Like all of KelTec’s firearms, the new striker-fired P15 9mm is innovative, reliable and affordable. But there’s more to the micro-compact 9mm. It is the lightest and thinnest double-stack pistol on the market. And because of its thin profile, the P15 carries well without undue discomfort.
About the KelTec P15
The P15 comes with two steel magazines: 15-round and 12-round. While the 15-round magazine doesn’t look impressive at first glance, it features a patent-pending extension unlike any other extension available. Placing the 12-round mag next to the 15-round mag, it’s difficult to tell it can fit an additional three rounds. The extension adds minimal bulk and provides just enough room for a pinkie rest. I was able to load up 15 rounds without using a loading tool.
The P15 is KelTec’s first foray into the striker-fired pistol field. And it is superb. In fact, KelTec has dropped all of the hammer-fired defensive shooting pistols from its catalog — with the exception of the P32 — in favor of this new striker-fired design.
Barrel length: 4 inches
Overall length: 6.6 inches
Weight: 14 ounces, unloaded
Height: 5 inches
Slide width: .875 inches
Trigger pull: 5 pounds
KelTec claimed the trigger pull weight to be 5 pounds. However, my Wheeler trigger gauge measured the pull between 4 pounds, 8 ounces and 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Plus, it’s a very smooth pull. It is truly one of the best striker-fired triggers on the market. I think that is due to the lack of safety levers used as part of the trigger system. Instead, KelTec uses a striker safety in combination with a grip safety, which results in a smooth trigger that does just one thing: fires the gun. A magazine safety system prevents the gun from being fired unless a magazine is seated in the pistol … even if there is a live round in the chamber. It is a great feature for people that have children.
P15 Pistol Features
Since the P15 is a micro-compact pistol, its grip is on the small side. A backstrap adaptor is included that subtly increases the distance between it and the frontstrap. After my test fire, I added the adaptor to make the grip more comfortable and to improve access to the magazine release.
The slide release is very low profile. However, there is just enough of a protruding ledge to allow you to release a locked-back slide with your thumb. A pop-up loaded chamber indicator is located atop the slide.
The sights are superb. The front sight Hi-Viz sights combine a green fiber optic with a Tritium dot. The fully adjustable rear sight features two Tritium dots. I wouldn’t change a thing about them. As well, there is a front rail for mounting lights/laser sights.
At the Range and on the Hip
I took the P15 to the range with a box of CCI Blazer Brass Case 115-grain FMJ target ammunition. With such a light handgun, 115-grain or lighter ammunition is needed. With a muzzle velocity of 1,145 feet per second, even this load rocks the P15. The recoil is not unmanageable, but I wouldn’t want to spend a long afternoon shooting it.
My first group was fired from 30 feet, using a two-hand standing position. Loaded up with 10 rounds, the group measured 8 inches, with eight of the shots hitting in the center of the chest of an OPOTC silhouette and two rounds straying into the arm.
I loaded up 13 more rounds for the second group and moved up to 21 feet, using the target’s head as the point of aim. Twelve rounds made a 5-inch cluster in the center of the head, with one called flyer outside the head. I consider this very good accuracy from a pistol so small and light. While there were zero malfunctions, I found the magazine release button a bit difficult to reach without shifting my grip. But the included backstrap adaptor is available should you want to enlarge the grip.
I took the P15 into the big city, carrying it an old Galco belly band holster that has served me well. Its light weight and flat profile make it suitable for all-day carry. And with 16 rounds in the gun and 12 in the spare, I felt more than adequately armed.
The KelTec P15 is an excellent defensive pistol. An MSRP of $450 makes it affordable for most consumers. I’d like to see a variant with a 3-inch barrel become available in the near future.
CCI Ammunition: CCI-Ammunition.com