little pistol that you’ll be glad you bought.


Photo: Kimber Ultra Carry II, PM9 and XD9 size comparison.

Kahr PM9 Review