Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mousegunner's Review of the
Kel-Tec PF-9 Pistol

This review reflects my own experience with my new Kel-Tec PF-9 (Kel-Tec's Website is Here), but I have also drawn on articles and reviews found on the internet in various places. The photos are my own, but you are welcome to borrow them, if you like. For more resources and some specific acknowledgements see the last paragraph of this article.

Kel-Tec has a lot of vocal fans, and they begged for a single-stack 9mm pistol for years. Finally, Kel-Tec heard their cries, and came through with the PF-9. I bought mine a few days ago (August 8, 2007), and here's what it looks like fresh from the cardboard box (no nice cushioned plastic boxes from Kel-Tec!)

Kel-Tec announced impending production on their website, and on the KTOG forums on November 11, 2005--and made an official public announcement at the SHOT show in February of 2006. The Kel-Tec announcement read:

"The PF-9 is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the 9 mm Luger cartridge. It has been developed from our highly successful P-11 and P-3AT pistols with maximum concealability in mind. The PF-9 has a single stack magazine holding 7 rounds. It is the lightest and flattest 9 mm ever made. Firing mechanism is Double-Action Only with an automatic hammer block safety. The PF-9 will be available in blued, parkerized, and hard chrome finishes. Grips will be in black, grey, and olive drab. The PF-9 accessory rail will accept the latest compact weapon lights and lasers.

"The PF-9 retains the best features from our P-11 and P-3AT pistols combined into the flattest and lightest single stack 9mm configuration ever made. The barrel, locking system, slide stop, assembly pin, front sight, recoil springs and guide rod are adapted from the P-11. The PF-9 is nearly identical to the P-11 in length and height and shares the same exterior controls. The shorter trigger system with integral hammer block and the extraction system are adapted from the P-3AT. Just like the P-11, the PF-9 will accept +P ammunition, however, not with continuous use.

"The rear sight is a new design and is adjustable for windage with the supplied allen wrench as well as for elevation with the use of shims (not included). The included 7 round rectangular magazine is supplied with a finger extension base plate and numbered holes. The under barrel accessory rail shares the dimensions of the MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail although there is only one locking notch in the forward position."


  • PF-9 Pistol, Blued $333.00
  • PF-9 Pistol, Parkerized $377.00
  • PF-9 Pistol, Hard Chrome $390.00

Actual prices, of course, will be whatever the marketplace decides. I bought my blued slide PF-9 in Chattanooga, TN on August 8, 2007, for $269.00 plus sales tax. Prices in other areas of the country will vary. A good way to check current retail prices is to visit

The PF-9 pistol is a good-looking gun, and comes with one 7 round magazine, a pinky finger extension base plate, and a gun lock (padlock). Extra magazines may be ordered directly from Kel-Tec for $21.85 each.

According to a knowledgeable PF-9 owner, two weak points in the PF-9 design are the plastic magazine release and the magazine follower. The mag release may wear out quickly unless care is taken to hold in the mag release button while inserting the mag. Mag followers may wear on the front left corner if you allow the slide to lock back on an empty mag very often. The negative effect of that is that your pistol will not lock back the slide consistently after the last round in the mag is fired.

I have read that a good way to shoot your PF-9 at the range is to always leave one cartridge remaining in the magazine, which will preclude the slide locking back, and which will then preserve the plastic follower. "Two Pistol Packer" on the KTOG Forum has created metal replacement parts that may wear better. Here is a link to his excellent instructions for disassembly, reassembly and replacement of various parts.

The original shipment date was supposed to be May of 2006, but it kept being postponed. Production did not start until September of 2006, and things got off to a rocky start with the new pistol.

The first 100 PF9s were mostly bought by the factory employees and distributors. George Kellgren (gun designer, chief engineer and owner of Kel-Tec) himself took the first 19 off the assembly line. PF-9s began to be released to the public in late September 2006.

The first run of PF-9s had many problems. (This is a summary of information presented by Two Pistol Packer on the KTOG Forums.)

1. Some early barrels had SHORT THROATS that would not chamber the longer 147 grain ammo.
Here's a photo I found in a KTOG forum post by Kel-Tec fan "Wilson," showing the old and new PF-9 barrels...

2. Kel-Tec used the same screw for the sight as for the extractor. But when the screw was tightened during production this caused it to intrude into the hammer arc which caused hammer peening from hitting the screw, which caused hammer slide scoring, which caused additional wear to the hammer, which then caused more hammer slide scoring etc. etc.
3. There was a lot of fine brass dust created from the cartridges being shaved by the rough hammer slide.
4. The firing pin channel in the slide was too large, and allowed the firing pin to wobble around and strike the primer crookedly, resulting in failures to fire. The large hole also quickly attracted brass shavings.
5. The slide lock tab was too large, and rubbed against the bullet noses and piled up shavings.
6. Sometimes cartridges would feed oddly and lock open the breech, with the cartridge nose trapped under the slide stop tab.
7. First run PF-9s also had problems with the first 3 rounds in the magazine tending to nose dive into the feed ramp.
8. The magazine follower was a soft material and quickly developed a gouge caused by the last round flipping end for end and smacking its rim into the top of the follower.
9. The slide was not properly hardened, and this this caused slide bending which gradually caused barrel and breech peening, and light strikes from the slide not properly closing into battery.
10. Sometimes slides also cracked at the slide stop notch.
11. Some of the grip accessory rails drooped.
12. Magazine problems: The PF9 magazine followers were a soft plastic that dented easily, and the sharper slide lock tabs tended to dig holes in them. These mags also apparently have sharper edges in the mag catch area and tend to wear the plastic mag catches quickly if the catch button is not depressed during mag insertion.

All who returned these first run models received back brand new parkerized guns with their old serial numbers stamped thereon. Almost all of the first model problems were corrected in short order, and production quality was quickly improved.

Newer PF-9s have a completely new barrel, with a longer feed ramp, to facilitate the use of hollow point bullets. Some PF-9s may still experience a problem with the trigger spring popping out of its groove. Beginning in July of 2007, Kel-Tec began installing a new trigger bar for the PF-9 with a deeper groove in it. On 01/17/07 Kel-Tec announced full production (between 700 and 1000 guns per week).

In case you are interested in the serial number of your PF-9, "Two Pistol Packer" has got a handle on that bit of info!

This is a photo of the newer barrel by itself, with the longer feed ramp:

Kel-Tec says that a limited amount of Plus P rated ammunition can be used in the PF-9, so it is recommended that shooters do most of their practice with standard pressure ammo, and save the hot stuff for more serious use, firing enough of it through their pistols to assure compatibility with that particular gun. The slide of the PF-9 uses a bushingless design, the same as with Kel-Tec's other pistols.

The magazine is made of steel with a plastic floorplate, and Kel-Tec includes a pinky extension in the box, if you care to install it. The trigger is double-action-only, and the pull is smooth and measures about 5 or 6 pounds. The trigger does not automatically reset while dry-firing, so if you want to test your trigger, you will need to reload a snap cap for each trigger pull. (With the P-11 you can just keep on pulling the trigger for dry firing.) As with all Kel-Tec pistols, DON'T DRY FIRE WITHOUT SNAP CAPS!

The magazine release is to the rear of the trigger guard in the usual place. The slide locks open after the last shot, and the slide release is handy for the thumb of a right-handed shooter. But the slide lock is tight, and I found it necessary to pull back a bit on the slide at the same time as pushing down on the slide release. As with all Kel-Tec pistols, there is no manual safety. The PF-9 is a hammer-fired design, and the hammer does not stick out the back of the slide.

The sights on the PF-9 are the common three-dot design, not dove-tailed. The rear sight is ajustable laterally for windage correction, and by shimming for elevation correction. Disassembly of the Kel-Tec PF-9 is quick and easy. Using a cartridge case rim as the only tool needed to pull out the take-down pin. Personally I like to cover up the pistol with a business card, and then use a small screw driver to pry out the take-down pin.

Important Note on re-assembly. There is a slight change of technique from the P-11 or P-3AT. After putting the slide/barrel back on the frame, you MUST push the barrel hood down into the slide before pushing the slide to the rear of the gun. That's the only way you will be able to have the barrel come forward adequately to insert the take-down pin properly.

The slide, barrel, and other critical components are made of steel, and Kel-Tec offers matte blued, Parkerized, and hard chrome finishes.

Workmanship appears to be quite rough. My "new in the box" PF-9 had numerous little scratches on the exterior of the slide, and the interior of the slide and breech face had what appeared to be hazy patches of the beginnings of rust. (After shooting and cleaning several times, this all went away. I believe the "rusty patches" were actually remnants of something similar to cosmoline.)

The PF-9 has a fixed standing blade ejector; and the slide runs on aluminum rails installed in the frame....

...and the extractor has an external spring, held in by what is affectionately known as a "Frankenbolt" by Kel-Tec fans.

The PF-9 is only .88 inches thin. The PF-9's height, including the sights and magazine floorplate (sans pinky extension), measures 4.4 inches, and the length measures just 5.8 inches. The barrel length is 3.1 inches. The weight of the PF-9 is 14.6 ounces empty, including the magazine. The PF-9 uses a double recoil spring system, and has a plastic full-length guide rod.

The PF-9 is an excellent gun for carrying as a concealed weapon, if you have a handgun carry permit from your particular state. The Kel-Tec P3AT is excellent for ccw, too, but fires the weaker .380 caliber bullet (7 rounds). The P-11 is about the same size as the PF-9, however it is much thicker, and a bit heavier. The new PF-9 has a capacity of 8 rounds of the more powerful 9mm, and can handle even +P loads. In practice, the PF-9 feels like a slightly larger P-3AT, rather than a variation of the P-11. The trigger is also more like the P-3AT trigger. Here are some photos of the three Kel-Tec pistols together for size comparison.

Here is a page of photos comparing the relative sizes of the P-11 and the PF-9.

A good holster of some sort is helpful for pocket carry. Here is an inexpensive suede leather holster (made by Galco, I think) that works well for me. If you don't use a holster in your pocket, the sharp leading edge of the rail will rub a hole in your pocket while you walk.

Bullet velocity from the PF-9 appears to be quite adequate. Here is a chart that presents some velocity testing of several brands of ammo by Gunblast.Com:

Kel-Tec warranty service is as good as it gets. If you have a problem with your PF-9 or other Kel-Tec firearm, the toll-free service number is: 1-800-515-9983.

Here's an illustration of typical Kel-Tec excellent service.

RANGE REPORT: I went to the range expecting good results, because the feed angle of the cartridge to the feed ramp looks pretty good:

I tried seven different varieties of 9mm ammo in my PF-9. Plain old Winchester ValuPak from WalMart, and six different hollow points. Here's a picture of my ammo lined up on my desk.

Listing the ammo from left to right....

Winchester ValuPak, 115 grain, FMJ
Remington Golden Saber, 124 grains
Speer Gold Dot +P, 124 grains
Hornady XTP, 124 grains
Federal, 115 grains
Corbon +P, 125 grains
Federal HydraShok, 124 grains

And here are the cartridges enlarged, in two rows. The first row of four are the ValuPak, Golden Saber, Gold Dot and Hornady:

The second row of cartridges are the Federal 115 grains, the Corbon +P, and the HydraShok 124 grains.

Prior to shooting my PF-9 I field stripped it, and cleaned it up good (check out the famous Kel-Tec "Fluff and Buff" treatment). The feed ramp was dull, so I polished it with some 600 sand paper, and emery cloth. Same treatment for the barrel. I oiled the frame grooves and barrel well with 3-in-1 household oil. (Some people are very picky about what oil they use, but I have not found that to be crucial at all. Just DON'T use WD40, which can gum things up, and which can creep into your cartridges.

I did not shoot for accuracy this time at the range, but simply to see which variety of 9mm cartridge would or would not prove to feed and fire reliably. I shot a magazine-full of each brand, one after the other, and noted which had problems. My plan is to quickly eliminate those which jam up right away. Later on I will get a larger quantity of a brand that appears to feed reliably, and try a hundred rounds of that single brand.

Results for todays range report:

My first magazine was of the Federal "Red Box" 124 grain Hydrashok ammo, and I had one failure to feed. My second magazine was of the Corbon +P 125 grain ammo, and it failed twice in one magazine!

I'm happy to report that ALL the other brands of hollow point, and of course the FMJ, fed fine, with no jams at all.

Looking carefully at the length and shape of the cartridges/bullets, I can see why the Corbon wanted to jam. It is a stubby looking thing! The Golden Saber fed with no problems, it appears to be close in shape to the FMJ, and it is priced at or below what the other cartridges sell for, so my plan is to get a hundred rounds of Golden Saber ammo, and see if it will go 100 rounds without any failures.

Here's a picture of my target. I shot rapid fire at five yards, and I am satisfied with the accuracy of the PF-9. The trigger is not tough, but it IS long. Really not bad at all! As you can see, I tend to shoot high and left, unless concentrating. My opinion is that the PF-9 will shoot quite accurately, if I do my part.

I also plan to wear my shooting glove next time I go shooting with the PF-9, for as you can see, it got a good start on chewing up my hand.

Concluding Observations: The PF-9 is much more of a pocket pistol than the P-11. The flatness and bit of extra lightness makes it feel more like a P-3AT that has grown up a little big. I have been carrying it in the front pocket of my khaki pants since I purchased it, and it truly works great as a pocketable 9mm pistol. The Kahr PM9 may work just as well, and have slightly smaller length and height (the PF-9 is flatter), but the PM9 is more than double the price of the Kel-Tec PF-9. I'm very glad I bought this weapon, and it has permanently replaced my P-3AT as my everyday pocket gun.

IMPORTANT RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION: In writing this review I used my own experiences and photographs, and also got a lot of information from the official Kel-Tec web page; from the review of the PF-9; and from articles on the KTOG Forums, especially the detailed research and statistics compiled by "Two Pistol Packer."

MORE LINKS: A Good Review by drfaulken
Another Good Review by "Riverside"


Is Barack Obama a Muslim wolf in Christian wool?

By Reuven Koret March 27, 2008

The glib handling of criticism of his relationship with the anti-American ("God Damn America!") and anti-Israel ("a dirty word for Negroes") Reverend James Wright may have bought him a little time. But the legacy of dissimulation about his long-concealed identity is about to come crashing down around the ears of Barack Hussein Obama, courtesy of the assembled testimony of his family, friends, classmates and teachers.

The accumulated research indicates that Obama was in his childhood a devout Muslim, the son of a devout Muslim, the step-son of a devout Muslim and the grandson and namesake ("Hussein") of a devout Muslim. He was registered in school as a Muslim and demonstrated his ability to chant praise to Allah in impressive Arab-accented tones even as an adult. Just as he has not disavowed his "uncle" Jeremiah, neither has he disavowed his Muslim faith that he was born into, raised with, celebrated and never abandoned. He just covered it over with a thin veneer of his own self-styled "Christianity."

Although as an adult he would register as a Christian, and occasionally attend a Christian Church (but apparently not often enough to listen to the preaching of his pastor, or so he would claim) this was a necessary step for a man who from earliest boyhood has nurtured the precocious ambition to be President of the United States.

He was entered into the Roman Catholic, Franciscus Assisi Primary School, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on January 1, 1968, registered under the name Barry Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen whose religion was listed as Islam. Catholic schools accept non-Catholics worldwide. Non-Catholic students are typically excused from religious instruction and ceremony.

In kindergarten, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want to Become President.'"Iis Darmawan, 63, Senator Obama's kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. He wrote an essay titled, 'I Want To Become President,' the teacher said." [AP, 1/25/07]

Three years later, in 1971, Obama enrolled in the Besuki Primary School, a government school, as Barry Soetoro, Muslim. In third grade, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want To Be a President.' His third grade teacher: Fermina Katarina Sinaga "asked her class to write an essay titled 'My dream: What I want to be in the future.' Senator Obama wrote 'I want to be a President,' she said." [The Los Angeles Times, 3/15/07]

All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school and a young Barry Soetoro, being a Muslim, would have been required to study Islam daily in school.

He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.

In his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama mentions studying the Koran and describes the public school as "a Muslim school."

"In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Koranic studies."

According to Tine Hahiyary, one of Obama's teachers and the principal from 1971 through 1989, Barry actively took part in the Islamic religious lessons during his time at the school. "I remembered that he had studied "mengaji" (recitation of the Quran)" Tine said.

The author of the Laotze blog writes from Jakarta: "The actual usage of the word 'mengaji' in Indonesian and Malaysian societies means the study of learning to recite the Quran in the Arabic language rather than the native tongue. "Mengagi" is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, 'mengaji classes' are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to. To put this in a Christian context, this is something above and beyond simply enrolling your child in Sunday school classes."

"The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet."

"As I've stated before, the evidence seems to quite clearly show that both Ann Dunham and her husband Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo were in fact devout Muslims themselves and they raised their son as such."

The Obama Campaign told the LA Times he wasn't a "practicing Muslim." (3/14/2007). But his official website says: "Obama Has Never Been A Muslim, And Is a Committed Christian" (11/12/2007)

That's not what his friends and classmates have said. Classmate Rony Amiris describes young Barry as enjoying playing football and marbles and of being a very devout Muslim. Amir said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam. We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house. If he was wearing a sarong, he looked funny," said Rony.

Amiris, now the manager of Bank Mandiri, Jakarta, recently said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam. His birth father, Barack Hussein Obama was a Muslim economist from Kenya. Before marrying Ann Dunham, Hussein Obama was married to a woman from Kenya who had seven children. All the relatives of Barry's father were very devout Muslims"

Emirsyah Satar, CEO of Garuda Indonesia, was quoted as saying, "He (Obama) was often in the prayer room wearing a 'sarong', at that time."

"He was quite religious in Islam but only after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion."
So Obama, according to his classmates and friends was a Muslim until the confluence of love and ambitious, caused him to adopt the cloak of Christianity: to marry Michelle and to run for President of the United States.

In "Dreams," Obama sheds light on his formative years and the political views of his mother, an anthropologist and Islamophile who hated America and subsequently "went native." (It was her mother -- Barry's "other" grandmother who cared for him in his druggie teenage years -- that he would describe as a "typical white person" who was, he said scoldingly, fearful of black men and prone to making stereotypical racial remarks.)

Obama Senior also had three sons by another woman who are all Muslim. Although Obama claims Senior was an atheist, Senior was buried as a Muslim.

Barack Obama's brother Roy opted for Islam over Christianity, as the Senator recounted in his book when describing his 1992 wedding. "The person who made me proudest of all," Obama wrote, "was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."Abongo "argues that the black man must "liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture." He urged his younger brother to embrace his African heritage.

In Kenya while he was a Senator, Obama stumped for his cousin, opposition leader Raila Odinga, the son of Senior's sister, a direct first cousin and nephew of Obama's father.
On August 29, 2007, Raila Odinga and Shiekh Abdullah Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which it pledges the support of Kenyan Moslems for Raila's election. In return, as President of Kenya, Raila agrees ... within 6 months re-write the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Shariah as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions [and] within one year to facilitate the establishment of a Shariah court in every Kenyan divisional headquarters -- everywhere in Kenya, not just in "Muslim declared regions" -- and to popularize Islam, the only true religion ... by ordering every primary school in Kenya in the regions to conduct daily Madrassa classes.

In an interview with the New York Times, published on April 30th, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's younger half sister, told the Times, "My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim."

Obama describes his new found "Christian" faith as: (1) Suspicious of dogma (2) Without any monopoly on the truth (3) Nontransferable to others (4) Infused with a big healthy dose of doubt, and (5) Indulgent of and compatible with all other religions.

On February 27th, speaking to Kristof of The New York Times, Barack Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."

In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent."
The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

"Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet? "

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim's complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam. Obama chanted it with pride and finesse.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia blog, written by an American who has lived in Indonesia for 20 years and has met with both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, contains the following:

"Barack Hussein Obama might have convinced some Americans that he is no longer a Muslim, but so far he has not convinced many in the world's most populous Muslim country who still see him as a Muslim and a crusader for Islam and world peace."

"Barack Hussein Obama's race, his staunch opposition to the war in Iraq, his sympathy to Islam and Muslims worldwide and his Muslim heritage receive the Indonesian media coverage. There is no mention of his apostasy."

"A good example of how some of the Indonesian media is reporting on Obama's religion can be found in the following."

"What I found interesting in the article was the use of the word 'mengaku' when refering to Obama's conversion from Islam to Christianity. The word 'mengaku' in Indonesian means "claimed" and as such leaves the insinuation to the native Indonesian reader being that Obama might actually still be a Muslim.

But this is how Indonesians see Obama, they don't see him as an apostate at all, they see him as a crusader for the cause of Islam."

Obama wants it both ways, has always wanted it both ways. Black and white, Indonesian and American, Muslim and Christian. He loves playing one off the other, using one to hide the other even as the traces of the truth may be assembled to reveal the whole cloth of deception and self-promotion he has been weaving so skillfully since his childhood. No wonder he is a man of change. He IS a changeling, a veritable chameleon, adapting and amending his life story to fit the circumstances.

The charm may have worked once. It still works on some. It won't work forever in the age of the Internet. The fog of ambiguity and dissimulation is dissipated by the harsh, unforgiving and scrutiny of the blogosphere and its unlimited access to historical facts and time-stamped testimony.

Many have been puzzled why Obama could claim not to be familiar with Wright's rants. It turns out the Trinity Church, like many African-American churches, happily accepts believing Muslims within its congregation. And evidently many Muslims have no problems surrounding themselves with an anti-American, anti-Israel preacher who week in and week out wins the amens of his adoring congregation.

On Feb 15/08, Usama K. Dakdok, President of The Straight Way of Grace Ministry called Obama's Church and reported the following conversation: " I then asked the person who answered what I needed to do to join. She told me that I needed to attend two Sunday School classes in a row and then I would walk the aisle. I replied, "That sounds easy. One last question please. If I am Muslim and I believe in the Prophet Mohammed, peace be unto him and I also believe in Jesus, peace be unto him, do I have to give up my Islamic faith to be a member in your church? She answered: "No, we have many Muslim members in our church."