Test: Kahr K9 in 9 mm Luger

The first Kahr K9 was a nine-round handgun with a single stack magazine, Lothar-Walther barrel and a double-action trigger that featured a surprisingly moderate 3 Kg trigger pull. Justin Moon, a 23-year old Korean American, scion to Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church cult, was behind this clever concept. Fascinated with firearms from a tender age, Justin Moon was searching in vain for a robust and simple weapon that still packed a hefty punch. This led to the birth of the Kahr K9. The Kahr factory now produces eight pistol series in a variety of calibers and models; this particular K9 model in stainless steel, the K9093A, is one of them.

Kahr K9 pistol: disassembly
The Kahr K9 has a closed cam track in the style of the CZ-75 pistol. 

The Kahr K9 test

Cycling/safety: The Kahr K9 does not have a manual safety, and only comes with a drop safety, which suits the purpose of a pocket pistol. The cases flew a little bit close to the head for comfort during ejection (-1 point). 

The testers measured travel of roughly 18 mm in the trigger characteristics, five of which as slack, and the remaining 13 mm of take-up with increasing weight. But a clear let-off was missing. What’s more, the trigger travels for another good two millimeters after discharge (-3 points).

It is in the nature of pocket pistols that the trigger/grip design is hardly going to get hearts beating faster, and owners simply have to live with the restrictions: there is space for roughly 2 ½ male fingers. The rubber grip panels offer a solid hold, but the extremely smooth front section of the grip does not (-1 point). 

Typical for Kahr, the operating elements were hardly lavish: trigger, bolt catch and magazine release. The magazine release and the bolt catch were hard to operate with one hand, even with strong fingers. In addition, the catch and the magazine release could only be operated with the right hand. The release cannot be moved to the other side. Unfortunately, it also takes tools to strip the weapon (-3 point). 

Kahr K9 rear sight
Kahr K9 test: The sights consist of a trapezoid rear sight with a matching wedge-shaped notch and a white line to provide orientation.
Kahr K9 front sight
The Kahr K9 has a laterally-adjustable squared front sight – unfortunately without a white dot, although the recess is there.

The sighting is precisely what can be expected of a pocket pistol, and the front and rear sights are shifted sideways by a simple knock; anyone looking for elevation adjustment for zilch will have to pick up a file. The rear sight has a white line beneath its cutout, while the rear of the front sight has a recess where one would expect to find a dot – but in this case, it’s missing (-2 points).

When it comes to the finishing, it has to be said that after taking down the weapon, the testers found a number of extremely fine machining traces on the inside along with the notorious poorly cut angles. There was a little slack on the slide of the K9, which made it rattle against the frame, and the recoil spring only had an additional coil at one end. A coil at the other end as well would ensure a more even build-up of force, minimizing the scraping against the guide rod (-3 points).

In terms of precision, though, the Kahr K9 put in an astonishingly stalwart performance with a shot group of 45 millimeters in diameter – that is a fairly good result under any circumstances, and certainly for a small weapon in this category (-6 points).

Summary of the Kahr K9 pistol test:

The Kahr K9 is ‘old-fashioned’ in the best possible sense. Snubbing the general trend toward increasingly light firearms, its manufacturer from Worcester in Massachusetts/USA has produced a pocket weapon made of solid steel. And it works. In Central Europe, the Kahr K9 is ideal for hunters needing a reliable weapon for coup de grace and hunting protection, and who prefer to have effective material in general and not just in their rifles and shotguns. In the few european countries that allows concealed weapon permits, the K9 is a very good compact and concealable defensive handgun.

Score for the Kahr K9 in 9 mm Luger:

Precision (max. 50 points)
44 points 
Cycling/safety (max. 10 points)
9 points
Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)
7 points 
Trigger/grip design  (max. 5 points)
4 points 
Operaing elements (max. 10 points)
7 points
Sighting (max. 5 points)
3 points
Finishing (max. 10 points)
7 points
Total score (max. 100 points)
81 points 
RatingVery good
5 of 6 

Shooting test: Kahr K9

No.Factory cartridgeGroup sizev2
1.95 grs TopShot FJ84 mm351 m/s379 J
2.100 grs Sellier & Bellot SP62 (32) mm365 m/s432 J
3.115 grs Remington UMC JHP45 mm330 m/s406 J
4.124 grs GECO Hexagon53 mm295 m/s350 J
5.124 grs GECO FMJ56 mm309 m/s

384 J

Note: Group size = 5-/4-shot groups, shot at a distance of 15 meters from the sandbag support, expressed in millimeters, measured from bullet hole center to bullet hole center. 

v2 = muzzle velocity two meters in front of the muzzle, in meters per second. E2 = muzzle energy two meters in front of the muzzle, in joules. 

Bullet abbreviations: FJ = Full jacket, SP = soft point, FMJ= full metal jacket. JHP = jacketed hollow point.

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Kahr K9

Kahr K9 pistolMichael Schippers

ManufacturerKahr Arms
ModelK9 / K9093A
TypeSemiautomatic pistol
Modified Browning system
TriggerDouble action only
SafetyAutomatic drop safety
Capacity8 + 1 cartridges
Barrel8.7 cm / 3.4”
SightsLaterally adjustable rear sight (3.8 mm) and front sight (3.6 mm), rear sight with white contrast line 
Total length15.6 cm
Weight744 g (with empty magazine)
Material /surface finishStainless steel receiver and slide with matte finish. Rubber grip panel.
7-round magazine with elongated magazine sleeve
999.00 Kahr K9 (manufacturer’s recommended retail price, including sales tax)