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Kahr CW9 9mm – First Impressions and Range Report

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by ShaneS, May 15, 2012.

  1. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    I’ve been aware of Kahr pistols since they first came out many years ago. I’ve admired them a few times but never seriously thought about buying one until last week when Palmetto had the CW9 model on sale for $349. I’ve been looking for a small single stack 9mm for concealed carry and just couldn’t pass it up for the price.

    The CW9 is the lower cost, plain jane version of P9. It has a strong polymer frame (not flimsy) and a matte stainless steel slide and barrel.

    First Impressions:

    1. The pistol is bigger than I thought. The grip is longer than I expected. It may not work as well as a pocket pistol as I thought. If all goes well with this pistol, I may purchase the smaller CM9 or PM9 for pocket carry.

    2. The pistol feels really nice in my hand. I’ve been shooting double stack auto pistols so long that I really noticed the slimmer single stack grip. I can get three of my big fingers on the grip and magazine extension. My wife and 15 year old daughter both liked the grip immediately. (I’ve got a feeling this pistol is going to be confiscated by my wife)

    3. The slide is about as plain jane as it gets. The slide is nicely machined and evenly matte finished but with little design and contour. This is a cost saving feature. There is enough contour to prevent snagging during concealed carry, though.

    4. The trigger is different from my other pistols. It has a fairly long but smooth and light double action pull. I can’t really tell when the trigger is about to break. The trigger has a long reset. The trigger is just fine for a small concealed carry pistol.

    5. The magazines were a little more difficult to load than the magazines of my other pistols. I had to really work to push the round down and all the way back. When fully loaded it seems the top round could become misaligned pretty easily or even come out. This might be a problem if changing magazines and the top round is misaligned. The rounds seem more secure in the magazines of my other pistols.

    6. Slide movement is pretty stiff and locking it back takes some effort. The slide lock lever is also pretty stiff. I assume this is due to the new stiff recoil spring and will get better with break in. This might still be a problem for someone with weaker hand strength even after break in.

    The only cost cutting measure that I can’t get over is the staked polymer front sight. If all goes well, I am going to replace it with a front Trijicon night sight ASAP. The steel rear sight is perfect for the pistol.

    Last night I fully loaded three magazines (only comes with one) and locked the slide back in anticipation of this afternoon’s range trip and break in. I field stripped, cleaned and lubed the pistol this morning.

    Range Report to follow this afternoon…
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. TSAX

    TSAX USAF Vet

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    Last edited: May 15, 2012

  3. ParkerRev

    ParkerRev

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    I'm looking forward to the range report, and how it compares to your new M&P Shield.

    And I spoke to your wife. She isn't interested in a tiny pocket gun. She wants something with authority...like a Colt 1911 .45. :) :) :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  4. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    Touche ParkerRev!

    The Kahr CW9 and M&P Shield are so different that I don't know that I can really compare them. They each have their place and pro's and con's.
     
  5. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    Initial Range Report:

    I went to a small private range this afternoon during lunch. Dirt mound in a pasture.

    I shot:
    26 rounds of Winchester 124 gr. 9mm Nato
    10 rounds of Speer GDHP 124 +P
    24 rounds of Winchester 115 gr. range ammo
    60 total rounds fired. NO misfeeds or jams!

    Most of the rounds were fired starting with a bullet in the chamber and a full magazine to try to induce feeding problems - but there were none and the slide locked back each time. I also ran several magazines with only one or two rounds loaded. Again, no feeding problems and the slide locked back.

    Reliability was 100%. Accuracy was excellent at 7 yards although bullets consistently hit 1-2” low. Not sure if it was me or the pistol. The pistol felt great in my hand. Recoil was moderate and not uncomfortable to me at all. Ejection was consistent and not in my face even once.

    Kahr states that their pistols need a 200 round break in period before judging reliability. I want my pistols to be reliable from the start, and the Kahr did not disappoint me. Reliability is extremely important to me. Jams erode my confidence fast.

    The trigger pull was long but smooth and light. The trigger didn’t affect my accuracy. The reset point is long, so you have to let the trigger almost fully return to the beginning before it resets. I wish the trigger pull and reset point was shorter.

    So far I really like the Kahr CW9 but don't think I would choose it as my only pistol. I will shoot more rounds later this week and report back again.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  6. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    1" to 2" low at 7 yards is a lot.

    If you were to shoot 5 slow shots at 7 yards, what do you think your group size would be with that gun, based on your range report shooting?

    I'm thinking if your group size is 3" or more, then you are probably anticipating the recoil and pushing the gun down before each shot.

    If your group size is 1", then your gun likely shoots low :)

    I assume you are aiming like the second image, shown below. If not, you should be :)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. deputy tom

    deputy tom

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    Shane your first impressions are right on the money. Good first range event. Mine shoots a little low but good enough for a carry gun. I too am concerned about the plastic front sight durability and as soon as it breaks off I'm getting a steel night sight set up installed.tom.:cool:
     
  8. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    I am willing to concede that the shooting 1-2" low is me not the pistol. I was using the sight picture in Image 2.

    Even so, 1-2" low is not going to make a difference at defensive engagement distances. I'd rather shoot a little low than high.
     
  9. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Oh, you guys got plastic front sights on those things?

    Sandpaper will fix your shooting low issue, for sure! :)
     
  10. deputy tom

    deputy tom

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    Yep, that's how CW9s come. tom.:embarassed:
     
  11. deputy tom

    deputy tom

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    Image 2 is how I shoot as well. Mine is only low a tad,not worth worrying about especially at seven yards to contact distances.tom.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  12. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Maybe true.

    You can try sitting at a bench to eliminate some of the shooter variables, just to see what the gun is doing.

    Oh, also perhaps try shooting at 12 yards to see if the shots come up or keep going low. They might be right on :) Although by 7 yards they should already be right on (but who knows).
     
  13. got2hav1

    got2hav1

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    I have owned two of the CW9s and both have been 100% as far as reliability. Nice choice for single stack nine. I will continue to carry mine cause I have not found anything I like better. Congrats.
     
  14. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Thanks for the info and report.
     
  15. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    I liked the CW9 so well that I have a CM9 on order for pocket/ankle carry. The CW9 is a little too big for pocket carry. The CW and CM series pistols are a great value.


    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  16. gunsnhoses

    gunsnhoses

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    This thread needs pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really like my CW9. It has been 100% reliable through several hundred rounds. One thing I did to mine was add a small section of bicycle inner tube tire to the grip. Now it feels perfect and is "grippier".
     
  17. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    Thanks for posting the pics. That's exactly what my CW9 looks like!

    I noticed in the top pic that your CW9 seems to have a slightly raised area on the left side under the trigger pin that kinda looks kinda like a pimple in the polymer. Does yours have that spot? Mine does. I was wondering if that was normal or a flaw of some sort.
     
  18. mingaa

    mingaa

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    I've been carrying a CW9 (as a favorite IWB) for almost three years. My dreams of pocketing it also went up in smoke but it was dead reliable from the start - a couple of stove pipes within the 1st 200 - noticed the tight mags as did you - then all good. Funny that you mention Palmetto because this summer I still wanted a pocket 9mm and looked at a lot of the (pre-Shield) options. A Taurus 709 was not on my list until I handled one. Palmetto had them on sale (still do in Blue) for $270. BOOM! They 'borrowed' a number of Glock features and though dimensionally the gun is nearly identical to the Kahr it DOES work as a pocket pistol. Well, in Jeans and Cargo pants - slacks - not so well. I've been doubling up with the two much of the summer.

    [​IMG]

    The 709 is the sleeper of the pocket 9 craze!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Kahr has 7 round mag here.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  19. gunsnhoses

    gunsnhoses

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    Mine has the same thing. It appears to be either some kind of a retaining pin or where one leg of the trigger spring sits.
     
  20. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

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    Fired 3 full mags plus 3 more rounds through the CW9 tonight (27 total). No feeding problems. Accuracy was very good. Great smooth trigger, but it is long. I'm looking forward to getting the CM9 next week.

    I now have 87 flawless rounds through my CW9.

    If the trigger pull and reset weren't so long, I'd be a Kahr fanatic!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012