Kel-Tec has earned an enviable reputation for providing concealed-carry enthusiasts with highly capable, yet extremely affordable handguns. Combining simple and straightforward operation with high-performance chamberings, these compact autopistols make for very appealing self-defense packages. Employing modern materials and cutting-edge designs, the company’s offerings cover the gamut of today’s compact firepower.
Kel-Tec’s Spartan-esque PF-9 was designed to serve as a no-frills concealed carry pistol. It is slightly less than 6 inches long, and it has a height of nearly 4.5 inches. The 7+1 PF-9 is also thin. At about 0.87 inches thick, the pistol feels thin and trim even when held by average- to small-sized hands. The pistol’s length and height make it a bit too large to fit in the front pocket of your pants, but it can easily be concealed in a jacket or coat pocket. Cargo pants pockets will swallow the PF-9. Simply put, when tucked into a nylon or leather holster, the PF-9 is an easy carry gun. It weighs 18.5 ounces fully loaded with eight cartridges with 147-grain bullets. That’s lightweight in anyone’s book, but the PF-9’s performance is anything but lightweight. The edges of the pistols are nicely radiused, so the pistol is smooth and snag-free. The front of the slide is machined to relieve weight while still providing enough slide mass for reliable functioning. Serrations at the rear provide for a good grip when pulling back the slide. Controls are basic. There is a slide stop and a magazine release. There is no manual safety on the PF-9. The double-action-only (DAO) trigger works in conjunction with an automatic hammer-block safety to avoid accidental discharges should the pistol be dropped on a hard surface like concrete or a wood floor.
The polymer frame helps keep the PF-9’s weight to a minimum. Molded into the grip area of the frame is a large grid pattern with raised, textured squares that provide for a solid grip even with sweaty hands. Probably the only frill on the PF-9 is the accessory rail, which allows for the attachment of a light or a laser sight. I’m sure users who store the pistol at home will make use of this feature. The magazine floorplate comes in two varieties. One is a flat floorplate that is flush with the butt of the pistol. The other floorplate features a protruding rest for your pinky finger. The latter adds slightly to the bulk of the pistol, but each user can decide what works best for them. The front sight is a polymer ramp with a white dot. The rear sight is adjustable for windage via a hex screw and has two white dots. The three dots make sight alignment fast and simple when attempting to acquire a target.