Kahr was one of the first major producers of handguns in the U.S. to focus on the CCW market. For over 20 years, Kahr has quietly manufactured some of the finest handguns on the market. In addition to this, many would be surprised to learn that Kahr’s parent company (Kahr Firearms Group) is the owner of: Kahr Arms, Auto-Ordnance, and Magnum Research. Three iconic American firearms companies. From that comes one of its flagship performers, the Kahr K9 Elite.
I recently had the chance to try out several guns in Kahr’s line of CCW handguns. At the top of the list for Kahr’s CCWs is the Kahr K9 Elite 9mm (with night sights). For Kahr, its polymer-framed CW and S series of handguns are the lightest and most affordable CCW handguns it manufactures.
It’s a fact that polymer is lighter than steel. Polymer construction also vastly reduces machine time on the frame. I found the CW and S series to be extremely reliable, but there’s just something about holding an all metal handgun that brings back memories of the first time you wrapped your hands around a 1911. You can’t help but hold it and say, “Now that’s a gun.”
So far, I’ve tallied 500+ shots with zero malfunctions. The all-steel construction of the K9 Elite allows it to not be as forward heavy as many of the CCW guns with polymer frames (including the Kahr S9). This balance between slide and frame allows for a comfortable feel, as well as a flatter shooting gun whose recoil is very manageable.
The night sights are a great addition, especially for the gun you rely on for your CCW. You never know what time of day you might have to use your CCW. The night sights were easy to see—both during daytime shooting and low or no light conditions. The K9’s 1911-style grip is not something you find in most modern CCW manufacturers.
This grip style has actually grown on me, and I’ve found it aids in control and accurate follow-up shots. The frame also does a great job marrying the feel of steel with a soft polymer (feels like rubber) grip. The unique Kahr trigger guard aids in a natural flow as you pull the trigger. All external components were easy to operate and did not stick or have the slop I’ve found in other manufacturers.
What would I change?
Similar to the S9 I’ve tested, the top of the magazines were sharp. After loading 500+ rounds into the 7-round magazines, I definitely felt the wear on my thumb. I’m not sure if this is the norm for Kahr on its magazines, or if I just got an off-batch with the S9 and K9 that I shot. It’s not a huge issue, but happily the only issue I had with the K9.
The Kahr K9 Elite is listed on Kahr Arms’ website as being part of its Premium Series. I’d say this is an accurate description. At $1,000, the K9 is definitely on the higher end of the CCW marketplace. However, it’s well worth it.
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.