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Cylinder & Slide’s Custom Upgrades For The Kahr PM9In the subcompact pocket pistol arena, the Kahr PM9 is hard to beat.
This stippling is well executed by someone with a good eye, a very steady hand and a heck of a lot of patience.Other features that add up to reliable function include the dual-recoil-spring setup on a two-piece steel guide rod, an extractor claw that’s twice as wide inside where it grabs a case rim than it appears on the outside, a locked-breech Browning-style recoil lug, a passive internal firing pin safety and a steel mag-release button.The PM9 also gets major bonus points for not having a single external safety anywhere on it, nor a single magazine disconnect anywhere in it.The end result in the version tested here is a slim, trim and entirely pocket-worthy 17-ounce 9mm package no thicker than 0.9 inches wide on the matte stainless slide, and 0.950 inches through the grip area.The PM9’s 3-inch barrel, overall length of 5.42 inches and 4-inch height from top to bottom with the six-round magazine inserted all add up to one of the smallest practical carry packages you’ll find anywhere in a quality-made 9mm pocket pistol.As part of that 2.5 Package, the PM9’s barrel was recrowned to 11 degrees and polished up front, and the chamber throat and feed ramp were polished at the rear.
An action job was done to smooth up the internals, and to make sure the pistol was left with a smooth, 6-pound-minimum trigger pull for dependable ignition (anything lighter risks the occasional misfire).
Chopped versions of bigger-bore semi-autos were tried with some success, like the highly-modified ASP version of the 9mm Smith & Wesson Model 39 in the 1970s, but those and other chop jobs were simply whittled-down versions of full-sized pistols.
And while they offered some concealment advantages, they were still band-aid approaches and few were true pocket pistols by today’s standards.
The spread of concealed-carry permits added to the tidal wave in the 1990s, when thousands of new carriers quickly got tired of trying to deal with heavy, full-sized pistols and the trend toward smaller pistols in “serious” calibers ramped up.
Today, we have a great range of truly pocketable pistols to choose from, at various price and power levels, and we can even find a few where custom work takes the game up a notch, like Cylinder & Slide’s (C&S) recent work with the concealable Kahr PM9.
Considering the balancing act that goes into reconciling 9mm pressures with such a small platform, that’s impressive.