4 Kel-Tec PF9 Problems You Should Know

While trying to make an affordable 9mm pistol, Kel-Tec compromised the build quality in their PF9. As a result, I found some Kel-Tec PF9 problems mentioned by its users in various forums.

The list of problems includes having not enough space in front of the trigger, faulty parts in the trigger mechanism, unusable magazine capacity, and extraction failure.

PF9 is a good piece to start with without spending a lot as a beginner. So, knowing the problems along with the respective fixes will make your life a little bit easier.

Features & Specifications of Kel-Tec PF9

Kel-Tec PF9
Barrel Length3.1”
Magazine Capacity7
Overall Length5.85”
Rear SightWindage-adjustable notch
Front SightFixed blade
SafetyDAO trigger system
Dimensions 4.3” H; 0.88” W
Weight12.6 ounces (unloaded)
Trigger Pull5 pounds
Common KEL-TEC PF9 Problems

Common Kel-Tec PF9 Problems and Solutions

More on the problems and possible solutions are discussed below.

Quick Overview of the Problems and Solutions

Not comfortable for bigger handsTry a modified trigger kit.
Can’t use the full magazine capacityTrim the sharp edges of the bottom metal plate of the magazine, and reassemble ensuring a perfectly seated plate.
Several trigger-related problemsInspect all components in the trigger system, and replace the faulty parts.
Extraction failure  Check the extractor bolt, see the recoil spring, inspect for a loosely fitted slide, and try different ammunition brands.

1. Not Enough Space for Bigger Hands

Smaller dimensions in Kel-Tec PF9 pistol make it harder to shoot for people with larger than average-size hands.

As the fault is in the design of the gun, it is true for all units.

But don’t get disappointed because there is a solution to this problem.

The Fix

Check out this flat trigger, which frees some space and makes the pistol easier to shoot.

Also, the CNC-machined billet aluminum replacement trigger is more durable.

The manufacturer uses 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum to make this part so that it doesn’t add much weight to the gun.

2. Not Loading 7 Round

The problem, in this case, is purely in the magazine. According to a user, he couldn’t load 7 rounds in his PF9 magazine.

It is a brand-new gun, and I have seen some other users facing the same issue.

Though all Kel-Tec PF9 units are not susceptible to this problem, there is a high chance that you may face it.

Those who have solved it shared in the community that the bottom metal plate prevents the user from loading 7 bullets.

The Fix

Based on the condition of the bottom plate, you may have to try one out of two solutions.

But first, you have to take the magazine apart, and take out the spring along with the metal plate.

See whether the metal plate has a sharp edge. If yes, you will have to sand it a bit so that you can slide into place perfectly.

For the second step, you simply have to reassemble the magazine ensuring the plate sits in its place correctly.

Seeing the reason and solution, it seems that a stricter quality-control measure can increase Kel-Tec’s reputation by preventing this type of issue.

3. Trigger Issues

Another very common problem of PF9 is its trigger.

I have seen users complaining about breaking the trigger axis pin, the trigger not resetting, the spring not having enough tension, or the hammer not striking.

To summarize, PF9’s trigger system has bad-quality parts making it break down or become faulty too often.

The reason behind trigger issues is a lot. So, there is not a single solution. Based on which part is not working right, you have to take action.

The Fix

To pinpoint which component needs fixing, you first have to take the gun apart.

Sometimes, the spring loses its tension, the trigger axis pin gets broken, or dirt and debris jam the action.

Once you have detected where the problem is, replace the faulty part.

Also, don’t forget to clean and lubricate the pistol from time to time.

If the warranty period of the gun is not expired, it will be better to let Kel-Tec fix this issue.

Lastly, you can go for a full trigger update instead of fixing small parts. Changing the whole system may give you a better experience.

There are lots of replacement triggers for KT PF9 pistols. I have already suggested one in the first problem. Besides that, you can check this one too.

4. Failed to Extract

Assuming that the bullets are fed smoothly, failure to extract the spent shell may be the cause of a loose extractor bolt.

Sometimes, the extractor itself or the chamber can be the reason for this issue.

The Fix

Those who don’t have enough expertise to assemble and disassemble this kind of firearm should take it to a gunsmith.

If you can take it apart, check the thread lock of the extractor bolt. Tighten it, and apply Loctite if needed.

I have given the solution based on the particular complaint mentioned in this thread.

So, I am recommending some more steps or possible fixes in case the mentioned solution does not work.

  • Check and replace the recoil spring.
  • Fix or replace the slide when you detect a loose fitting.
  • Try different brands of ammunition.

Based on the condition, you may have to replace the extractor. So, consult with a local gun expert, and take action accordingly.

User Feedback on Kel-Tec PF9

In this review, the writer tried to find whether PF9 is better than a far more expensive Glock 43.

Despite huge demand, there were not many options in the 9mm category in the 2000s.

After the release of the ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight Kel-Tec PF9, it became an instant hit.

But the gun failed at accuracy and smooth trigger category. DAO works as a safety feature but it makes the trigger too stiff to pull.

The only good things about it are the price, dimensions, and weight. You can get it paying less than half of a Glock 43.

But the question remains whether it is worth the investment.

According to user feedback, I think that it would be better to find a better alternative to this gun.  

PF9 surely has some parks over its competitors but most of the tech used in it has become obsolete.

For example, you can find better alternatives to the heavier DAO trigger that Kel Tec uses in its PF9 handguns.

In short, the golden days of PF9 is over as there are better 9mm firearms at a various price range.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the Kel-Tec PF9 reliable?


How many rounds can a Kel-Tec PF9 do?


Is a Kel-Tec PF9 double-action?


Does a Kel-Tec 9mm have a safety?

Except for the DAO trigger system, it does not have an external safety feature.

Is the Kel-Tec PF9 still in production?



What do you think after knowing about Kel-Tec PF9 problems? Is it manageable? I think, it is.

Think about all the pros it has. The handgun is very easy to assemble and disassemble.

As the maintenance of the pistol is easier than others, you should clean and lube it regularly.

This way, you won’t face most of the issues mentioned by the users.

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