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Kel-Tec PF-9 Compact 9mm Pocket Pistol Review Profile


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Kel-Tec PF-9 Compact 9mm Pocket Pistol Review Profile-Specifications, Conclusion
Photo of Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-auto pistol with ammunition and magazine.

Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-auto pistol, with ammo (Hornady 115 grain XTP) and magazine.

Photo © Russ Chastain
The Kel-Tec PF-9 has become my favorite carry gun. I can slip it into my waistband above my right butt cheek with the gun's butt (grip) to the right, and it stays very well. Because it's already ugly, I don't worry about its finish even when I sweat all over it - but so far, it's shown good resistance to rust. The only rust that has appeared has been some tiny spots on the exterior of the chamber portion of the barrel, on the right side (which is the side that lies against my body when I carry it as outlined above).


The Kel-Tec PF-9 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered for 9mm Luger. Fully loaded with 115-grain JHPs, it weighs in at just 18.05 ounces, and weighs 14.75 ounces unloaded, with the empty magazine installed. To compare for a moment, the Beretta Tomcat 32 weighs 16.65 ounces fully loaded... so it's certainly worth toting an extra 1.4 ounces to gain the extra power offered by the 9mm cartridge.

Height is 4.43 inches (including rear sight and flat magazine floorplate). Length is 5.94 inches. Width (thickness) is 0.97 inch at the widest point (slide release) and 0.88 inch elsewhere. Sight radius is about 4.7 inches, and barrel length is 2.97 inches.

Magazine capacity is 7 rounds, so if you carry with one in the chamber (as I do), you can tote 8 cartridges in it.

This pistol has a plastic guide rod, which doesn't seem wonderful but which doesn't seem to hurt anything. Originally, the magazine release was plastic, but Kel-Tec sent me a steel one (with a new spring) for free.

Along with the flat magazine floorplate shown on this gun, the PF-9 ships from the factory with a pinky-extension floorplate. The previous owner of this gun threw it away (!!!), but I probably wouldn't have used it anyhow, because it would have given the gun a larger profile, which isn't good for concealment. I don't have any problem holding onto the gun, even though my pinky has no purchase.

Plastic grip frames for the PF-9 have been made in a few different colors, and can be purchased directly from Kel-Tec if you wish to change the looks of your popper. Speaking of the frame, it does sport an accessory rail on the lower front portion, with one locking slot. Personally, I sometimes wish it wasn't there, because the front of that rail creates the only uncomfortably-sharp corners on the gun, and they dig into my tender hide at times.

The PF-9 is available in blued, Parkerized, and hard chrome versions.


While the 9mm Parabellum isn't the greatest self-defense cartridge around, this compact 9mm pistol definitely provides a good balance between concealability and firepower. It packs a lot more punch than a 32 or a 380, and hides quite well in a waistband, holster, or pocket.

The PF-9 probably won't win any contests based on beauty or accuracy, but mine has been 100% reliable, accurate enough, and easy to carry. I don't worry about messing up a pretty gun by sweating all over it. It packs more punch than any other semi-auto of similar weight. And, I just plain like it.

- Russ Chastain

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