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Thread: Kahr PM 9 fails to chamber completely

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    So I have a used PM9 that does not like to chamber much of anything consistently. I took it to the range last weekend and put probably 50 rounds of FMJ through it and it seemed like every other one I'd have to tap the back of the slide to get it to chamber completely. It only takes a light tap to make it go into battery but it's enough to make me not trust the gun or want to carry it. Any ideas on how to remedy this? I even put a few Corbon Pow'rballs through it and it still did it.

    I love the gun for it's small size and usefulness but it might as well be a paperweight the way it's behaving. Am I going to need to send it back to Kahr or is there something I can try myself to fix it?

    Thanks for any help and ideas you folks might have.

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    Put another 150 rounds through it. Kahrs have a 200 round break in period (it's even stated in the manual) before they are considered reliable. It's possible that the previous owner dumped a mag through it, cleaned it, carried it every day, but never put any more ammo through it. Put the full 200 rounds through it before you write it off. If it's still having trouble, contact Kahr.

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    Sounds like your recoil spring is weak. Also check therail grooves inside the slide for debris and clean as necessary. Can you strip and chamber a fresh round from the magazine if you release the slide using the slide lock? Of is this only happening while shooting?

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    I chamber the first round using the slide lock. The jam only occurs while firing. I'll go over the gun tonight with a fine tooth comb and make sure there's nothing obvious obstructing the slide's movement or the bullet's movement into the chamber.

    The recoil spring was a thought I had too, but it's so powerful as is, much more so than my Glock 19's. I'm emailing with Kahr support so we'll see what comes of it.

    Thanks for your help, guys.

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    I'd try it in this order:

    1) New recoil spring setup (it's actually two springs, one larger one around a smaller coil). This is a good idea with ANY used gun that you get. Replace the springs so that you know you're up to spec with the spring pressures it's comfortable operating in.

    2)I hate to even bring it up, but because you say that it doesn't happen when you're at slidelock, only when firing, I'd bet you might have a "limpwristing" problem. It's not that uncommon to run across it when even very experienced shooters start shooting sub-compact autos in service calibers. Bring a friend along to the range (that is experienced too) and have them shoot it before you do this time. If they experience the same amount of malfs that you do, it's a hardware problem (see #1), but if they have little to no issues with it, you might just stiffen up your grip on the gun a smidgen.

    Good luck, and keep us posted. Be patient with the little PM9, theres nothing like it for CCW or BUG duty, and once you're "spoiled" with it's ease of carry and lightness, you won't want to carry anything else. (Trust me, I've got one I carry as a BUG whenever I step foot outside my house.) Oh, another option, you might try some heavier loads, like a 147gr. load. They have more momentum and sometimes will solve that, if not enough oomph is what the problem is. Mine LOVES 147gr. Ranger.

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    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Guns-Fire...M9-Jamming.htm

    Expert: GCH
    Date: 8/6/2005
    Subject: Kahr PM9 Jamming

    Question
    I recently purchased a Kahr PM9 for concealed carry. Actually on your advice. It seemed like the ideal choice at first. However, after about 500 rounds it jams. I am hoping is is an easy fix as it is a fine weapon.

    Generally if more than one round is put in the clip it won't feed the initial load. Occassionally it will take the initial load, but jams after firing that load. I also note that the mouth of the brass, when it fully ejects is bent and malformed. It appears that the slide doesn't go all the way back when there is a jam.

    It also seems as though the top round doesn't sit in the same position in the clip as originally. At first it appeared the top round faced up at a slight angle, now it seems to lay flat like the other rounds in the clip. I thought perhaps this may keep the round from entering the breech.

    Unfortunately the only way to ship it back to the factory costs $40.00 UPS one day air. This could get rather expensive after awhile. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Tom Kennedy

    Answer

    Mr. Kennedy,

    I'm sorry that you having such a problem with your Kahr. They are usually exceptionally reliable guns.

    Let me tell you that my first piece of advice is to send it back to the factory, but if you do, make a phone call first. Tell them you want it right when it comes back - you can't afford $40 trips back and forth because they can't get it to work right.

    Short of doing that, though, let me make some observations and suggestions. Let me state at the outset that it is very difficult to diagnose a malfunction without seeing the gun (your description raises more questions than it gives data - that's not your fault, it's what happens when you try to describe a malfuction to another person).

    1) The Kahr magazine is a funny animal. It has such a large relief that you can actually see the whole projectile of the top round when viewed from the side. Because it has to sit so high up in the magazine, the top round get "reoriented" when the slide reciprocates. This is normal, and part of the design, and this should not have an effect on function.

    2) The Karh magazines have exceptionally strong springs. This is so that they will not fail if they have been loaded for a long time. I would therefore keep the magazines for the gun fully loaded all the time, even when not in use. This will help to loosen up the springs a little. The stiff spring may be what is keeping rounds from feeding.

    3) Nine out of ten times, failures to feed are the fault of the magazine. However, two came with the gun, and if you are having trouble with them both, it's unlikely that's the problem.

    4) Are you using under-powered loads? Failure to feed the first load (from slide lock, I take it, and you're letting the slide slam into battery, not trying to baby it down into battery?)may be due to a weak recoil spring, or overly robust magazine springs. Failure for the slide to come back all the way when fired might to be due to either of those, OR under-powered ammunition.

    5) If none of those are the culprit, I would try getting a gun smith to polish the feedramp and possibly the chamber. BE CAREFUL who you let do this - some guys are not happy unless metal shavings are on the floor! The smith should use a dremel tool, a felt bob, and POLISHING COMPOUND (not cutting compound) for this - ask they how they're going to do it before you let him have the gun. This is not a difficult operation if it's done the right way, should not cost more than $10-15. This is a mod I do on all my personal guns before I even fire them. I've found that some guns don't need it, but it does no harm. On the other hand, I've had guns that just wouldn't feed when new, that never failed once they were polished in this way.

    6) Regarding the "malformed" brass, I'd have to see it to know what that means. If it's just dinged a bit, and flattened out, that happens with the Kahr (and Glock for that matter). If it appears actually pealed back, however, either the chamber is misaligned, the mouth of it needs to be chamfered slightly, or the aformentioned polishing may do it.

    7) The only other possibility is that the factory neglected to properly polish the breech face (this is the part of the slide where the firing pin protrudes). The cartridge must slide up this, and if it appears rough, it may impede feeding.

    8) Last simple fix- Are the slide rails properly lubricated? My recommendation would be Militec-1 or Wilson Ultimalube Universal used SPARINGLY.

    I'm sorry you're having such trouble. As I said, the Kahrs are usually reliable. If none of these things help, you'll probably have no choice but to send it back to the factory.

    I wish you the best.

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    SemperGumby wrote:
    Am I going to need to send it back to Kahr or is there something I can try myself to fix it?
    Buy a Glock! :P
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    SemperGumby wrote:Am I going to need to send it back to Kahr or is there something I can try myself to fix it?





    Get a Glock .. or a SIG .... Or hell, even a Springfield


    ~~Springfield

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    Thanks for your help guys. I actually have a Glock 19 that has never, ever jammed too bad I'm not getting that reliability from Kahr. But I just love how small this thing is, my "compact" Glock 19 feels huge now. From what I've read online it seems that most people have not had problems with theirs and then some people have a lot of problems.

    I think first thing I'm going to do is put a few hundred more rounds through it and see if that helps. I broke it down last night and cleaned and lubed it well, made sure there wasn't anything obvious that could be causing these jams.

    I bought it from a good friend of mine and have basically been shooting it as long as he has. This problem happened for him too, though less so for me. We discussed limp wristing and are pretty sure that is not the cause.

    I'll get out to the range as soon as I can, put a crapload of rounds through, try some different grips and stances and get back to you guys. Maybe I'll see about heavier loads...

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    SemperGumby wrote:
    But I just love how small this thing is, my "compact" Glock 19 feels huge now.

    I'll get out to the range as soon as I can, put a crapload of rounds through, try some different grips and stances and get back to you guys. Maybe I'll see about heavier loads...
    You should not have to sacrifice reliability for the size of your pistol.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    SGT Jensen wrote:
    SemperGumby wrote:
    But I just love how small this thing is, my "compact" Glock 19 feels huge now.

    I'll get out to the range as soon as I can, put a crapload of rounds through, try some different grips and stances and get back to you guys. Maybe I'll see about heavier loads...
    You should not have to sacrifice reliability for the size of your pistol.
    Sarge--he's trying to get it working reliably. It doesn't seem like your comments are being very helpful. I've got a PM9w/DLC w/meps that is 100% reliable---AND it's small. While I do agree that reliablility is the most important factor in a defensive handgun, if you can have reliablility AND a very compact package that you don't even notice while carrying, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Gumby--You're on the right track. Just be patient. You might want to get a new spring set from Wolff coming (order the stock weights--the set also includes a striker spring, which can be replaced fairly easily too. A 100% reliable PM9 is like the holy grail of CCW auto pistols. Once you have one, you won't want to be without it.(I'vegot mine with me!) I've had 4 different models of Kahrs: K40, K9, MK9, and PM9. I still have the K9 and the PM9 and I've NEVER had any kind of malfunction in ANY of the Kahr's that I've owned or shot.

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    Sergeant,
    I understand what you're saying and completely agree which is why I currently don't carry my Kahr. It'll take several hundred flawlessly fired rounds through this Kahr before I trust it completely. I bought my Glock 19 brand new and have never had a problem with it which is why I carry it every day. If I can get the same reliability out of my Kahr then that will be a boon and make daily carrying easier.

    I'll check out those recoil springs from Wolff and keep on keeping on. Any reason I shouldn't spring (ha) for the extra power springs? Thanks for the help.

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    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    Sarge--he's trying to get it working reliably. It doesn't seem like your comments are being very helpful. I've got a PM9w/DLC w/meps that is 100% reliable---AND it's small. While I do agree that reliablility is the most important factor in a defensive handgun, if you can have reliablility AND a very compact package that you don't even notice while carrying, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Gumby--You're on the right track. Just be patient. You might want to get a new spring set from Wolff coming (order the stock weights--the set also includes a striker spring, which can be replaced fairly easily too. A 100% reliable PM9 is like the holy grail of CCW auto pistols. Once you have one, you won't want to be without it. (I'vegot mine with me!) I've had 4 different models of Kahrs: K40, K9, MK9, and PM9. I still have the K9 and the PM9 and I've NEVER had any kind of malfunction in ANY of the Kahr's that I've owned or shot.
    All I am trying to say is that I would like my reliability to come out of the box, which mine did. I wouldn't want to have to throw time and money at it in hopes that one day I could count on it to protect my family. I want my weapons to work right the FIRST time, every time.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    SGT Jensen wrote:
    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    Sarge--he's trying to get it working reliably. It doesn't seem like your comments are being very helpful. I've got a PM9w/DLC w/meps that is 100% reliable---AND it's small. While I do agree that reliablility is the most important factor in a defensive handgun, if you can have reliablility AND a very compact package that you don't even notice while carrying, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Gumby--You're on the right track. Just be patient. You might want to get a new spring set from Wolff coming (order the stock weights--the set also includes a striker spring, which can be replaced fairly easily too. A 100% reliable PM9 is like the holy grail of CCW auto pistols. Once you have one, you won't want to be without it. (I'vegot mine with me!) I've had 4 different models of Kahrs: K40, K9, MK9, and PM9. I still have the K9 and the PM9 and I've NEVER had any kind of malfunction in ANY of the Kahr's that I've owned or shot.
    All I am trying to say is that I would like my reliability to come out of the box, which mine did. I wouldn't want to have to throw time and money at it in hopes that one day I could count on it to protect my family. I want my weapons to work right the FIRST time, every time.
    I agree with you, but because he's already got one that's having issues, it's too late for that now. So let's try and remedy the situation, instead of figuratively saying "Well, that's too bad for you." So the first time it jammed, he should have just thrown it away? Naah, let's help him try and cure the problem so that he can have a few hundred flawless rounds out of it, and then he CAN count on it to protect his family. Dwelling on a problem does nothing to fix it, working on a solution however, is a much more productive activity.

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    I like the way you see things G20-IWB. I kind of like the challenge of trying to get this thing reliable and I have a reliable carry in my Glock so it's not a big deal. I'll keep you guys posted.


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    Good luck, and do keep us posted. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Oh, and I just added a NIB P9 Covert to the stable this afternoon. Merry Christmas to me!

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    I've got a P9 Covert and I had this issue the last time I went to the range. I haven't had this problem before. Towards the end of the range session I noticed that the problem wouldn't happen when I would make a conscious effort to firmly hold the grip. I chalked it up to limp wristing the gun. I was shooting Winchester Whitebox FMJs. I haven't shot it since.

    I came home and fired off an email to Kahr and they suggested replacing the recoil spring. I haven't done that yet...if I do I'll order a heavy Wolff recoil spring. I did however pick up a bottle of CLP and throughly clean and lube the gun. I was carrying Winchester JHPs, but switched to Corbon +P JHPs after the range session. I've made sure that the feed ramp is nice and smooth, in the past I cleaned it up with a little bit of metal polish on an qtip and an old tshirt.

    I'll probably take it to the range this weekend and shoot off the box of Winchester JHPs and a few of the Corbons and see what happens.

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    *FOLLOW UP*
    I did a couple things that helped. I had a small dental pick lying around that I used to remove some build up of gunk and fowling that was in and around the extractor near the breech face. There were places where it didn't look like there was any gunk but a quick scrape with the pick proved otherwise.

    Second, I made a trip to Sears and picked up a Craftsman Rotary Tool and a polishing kit. I field stripped the P9 and proceeded to polish the bejesus out of the feed ramp. I used the bullet shaped polishing bob and a small amount of the red colored Craftsman polishing compound. I basically polished and shined up the whole back of the barrel.

    The feed ramp is now nice and shiny and smooth. I also very carefully polished the crown of the barrel to remove some fowling that just wouldn't come off. Just for fun I polished up the trigger face as well.

    Afterwards I applied liberal amounts of CLP. I then reassembled the gun, locked back the slide and loaded a magazine. I released the slide catch to strip off the top round and I could tell a major difference in how smooth it felt when it fed the round. Makes me wonder why they didn't polish the ramp like that at the factory.

    I still haven't had a chance to get to the range....

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    I have had two bad experiences with Kahr. The first was with an early K9 that had an incorrectly fitted barrel (slide locked closed on a live round). The second was a PM9 whose frame cracked.

    Now I see their MSRP on their website is nearing $1,000 for some models. They're smoking something and I'm not sure it's the good stuff.

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    *FOLLOW UP #2*

    I took it to the range after polishing up the feed ramp, no more Failures to Feed. I had a few Failures to Extract, mostly horizontal stovepipes.

    Something else you might try. I got brave and decided to totally dissasemble the slide to clean out the crud that was built up after 2000+ rounds.

    To take apart the slide you will need a very small punch to depress the pin behind the small half circle cutout. I tried a 1/16" punch but it wouldn't fit, I managed to use the same dental pick from before to depress the pin. Once the pin is depressed you can slide down the back cover enough to get the pin out of the way.

    Next flip the slide over and use a small flat tip to pull back the striker spring. You'll probably need a helper. Slowly pull the slide cover down, take caution that the extractor spring doesn't fly out. Once the extractor assembly is removed, remove the cover and gently release the screwdriver holding the striker spring back. If you don't you'll lose the plastic insert in the spring and spend four hours looking for it.

    Once the striker and extractor is out you should be able to wiggle the striker release and the slide should be stripped. You can now clean every thing out. Study the manual and use a helper. From what I understand the process should be similar to the Glock slide dissassembly.

    When I took mine apart there was a fair amount of powder residue and small brass flakes, pretty filthly in there. Once I got it put back together the trigger felt a fair amount smoother.

    Also, I replaced the recoil spring. I'm headed to the range tommorow to see if all the
    cleaning and the new spring made any difference. If not it may be taking a trip back to the factory.

    Now I'm regretting trading in my Glock 22.... I also think the Kahrs like a lot of lube.

    *RANGE FOLLOW-UP*

    The new recoil spring and the cleaning out all the nasties from the slide innards seemed to help. I shot 20 rounds of Corbon JHP 125 Gr. +P and 50 rounds of 115 Gr. Winchester FMJ and only had 1 round of the WWB fail to eject properly which I chalked up to limp-wristing.

    So...long story short if you are having problems with your Kahr try polishing the feed ramp, make sure you have a fresh recoil spring, use some good lube like CLP (don't be stingy either) and if you've shot a fair amount with it considering cleaning out the inside of the slide.

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    soloban,

    Ask the NRA Range officers about Kahrs. They see MANY failures in Kahrs every week (1500+ shooters per week). I had two and neither worked well. A friend's K9 broke such that the guide rod popped out the front...the gun was very difficult to open. My PM9's frame cracked after 220 rounds and failed to feed often on Winchester USA.

    Never trade a working gun away...only add to the collection.

    Go buy a Glock 22 now, shoot 200 rounds through it and use it for defense. Work out the issues with the Kahr or get rid of it. A Glock 22 and Glock 27 pair is a very versatile setup because the G27 can use the longer magazines.

    Furthermore, purchase your guns from Virginia Arms in Manassas. The bottom of their receipt states: "No sale final until you're satisfied." They mean this. I had a Kimber Tactical Ultra II that never worked properly. I had it for a year, sent it back to the factory three times, and finally returned the replacement gun to Virginia Arms. They accepted used mags, holster, worn spring assemblies, and the gun...$1450 worth of stuff. Of course they got the money right back, but the point is they support what they sell. Just keep the receipts and you're good to go.



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