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My LGS has a used Kahr CW380 he's asking $300 for. I figure that's a high price because 1) his prices are always very high and 2) thought I saw a new one for $400. If I can find that deal again I think I'll just buy the new one.

In the meantime I don't own any guns at all right now and really want a pocket pistol.

Your advice, please?

THANKS!

Dave
 

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They can be had new for just over $300.



Sent from my SM-T820 using Kel-Tec Forum mobile app
 

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Had a couple. Don't care for 'em, both as a company and for their pistols. The CW45 I had would constantly let the takedown pin/slide stop lever back itself out every few shots. The CM9 that I had was just okay, but still not all that great. All have very long and heavy but smooth DAO triggers, and reliability with most of them is about ... ehhhh, average, I guess. Maybe a tad below average, considering how most pistol manufacturers tend to put out pretty reliable firearms nowadays. And the Kahr company is steeped with controvery and weirdness over the years, not to mention their warranty is crap. They really don't have anything to offer over their competition nowadays, unless you can just score one for a super-duper cheap price. And even then, I'd be hesitant because their magazines are an obscene $50 or so each, even though they're just basic single-stack magazines and nothing at all special. (In fact, the CW45 can use slightly modified 1911 magazines, which are WAY more affordable and worked quite well in the one I had.)
 

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Last year decided to try a Kahr P380. When it was delivered to my Range/FFL the owner related how all the Kahr rentals he had were problematic and he knows plenty of dissatisfied Kahr owners. His diatribe freaked me out so much that I sold it without shooting it. That seems irrational but his comments really got into my head.

Kahr is located about 20 minutes from my house. They built the facility about 7-8 years ago moving that part of their operation out of New York State. I salute them for that. Partly wanted to own something from them just because they are located nearby employing local folks.

With that said I'm not saying don't buy/try. If you check out the Kahr forum you'll get some good info. In my case, if a different person was at the counter when that Kahr came in I'd have kept it and at tried it. But....I'm sure the P32 would still be my pocket carry choice.
 

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I have several Kel Tec handguns (P32, P3AT, P11, PF9) and about the same number of Kahrs (CT380, CM9, CW9, CT9, CT45). I had reliability issues with the CT380 & sent it to Kahr - their work on it solved the issue. Other than that, I’ve had no problems with the 9mm’s or .45acp. And I do like their triggers. On Kahr forum - from what I have read - the 380’s seem to have more problems.

In my opinion, the Kel Tecs are easier to tinker on and I’ve fluffed & buffed & put in Northwood and RTK and MacCarbo parts on several. I never could figure out the issue with the Kahr. I trust the CT380 now, but I carry the P3AT more often. Hope that’s helpful.
 

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depends on what you want in a pocket pistol.
I like the sig 238 or 938 (380, 9mm) micro 1911s which have outstanding triggers and have been very reliable for me, but they are pricey. Before those I tried everything under the sun, with the #1 pre sig choice being one of my first guns, a cheap milsurp makarov -- highly accurate and 100% reliable, though very heavy and on the upper side for a pocket gun, bubbasmithed to be SAO action instead of DA/SA. I have a new .45 pocket gun as well, the heizer which weighs as much as a full size, but the actual dimensions are tolerably small for a 45.

pocket pistols come in a lot of flavors now, with a ton of small 9mm and 380s to pick from. My primary feature is the trigger pull, after that and reliability, we get down to the other stuff like size/weight/caliber/capacity
 

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They have really tight tolerances, need a break in period, and probably aren’t the best guns for folks that are new to firearms.

Mas Ayoob is a big fan. I think that speaks a lot for them. I have a few and once they are broken in, they’re worthy of carry imho.
 

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I've been carrying a Kahr PM9 in my back pocket, 24/7/365, since buying it in November of 2006. That's 14.5 years. Back then, there weren't nearly as many options for a tiny pocket 9mm. Rohrbaugh made the R9, but it was finicky and REALLY expensive. The PM9 has come down in price quite a bit. I paid $575 plus tax, and that was a lot of money for a pistol back then.

I was immediately very impressed. I shot a few hundred rounds out of the box, without cleaning it. I shot several different types of ammo, including the hot self defense hollow points I planned to carry, several factory loads, and a lot of my reloads. When I didn't have a malfunction in the first couple of magazines during the break-in of this tiny short stroke, high feed ramp angle 9mm, I started trying as hard as I could. I shot it at odd angles, loosely gripped to induce a limp wrist failure, and even shot a lot of rounds while jerking back on the pistol for a worst case limp wrist. Not a single malfunction in over 300 rounds, and again, these were the break-in rounds. I'm not even sure a full size Glock would pass that test.

Certainly, all Kahr pistols aren't that reliable. I must of gotten a good one.

Some people don't like the trigger. It's definitely different. There is no external safety, so the safety is the very long trigger pull, but it's buttery smooth. If you like a smooth trigger, you may like this, but only if you are OK with a very long trigger. You probably won't notice the unusual trigger in a defensive shooting situation. Back when my eyes were a lot better, I could shoot the tiny PM9 surprisingly well. I put a small laser on it at one point and could walk a 12 gauge shotgun shell out to 20 yards or so. The short sight radius made accurate shots more difficult but I found that after 200 rounds at the range, I'd get my eye and the PM9 was dialed in and I was very happy with it. I think it's probably capable of far more accuracy than can be attained with the short sight radius and small grip.

The only times I remember it malfunctioning are two related forms of Failure To Feed:

  1. My PM9 absolutely will not feed the first round from the magazine if I slingshot the slide. It doesn't matter how I slingshot it, it will jam every time. On the other hand, when I insert the magazine with the slide locked back and use the slide release, it feeds 100% reliably. Apparently, that's a design issue common to the PM9 and possibly other Kahr pistols. I don't like having a defensive pistol that I can't slingshot. The small slide release could be difficult to actuate in a defensive situation. Then again, while the police often shoot to a locked slide and need to reload, that's exceedingly rare in non-police self defense encounters, even with a tiny pocket pistol with 6+1 capacity. I do, however, carry the 7 round spare magazine.
  2. When back pocket carried, it's easy to inadvertently press the magazine release. If that happens, the magazine drops almost imperceptibly, and the next round won't feed, making the PM9 a single shot pistol. I try to practice tapping the bottom of the magazine when drawing from my rear pocket. I sanded down the magazine release almost flush and that helped, and I modified the holster and that helped, but it's still a problem that could lead to the dreaded click when really needing a second bang.
The PM9 durability has far exceeded my expectations. After 14.5 years of rolling around on the asphalt under my truck, et cetera, the polymer doesn't quite look new, but it looks good. The black DLC coating on the stainless slide looks brand new when I blow off the pocket lint and wipe it with a RemOil dampened patch. With all of the abuse, there isn't even a scratch. DLC = Diamond Like Coating. They named it right!

I've had a Kahr CW9 for a few years. I paid $291 for it. It shoots well and has also been reliable but I don't have nearly as many rounds through it as my PM9. The CW9 is my wife's defensive firearm.

I bought a few pocket nines last year with the intention to migrate away from the PM9 to get a small 9mm that was reliable that would feed properly if I yanked back on the slide and released it, and hopefully a design that didn't allow the magazine release to be activated in my back pocket although that seems like a tall order best resolved with an improved back pocket holster, even if I need to 3D print one myself. I bought a Glock 43 and a Mossberg MC1sc. Both are nice and had no problems the first time I shot them side-by-side, but I didn't do the intensive break-in testing I did with the PM9. I haven't shot either of them enough to feel as comfortable as I do with the familiar PM9, even with its quirks, so I'm still carrying the PM9. I also have a Sig P365 on my gun acquisition list, but guns are hard to find these days.

Others have alluded to the weirdness in the Kahr company. Kahr is owned and operated by Justin Moon, son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, of the Moonies fame. Justin Moon was the chief designer at Kahr, and still is for all I know. He designed the PM9 when he was a junior in college... and he was an econ major, not a mechanical engineering student.


Apparently some of Moon's followers like guns so it's not only Justin. Here's a snarky article criticizing the Unification Church having a Bring Your AR-15 To Church Day.

 

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Kahrs do NOT have DAO triggers...they are striker fired...long pull, not fully charged until the trigger is mostly back, but striker fired. Not DA. And, IMO, safer for pocket carry than a Glock.
 

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The action of a Kahr pistol draws the striker back AND releases it with a full press of the trigger. Two actions performed with one actuation of the trigger. That is, by definition, a double action only trigger, aka "DAO". This, as opposed to one such as an M&P striker design, which simply releases the pre-cocked striker when the trigger is fully depressed - ONE action performed with one actuation of the trigger, thus a Single Action - or one that, when decocked, has a long, heavy pull as it draws back and releases the striker for the first shot, but the slide action then pre-cocks the striker for a shorter, lighter pull for subsequent shots - essentially a DA/SA trigger style (Taurus, Walther, and Canik have made striker-fired pistols like this). Kahr pistols do not have an SA or DA/SA mode by design, so they are DAO in function.

The fact that it's striker-fired and not hammer-fired does not disqualify it from having a DAO trigger. Again, the classification of DAO or SA or DA/SA is determined by the function of the TRIGGER, not the hammer/striker. The difference in trigger pull with a Kahr is that the striker is almost (but not quite) fully at rest and only just slightly pre-cocked - basically, it's just hooked on the trigger mechanism at the start, not really under much tension - and the actuation of the trigger brings it fully back before then releasing it at the end of the trigger stroke. Glocks are similar, except their striker is more pre-cocked (almost but not quite fully cocked) and thus the trigger doesn't have to be moved as far to fully cock the striker before releasing. The M&P's trigger design basically just holds the fully-cocked striker on the sear and, as the trigger is pulled, that sear drops and lets the striker go forward - the cycling of the slide is what pre-cocks the striker, not the trigger actuation.

Anyway. Semantics.

FWIW, Kahrs are only "safer" than other pistols for pocket carry if you don't use a pocket holster, which is a very unsafe practice in and of itself. With a proper pocket holster that keeps the trigger covered, a Glock and most any other pocket-sized pistol is perfectly safe to carry. Ditto for carry inside the waistband: if you're carrying a pistol without a holster (aka "Mexican carry"), you're inviting disaster, regardless of the pistol's trigger type. Again, with a proper holster, the trigger design is pretty irrelevant in terms of whether or not it's "safe" to carry, as any issues then have more to do with the person carrying the gun rather than the gun, itself.
 

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I am a small barrel enthusiast. Have shooting them for over 10 years and frequently each month. I have two 380's. Lovely mild shooting guns. I also have two CM9's and my favorite carry. Yes, the 380's need a break in, but NO BIG DEAL. you can actually break them in at home. The trigger are notorious as being one of the Best DAO's period. Here is a P380 I bought in march. 200 rds of mixed ammo and ran totally flawless. My first 380 did need a break in, but once he broke in it runs like a top. I love these guns. A lot of negetive Parroting on the internet. So glad I never paid attention to it. These are beautiful guns with tight tolerances. I doubt you can even find one in stock now. $300. wold be a great deal. PS very MILD shooting.

Kahr P380 200 rds flawless First day.


 

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I have carried a Kahr P45 for many years. I don't much care for tiny guns and that is most of what they make. But the P45 is thin and light and nearly full sized. It is so comfortable to carry you can forget you have it on. I did the proper break-in shooting 300+ rounds before I decided to carry it. It performed perfectly.

I also carried and shot many hollow point 45 rounds with it. It fed those perfectly as well. I liked the long smooth trigger pull. It felt very safe to me as it would be very difficult to do that long trigger pull by accident. I also found the gun to be very accurate.

When I have heard people complain about reliability issues with Kahr, usually they have less than 200 rounds through the gun. They do really like a nice break-in period. Also most of their guns are very small guns which are the most likely guns to fall victim to a "limp wrist" issue which will effect reliability. If you break them in and hold them tightly they have always worked well for me.
 

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Well.... I see disinformation, and such. Not picking on anybody here, but I'll list a few things I see here in the thread.

1. They have really tight tolerances.
Actually not really. That is a bit of self promoted (by Kahr) double speak. The "tight tolerance" thing is one way of getting around "some break in may be required". Here's the skinny on that. The Kahrs are a very specialized pistol. Their reason for being is "small". The K9, P9, PM9 all have what may be termed a short dwell time after that breach face clears the back of the cartridge in the magazine. You look at a 1911, many other auto-loaders, and the slide has lots of overtravel. That, coupled with a heavier slide (because its bigger), and a slower moving slide (because its heavier) makes for a longer time period for the cartridge to rise. Couple that with the following concept...."We don't make the springs to be the tension they need to be. We make them tighter, knowing they'll become the tension they need to be, with shooting". That is a must do in manufacturing of the Kahr design due to the tricky slide velocity and short dwell time. Kahr has no control over the ammo used. So, they suggest a break in (not a bad thing with any autoloader). SPRINGS do not take much of a "set" while under constant tension. They take much more of a "set" under dynamic conditions (flexing). So locking back the slide has little to help. Shooting has all the help you'll need, and can use when breaking in the spring. BTW, when you change the recoil spring, its break in time again... just sayin'.

2. My PM9 absolutely will not feed the first round from the magazine if I slingshot the slide.
Which is why Kahr says not to do so. Some will, some wont. Its a combination of very strong spring making holding back the slide difficult, and getting enough "snap" on release. Using the slide stop works reliably and the factory says do it that way.

3. Justin Moon was the chief designer at Kahr, and still is for all I know. He designed the PM9 when he was a junior in college..
Justin designed the K9 in college (sort of) not the PM9, but... that's nit picking. He's a class act though, and has stood behind his product when they had a few manufacturing issues (flaking nickel finish, bad ramps on 40 cal, etc)

The PM and CM series are identical in frames, all the same parts, everything 100 percent the same. The difference is in the "machining" of the slide (big woop), the lettering (big woop) the sights (maybe an issue for some), the slide stop (no issue as I'll explain), and barrel.

Barrel first. Kahr says those accurate polygonal rifling barrels are so expensive to make. Hogwash. The mandrel on the hammer forging can be poly or conventional rifling, they come out of the hammer forging machine in the same amount of time. "We start out with a 3 inch bar of steel". True dat. Three inches diameter before hammer forging, which makes 'em long and skinny, ready to be made into pistol barrels. Doesn't matter the rifling. That's all sales department hyperbole.

Slide stop... The PM has a "machined" (not cast, not "forged") slide stop. Not quite. Get out Mr. Magnifier and look at the PM slide stop. Its made with a ground very hard pin, that can rotate in the paddle section of the stop. It has a groove and the paddle is held by a cross pin. The paddle section is MIM. Yup. The entire slide stop of the CM is MIM, pin and all. Oh no, cheap crap MIM parts... oh the agony. Forget it. MIM is great. Colt has used MIM slide stops, thumb safeties, disconnectors, for DECADES, you never really hear of an issue.

Sights on the PM are dovetail in front, while the CM are plastic fit into round holes.

As far as the "expensive" machining on the PM series... er... the cost is the time in their FADAL CNC machining station. Cost is measured in time of production. Time of production "may" be more for the PM slide, but insignificantly so. Same for the lettering. More hyperbole by sales department.

Here's the thing - the PM and CM are the same cost of production. Very small differences. Kahr needed to introduce parts and features that were perceived as "cheap" to have a lower end model, regardless of cost of production. Put another way, they made money on the CM, and make a killing on the PM because its perceived as being better, even though cost of production is almost the same. Slick trick. Yay sales department.

With that all said, I've owned 5 PM series Kahrs, still have two (one was stolen, the ex got two in the split). They work. Period. Never an issue, except, on a brand new recoil spring, or new gun, I've gotten some hangups for the first few magazines full, where I had to whack the back of the slide to chamber the round. After that.... no issues at all. They all did it for me, but... that was WWB ammo, and my hand/wrist holding the gun. YMMV.

Trigger needs getting used to, but... I like the long pull. Safer in the pocket. And that is why I carry DAO revolvers (Charter Boomer) or Kahr for EDC in my pocket. I trust 'em because I know their reliability.
 

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Really like the Tru Glo I put on my CM9. Nice brightness even in low light. Just put a front sight only on the other CM9, One of the great things about the Kahr CM9, is it is hard to beat the size for carry and they are mild shooters. I shoot mostly DAO in most of my guns and will say it is a very diliberate and smooth pull all the way through. Easily controlled.As far as not feeding the first round of a magazine. I have no problem with either one. In fact will use the sling shot the majority of the Time. I have about a dozen magazines for the Kahr CM9's and all work fine. I did replace some of the Plastic followers with metal. The only negative I can say on the Kahr is I do not like hunky slide stops. I like a slicker smoothe desigr gun. But that is not just Kahr's design. You see it on other Micro 9's as well.The Kahr's are attractive goes to just look at. Regardless of a debate about being tight tolerences or not, the machining is well done. A nice looking Pistol.

 

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I agree with Liberty4ever. I also have a PM9 and haw been my primary EDC since 2011. I went through the same thing thinking I would upgrade to maybe the Sig 365 or Hellcat. However, I like the PM9 for all the reasons you mentioned. And yes, as long as you use the slide release it is 100% reliable. I do carry IWB rather than pocket and like that it conceals easily and is comfortable to carry all day. Through the years I have added a crimson trace laser, truglo sights, talon grips, and a spring kit from Mcarbo. For a small carry gun it is fun and accurate to shoot. The "only" thing I feel is lacking is that many newer guns have higher capacity but I always carry a spare mag anyway.
 

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On the slingshot slide issue... Would it help if you whacked the back of the slide with your palm after loading?
 

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On the slingshot slide issue... Would it help if you whacked the back of the slide with your palm after loading?
Nope. The problem isn't the slide not quite going into battery. The problem is the round misfeeding. Tapping it at that point would only crush the brass case.
 

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My LGS has a used Kahr CW380 he's asking $300 for. I figure that's a high price because 1) his prices are always very high and 2) thought I saw a new one for $400. If I can find that deal again I think I'll just buy the new one.

In the meantime I don't own any guns at all right now and really want a pocket pistol.

Your advice, please?

THANKS!

Dave
I like the Kahrs, although there are a lot of other options now with higher capacities and Kahrs are pricey. Just so you know, I currently own the CM9 (I had the PM9 but a friend really wanted it and I needed the cash). I also currently own the P40 and the P45. All of them are great shooters, accurate and reliable - I seldom carry them although I have carried them all. I bought all of mine used and they have worked fine. They all fit my hand perfectly as I like a smaller grip. It seems to me $300 for the used .380 is not a great price and there are a lot of other .380's now as they have become more popular since the improvement of modern ammo for them. But I honestly have no complaint about the Kahrs except they are very expensive especially brand new. I have the Ruger .380 with a laser sight and it works great and is affordable. I tried shooting the Keltecs but did not like theirs very much.
 

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I had a Kahr CM once. It developed a crunch in the sear spring. Sent it back to Kahr and told them about the crunching problem. They sent it back still with the crunch in the sear spring There is a small spring under that part in the picture, I sold it soon after.
55425
 
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