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Is Kahr p380 REALLY better than cw380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by WoodchuckAssassin, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    For the sake of hundreds of dollars...has anyone felt any real difference? I'm aware of the MIM parts and rifling differences, but in real world shooting/carrying situation, has anyone noticed a difference in these two pistols?

    I recently bought and fallen in love with the Kahr K9, and I'd like to upgrade my .380 game for easier pocket carry. As always, thanks for any info you can provide.
     
  2. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    It’s better looking :thumbup:
     
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  3. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    It's been a while since I've looked closely, but doesn't the CW380 only come with one magazine as opposed to the P380?

    I got this from the Kahr website:
    "Differences between the Kahr CW380 and Kahr P380 models include: the CW series has a conventional rifled barrel instead of the match grade polygonal barrel found on P models; the CW slide stop lever is MIM (metal-injection-molded) instead of machined; the CW series slide has fewer machining operations, and uses simple roll marking instead of engraved markings; the P380 comes with two magazines, but the CW series comes with one 6 rd steel magazine with flush baseplate... The (CW) pistol features drift adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight and pinned-in polymer front sight (vs. dove-tailed front and rear on the P380)."

    The profiling and engraving on the slide is a matter of taste and intended use. The MIM slide stop lever is a non-issue. The sights can be an issue depending on if you prefer a pinned in or dovetailed front sight.

    I chose a CW9 over a P9 because I got a pretty good deal on it...they shoot about the same. But whenever I look at the CW, I regret not spending the extra money on the P...too late now, I've had the action smoothed and the slide stop lever beveled
     
  4. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    I have the CW 380, lovely little shooter after the break in. Still finicky on some ammo. Personally I would not spend the money on the P380. The CW is already a nice looking gun. As far as the Lothar Walther Polygonal barrel? Really don't think that is necessary on this gun. At least for myself as I spend all my time doing fast point and shoot to center mass. I guess if you target shoot this gun, the Walther barrel might be of use. I see where the CW can be bought on Bud's for $287. I also added a front night sight.
    The only cons I have is the fact that I cannot add my rear night sight without taking it to a Smith. (maybe others can). I also have the Pico which I prefer shooting as the Kahr, is similar to a Glock and does not aim in a natural postition. the Pico has a higher bore axis which fits me better. Of course that is subjective. For others, they may prefer the Kahr. I also wish the Kahr was Modular design. Nice being able to change out the grips on these small guns.
    For the price difference, I might think of buying two CW's. I did this for the Pico. One for heavy range work, the other for Carry.

    That said, the Kahr is a nicely built firearm. Guns like these are meant to last for a very long time vs the mass of cheaply made guns made with aluminum chassis that are basically throw away guns. In that respect, you might go ahead and get the P model, if nothing else but to just admire the extra amount of machining that went into the making of the gun. Either way, you are getting a nice gun. Good luck, they are very fun to shoot, very mild.
     
  5. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    This is like asking if a F150 Lariat is better than an F150 XL. Or is a GMC Denali better than a Chevy pickup? If you're the type of person that spends more for some luxury features, get the p380. If you just need a workhorse and don't need bragging rights, the cw380 will do everything the p380 will. Just know you'll have to pony up $30-40 more if you want that extra magazine.
     
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Depends on what you want it for. I carry a CW or CM9 every day... I don't really care how it looks, I'm not carrying to be in a fashion show, but I do know it is 100% reliable and I can draw, present, and hit what I'm aiming at with reasonable reliability. Would any other version of that pistol be any different? Unlikely. If you just want to spend the money, I can see it, but I don't think the true utility of the Kahr pistol is enhanced by poly rifling and the slide stop material. Bassjam did hit a point, however... you only get 1 mag with the CW. I'm not sure if anyone makes aftermarket mags for the Kahr, so you will have to ante up for the factory mag.
     
  7. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    You gonna carry it or use it for a hood ornament?:evil:
    My wife carried a revolver for over 40 years. When the little J frame got to hurting her hand she went to the Kahr's. Revolver like trigger and no safeties to deal with. She carries either a CW 45, CW 9, or a CW380. She is deadly with each of them. I kinda doubt the average concealed carrier could tell the difference in the accuracy between the two versions to be worth the difference in cost.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  8. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    I really think Kahr had to make some differences, other than the finish, between the P and C series to justify the price point.
    And that price point is the real reason for the C series, nothing else.
    The one or two mags and the dovetail Frt site was a no brainer as a cost reduction, but I'm guessing the barrel differences or mim parts didn't save Kahr much.
    I prefer the C series barrels because I can shoot lead/coated bullets thru them.
    jmo,
    :D
     
  9. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    Thanks for all the good info guys/gals! I saw the cw price difference and was a little spooked by the difference. I'm excited to hear all the positive experiences with the CW! I'll admit to liking the polygonal barrel on my K9, but in a real life situation I can see it being a lot less important.

    Can anyone say whether or not the trigger feel is the same? I'm inclined to think YES, but I don't have experience with either.
     
  10. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    The CW I owned had a really nice trigger.
     
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  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I only own a CW9, but I've shot several P, K, and CW models. I think the P and K models had a bit cleaner trigger, less grit, but it could have easily just been an isolated case for the ones I shot...it wasn't a huge difference.

    It was enough for me to have the action cleaned up some...but that was more personal preference than anything else
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Had a CW40 and have a CM9. Both guns have great triggers with a slight edge going to the CM9. Didn't care for the amount of muzzle rise I experienced with the CW40 but did like the overall design and ergonomics of the gun. The CM9 version is much more controllable and comfortable to shoot and is extremely easy to carry it concealed. Would be nice if they included a spare magazine with the gun but not a deal breaker in my book.

    8vX25iP.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  13. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The P series vs the C series is basically a few features that in the long run do nothing to improve your chance of success in self defense situations. "Match grade barrel" yeah, you really need that in a pocket gun. Roll mark engraving vs cut engraving... yeah, that'll really affect much.

    Idk why Kahr makes the P series, they most likely don't sell very well given the higher price tag. I imagine LGS' are going to be hesitant putting them on the shelves, especially when they're not Rugers or S&W's and cost $700.

    Casual gun owners who have never laid eyes upon a gun forum in their lives are just looking for protection aren't going to dish out that kind of money unless it's a 1911 or a Glock and us hardcore people on the forums know there are better guns for less money than Kahr.
     
  14. jdavis123

    jdavis123 Member

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    B5E004DC-F49E-4131-B97A-668D7E689C5E.jpeg I bought my P380 long before the CW hit the market. If I were to buy today, I would likely take the CW over the P. The differences really don’t seem to amount to much and have little to no effect on the performance of the gun. A small 380 pistol is intended for close range personal defense and I think either will probably get the job done just as well. I have been well satisfied with my P380 and find it perfect for pocket carry with the light weight clothing that I most often wear here in Florida.
     
  15. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    A few of us were out shooting the 380's today. Have to say my CW380 was running like a champ. Man what a difference how the gun runs after the break in. We were doing a lot of fast action shooting. Nice made little guns. Spend a little time at the beginning with these guns and it really pays off. While I do not think there is any difference in the P380 vs CW380 when it comes to shooting, I could understand why someone would pay more for the extra tooling that goes into it. Some folks just like a particular gun and the craftsmanship that goes in them. These ARE NOT throwaway guns. I really like this gun. That said, I am a dedicated Pico fan, and after the range session today, thinking about buying my third, and just keeping it as a safe queen for years down the road.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have a CW9 and cannot imagine what a P9 would do better... except for the extra magazine.
    I have a really early E9 which is quite crude looking. But it shoots. It did kick off the plastic front sight early on, but Kahr replaced it with their compliments.

    Match grade polygon barrel is a hoot. I don't know of any Precision Pistol shooters with polygon barrels.
     
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  17. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    There are three significant differences between the CW380 and P380:
    • The CW380 comes with a rifled barrel instead of a polygonal barrel. You are not supposed to shoot lead bullets through the polygonal barrel. If you reload, that could be an advantage for the CW380.
    • The CW380 comes with only one magazine. Kahr sells a 7-round extended magazine with a collar that is long enough for a three finger grip. A MagGuts kit increases capacity to 8 rounds. If you go this route, the P380 gives you one more magazine you won't use.
    • Front sight on the CW380 is pinned instead of dovetailed. I don't know how much this affects switching to night or fiber optic sights.
    Everything else is cosmetic.
     
  18. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I have the cw9 and love it. No problems. I am also now looking at the cw380.
     
  19. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    I have a P380. Actually, it's my second because Kahr replaced the first one which was a complete jam-o-matic. I have never fired side by side w CW380. Compared to my G42 and Walther PP, the P380 has the best trigger, sights and is quite noticeably more accurate. It likes my hotter handloads. Perfect for pocket carry (desantis pocket holster). What I am not sure about is long term reliability.
     
  20. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    The ol' CW is pulling its weight! Great range day. It cycled fmj, jph, flat nose, whatever I put through it. The recoil is nothing to speak of, and even though it's small as hell, it points nicely and gives me 3-4 inch groups at 10 yards all day, and that's more than enough for a gun that's meant to be used well within 3 yards. I'm happy with my purchase.

    Thanks for the notes!
     
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  21. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    4 differences:)
    The P380 is on CAs approved list while the much less expensive CW is not:(
    So I choose the P380, nice gun for what it is.
    Only other choice for a small new .380 was the Sig with was about the same cost, so
    no inexpensive choices new....:eek:
    Was a PITA at first, reloads had to be close to or at book max to get function.
    Couple hundred rounds later it is less picky.

    First time loading 380 so I started at start charge, start charge +.1 (scaling charges) +.1....
    only loaded 10 of each but still ended up with a bunch that wouldn't function first range trip.
    4.0 of CFE-P with a 100 worked for break in. (4.0 is book MAX with a 100)
    String: 2
    Date: 8/14/2016
    Time: 9:23:07 AM
    Grains: 100
    Hi Vel: 862
    Low Vel: 843
    Ave Vel: 853
    Ext Spread: 19
    Std Dev: 7
    380 100 Xtreme 4.0 CFE-P
    Velocity Power Factor Ft/Lbs
    862 77.58 148.477
    843 75.87 142.004
    855 76.95 146.075
    850 76.5 144.372
    856 77.04 146.417
     
  22. Catshooter

    Catshooter Member

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    If accuracy could be important to you, the P is supposed to be more accurate. Mine will put a mag into two inches at 25 yards easily. I think with a better shooter the groups would be smaller.

    I like an accurate gun, even in "close range defense gun" because I may just use it for something else. Makes it more versatile for me.


    Cat
     
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