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Kahr P45 Range Report (Long with Photos)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by SRFL, Nov 12, 2005.

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  1. SRFL

    SRFL Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    I purchased a Kahr P45 last week from a Glocktalk (GT) member. I fired the gun last Tuesday in the presence of PW (administrator of the Beretta Forum ), who fired off 16 magazines worth of .45 ACP ammo through the gun.

    I posted this range report on GT, Berettaforum.net and other sites, but thought that some folks might want to know more about this gun here.

    To give this range report some perspective, the weapon mimics the overall design and basic ergonomics of the rest of the Kahr line as you can see in this photo:


    Note, my weapons in the photos, from top to bottom, are the P45, P9 Covert (9mm) and PM9 (9mm). To accommodate the larger .45 ACP, the gun is of course larger overall.

    The P45 is a double action only (DAO) semi automatic pistol utilizing, as seen in the photos, a stainless slide and polymer frame. The frame has very aggressive checkering fore and aft. The P45's external extractor is big and blocky. The sights are tightly dovetailed into place. The front sight has a white dot and the rear sight a vertical white line. The magazine well is lightly beveled. The magazine carries six rounds of .45 ACP ammunition.

    One thing here...I don't really like the plastic baseplate on the magazine. They add some bulk to the magazine. This a concealment weapon and a 1/2 inch or so of added concealment is...well, 1/2 inch of (possibly) added unnecessary bulk. That said, I did a little experimenting. I took the metal baseplate and tab that locks the baseplate into place from a range-only Star PD .45 ACP magazine. The baseplate fits perfectly, but the tab does not...it's too long. The tab for the P45 magazine won't fit the Star PD magazine baseplate. If I can only file it down.....one day I suppose.

    As my earlier post stated, I noted that the magazines require a very good hard smack to lock them into place. PW noted something I hadn't up to then....a major difference between my polymer framed 9mm Kahrs and the P45 is that the magazine release button is apparently made entirely of metal. Those of my 9mm Kahrs are (externally) polymer. That said, I had only had to strike the bottom the magazine with the strength of Superman only twice. I believe a round was already in the chamber both times. Loading the gun from an empty chamber did not require a hard slap.

    God bless Kahr for giving us a grip that is (for my smaller hands) perfect. I have no problems reaching the DAO trigger. A person with really large hands might have a problem, but perhaps not, the grip is truly bigger than its smaller (albeit older) siblings.

    This Kahr's barrel mimics it's 9mm siblings: the feedramp is offset which, according to Kahr, assists in keeping things compact. The ramp is very lightly polished. The recoil assembly is a simple affair: a metal rod and spring. Although I don't know what the spring weight is…getting the rod/spring to seat properly. takes a bit of doing since it's heavy (maybe 20+ pounds?)

    I didn't notice things gunwriters take note about like tool marks.

    Prior to taking the gun to the range, I performed my usual basic stripping of the weapon and cleaning of the barrel and slide/frame interiors and lubricating of the rails and barrel hood. Field stripping is as with other Kahrs: mate the two lines (one on bottom left of the slide and a second on the top left of the frame), push the slide stop lever out from the right and pull the slide off the frame. Reassembly is reversed. Militec was the lubricant used as with all of my guns.

    I noted that getting the slide and frame to lock back into place was a bear. Something (I believe the recoil spring rod) was catching somewhere. I never could figure out where. It took about five minutes of "fitzing" with the gun to get the two halves to mate and lock into place.

    Range day saw me taking 200 rounds of Winchester White Box (WWB) 230 grain FMJ, 100 rounds of Remington 230 grain JHP (all from Wal Mart) and a handful of CCI Blazer Brass 230 grain FMJ ammunition. PW had, I believe, WWB ammunition as well.

    Anyhow on range day, I set up a couple of targets and set it for seven yards, inserted the magazine and fired off six rounds carefully. All six went into a very tidy group. Daddy be likin' the P45! Lots! For a gun with a short sight plane and long DAO trigger pull (more on that in a second) this gun is accurate! However two negatives were quickly noted:

    1. Ejection: the ejection on this gun is very (VERY) erratic. Within a magazine of six rounds, one round might bean me on the head, one might bean PW five feet on my right, one might hit my right earmuff, one might go straight up, one might go ten feet behind me and the last empty cartridge case just a few inches from me. This issue happened throughout the range session.

    2. Trigger pull: in a word....it's L---O---N---G....no, really, it's really long. Oh, by the way, did I say it was long...no? Well, it was. The trigger reset was just as long. I put in this perspective to PW after firing the first 12 rounds...the only other gun I own that is as long (actually a bit longer) is the trigger pull for my Kel Tec P3AT .380 ACP....when I pulled the trigger it would take about a week for the gun to discharge due to the long trigger of the P3AT....that said, it would take about three or four days for the P45 trigger to discharge after I initiated pulling the trigger.

    That said, no one can ever accuse a legally armed citizen or LEO of accidentally discharging this gun, but it will definitely take training to get used to it's long arc. PW and I both found ourselves throwing at least one round out of six out of a group if our concentration drifted a bit.

    Good thing about the trigger pull....it's nice and smooth and not heavy at all. It's weight stacks a bit (but it's not that heavy even then) at the point the shot breaks which is good...your trigger finger will have feedback when pulling the trigger.

    The bottom line about the trigger is that despite it's length of pull, it's manageable. It is a street gun trigger meaning, it's meant for self-defense and not competition.

    On to other observations.

    PW stated that the "pineapple" checkering in the polymer was a bit sharp....he's right, but I liked it. The gun was well anchored when it discharged.....and with this light gun, you need it. This gun does recoil a bit which is to be expected given it's chambering. Recoil was well managed in this gun though. Taking into account the aforementioned trigger pull, firing controlled pairs were not difficult with this gun. I attribute that to the aggressive checkering, polymer frame and low bore axis of the gun.

    The outside of the slide and slide stop lever can use dehorning....especially the lever....there are some sharp areas.

    The sights were nice and blocky.....but this gun begs to get tritium night sights installed.

    The magazines would fall freely from the gun after hitting the magazine release button. The feedlips of the magazines are bit sharp so maybe check that if you buy a P45...you may need to lightly file the lips to knock the sharp edges.

    Well, in firing the gun (almost 400 rounds) I do have to report that there were two failure-to-feed (FTF) malfunctions using the WWB ammunition within the first 200 rounds which is not uncommon with Kahr 9mm's. In both instances (within two magazines of one another), the slide stripped the rounds from the magazine into the chamber, but the rounds did not fully chamber. At that point, the gun was filthy. I think the rounds might have been slightly oversized. That, and a dirty chamber, might have contributed to those two FTFs. Kahr recommends a break in period of 200 rounds with their product line. I'm not too worried about the two FTFs; my PM9 has suffered some malfunctions within its first 250 rounds. It has not suffered one since and its current round count is about 1000 rounds.

    Leather for the Kahr 9mm's does not fit the P45. The magazines will fit in a carrier for a 1911 but not for a single stack 9mm. In playing around with various holsters I own, I discovered that my P45 fits perfectly in my Hume J.I.T. slide OWB holster (seen below) made for my CZ-40B. So until someone makes an in-the-waistband holster for the P45, it looks like I have ready-made (albeit temporary) leathergear for my P45!


    How to improve this very nice gun…..for starters, Kahr needs to give us magazines with a flat metal baseplate (actually its not a huge deal but it would be nice as that would aid in concealment), dehorn the slide and slide stop lever (necessary), check into the ejection pattern of the gun (maybe this issue is isolated to my gun) and reduce the long trigger pull by about a foot (kidding....just a little) but not the pull weight. Oh, they also need to look into the magazine loading issue (loading the magazine into the well). Although I only had the problem a couple of times in actual testing.

    Wrapping up this LONG report (only a wee bit longer than the trigger pull), this is a good gun....one that will now be part of my off-duty carry battery (when leather is available for it) which currently consists of the Kahr 9mm's in the photo above.

    Here are some parting photos. Note the soot on the muzzle. Range was seven yards and that time all six went into that group:


    Here's a comparative photo between my Beretta MiniCougar 8045D and P45 as viewed from the side:


    ...and rear:


    Compared to the 8045D, the P45 is much thinner (as the above photo shows), lighter, and just as accurate. The 8045D handles recoil better, I believe due to it's rotating barrel....but I can fire the P45 better over the long run since the 8045D's DAO trigger, while nice and smooth, is heavier than the P45's DAO trigger. I can only fire the 8045D for about 100 rounds before I tire.

    Anyhow, I hope this long range report is remotely helpful to someone.

    PCRCCW Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The Ice Cream Capitol of the World!
    Excellent report.....I think this gun will sell like hotcakes. Should anyway, its the Kahr that people have been asking for, for years.

    The CZ40b holster is the same shape/size but made for a MUCH wider gun.

    Shoot well and nice work...........
  3. Seventhsword

    Seventhsword Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    Republic of Texas
  4. mete

    mete Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Thanks for the report . I measure trigger pull in inches not days !! Actually I find the Kahr triggers excellent but they are designed to be pulled through straight back not pulled part way then tripped ! Some companies are making ammo designed for short barrels so the gun will be a good choice for a compact carry gun.
  5. PowderBurn

    PowderBurn Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Good report and photos. Sounds like it would make a nice companion to my PM9.
  6. albanian

    albanian member

    Nov 27, 2003
    Good report. Did you notice any changes made to the frame and rails? I know it is a compleatly new frame but did they just scale the P-9/P-40 up or did they make needed changes? The frame rails on the P-9 were a source of many problems because they flexed too much. The entire frame seemed to flex too much so I was wondering if they stiffened things up any or not.

    I had a P-9 and I was surprised how sharp the slide release lever was so i think I know what you mean about the one on yours. My K-9s are not that sharp so i don't get it.

    Does it feel like a gun that can take maybe 1000rds a year or is it a shoot little carry often gun?
  7. Gary H

    Gary H Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    SRFL: Racking Slide / Sight Grooves


    Thanks for the first report on this gun that I've seen.

    My father had an original K9. Like other Kahr 9mm, the heavy spring made racking the slide somewhat difficult.

    How difficult is the racking the P4543's slide as compared to your P9 Covert?

    Would I be correct in assuming that the front and rear sights are of the same design as on the P9? In other words would the sight from one gun fit into the slide sight groove on the other gun?
  8. KurtC

    KurtC Member

    Jan 20, 2005

    I recently qualified with the 8045D mini-cougar and carry one every day.

    The Beretta is a high quality handgun. When I handled the Kahr P45, I thought the overall manufacturing quality was much lesser than the Beretta. I have never been concerned about size, weight, etc. As long as the gun is a DAO .45 and has exceptional quality, I am interested.

    Since you have both guns, and have the oppurtunity to disassemble and closely examine them, how to they compare in quality? Thanks in advance.
  9. coylh

    coylh Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Bothell, WA
    Yeesh it's large. 45GAP would have been better for their normally compact pistols. The slide stop is ridiculous--has been since the K9.
  10. mbartel

    mbartel Member

    Mar 18, 2005

    Very good field report and photos. I like the kind of report where the tester calls them like he sees them. You should send it to Kahr.....They might even take notice, and incorporate some of your suggestions...
  11. SRFL

    SRFL Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Sorry KurtC....I hadn't noticed your question before today.

    Beretta quality is without parallel to me....their actions are smooth, controls are slick and finish is outstanding in and out. I agree with you that the P45's apparent quality is less than that of the 8045D....but the quality of finish and materials is only one part of the equation. One thing about Berettas is that their quality is superb. Each one of my Berettas (and I have a bunch of them!) is a gem in the quality department....I can't speak for the 9000 since I don't have one, but I've fired a bunch of rounds out of a Px4 9mm and it's a winner too.

    As I said, quality is but one part of the equation; another is shootability and that said, my P45 is more "shootable" than my 8045D...in my hands. The 8045's trigger pull is smooth but extremely heavy. I have to concentrate really well to shoot good controlled pairs. As I said in my earlier post, above, I get tired firing the gun beyond 100 or so rounds.

    I found it easier to shoot controlled pairs with the P45 despite it's long (but lighter than the 8045D) trigger pull and reset. I can fire about 300 rounds out of it before I start tiring. Firing +P rounds out of my 8045D is actually no problem at all; that includes Corbon's 165 grain JHP +P rounds which cut a groove into my shooting hand when I (foolishly) fired them out of my Star PD. The downward curved tang of the Star pounded into my flesh and left it's "mark" after round number two. It seems like the 8045D's rotating barrel helps in absorbing and controlling recoil with that round. I don't know how well the P45 handles +P rounds since I've yet to try to fire any out of it.

    Despite that, I think the 8045D is an excellent gun and a fine choice in a CCW or even LE weapon; in retrospect, I wish I had purchased a 8045F.
  12. dj69

    dj69 Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    Any problems with the P45??

    I also was very impressed with my P45 that I recently purchased. Unfortunately, after less than 200 rounds of factory ammo my frame cracked. Please see attached photo. anyone else had any problems like this. I really like the size and feel of this pistol, but have never had anything like this happen to me before. I have owned many glocks and 1911's and never had any problems with them before.
    I sent it off to Kahr 2 weeks ago and have not heard anything from them yet. I was so impressed initially with this pistol that I bought a PM9 to go with it. However, this pistol has proved very unreliable and has jammed over 50 times in the first 500 rounds so that one has also gone off to Kahr today. So far I'm batting 0 for 2. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  13. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    other receiver problems

    this was posted by Wally on a thread I initiated....I was asking for opinions about Kahr's quality and wether it would be wise to buy one used.

    The consensus on used was ... metal frame yes, poly frame no.

    Wally wrote

    I picked up a new CW9 and it self-destructed in about 25 rounds -- front frame rails bent out. Kahr fixed it for free, but it took over two months. They admitted to me they've had a batch of bad frames, and said the replacement batch failed inspection so that's why it took so long to get my gun fixed. Replacement worked fine for ~125 rounds when I shot it last weekend.

    Good luck with your P45...let us know how it turns out.
  14. dj69

    dj69 Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    P45 Update

    Well in about 2.5 weeks I received a brand new P45 from Kahr. I'm going to take it out today and test fire it and make sure that it holds up. I'll post more after that. Overall they were pretty good about getting me a new gun and threw in a holster for my trouble. However, they did not provide any explanation as to what happened to my previous gun.
  15. dsk

    dsk Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    I handled a P45 at a local gunshop, and to my surprise the trigger pull was extremely short and light. I have a P9, and it has a much longer and heaver weight of pull. I don't think it's a good thing to have DAO triggers that inconsistent on a production piece. If I had bought that P45 I would've needed to have it looked at by Kahr to get the pull weight up there a little.
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