Sometimes, you take a chance on buying something you’re not 100% sure of, and you find out that you’ve screwed up and wasted your money. And then there’s those times that you take a chance, and you discover that you’ve maybe not won the lottery, but you have definitely walked away a winner of some sort. This is one of those stories.
Instead of hanging out with Dr. Heinous in Dallas, as per my original plan for the holiday, I ended up having an average weekend at home — at least until today, when my brother, yet another cousin, and I went to a gun show at the George R. Brown convention center (aka, the GRB). I’d been thinking for some time about getting a pistol (zombies, you know…) and so when my brother suggested we go, I warmed up my credit card and made ready. I don’t have a CCL, but that’s next on the list. My cousin wanted to tag along, as she wanted a small, concealable pistol for her self-defense.
And by the time we left, my cousin had the cutest pink .380 you could imagine, and I had one of the best 9mm you can buy — a Kahr K9, at a really good price (about $370 after tax). I got it used (lightly), but the reason why is (sort of) funny. I asked the guy, who had several for sale, where they all came from. His answer was “Glock whispered in NYPD’s ear and got them to switch their off-duty police gun to theirs with a heavy trigger, and so the cops all sold their Kahrs off.” I laughed and said, “Ok, so we know it hasn’t been used!” I figured this was going to be the new “only fired by a little old lady on Sundays” story told to gullible buyers for the next few months. Lo and behold, note what the Wiki article says:
In 1998 it was approved for off duty and backup carry by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) but as of December 2011, the Kahr K9 is no longer authorized by the NYPD. The Kahr Company was not able to increase the trigger pull to the NYPD specifications.
In the thread linked above, it’s stated that the Kahr has an 8-pound pull, whereas the Glock has a 13-pound pull. I’m not surprised at the difference, and Kahr’s refusal to increase the trigger pull, as further reading indicates that the smooth pull was the one of the two main points of the gun’s design (full review here):
The Kahr pistols are the brainchild of Justin Moon, who wanted to combine the simplicity and reliability of the Glock with the accuracy and smooth trigger of the SIG-Sauer. The result was a superbly engineered single-stack pistol that has been heralded as one of the best concealed-carry weapons ever made!
I can attest to the smooth trigger pull. My brother, who is a lot more knowledgeable about guns in general, was highly impressed by it. The K9 is a hefty gun at 25 ounces empty, and further designed so as to reduce “flip up” from recoil. What really sold me on it is that the pistol fits perfectly in my hand. So many small guns are designed for a lady’s hand, even at that size. When I pick them up (and my hands aren’t large), not only does the pinky finger hit air, but grip does not fit snugly into the palm and curve of the thumb. It leads to some uncomfortable flexing of fingers and shifting the gun until I feel I have a firm grip. I sincerely doubt that any zombies will wait until I decide that I have a comfortable hold on the gun before trying to eat my brains, so this was no small consideration. Several Berettas, Sig Saurs, and other well known (and not-so-well known) brands ran afoul of this problem.
The Taurus models were nice, but the pull on the slide was too damn hard. I finally found a Sig I liked, but it was nearly $600. I’m only going to shoot occasionally — enough to CCL certify, be reasonably competent, learn the safety rules (not read, LEARN), and not hit multiple bystanders (I would hope!) The Sig had a larger magazine, but that was not enough to warrant such an expenditure. If I haven’t stopped a zombie by the third shot, I’m probably not going to. In the end, the combination of price, trigger pull, and grip determined my choice. Finding out it was a great gun was some very nice icing on the cake, because I was worried about seeing so many used ones at once. So far, the only drawbacks I can find are pretty minor:
- It doesn’t have a mounting rail for an in-line laser (I’ll have to get a grip laser)
- The tritium “night sight” dots are dead and need to be re-painted
- The gun is just a little too big to be concealed easily on a person of my size without a purse, jacket, or bulky clothing.
It does, however, fit quite well in the center console of my car, where it is nicely concealed and reasonably available. So finally, here’s a picture of my new zombie-stopper. Now to go out to a range and put some rounds through it!
The final note here has to be the .380 that one of the sellers tried to talk my cousin into. Beautiful weapon, but a tad overdone, with an iridescent metal finish (sort of like shiny gold rainbows) and fancy grips. I took one look at that and remarked, “It’s bad enough that anyone would think I was a pimp to be carrying a gun like that, but one look and they’d have said I was a New Orleans pimp!”