At the bidet shoot this year, which I have yet to write about (bad blogger, no cookie), I had a very disturbing failure with my 4 year old Keltec PF9.
I was taking some videos for a future purpose and I had a failure to extract on the first round I’d shot that day out of the PF9:
So I turned the camera off, dropped the magazine, and racked the slide several times. The video I was shooting required 7 rounds, so I topped off the magazine before reinserting it and dropping the slide. Then this happened (NSFW language):
That cursing at the end was because after dropping the magazine, I couldn’t rack the slide. The gun was completely locked up with a live round in the chamber and no way for me to get it out. I bought this PF9 new to replace a P3AT in 2010. I have put about 800 rounds through it, I think, and this was the first time I’ve had anything like this happen to any of my guns. But, it’s a blogger shoot, so someone has to break something. I put the magazine in my pocket, cased the gun, and finished up the rest of the day.
When I got home, I unloaded the magazine….and there were 7 rounds in it. I was very, very confused. How was that possible? I had 7 rounds in the magazine when I racked the slide and had the failure to fire and subsequent lockup. So I took my smartphone and used it’s camera to look down the barrel….where I saw an empty shell casing. Yay for no live round in the chamber!
So by this time I think I’ve figured out what happened: While shooting these videos, I had 7 or 8 pistols lined up on a railroad tie loaded and ready to go. I was shooting lacquer coated Wolf 9mm. It was 95 degrees and there was no shade, and this was at about 2pm. The PF9 was the second to last in that line, so it had been sitting there for about 20 minutes. I suspect that the “melting lacquer” problem you hear about in AR’s shooting Wolf got me.
I take the pistol to the garage and use the nylon side of this hammer to beat the slide open. Problem solved, right?
Well, not exactly. See, when I inspected it to try to figure out what happened, I found this:
That gouge just above the extractor? It’s not supposed to be there. Now, I have no idea how long that’s been there but I’d never noticed it before. So with that, and the lockup, I called a friend of mine for some help. He said he had a box of parts that would probably fix my issues so I swung by and picked them up.
When I got home, I disassembled the PF9 before getting started:
I tried to put the replacement slide on, but it wouldn’t quite fit:
It was also a little bit too short for the PF9 frame:
So I dug around my box of parts and found an extra frame. The new slide fit much better on the new frame:
But I still had a problem. My old magazine wouldn’t fit in the frame:
Luckily, there was a magazine in the box as well.
And for good measure, I picked up a new holster as well. Pro-tip: The old holster would have worked, but most of the stickiness had worn off after 4 years.
In all seriousness, I’d been entertaining the idea of picking up a CM9 for a couple of years now. I literally called my FFL on the way home from the bidet shoot and had him order it for me. I took both pistols to the range last week and put about 80 rounds through each of them to check function. The PF9 actually performed better–easier to load, less muzzle flip, no malfs–but I think I can contribute that to having a worn magazine spring, finger extension, and unfamiliarity with the amount of travel in the CM9′s slide. I had several rounds go nose down and not feed correctly. They were all first rounds in the magazine and I release the slide from lock by pulling back just enough to disengage the slide stop. I’ve already ordered some Pearce Grip Extensions.
Also, Kahr is running a promotion right now where if you buy any of their 9mm pistols, they’ll send you a free magazine. I submitted mine electronically last Thursday and the magazine was in my mailbox on Monday—and there was a three day holiday weekend in the middle of that.