Table of Contents
Kahr Firearms recently announced their release and production of only 500 25th Anniversary K9 pistols. This is to commemorate the success of their K9 stainless steel pistol, first released in 1994. Each new pistol will be engraved with its number in the limited series, and I was fortunate to receive for testing and evaluation one of the first few models with its Certificate of Authenticity. The slide has a “25 Years” logo engraving, and the included matching leather holster also has an anniversary logo. Front and rear slide serrations and slide porting or cutouts are all custom machined. The barrel and trigger are brightly polished, and the gun has a Sniper Gray Cerakote finish, with aggressively-textured aluminum grips, TruGlo tritium night sights, and three magazines included.
I was anxious to shoot and review this new, nice looking compact 9mm to see if it could be a supplement to my Top 21 Concealed Carry guns, included in the second printing of my book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials.” I want to shoot, analyze, evaluate, rate, and compare it to my other included guns.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition Specifications And Features
For this review, I will begin with the gun’s Specifications and Features. Then I will present my ten Criteria and their definitions, my initial General Impressions of the 25th Anniversary K9, followed by my Range Test Results and my Opinions and Evaluations for each of my criteria. I want to help you analyze this Limited Edition K9 to see for yourself if it is a concealed carry gun option for you. Of course, you can add or subtract from my criteria to meet your needs and preferences.
Know that I am not on the Kahr payroll, have not been paid or compensated by them in any form for this review, and not given any gratuities nor influenced to say certain things about the gun. I want to be as objective as possible, honest, and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to sincerely help folks.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition 9mm Pistol Specifications
|Barrel Type||Stainless Steel; Polygonal Rifling|
|Sights||TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights|
|Frame / Material||Stainless Steel; Graphite Gray Finish|
|Slide / Finish||Sniper Gray Cerakote|
|Trigger / Type||Double Action Only; Striker-Fired; Wide & Smooth; No Restrike|
|Trigger Press||Factory Spec: 7 lbs | Author Tested: 7 lbs.|
|Magazines / Capacity||7 Rounds; 3 Mags Included (2- 7 rnds & 1- 8 rnds); Steel; Single Stack|
|Weight||23.1 oz. unloaded + 1.9 oz mag - 25.0 oz.|
|Safeties||No Manual Thumb Safety; Passive Safety; No Magazine Disconnect|
|Grips||Hogue Aluminum; Custom Engraving; Black; Aggressive Stippling|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty|
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition 9mm Pistol Features
- Custom Machined Front & Rear Slide Porting Cutouts and Serrations
- Custom Engraved “25 Years” on Slide & Series Production Number Engraved on Frame
- Certificate of Authenticity Included for Limited Edition of Only 500 Pistols
- Custom 1791 Leather Holster Included
- Rear Sights Angled to Allow One-Handed Slide Operation
- Rounded Edges to Help Concealed Carry & For Smooth Appearance
- Heavy Recoil Spring to Help Muzzle Rise & Recoil
- Attractive Highly-Polished Barrel & Trigger
- Angled Feed Ramp
My Criteria And Considerations for this Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition Review
Here are just 10 of my criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for the Kahr K9. In addition to my criteria, other subjective features may be appealing for some, such as:
- smooth rounded corners
- a certain style
- mag release location
- action, caliber
- number of mags included
- type of sights/modifications
- bore axis
- grip angle
- non-porting or porting
- included extras like a holster and pouch
- customer service
So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that all gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want ALL of my criteria to be met. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my ten criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add additional criteria, preferences or subtract any of mine.
Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.
General Impressions: Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition 9mm
Without a doubt, the K9 Limited Edition 9mm compact is a well-made quality gun with a VERY TIGHT FIT AND TIGHT TOLERANCES, fine custom craftsmanship, and nice features for concealed carry. But, like any tight-fitting and quality gun, be certain to keep it well oiled, especially during the break-in period. The black Hogue aluminum grips are both durable and beautiful, very functional, and should last a lifetime. It is slightly heavy when loaded, which helps its accuracy, but it is good for carry. This Kahr Limited Edition K9 is a fine quality gun which is nicely machined.
The all-steel barrel is ramped, which helps feeding. It is compact and easy to disassemble, but the trigger must be depressed to do so. As always, be careful field stripping any gun.
The front and rear TruGlo tritium night sights are excellent, and the rear sights have an angle to them which serves as a tactical ledge for one-hand racking of the slide. They are steel, low profile, very sturdy, and help with a nice sight picture.
The front of the slide is uniquely ported, which helps to reduce or eliminate muzzle rise, resulting in faster follow-up shots, but not necessarily lowering felt recoil. There are nicely angled front and rear slide serrations to help with racking. Personally, I hardly ever use my front slide serrations and chamber check from the rear. The finish is a very durable Sniper Gray Cerakote, and both the frame and slide are graphite gray. Be careful with cleaning solvents because they can discolor and possibly damage the finish. The K9 is hammerless, which helps to reduce weight. The frame is machined for a very rounded contour, and there are smooth edges.
It was easy to takedown this Limited Edition K9, but you do have to press the trigger, so be careful. Safety First Always! It has a nice smooth double action only trigger which is wide and feels good. Some may prefer trigger face serrations, but this does not have them. It is hammerless. The slide was easy for me to rack and the felt recoil and muzzle rise were very manageable for a short-barreled pistol, partially due to its low 25 ounces with unloaded mag weight. My wife could also easily rack the slide. The trigger press was longer and harder than I expected. See my detailed opinions later about this under my Trigger Press evaluation criterion.
Below I will get into more specifics and my opinions for each of my ten criteria, after my range testing.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition Range Test & Results
For this Limited Edition K9, I fired only about 250 rounds total to evaluate it, using mostly full metal jacket/ball and some hollow point rounds. I did not shoot reloads, steel case, or cheap ammo. Generally, it is best to shoot quality factory, ball ammunition be used for the break-in process. And I recommend a break-in of 400-500 rounds for any pistol I am considering for personal protection to be combat-ready. This helps me be comfortable with its performance, handling, concealability, reliability, and accuracy.
NOTE: The Kahr Instruction Manual recommends that the pistol “must run through an initial break-in period before achieving fully reliable feeding and functioning. The pistol should not be considered fully reliable until after it has fired 200 rounds.”
I want to see how the gun handles both the hollow point and full metal jacket ball rounds before I bet my life on any handgun. Whatever it takes to make me feel comfortable with this life-saving tool. When a gun is brand new, I typically add a little more oil than usual, since for the first 200 rounds or so the metal parts and mechanisms are likely to wear a little more and the extra oil can help it run smoothly and not bind up. This is especially true for quality, tightly-fitted guns. At about 200 rounds for a lot of pistols, you might even notice a change in the trigger press and action. I try to reduce the effects of external variables that might affect the new gun’s reliability, accuracy, stoppages, and general performance. This includes remanufactured, reloads, steel-cased ammo, non-SAAMI specifications ammo, and generally less expensive foreign rounds, that might not be subjected to strict quality control standards. I want to focus primarily on the gun itself. I want to discover: Would this compact K9 handle both the ball and the premium hollow-point rounds without any malfunctions or stoppages? I had to answer this key question.
Below are my evaluations for each of my ten criteria for my concealed carry purpose. I wanted to put the gun through its paces with my concealed carry drill at 7 yards with a mag change and check it thoroughly for malfunctions, stoppages, and performance with premium, quality JHP, and FMJ rounds. I want to thank Sig Sauer for providing Elite Performance fine 9mm FMJ in 115, 124, and 147 grain and a few 115 and 124 grain V-Crown JHP ammo to test and evaluate this Limited Edition K9. I shot a variety of ammo types and weights to determine how well the gun cycled and handled different loads.
I used my standard “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” to test and evaluate the K9 after I initially thoroughly cleaned it. You can use my Concealed Carry Drill to test and evaluate your handguns. I like the realistic 5 or 7-yard distance best to simulate deadly-force close encounters and for me a challenge.
DOWNLOAD, PRINT, AND SHARE MY CC DRILL & TARGET
You can have my Concealed Carry Drill for free for your practice. Permission to Download, Print, and share “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” is granted when my website address and copyright are included and kept on it.
You can Download and Print “COL BEN’S CONCEALED CARRY DRILL” and targets by clicking on the link at my website’s Articles Page at www.FloridaHandgunsTraining.com
Also, you can cclick here for a free download from USA Carry.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition Range Results
At 7 yards and shooting the five various-sized circles, I landed all 15 rounds (with a mag change- 7+1 rounds mag #1 + 7 rounds mag #2) in them. I had to grip the gun, especially firmly and work to control my movement for accuracy because of the long and hard trigger press and long reset. (I am used to shooting 1911 single-action triggers which are shorter and softer. Some prefer a longer press.) I fired rapid-fire initially with the ball-full metal jacket 115, 124, and 147 grain rounds. Then, I shot the Sig V-Crown rounds in 115 and 124 grain JHP and all hit in their five circle targets and within the 20 seconds time limit (albeit close) at 5 and 7 yards. I did have to have two trials at each distance because I was not used to the long trigger press and long reset of this pistol. I missed the third round for the 2.5″ circle, and that round landed in the 4.5″ circle target on my second trial. See the above photo. Although a challenge for this old geezer with declining eyesight, I completed my drill at longer distances of 10 and 15 yards, but my times weren’t great.
These hits were acceptable for me for closeup self-defense encounters. This is not precision, bullseye shooting. BUT, shoot it for yourself to make your own decisions, based on your abilities, goals, use, and proficiency. Use my Drill at various distances, e.g., 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 yards to challenge yourself, as you progress. At first, do not time yourself but safely practice, until you feel comfortable and safe with the Drill. Above are my hits for my 15 rounds at 7 yards fired rapid fire with a mag change with the K9 compact 9mm. I bypassed 3 yards for more of a challenge and given my available time constraints. I hope my Drill helps you.
Opinions And Evaluations For Each Criterion
1. Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 9
The accuracy of the K9 9mm was acceptable and good for me for concealed carry purposes at close and medium distances of 3, 5, 7, 10, and15 yards. Despite my less than average eyesight and average marksmanship, this senior guy was able to shoot decent, but not pinpoint accurate, groups for self-defense. But, while my hits at 20 yards with this compact were on target, they were larger 3-3.5″ groups. I had no problem out to 15 yards while working to minimize my movement with the gun. All of my groups for my drills of 15 shots each at the various distances were about 3 inches or so while drawing. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, a Cover-Up Sight Picture, and shot various 115, 124, and 147 grain FMJ and 115 and 124 grain JHP rounds. I did not shoot reloads. I had NO problems shooting hollow points, and the gun functioned perfectly. The press was long and somewhat hard, and that contributed to more movement by myself and affected accuracy some.
I was impressed with its reliability and experienced no malfunctions, misfeeds, stoppages, feeding problems, nor extraction and ejection issues at all. Accuracy and reliability were both excellent for concealed carry with the ammo used.
TIP: For the Kahr K9 with standard iron sights, I use the Cover-Up, Combat Hold, or Dead-On Sight Picture (all three are synonymous). This is where you cover-up the bullseye target where you want your round to impact by placing the front sight over and at the top of the desired impact or target hit. The front sight is directly over the bullseye. The center of the front sight post completely covers the bullseye. Or, the center of the front dot completely covers the center of the bullseye. Remember, you can be flexible and use the sight picture that you prefer, but practice it and make necessary adjustments.
NOTE: I have discovered that Sig Sauer, Glock, H&K, and Kahr, for example, manufacture their production pistols that use iron sights with a Cover-Up or Combat Hold or sight picture.
2. Trigger Press – Score: 8
I was a little disappointed with the trigger press for this new K9 compact 9mm. It averaged 7.00 pounds, with ten readings with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. All of the readings were very close to the 7 pounds, which did not meet my desired maximum press range of about 5 pounds or so criterion for my concealed carry pistol. This heavy trigger press does affect movement and accuracy. But, this double-action-only 9mm was not thoroughly “broken in” yet. After more rounds downrange for break-in, I expect the press will get a little lighter and, hopefully, closer to my expectation. Ironically, however, the factory specifications do mention a trigger pull of exactly 7 pounds.
3. Trigger – Score: 8
The Limited Edition K9 trigger was crisp and smooth, but it did have a long takeup and just a little creep. Most Kahr pistols I own and have shot do have a long trigger press and a long takeup. The shooter must get accustomed to this, especially for quick follow-up shots. However, the reset was very identifiable, although long.
4. Barrel Length: Score: 10
The K9’s 3.5″ barrel is nicely ramped and all steel, combined with its other very tight tolerances. This helps with accuracy, reliability, carry, and the recoil was acceptable. From this short barrel, I expected the felt recoil to be very noticeable, but it was not, and I had no problem at all managing the recoil. My wife also handled the recoil well.
5. Sights – Score: 10
I like the K9’s included tritium front & rear night sights by TruGlo with Tactical Ledge. They are excellent. I do prefer larger dots for quick sight access and follow-up shots, but these worked fine for me. However, an easy-to-pick-up green Fiber Optic front sight is my usual preference for a compact for concealed carry, given my usual daytime use-traveling mode and my colorblind eyes.
6. Proper Gun Weight – Score: 10
The lightweight K9 weighed 25 ounces unloaded with empty mag and was a nice weight gun for concealed carry. There was much less felt recoil and more stability than I expected from this compact. The aluminum grips helped with weight.
7. Caliber – Score: 10
The limited edition k9 in 9mm caliber was easy and fun to shoot, and I managed the recoil well. Of course, shooting 9mm ammo is much less expensive, and modern ammo with improved ballistics gets the job done.
8. Capacity – Score: 9
The 7+1 capacity of the K9 compact 9mm and mag was OK, but I prefer more in my concealed carry flush mag and gun. There were three mags included as standard, but their quality did not seem to match the excellent quality of the pistol. I prefer three mags to be included as standard, and I really appreciate that three were included.
9. Ergonomics – Score: 10
The 25th Anniversary Limited Edition K9 9 mm has excellent ergonomics, and I was easily and comfortably able to reach all controls like the slide stop lever and magazine release. I could tell the high-quality craftsmanship was there. The rounded corners were very fine, and the gun felt very nice in my hand. It fit my medium-sized hands and my wife’s small hands just right. It felt very natural to hold this comfortable pistol. I had no problems handling and engaging the gun to fire it.
10. Miscellaneous – Score: 9
The nice hard plastic case included three mags, a trigger lock, holster, and authenticity Certificate. I received no Instruction Manual in the case, but a telephone call to Kahr resulted in them quickly sending me a Manual. The Limited Edition K9 looks attractive, and it is a quality, accurate, and reliable handgun. The included leather holster was a nice extra. The aluminum grips feel nice in the hand and seem to be durable. There was no checkering or stippling on the front strap, which was smooth. Some checkering would help with acquiring a firmer grip and was expected on a quality gun like this with its given MSRP. There were no ambidextrous controls and no accessory rail. Some prefer them, and some do not. Similar to a double-action revolver trigger, the double-action-only trigger press was very long and hard for my preferences. The reset was long to the full rest position, a limitation for follow-up shots. Some prefer the several engravings with the large Production Number on the frame and the “25 Years” on the slide. Others believe they are gaudy, too showy, and not necessary or should be minimized in size. This is a personal preference.
The Limited Edition K9 was simple to disassemble, but the trigger is pressed for disassembly, so be safe. Disassembly does require practiced dexterity and adequate physical strength because the recoil spring is on the heavy side for this compact design. Holding the slide back while trying to extract the slide stop pin takes practice, but can be learned quickly. No problem.
Total Points = 93 out of 100 Possible.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition Review Conclusions
I recommend this quality Kahr 25th Anniversary Limited Edition K9 compact 9mm pistol for personal protection, home defense, range use, and fun plinking. Of course, get familiar with its operations and practice the long and hard trigger press and reset thoroughly before you use it to “bet your life” while using it for personal protection or concealed carry. I was impressed with the K9’s accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, and its controllable recoil for a compact Limited Edition 9mm and I will buy it. But, you make your own decision based on your goal, preferences, personal considerations, criteria, and pocketbook.
The 3.5″ ramped, steel barrel is nice for concealed carry. And so is its 25 ounces unloaded weight. The TruGlo tritium night sights are excellent. The gun has excellent ergonomics with easily reachable and useable controls, rounded edges, nice grip angle, and comfortable grips. The ported slide and included leather holster are very nice extras. After more practice with its long and hard trigger press, long reset and more rounds down range for a total of 500 rounds demonstrating fine results, I would consider this pistol for personal protection and concealed carry.
I hope this review of the Kahr 25th Anniversary Limited Edition K9 compact 9 mm has helped you gain some information for your specific goal, personal protection, and decisions. Consider that this is just my point of view with limited live-range fire and shooting only 250 rounds of premium full metal jacket/ball and JHP ammo. I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it and have at least 500 rounds break-in range time through it for yourself. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what’s important to you ahead of your range live-fire time. Then critically evaluate the gun yourself per your criteria and purpose, with various ammo types and brands, different magazines, over an extended break-in period.
Kahr Firearms Group
Greeley, PA 18425
Sig Sauer for Elite V-Crown 9mm JHP-FMJ ammo
Newington, NH 03801
Photos by Author.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only, and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2019 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.
Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition
Ben reviews the Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Limited Edition which was released to celebrate the revolution of single-stack compact 9mm pistols it started.
Accuracy and Reliability
Proper Gun Weight