Kahr PM9 Kaboom

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

There seem to be lots of KABOOMs recently. Is it the weather?

B18C5-EH2 wrote about his Kahr PM9 KB experience at The Firing Line forum

We read through the manual and I bought a 100 count box of Winchester “white box” from a local store. My “gun guy” friend had 200 rounds of ammo for us to use too as he’d gone through 1800 rounds of the stuff before selling his last 9mm pistol.

I disassembled and cleaned the pistol to make sure it was ready for firing.

–The KaBOOM!!! –

We took the PM9 to an indoor range for my wife and I to begin the “task” of breaking it in.

First 140 or so rounds went without incident except for one failure to eject – I expected more issues seeing as how some other internet stories included FTF and FTEs during the break-in period. We exhausted the Winchester 100 rounds, and then went onto the ammo my friend had given us. It was GA Arms “factory loaded” ammo.

If you’re not familiar GA Arms is a huge supplier of ammo and is very well known and respected. I saw “factory loaded” on the bag and also asked my friend if they were reloads (instruction manual says do not shoot reloads/reman ammo) and he said it was “new” so we started firing it. I noticed no noticeable recoil increase/decrease over the Winchester stuff. My wife kept plinking away as well with no mention of any change in feeling.

As I was loading a Glock mag I heard my wife yell out in pain, and say something to the effect of “now way look at what happened!”

So the side panel blew out and the concussion hurt my wife’s hand, but luckily no major injuries. As for the pistol the side panel had blown out, and we found the extractor on the floor. I had to drop the mag and unjam the slide to lock it open, then pick out a slightly deformed shell casing from within the feed ramp area of the barrel.

I looked at a few rounds of the GA Arms ammo and of the four/five I checked they all had the same marking on the shell, which still lead me to believe it was “new” ammo.

My wife was done shooting for the day, and she had her own reservations about even keeping/carrying the PM9 due to the KaBOOM. I wanted to do some investigating..

After getting home I examined more of the ammo and then realized that the casings were NOT all the same, and I was able to pretty much determine the ammo was reloads – I will admit my ignorance and also admit that I should have known better what my wife and I were shooting. I called GA Arms to confirm my suspicion that it was in fact reloaded ammo, but not the “guy drinking beer and watching NASCAR reload” type stuff. Reloads nonetheless though…

–The Kahr Arms Customer Service Experience –

I wrote an e-mail and sent it to Kahr Arms that Saturday when the malfunction happened. I sent them the same pics you see, but in my moments of anxiety I did omit the part about using the GA Arms ammo. I know, I know that was a total ding-a-ling move, but I did not want them to immediately assume it was the ammo and not something such as a feed failure or a firing out of battery situation.

I waited until 1:00 on Monday before I decided it was time to call Kahr Arms since they had not replied to my e-mail. A very matter-of-fact guy answered and told me I’d have to ship it in, they’d look at it, blah blah blah. I told him I didn’t feel like I should not have to pay shipping, so he sent a prepaid overnight priority shipping label. In the meantime shortly afterwards I got an e-mail reply from a gentleman that wanted for me to call him and discuss the issue. He was much more pleasant to deal with than the first guy, but would not say anything more than “let’s see it first then we’ll call you.”

Wednesday I tracked the package and saw it was signed for at 9:00am. I called that afternoon to double check my phone numbers that they had on file, and at that time the same nice gentleman informed me it might be the following Tuesday before they’d know anything.

On the very next Monday, three business days after them getting my pistol, I got my pistol back at 8:30am!!! I worried that they may have shipped it back still busted since I never got a call. I opened the box and found the pistol to be like new again, but still the same serial number. There was a repair order that listed:

  • Replaced extractor assembly and spring

  • Replaced side panel

  • Cleaned, lubed, and test fired “good”

[Hat Tip: BlueGunBlog]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
3 of 21 comments
  • Mike Mike on Jun 14, 2014

    Kahr arms are junk...sorry to say. I had a cw .45 and had a ton of issues. Failure to feed...firing pin issues...traded it in...

    • Dr. Daniel Jackson Dr. Daniel Jackson on Jul 23, 2014

      @Mike Well you did buy from their line of cheap pistols the CW series,that is your first problem.Generally their higher end guns are better in just about every way.

  • A.D. Hopkins A.D. Hopkins on Jun 18, 2014

    I'm pretty happy with Kahr Arms PM9 but not with the company. They do not appear to allow other outlets to carry their magazines, so you have to buy them from the company. When I ordered one, it never showed up, but they told me they sent it and kept my money. Wouldn't do anything to make it right or even meet me halfway. Attitude was completely, "Our records show we sent it so tough luck, Jack."