Comparison? Kahr P40, Springfield XD 40 subcompact


July 12, 2007, 01:22 PM
I have been looking for a CCW that can be fit in the pocket of slacks or placed in an inside-the-waistband holster and not tell. As a Texan, the heat dictates my clothing to some extent. I usually wear jeans and a polo during the summer. The size of a Walther PPK/S is my ideal. My father has a Walther PPK/S, chambered for .380, that is a good size but not terribly reliable. I have reservations about .380 anyway. I'm really looking for something that could be considered a modern PPK/S. Safety is optional, but preferred, and I'm a fan of the slide-closing button, rather than having to pull the slide back on reload like you have to do with a PPK/S and the Sig 230/232. This preference could be waived due to the increased probability of snagging on clothing.

Present Condition
I own a Glock 22, the full-size .40, but that is too thick to carry inside-the-waistband. If Glock made a single-stacked gun, I would purchase that. Since I own a Glock, I obviously don't care about looks, although beauty will certainly break a tie.

I have seen mixed reviews for the Kahr P-series weapons, with people either having tons of problems or none at all. I would be fine with purchasing the gun and then being forced to deal with customer service for a while, if I will eventually have a reliable gun. Many of these reviews were from a few years ago. Does anyone have experience with a Kahr bought in 2005 or later? Has anyone had problems with a Kahr that only develop after a few years? To me, the gun seems much like a single-stacked Glock. I tried the P9 on the range yesterday, and I went through 50 cartridges without a problem, and I was far more accurate than I am with the .40 caliber Glock, although I'm sure this can be changed with some practice. I intend to try the Kahr P40 today.

I have also seen people rave about the Springfield XD's in the larger sizes, but have not seen much information about the XD40 Subcompact, the 3" barrel. I do not know how much more concealable that gun is, or how thick. If the gun is inside-the-waistband, I do not see how a 3" barrel would be much different than a 3.5" barrel. Additionally, I have read that the shorter barrels reduce the FPS to some extent, and I would assume that my accuracy would drop as well. The local shooting range does not have a 3" for rent, and I do not know anyone that owns one. The safety on the grip makes me feel a bit better about carrying it 24/7.

Other guns
I have also thought about the Sig 230/232, but I dislike the European magazine release. That part is really a deal-breaker. People have also talked about the Bersa Thunder, and I haven't ruled that gun out.

Does anyone have any thoughts comparing these guns, or any recommendation for an alternative CCW that is about the size of a Walther PPK/S?

Afterthought: 9mm vs .40
Additionally, I am unsure about the difference between the stopping power of the $3-or-more-per-bullet high-end 9mm ammunition and the high-end .40 ammunition. If there is not a noticeable difference between the two, I see no reason to elect the larger caliber, with its lower capacity and larger recoil. Yesterday at the range I was far more accurate with the Kahr P9 than I was with my Glock 22. I've seen those videos of RBCD ammunition on Youtube, but that's not terribly scientific, and doesn't compare 9mm RBCD with .40 RBCD.

Does anyone know of a place where high-end ammunition is reviewed in a way that I might understand?

Thank you.

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July 12, 2007, 02:01 PM
I personally would not buy a pocket pistol in .40 S&W for the same reason I don't want to shoot .357 Magnum out of a snub-nosed airweight: brutal recoil. I like .40 a lot and carry it frequently, but pocket guns are so small and light that they make it hard to control high-pressure cartridges and are very unpleasant to shoot. For something small, I'd stick with 9mm.

July 12, 2007, 04:25 PM
You might be looking at the wrong guns for what you want to use them for, which is concealed carry. If you feel the Glock is too fat/heavy for concealed carry, you might find the same about the XD.40 even if its a sub-compact. While it is a great and reliable gun, chopping the barrel and grip doesn't make it easier to carry IMO. I had an XD .40 service (4") and my buddy has an XD9 sub compact. I can't justify getting an XD SC when it isn't really any easier or more comfortable to carry than the 4" models. Weight and thinness make a bigger difference in carry comfort than the length of the grip and barrel.

The P40 is probably a better choice for what you are trying to do, which is find a good carry gun that you WILL carry with you all the time, and not get lazy about it. I wouldn't worry too much about the P-series Kahrs anymore. They had their fair share of problems a few years ago, but I've seen nothing but great reviews lately. The only thing is that I'd have to agree with scurtis about the .40SW in a small, light gun like the P-series from Kahr. I'd go with a P9, or possibly a CW9 if you are on a budget. The .40 is a better stopper when you look at the numbers on paper, but practically, the 9mm is just as effective...especially +P ammo. I'd take the extra round the P9 offers over the P40, along with the more controllable (and less painful) recoil.

Personally, if I were going to get one of the P-series, it would be the P45. This thing is just amazing to shoot. It is a tad larger than the P9 or P40, but it's still 18oz, and 1.01" at its widest point. Very controllable/concealable weapon with 6+1 rounds of .45ACP! If I were going to go 9mm, I'd go with a PM9 over the P9 for an even more "pocketable" gun. Just my opinion though.. good luck!

July 12, 2007, 04:33 PM
The Subcompact XD is going to be comparable to the Glock 27 (sub compact .40). If you wanted something like that, I'd say go for the G27 so you can keep the same mags. As for the grip safety, I see that as a (clever) marketing gimmick --how many times has your Glock accidentally gone off? --Exactly.

Personally, I'd go for the Kahr. They are slim and reliable, at least in my experience. I have an older model K9 9mm and it has proven itself time and time again.

July 12, 2007, 04:48 PM
I have ( after about six weeks of doing exactly what you are doing ) gone with a Springfield XD.40 Subcompact. At first I bout a Taurus PT145 & it was a raging POS. I took it pack. To bad - it really had what I was looking for in terms of Cal and size being that it was .45, compact, & single stack.

I looked at Kahr, CZ, Sig, H&K, Glock, Kimber, Colt, XD, S&W, & more....

At the end of the day I went with the subcompact because of a few reasons.
1- I like its safe features better that Glock
2- My XD .40 4" is great, so I am a fan of XD
3- Because I already had an XD .40 4" I had mags that would work with the Sub at the range.
4- The XD is reliable & shoots straight.

For inside the waist I think the best gun is a 1911. They are slim.... Colt, Wilson, Kimber, & Springfield all make great - small - 1911s. But beware. The 1911s with 3" barrels can be unreliable. I wouldn't go with anything under 3.5"

Personally - I pick a gun that has the round I want. Then the gun & holster/belt system. For me it's .40 then .45

July 12, 2007, 05:07 PM
$3-or-more-per-bullet high-end 9mm ammunition

Are you talking about Mag Tech or Glaser ammunition? If so, I would stay away from the pre-fragmented stuff. Those loads have been found to have shallow penetration. They are just a gimmick. Stick with a good hollow point in 9mm.

July 12, 2007, 07:56 PM
I prefer the Kahr but a Glock 27 would make the most sense to me, if you are happy with your G22 that is. Can use same mags if needed. Same grip angle etc...
Springfields are nice guns as well. I slighlty prefer the XD to a Glock but your going to be in the same boat with the XD as far as the width.

For me the Kahr PM9 is a awesome ccw piece. It carries very easily IWB, is accurate and easily controllable.

I thought about getting one in .40 but chose the 9mm because of the controllability in such a small package. The 9mm is also slighlty smaller and lighter if you check the specs. This was another factor in my taking the 9mm over the .40.

July 12, 2007, 09:19 PM
Glock is starting to roll out these SF (Slim Frame) models. It started with the 21SF, and I'm sure a 22SF is around the corner.

I have owned a Kahr PM series and it was horrible, however I have heard good things about their P series, MK series, and K series.

Despite this, if given your situation, I'd go with the Springfield XD. I have seen the sub-compact XD40 and it's a mechanical beauty. I unfortunately have yet to shoot one, but from what I've heard, you get more or less Glock's reliability, assuming you don't limp-wrist.

Like the above poster, I carry a Glock 27 most of the time (or my Glock 23 the rest of the time)... but if the Glock thickness is a problem, and the Springfield XD is slim enough for you, go for it.

Also, if you're interested in a pocket .40, check out the Kahr MK40. You don't have the problems that the PM series have and it will fit in a pocket. Barely.... but it will fit. It's slightly smaller than the Springfield XD sub compact.

I probably won't remember to check this thread again, so if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

July 13, 2007, 08:53 AM
Does anyone know of a place where high-end ammunition is reviewed in a way that I might understand?

July 13, 2007, 07:05 PM
I like the XD's for it's light/laser rail. I wish the Kahr's had them as I like the grip on them. A four inch barrel doesn't bother me for CCW. I'm thinking of buying the XD40 in the next few weeks.

July 13, 2007, 10:52 PM
Does anyone know of a place where high-end ammunition is reviewed in a way that I might understand?

I'm not sure what high-end ammunition you're talking about, but almost everything Marshall & Sanow have published has been ridiculed. Scroll down and read the articles and the findings.

July 13, 2007, 11:16 PM
I pocket carry a Kahr MK40. Make sure to go through 200-300 rounds to break in the sliding surfaces before you do a serious critique. I really like mine. I carry with Double Tap 180 JHP which uses the awsome Speer Gold Dot HP bullet. I don't carry any of the splash-em pre frag BB bullets.

July 14, 2007, 12:42 AM
Thank you, this has all been very helpful. I'm still not sure what to get, I guess I'll head back to the range and do some more renting. =)

July 14, 2007, 12:58 AM
I'm looking for pretty much the same thing you are, and went to my gun store today to take a look around. I've settled on 2 models because they fit me, the grips are large enough for my hands, and have a natural POA for me.

Bersa (or Firestorm) Thunder 9mm
Springfield XD9 subcompact

The Bersa is about 40% cheaper than the XD9, but the XD9 subcompact comes with a couple of really nice extras, kydex holster, kydex double mag holder, one extra 13 round mag that extends grip about 3/4", and a much better reputation than Bersa.

Because of cost, I'm leaning toward the Bersa. Having shot a Bersa in .40, I don't have a problem in the world on the dependability of it, but of course, YMMV.

Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for!!!

July 14, 2007, 12:59 AM
I've been in your exact same position. I've tried all the guns you're trying and even went so far as to buy several of them.

The Kahr was horrible, and trust me, if you're unlucky enough to get a bad Kahr you don't want to deal with their customer service, it's very bad.

The KT was unreliable even with FMJ's and despite a break in, a F&B and a trip back to the factory it never was reliable. At least KT was a good company to deal with, even if they're product lacked something to be desired.

I love my Glock 26, but like you, it's a little too fat for a pocket.

I picked up a PA-63 (PP lookalike) and while I like it, it's light and it fits nicely into a pocket, I don't care for the caliber (9x18) or the ammo selection.

I wound up with a J frame S&W revolver. In my case an older Model 38 Bodyguard. The same model is called a 638 today. By all means try the tiny automatics and the single stack polymer guns, but don't be surprised if you come back to a J frame revolver for pocket carry.

July 14, 2007, 02:20 AM
I have no info on the Kahr but..
I do carry the XD 40 sub compact, IWB with a kydex blade tech holster.

It is a little thick for IWB carry and unless you have big pants pocket carry is out of the question. My next carry piece will be single stack.

Whatever the 3" barrel does to accuracy I have not seen.
I do not practice with the piece much further then 10 yards.
Self defense situations shouldn't be long distance anyhow.
The pistol is probably more accurate then I am.

The .40 is more to handle then the 9.
It took me more practice, to get good with the 40.
I can easily empty the magazine at a fairly fast rate, within a good self defense size group, at self defense distances.
It is not going to be jumping out of your hands within two shots or leave you stinging.

Good luck in your decision.

July 15, 2007, 02:31 PM
I've had a glock 27 and currently carry the sub-compact xd .40 in an inside the waist holster. I found the xd less painful to shoot, less expensive and more accurate. it is very concealable under a t-shirt and shorts. Even in baggy shorts pocket carry is uncomfortable. The kahr shoots nice but I like capacity.

July 15, 2007, 09:54 PM
Unless you are a big dude with really massive pockets, I don't think pocket carry on an everyday basis of an XD SC is something you are going to enjoy doing. They'll work IWB, depending on your body type, though the thick double-stack frame makes it hard for beanpoles like me to conceal.

The P40 will work much better for pocket carry, though they usually won't draw as smoothly as say, a hammerless S&W 642 ... my daily carry piece. I personally don't care for .40s, so I'd be sticking to a 9mm or 380 if in your position. That being said, my favorite pocket gun is still a S&W J Frame in 38 Special. Compact, easy/comfortable to carry in the pocket or IWB, ultra reliable, extremely easy to draw, accurate (in my hands anyway), and it will do the job with proper ammo selection.

Good luck with your decision!

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