Kel Tec PF-9 Pistol

"Lightest and Flattest 9mm Pistol Ever Made"

by LTC Joel Johnston (Ret), US Army Ordnance Corps


    It has been a hard month on the Johnston armament collection.  First, I bought a slightly used Ruger SP101 357 mag revolver.  In order to get it in the house, I announced, "Look honey, I bought you a new pistol."  I knew she would eventually get her concealed carry class, but I never imagined she would sign up for the following weekend.  I haven't seen the Ruger since.  Then my mother in-law secretly declared that I owed her a pistol because I sold her Mauser Model 1914 25 ACP no less than 15 years ago.  I heard it though the grapevine.  Ok, I want her to be safe because she lives out in the country.  There goes my stainless Beretta Tomcat 32.  At that time, I found my self with some great antique pistols, but nothing to carry concealed.  You just can not hide a M1911 in your shorts here in Texas despite our "Every Thing is Big" reputation.  I have been looking over the small pistols and ran into the Kel Tec PF9 by accident.  Kel Tecs are made in Cocoa, Florida and have quite a following which you can read about at  Apparently, this model has been out for 2 years now and I decided to give it a try. 

Click on Photos to Zoom

Only 6 Inches Long

3/4 Inch Thick.

Kel Tec Chamber

Left Side, Locked Slide

Right Side, Locked Slide

    Click on Photos to Zoom

Calibers: 9mm Luger 9x19mm
Weight unloaded (no magazine) : 12.7 oz. 360g
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz. 81g
Length : 5.85" 149mm
Height : 4.3" 109mm
Width : .88" 22mm
Barrel Length : 3.1" 80mm
Capacity : 7 + 1 rounds


I took it out to the range today and it impressed me enough to want to get this out on my website.  This is an excellent concealed carry or backup gun.  Without writing a lengthy review, let me give you the pros and cons; the down and dirty:


  • This is a small, light pistol shooting a relatively powerful cartridge.  It is not pleasant to shoot!  Your hand will sting after 3 magazines.

  • This pistol is double action only.  Do not expect Kimber accuracy.  I hit most of my shots in a basket ball size area at 15 yards.  Of course, the guy next to me did the same with his Glock (he was not good).  I did get better with practice, but like I said, it is unpleasant to shoot. 

  • The trigger pull is very long and probably at 12-13 pounds.  See note on accuracy.  It helped to pull it halfway back when you could feel the sear about to give way.  There is also annoying trigger slap and you are better off using your second pad of your trigger finger vs the tip of your finger.                                     


  •  This pistol is unbelievably light, small, and flat.  You could hide it in a Speedo.                     

  • This pistol is reliable; I shot 100 rounds though it without incident; no stovepipes, miss feeds, or jams.  This was straight out of the box, no lube, no pre-cleaning.  It was flawless. 

  • The pistol is a decent caliber and the most powerful pistol for it's size. 

  • Price; I paid $279 for this baby.  It came with one magazine (you won't want an extra after you shoot it for the first time and feel the sting).

Bottom line, this pistol does what it is supposed to do.  It is a concealed carry gun and a reliable and powerful one at that.  There is no safety, but the hammerless double action with the heavy trigger pull makes is just as safe as a revolver to carry with a round chambered.  The stinging and trigger slap is no big deal because you are not going to shoot thousands of rounds through it every weekend (there are some guys on the Kel Tec Owner's Group blog that brag about this amount of use; they need to get one of those surplus Sig P6/P225s or something else more substantial).  If you want a cheap, powerful, small, indestructible, and most importantly, reliable handgun, then I recommend the Kel Tec PF-9.  See the Kel Tec website at:

Home Up Glock No.1 MkIII SMLE Polish AK-74 US M1911A1 Pistol M-1 Carbine M-1 Garand P-38 Pistol Browning 1922 German Flare Pistols MP-40 BFONG T2 MK5 Kell Tec PF9