THE POLYMER KAHR 9  

                                   BY: NICK JACOBELLIS

Throughout my law enforcement career, the most compact firearms for on and off duty 

use, as well as for undercover applications, were short barreled .38 special revolvers, or Walther

PPK/PP pistols in .380 ACP caliber. Later on in my career, the available options expanded a bit,

to include a number of compact and sub compact handguns that were manufactured in stainless

steel. However, none of the most concealable handguns for super concealed carry were

chambered in more substantial calibers. I mention all this, because throughout the bulk of my

law enforcement career, I wondered when and if the day would come, when the firearms industry

would be able to manufacture, a flawlessly reliable semi automatic 9mm pistol, that was as

compact as a Walther PP/PPK. One of the first companies to do so was Kahr Arms.

The first Kahr Arms Pistol I ever handled belonged to a police officer on Cape Cod.  The 

day I compared my friend’s all steel 9mm Kahr 9 to my (French) Manhurin/Walther PP Pistol, I

knew that the firearms industry, in particular Kahr Arms, just took a giant leap into the future.

Bear in mind, that Kahr Arms began manufacturing their now famous line of pistols in the mid

1990s. This was a few years shy of the 21st Century and I was finally holding a very compact

9mm pistol, that had a super smooth DAO trigger, that was a dramatic improvement over the

PPK/PP pistols, that I carried when I worked undercover.

Before I go any further, you have to understand, that during my LE career when I worked 

undercover, I would have liked to have had the option of carrying a highly concealable sub

compact handgun, chambered in 9mm caliber. I felt this way, because when I worked

undercover, I usually met one or more major violators while alone, with an unarmed source of

information/informant, or with another UC agent who was armed. When I took three trips to the
coast of Colombia on a 100 foot UC vessel in 1990, the most compact handgun I carried was a

stainless steel Walther PPK .380 with several spare six round magazines.

Even though my fellow U.S. Customs Agents and I kept 9mm service pistols, an M16, 

several Colt CAR 15s and Parkerized Remington 870 shotguns hidden all over our vessel, my

government issued stainless steel Walther PPK was the firearm that would likely be deployed

first, if the you know what hit the fan. This was a serious concern, because we lived in cramped

quarters with two major violators on one of the return trips from Colombia.

                THE POLYMER KAHR 9  

As innovative as the all steel Kahr 9 was at the time, the pistol that I really wanted, was

the model that would become known as the Polymer Kahr 9, or the P9. I felt this way, because

the P9 was lighter to carry, especially in an ankle holster. The question that I was especially

interested in answering, was would the lighter Polymer Kahr 9 be just as comfortable to shoot as

the all steel Kahr 9.

The first time I fired the Kahr Arms P9 that I currently own, I immediately knew that this 

pistol was a keeper. I felt this way, because after decades of training and field testing a wide

variety of firearms, I developed arthritis, which is made worse by age. Having arthritis has made

me more sensitive to recoil than ever before. The good news is, that I was pleasantly surprised

when I pulled the trigger for the first time and I found the lightweight P9 to be very pleasant to

operate and shoot. The fact that my Kahr P9 has been flawlessly reliable, also gives me the

confidence to use this pistol as a Personal Defense Weapon.


As someone who has utilized Talon Grips on various pistols, I decided to install a set of 

the new Talon Pro Grips on my Polymer Kahr 9. I decided to do so, because even though Talon
grips are relatively thin, they improve on the original design in two critical areas. The first

improvement involves increasing the overall circumference of the grip, just enough to improve

ergonomics. When I say “just enough,” I am specifically referring to the noticeable increase in

the ability to grip a pistol with more confidence. This is accomplished by wrapping the original

polymer grip with the relatively thin set of Talon rubber grip material. The texture of a thin set

of Talon rubber grips also helps the operator to hold onto a pistol, especially when the firearm is

discharged or when your hand is wet. This capability can also prove to be very helpful when

shooting with your weak hand under stress.

                    CLOSING REMARKS

The Talon Pro Grip provides increased texturing, that is aggressive enough to improve 

your ability to grasp and securely hold onto your pistol. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if I would

like this level of texturing, but once I handled and fired my Polymer Kahr 9 I became a fan. As

far as my P9 is concerned, this pistol delivers in all categories and is definitely worth owning.

About the author: Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired U.S. Customs Agent and a former NY police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent. To date, the author has published over 210 magazine articles and ten action-packed nonfiction, historical fiction, and fiction books: Controlled Delivery Books One and Two, The Frontline Fugitives Books I, II, III, and IV, Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Books One and Two and A Special Kind of Hero. These books have received 5 Star reviews and are available on (US), and (UK). The K9 Academy is the author’s 10th book. The author was born and raised in Flatbush section of Brooklyn N.Y. and has an BS Degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.