Review: Anderson Manufacturing Kiger-9c

posted on December 28, 2023
Kiger9c Horman Right
Images courtesy of author.

In business for more than three decades, Anderson Manufacturing has grown into one of the most prolific providers of rifles, components and accessories made right here in the United States. This family-owned business is based in Hebron, Ky., and it offers an expansive selection of AR-15-pattern firearms and the parts to build them, which are favored by other gunmakers and shooting-sports enthusiasts alike. I've worked with a variety of this company’s lower receivers and parts kits over the years with positive results.

Kiger 9c pistol black handgun left-side view 9mm whte backgroundThe Kiger-9c compact is based on the popular Glock 19 defensive pistol. Image courtesy of Anderson Manufacturing.

In the fall of 2022, the company decided to expand its catalog to include another popular platform, namely, a compact-size, polymer-frame 9 mm pistol series based on the Gen3 Glock 19. Dubbed the Kiger-9c, it was the company's first excursion into concealed-carry, semi-automatic handguns. The series now includes standard slide and optics-ready Pro model pistols completely assembled at the factory and shipped ready to use. And much like the company's AR offerings, all of the components that go into the Kigers are sold separately for pistol repairs, upgrades and at-home builds. This review takes a closer look at the plain-slide, factory-complete version of this 9 mm pistol.

Kiger 9c pistol 9 mm barrel muzzle detail dynamic angle black metal hole riflingThe muzzle is beveled for easier holstering, features cocking serrations fore and aft, and the barrel terminates with a recessed crown.

Named after a breed of mustang found in the southeastern United states, the Kiger-9c is a single-action, striker-fired, semi-automatic pistol that employs a short-recoil-operated, locked-breech action. This is Anderson Manufacturing's own interpretation of the eminently popular G19-style, polymer-frame pistol design. However, the development team ensured that the components are all Glock Gen3-compatible and that the pistol’s footprint will allow it to fit most available G19-pattern holsters. 

Kiger 9c pistol closeup-view right side gun 9mm trigger and takedown lever plastic metal blackThis pistol’s controls are of the Glock Gen3 variety as seen with a reversible magazine release button, blade-in-shoe trigger safety and ambidextrous takedown levers.

The polymer sighting system consists of a familiar, screw-supported white-dot sight up front and a dovetailed square-notch sight at the rear. It's a simple but usable sight configuration. The slide is milled from a billet of 416-grade stainless steel and treated with a matte-black, diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish. This metal treatment hardens the slide's surface, making it more resistant to wear and corrosion while improved lubricity when compared to untreated stainless steel.

Kiger 9c angled in left hand showing focus on rear backstrap grip black polymer frameThe grip is effectively textured on all sides.

The milling process includes deep sets of serrations at the front and rear, crisp clean angular bevels to the slide's nose and edges along with subtle weight-reduction recesses on all three sides. The ejection port is also beveled. The extractor serves as a visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator. The exterior styling of the slide contributes to a slightly lighter unloaded weight of 22.1 ozs., with an empty magazine.

Kiger 9c 9mm pistol in left hand focus on black rear sight square-notch rear type dovetailed into black steel slide serrations controls striker plate takedown leverThe polymer sight system is compatible with Glock Gen 3 upgrades.

Removing the slide assembly from the frame reveals a flush-fit, 3.91" 416R stainless steel barrel, which is also treated with a DLC finish. The traditional six lands-and-groove rifling is cut at a twist-rate of 1:10" and suitable for jacketed and un-jacketed bullets. The Kiger-9c pistols are not available with threaded barrels as of this writing, but affordably priced drop-in options are available from the Anderson Manufacturing website. The recoil assembly is of the Gen3 variety, meaning a single flat-wire recoil spring captured on a polymer guide rod. The interiors of the slide and frame hold no surprises and essentially follow the Glock's Safe Action design.

Kiger 9c pistol 9 mm handgun shown left-side view on steel rusty background holes bullet marks black Anderson Manufacturing semi-automatic pistolAlthough Anderson Manufacturing added its own touches, this gun will fit in most G19-pattern holsters. The small adjustments to this 9 mm semi-automatic pistol’s features contributed to an enjoyable shooting experience.

The frame is made from impact-resistant black polymer with a 2"-long four-slot Picatinny rail dustcover to support light and laser modules. Wedges of aggressive, molded-in texturing are added along the top edge of the frame to serve as touch points for the trigger finger when outside of the trigger guard. Slightly raised ledges reduce the snag potential for the pistol's slide-stop levers. The trigger guard is roomy with serrated surfaces along the front and bottom exterior edges. The guard is undercut where it meets the frame to give the middle finger of the shooting hand some much appreciated breathing room. The left-side magazine release button is the smaller and shorter standard Gen3 type.

black polymer magpul p-mag shown in hand with rusty steel backgroundThis gun is sized for 15-round Magpul PMAG magazines, but it will accept other G19-pattern magazines.

The smooth-face polymer trigger has the typical integral blade safety. Glock established an unofficial, industry standard trigger-pull weight for striker-fired guns of around 5 lbs., 8 ozs., but this pistol ships with a 4-lb., 8-oz. trigger pull. Cycling the trigger has the typical striker feel of a somewhat mushy take up, a firmer resistance just before breaking and a short, distinctive reset.

Kiger 9c 9mm pistol disassembled view arrangement of gun parts handgun metal plastic barrel spring slide magazine frame weathered-steel backgroundThe Kiger-9c breaks down for routine cleaning just like a Glock pistol.

The sides of the grip sport smooth surfaces for the thumb and trigger finger with panels of aggressive texturing, the same as that of the finger rest points, covering the rest of the left and right sides. The straight frontstrap and backstrap have a raised-ridge texture with the top of the backstrap featuring a short, but effective, beavertail extension. The magazine well is lightly beveled to aid in magazine swaps, with slight cutouts to make it easier to grasp the base of the magazine. The Kiger sent for this evaluation arrived with one Magpul Industries PMAG 15 GL9 15-round polymer magazine.

three ammunition boxes stacked arrangement remington hornady federalThe Anderson Mfg. Kiger-9c handgun successfully fed, fired and ejected all of the ammunition tested.

When I took the Kiger-9c to the shooting range, I was pleasantly surprised by the just-right factor that it manages both subtly and effectively. Shaving an ounce or so off of the pistol's weight and a pound off of the trigger pull is not monumental, but it is definitely noticeable. The attention given to the grip's ergonomics and texturing pay off as well. I've shot my fair share of compact polymer striker nines, including unabashed G19 clones, and this one just felt and fit better. The reliability I was hoping for was there, too. The listing for this pistol describes it as sized for PMAG magazines, but I threw in some Glock factory magazines as well for the range test. Out of the three PMAGs and three Glock magazines tested, there were no malfunctions of any kind related to the magazines, ammunition or the gun itself.   

Formal benchrest accuracy testing was conducted at 15 yards using defensive hollow-point loads manufactured by Federal Premium, Hornady and Remington. Here are the results:

Kiger 9c pistol accuracy table ballistic chart comparison ammunition test graphic numbers energy velocity group size range conditions test at 15 yards

For those who are less familiar with AR-15 rifles, they can look just the same when lined up side-by-side on a rifle rack. It’s not so different with polymer-frame pistols. Despite their cosmetic similarities and compact-size, striker guns are not all created equal. Although the Kiger-9c is by no means a revolutionary design, Anderson Manufacturing's decades of design experience and meeting customers' expectations are clearly evident in its execution and operations. This American-made pistol is a well-balanced offering with a comfortable grip frame, a light trigger-pull and rock-solid defensive pistol features. It's also wholly compatible with the prolific selection of Gen3 aftermarket parts available, including sight options and G19-style magazines. With a suggested retail price of $429 for the standard version, and $539 for the optics-ready Pro model, it can easily go toe-to-toe with 9 mm pistols in this class. 

Close-up view of Anderson Manufacturing Kiger 9c pistol 9 mm semi-automatic glock gen 3 handgun black metal horse engraving

Anderson Mfg. Kiger-9c Specifications:
Manufacturer: Anderson Manufacturing
Action Type: short-recoil-operated, locked breech, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Barrel: 3.91" 416R stainless steel; DLC finish
Frame: textured black polymer
Slide: 416 stainless steel; DLC finish
Magazine: 15-round detachable box
Sights: white-dot front, square-notch rear
Trigger: single-action; 4-lb., 8-oz. pull
Overall Length: 7.35''
Height: 5.16''
Width: 1.26''
Weight: 22.1 ozs. (with empty Magpul magazine)
MSRP: $429


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