Thursday, January 10, 2013

Revolver or Pistol? Kel Tech PF 9?

Over the past couple years I have been generally selling guns. Part of it is getting rid of .40SW and .45acp to simplify my logistics. The other part is to get to the right place. Not necessarily MORE guns but THE RIGHT guns.  I built a nice AR named Project AR Upgrade not very long ago.

 I sold a full sized .357 magnum today. A fine gun but  I have shot it like 5 times in almost 10 years. Those were the times I took EVERYTHING out to shoot. Anyway it is down the river and the gun fund is up $400.

After doing some looking the Ruger GP 100 4" that will eventually replace the old guy as my big wheel gun costs more that the gun budget currently has. Also more to the point I don't see that gun getting much use in the near future. Maybe down the road when the kids are older and I am out in the woods more but that is awhile off.

That leaves me with 2 niches that could be filled. A snubby revolver or a compact single stack 9mm. A stainless snubby .357 seems like a decent option. I would either get a Ruger or a Smith. Might have to add some more cash to the deal but not a ton. The option of a single stack 9mm appeals to me a lot as it would fill a solid role as a carry gun slightly smaller than a Glock 19.

The Kel Tech PF 9 comes up as a very affordable option that is the right size for what I want. Nutnfancy seems to really like them. I have however heard some issues but am unsure how much of that are armchair forum commando's. I don't care about accuracy or trigger pull much, it is a little carry gun. Also I am not too concerned about being able to put a gazillion rounds through it as that's not the niche for this gun. However reliability/ feeding does concern me.

So questions:

1) Should I get a small stainless .357mag or a small single stack 9mm?

There is the consideration that I will probably need to spend more like $450 to get a .357 like I'm looking for while for the cash I have could buy a Kel Tech PF 9, some spare mags, a holster and a couple hundred rounds of ammo.

2) What have been your personal experiences with the Kel Tech PF 9, good, bad or even ugly?

Input is appreciated


Archer Garrett said...

Own a PF9. Mine never jams or has feeding problems. Of course, it's not a range gun - so it's not like I have several thousand rounds through it. I have a CT laser on it, so I'm probably a much better shot with it in low light conditions. : )

You can get a lot more mileage out of your money with a keltec.

Fireguy said...

I've had a P11 for several years. It is a big brother to the PF9, but not a lot bigger. Once you get used to the heavy single action trigger it is a fine backup gun.
For the snubby you might consider a S&W640. I picked one up for $350 from a retiring soldier who didn't want it anymore. Good luck.

Ryan said...

Archer, Thanks. I had a feeling you would chime in.

@6:09, For a wheel gun either one of the various Smith's or a Ruger SP 101 would be the ticket.

Anonymous said...

No experience with the Kels. Remember them being associated with gang bangers in SoCal. Might not be the image you want to project...

Unless you live near salt water stainless steel has issues that may outweigh its benefits. Glint from a street light comes to mind.

I have several handguns from Taurus. Am very pleased.

Archer Garrett said...

no problem.

There may be a place for snobbery, but I think a lot of reputations are just myth.

It's anecdotal but I have:

*FN P9 - got sent back to the manufacturer 3x because it slung casings at my wife's noggin (they claimed limp-wrist - BS; never had this problem before - shot a ton of brands).

*P3AT - 0 problems

*P32 - 0 problems other than rim lock on JHP (typical for the caliber; bought a component for the mag that prevents it - no more problems)

*AK47 - broke in the safe; waiting on a part to repair it.

*PF9 - 0 problems

chadow10 said...

I'd take a look at hte BURSA. I have in .380. I like the grip and shoot it better than the Glock subcompact that I sold.


Ryan said...

Chadow, Thanks for the thoughts. The Bersa is just a bit bigger than I am looking for.

Ryan said...

Archer, That is interesting. Anything can fail or break it is just a question of how often. Sort of why I am trying to get a sense of larger trends.

What do you need to fix the AK?

Graehaven said...


The PF-9 is a fine gun. I carry mine almost daily. Had zero problems with it. put several hundred rounds thru it when I initially got it. Great gun.

Archer, I too have the KT .32 .... what is the mag device that you spoke of to prevent the rim jam problem? Haven't had that problem myself, but, interested. BTW, love all your books. Well done!

Derek Simonds said...

I have a glock 19 as my primary and my small gun is an s&w shield. I am so impressed with it I almost bought some of its big brothers but didn't as I am heavily vested in Glocklandia... If you get a chance shoot one it sold me.

Archer Garrett said...

Look on the mags follower and there's a small rectangular hole. Keltec has a piece that fits in there that pushes the JHP forward - no rimlock. It makes the mag a dedicated JHP mag. FMJ won't fit then.

Without it, I wouldn't trust jhp. Ymmv. Google p32 rim lock.

highdesertlivin said...

Had this same dilema exactly ,five years ago.Dont remember all the pros and cons i researched.In the end s&w 340 Ti M&P 357 won. I carry 130 gr +p speer gold and one speed loader. Reliability is not even a question. Stay safe

Ryan said...

Highdesertlivin, Looks like a sweet revolver but MSRP above $800 for a snubby revolver is a bit out of control. Will probably end up with a base model SW like an air weight 38.

Chris said...

Heather has a Taurus TCP which is pretty similar to the KelTec. It is ok but a bit finicky on ammo and has above-average malfunctions. I'm not saying it malfs every mag but it is something to be aware of.

If I were in the market I'd be looking at the M&P Shield or a 38 snubbie.

Shield = Auto with all the goodness that entails (rapid reloads).

.38 snubbie = Goes bang every time but only 5 shots, long DA trigger may take more practice.

Ryan said...

Chris, I am leaning towards replacing the wheel gun with another smaller wheel gun. There are a lot of new sub compact single stack 9mm's on the market right now and I think letting the manufacturers work out some kinks and the guns develop some deeper track records might be a good idea.

I have been trying to get my hands on a SW Shield just to check it out for a couple weeks.

2heavyb said...

Have had 0 problems with a P11 I have had for quite sometime. The other keltecs I have shot reliably went bang and are small and inexpensive so whats not to like. I have a small smith j frame that quite frankly I carry a whole lot just because its so damn easy. One other big consideration is my wife loves the smubbie too. She shoots the glocks well but really likes how simple the snub is to carry and shot. It never hurts to get hardware the wife likes.

Ryan said...

2heavyb, Wifey has a pink .38. I am pretty much set on another wheel gun at this point. Just a question of what model I want and what is available.

Anonymous said...

I just sold a LC9 to go back to a snubby .357. I never felt fully comfortable with the small 9 in my pocket like I did with the revolver. For me, this pocket gun piece is only a get out of my face type usage where i always keep my 19 in my bag that is usually very close by.


TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...

Ryan -

I wouldn't worry too much about .357 out of a snub nose revolver...the power is mostly wasted out of a short barrel and the recoil is going to bust your hands up. .38 +P out of an airweight is bad enough.

With steel, you get more ounces and the recoil is a bit tamer - if you're looking for a heavier snub for belt carry and shooting .357 loads, I would put the Ruger SP101 at the top of the list.

For a lighter snubbie for pocket carry or similar, as ugly as they are, the Ruger LCRs deserve at least look. They've got a nice feel in hand, good grips out of the box and a nicer trigger than the basic Smith snubbies do.

Archer Garrett said...

Firing pin

Anonymous said...

I think the small automatic would be more concealable and with several spare magazines, would be less expensive than the revolver. My only experience with KelTec is two, a P3AT and P32 - both have proven to be exceptionally concealable handguns.

Ryan said...

Alexander Wolfe, I would mostly like a .357 to have the comparability of being able to chamber both. However if the right deal on a little .38 comes along I will give it a look. Those air weight ones look pretty nice and I will snag one if it pops up. Thanks for the info!

Sam said...

PF9 is simple, reliable and easy to conceal, and it's trigger is way better than the P11. However, with it's narrow and rounded grip in your hand, it's felt recoil is high. Just sold my wife's Pf9 for that reason.

riverrider said...

i carry a lcr 38 in my pocket anytime i leave the house. only once have i felt under-armed, facing an ms13 chump at a gas station,but he was uncharacteristically alone. another lcr rests on the nightstand. nothing beats a revolver for fast action.

sethmcdonald said...

I had a PF9. One of the worst guns I ever owned. Ever handled or fired one? Feel like junk when you pick it up. Most recoiling gun I ever shot. Makes air weight snubbies feel like a dream. My recommendation is spend the extra coin on a snubby .38

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just keep the .357 you had? It may've been big and clumsy and heavy and hard to carry, but it probably shot a lot more easily than any snubbie you'll get.

Ryan said...

"Why didn't you just keep the .357 you had? It may've been big and clumsy and heavy and hard to carry, but it probably shot a lot more easily than any snubbie you'll get."

Broadly speaking these days my gun buying and swapping efforts are aimed at getting just the right guns. Instead of an AR I got a nice M4. Instead of a shotgun I wanted a Remington 870. In this case instead of 4" blued revolver the one I had didn't fit the bill. The Ruger GP 100 that will replace the gun I sold as the big revolver is out of my current budget. Thus I am looking at other guns which are on the list including a smaller revolver.

Also I didn't use the thing. Between being big, heavy and having a less than durable finish (the gun turned into a rust bucket if it got near any moisture) it just stayed in the safe.

Yes that big old wheel gun will shoot better than any snubby except the point is moot as it would be in the safe, not in my belt.

Aesop said...

My personal prejudice is that friends don't let friends by Kel-Tec anything.(Fanboys, flame away.)

Then again, I had a Tec-9 at the time when it was all I could afford, and I seem to have acquired one of the few that performed flawlessly. And a 32-rd "pistol" in 9mm was a sight to behold.

My personal preference for smaller 9s is a Glock 26. Back in the day, the Colt Mustang in .380 looked and felt fabulous, but they had a sadly deserved rep as total jam-a-matics.

But if you're going for a last-ditch "belly gun", as opposed to jumping into a North Hollywood Bank Shootout, one of the Ruger SP-101s will outlast you, with the added benefit of using everything from light .38Spls up to hvy .357 loads, and being pretty weather-impervious.

So my answers would be "revolver", and "no", in order.

Chris said...

I own a 4 inch GP 100 and love it. Not sure if that is what you got rid of or not. Anyway, I have shot a snubbie in 357 with some of my hand loads (125 gr JHP behind 17 grains of 2400) and it was hard to handle. I would go for a smaller caliber autoloader and never look back. As far as brand and model, go to the store and try them out. Find the one that feels good in your hand. Maybe even holster them and see how they ride if your LGS is cool and doesn't mind you to do it.

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