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Kahr P380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dudedog, Jan 24, 2016.

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  1. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Taraus TCP would for under $200 would be at the top of my list but sigh, not on California's list. It might be possible to find a used one but it would have to have to be in Califronia already. As I understand it used is ok if it is not on the list as long as it is already in CA.
    Again the only two small .380s are the Kahr and Sig both at over $600 :eek: :(


    I have shot the Sig P238 and liked it ok, but I just don't think I want to have to deal with the tiny safety lever in a time of crisis. I don't think about it on my 1911s but both of those are larger and fall naturally under my thumb.
    The one on the Sig seemed to want to hide from me. Might be better once I am used to it but I would be happier not having to deal with it for this use.

    If all it takes to make the Kahr happy is running rounds thru it that is not an issue. I put 500 rounds thru my new Springfield "Loaded" 9mm 1911 on the first range trip. :) No issues at all by the way, lubed the slide with some oil about 250 and then shot another 250. It was a bit dirty by the time I was done. :)

    So having heard some positive comments I will put the Kahr back on the list for consideration.

    Hopefully I can get some more feed back form other others who own a P380.
    If it was say $200 I would be less afraid of issues, but for the price I need it to work out and not just be taking up space in the safe.
     
  2. verdun59

    verdun59 Member

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    I've had a Kahr P380 since they first came out and it is a pleasant gun to shoot. To me that is important because I like to practice with a gun I'm going to carry. I've bought some of the others mentioned ,and while they may be a tad sleeker and a fraction lighter, they are just not enjoyable to shoot for any length of time. Maybe I've been fortunate because my P380 as well as my PM9 have never given any trouble. My PM9 is just to big for me to pocket carry , the P30 is not. I use grease on the slides keeping it lubed and it just keeps going. Nice well made gun and a soft shooter. Good luck.
     
  3. ulflyer

    ulflyer Member

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  4. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    SIG is better pistol Safety not a problem I can find on my Mustangs and Sig just copy with better sights Than my old Mustangs.
     
  5. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I own a CW380 (the P380's poor twin). I have had some problems with different ammo, but most of it was my handloads--I bought the CW when it was difficult to find factory .380.

    Probably 90% of the rounds it has seen have been my handloads, and while I am pretty good at making .45acp, maybe I just haven't gotten there with my .380 ammo yet. My CW does seem to prefer stouter loads, so maybe I'm getting there. Works 100% with crap steel-cased loads.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have also owned a Kahr PM9 for almost ten years and carry it daily. As well, I have owned a Kahr P45 for about eight years, and also owned a PM45 for a short period of time.
     
  6. jigglyjames29

    jigglyjames29 Member

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    I'd honestly rather have a TCP than a P380.
    It seems like 1/3 of them require reworking by the factory to run reliably.
     
  7. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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  8. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Plenty of folks having trouble with their Tcp's out there. I would rather deal with Kahrs service dept than Taurus. If you like the Kahr give it a try. They sell a lot of cw 380's at my Lgs, everyone likes them so far.
     
  9. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Member

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    I had 2 cw380's, neither reliable, both now gone. Kahr's customer service, in my experience, was terrible.

    My CM9 however was reliable right up to the day I parted with it.
     
  10. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    I bought a used TCP the other day. The recoil guide rod had a chip out of it and I didn't have the keys to the gun. Granted I had to be on hold for an hour with Taurus, but five days later I have a free rod and keys in my hands. Could be worse.

    And yeah, a modern .380 pocket gun stands a good chance of having issues. The forums are full of "My TCP/LCP/BG380/P3AT/P380 was junk so I traded it for a TCP/LCP/BG380/P3AT/P380 that never malfunctions." I guess companies don't pay much attention to QC these days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  11. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    I don't mean to be flip, but I personally have never heard someone say they have 1k rounds down with a p380/cm380 without issue.

    (I had the CM380 but sold it as it is much bigger than people believe it is)
     
  12. Pipe Smoker

    Pipe Smoker Member

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    I have a CA-legal aluminum frame SIG P238. It has 900+ rounds through it with only one early-on cycling issue.

    It's an excellent pistol:
    * Reliaable
    * Accurate
    * Soft recoil
    * Good tritium sights
    * 15oz with empty mag

    Its trigger is quite decent for a CCW too. Mine got better (lighter & smother) with exercise and learning a couple of lube points.

    Its safety falls under my right thumb and is easy, and instinctive, to operate (but I'm a total SAO guy). With the 7-round mags, I get three fingers solidly on its grip. Field strip of this pistol is very easy, and its extractor, firing pin, and firing pin spring can also be removed for cleaning with no tool other than a bamboo skewer that I liberated from my seedy neighborhood bar.
     
  13. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    After shooting both I decided to go ahead and pick up the Kahr.
    (remember really only two choices for a small .380 in CA, unles syou are law enforcement then you don't have to deal with the approved list)

    I ran 2 boxes of the ranges Ball and one box of Gold Dots thru the rental with no issues. No idea how many rounds are on the rental. (at least 120 from me).
    I can't pick it up for 10 days but I will let everyone know how it goes.
     
  14. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    People like to bring up that the Kahr's have reliability issues with ammo, yet Rohrbaugh at twice the price specified only one make and grain weight of ammo for functioning, and practically guaranteed the others would be problematic. It didn't stop Remington from buying the design and putting it in production.

    Almost all professional instructors comment on running hundreds of rounds thru a carry gun to be really sure it works, and in the pocket gun category they all remark that not every type round will be reliable. Yet that is exactly what the public tries to do with them. it's like forcing a high compression race car to run on whatever gets pumped in the tank. Doesn't happen. In a lot of cases buying low performance cheap ammo is the cause - it's notoriously unreliable in and of itself. And yet the gun gets blamed for it.

    Kahr's are a delicate subject on the net because they seem to attract detractors. When they describe the trigger pull it's usually "long," yet that is only another 1/10 of an inch compared to a stock Glock. They are often "big" yet the dimensions are comparable to the LCP. In fact Kahr has a patent on offsetting the feed ramp to make the gun thinner than many. And it's certainly a matter of how it works for the individual - carrying my LCP in a Nemesis pocket holster, the combined arrangement was big enough. There is a lot of padding on both sides. Nobody says what they measure as a combined thickness, which is the effective size when carried.

    What we get are a lot of unspecific negatives with no hard measurements.

    As for reliability, the LCP has it's issues, too. Read those forums.

    In comparing the trigger pulls, I found the Kahr was lighter and shorter than the first gen LCP I owned and sold off. It's also a lot shorter than the RM380, and at 5-6 pounds a lot lighter than the M&P BG380 which has been measured at 12 pounds.

    Don't take the word of a few internet posters, handle and shoot one for yourself in direct comparison to the others and see for yourself. Kahr gets complaints about recommending a 200 round break in, the reality is no pocket pistol should be trusted until then anyway. Apparently Kahr agreeing with the professionals needs to be knocked by some while agreeing with them anyway.

    What I see is the same thing that has happened to the M16 - if you don't understand it, trash talk it. Kahr may not be one of the ancestral gun makers from yesteryear, and they haven't catered to the military market. In that regard, it's all good - they stand on their own without needed public assistance. That is the true spirit of America.
     
  15. NAM67

    NAM67 Member

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    Amen Tirod. Zero problems with my P380.
     
  16. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    I have never fired a P380 but have am very fond of the Sig P238 which I own and/or have fired several examples. Recommend it highly.
     
  17. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    HHmm shot 600 rnds of 9mm this weekend 200 of .45.
    I might be able to shoot a couple hundred rounds of 380 when I get it.

    To tell the truth I bought it just to have something to do with the 380 range brass I sorted out from 9mm. Can't have unused brass about. :)
     
  18. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    I'm reminded of the early days of the P3AT- which gave birth to the expression "fluff and buff." Many owners posted about their experience with modifying the weapon to be reliable in those days as there weren't many other choices at all. It put off a lot of shooters who weren't too eager to have another .380 again.

    Most makers are responsible enough to track what issues repeatedly crop up in Customer Service, then incorporate improvements into production. And the history of new introductions is so full of them that many shooters now wait to purchase a newer gun after the first year, to avoid being "beta" testers. How many of those could we list in just this thread?

    Go back to the lack of a roller bearing on the op rod of the Garand, then move forward. Seems that every new design has it's issues. Not to forget that the most highly prized 1911, the Singer, had low production numbers entirely because they couldn't get it right. There's only one 1983 Corvette for the same reason.

    LCP? Recall, now going into it's third? generation?
    P938, used the .380 extractor which didn't work. SN under 80,000 affected.
    R51 and done.
    Caracal C.
    S&W BG380 with such a horrible trigger Galloway made new lighter struts.
    P3AT fluff and buff.
    Rohrbaugh reliability forsworn to only 1 - one - load. Or else, but others tried.
    Glock No Lead Bullets prohibition.
    Everyone's No Reloads prohibition.

    Consumers generally never report the good, but one gun that has had issues gets hundreds of viewers and frequently cross posted to more than one forum. Literally thousands of internet users read about the one gun. And yet when a thread is carried far enough - even the ones with the bad gun, others report it wasn't their experience.

    What we almost always take away is the negative. People will not accept risk above a certain point, but that point is usually in the single digits when expressed as a percentage. Counting up the number of rounds with issues in the first 500, I've frequently read of less than ten, after 30 the owner declares it junk and returns it for service. That's .06%. This is why I suggest that it's the ammo that needs to share culpability, because it has a percentage of bad rounds that get by, too. Ammo is never hand inspected, it's made on machines running for days at a time and a few rounds are set aside for QC to look at. If they pass the entire batch passes.

    If I take a box of steel case Monarch to the range to break in my C380, how do I know it's a gun problem or an ammo problem? Five or fifteen, I really don't care. It's a new gun, short of the factory shooting it 500 rounds I don't and won't expect it to be perfect.

    In the old days people thought that was normal, but with fudd ammo and manual actions it fostered that myth. Self loading actions are entirely different. If you want higher firepower from a magazine fed gun, you have to accept that you will shoot more ammo and in and of itself, it brings in more problems. It's a matter of simple math.

    Be assured your gun WILL fail, and then plan to deal with it. Or suffer the consequences.
     
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Many guns will function well with most brands of Ammo, but frequently you will find a certain brand of Ammo that may not work well with what has otherwise been a reliable gun, so checking brands in every gun is important.
     
  20. NacsMXer

    NacsMXer Member

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    I bought a new P380 from Buds Gun Shop last November and it has been flawless over the course of 400 rounds. My father liked it so much he ordered himself a CW380 and it has been equally flawless. I did fully clean and grease the guns prior to shooting including a full slide detail strip just to give the pistols a fair chance.
    2u6n593.jpg

    The Kahr's are one of the nicest .380's out there IMO. Other .380's have heavy trigger pulls that break uncomfortably far to the rear, barely usable sights, abbreviated controls, or sting the palm when you shoot.

    The Kahr's have a long but buttery smooth trigger that is quite predictable. My P380 settled into a nice 4 lb 14oz trigger pull weight and the CW380 came in at about 5 lbs 8oz. The sights are low profile and snag-free but they actually work well for what they are. The slide stop is large enough to lock the slide open easily or to chamber a round quickly during a slide lock reload. No problems reaching the mag button either. Everything runs like a full size pistol for me, save for the thin form factor. The recoil is also incredibly mild for its scant size and weight. Other .380's are just unpleasant to shoot after a while, but you could shoot the Kahr's all day. One thing to note is that the recoil spring is an absolute beast to operate when new, but breaks in nicely the more you shoot it.

    Both guns are running Mag Guts magazine spring and followers which up the capacity from 6+1 to 7+1 with the flush mag in the gun. The 7 round extended spare mag also gets bumped up to 8 rounds with the Mag Guts kit. I've found the springs to be even more robust than the factory Kahr mag springs, and reliability has been unchanged.

    I bought a 1000 round case of PMC 90 gr. FMJ for break in/practice and a couple boxes of Federal HST Micro 99 gr. JHP for carry. PMC is actually pretty high quality and burns clean. Not a single issue from either ammo.
    2s7w7qo.jpg

    I bought the P380 with the intention of pocket carry and it has suited that role well for me. It's a remarkably thin semi-auto that disappears in your pocket. I carry the spare 8 round mag in a Desantis MagPacker pocket mag pouch. For a pocket holster I found an awesome Kydex holster on Ebay for only $25. Incredibly well finished for the price and has a nice thumb tab so you can "pop" the gun loose from the retention during the draw from the pocket. It also has a contoured hook to catch the pocket material, but I don't like to rely soley on that. Basically an Alabama pocket holster replica without the high price and long wait.
    knjhj.jpg

    Basically you can have problems with a new gun from almost any manufacturer...your mileage may vary. I bought one knowing full well of people's reported issues. Just wanted to share my experience so far.
     
  21. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    GLAD to hear this.
    I thought I was just being a bit weak that day. No Wheaties... :)

    I own quite a few semi autos and never had an issue racking the slide on any of them. The little Kahr brand new was do able but not what I would call easy. When I purchased it was hoping with a clean and lube and some shooting the slide rack would be a bit easier. Small gun, small slide, MAJOR spring :eek:
    My new one was not easy to rack while at the gunshop. (Practice, technique, practice some more, do clearing drills....)

    The one I shot at the range was much easier to rack, no idea of the number of rounds on it.
    I shot 100 Federal FMJ and 20 Gold Dots, no failures of any kind with the rental.

    Some of my pistols have been perfect out of the box, but I understand the need break in and don't expect perfection when doing it.

    I will update the thread when I have it and have a chance to run some ammo thru it.
    (10 day waiting period in CA :banghead: )


    Add
    PS nice holster, I will need to check those out some more!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  22. NacsMXer

    NacsMXer Member

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    Best of luck Dudedog, fingers crossed that you get a runner.

    Yes the recoil springs are no joke when new :cuss:

    I also got a new Kahr CM9 for Christmas that had a crazy tough dual recoil spring. The 1st range outing the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds were all the same failure to feed into the chamber. Wouldn't lock back when empty, failed to chamber the next round in the mag, etc. This was while shooting my normal 147gr JHP range loads I reload.

    I then switched to some of my hotter 125 gr JHP loads and the gun started running perfectly. After a couple hundred of those, the CM9 started running the softer 147 loads no problem.

    Just had to let the spring break in and all was well; not a single failure since :)
     
  23. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Shot my CW380 yesterday, put over 50 rounds thru it.

    I didn't clean it, it was straight out of the box into my pocket. I shot steel cased Russian thru it, it cycled every time. Sometimes the slide wouldn't lock back with the cheap stuff. I shot the hollow points I carried in it and those worked fine, locked back on them.

    I was expecting a lot of failures and I stacked the deck to get them, slide hold back was the only one. It needs a detail cleaning now, but it didn't look too bad when done. Went back into the pocket and to a restaurant for a family meal.

    Thanks for the tip on the kydex holster, I bought a used Blackhawk for $5 to carry it as it does need a holster with tail to make it sit up. It worked ok but fabric padded pocket holsters add at least 1/4" to the thickness when carried, some are 1/2" thick. I see that as counterproductive to "concealed" carry. And thanks again for the tips on the mag plus. These magazines are not nearly as hard to load as the P938, which needs assistance to get the job done. I hand loaded the one I had repeatedly on the bench with no sore thumb. All in all the Kahr is more all round fun to shoot than the SIG because of it.

    The trigger does work well, a longish pull compared to a SA but none of the issues of the first gen LCP and much less perceived recoil. Shooting the whole box of 50 wasn't a problem - shooting two mags in an LCP was.

    It's definitely an upgrade over the LCP as an actual firearm doing what it's meant to do.
     
  24. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    So far so good liking it.
    I would note when reloading for it it wants what are close to MAX or MAX charges.
    First round with start charges didn't eve try to eject. :eek:
    Have about 300 round thru now and am just dialing in on what it wants, and getting ready to find out what HPs it likes.
    Thanks to all the kind THR members who sent me PIFs of .380 bullets to try.
    You guys are great.
     
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