Kel-Tec PF-9 After Five Years

I’ve had my Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol for nearly five years. I think it’s time for some new comments.

I still like the pistol. A lot. It’s comfortable to shoot, and I’m relatively accurate with it. It conceals well. None of that has changed since I wrote my initial review. I’ve carried it often, and have had no new reliability or functional issues with it.

But one previously noted functional issue continues to plague me, to the point that I am looking for a good IWB holster for my 2″ .357. The magazine ejects too easily while worn. It seems as if any pressure against the release button, it will eject. When carried in the glove box or console, unless securely fastened, it will bounce around enough to release the magazine. Carried IWB or in a pocket holster, the pressure between your body and the button will eject the mag.

Some holsters seem to make the problem worse, but I have experienced the problem with every IWB and pocket holster that I have, and I own several. Even the left hand pocket holster that is cut in such a way that the holster material never touches the button suffers the same problem.

It’s strange. The mag has never come out during operation, as some owners of early models have experienced. The spring for the release button is plenty strong, requiring enough pressure and movement to activate that one wouldn’t expect the problem. The button is good size and isn’t shielded or guarded in any way, which is an advantage when you need to use it, but may contribute to the phenomenon. Not being an engineer, I don’t know.

Some have suggested grinding the button down, but I’m not comfortable with that level of modification to a carry gun. I may expand the notch in the magazine slightly to see if that will help, as recommended on the Keltec Owners Group forum as a solution for pistols that drop mags during shooting, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

I still carry it regularly, and will continue to do so, but only in a backup capacity. It’s a good gun, reliable as a shooter, very accurate for its size, and a good value. Were it not for this one problem, I’d sing high praises to it all day long.

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3 Responses to Kel-Tec PF-9 After Five Years

  1. Oldawg says:

    I’m one that suggested grinding the button down. I took about 1/32″ off mine with a Dremel tool and have not had a problem since. Still easy to release magazine when wanted. I did the same with my P-3AT. I figured if I took off too much, a blob of epoxy would fix it. Or replace the button with a new one as a last resort – I’m pretty sure that can’t be too tough or cost much. Go for it!

    • alaskan454 says:

      I’ll probably go ahead and do it. You’re right, it’s not much. And it would be external, so it’s not like it could cause a malfunction, like say an aftermarket trigger connector could. I’ve just always been leery of any modification to a carry gun, no matter how slight.

      • Oldawg says:

        I agree – I wouldn’t want to do any serious mod to the mechanism other than some deburring and polishing type stuff. The mag release button is likely something you will never have to use in a hurry, but even after grinding some off, I don’t feel like it would slow me down on a mag change.

        But not doing anything about accidental mag releases could be deadly in a confrontation. You draw your gun and find it’s now a single shot weapon. Big surprise!
        Twice, before I ground the P-3AT release, I removed the gun and holster after a day of carrying, and noticed the mag was about an 1/8″ from being locked in. If I had drawn it quickly, the mag probably would have dropped to the ground leaving me with one wimpy .380 shot.

        The PF-9 never surprised me that way, but by then I knew what to watch for, so I took care of it first time it happened.

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