Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by meatballs, Sep 22, 2017.

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  1. gamboolman

    gamboolman Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Spring, Texas
    I too had terrible and expensive experience with a Kahr PM-9. This was ~10 years ago or so....

    After hundreds spent trying to break it in, multiple factory returns - Kahr gave me full refund on the price.

    Went to Glocks and they go bang everytime and eat anything I feed em.

    It's all about being comfortable with your EDC and it's dependability to function if you ever need it for real.

    I know lots of folks love their Kahr's - happy for them.
  2. Tony k

    Tony k Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    Stories like this are this are way too common. Until Kahr addresses their spotty qc and possibly revises chamber and extractor specs, they will always be thought of as a middling option.

    I like the design. I don't mind doing a little diy to an extractor or a magazine follower to get reliable function (had to do it to a CW380). I also know that's not acceptable to many people especially considering there are plenty of other guns where you probably don't have to do that.
  3. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    I've owned quite a few Kahrs.
    MK9- Outstanding gun. Very reliable. Traded it off as it was really heavy for what it was.
    PM9- Early model. Bad batch of barrels. Barrel hood peened. Replaced, free of charge. Put a couple thousand rounds through it. Sold it to a buddy. Very good little gun. For me, a little small for a daily carry.
    K9- Possibly the pinnacle of Kahrs design. Just outstanding. Compact, easy to shoot. Sold one to a buddy. Gave another one away to another friend. It's his EDC now.
    K40- Not impressed. It ran "OK". Occasional bobble. Traded off.
    T9- Only Kahr I still own. Just an awesome gun. Very accurate and reliable. Fits my hand better than any gun I've ever owned. It's like shooting a .22.

    If you are a revolver shooter, the Kahr trigger is incredible. Smooth and light with a complete surprise break. Low bore axis. Great ergos.

    Kahrs are good. Better in 9mm. Best in all stainless. My opinions based on owning a bunch of them.
    Tony k likes this.
  4. Rbstuartjr

    Rbstuartjr Member

    Feb 13, 2016
    I've owned my SS Kahr K9 and have used it as my edc for the past 15 years. I'm a retired NYPD officer and so have the NYPD trigger. The trigger is probably one of the smoothest triggers I have ever used. I have put over 5000 rounds of Speer gold dot 124+p without any issues. The gun is still all stock, with no spring replacements and still shoots great. I reload now, and it eats everything I make for it, just fine.

    I prefer shooting my Kahr K9 over my Glock 19 for striker fired pistols. They did have feeding issues with a batch after I bought mine, but that turned out to be an issue with the magazines, which was corrected. All officers that I worked with loved these little guns.

    I'm teaching my young daughters how to shoot and they all prefer the K9. The single stack with the Hogue grips makes it a more comfortable grip to hold on to, especially for little hands.
  5. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    May 24, 2008
    SW MO
    When I researched a replacement for the first gen LCP I was looking at anything in the category which fit requirements. There is really no way to know if any one gun model will be "reliable." It's the gun you get that you have to deal with. In reading the posts on Kahrs I came across two issues with them that seemed to be consistent complaints, first, that many were new to firearms, and second, they brought a "consumer" attitude with them that demanded a lot of hand holding. When disappointed about something the firearm failed to do, a lot of times it was based on expectations - one issue was that they intended to shoot anything they wanted thru it, regardless of the fact that a lot of Kahr's design philosophy is oriented to self defense and the use of full power rounds.

    One thing that self loading guns of any stripe require is good ammo - this issue has existed since they were invented, and low power fodder getting into them was even a problem in the early 1900's. Ammo makers weren't loading rounds to meet the requirements of cycling the slides even then, and there continues to be issues with self loaders to this day when owners choose ammo based on price, not performance.

    Another issue was the requirement that Kahr states up front - shoot 200 rounds thru the gun before contacting them about feeding and extracting issues. They get a lot of internet hate for something that most professionals consider to be inadequate - they won't trust any gun for self defense with less than 500 rounds thru them. Goes to the consumer vs experienced gun owner and we've had our share of threads here on it.

    Then we get to loading the gun properly - one highly popular make asks you slingshot the slide to load it, Kahr states you rack the slide, use the slide hold open, insert the mag, then drop the slide release and let the slide load the round into the chamber. Using the other gun's method only increases the chance of riding the slide and that is the #1 method of creating a chamber misfeed in any self loading action. Nonetheless internet "experts" tell you to ignore the specific instructions in the Kahr owners guide. When they do they complain about problems.

    There is also the complaint about "heavy" Kahr triggers - which are 6 pounds. So is the trigger on most field use and tactical guns, not 2 pounds. 2 pounds are target triggers meant for stationary use on stationary targets. The public thinks that if it's a "better" trigger for range use, it will also be "better" for field use - and when doing so, the rate of ND's and the consequences go up. The problem is putting race gun tech into a field and EDC gun. When you modify the working envelope of performance and force it into a narrow focus you then are moving it's optimal performance away from one area to gain in another. Case in point - cars - hot rodding them for better drag strip performance eventually results in a cantankerous, abysmal demon which gives nothing but trouble trying to get to the store for a gallon of milk and loaf of bread. I would no more tolerate preheating the engine, priming it with ether, jumping thru the roll cage to start it, and then trying to drive on slicks in a pouring rain with no windows, than you should carrying a 2 pound trigger, target sights, extended controls, flared mag well, and extra forward serrations on a 3 1/2"deep carry pistol. It's going to rip you up on the draw and don't be surprised it goes off when you put your finger in the guard a tad early. You asked for it.

    This kind of "Hey, that's ok, you learn to live with it" commentary on the net and then claiming Kahr isn't a real good gun isn't limited to just them. Which is exactly why when researching a gun model you need to parse the perspective of the owner to see if they even know which end to hold or if they have any clue what carrying is about. That guns have issues and some makers seem to have more than their share seems to be a fact of life these days, but it doesn't mean they are entirely responsible for the press they get. In some cases it's entirely unjustified when it exceeds reason - and as I have been pointing out, the public doesn't use reason as their yardstick. When it's about guns, life and death confuses the subject with feelings and they go off the rails.

    The problem is that there are a lot of men who buy guns and comment on them, but a lot fewer adults. Be careful what you read on forums.
    Striker and Elkins45 like this.
  6. everydefense

    everydefense Member

    Nov 10, 2016
    I have never owned a Kahr, but have had the opportunity to shoot a couple models over the years. I want to like them, but simply cannot get past the long travel of the trigger, and the weight of trigger pull is a chore as well. The Ruger LC9s (Pro) was the clear choice for me. Many own Kahrs and swear by them, though.

    EDIT: It is a bit dishonest to boil it down to "you can either choose between a heavy Kahr trigger [whatever it weighs in at] or a 2-lb race trigger..." There are many more choices than that out there. No point in buying a gun that isn't that great, and deciding if a particular model is or isn't "great" is up to the individual.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  7. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Heart of Dixie
    I’m surprised to hear so many complaints about their triggers. As a general rule I’d say the KAHR triggers are better than any other striker fired double action out there.

    Yeah they’re a bit long, but they all are. And they’re smooth, most others aren’t and the KAHR triggers are not heavy.... not light either, but not heavy. I have one that was worked over by Cylinder & Slide, it is easily the best trigger I have ever felt on a double action gun.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess. I’m just a little surprised to hear trigger complaints because I like them as much as I do.... but I also like the trigger in my mk3 Enfeild, never meet anyone else that does.
    Jeb Stuart and george burns like this.
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    When Moon was designing the first K9 pistol the American cop was still carrying a S&W double action revolver.
    Moon had the idea of offering a micro-size DA-only 9mm auto the size of the Walther PPK/s, would handle +P 9mm ammo, and would have a trigger that felt like and was as safe as S&W revolver.

    The Kahr trigger should be looked at like a DA revolver trigger.
    Because of the revolver-like trigger, the Kahr, unlike the Glock, S&W M&P and other similar guns, can be carried as safely as a DA revolver with no more risk of an accident then a DA revolver.
    None of the guns like the Glock or S&W can be carried without a holster or without at least some risk because the only thing preventing the short trigger from firing the gun is a tiny plastic lever or projection.
    If you touch the trigger the trigger is free to move.

    In the Kahr, the trigger has to be pulled a long way, just like a revolver so there's little chance of an AD if the trigger is touched.
    In fact, the Kahr trigger is the reason for the Kahr.
    People buy a Kahr and complain the trigger is too long and too heavy. They want to have the trigger pull lightened and shortened so it'll work like a Glock or S&W.
    This is like trying to alter a DA revolver to have a Glock-like trigger. Not a good idea.

    I tell people to treat the Kahr like it's a magazine fed DA revolver. Once they get the idea and learn how to shoot a DA trigger they appreciate how good the design is, and how safe it is for daily carry.
  9. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    My only Kahr is a CM9. I don't see anything wrong with the trigger. It isn't really like a revolver trigger to me. It isn't like a hammer fired DAO or DA/SA semi-auto either. I would describe its feel as being somewhere between a double action revolver trigger & a striker fired trigger. I like it though. A little long but smooth with a clean break. I have had & carried guns with much worse.
  10. zb338

    zb338 Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    I have a CW9 it is light and very easy to carry. I would like a better trigger and
    you have to realize that the slide on these guns rubs across plastic not steel.
    I would think that after a while the plastic would start to wear. I don't shoot mine
    much for that reason.
  11. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    The plastic is just a guide. It can wear off and not affect function. My Kahr PM9 has two substantial lugs in the rear and two rails in the dust cover and corresponding cuts in the front of the slide.
  12. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    I had an auto ordnance 1911 that was made in the US when Kahr bought them out, I ran around 1k rounds through it before I sold it like an idiot about half that amount of ammo was tula russian ammo, only one malfunction and that was from my 13 year old brother in law shooting a 1911 for the first time and limp wristing it. I'd buy another if funds present themselves.
  13. Iggy

    Iggy Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I migrated from a magnum revolver as an duty side arm while a LEO to a 100 year old N frame 45 when I moved back to town after retiring from the ranch. Didn't need all that horse power in town
    As I have aged and "settled a bit" here and there, I'm down to a Kahr CW45. Still have the old revolver trigger and no safeties to be concerned with

    Wife went from carrying a J frame 38 to a Kahr CW9 for the same reasons.

    Both guns are straight shooters and neither of them has ever had hiccup with at least a 1000 rounds down the pipe.
  14. Frank897

    Frank897 Member

    Mar 8, 2018
    KAHR RELIABILITY? -- Don't Do It! My personal experience: I bought my Kahr CM9 six months ago. I wanted a smaller 9mm, as my S&W Shield was a little too big for pocket carry. Break-in should be 200 rounds, according to Kahr. I put 650 through it and was still experiencing an average of 2 to 3 FTEs/FTFs per box of 50 using only US made ammo. I sent it back to Kahr for repair. Kahr said it would be 3 to 4 wks. It actually took Kahr 9 wks to get it back to me, supposedly fixed. I now have almost 1,200 rounds through the CM9 and FAILURES ARE STILL RUNNING 2 PER BOX. A 4% failure rate is totally unacceptable for a carry pistol!
    Yes, many people have Kahr guns that are problem free, But do you want the frustration of getting a BAD Kahr pistol? I really wish I'd done more research before I bought my CM9. One of the senior members on the Kahr forum shared that Kahr doesn't seem to be paying as much attention to quality as they used to! Remember, if you get a weapon with problems, even sending it back to Kahr may not result in a gun you can bet your life on.
    WHAT I LEARNED THE HARD WAY: If you want a gun that will run like a Smith or a Ruger, then buy a Smith or Ruger. I own semi-autos form both those manufactures and they have been 100% reliable.
  15. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    In addition to being unreliable, my P45 always had a magazine problem in that it would not function with adapted 1911 magazines, and Kahr do not often factory flush magazines. That made it noticeably bigger than alternatives (not to mention, uglier), thanks to the plastic bottom sticking out. Interestingly enough, although they offer flush magazines for P9, they do not make them for T9, which is supposed to be their high-end model. The result is underwhelming.
  16. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    South Central Kansas
    I carry a KAHR CW-9 with a Crimson Trace Laser Grip Sight every day. And so did my Wife until Her health failed about 2 years ago. The KAHR CW-9 was the best choice for both of us. Both of our KAHR CW-9`s are just outstanding and have always been 100% reliable. We have never experience any type of problems with either gun. They are both very easy to shoot, and they are extremely accurate. And we shoot them a lot, and We both really like the triggers on both of our guns. We bought the KAHR CW-9 so we could safely shoot both Lead & Jacketed Ammo. And We both really enjoy shooting them and did so quite often. The CW-9 is very easy to carry, My Wife alway carried Her CW-9 in Her purse in a holster, and I pocket carry with a holster my CW-9. I still practice with my other CC handguns but I rarely carry one of them any more. IMHO: The KAHR CW-9 with the CT is the best choice CC Gun for Me. And I think You would be hard pressed to choose a better one.
  17. george burns

    george burns Member

    May 26, 2014
    PM( here for almost 10 yrs, pocket carry, I have, or had most of the small single stack 9's. This one shoots everything, and never let me down.
  18. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    McKinney, TX
    I've had 4 CW9's and a CM9... they have all been 100%. One of the CW9's shot a bit left of POA, so I sold it. I carry a CW or the CM everyday and have no qualms whatsoever about it's reliability. I have 3 CW9's in rotation... carry, desk drawer, night stand... and they get rotated every 30 days or so, the CM9 is my primary concealed carry piece.

    I did have a P45... it did have a reliability issue. As best I can cipher out, it had either a very, very tight chamber, or it was a short chamber. Consistent failure to fires, even with primer strike; the primer strike was quite high on the primer (12 O'clock) which let me to believe the slide wasn't going fully into battery. Yes, I could have sent it to Kahr, but I traded it for another CW9 and some extra magazines.

    About that magazine-to-frame gap? Who cares? It's a service pistol, if I ever have to draw it in defense of my life, I don't think the bad guy is going to point and giggle about the Unsightly Gap between the mag and grip.

  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    You can't really blame Kahr for not functioning with an"adapted" magazine

    The reason they don't offer the flush magazine is because it is their High End model. High end models normally offer all the bells-n-whistles, not the stripped down options
  20. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    My CM9 has been perfect. 100% reliable and not bad to shoot. The two dot sights are good but I put a Crimson Trace laser grip on it a couple of months ago. Still fits in my Mika pocket holster. I would have no hesitation to recommend this gun to anyone.
  21. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

    May 4, 2017
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    Dislikes of Khar's Sounds like like many of the guns out there that gets bashed by some folks that had a lemon or really never owned one to begin with. I have a CW380 and it is a fine shooter. Built much better than the LCP's I have owned. And nicer triggers. Shoots better too. Enjoyed the Article in NRA featuring Moon and Khar. He is one smart guy for sure. He was really devoted to building a great quality pistol. Khar knows how to make a quality gun for sure. Go to their website and view the build, the materials, steel etc. I wish other manufacturers used those.
  22. Striker

    Striker Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    NE Ohio (and soon to be West Virginia)
    The two CM40s and one CM45 that I own have been flawless. 1450 And 600 rounds respectively thru the 40s, and 2175 Rounds thru the 45. Zero issues, not even during the Kahr recommended 200 round "break in".

  23. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Oct 9, 2006

    The only experience I have first hand is a friend of mine bought a CM9 three years ago. A very long time pistol shooter. He had nothing but trouble with it FTF, jams, etc. and had to return it. He replaced it with a Sig 938. AFAIK that is the only gun he'd ever had trouble with and he's had lots.
  24. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Feb 1, 2016
    This is pretty much exactly my evaluation of my CM9! I am very happy with it! I carry it when I feel the need for a bit more muscle than my LCP but don't want to lug around my .45 XDS 3.3". I carry my LCP about 70% of the time and the Kahr 28% of the time. I carry the LCP on me at work, the CM9 would not be practical for that.
  25. Gladius

    Gladius Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Portland, OR
    A P9 is my usual carry piece. It's lightweight, feels good in the hand, and it's been completely reliable. The trigger is fine for its purposes. The only quirk I've noticed is that weird feed issue when you "slingshot" the slide -- when shooting, this issue doesn't manifest. Accuracy seems to be decent -- it's no target pistol, but it'll do its part if I do mine.
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