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Kahr CM9 Review

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by plouffedaddy, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011

    Single stack, lightweight, pocketable 9mm guns seem to be the hot selling guns this year as concealed carry continues to becomes increasing popular. I've owned the Karh CM9 since mid 2011 and here's what I've found...

    -100% reliable through over 800 rounds of all types
    -Cost. The gun can be had for under $400 most places
    -Trigger. It's very smooth and breaks crisply
    -Size. The gun is 'pocketable' in most outfits (5.42'' long, 4'' high, 0.9'' wide)
    -Uses the proven 'Browning type' recoil lug
    -Easy disassembly/maintenance/reassembly
    -7 round mags are available (flush 6 rounder comes from factory)
    -Lots of holster options available
    -I like 'straight-8' type sights for fast close range defensive shooting
    -Lightweight. Only weighs 14oz empty

    -The gun moved around a little under rapid fire when hands are wet (re: sweaty). I fixed this with the Talon grips however
    -The gun doesn't feel as 'solid' as the Shield or PPS. That said, it's never failed so I can't say it impacts performance
    -The trigger reset is too long in my opinion
    -Only comes with one magazine
    -Kahr recommends (as do I based on experience) that you use the slide release to reload the gun. I've found rounds can hang up if you try slingshotting it. Since I typically use the slingshot method, this required a conscious thought on my part at first
    -All small/pocket guns are more difficult to shoot well vs. larger firearms so it's certainly not a gun you're going to win many competitions with

    Below is a video of me shooting the gun on some steel, a demonstration of disassembly/reassembly, a side by side size comparison with the Shield, Glock 26, and the Bodyguard 380:


    All in all, if you're looking for a pocket 9mm at a reasonable price, the CM9 should be on your list of contenders. It's reliable and (for its' size) is a very shootable gun. It seems to have gotten past the reliability issues that were reported when it first came out.

    Chrono numbers:

    Winchester Ranger 115gr JHP: 968fps, 239 ft/lbs energy
    Federal HST 124gr JHP: 1014 fps, 283 ft/lbs energy
    Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP: 1053, 305 ft/lbs energy
  2. 100% reliable yet hangs up on slingshot?

    Maybe those hung up rounds slowly creaped into the chamber on their own?

    I have a PM9 and agree it and the CM9 are great guns :)

  3. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida
    Outstanding post. Good timing for me since I just bought a CM9 a few days ago. In addition to good content, your brisk pace is enjoyable and the photography made it more informative. You covered the important points favorably, reinforcing my decision to buy a Kahr.

    I'm sure the next step for your report is YouTube, so thanks for our special showing.
  4. ksmedman


    Nov 24, 2011
    In the middle
    Kudos OP, great post.
    I've been carrying a CM9 as my pocket gun for about eight months now. Greaet little pistol, no issues, and I feel like it's a better option than a J-frame (thinner, higher capacity, 9>38, faster reload).

    You prompted me to order some talon grips for it. I have the problem of it moving around under rapid fire too.
    I got a pinkie ext for the 6 rd mag that I'm using, and also have a seven rounder for reload. The ext adds a little extra bulk, but less than the larger mag.
  5. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    Very valid point. I thought about that while I was writing it actually; guess I should have expounded...

    The manual says not to slingshot it rather to use the slide release so I don't think I can ding the gun for it but I see how you could look at differently. :dunno:
  6. I don't know about 9>38, but you can add accuracy to your list. 98% of people will be WAY more accurate with the Kahr than a snubby revolver.

    Still, l like my snubby revolvers too!
  7. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    Very nice review.

    How would you compare shooting the CM9 Vs the Glock 26 as far as recoil and getting the sights back on target.

    You made it look as if you were able to keep the CM9 on target and didn't show much recoil.

    I had a Kel-tec P11 and couldn't handle the recoil.
  8. Good review. Thanks for posting.

    My CM9 has "choked" exactly twice in something over 500 rounds. The first occurance was with a new 7 round magazine, and that problem has been cured.

    The second was a failure-to-feed with Speer Gold Dot Short-barreled 124 gr. GDHP. I've never had a problem with Federal HST, which is my preferred carrry ammo.



    The PJ Kydex Holster is my favorite way to carry my CM9, although it does occasionally reside in a Galco Ankle Glove.
  9. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida

    Looking at the photo you posted and the one put up by RVSlim, I'm reminded of one minor cosmetic characteristic of the CM9 that probably wasn't important enough for your report, but it does seem to be consistent: The magazine base doesn't seat against the mag well. There is always a small gap with the six and seven round magazine. I can't think of any way the gap could affect performance, so it's just an appearance point.

    Keep the reports coming. What's your next project?

    Thanks again.
  10. Redstate


    May 17, 2011
    Nice review. I like Kahrs as well. I have a P9 Covert and an MK9. In my opinion, my P9 Covert is a very "solid" feeling pistol, and appears well built. Obvioulsy, the MK9 (all steel) is even more "solid" feeling.
  11. 4 glocks

    4 glocks

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have both, it's lighter and smaller than the G26 so it recoils more but not that bad at all. My GF has no problems shooting the Kahr but has issues racking the slide.
    The slide is very tight on the CM9, it's hands down the hardest slide to rack of any semi auto I have owned.
    I could see that as being an issue with someone who has little hand strength.
  12. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    I'll have to rent one at the range and try it.

    I think the Kel-tec P 11 put me off the small 9s. I'm thinking that under stress and speed (bad grip and stance) need a person could get an accurate first shot off but after that it might be difficult.

    I watch people in videos with a great stance and grip - and ideal situation that might not happen when stressed.
  13. Mattkcc


    Dec 21, 2010
    I have not been happy with my CM9, the problem is the non-captured recoil spring, It would pop-out the frame hole and jam the gun. Eventually this dinged up the recoil rod and totally locked up the slide. I tried bending the spring slightly wider but it would eventually pop-out the hole. Kahr sent me a new recoil spring and rod and the gun ran fine for a while but now the new spring is doing the same thing. I've gone back to carrying my reliable LCP and purchased a M26. It's to bad it is very accurate for a pocket pistol, but I just can't trust it. The reason you can't slingshot is the recoil rod hangs up on the frame hole, leaving the gun about 1/8th inch out of battery. If you slingshot and hold onto the frame, rather then release it, and push forward you can reliably sling-shot. I would think if they beveled the inside of the hole this would solve the problem, but would likely make it easier for the recoil spring to pop out. Reading on the Kahr forum it seems most of the problems are with the recoil spring and the 7 round mags..
  14. Wonder if there is a problem with your frame? I hadn't heard about this issue before.

    Not sure I fully understand what is happening. Just seems strange that it happened again after they sent you the new parts.
  15. Sgt.K

    Sgt.K They Just Work!

    Jan 11, 2000
    Kentucky, USA
    Nice review and vid, thanks.

    I have a PM9 and I would describe it as quirky because of the slide release procedure and the fact that the top round in the spare 7 round mag sometimes is moving out of or has completely come out of the mag and is in the bottom of my pouch. I just keep a close eye on it when I carry it. Other than that it meets my standards for carry. YMMV.
  16. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    The 26 has less perceived recoil primarily due to the wider grip spreading out the force in your hand.

    I've shot the P11 a good bit and the CM9 seems like a lighter recoiling gun.
  17. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    Just finished the VEPR 12 review (posted here). I have a Surefire 6PX review, PSA Pencil Premium middy upper review, 870P review, US Palm AK mags, Caracal F, EAA Witness 9mm, Gen2 G23, G22 RTF2... all waiting for editing/uploading. Plus a few 'how-to' videos in the works as well.
  18. GlockFish

    GlockFish Floyd

    Feb 22, 2002
    That gap kind of bugs me too.
    If you install a Pearce Grip Extension on the mags, it gets rid of that small gap.
    From what I've read, the reviews on the Pearce Ext are good.
    There are a couple videos on Youtube that show you how they look on the Kahrs.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012