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Kel-Tec PF-9 vs. Taurus PT709 Slim Compact 9mm Pistols Comparison Review


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Kel-Tec PF-9 vs Taurus PT709 Slim - Introduction
Photo of Kel-Tec PF-9 and Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm semi-auto pistols (left side).

Kel-Tec PF-9 and Taurus PT709 Slim compact 9mm pistols, left side. PF-9 on bottom.

Photo © Russ Chastain
The Kel-Tec PF-9 compact semi-automatic 9mm pistol paved the way for those who want or need a small-sized pistol for concealed carry, but prefer one with more oomph than a 32 or 380. Naturally, there have been imitators, and this article compares the PF-9 with its closest-priced competitor, the Taurus PT709 Slim.

MSRP on the PF-9 is $333, while the PT709's MSRP is $483. Actual retail prices for both should fall well below those numbers, especially for second-hand specimens. For instance, I shelled out $275 for my PF-9, and $335 for the PT709 (both were used).

Having owned, carried, and fired both of these pistols, I decided it's only right to compare them side-by-side, even though I have reviewed each of them separately. Both guns have their good and bad features, but in the end, there can only be one winner.

Let's start with the basics. Each gun holds 7 rounds in its magazine, giving a total capacity of 8 rounds. Both guns have steel slides and polymer (plastic) grip frames. Both guns are chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge, which is not the best in terms of stopping power, but it sure beats smaller rounds such as the 32 ACP and the 380 ACP.

In the photo above, you can see the magazine and slide releases on both guns, and the safety on the Taurus. If you desire a manual safety, the PT709 wins out, because the PF-9 doesn't have one. The PT709 Slim's safety blocks the trigger and locks the slide in the forward position.

As for the slide release, I have to call it a draw. Although the PF-9's frame has a well-thought-out protrusion of plastic to prevent snagging, the serrations on its release are too shallow to be useful. While the PT709 release's serrations are incredibly sharp and provide good grip (and might even slice an un-calloused thumb), it lacks similar protection, and without the safety to shrug clothing out of the way, it would be forever snagging when it's time to draw the gun.

A compromise between the almost-not-there serrations of the PF-9 and the too-sharp serrations on the PT709 would be best.

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