Kahr MK9 (VIDEO)

Description

The Kahr MK9 is a semi-automatic small-frame pistol chambered in 9mm. Kahr is one of the premier manufacturers of pistols and has lines for major calibers such as .45, .40, .380 and, of course, 9mm. Kahr also has several lines of small-framed pistols chambered in 9mm and the two most comparable to the MK9 are the P9 and PM9. But what makes it different is its stainless steel slide and frame and wraparound nylon grip. Also, it is the heaviest weighing 1.39 pounds (about a half pound more). Kahr recommends the MK9 for concealed carry.

The MK9 uses a locked-breech system where the backwards force is absorbed by the slide rather than the frame. The overall width is 0.90″ for easy concealment. It features a double-action only trigger and it doesn’t have a safety, but it’s less likely something other than a trigger finger will pull a double-action trigger all the way back. It also has a passive striker block, which is an internal safety that prevents the gun from accidentally discharging if dropped. It comes with adjustable three-dot sights (for night sights add about $100) and two magazines: a 6 round and a 7 round extended magazine.

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Specifications

MK9
Caliber:9mm
Grip:Nylon/black
Capacity:6 or 7
Sights:Adjustable three-dot sights
Features:Locked-breech; and passive striker block
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel/matte
Size:Small
Trigger:Double-action only
Website:http://www.kahr.com/…
Weight:1.39 pounds
Barrel Length:3"
Twist:1 in 10"
Length:5.3"
Height:4"
MK9 with Night Sights
Caliber:9mm
Grip:Nylon/black
Capacity:6 or 7
Sights:Adjustable tritium night sights
Features:Locked-breech; and passive striker block
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel/matte
Size:Small
Trigger:Double-action only
Website:http://www.kahr.com/…
Weight:1.39 pounds
Barrel Length:3"
Twist:1 in 10"
Length:5.3"
Height:4"
MK9 Elite
Caliber:9mm
Grip:Nylon/black
Capacity:6 or 7
Sights:Adjustable three-dot sights
Features:Locked-breech; and passive striker block
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel/polished
Size:Small
Trigger:Double-action only
Website:http://www.kahr.com/…
Weight:1.39 pounds
Barrel Length:3"
Twist:1 in 10"
Length:5.3"
Height:4"
MK9 Elite with Night Sights
Caliber:9mm
Grip:Nylon/black
Capacity:6 or 7
Sights:Adjustable tritium night sights
Features:Locked-breech; and passive striker block
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel/polished
Size:Small
Trigger:Double-action only
Website:http://www.kahr.com/…
Weight:1.39 pounds
Barrel Length:3"
Twist:1 in 10"
Length:5.3"
Height:4"
MSRP$855.00

Editor Review



Although the Kahr MK9 isn’t a new gun, at the request of a Guns.com Youtube fan, the editors of the site ordered the pistol and asked that I put it through its paces.

I’d like to mention, though, that it is difficult to be unbiased writing reviews when you do have certain preconceived ideas about various manufacturers.  Along with all of your favorites, you have that mental list of gun makers that you just aren’t interested in, for no truly definable reason.  Kahr Arms has been one such manufacturer on that mental list of mine.  Prior to this, I had no experience with the Kahr line.

Regardless of whatever baseless bias I may have had previously, at the request of Guns.com, I gave the Kahr MK9 a good trial and a fair shake.  I had to ask myself a number of questions as I was handling, shooting, and cleaning this compact semi-auto. 



Being a concealed carry gun I had to ask myself: Is it heavy?  And, yes, it truly is for its size.  Both the frame and slide are made of solid stainless steel. It weighs in at 22 ounces – that’s almost half-a-pound heavier than Kahr’s polymer compact nine, the PM9, however, it’s just two ounces more than a Glock 26.  Yet, there are advantages to having a heavier gun. Despite the fact that it uses the already mild 9mm round, the effect of the felt recoil, doubled with the heavy gun, was virtually non-existent.  I fired a 115 grain Hornady XTP through it in my testing and was pleased with the on target handling.

Although it might be heavy, my next question was: Is it comfortable? 

Yes, it really is.  It is probably one of the most comfortable semi-autos I’ve held, even taking in to account my large hands.  My only complaint about its size is that when holding it comfortably, my trigger finger tends to protrude much further through the trigger guard than I would like.

But comfort is one thing. People don’t buy Kel-Tec pistols because they’re comfortable. They buy them because they’re inexpensive, dependable and accurate. So, can the same be said for the MK9? 

 Well, that depends on what you mean by accurate.  I am partial to being able to fire less than 1” groups with any gun straight out of the box. Is that common? It most certainly is not.  I fired several four-round groups with the MK9 at 25 feet, which is the maximum distance I would consider for self-defense.  A range of 25 feet and moderate to fast shooting left me with groups that ranged between two and four inches.  Defensively, that is exactly what you need to neutralize a threat.

Remember, in a defensive, concealed carry situation, we aren’t trying to shoot the pistol or knife from the bad guy’s hand.  We’re trying to give ourselves an opportunity to escape a violent situation unharmed or help someone else escape unharmed.  A two to three inch grouping at 25 feet will more than accomplish that goal.

Construction

Its feel is amazing and it is what I would expect from an all metal CNC milled stainless steel handguns.  It is what it portrays itself to be.   It is arguably a good concealed carry, double action only handgun, if you can overlook the weight.  The seven round magazine is quite nice which would consider purchasing at least one more, just for the fit of my hand while using it.  Finally, it is made in the USA.  That is always a plus for me.



What do I dislike about this handgun? 

Taking the MK9 apart for cleaning was brutal.  I have a lot of experience with handguns and most of the time I can figure out the process just by tinkering with it, but this time around I had to resort to the owner’s manual.  It isn’t a simple slide to release and it comes apart in your hands.  You have to muscle the slide back to a point in mid-frame, pop out a pin, slide the frame forward, pull the trigger, and then it will release.  I tell you, those springs are strong, especially with a brand new Kahr. The tolerances are extremely tight, too. Re-assembly was just as trying and after ending up with a nice long gash on my thumb, I got it back together.  Trying to avoid some expletives, it went together and the action worked.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t be quick to turn away this handgun.  Like me, it has its tiny quirks but all in all it’s a pretty good gun that is exactly what it is claimed to be. 

The retail price on the Kahr MK9 is about $855 according to their website and a little more for night sites or the Elite model of the MK9.  I do think that is quite expensive for a compact 9mm. 

Three stars is my rating for the MK9 and that includes all of my biases, successes and experiences with this handgun.  I would certainly rely on it in a concealed carry life or death situation and I can certainly see it being successfully used in home defense.