Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kel-Tec PF9 and Remora Holster - what a combo!

I am a big fan of carrying a full-sized handgun, and I am not a large guy by any means. With the right holster you can conceal just about any handgun you want to, though sometimes the occassion calls for carrying something a little smaller. When I get into my exercise pants for my morning run or when I'm getting ready to hit the trails on a mountain bike, a full-sized handgun just doesn't quite fit well or feel comfortable, no matter which holster I use. Enter the Kel-Tec PF-9: a small but not too small 9mm handgun.

While this sub-compact handgun could fit in some pockets, I prefer not to carry that way and it may be just a tad on the big side for most of my pockets. Kel-Tec has long been known for their small, lightweight, reliable handguns, even if they are a little ugly. Some complain of the small Kel-Tec handguns "jamming" a lot, which usually means misfeeds and stovepipes, but most of that can be traced back to improper grip or improper maintenance, with the occasional poorly manufactured piece needing to be sent back to Kel-Tec. It is extremely important that when you shoot a small handgun you have a firm master grip with an effective upper body stance, otherwise you may experience some malfunctions. Which is, of course, the reason that we train with our firearms! You also need to pay special attention to the lubrication of these smaller handguns, particularly the PF-9. Instead of traditional wet or dry lube, I use Tetra grease on most of my firearms, including the PF-9, and have yet to experience any problems.

As with many sub-compact handguns, there is a decent "bark" when you are shooting. Muzzle rise, felt recoil, and a sharp report are to be expected, but I've had less of it with the PF-9 than with other small 9mm's, such as the Kahr or the Diamondback. The size if your hands will have an effect here, and the extended magazine baseplate may be a good option for a shooter with larger hands. I have also seen other PF-9 owners use a Hogue Handall Jr. slip-on grip for their handgun, though I found it unnecessary. And the accuracy from this little gun is fantastic! This comes with practice, but as usual this handgun can certainly outperform most users, and I found that all of the major brand self-defense ammunition that I use and carry fed reliably and shot accurately through the PF-9. It was not hard for me to keep a full magazine of 7 rapidly fired rounds in the center of a torso target, right in the "juicy goodness." And at around $280 out-the-door, it's a handgun that most people can afford. The only complaint I have about the PF-9 is the relatively low magazine capacity of 7 rounds, which means I definitely need to carry an extra magazine. If this is a major concern for you, you may want to look at the P-11, which is basically a double-stack magazine version of the PF-9, with 10 and even 12 round magazines available.

Yet even with it's small size, I found difficulty finding a holster that would be comfortable and stay in place while I was running and biking and participating in other active sports. Until I came across the Remora - what an amazing holster! There have been other holsters which have tried to accomplish what the Remora can, but they have fallen short in my experience. The Remora, however, is an amazing piece of equipment - it is a true "clip-less" holster, meaning that there are no clips, loops, or buckles on this holster to hold it in place. The outer material is a rubberized, non-slip fabric that stays in place, and stay in place it certainly does! In the first week I had the Remora, I took it with me on my morning runs, which span several miles over various terrain. It didn't budge and retained the PF-9 perfectly. I also took it on a few bike rides which also covered many miles over roadways and trails - I even crashed my bike (oops) and once I picked myself up, found the Remora to still be in place, properly retaining my PF-9! Since then, my PF-9 and Remora holster have accompanied me to every sporting event or activity in which I'll be participating. Easy to conceal, easy to keep in place, and with 100% retention, I am fully confident in my setup.

And of course no proper setup is complete without the training to go with it. I have shot several hundred rounds through the PF-9 while using the Remora, and even with repeated drawing and re-holstering, the Remora stays right where I put it - even when I'm wearing only track pants with a drawstring! And the price of the Remora can't be beat - I chose to include the reinforced top, to assist with single-hand use, and with shipping the holster was around $36. Remora also makes magazine holders for pocket carry of spare magazines, and as an added bonus it is all made in the USA.

Are the Kel-Tec PF-9 and Remora holsters the answers to your carry concerns? Maybe, maybe not, but they sure work for me, and I recommend them with no reservations. Take a closer look at the Kel-Tec PF-9 at Kel-Tec's website, and find out more information on Remora Holsters by visiting their website. If you have any questions, be sure to send the owner Alan a message or give them a call, and tell them that Independence Training sent you!

And above all, don't forget to train with your gear!

Stay Aware, Stay Safe, Train Hard.
-Glen Stilson