Kahr CW380: Second Range Trip - Gun going back to the factory


January 26, 2014, 01:42 PM
Some of you may remember that I acquired a Kahr CW380 a few weeks ago and posted a range report about it.


I love everything about the pistol, the size, the trigger, the shootability, the accuracy…everything except for one small issue: the slide continuously locked back mid-magazine throughout my range 200 round range session…with 4 different kinds of ammo. :banghead: Well, I figured this was within the "200 round break in period" and thought it would go away in the next trip.

Fast forward to today, I got some Remington "green box" FMJ 380 and went to a range with a buddy. I fired 50 rounds through the gun and he fired 50 rounds through the gun. The slide would lock back on partially full magazines AT LEAST ONCE, SOMETIMES TWICE per magazine. I borrowed another Kahr 380 magazine from the range (they rent the P380) and the same thing happened. Neither of us was activating the slide stop with our thumbs, and this happened with both of us. I even let the range officer fire off the last magazine…same thing happened to him. In photos from my first post, I think this is the culprit:


I'm thinking maybe that burr on the slide might be causing the problem?

I really love this gun and want it to work so I'm going to contact Kahr and send it back to the factory for repair. The two other kahrs I had were great guns that never need any work, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to make it right.

I welcome everybody's comments and questions.

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January 26, 2014, 02:46 PM
My P380 had some hickups during break in. About 100 rounds in I was frustrated so I over oiled it and ran it wet for the next few range visits. After about a total of 300 rounds I can now run it almost completely dry w/o any failure.
Also that burr looks like it needs to be addressed.

January 26, 2014, 02:48 PM
If they make you pay shipping to return it to them IMHO its reason enough to look elsewhere. If they do want you to pay, I'd suggest trying to get the dealer you bought it from to return it as it'll cost you, through them, 1/5th to 1/10th as much depending on how much they add as a fee.

My Kahr guns were great too, until my CW9 broke (front right side frame rail) and I discovered they offer EAA level of customer service and support :(

I was ready to pick up a CW380 at the last gun show, but I'd just tried to contact them the day before and decided it'd be wise to see how the customer service played out before buying anything else from them -- darn glad I passed!

January 26, 2014, 08:11 PM
My P380 had some hickups during break in. About 100 rounds in I was frustrated so I over oiled it and ran it wet for the next few range visits. After about a total of 300 rounds I can now run it almost completely dry w/o any failure.
Also that burr looks like it needs to be addressed.

I just hit 300 rounds and the issue has stayed the same and perhaps increased a little from the beginning. I bought my now departed K9 used and it was flawless from day 1 and I bought my now departed PM9 new and it was flawless AFTER about a 100 rounds of the break-in.

wally This is my 3rd Kahr. I'm a repeat customer and I'm going to ask that they pay shipping both ways.

January 26, 2014, 08:34 PM
I remember reading your initial post, and I'm still not sure why you didn't take your pocket knife, trim that piece of flash and figure out a long time ago if this was your problem...

If it was me, that would have been removed before the first range trip.

I am still waiting on "my" CW380 to appear at my LGS one day, so I have a vested interest in the outcome.

But I have owned three Kahrs so far, with good results, so I am confident this will work out well.

January 26, 2014, 09:17 PM
^Because it's not just a small flake of metal that I can easily pry off with a pocket knife. Also, I'm of the school of thought which says that when you pay good money for something it should work correctly out of the box. If not, that manufacturer needs to make it right. You don't buy a Honda and then expect to file off excess metal so that the doors close properly. I'm not a gunsmith, and I have no plans to become one. I could spend days with a dowel rod and sandpaper and then mess things up more, or I can ask the manufacturer to make it right. I pick the second option.

January 26, 2014, 09:31 PM
Sorry to hear about your issues with your CW.

FWIW, My CW has a similar burr on that disassembly notch. Caused by the slide stop, no doubt about it.

That said, it runs perfectly..so it's hard to say if that is truly the culprit, but yours appears to have more damage than mine.. has me a bit worried.

January 26, 2014, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the informative post. I was seriously thinking of biting the bullet and spending $800 to buy a California P380, but now I'm thinking that might not be such a good idea. As far as I know, it's the only polymer .380 available for purchase in my state.

January 26, 2014, 09:42 PM
bruislee: don't let this dissuade you from buying a kahr. This is the first issue I've had with three Kahrs that I've owned. Perhaps they put a bit less time into finishing the budget models, because my K9 and Pm9 were both peaches that ran just fine.

January 26, 2014, 09:52 PM
Really interested to see what happens with your CW380 as mine only has 100 rounds through it, and I have a very small burr on the inside of that assembly notch. It's very, very small though..

When the gun is all together, I cannot see where or how the slide stop would even make contact here as the only time I use this notch is when I take the gun apart..

Don't even think I can get a picture of what mine looks like as its so small, but if I run a q-tip over it, it will snag a few strands of cotton from it.

Definitely not totally smooth, but whether its a manufacturing blem or a condition caused by actually firing the gun would be great to know.

I might even give Kahr a call tomorrow and just ask to speak with a gunsmith there.

Will have to spend the $ and shoot mine more to see what happens.

Tony k
January 26, 2014, 09:54 PM
In addition to the huge burr, it also looks like there are some burrs on the slide near the bolt face in pic 3. I don't squat about Kahrs, but both of those combined could cause problems. Missing one area that needed to be deburred is one thing. Missing two would make me think the slide might have some overall QC issues. I ask for a new slide. Doesn't hurt to ask right?

I hope everything works out to your satisfaction. I'm considering a a CW45 so I'm pretty interested in how this turns out for you.

Keep us posted

January 26, 2014, 10:29 PM
Cnobbe I don't think my burr is from the slide stop beating the frame but rather from leftover metal from the forging process.

Email sent to Kahr requesting a return to the factory and asking them to pay shipping both ways. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

January 26, 2014, 11:45 PM
I posted this thread on KahrTalk forums, and a few people have already chimed in stating that their P380s/CW380s have a burr in the same place and unlikely is causing your issues. :(

I just filed mine down, used to a dremel to polish it up a bit.

Hope they get it straightened out for you. I have 77 consecutive through mine before I either limp wristed or just failed to return to batter on its own and had a malfunction. The next 22 rounds went through fine and I'm very pleased with the gun to this point. 100 more rounds to go before I call it reliable, but it has to be 100 straight in my book.

January 27, 2014, 01:01 AM
My failure early on was going into battery without taking the next round with it. It was also 7 degrees outside when I was breaking it in. Just went to look at my p380 and there is no burr. From day 1 I was impressed with the quality of the machining and fit/finish of my kahr. The ladies purse gun is a K9 that has been 100% reliable with any ammo I feed it.

January 27, 2014, 01:18 AM
Check the slide stop spring!



If your gun is the same as the pm9, pm40, etc, the slide stop spring sounds like the source of your woes, whether it be needing adjustment, is bent, or is incorrectly assembled.

Before you send it in, make sure that the small, semi circular spring that lies in the frame (under the slide stop) isn't riding under the slide stop. When pushing the slide stop in during reassembly, there is a tab on the end of the grooved part of the stop that can accidentally slide over the end of the spring. If this is the case, it will be applying upwards pressure on the slide stop and will cause the gun to lock back constantly. The tab needs to be UNDER the end of the spring so that the spring is holding the slide stop down and not pushing it

Kind of hard to get a picture here, but you can see if the slide stop is pushed in just a hair wrong, the spring can ride under instead of over the stop, apply upward pressure, and cause the slide to lock back. This can bend the spring and cause permanent problems, from what I'm to understand.


It is very easy to accidentally assemble the Kahr guns with the spring under the slide stop instead of over it.

Looking at mine, It looks like I need a new one, its barely long enough to do its job and would probably clear up the issues I have been having with this one.

Its a goofy, failure prone design that grates on me, and its one of the reasons I don't like the Kahrs.

Your slide stop spring also might need adjustment, it could have shot a little loose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c50P7HCAATo

That burr could be the source of your issues, but it sounds like a slide stop spring from my experience and what I'm hearing. If there is no wear on the burr, and no wear on the slide stop they aren't contacting each other, and if the slide stop slides in just find and rotates, it's probably just cosmetic.

January 27, 2014, 01:23 AM
Take the slide off, put in the slide stop lever, and insert a loaded mag into the mag well.
Check to see if there's clearance between the round and slide stop lever.

January 27, 2014, 09:25 PM
silicosys4 Here is a photo of the slide stop spring. When I reassemble the gun the spring appears to be ABOVE the lip of the slide stop before I push it all the way in, not under it. It does appear discolored compared to yours. I had a PM9 and never had any issues with this. The K9, if I remember correctly, did not have the spring at all. And the first 200 rounds were fired with the gun as it was assembled at the factory…and the problems began with the first magazine. If this spring needs to be replaced, Kahr needs to replace it, IDK how to do that and be certain it is in correctly.


January 27, 2014, 10:15 PM
Yup, at this point I'd send it back. If its not something easily fixed then there is no reason for you to spend any more time trying to troubleshoot a new gun, IMO.

Interested to see what they have to say when it comes back.

January 27, 2014, 10:33 PM
Can you not just knock that off yourself, and keep shooting it? Not trying to be a smarty pants, but sometimes a correct file and and calling with patience is much easier.

January 27, 2014, 11:44 PM
^well, considering that I have about 4 diagnoses for the problem from this thread alone idk what to do to rectify the slide lock back problem. Also, I don't think one should have to tinker endlessly with a new gun to make it work. I've already burned 300 rounds of not/so-cheap .380 hoping to break the gun in. No, the ball's in Kahr's court now...I hope they make things right.

January 28, 2014, 03:07 AM
I hope they do as well. Yeah. Me too.

January 28, 2014, 04:21 AM
Your problem is well documented and discussed over at KahrTalk. My own personal CM9 is at the factory for broken followers and premature slide lock. (I have another post here documenting that nightmare.)

Customer Service at Kahr is different than what you might expect. In my experience, they are extremely hard to get ahold of, hard to deal with once you reach them and waaaay overloaded with returns. I would try everything I could to fix my problem short of doing something that might void the warranty. After trying all of those fixes with no success, I guess I would send it back to the factory.

If and when you send it in, be prepared for a long wait, the distinct possability that what ever they do to it may not fix it.

Good luck!

January 28, 2014, 08:49 PM
^Well, I sent the request on their website on Sunday and still haven't heard back, so we'll see what happens. This is my first experience sending a gun back to the factory, I hope I'm not in for a raw deal. I'm sorry you're having problems too.

February 3, 2014, 08:41 PM

One week since submitting my "e-complaint" and NOTHING. I'm gonna give them a few more days and then call.

February 3, 2014, 09:00 PM
Check the slide stop spring!
If your gun is the same as the pm9, pm40, etc, the slide stop spring sounds like the source of your woes, whether it be needing adjustment, is bent, or is incorrectly assembled.

My PM9's slide stop spring does not look like that. Neither does my P45's. They both have a 90* bend in the exposed end that fits into a hole in the frame. Wish I could post a pic, but I have recurring issues in that regard.

Now I'm wondering if you (silicos) have an abnormal or broken spring.

The only time I ever had a problem with one of my Kahrs was with my PM9 (bought used, in 2004 or s). It had the well-documented "barrel peening" issue that some PM9s of a certain serial number range had.

One call to Kahr, talked to Dottie Herrold (may be no longer here; this was ten years ago...but maybe she is. might be worth checking), she asked me to send the pistol in. I asked if I could send in the "top half"...slide, barrel, recoil spring assembly. That way I did not have to go through an FFL or pay FedEx's outrageous fees.

She said...sure. I sent it in via USPS Priority Mail...back then, $4.35.
Kahr replaced the entire top half, with night sights, and sent it to my door within two weeks.

Worked perfectly from round one (and my first range session was 150 rounds or +p and +p+ JHPs from various manufacturers. I still own and carry that PM9.

I have had a CW380 on order for probably close to a year now, and my LGS just told me Friday that it would be in probably Tuesday (tomorrow).

Looking forward to it....sold my LCP in anticipation.

February 3, 2014, 09:04 PM
^Well, I hope my experience ends up being as good as yours. But one week and no contact, not even at least to tell me they received my repair request, my patience is not infinite. We'll see how it goes.

February 3, 2014, 09:12 PM
I took my CW 380 to the range yesterday, only had one box of ammo and used 5 of those to try out the range demo Glock 42 they had, but I managed another 50 trouble free rounds through my Kahr CW380.

Hope they get yours sorted out as mine is my favorite pocket carry gun. I found a holster for a Bodyguard .380 that it fits in beautifully.

Tried 5 rounds of PDX defense loads, and again no issues or even a difference in recoil..

February 25, 2014, 11:15 PM
Any updates on your cw380 problem? I am having the same issue in getting a response, of any kind, from Kahr CS. Apparently, if you buy their products, you're on your own...buyer beware.

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