Used PM40 unknown age - what to look for


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Jbabbler
February 1, 2010, 09:33 AM
I'll preface this by saying that I have had problems with the only Kahr pistol I ever purchased, a CW9. I admit that I most likely had a lemon and have actually softened my "I will never own another Kahr" stance a lot since my initial issues. I still loved the gun for all of the reasons I initially purchased it and am more than willing to try again but want to be a little more informed this go-round. A local shop has 2 used Kahr .40cal pistols. One is a CW40 ($350 w/<100rds fired) and the other a PM40 ($499 unknown age). I know that the PM40's had some early growing pains. Can anyone tell me what to specifically look for on one of the early PM's and what date range or serial number range would be considered the "updated" PM40?

I can usually talk them down another 10% on used guns so I think I could potentially end up with a great gun at a great price if I play my cards right. there again, I may just be getting tempted by the dark side again.....



Thoughts? insights? cautions? experiences? ever been to a Turkish prison?

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Air,Land&Sea
February 1, 2010, 10:05 AM
Mine ejected spent shells into my forehead at a very high rate of speed. I kept trying to break it in, but gave up once I started bleeding. Maybe ask for a complimentary pair of safety glasses.

Jbabbler
February 1, 2010, 10:17 AM
Mine ejected spent shells into my forehead at a very high rate of speed. I kept trying to break it in, but gave up once I started bleeding. Maybe ask for a complimentary pair of safety glasses.

....and you didn't like that? Weird.

My CW9 was an excellent shooter and never ejected spent casings into my head, it just went "click" instead of "boom" too many times. Once Kahr corrected that (eventually), it proved to be an excellent shooting gun.

I am also considering just going with the CW40 and making a "covert" out of it.

bradfromearth
February 1, 2010, 12:15 PM
ALL STEEL is the only way to go at that size for a 40. I had a PM40 and I put so much time and energy into trying to get it to function with hollowpoints. It would not shoot at all it only jammed. Sent it back and then it would shoot ball ammo reliably but still no hollowpoints.

Look around, NO ONE but Kahr makes a polymer 40 that small. There is a good reason for that.

If you want something that small get a PM9 and make sure it is brand new. They have improved the polymer from the older generations. In a worst case scenario it will shoot corbon powerball ammo because it feeds like ball ammo. The PM40 I had would not shoot powerball it is lighter and faster than regular 40.

Dont get that gun, you will waste your time and money.

Hope this helps

Jbabbler
February 2, 2010, 01:24 AM
I appreciate the replies. I did a lot of reading and research today then went back to the shop this evening. I voiced my concerns about bothe guns and the shop owner and I stripped the PM40 down to have a look. The hood of barrel looked as good as the barrel of a new CW9 that he had in stock. The exterior of the barrel showed very little to no wear and appeared to have been shot only a few hundred rounds. I based this on the fact that the shop had a used CW40 on hand that the owner knew for a fact had only 4 boxes of ammo fires through it before being traded for a CW9 (bought for a female, she didn't care for the recoil). The slide itself was pristine with only minor holster wear on the front site. The internals were in like-new condition with only minor finish wear where any could be found. If I had to guess I'd say this gun was carried some but shot very little. I saw no signs of peening and the feed ramp was highly polished. I reassembled and made sure I put the slide stop below the spring and we handcycled 2 magazines of ammo through the gun. It returned to battery 100% w/o ammo but would need a little help if it had ammo and I slowly lowered the slide. Dumping the slide with the slide lock or slingshotting the slide gave 100% return to battery as well. The firing pin safety worked great and the pin slid smoothly. Not much else I could check.

I decided to make an offer of $450 for the gun, 1 mag and the box. He accepted so I brought her home. I'm sitting here now with the gun stripped down while I polish the barrel and slide with stel wool. I am very happy with this purchase and plan on doing whatever it takes to make this relationship last. I had bad luck with my CW9 out of the box but this one is much smoother (read, broken-in) than the CW9 so I'm hoping for excellent reliability at the range tomorrow.

Here's a quick Blackberry shot I took tonight.

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc81/jbabbler/pistols/KahrPM40.jpg

CPshooter
February 2, 2010, 01:28 AM
I, too, have thought about giving Kahr a second chance after buying a new pm9 that had several problems from the get-go, but I don't think I can do it. FTFs were a common probem, even with FMJ. Also, when I pulled the trigger, nothing happened. After a few more pulls the little sucker finally went BANG. Not good. I sent it back to Kahr (on my dime) and it came back with the trigger problem fixed, but it still wouldn't feed ammo for crap. How are you supposed to break in a gun that you can't get to shoot?

I gave up and sold the damn thing. At least a few years back when I picked it up, the average cost of a pm9 was around $550. I actually got mine for $530 OTD because a local gun shop was closing down due to retirement and the guy was liquidating all his inventory. I can't even imagine how crappy it would feel to buy one at the current prices and have it be a lemon. I bought it without knowing much about handguns at the time, but since I sold it I've seen numerous reports online about Kahrs not working properly or straight-up breaking. I'm well aware of the fact that there's a much greater chance of someone complaining about a handgun online than praising it, but Kahrs are expensive nowadays and I can't see there being enough sales to justify the number of complaints I've seen.

I say save your money and buy something else...OR try and hunt down a mk9/40 instead. The all-steel Kahrs have a great reputation for reliability. I think Kahr just doesn't know how to do polymer very well.

Besides all that, the .40s&w in a handgun that little won't be fun to shoot whatsoever. Sure, it's a self-defense pistol, but you still need to practice with it. I've never shot a pm40, but everything I've heard/read so far tells me it's painful and a PITA to shoot.

I say don't risk it, even if others chime in and have positive things to say. I think your odds of getting a lemon are definitely higher than most other brands' polymer pistols. Good luck with your decision!

CPshooter
February 2, 2010, 01:34 AM
Yikes...you posted 4 minutes before I did! LOL.. didn't mean to rain on your parade there!

Hopefully, you will have better luck than the first time around! Let us know how she shoots!

Btw, if your serial number has a V, or VA in it (if I remember correctly), it needs to have some "retrofitted upgrades" done to it by Kahr. When I contacted them about the problems I was experiencing with my pm9, they informed me that they had upgraded some parts since mine was manufactured, and they supposedly upgraded it to the new specs while it was at Kahr. I just thought I'd let you know incase yours falls into this category.

Jbabbler
February 2, 2010, 01:39 AM
Yikes...you posted 4 minutes before I did! LOL.. didn't mean to rain on your parade there!

lol no harm, no foul. I decided to take the chance on her this go round. The price was right and she was in great condition. The Serial number begins with "WA" and I am pretty sure the PM9's had the recall with the "V" serial numbered guns. I'll know more tomorrow but I do have positive expectations at this point. At this point if she won't run I know how to get her to.

97guns
February 6, 2010, 01:52 AM
my pm40 has been nothing but stellar. i bought it used and was pretty worried after reading all the unhappy owners, the s/n puts it made in late 2007. ive put around 500 rounds through with 100+ of them being hollow points and its never bobbled one time. ive fired the 5 round mag with 1 in the chamber, slung shot the first round, slide released the first round and limp wristed it and could not get it to waver. at this point i'd say that i trust it for a CCW.

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