Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

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Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby jeffsto » Wed 06 Mar 2013 9:55 pm

Hey all! I recently purchased a Kahr CW9 to be my concealed carry firearm, and thought I'd share a few of my thoughts. I've noticed there aren't a lot of reviews on the firearm itself; most reviews seem to be of its older (richer) cousin, the CM9. I really don't feel as experienced or qualified as many of you on the forums, but thought I'd try to contribute my 2 cents 8)

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First Impressions

I purchased the Kahr from Scheels about 2 or 3 weeks after the Sandy Hook shootings, so selection was a bit scarce, to say the least. On first sight, I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed. As firearms go, it looks boring and generic. However, the price was too good to resist ($350 brand new), so I asked to take a closer look at it.

When I picked it up, my first reaction was surprise at how light it was. Compared to other firearms of similar size, it seemed to come in a good deal lighter. I fell in love with it, however, for its trigger pull. I lov the long, smooth-as-butter double action trigger pull of the CW9. Another thing that struck me was how "tight" every aspect of the gun felt. Moving the slide, pulling the trigger, releasing the magazine - all of the mechanical actions seemed precision tuned, and there was very little allowance or slack in any of the movements. The other great point about the CW9 is the lack of anything that could potentially catch when trying to draw the firearm - there are no protrusions anywhere on the gun besides the takedown/slide release lever. It has no external safeties, hammer, etc.

So while it isn't as flashy as most (or all) of the other ccw firearms (I particularly had my eyes on the Springfield XDMc), I decided to go with the Kahr CW9 as a functional, economical option.

Shooting

Kahr recommends putting 200 rounds through the firearm before you can consider it "broken in." I was more than happy to comply :lol2:

Shooting the Kahr CW9 has been nothing short of enjoyable. It has very little recoil, considering the size of the gun. The double-action trigger is a joy for me to use, as I am less prone to flinching with it. I also own a Ruger SR9, and was surprised that I am actually more accurate with the CW9 than with the SR9. Not only that, but the Kahr apparently eats any ammo that I give it. I took both pistols shooting about a month ago, and had some pretty cheap ammo. The ruger misfired on about every other round with this ammo, while the Kahr didn't give me a single misfire.

I've put about 400 rounds through it so far, and have not had any misfires or mechanical issues at all.

The only complaint that I have about firing is that the grip can become pretty painful after getting through a few magazines. The plastic bumps and grooves have somewhat sharp edges, and after 100-150 rounds, my hand started stinging from the grip.

Concealed Carry

My wife was kind enough to get me an IWB holster for the CW9 for my birthday, and I've been carrying for about a week now. Although it's my first time carrying, and I don't have a lot to compare it to, the CW9 seems like the perfect option for concealed carry. Right now I'm carrying it in the small-of-back position. The weight is small, almost unnoticeable. There is virtually no printing when I am standing and walking. It conceals so well, yesterday my wife hugged me from behind while I was carrying, but didn't realize that I was carrying until hours later when she saw me bend over to pick something up.

Conclusion
The Good:
- Incredible price
- Very small and right
- Accurate
- Reliable

The Bad:
- Kinda boring-looking. Bottom of magazine is not flush with the grip.
- Grip hurts
- You have to use the slide release to chamber the first round of a magazine
- Only came with one magazine
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby muddy » Thu 07 Mar 2013 5:51 am

jeffsto wrote:The Bad:
- Kinda boring-looking. Bottom of magazine is not flush with the grip.
- Grip hurts I put a rubber Hogue grip on my CW40 that covers the bumps but also has a little palm swell which gives me a better grip.
- You have to use the slide release to chamber the first round of a magazine You need a full sild release they say to chamber a round, if you pull the slide back and release it you are getting a full release. Don't ride the slide forward and all is well. When messing around with snap caps sometimes I don't get full slide travel and all it takes is a little tap on the slide to get the extractor over the case rim.
- Only came with one magazine


I carried a CW 40 for 2 years before moving to a XD 40 but the CW is still used when I want a smaller weapon.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby Hawk87 » Thu 07 Mar 2013 7:01 am

I use the houge jr grip on my CW9 too. Well I did before my little sister adopted it, but ya. It really seems to help.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby jeffsto » Thu 07 Mar 2013 9:32 am

Thanks for the tip about the grips! I hadn't realized that was an option.

I'll have to give the slide another go. I'm not comfortable yet with carrying with one in the chamber, but I also don't really like the idea of messing with the slide release in the event that I needed to draw, either. I guess it just takes a little practice to get the full slide travel. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby MarshallDodge » Thu 07 Mar 2013 9:37 am

Hawk87 wrote:I use the houge jr grip on my CW9 too. Well I did before my little sister adopted it, but ya. It really seems to help.


+1

I have shot the CW9 with and without the Hogue grip, the addition definitely makes the gun more pleasant to shoot.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby D-FIN » Thu 07 Mar 2013 3:43 pm

So What is the difference between the CW9 and CM9? I know the PM9 has a match grade barrel but I have no idea what the difference is in the others.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby jeffsto » Thu 07 Mar 2013 6:38 pm

I found this at http://g27rr.blogspot.com/2011/02/kahr-pm9-vs-cw9.html:

1. Sights: CW has a pinned front sight, PM has a drift adjustable front sight (which is easier to swap for night sights)

2. Rifling: CW has conventional cut rifling, PM has "match grade" polygonal rifling (both have Lothar Walther stainless barrels)

3. Slide: CW has fewer machining operations on the exterior and uses more angular edges, PM9 is more rounded

4. Slide stop lever: CW has a MIM lever, PM has machined lever

5. Rollmarking: CW has simple engraving of model and manufacturer, PM has actual rollmark

6. Magazine: CW includes one magazine, PM includes two
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby BrassChucker » Thu 07 Mar 2013 7:27 pm

D-FIN wrote:So What is the difference between the CW9 and CM9? I know the PM9 has a match grade barrel but I have no idea what the difference is in the others.


The CM9 has about a 3" barrel and holds 6 rounds in the magazine.
The CW9 has about a 3 9/16" barrel and holds 7 rounds in the magazine.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby BrassChucker » Thu 07 Mar 2013 8:05 pm

I bought one in November and put 200 rounds (100 at a time) through it right away to make sure it was reliable. I put another 48 rounds through last Saturday, even some hollow points, not a single malfunction of any kind. My daughter fired one round and really limp wristed it and it still cycled perfectly. I also own an SR9, and I shoot the Khar every bit as well.
jeffsto wrote:The only complaint that I have about firing is that the grip can become pretty painful after getting through a few magazines. The plastic bumps and grooves have somewhat sharp edges, and after 100-150 rounds, my hand started stinging from the grip.

You are a lot tougher than me, my hands really started to hurt after about 75 rounds. I was really having to focus on a lighter grip pressure as I approached 100 rounds. I didn't notice anything in the first 50 or so.
jeffsto wrote:- Kinda boring-looking. Bottom of magazine is not flush with the grip.

My factory mag fits a tiny amount flusher than yours, but, when I got my extra mags, I have to kind of slam them home or they won't seat. So that little gap could be a good thing.
jeffsto wrote:- You have to use the slide release to chamber the first round of a magazine

This bothered me a lot at first. But I had read other people saying they could do it so I found a method that works. I would say you cannot use it for SD if you cannot do a tap, rack, bang drill. So, I've found that If I grip the slide firmly overhanded, draw it back fully and let my hand just slip off and hit my chest it works perfectly every time. I also use this method for releasing the slide when it's locked back after loading a fresh mag. It does kind of rip on my hands but they need a little toughening anyway.
jeffsto wrote:- Only came with one magazine

I bought two extra 8 round extended mags at Impact Guns in Ogden for $29.99 each. I was there today, I think they had a couple on the rack. But I didn't look real close, so you might call first.

There are just a couple of things I've learned that are different with the Kahr. You probably already know but just in case someone else reads this:
1. There is a little spring that controls the slide stop lever. It seems lots of people damage it during takedown/cleaning/reassembly. I haven't damaged mine, but if it gets bent the slide will start locking back with rounds still in the mag.
2. It has a different rail system than other semi-autos. The front rails are lower and fit a different set of grooves in the slide. I didn't notice them at first and therefore did not lube them.
A lot of people don't see them at all and will claim the Kahr slide rides on the polymer rails, which is not true of course. But there are a lot of threads and vids about Kahrs sliding on polymer online.

Since I really love mine, I think you made an excellent choice. :D I carry mine every day, "almost" everywhere I go.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby D-FIN » Thu 07 Mar 2013 9:59 pm

BrassChucker wrote:
D-FIN wrote:So What is the difference between the CW9 and CM9? I know the PM9 has a match grade barrel but I have no idea what the difference is in the others.


The CM9 has about a 3" barrel and holds 6 rounds in the magazine.
The CW9 has about a 3 9/16" barrel and holds 7 rounds in the magazine.



Thanks
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby Zacharia » Thu 07 Mar 2013 10:16 pm

I carried a cw9 for awhile! It has a ton of strengths, but I'm on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to your view of the trigger :)

+1 for loading it w/o using the slide release button. Just give it a good solid jerk backwards and let go. I never had a problem as long as I wasn't soft or hesitant in my letting go of the slide.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby BrassChucker » Fri 08 Mar 2013 9:04 am

Zacharia wrote:I carried a cw9 for awhile! It has a ton of strengths, but I'm on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to your view of the trigger :)

Where the trigger is concerned, I was looking for a EDC that did not have a safety. But I really don't want a ND either. So, I thought the long trigger was a good compromise. My SR9 has a great trigger, but I would never carry it with the safety off, even with that safety trigger mechanism.

Now, that super long reset is another matter. You have to allow the trigger to travel its full length before it resets for another pull. The trigger is comparable in operation to my Ruger GP100 in DA mode, but much smoother. No cylinder to accelerate. So rapid fire would be theoretically less accurate. But I wouldn't really know, I'm not that good a shot either way.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby jeffsto » Sun 10 Mar 2013 6:05 pm

hawk87 and MarshallDodge,

Is this similar to the Hogue grip that you mentioned you have used?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H6GZI8/ref=gno_cart_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

It sounds promising, and I just received an Amazon gift card, so I thought I'd give it a go.
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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby Hawk87 » Sun 10 Mar 2013 6:11 pm

jeffsto wrote:hawk87 and MarshallDodge,

Is this similar to the Hogue grip that you mentioned you have used?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H6GZI8/ref=gno_cart_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

It sounds promising, and I just received an Amazon gift card, so I thought I'd give it a go.


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Re: Impressions on Kahr CW9 for Concealed Carry

Postby BrassChucker » Mon 25 Mar 2013 6:17 pm

jeffsto wrote:The Bad:
...
- Only came with one magazine

I've got 3 magazines, (1) 7 round and (2) 8 round. I noticed that they all really gouged up the brass casings. I've got them all loaded with Hornady Personal Defense ammo that has nice looking nickel plated brass.
Each time I shoot, I unload the Hornady and reload them with some plain Remington FMJ and go to work. When I'm done, I clean the gun thoroughly and reload the Hornady JHP's. Well, the magazines have left a lot of deep scratches in the casings. It's gotten so bad that I'll throw them away in lieu of saving them to reload after I fire them (I fire 4 or 5 of them each time I practice). There was also a lot of brass and nickel shavings inside the gun which (I've read) have a habit of finding their way into the striker channel.

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I noticed that the outside of the feed lips have obviously been buffed down, very smooth. But the undersides had the sheared metal curled downward so it would cut into the brass. I looked online for similar issues and found many instances with a lot of different firearms. Many people said to leave it alone if the reliability is perfect. But I just couldn't stop myself.

So, I decided to do something about it, I took the magazines apart and sanded the underside of the feed lips with 220 grit wrapped around a popsicle stick. (I have a Dremel, but I didn't want to be too aggressive) I used some new brass rounds that I had on hand and only sanded enough off until it stopped scratching the brass. Light abrasions were acceptable, but not cuts.

The end result, the mags are actually a lot easier to load now. They used to catch when I tried to slide them in and now the just glide right in.
I haven't test fired it yet, just some tap, rack, "pew" drills and no issues with chambering. I'll post again after I fire it in case I have somehow caused myself a problem and destroyed this pistol's perfect record.
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