When Boring is Good: A Gun Snob Tests Kel-Tec’s Reliable and Cheap PF-9 9mm—Full Review.

While the Kel-Tec PF-9 might not be the sexiest CCW pistol around, it gets the job done—and for not a lot of money.

To learn more, visit https://www.keltecweapons.com/pistols/pf-9/.

To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.htm?T=PF9&ltid-all=1&og=1&as=365&ns=0&numberperpage=50&.

Gun Snob: Noun. 1. A person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur of guns and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding guns.

You Can’t Please Everyone …

One of the few guarantees in this world is that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. However, it has been my experience that in situations where both sides are heavily entrenched in their opinions, they will at least agree that you are the problem if you don’t embrace either of their extremes. The PF-9 from Kel-Tec is a gun that clearly creates these sorts of situations. While I was testing this pistol, everyone I encountered fell into three camps: Those who simply hated the brand, those that felt the gun was such a strong value that perhaps it should replace precious metals as a form of physical currency, and those who had never formed an opinion of the pistol at all. I was a never able to find anyone that had experience with the gun, but was ambivalent about it.

Compact, powerful, simple to use and affordable, the PF-9 has a lot going for it as a CCW gun.

The PF-9 is undoubtedly a gun that has been engineered to be inexpensive. The engineers at Kel Tec have done an excellent job of taking as much cost as possible out of the manufacturing process, resulting in a gun that is somewhat less than aesthetically pleasing to some people. Some also claim that the gun is not durable or reliable because of these cost-cutting measures.

One example of cost savings I saw was the plastic box that the gun is shipped in, which is filled with numerous plastic pegs. This allows one box to be used to hold multiple models, which reduces the costs of manufacturing and storing cases for each gun.

The traditional notch and post three-dot sights of the pistol proved to be very usable.


  • Chambering: 9mm
  • Barrel: 3.1 inches
  • OA Length: 5.85 inches
  • Weight: 12.7 ounces
  • Grips: Integral, polymer
  • Sights: Three dot
  • Action: Double-action-only
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 7+1
  • MSRP: $356.36


When I had the chance to open the pistol and take my first look, my initial thought was that this gun clearly met all the physical requirements for a concealed-carry 9mm. pistol. My second thought was that, aside from those bare-bone requirements, this gun had no fluff or style of any kind. It was clear that no concern was given for anything other than meeting requirements and reducing cost during the design of this pistol.

The requirements to be met in this category of pistol, although not officially codified by the gun industry, tend to run as follows. The gun should: shoot 9mm., utilize a single stack magazine with between six and eight rounds, include no external safety (or at least none you must engage), have a snag-free exterior, and be lightweight and small enough to easily be carried.

Integrating all the above into a pistol is approached differently by each manufacturer. There are also side effects that result from the choices that are made.

No gun is free from these “unintended features,” but the PF-9 has some unique side effects. The first one is the firing mechanism; Kel-Tec chose to go with an external hammer that is partially pre-cocked by the slide. The trigger serves to activate the final cocking of the hammer and its release. This results in a reasonable trigger pull of 5 pounds, but, if you measure the distance the trigger travels from the toe of the trigger, you discover that the trigger is moving a full inch to discharge the gun! This may not sound like much, but when you consider that the grip is only about 2 inches long and the entire gun is just under 6 inches, it creates a very disproportionate pull length. This serves to create a learning curve for the shooter to accurately fire the pistol comfortably.

An external extractor sits atop the slide to the right, rear of the ejection port.

The PF-9 employs a bobbed, exposed hammer that is actuated by the double-action-only trigger system.

I’d like to introduce you to a term you may not have heard before: Trigger freeze. The following scenario will demonstrate to you what trigger freeze means. The trigger is depressed, and the gun fires and cycles. Then, the shooter releases the trigger but does not allow it to fully reset the sear before depressing the trigger again. This results in the trigger proceeding to the end of travel without firing the gun. This phenomenon can occur in any situation where the shooter is attempting to “ride the sear,” to achieve the minimum trigger travel distance. You can see how a disproportionately long trigger pull could result in increased occurrences of trigger freeze.

In addition to the deceptively long trigger pull, the PF-9 has a unique reset. After the gun is fired, while the trigger is being let out, there is a distinct click at about ½ inch that, in most pistols, would signify that the sear has been set.  Not so for the Kel-Tec; no rearward movement is possible, and the trigger will freeze in place until you release the pressure on it and it travels fully to the front, where a second click is felt. Only after the second click is the trigger reset and ready to be depressed again.

The author found that the trigger has an extremely long pull of more than an inch.

My gun came with one 7-round magazine. This magazine functioned without a single error, but I must admit that I cannot recall a magazine in recent history that I have enjoyed loading less than this one. It was gritty, stiff and hard to hold onto. These regrettable characteristics were soon forgotten when the magazine was inserted it into the gun, which was relatively straightforward and easily achieved. Removing the magazine was straightforward in the sense that the magazine release control was in the traditional position. However, the execution of the activating the magazine release was anything but intuitive. If you attempted to turn the gun in your hand to activate the release with your thumb, the magazine was firmly wedged against the palm of your hand. It was easier to use the index finger of your firing hand to release the magazine. Since this served to bring the morale of the other shooters on the line to a new low, I tended to just use my free hand to manipulate the controls.

In the box with my gun was a second base plate that had a small forward facing ledge to rest your pinky on. I installed this after a couple of trips to the range, and quickly decided that I preferred the base pad that came installed on the gun. The extended ledge served only to uncomfortably wedge my pinky in an un-natural position.

The sights on the gun were a traditional set of notch and post. The rear sight appeared to be held in place only by an Allen head set screw. There were three dots painted white: two on the rear sight and one on the front. The sights were quite adequate, and far better than other guns in the same price range, despite (or maybe because of) their simplicity.

On the front of the pistol was a single accessory rail for mounting a flashlight, laser or perhaps even a bayonet. The rear of the slide had cocking serrations along with an externally mounted extractor. The slide release, although quite stiff, was traditionally mounted on the left side of the pistol within easy reach of the thumb.

Field stripping of the pistol was accomplished by locking the slide to the rear and then prying the takedown pin out with a spent casing or other leverage device. Once this was accomplished, the slide and frame were easily separated and the components came out as you would expect.

Over the course of around 300 rounds, the pistol ran flawlessly and provided good CCW-level accuracy.

On the Range

I made several trips to the range with the little Kel-Tec, not necessarily by design, but just by always leaving it in the truck. Because it was always at hand, I was always dragging it out to shoot, which meant that I could easily get plenty of opinions from a variety of range-goers.

I shot primarily three different kinds of ammunition through the gun: Winchester White Box 115 grain, Federal 115 grain, and Aguila 115 grain. I estimate that I either fired or witnessed about 300 rounds going through the gun in total. There were no malfunctions of any kind that I observed. I did not clean or lubricate the gun at all.

The accuracy of the gun was tested primarily from 3 to 7 yards. The pistol was shot with both hands, strong hand only and weak hand only. At 3 yards, it was quite possible to keep all 7 of the rounds in a 4-inch circle in under four seconds from low ready.

The attributes that make this gun desirable to carry also make it somewhat undesirable to shoot on a regular basis. It is well above snappy and just below painful in terms of recoil management. The 5-pound trigger pull is quite manageable, but the length of pull serves to make it anything but intuitive to shoot. In my observations, after about the fourth or fifth magazine through the gun an experienced shooter begins to overcome the unique challenges with this pistol. I would not say that they had mastered the gun, but rather that they had stopped fighting with it and could begin employing it effectively.

Everybody’s Got an Opinion …

This pistol is reasonably priced, totally reliable and has quite acceptable accuracy. She is also a wicked mistress if you are not completely faithful to her manual of arms. Aesthetically, this is what I refer to as a 5-foot gun, meaning simply that from 5 feet away it looks good and the closer you get the worse it looks.

Once the shooters testing the pistol got the unique trigger pull and reset down they were able to get good results.

There is no question that the value of this gun equals or exceeds its price. This has forced me to confront the possibility that I may be a gun snob. You see, I believe this gun would be an adequate choice for a small, compact 9mm. pistol. I just don’t know why I don’t feel completely comfortable with saying that I would employ it in that capacity. I can think of three other guns that I currently own, from different manufacturers, that fit into this category, that I will carry without hesitation. All three of my guns have three things in common: higher price, better brand name, and more aesthetically pleasing. In other words… fluff.

I guess maybe the first step is admitting you have a problem.

To learn more, visit https://www.keltecweapons.com/pistols/pf-9/.

To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.htm?T=PF9&ltid-all=1&og=1&as=365&ns=0&numberperpage=50&.


Another cost-saving feature of the PF-9 is the case that features numerous pegs to allow a wide range of pistols to be fitted by the manufacturer.

The compact dimensions and powerful 9mm chambering of the PF-9 give it a lot of positive characteristics as a CCW gun.

{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Rich October 14, 2018, 5:52 am

    I’ve had my pf9 for 8 years now. It’s been my EDC gun. The one additional mod that made it so much better to shoot is the +1 addition to the mag and it makes it feel like a different gun. 100s of rounds a year through it and only time I had 2 FTF or FTE was on the first 7 rounds I ever shot it. Now that’s it’s been put through its paces. Rapid fire, +p ammo. 115,124,147 grain all functions flawlessly. I trust this Tiny gun with my life. I know it’s not the prettiest gun or a glock trigger but it gets the job done. At 7 yrs I will put first sized groups rapid fire, my GF who has shot this gun as well and 5′ 120lbs shes handles the recoil just fine. Same with her Ruger lcp. Yes its absolutely more felt recoil over a Glock 19 but for deep concealment I needed this for based on a no firearms policy at a previous job in a rough area and I wasn’t going unarmed. For 200 range with +1 on mag new out of the box. It’s not a bad gun for someone on a budget or wants a highly concealable 9mm. Only issue I had was mashing my rear sight while training, but keltec sspae parts can be had for dirt cheap. Spare sights and extractor etx. Are about a $1/Piece so multiple front and rear sights cost me $6.

  • Stan Sharp September 3, 2018, 2:11 pm

    This was apparently not the same gun that I bought. I had to send mine back due to jamming. After completely rebuilding it the junky thing started it again. This time they said it must be me. I took it to the range and it acted bad with everyone. Never again.

  • Homebrew June 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Great little pistol, I have had mine 8 years. I had to send it back the 1st week because of trigger not resetting, got it back in just less tha 3 weeks… Great service, never any problem since. I put a trigger shoe on it, reshaped it a tad flatter and it did wonders on how the trigger feels compared to the narrow and sharp pointed original shape. I JB Welded it on not trusting the tiny Allen screws in the shoe to stay put on the plastic trigger. Works and looks great, just be sure to open up the bottom of the frame enough to remove the trigger if need be. About the “snappy” recoil I’m 71 years old have had 5 shoulder surgeries 3 including a complete replacement on my right and 2 on the left and have never considered the recoil at all painful, I do use a Hogue Handall jr slip on grip for a better grip with my old arthritic hands. It is always in my front pocket in it’s hand made pocket holster and has never drawn a glance anyone even when wearing dress pants. Wonderful little every day carry piece.

  • Joshua April 10, 2018, 3:05 pm

    All guns have their share of defects. Most of the complainers, bought a cheap gun, but expected more. Instead of whining, spend the $1000 to satisfy your ego. While mine serves the same purpose for $800 less. Go vote for Hillary complainers!

  • Scott in Atlanta January 16, 2017, 4:07 pm

    I purchased a PF-9 around 6 years ago, at the start of my buying spree (worried that Obama the grabber would succeed at his mission, which fortunately he failed at). The only other pistol I owned at that time was a Colt stainless 1911, a pleasant shooter indeed. What a shock to shoot the Kel-Tec. It was unpleasant and almost painful, with unreasonable recoil and hand bite that I quickly decided I had no intention of dealing with. In the meantime, I’ve read horror story after horror story about the PF-9 cracking and splitting, and wondered why anyone would count on this thing in a life or death situation. To each their own. My philosophy developed in a different direction, as I realized that you do get what you pay for in reliability, and my carry pistols are now costly but always go pop – P226, P229, P938, 1911, XDM, XDS, etc. NONE say Kel-Tec. I wish you fans the best and hope you never have a failure when it counts the most.

    • Jim April 6, 2018, 5:45 pm

      Obama the grabber? He didn’t even try to get your guns. I do wish he would have, though.

  • ProtoCulture January 10, 2017, 12:11 am

    Swen both good and bad comments here. Lots of folks who love theirs and plenty others who don’t. Question is, do you want to take the chance you’ll get a good one or a bad one? Hey, you coild be a lucky one with a reliable gun. Then again, you might not. No thanks, my life is not worth the saving a few bucks to play the Kel Tec lottery. I’ll keep my Shield 9 which is proven reliable and a great value to boot

  • Joe croughan January 9, 2017, 8:01 pm

    Do not buy this gun. Mine had three trips to the factory with no avail. To hell with Kel Tec. I hate them with a perfect hate. Never fired a full mag with out a failure…. name the failure it had it

    • JT January 9, 2017, 10:41 pm

      I agree. Kel Tec makes a garbage product. The Yankee Marshall advises not to take a Kel Tec to the range to break it in. It will just break. I had a P32 and my wife had a P9. Repeated trips to the factory, then sold them.

  • Brian January 9, 2017, 2:19 pm

    I have a gen 2 sub 2k 40 cal that takes glock mags and a plr 16 with red lion clothes and both guns eat any type of ammo you put in them they are both 100% reliable 100% of the time I can not say anything about their pistols never owned one nor have I ever thought about buying one but they do have some pretty cool weapon systems my ffl has never had any problem getting them as a matter of fact he has two pmr’s sitting in his case right now but I have been to other shops and they can definitely be a unicorn and that does give them a bad rep and I can see people’s frustration on that matter

  • Mickey Rat January 9, 2017, 1:05 pm

    My first “plastic gun” was a Grendel P10. Still got one. Still got my P32 with a pocket clip, extra round mag & a CT laser. I’ve had it since they came out, still a regular carry. Sold my Khar & bought a PF9. Good decision. All go and no show. I’ve been pleased with mine. No fun to shoot, but reliable except with 50 grain hp. I like light for caliber ammo because of arthritis. The PF9 is the limit of light weight 9’s for me. My DB9 is 16 oz loaded and really too much for my hands. I am a KelTec fan. P10 Grendel, P32, P9, P40, Sub 2000 Glock 9 version and a SU16A. Good, no frills products.

  • Noel January 9, 2017, 12:52 pm

    Carried a KelTec 32 for years. Never a problem. Upgraded to a 3AT. Have carried this for about 14 years. Never a malfunction. Hits within a IDPA target at 25 yards. Have no doubt that the 9mm KT would offer the same reliability. Lets face it; what we’re talking about here is what is called a belly gun. My buddies 9 goes bang every time. Feeds hollow points, etc. perfectly and fits in a pocket. In my state you were barred from displaying your carry gun openly until recently. I think I’ll skip the beauty contest and go with an inexpensive answer to self defense and reliability. BTW I do have some of those expensive pistols for competition, etc. Theyre pretty but have had more problems than my KT.

  • Dick F January 9, 2017, 11:40 am

    A good gun; yes I own one. I’ve used it for IDPA SSP, though the magazine is only 7 rounds and CCP now that this division is here. I use a fairly stiff hand load with the now-discontinued 133g Lyman SWC cast bullet. Accurate and a bit more than factory velocity. The only drawback to the PF9–ignoring the heavy trigger pull and stiff recoil–is the take down pin. The flange on mine has broken twice now. It jams the slide. I think the current one is a fix; it seems to be working well.

  • Eric Kevitt January 9, 2017, 11:22 am

    I have this model and the ONE issue I had/have, is the external extractor which began to fail to extract the rounds after about 100 rounds fired. The spring just wasn’t stout enough. I called Kel-Tec and they immediately packaged up two new springs and shipped them out,.. and once installed the problem was resolved. However, of the two springs that were shipped, they were both of a different spring bend from what I took off the gun leaving me to question the quality control of this item whether its manufactured in house, or done somewhere else. That said,… I was impressed by the customer service and I do really like this gun for CCarry but its reliability issue caused me to go with the S&W Shield .

  • Ken Davis January 9, 2017, 10:48 am

    I bought a PF9 right after they were introduced. I liked it because it fit into my back pocket perfectly. The more I used it the better I liked it. I left it under the pillow one day and my Great Dane found it and used it at a chew toy. The frame and magazine floor plate had many tooth marks on them that actually added texture to the grip. When I taught CCW classes, I would use the pistol as a training aid and allow the students to use it if they desired. In one class, the trigger return spring broke so I contacted Kel Tec and they had me send it back. It was returned withing a few weeks and not only did they fix the trigger spring, they put a new frame on it, free of charge. I was stunned. I was holding a gun that had more than a thousand rounds trough it, had never malfunctioned, had fed and fired flawlessly (except for the broken spring) the seven or so years I had it, and it still looks new. I’m looking at it now, not a spot of wear on it except one of the two rear sight dots is missing. All of this being said, this is my carry gun, it’s compact, reliable, easy to carry and conceal (fits everything I wear) and very simple to use. I own over sixty handguns, many with crimson trace lasers, some with Trijicon sights, accessory rails, lights, 1911’s, Glocks, Smiths, Rugers, Colts, Taurus, CZ’s and more but this is my go-to carry gun.

    • Marc F. January 9, 2017, 11:32 pm

      Great comments Ken. I also use the PF9 for TX LTC Classes. The ladies love it since it will fit in their purse or back pocket. I use the .22 LR conversion kit from Wicked Industries. Harry was the KelTec shop manager, branched off and started Wicked.

  • Houston January 9, 2017, 10:29 am

    I have the 40 S&W conversion kit for this gun and boy does that turn it into an even more wicked mistress. This is a very unpleasant gun to shoot, in 40 or 9. I get that it’s inexpensive but I want my students to actually go to the range and get proficient with their firearms and they simply aren’t going to do that with this one.

  • Ken January 9, 2017, 10:09 am

    I’ve sold both PF9’S I bought new. All points of the review were valid, except my purchases were years earlier and rated better boxes. My PF9’S were reliable and small, but just just no fun to put as many rounds down range as I do, and accuracy wasn’t going to be a goal. I replaced the Kel-Tec’s with a Boberg XR-9. No more reliable, but great snob appeal and more than three times the price (more accurate, better trigger, and more shooting comfort, all for just $1,000) ! Nuf said, Kel-Tec is reliable and a value for good concealment.

  • richard frischkorn January 9, 2017, 10:04 am

    I have a pf9 and I disagree with your comment about being reliable.Mine has been back to the factory on 2 separate occasions.The first time it completely locked up with the slide rearward,it had to be tapped forward with a hammer (lightly) but it could not be cocked again.Factory took about 8 weeks to repair,the second time it would not cock the trigger.The slide could be worked but it would not cock.Factory time about 11 weeks.I got it back with a worksheet that said slide/barrel replaced don’t know which one or both were replaced,internal parts replaced,again which ones or all of them.I have not had the chance to fire it so I don’t know how it will work.This is my second Kel Tec but also my last.Looking into a Glock 42 even though it,s a 380.Better have that than a 9 that I can’t count on.

  • Bruce January 9, 2017, 10:01 am

    I’ve had my PF9 for 6 years, put over 300 rds thru it. Never had a problem. It’s not a range gun. Shooting the PF9 hurts. The trigger is skinny and fairly pointed (it should be flattened). It feels like I’m pulling on a guitar string. Try that for a few magazines. The gun transmits its report straight to my hand. It feels like a slap every time I fire a round. But it goes bang every time! I have a Walther PPS .40 cal. Now that’s a beautiful gun in every way (it comes in 9mm also). It’s a pleasure to shoot and wonderful to look at. Like a beautiful sculpture. A pocket pistol that is a range gun! Accurate. Never fails. Multiple size magazines. And just a tad bigger and heavier than the PF9. But there it is: bigger and heavier – even if just a little bit.

  • meeester January 9, 2017, 9:39 am

    8 round magazine
    Transforms the gun.

  • Kenneth January 9, 2017, 9:15 am

    I still carry a hard chrome P40, talk about a wicked mistress, but not for plinking but definitely a good carry pistol.

  • Ed B of Florida January 9, 2017, 9:05 am

    I bought a PF9 a couple of years ago. Bought it new at a gunshow. First time out to the range and it wouldn’t shoot an entire mag. I was using a combination of factory 9’s and my reloads, which work fine in my Glocks.
    Since I live an hour’s drive time from KEL-TEC, I drove it there and they fixed it while I waited, then test fired it and said I was good to go. I worked fine after that fix, but my confidence was diminished. I sold it and bought a mini Glock.

  • George Bill January 9, 2017, 8:56 am

    Worse gun I had in 45 years of carry, never had so many fte’s, ftf’s and no bangs. The gun would not fire 147 grain ammo because my batch had the chamber ct too short for that round, “look it up”. This is your life you are talking about.
    Never had a bigger piece of crap.

    • coondog August 21, 2017, 3:19 pm

      Why are you carrying a 147 gr bullet in a semi compact ccw. Are you of those people with that magatis disease that has to carry the biggest and most powerful bullet? I am a retired fed officer and have carried several makes of pistols in 30 plus years. I am also a firearms instructor. I have carried the PF 11 for over 4 years and have shoot several hundred rounds of different makes. I have never had any problem with the pistol, early on I did a trigger upgrade with the Northwoods trigger. That helped very much it still has a 7lb trigger pull which is common to most double action firearms. Good gun for the price. It is a CCW not a range queen.

  • Jay January 9, 2017, 8:50 am

    My personnel experience with the PF9 was a horried experience, I had to send it back three times to address problems of incomplete cycling, dropping mags and stove pipes. Keltec was great on the customer support end as well as the shop I purchased from but for me, once a firearm has given me that many problems there is no way I am going to trust it as a carry PDW at all. The gun was finally repaired and functioned flawlessly for about 300 rounds and then I gave it to my son in law as he wanted a smaller in a 9mm. I wouldn’t have sold it to anyone and informed him of the problems I had. As of today, probably a 1000 plus rounds later, he has had no problems with it! Any manufacturer can have lemons or problematic guns but it’s hard to put faith in a particular one to guard your life and others when your the one it failed so many times on!

    • Dan January 9, 2017, 9:23 am

      I felt the same way when I bought a Springfield 1911 back in the 90s brand new that I had to have reworked to fire anything reliably – most fmj’s worked ok but still had an occasional ftf and Hollow points I couldn’t even get through 1 mag without ftf .
      $100 polish job and it worked Most the time but it never was 100% with hollow points for me- to bad cause I really like it.
      On the other hand a Wyoming arms 10mm shot great with one mag but the 2nd mag sucked lol
      That was the most accurate auto I have to this day owned.
      To bad they went out of business before they got the buggs worked out 🙁

  • Dan January 9, 2017, 8:49 am

    After having 3 P11’s I was hesitant to buy the PF9 because of the absolutely horrible 11+ pound trigger pulls and pinched finger trigger break on the P11 plus way to many ftf and fte s
    But I bought one anyways shortly after they came out because I wanted the lightest 9mm I could get for carry.
    It was a total surprise going from over 10 pounds of trigger pull to about 5 maybe 6 pounds and Even though the review says over an inch of travel – it was still shorter than the P11 and didn’t pinch my finger when it finally went bang 🙂
    Some say the P11 and PF9 are the same other than the magazine capacity ? lol
    They need to shoot the PF9 and they would trade the P11 off quick.
    I have never in about 500 rounds had a problem with it (yet) That I had with my P11’s
    In any case- the P11’s became history – traded off quick !
    DO I shoot it as much as my XD9 ? Nope – It’s uncomfortable to shoot a lot through it at anyone time – so I shoot a mag or 2 each time I go to the range just to keep in a little practice If I need it.

  • Jim Murray January 9, 2017, 8:15 am

    I had a Kel Tec 380 and it was 100% a go bang gun. It had the issue with dropping the mag. But it always went bang. Buying better was not an answer, the new Remington R 51 didn’t make 300 rds before completely quitting, Had to go back to factory service dig primer residue out of the firing pin block. Lots of misfires, light strikes, stovepipes. At 20 yds the impacts were 6 in low and 4 in left. After factory service it hits point of aim but the fired cases still show a bulged primer, which may lead to the same firing pin problem? Field striping and cleaning is not something you do on a whim!

  • Leighton Cavendish January 9, 2017, 8:04 am

    Friend of mine got a Kimber .380…that has been back to the factory at least 3 times in under a year…that he has told me about
    so yes…expensive lemons DO exist

  • Jim January 9, 2017, 6:56 am

    I have carried a PF-9 for five years, practiced with about 200 rounds (100 in break in) and one for real. It is NOT a target pistol, but it has gone bang every time I have pulled the trigger. If the Crimson Trace dot doesn’t win the moment, the bullet will.

  • AJMBLAZER January 9, 2017, 6:26 am

    I\’ve had mine for just over seven years now. It goes bang every time. I have never had any issues and it has never been back to the factory. Not much more to say about it other then it has been a very good gun.

    • Dan December 11, 2017, 1:53 pm

      I agree. I bought my Kel-Tec PF9 about that time also. I have since bought other guns to carry but always end up carrying with me because it is so slim. Fits in your back pocket.

      Also it always fires, its a nice little bullet launcher. No, its not fun to shot but why would you want to go sport shooting with it?
      That is what you full size pistols are for.
      It is meant for one thing, concealable bullet launcher.

  • Dave January 9, 2017, 5:58 am

    I have carried a PF-9 daily for over five years now and swear by it. Bearing in mind I’m in a good $4K on my primary “battle rifle” (Tavor topped with a VCOG, plus accessories), I typically buy only top notch firearms… Yet with that said, I confidently stake my day-to-day safety on a handgun that cost me less than $300.
    EVERY time I go to the range, the first shot I fire is the round that has been chambered in my CCL since last visit. I’m willing to drop that $1.25 cost of a premium self-defense round just to confirm that the tool I counted on to protect myself and loved ones over the past few weeks performs as expected. Not only does my Kel-tec consistently deliver at 15 yards, but more often than not I’m within 2 inches of a bull’s-eye! Yes, it’s a public range and the first line of targets on the pistol side are a lengthy 15 yards… Yet my PF-9 nails it every time.
    When I purchased this weapon it was the lightest slimmest 9mm on the market (the comparable Kahr was ever so slightly smaller in other dimensions). At purchase and still today, I feel confident packing eight rounds of +P Golden Sabers. I pocket carry with no holster, but when attire permits I occasionally use the frame-mounted spring clip (sold separately) to mount the weapon directly on my belt. That long double-action trigger pull provides a lot of confidence against accidental misfires.
    I think this was a good review, but I disagree philosophically with the aesthetics issue. For myself, form follows function, and the Kel-tec PF-9 is precisely what I need to get the job done… Nothing less, nothing more, and that in itself gives the gun a air of engineering beauty.
    PS. I love the closing line on “admitting you have a problem” as a gun snob. LOL Amusing self-honesty.

  • Dr. Strangelove January 9, 2017, 4:27 am

    I’ve got the P-11, the double stack version of this pistol. I’ve gotten six trouble free years out of it and expect many more. Once you learn the trigger it’s not a problem. The biggest compliment KT got was being copied by Ruger.

  • Wayne January 3, 2017, 10:21 pm

    It is a very good pocket gun. Mine has been completely reliable for 3+ years. Carried in a Desantis pocket holster.
    Have recently replaced it with a Glock 43. The 43 is about .5″ longer barrel and carries just as well.
    The Glock is much more pleasant to shoot and will get more rounds through it.

  • FelixD January 3, 2017, 9:32 pm

    I have had a PF9 for about 5 years. It was problematic when I picked it up. The problems have all been addressed by the company which really went a long way to correct things. The gun now functions without problems, but the problems were considerable. Over approx 800 reds my gun suffered cracked slides twice, 2 broken assembly pins, and a broken slide stop and spring. They replaced the frame twice. I am now on the third serial number. All things considered I would still buy another KelTec.

  • Rob January 3, 2017, 3:24 pm

    I have carried this pistol for about 2 years now. Great little gun now. Upon first getting the gun it was plagued with a failure to extract and double feed. I was never able to shoot more than 2 shots before this would happen again and again. Kel Tec’s customer service was above average in fixing the problem. They replaced the extractor and polished the feed ramp. Now it does run 100%. my only issue is sometimes when firing the extended round magazine it will drop free on it’s own. I may be hitting the mag release with my thumb or a weak spring for the magazine release or maybe a recoil induced problem from hot plus p ammo? Any input from fellow readers? And it doesn’t have this problem with the regular capacity magazine

    • JJ357 January 7, 2017, 4:05 pm

      Look at how many comments said their Kel Tech had a problem. People the difference between a cheap crapomatic and a reliable brand is 300-600 bucks tops. For two hundred bucks more you could have a Glock 19, Sig Sauer P350, S&W MP9, or many others. For 600 Bucks you can have a Sig Sauer 226, or 229. Your life may count on this gun, don’t go cheap.

      • Dustin Eward January 9, 2017, 3:13 am

        Expensive lemons exist. My Kel Tecs are reliable and accurate. My favorite being a really expensive Kel Tec; my RFB. Best. Gun. Ever. It’d be my EDC if not for living in a crap state that forbids Open Carry. Kinda hard to CC a rifle. Even such a tiny one…

      • Dave January 9, 2017, 6:00 am

        BS… In five years I had exactly one failure-to-feed in my first 100 break-in rounds and never a single problem since… I wish I could say the same for my CZ.

        • Alan January 9, 2017, 9:40 am

          What’s B.S.? The lemon comment?
          If I had a dollar for every Glock I sold that had issues when they first came out, I’d buy a new car.
          And don’t get me started on the Colt Pony .380 way back, what a P.O.S.
          Shall I speak to the Walther PPK’s in S.S.?
          14 pound D.A. trigger pull!?!? AVERAGE of the ones we tested out of our display cases.
          Money equals quality??? That’s B.S.

          • coondog August 21, 2017, 3:25 pm

            Thank you truer words were never spoken.

      • cat3c January 9, 2017, 7:13 am

        I have had similar problems with my “more expensive” guns as I have had with the Kel-Tec. Sospending another $300 to $600 dollars isn’t the answer. The few problems I had with my PF-9 have been Quality Control issues that I was able to remedy myself. My PF-9 is 100% reliable and because of the small size, I have the gun with my at all (almost) times.

      • Chil January 9, 2017, 8:53 am

        Affordability does not always equate to cheap. Kel Tec stands firmly behind their products and fixes issues when they are presented with them. I carried a P3AT as a primary CCW for 8 years before I retired it in favor of a Ruger LC9s Pro. I never experienced a malfunction with my P3AT after 500+ rounds, and it remains in its original configuration as shipped from the factory (minus some finish). A good friend of mine has carried a P11 for several years. He has replaced the extractor and hammer spring, both at Kel Tec’s expense. Again, I am not aware of any malfunctions (failure to feed/extract) other than two broken parts that I just mentioned. Both the P3AT and the P11 proved to be accurate and reliable. I guess, outside of espousing the Kel Tec brand, what I am saying is: It is better to carry a firearm that you can afford rather than not carrying at all. By the way….I love my Kel Tec Sub2000!

        • survivor50 January 9, 2017, 10:29 am

          I can second that. I’ve got “cheap” and I’ve got EXPEN$IVE… but in my wallet holster sits a P3AT and has since they came out. I couldn’t count the number of rounds it’s shot, and never had an issue…but I do a fluff and buff on all guns before I fire them. The exterior has worn off three times, and I just keep getting it redone. Looks like hell, but it’s accurate enough at any “combat” distance still. 3 yds…coffee cup, 5 yards, the saucer, 15 yards, pie plate… that ought to whet your appetite for a lot less than $300.

      • grifhunter January 10, 2017, 12:03 am

        Which one of those pistols is 12. 7 ounces? Compare apples to apples, please.

        For some, having to carry that extra 4 -10 ounces means not carrying any gun.

        • coondog August 21, 2017, 3:28 pm

          Then they don,t need to carry!!

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