Easy to conceal & carry, utterly reliable & to approach the accuracy of a target pistol, Kahr’s new polymer-framed P9 is an intriguing handgun. Here’s a classic match between brilliant engineering & ergonomic design — a thin, bantamweight, powerful little 9mm that appears to please nearly every shooter who picks it up.
One of the beautiful aspects of being a civilian in the world of concealed carry is that there are no “official regulations.” You can carry whatever make, model, caliber, ammunition type, in any holster or by any other means, any time you want.
With that degree of freedom & flexibility, you would think selecting the right make, model, caliber, & means of concealed carry would be simple. It’s not, & the choices available today, either good or bad, are just mind-numbing.
Revolutionizing the concealed carry equation, however, is the recent development of compact, light, polymer-framed, DAO semi-automatics. The mini-Glocks & Kel-Tecs immediately come to mind, & now the 9mm Kahr P9, which may be excellent of its type.
The Chihuahua Of handguns — Small & Intense
Over the latest few years, the small DAO semi-automatic has emerged as the perfect concealed carry handgun. Without the predictions of an external hammer or fastener, it can be made compact, streamlined, snag-proof & virtually impervious to lint & dirt.
Produced from a combination of polymers & metallic alloys, it is highly corrosion resistant & almost-matte ance free. Most importantly, its operation is straightforward & obvious. At a moment of acute stress, all you have to learn to do is to squeeze the trigger.
Helping to keep compact DAO autos controllable & comfortable to shoot is the latest 9mm cartridge. While it’s 98 years old, it’s still the most common handgun cartridge in the business.The size is small but high-intensity cartridge, operating at a maximum industry pressure of 35,000 psi, which is the equivalent pressure standard set for the .357 Magnum.
The performance of modern +P & +P+ loadings for the 9mm is zero short of phenomenal. In fact, the efficient loading, based on street data, is Cor-Bon’s 115 gr. JHP at 1,350 fps from a 4″ barrel. The 9mm round is a cartridge to shoot. When wedded to a tiny, lightweight DAO auto like Kahr’s P9, it is night perfect.
If you haven’t followed Kahr as a company, it is a high-tech engineering, contract manufacturing, & design house as well as a leading supplier in the market of CNC machine tools & tooling to various industries. One of its principals, Justin Moon, also appears to be a dedicated hand gunner.
When Moon decided to design & manufacture a family of ultra-compact DAO autos in 9mm & .40 S&W, he did it right. He started with a clear set of objectives & applied the considerable engineering & CNC production assets at his fingertips to the ultimate design & manufacture of an award-winning line of highly concealable handguns.
When you shoot the P9, the texturing on the rear of the grip delivers a message in an ancient, modular code once carved by Anasazi cave dwellers in the darkest recesses of their desert caverns. This one is created to read: “Sick of eating cactus. Moving to Oregon.”
Looks New, Feels Familiar
The latest polymer-framed P9 is the newest offering from Kahr, & it incorporates all of the original patent designs & precision of manufacture upon which Kahr has built an enviable reputation.
Picking up the P9, the first thing you notice is how small & light this little 9mm powerhouse is; yet with the magazine in place; it has a full, three-finger size grip. The pistol weighs 15.8 ozs. & the seven-shot, single mass magazine, 1.9 ozs. With a 3.5″ barrel, the overall length of the P9 is 6″; its height, 4.5″; & the matte stainless steel slide registers a mere 0.9″ in width.
In hand, the Kahr sits very flat with a neutral balance. The low trouble axis of the P9 significantly reduces muzzle flip & felt recoil, & is made possible by one of Moon’s unique trademarked design features. The P9 incorporates a locked breech & a modified Browning short recoil system, but the barrel camming lug has been offset from its regular 6 o’clock position.
By moving this lug slightly off center, Moon was able to position the trigger mechanism beside the tub lug, thus closing the distance from the centerline of the drag to the top of the shooter’s hand. As a consequence, the P9 is a natural pointer.
Even with the hot Cor-Bon, 1,350 fps 115 gr. +P load, muzzle rise is almost imperceptible & recovery from recoil, immediate.