Guns & Ammo, March 1996
Combat Compact Shootout
by Gary Paul Johnston
See the photos here and here
"A surprise to everyone... Tiny though it is, the Kel-Tec P11 uses a 10-shot double column magazine... The P11 is conventional in many respects while still innovative in overall design."
Guns & Ammo, May 1996
Best Buys! '96 Guns and Gear
"The recently introduced Kel-Tec P11 is a very compact double-action-only 9mm pistol with a polymer frame. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds, and the gun will aslo accept standard Smith & Wesson Model 59 high-capacity magazines... Unloaded weight is only 14 ounces."
The Complete Book of Handguns, 1997
by Massad Ayoob
"The company has taken this new design a long way in a short time... Rick Howard, an extremely knowledgeable pistolsmith, considers the P11 his favorite of the ultracompact 9mm pistols. My friend Harry Adams, an instructor in Massachusetts and several time graduate of the Smith & Wesson Academy, has put more than a thousand rounds throuh his, including a lot of hot CorBon, with no signs of excessive wear, no breakage, and not a single malfunction. Dave Spaulding, the street-smart patrol lieutentant who writes for Combat Handguns, Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, and Police magazines knows several officers who are carrying them for backup, and now carries one for that purpose himself. He has found the current Kel-Tec to be eminiently reliable and, as I also found, surprisingly accurate... [The] P11 pistol has proven itself worthy of consideration by any police officer or law abiding armed citizen."
Handguns, March 1997
Kel-Tec's P11 Pocket Nine
by David W. Arnold
See the photos: 1 2 3 4 5 6
"Small, versatile, and very practical... Well made and reliable and delivers good 15-yard accuracy... Perfectly reliable with all the ammunition used in the shooting session."
Combat Handguns, May 1997
The Service Subcompact
by Tom Graham
"At 14 ounces empty, the P11 is possibly the lightest full-powered 9mm ever made. I...was impressed by its light weight and compact size... Service style sights and operating controls [e.g., slide stop, push button magazine release] completes the package."
Guns & Ammo, July 1997
Handgun Trends '97
by Gary Paul Johnston
See the photo here
"The dramatic success enjoyed by the Kel-Tec P11 is also well deserved. Made of the finest materials, this little 9mm is surprisingly low priced. Using a 10-shot double-column magazine, the P11 can also use S&W Model 59-type high-capacity magazines, a great selling point for those owning or issued these S&W pistols. Reliable and combat accurate, Kel-Tec's P11 can also be had in several colors."
S.W.A.T., December 1997
Kel-Tec's P11: Light, Concealable, Reliable
by Denny Hansen
"[T]he trend in firearms – at least as it pertains to handguns – has been to smaller, concealable weapons that can still deliver a formidable punch. One example of this new breed is the Kel-Tec P11 pistol... This combination of [steel, aluminum, and polymer] materials results in a very strong, yet lightweight, pistol... [T]he Kel-Tec P11...is a pistol that should serve its owner well if called upon for self-defense. It is light, reliable and as concealable as many .380s."
You wouldn't necessarily look at this article to read about the P11, but...
Firearms For Law Enforcement, 1997
Kahr On The Road
by Massad Ayoob
"The two pistols to which the Kahr K9 is inevitably compared are the only two full-power 9mm Parabellums in its size range: the Austrian Glock 26 and George Kelgren's Kel-Tec P11... [Kelgren's] $300, 14-ounce, 11-shot 9mm remains a tremendous bargain. At the 1996 Joint Services Small Arms Project debates on the Personal Defense Weapon for the U.S. military in the 21st century, I recommended the Kel-Tec P11 as the logical personal weapon for issue or optional purchase for every potential combatant: It was cost-effective, adequate for the closest combat, would fit a uniform pocket and works with NATO 9mm ball."
Combat Handguns, February 1998
9mm Short Barrel Performance
by Ed Siemon
"The P11 is a 14-ounce double-action-only (DAO) pistol... Even though the P11 is smaller...and lighter than most 380s, it holds a full 10+1 rounds of 9mm Luger ammo – less bulk than a 38 snub but with twice the firepower!... [D]esign-wise the P11 is literally in a class by itself."
Shooting Times, January 1998
Best Bet for Concealed Carry
by Wiley Clapp
See the photos here and here
"A little polymer, a little steel, and a lot of ingenuity went into the design of this pistol. It's the smallest – 5.6 x 4.1 inches – and lightest – 14 ounces – of the group. Tilting barrel with short recoil and a unique DAO trigger system, the Pll does not require slide action to set the striker. "
Combat Handguns, March 1998
Custom Guns I've Known"
by William Bell
"Kel-Tec P11...given Express Sights by Ashley Outdoors, Inc., and a slide 'melt' by W&C Gunsmiths, Inc....[T]he Ashley sight does not have a rear sight notch as such, but has a shallow 'V' accented with a vertical white bar. The front sight has a huge whie dot, and the whole arangement is meant to give a quick but accurate sight picture in a hurry... [T]he sights were easy to pick up for a 'flash' sight picture... [T]he slide was devoid of sharp edges, kind of like a well-used bar of soap."
See KTOGer Mike Anderson's P11 "melted" by W&C Gunsmiths here
Handguns, April 1998
Today's New Breed of Pocket Guns
by Robert T. Shimek
"The most radically small and lightweight 9mm Parabellum I've heard of so far remains Kel-Tec's P11, which tips the scales at a phenomenal 14 ounces empty and is truly tiny... The polymer-frame Kel-Tec P11...9mm auto actually weighs no more than some of the larger .25 autos!"
American Guardian, March 1998
Home & Carry Guns
by Wiley Clapp
"The Kahr K9 and the Kel-Tec P11 are two newer semi-auto pistols that don't sacrifice power for size. Despite their compact dimensions, each is chambered in 9x19mm, the same pistol caliber carried by several law enforcement agencies as well as by the U.S. military."
The Complete Book of Autopistols, Buyer's Guide 1998
Kel-Tec P11 9mm: A near-perfect concealed-carry handgun?
by Ed Siemon
"[T]he gun's accuracy is more than adequate for its intended mission...[and] remarkably pleasant to shoot... [The P11] has developed a genuine cult following. Also, the P11 comes with a lifetime warranty, and all agree that the factory is superb in addressing customer complaints, providing satisfactory fixes, and short turnaround times... [T]he P11 is a truly remarkable arm – a defensive weapon with the power and cartridge capacity of a service pistol that you can carry in your front pants pocket."
Guns & Ammo, May 1998
Little Big Guns
by G. Sitton
"I couldn't believe that a manageable autoloader capable of dispensing 11 rounds of 9mm P (10 in the magazine, one in the chamber) and weighing 14 ounces (unloaded) as possible. It was. It is... A recently manufactured gun cycled like sunrise with various hollow points..."
American Guardian, June 1998
Product Closeups: Kel-Tec P11
by Charles Q. Cutshaw
"While the snub-nosed .38 [Special] revolver has long been considered the prime concealment gun, the Kel-Tec P11 may soon challenge it... [T]he P11 is no bigger than many .380 ACP pistols and, at 17 ounces, it's lighter than most of them. Despite this, it is chambered for the relatively powerful 9x19mm cartridge – the standard military handgun round for NATO forces... On the whole (and minus a few correctable bobbles), the Kel-Tec did what it is supposed to and demonstrated a good deal of refinement for what is a rather novel gun. There is simply nothing else like it in terms of its combination of size, weight, power, and firepower... [The P11] not only challenges the snub-nosed revolver, but also surrenders precious little to heavier, bulkier handguns."
Guns, 1998 Annual
Compact Combat Carry Guns
by Massad Ayoob
"Polymer frames had been done. Double action only autos had been done. Under-a-pound handguns in fighting calibers had been done. It remained for George Kelgren to bring them together, and his concepts succeeds brilliantly in the now-mature Kel-Tec P11 design... [E]very P11 owner I ran across sang its praises for reliablity... It's the lightest, smallest 9mm carry gun you can buy, if not the easiest to learn to shoot well, and its fans are legion."
Sportsman's Gun Annual, 1998
Kel-Tec P11 vs. S&W SW9M
by D.K. Pridgen
"An interesting little pistol, the P1 was first introduced in 1995 at the SHOT Show... Because of the P11's general shape and the polymer frame the pistol bears a passing similarity to both Kahr and the Glock. There are other similarities as well. The trigger mechanism is double action only, not quite as light as a Glock, closer to the Kahr... The heavier trigger pull should be no problem at most confrontation distances. In fact, DA revolver shooters have been living with this type trigger for years and doing quite well... [T]he loads tested through the P11 averaged 2.3 inches...enough combat accuracy out to 15 yards."
Shotgun News, July 20, 1998
Top 10 Pistol Values
by Mike Bane
"4. Kel-Tec P11 in 9mm. One of the first of the itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie 9mms, you can now grab one of these ultralight blasters for less than $200 – which beats the heck out of the $600+ that some of the midget 9s are asking... [I]t comes highly recommended by one of the top defensive gunsmiths in the country, who'd just die if he knew I was telling you this. 'You know, I took one of these apart when I first got one, and they're well made little guns,' he says (anonymously). 'I shot the heck out of it; it worked fine. Now there's one in my pocket 10 hours a day, six days a week. Don't tell anyone, either, or you will NEVER get your Commander back!'"
Gun Tests, September 1998
Taurus PT-111 Beats Kel-Tec, Smith & Wesson DAO 9mms"
"We found no glaring faults with the fit and finish of the Kel-Tec P11... The Kel-Tec sat well in the hand. The tang's good shape allowed the hand to be place up close to the slide and still be protected form the slide when it moved rearward during recoil... The wide frame spread the kick generated upon firing over a large portion of the web of the shooting hand, which aided in dampening felt recoil... We found [the Kel-Tec P11's] sights to be the easiest to find and align of the test... We experienced no malfunctions while firing the Kel-Tec P11. Accuracy was acceptable.. the sights were regulated nicely to point of impact."
Preparedness Journal, 1998
Has the 9mm Found its Niche?
by Alan Edward
"The Kel-Tec, in my hands, was about as accurate as a double action revolver fired in the double action mode. That is to say, it is sufficient for close range defense but does not claim bragging rights. I may have done a little better if I had the magazine with the finger extension. I have medium large hands and I could not get my little finger on the grip at all... Reliability with the Kel-Tec was excellent. I heard there were problems with misfires with the early production guns. This seems to be a thing of the past. In the 400 plus rounds fired through this pistol I had one failure to eject and that was in the second magazine. Before the gun had been fully broken in."
American Handgunner's 1999 Combat Annual
Airweight Shootout, Kel-Tec P-11 vs. S&W 642
by Andy Stanford
"Introduced in 1991, the Kel Tec P-11 fills a unique niche in the world of handguns. This pistol is the smallest lightest 9mm pistol currently in production. It is also relatively inexpensive, selling for well under $300."
An article from Free-Gun Magazine by Robert Thompson on the P11.
Be sure to visit the Free-Gun Magazine web site!
Guns & Ammo, January 1999
New for '99
by Payton Miller
"Kel-Tec Industries now has what it calls 'the smallest and lightest .40 ever made.' It's the P40, a nine-plus-one DA-only auto that weights 15.6 ounces (and 22.8 ounces fully loaded) and is 6.04 inches in length."