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.
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).
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|
|Commendations||5 of 6 |
Shooting test: Kahr K9
|No.||Factory cartridge||Group size||v2||E2|
|1.||95 grs TopShot FJ||84 mm||351 m/s||379 J|
|2.||100 grs Sellier & Bellot SP||62 (32) mm||365 m/s||432 J|
|3.||115 grs Remington UMC JHP||45 mm||330 m/s||406 J|
|4.||124 grs GECO Hexagon||53 mm||295 m/s||350 J|
|5.||124 grs GECO FMJ||56 mm||309 m/s|
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.