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Discussion Starter #1
(With apologies to Bob Barker ;) )

Well, my special-ordered Kahr P9 Covert came in today, and I went and picked it up. Hopefully these clickable thumbnail photos will download to the thread. Here's the 7-round mag.



It's small, and pretty well made. Here's the 6-round, flush-fitting mag.



It came absolutely covered in thick oil. I mopped off the slide and frame, and then tore it down to look inside. I was sort of appalled at how roughly the polymer frame was finished. Lots of injection stubs and slivers of plastic leakage from the mold. I cleaned them all up and then looked at the barrel.



The barrel was weird. The polygonal "rifling" appeared corroded in the quasi-grooves. I ran Kroil through it, and it was still very rough afterward. Is this what Lothar Walther is turning out nowadays?

Anyway, I'll see how it shoots tomorrow. The metal work was nice, if a little sharp at places. Prettier than a Glock (not a hard mark to achieve) and felt svelte in my hand like a PPK/S (which, incidentally, it's the same size as).

Here's the P9 Covert next to a J-frame for comparison:



And, again (don't know why these "on edge" shots always come out blurry - might be the lighting):



Anyway, I'm planning to hit the range tomorrow (can you join me, Gil?) to run the prescribed 200 break-in rounds through it. I've laid in a stash of WWB and American Eagle 124- and 147-grainers for that purpose. Then, I plan to start chrono'ing - I'm tentatively planning to carry Win Ranger 127-gr +P+ just as I do in my Glock 26 (since the P9 Covert has the same length polygonally "rifled" bore, I expect to get more or less equivalent velocities).



Did I mention that my wife gave me this? :) I'd better come through on Valentine's Day!



Well, hope you liked the pics, and I hope I have time to post a range report and some chrono results tomorrow (though I fear I may not, since I have to go to a fundraiser concert for a friend who's a magistrate up in Santa Fe).

Gil, can you get a kitchen pass? :)
 

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Hi Erich,

Congradulations on your new Kahr P9 Covert! Kahr makes a great gun and I am sure that you will enjoy it!

Thank you for the "initial impression" report, pictures and we will all naturally enjoy hearing a shooting report from you!

From my experiences with the Kel Tec P-9, any molding ridges can be flattened with a simple nail file and you can try the Stainless Steel Sponge Pad trick through the bore to help clean up the rifling. A small Hogue slip-on grip does wonders for improving the grip when shooting as well!

What's the trigger pull like?

And finally, yes you will owe your lovely wife a nice gift for Valentine's Day you lucky guy! ;)

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, gents!

Chris, good question. The trigger pull is . . . odd. But good. It's not really like a Glock's at all, even though the upper half is pretty much exactly a Glock. The trigger linkage is different, and it gives a pull that feels almost exactly like a double-action revolver's pull . . . although somehow a bit more, I don't know, mudgy?

First off, the well-finished smooth metal trigger is infinitely nicer to touch than the ridged triggers on the micro-Glocks. This certainly adds to the "feel" of the pull. The feel of the silky wide trigger itself on the pad of my finger is, well, almost luxurious. Better even than the feel of a S&W revo trigger against my finger, reminds me of the old Colt target triggers on their DA target revos (although I don't have one around for a comparison).

The trigger reach is almost precisely the same as that on a J-frame with open-backed stocks installed. The pull is long, and the reset is long when compared to a Glock's short click of a reset - reminds me of the reset required on my DAO 37-2. It feels like a DA revolver's trigger, though maybe just a tad longer than a DA revo's.

The pull is odd in that there doesn't seem to be any stacking. The break is always a surprise (I just dry-fired it slowly half a dozen times), unlike the situation with almost any other small handgun I've fired. This would be conducive to the "long, smooth" trigger stroke they're always encouraging you to use at gun schools (at least with DA revos).

Also, unlike the Glock's odd-feeling "sproing," the Kahr's striker releases with an authoritative "click" that's almost a "clunk." Possibly just the difference between the round pin and Glock's rectangular striker.

I don't have a trigger gauge here (got to run by Gil's sometime), but I'd guesstimate it at around 8-9 pounds. Lightish, but longish.

When we get some light above the horizon, off to the range! :)
 

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Finally, a question on a gun forum that I'm qualified to help with - not about the gun, but about your problem with 'on edge' shots.
In these pics, it looks like you're closer to the subjects than in most of the others. First, make sure your camera can focus that close. If it won't, you'll have to back off some and crop in when you scale your files to post. Also, the closer your subject is, the less latitude you have, so precise focus is more critical. It looks to me that the focus in the 'on edge' is beyond the guns and on the background. Try and determine where in the viewfinder the actual focus point is. If it's in the center, it may be aiming between the guns and looking at the background. You can try centering one of the guns, focusing, and then move the camera back to the original frame. Also, try manual focus, if your camera will allow that.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ttbk, thank you! I'll give it a "shot"! ;) (Sorry, what's with me and the bad puns lately?)

SAC, at this rate, I'll have started to pay you back for the enjoyment I've gleaned from your fine reviews in about twenty years! Thank you; I'm honored. You're too kind. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been remiss!

In my first post, I wanted to thank forum member BarryinIN for his detailed assistance as I considered buying this gun. Barry's forthright and fact-filled information about the model was a big factor in my moving forward with the purchase.

Barry, thanks for the recommendation! I'm very happy with this gun!
 

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I was about to post- "What nut would ever suggest getting one of those?" But I guess I won't.

You're very welcome. I hope you like it, and I hope there isn't a barrel problem.

Interesting. The way you describe the Kahr's barrel, it sounds like the way most Glock bores look to me. They look a little rough to me when new, and I always heard it was due to the Tenifer. But we can't blame Tenifer here, can we?
I have mine in front of me now (didn't have to go far to get it- pants pocket) and just looked at the bore with a Surefire 2Z. I ran a bore snake through it once dry, just to pull out any lint that crept in.

The bore looks very smooth and shiny on the "high parts" (can we call them lands?). What we would usually call the grooves is smooth, but not as shiny-looking.

I don't know what that says, if anything.
Naturally, shooting it more comes to mind first, as it does with any gun ever mentioned!
You might try a cleaning with J-B bore paste. It is sometimes surprising in what it can do. I recently noticed a rifle that I had bought used (Winchester 100 semi-auto .308) had a LOT of metal fouling in the bore. I cleaned with Shooter's Choice, and saw little improvement. I soaked the bore with it- same result. Than I tried the J-B. My usual drill is to run a J-B covered patch through, then clean it out with solvent-soaked and dry patches. That Winchester took around six "J-B-ings", but it's bore is sparkly clean now.

What you said about group shooting with yours reminds me- my Kahr is one of a few guns that I can get a better idea of how it shoots by NOT using a bench.
Sure, I get better groups from the bench, but they don't translate well to how I can really shoot it. It's just a different animal from the bench. For example- What shoots best from the bench may not make middle-of-the-road when I shoot unsupported.

A gunsmith friend of mine, now deceased, used to say that he never could get Glocks to shoot well at all from a Ransom rest or from the bench, yet every one of them would shoot fine unsupported. Polymer frames are tough to test in a Ransom because of the flex, which SEEMS TO magnify the effects of grip pressure changes. We can feel grip pressure changes, the Ranson cannot.
I believe short grip farmes have a similar effect, and with P-series Kahrs and subcompact Glocks, we have both things working against us.

I was wondering- If you shot it both ways, did you see a difference in it's accuracy when using the flush magazine and the extended magazine?
The last class I took was from Louis Awerbuck, and he was the first I've seen who really stressed the effect our lower two fingers had on accuracy. After playing around with my grip, I see the lower fingers can "steer" the gun off course like he more-or-less said.
Just something you might want to play around with too. Things happen differently for different people, so it may not make any noticeable difference with you.

I know that with the Glock you mention, that you've shot short-gripped, polymer-framed pistols plenty before. But, the Glock is a lot wider, so the fingers would be placed differently. I have to think that might make a difference on whether or not a shooter's grip has any effect on accuracy.

So, in case you didn't have enough to think about while getting used to a new gun with an unusual trigger, I thought I'd throw the way you hold the gun in there to think about!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Barry,

No, I didn't notice any difference at all in the groups I was producing between when I used the 7-round or the 6-round mags. I really think the grouping issue was trigger-related, due to the consistent patterns of a couple of bullets touching with arc-shaped spray of bullets to the northeast of them. The trigger really is unlike any other I've tried - it's reminiscent of a DAO revo trigger, but it's really not like that at all. Sort of light and wavery and long. But smooth. And prone to releasing suddenly, with no stacking at all. The length is probably what disturbs me the most - sort of reminds me of a very light variant of the VP-70z's pull.

I've never noticed Glocks' bbls to be initially anything other than mirror smooth. The J-B Bore Paste is a good idea. The barrel's "grooves" don't seem as messy now as when I first got the gun, so it really might be something left from the "rifling" process that's wearing away. Who knows? The barrel works fine, it's just not as precisely made an instrument as Kahr's literature and the gunrags led me to believe it would be.

Ah, it's all good. I really like this gun - it's just going to take a while to get used to the trigger (I may never become especially precise with it).

Oh, BTW: I followed up on what people mean when they're talking about "barrel peening" on Kahrs, and I don't have it. (They talk about barrel hood peening on PM9s, and that's just not at all evident on this barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I finally got ahold of Dottie at Kahr and she got me a new barrel. It made a significant difference in the gun's performance. Here are some chrono readings from today (again, just average velocities, since ES and SD take up too much time). Many of these are the same rounds tested up-thread, check out the differences. These are the velocities that I expect to get from a 3.5" polygonally "rifled" barrel! :)

Same range (c. 5300' above sea level), 66 degrees Fahrenheit

CCI Blazer 115-gr FMJ - 1109 fps
Winchester USA value pack 115-gr FMJ - 1090 fps
Winchester Ranger RA9TA +P+ 127-gr JHP - 1267 fps
Winchester 124-gr NATO FMJ - 1122 fps
Speer Gold Dot +P+ 115-gr JHP - 1241 fps
PMC 115-gr FMJ - 1165 fps
Federal American Eagle 147-gr FMJ - 924.2 fps
Federal American Eagle 124-gr FMJ - 1062 fps
Sellier & Bellot 115-gr FMJ - 1075 fps

Note that most of the rounds stayed about the same. A couple actually dropped a bit. But the Ranger +P+ rounds are moving out at what I expect - before they were averaging about 70 fps less.

Incidentally, accuracy somewhat improved, but it's still notso hotso (c. 3" at 10 yards - three rounds in tightish groups and two flyers). I was shooting other guns (for instance, a Polish Tokarev that was giving outstanding groups with surplus ammo) in super-tight groups at the same time, so this time I'm positive that it wasn't me. I think that my Kahr is just not all that accurate.

While the replacement barrel appeared to have some pitting in it as well (even after I cleaned it with MPro7, Butch's, and Kroil after receiving it), it cleaned up very nicely after shooting.

The eight-round T9 mag that I bought from Bud's Gun Shop in Kentucky worked flawlessly, and is now my full-time back-up mag.

I'm very pleased to report that the P9 Covert performed without a single problem throughout a few more than 100 rounds (just over 400 now through the gun). I'm very happy with this easy-carrying little gun, and I feel I can trust it. :)
 

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Hi Erich,

It sounds absolutely great!

I am glad the new barrel worked out for you and that you are showing improved velocities.

It sounds like a really cool CCW that will shoot flawlessly for you every time!

Thank you for the great report Erich!

Chris
 
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Thanks, gents!

mudgy?

"sproing," :)
Who are you? Mad Magazine's late Don Martin? Providing us with such wonderfully onomatopoetic sound effects, such as, "Poit" and Sploidoing!

All kidding aside, I hope that your new aquisition serves you well.

Scott
 

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Hello Erich,

KAHR sells a Take-Down Block, that holds the slide just the right amount outta battery for slide-stop removal.

I have a couple of them and their worth their weight in Gold.

Take Care,
 

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mjincp-
Well, I wouldn't say there is NO safety. It's just that there isn't a manual safety. Think "Glock".

Erich-
Wow, the barrel really needed replaced afterall?
Um,...sorry.
I'm glad to hear they sent you one without a huge hassle of having to return it and so on. Glad that one looks better, also.
I don't know what to say about accuracy. But now that you mention it, it seems like I've read a lot of tests where Kahrs shot "4 and 1" groups. There must be an obvious fix for that, but I don't know it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Gunfan,


Barry, again - thank you so much for the recommendation on this piece. It's really a great carry gun. Maybe there's something to be done about the accuracy, but I'd note that I'm still able to put five rounds in someone's face at 30 feet in a couple of seconds, just not in someone's eye. It's just fine for carry as is, but I'll see about whether I can figure it out. (I am convinced that it wasn't my shooting, though, based on the way I was shooting the two other guns at the same time.)

Sockman, thanks! Hedley made one for the Rohrbaugh, too - I just used a toothbrush to hold it open the right amount. On the Kahr, I've figured out how to hold it open the right amount with my right hand while I punch the slide stop out with my left. It's pretty quick now. I think it was just super stiff initially because the slide stop was in there so tightly until things wore in somewhat. I would have bought the take-down tool initially, but now I've figured out how to do without it! :)

mjincp, think Glock with a really long, light trigger pull. Or, think a J-frame with a really long, light trigger pull. It's sort of like a combo of those - and they don't need a safety.
 
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