TFB Review: Kalashnikov KP-9 SBR – The Russian MP5?

    Over the last year, the Kalashnikov KP-9 has become increasingly popular in the gun market as a cheaper alternative to the MP5 clones and other AR-style PCC guns. I have finally had my KP-9 out of the ATF jail so it is an SBR and I finally was able to run it as an SBR for a couple thousand rounds. After I spent some time with it, I’m excited to talk about the good and bad I’ve experienced so far with the fun little KP-9. Let’s dive into this little PCC tac driver.


    The KP-9 is a well-balanced pistol that is almost identical in overall size and length to the HK MP5K. The KP-9 has an overall weight of 5.6 lbs where the MP5K is right around 5.3 lbs. It has a 9.25-inch barrel with an overall length of 18.25 inches. With that length barrel, the KP-9 feels compact while having a long enough barrel to get a tad bit more velocity from the 9mm round. Internally, the KP-9 looks nearly like a smaller version of a standard AK system with a few minor tweaks to make 9mm run more efficiently.

    If you own an AK variant rifle, the KP-9 will be an extremely easy transition for you.  It looks like Kalashnikov USA is diving into the 9mm sub-gun market and pricing the KP-9 aggressively against the CZ Scorpion and a lower price category than something like an MP5 or one of the many clone variants on the market today. The KP-9 also comes with a hinged dust cover which helps with ease of cleaning and general maintenance. Kalashnikov USA has set the price of the KP-9 at $999.99 which is aggressively priced for what you’re getting in the sub-gun market.

    Range Time

    The KP-9 had a rough start for me at the range if I’m honest. In the first range session, I blew a recoil spring up during the first 200 rounds of the gun. After that, I jumped online and ordered a replacement for the gun. After a few days, the gun was up and running like it was brand new. Since replacing the spring, I put roughly 1450 rounds through the gun without a single issue or malfunction.

    What was left of my first recoil spring

    Shooting In The Winter

    One of the best things about shooting in Michigan is the constant change in weather throughout the year. Whether it’s the heat of the summer or the blistering cold, the weather will often show real-life issues with firearms you may not otherwise see. Shooting in the winter months can make smaller guns difficult to operate with thick gloves on. I will shoot with winter gloves to shoot for longer range sessions and sometimes this can create issues with charging a gun or fitting the glove into the trigger guard. The KP-9 had absolutely no issues with manipulations and firing with gloves on. With the large fire selector, charging handle, and magazine release, it’s easy to do everything with gloves on since they are classic AK variant controls that are surprisingly simple to use.

    Recoil and Controllability

    The overall size and weight of the KP-9 while being chambered in 9mm makes it one of the softer shooting PCCs I have shot in a very long time. The KP-9 comes with a mini three-chamber brake that effectively cuts almost all muzzle rise and most of the felt recoil. When Kalashnikov USA made a full weight shorty AK with the three-chamber brake, they created a very controllable soft-shooting 9mm PCC. The KP-9 has a two-stage trigger that has 2-3mm of travel with a nice defined wall before breaking around 4 pounds. In terms of an AK trigger, it’s one of the better triggers I’ve shot in a good while and there would be no reason to swap it out.

    Overall Thoughts

    For the sub thousand dollar mark, the Kalashnikov KP-9 is a great option either as an AK pistol or as an SBR. There will always be options like the CZ Scorpion and Stribog, but the Kalashnikov KP-9 feels different to me for some reason. I don’t know if it’s just the Russian magic at work of feeding any type of ammo you put into the gun or just being really well built, but the gun does feel like a quality product while shooting it at the range. The safety selector is crisp and gives you audible clicks, the trigger is a great factory AK trigger, and its a really controllable gun to shoot at the range.

    I can’t really complain about anything other than the spring breaking early on in my initial testing. I will be honest and say it was irritating since I was overly excited to shoot it but after 1400 rounds without cleaning with zero malfunctions I still trust this gun. Things happen and it has been 100% reliable so I’m chalking it up to a fluke with the spring. Overall, I would definitely recommend the Kalashnikov KP-9 as an alternative to the sea of 9mm AR PCCs out there. If you want something different, the KP-9 is a fun little shooter that takes its AK heritage and brings it to the 9mm world. Let me know what your favorite PCC is in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to message me on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.