Kel-Tec has developed a reputation for innovative and affordable firearm designs. Its new PF-9, a polymer-and-steel pistol chambered in 9 mm, is designed to fill a niche in Kel-Tec's line between its P-3AT (a single-stack, 8.3-ounce .380 ACP) and its P-11 (a double-stack, 14-ounce 9 mm), and it is a hybrid of the two designs.
Dating back to the early part of the 20th century, this classic cartridge is inexorably tied to the seminal John Moses Browning 1911 design for which the cartridge was developed. However, one of the most recent offerings to chamber this cartridge, the rotary barrel-locking Beretta Px4 Storm, is by no means a conventional handgun design.
A close look at the new XD45 pistol reveals a frame-mounted manual safety with a location and configuration that should be quite familiar to many handgun enthusiasts. Located at the rear of the frame and requiring a downward sweep to disengage, the XD45's ambidextrous safety is in fact configured much like the venerable 1911.