Kel-Tec handguns have offered an affordable but effective platform for personal defense for decades. Perhaps the best Kel-Tec so far is the Metal frame P 15. The P 15 was innovative enough and this new development is very interesting. The Florida made 9mm guns are a product of the innovations of George Kellgren, noted designer and owner of Kel-Tec Weapons. The P 15 is the company’s first striker fired handgun. The P 15 is intended to be the slimmest high capacity 9mm handgun on the market. The P 15 is similar in size and weight to the Glock 43. It isn’t much larger or wider but holds 12 rounds in a flush fit magazine and 15 rounds in a reliable extended magazine.
I found the original a good shooting gun but the polymer frame grip frame isn’t the most comfortable. The aluminum frame version offers a more comfortable grip frame not to mention a bit of bling. The aluminum frame adds about one and one half ounce in weight over the polymer frame 9mm handgun. The pistol wears nicely checkered wooden grips. They fit the frame well and offer good adhesion. The trigger is the same smooth rolling double action only trigger of the polymer frame pistol. An interesting feature is a dial that may be turned to control the magazine safety. Deactivating the magazine safety is probably something most of us will do. I would NOT deactivate the grip safety. The grip safety offers good piece of mind. There is no speed penalty inherent with a grip safety, simply grasp the handle and the grip safety is depressed. In contrast to the polymer frame gun the metal frame 9mm have a light rail. When firing the P 15 9mm metal the difference in comfort and control compared to the polymer gun is noticeable. It isn’t just the weight. A wider front strap and nicely checkered front strap is the factor in the pistol’s comfort. The pistols share the same design of three dot fiber optic sights. An optic may be mounted on the slide, I did not explore this option.
During the ammunition shortage/panic brand loyalty took a back seat to simple availability. A handgun should be reliable with good quality ammunition and as it turns out most ammunition works fine- some is simply dirtier than others leaving a lot of powder residue. Over the past few months much of the ammunition the Kel-Tec 9mm has fired has been inexpensive Tula – dirty but reliable- Armcor, MagTech, and PMC. The pistol has never failed to feed, chamber, fire or eject. The pistol comes on target quickly and offers good hit probability. Use the rolling trigger technique. Press the trigger smoothly to the rear and as the shot breaks and the muzzle rises allow the trigger to reset. Don’t fire until the sight are acquired and you will have a hit. The pistol handles well. It concealed well and isn’t difficult to conceal under light clothing making it a viable choice for concealed carry.
I also proofed the pistol with a number of hollowpoint loads. Among these were the Lehigh all copper hollowpoint in the standard pressure version. I used the Liberty Ammunition high velocity loading as well. These are two very different loads and each performed well. I fired the Kel-Tec P 15 9mm pistol for accuracy from a solid braced barricade position. Since this is a concealed carry handgun I tested accuracy at 15 yards rather than 25 yard. The Federal 124 grain HST put five shots into two inches. Practice often and you will be as well armed as you can be with a light 9mm handgun with this pistol.
Concealed carry – I used several concealed carry holsters with good results and finally settled on the Crossbreed TACO holster. This is a hybrid holster with a strong kydex holster component over a supple leather backing. Strong twin belt clips are adjustable and offer a good grip on the belt for security.