Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kahr MK9 9mm Pocket Pistol

The MK9 is somewhat of an odd duck in the current state of pocket pistols in that it is a completely Stainless Steel pocket pistol. No Scandium, Aluminum, or Polymer here. To get a complete understanding of this pistol, let’s look at the specifications:

Model: MK9
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 6+1, 7+1 (magazine with grip extension)
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.0", polygonal rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
Length: O/A 5.3"
Height: 4.0"
Slide Width: .90"
Weight: Pistol 22.1 ounces,Magazine 1.9 ounces
Grips: Wraparound, textured hard nylon
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights(tritium night sights optional)
Finish: Matte stainless steel (M9093), Polished stainless steel (M9098)
Magazines: 1 each: 6 rd flush baseplate and 7 rd with extended grip

At 22.1 ounces (without loaded magazine) this is a little heavy for a pocket pistol. One would think that the MK9’s svelte sister, the 14 ounce PM 9, would be a better choice but…not necessarily. Like most handgun purchases, deciding on the features you want is a compromise since there aren’t too many “perfect” handguns out there. I found the PM 9 to be too thin to shoot comfortably and if you can't shoot a pistol comfortably it is difficult to shoot it accurately. The stats from Kahr put both pistols with a slide width of .90. This maybe so, but the MK 9’s stainless steel grip is surrounded by the wraparound nylon grips that fill my hand better than the skinny, bare polymer frame of the PM 9. The extra weight of the stainless steel also lessens the recoil, but the 9mm recoil is not really an issue to me in the realm of pocket pistols.

And being a pocket pistol the MK 9 rides well in either an inside-the-waistband rig or a pocket holster. If you want to get an MK 9 for pocket carry you must make sure that the pocket is strong enough to hold it and that your pants are properly supported by your belt. The heavier weight of this pistol can cause the pocket and pants to sag if they are not help up properly. My only other complaint is that the grip is a little too vertical and I would appreciate a just a bit more angle (say, oh…11 degrees). That being said, the pistol is still pretty easy to hold onto during shooting and for me, the Pearce finger extension paid dividends during the handling of the handgun. My hands are small enough that the finger extension allows me get all three fingers on the grip.

The trigger pull is somewhat long but very smooth and not too heavy. Many feel that Kahr pistols have the best double action of any pistol on the market. They might be right, however due to the length of the pull it is important to be on guard against muscling the pistol and pulling or pushing the shots to the left or right.

Unlike many small pocket pistols the MK 9 has actual and useable 3 dot sights and I applaud Kahr for realizing that many people still want to be able to get a proper sight picture on target (However, I do wish there were night sights on the pistol).
As you will see in the targets included below the accuracy of the MK 9 is more than sufficient at reasonable distances.

24 rounds at 21 feet:
18 rounds at 31 feet:
24 rounds at 40 feet:
15 rounds at 50 feet:
20 rounds at 75 feet (16 hits and 4 misses):
Out to 40 feet I don’t think you could ask for greater accuracy that the MK 9 provides. So, if you’re looking for a small, but non-polymer pistol the Kahr has a lot to offer you.


tawcat said...

Another great review!

Alan said...

"...too thin to shoot comfortably..."

I must protest. Take a box of playing cards in a pistol-like grip. I would guess that you would judge that as "too big", right? There are THREE dimensions to a good grip (primarily); lack of side-to-side width can be made up by greater front-to-back distance. That is what any good 'thin' pistol should do: extend the grip fore-and-aft, while radically reducing it side-to-side.

A lot more could be done with shaping a grip better, but that's more of a custom job, I guess...

Thanks for your good work! I enjoy reading your reviews.

Anonymous said...

I just got the Mk 9 and I love it. I shot 1911's for years, full size and compact, but rarely carried. Then, when carry became more of a concern, I carried a PPK/S for concealability. That is an accurate pistol, and the less powerfull .380 round was not a real concern, because I can shoot it very well, and hit vital spots without problem. Getting affordable .380 ammo WAS the problem, hence, my move to a 9mm. This Kahr MK9 is MORE concealable, hits harder, and is more accurate, PLUS it has the night sights, as compared to the PPK/S's rather small sights. This has just become my full time carry pistol. Oh, and it is 100% reliable, right outta the box!

Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

May I use part of the information from your post right above if I give a link back to this site?


Average Joe's Handgun Reviews said...


Please email me at with more information on where and how you would like to use the material.

Average Joe

Anonymous said...

Snake I got a MK9 polished stainless,I put factory wood grips on it,real nice carry weapon,the wood grips need longer screws so if you buy some make sure you ask for the longer screws,wood grips also make the gun nicer to hold.Pearce extensions are great also.

Unknown said...

I've carried my mk9 since 04, excellent firearm. Don't have to even consider any other edc. I will treat it to the full Monty of lake line products.

Tony W said...

I have carried my MK 9 as a backup & consealed carry since 1997.I am a retired IL State Trooper with 30 yrs with the ISP and 6 yrs as a local police officer. The Kahr has been flawless in perforcmance and accuracy. It is easy to clean and handles the most potent loads in 9mm. I just wish I could have obtained a crimson trace laser grip for it.