No Need for an Expensive Glock: This Gun Is Great for Concealed Carry
by Gun News Daily
June 7, 2019
Blog Brand: The Buzz
Glock 43. Smith & Wesson Shield. Walther PPS. Beretta Nano. Ruger LC9. Taurus PT709.
What do all of these guns share in common? That’s right: they’re all single stack 9mm autos, and they’re each a perfectly viable option for concealed carry or EDC as well.
But there’s one more 9mm single stack that needs to be included in that list of top 9mm single stacks, and that is the Kahr pistol.
In fact, it was the Kahr pistol that really set the stage for the 9mm single stack to begin with back in the 1990s.
Kahr produces a variety of different single stacks today, but their budget model is the CW9 in 9mm (or the CW40 in .40 S&W and the CW45 in .45 ACP).
Let’s dive deeper into Kahr and the CW9 in particular:
THE STORY BEHIND THE KAHR PISTOL
Kahr Arms is owned by Justin Moon, a firearms enthusiast who who at the age of 18 first received his concealed carry license.
Moon was disappointed by the lack of a sufficient caliber in small, single stack semi-automatic handguns.
Back then in the 1990s, your concealed carry options were really limited to .38 snubnose revolvers, the Walther PPK-type pistols in .380, the AMT Backup, Beretta Cheetah .380, or a 1911 Commander/Defender in .45 or 9mm if you were willing to carry a larger gun.
Moon wanted to make a single stack, compact 9mm pistol that would be reliable, high quality, and easy to carry inside the waistband.
The result was the Kahr K9 9mm, first produced and released in 1996. The K9 was a steel farmed pistol, with a DAO hammer fired trigger operation and single stack 9mm magazine.
The K9 was successful and spawned many different polymer framed variants as well, including the P series, PM series, and the budget CW series.
THE BASIC DESIGN OF THE KAHR PISTOL
The Kahr pistol is a Browning locked breech design. It’s a DAO weapon, and in that manner acts very similar to a double action only revolver with a long but consistent pull each time you pull the trigger. Kahr designed the pistol to have 3/8 inches of trigger travel.
While the K series of Kahr pistol was steel framed, polymer framed models such as the PM or CW series have steel inserts installed on the sides the polymer frame for the slide.
The K9, which was the original Kahr pistol, was a 9mm pistol that was the same size as the competing .380 pistols such as the SIG P230, Walther PPK/S, Bersa Thunder, and the Beretta 84/85. The 9mm is a much more powerful round than the .380, as it creates a larger wound channel, has a faster velocity, and has more energy behind the bullet.
This meant that the K9 was one of the most advanced concealed carry pistolsof its day. These days, obviously, 9mm single stacks are the norm, but back then in the 1990s it was a surprisingly new concept.
Kahr’s primary lineup now mainly consists of polymer framed pistols like the rest of their competitors. The polymer versions include the PM, P, and the CW series. Out of these, the CW is the best option for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CW9
The Kahr CW9 is a polymer framed pistol and is the budget model of Kahr’s line up. It’s routinely available for around two thirds of the price of the larger P series of pistol.
Now you might be wondering if the quality of the CW9 is less than the K or P series in order to save on costs.
Well, there’s no denying that the CW9 is not as ‘nice’ of a gun as the K9 or P9. Nonetheless, Kahr claims they made absolutely no sacrifices when it comes to the reliability or the accuracy of the weapon.
The CW9 is a little uglier and less refined than its more expensive counterparts. For instances, the markings are stamped and not laser engraved. The milling and finish are also less refined as well. Sharp edges are also present on the magazine, forcing you to have to smooth those out themselves.
The CW9 has a black polymer framed with a matte silver stainless steel frame and barrel. The front sight is made out of polymer, like the frame, and it is built into the slide of the weapon. The rear sight has been dovetailed and is constructed out of steel.
As far as magazines are concerned, the CW9 will accept the same magazines as the P series, so locating extras at reasonable prices should not be much of a problem for you. Some magazines will have a polymer baseplate to extend the length of the grip and give you a full firing grips. The standard capacity is 7 rounds, but 8 round magazines can also easily be found.
As you would expect from a single stack 9mm, the CW9 is very thin, and measures just 0.9 inches. With a good holster, it’s very easy to conceal carry. Total weight of the pistol is just 15.8 ounces, which isn’t much more than a Smith & Wesson Airweight revolver such as the 442 or 642 revolver.
One of the fallacies that exists with the CW9 is that many people believe the frame rails for the slide are built out of polymer. In reality, the rails are made out of metal with polymer coverings, and the rails near the back of the pistol are clearly metal.
Kahr recommends a break-in period with the CW9, along with other Kahr pistols, in order to ensure optimum reliability for concealed carry. According to the manual, two hundred rounds of 9mm will be necessary for the break-in, so don’t be surprised if you encounter stoppages or failures of some kind during this period.
The Kahr CW9 is a solid choice for a concealed carry 9mm or even just for a 9mm in general. You can certainly use it for concealed carry like it was intended to be used for, but it could also be used for home defense or as a car defense gun as well.
This article by Will Ellis originally appeared at Gun News Daily.
Firstly I must admit that I skipped the article. I got what I need from your last paragraph. You’re absolutely right, the small Kahrs do make great carry guns, car guns, and home defense guns. With a little practice you might even be surprise what they can do at the range. I picked up PM9 many years ago and have never even considered looking at the small Sigs, Glocks etc.
DDG-8 "Sine Timore"
|Fighting the good fight|
There were a number other compact single stack 9mm concealed carry options already available when the Kahrs K9 was introduced in 1996, including the Sig P225 introduced ~10 years before the initial Kahr K9, the HK P7 introduced ~15 years before the Kahr, the S&W 3913 that was introduced ~6 years before the Kahr, and the Sig P239 that was introduced the same year as the Kahr K9.
And by the time the later P model came around in 1999, there would be several other options too, like the S&W CS9 and Beretta 92 Type M.
The Kahr wasn't exactly groundbreaking.
I bought a CM9 ~10 years ago to replace a S&W 642 as a backup/pocket gun. It was a good choice at the time, and an improvement over the J-frame it replaced, but it has since been surpassed by the various newer ultra compact 9mms. The trigger especially. It's not heavy or gritty, but it's verrrrrry long, with a break that finally occurs at almost full contact with the rear of the trigger guard, and a reset that requires letting the long trigger pull all the way back out to full extension. Not conducive to getting rapid, accurate hits.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
Yeah, but none of the 'Expensive' options they mention are, uh, expensive.
|Fighting the good fight|
Right. A CW9 runs ~$350. There are quite a few good options for 9mm carry guns in the $300ish-$400ish range.
Even the "expensive" G43 or G43x is only $100 more than a CW9.
Hell, you can get a S&W Shield for $250, which is $100 less than a CW9. So if $100 is the difference between an "affordable" single stack 9mm and an "expensive" one, then wouldn't that make the CW9 "expensive"?
I still have and like my S9 - but the CW380 has been plagued (I’ve had two) with RTB issues. Failure to go back into battery is really ironic given how difficult it is to rack the slides on the tiny Kahrs. But, I haven’t kept either CW very long - maybe they’ll wear in after 400 rds or so. Despite some complaints about racking and RTB issues, I think the long trigger pull is a good safety attribute.
Forgot to mention - one thing that bothers me is the warped dustcover issue that plagues so many Kahrs. I wonder how much more would it cost Mr. Moon/et al to strengthen the (very skimpy) metal frames in these. There appears to be very little or zero metal protecting a person’s hand in the event of a kaboom. Maybe there is and it’s hidden - I hope I’m wrong!!This message has been edited. Last edited by: GeoJelly,
|Sigforum K9 handler|
Dude totally rocks a Hipoint in a Uncle Mike’s nylon holster. Total cost? $265.
No need for those “expensive” Glocks, when you can rock the Block.
"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011
As the subject of the titles frequently used in National Interest articles held interest for me (not just gun related but defense related as well) I made the mistake of clicking on them in my news feed a year or so ago...and now my browser keeps funneling their stories to me. National Interest articles frequently use one or two facts, mix in several inaccuracies and opinions, add in simplistic thinking and writing, and throw in a few misspellings for good measure...and they frequently recycle old articles. Essentially they are a click bait news source, but the interesting thing is that they sometimes manage to make a few accurate conclusions even through all their pseudo journalism. I now avoid them like the plague even when their article titles capture my interest.
As for the Kahr, I don't have any experience with shooting or handling one, but wouldn't be surprised if they are an underrated gun.
Glocks are expensive?!?!
I have kept a cm9 and view it more as a niche gun that serves well as a back up to a tda or doa primary. Under those circumstances, I like it for the longer trigger travel that allows me to get on it earlier as it is presented to the target.
That said, the cm9 is the only reliable Kahr to grace my range sessions. Failures to return to battery as mentioned above, plagued my p380 and visited my pm9 as well.
Though they may be too expensive for those not born into generational wealth, I've never seen the rare examples of Glocks that collectors are willing to fire experience these types of stoppages.This message has been edited. Last edited by: kalford,
|The Whack-Job |
The Kahr had too long a trigger pull, for me. I went with the S&W CS9 and have never regretted it. Or needed anything else. Regards 18DAI
Blue lives matter.
loved my PM9 but didn't like the fact the first round in the mag would "walk" during a day of carrying it. Loved the trigger and size, ate everything. I am still looking for something similar for replacement.
The Kahr pistols are not as reliable as many other brands.
Smith 3913 was the best carry 9 before the carry wonder 9 craze began with Glock 19, 26, Kahr
Kahr makes a decent pistol but I have had issues with both my cw9 and 380. Mags are pricier though. If I get another Kahr, it will be the "P" series, as they are a little more refined.
While the steel Kahrs have never given me any trouble, the polymer ones had all kinds of issues. Loss of the takeodown lever while shooting, barrel peening, and failure to return to battery were frequent contenders among several polymer kahrs that I shot (and still own). The problems were significant enough that they made multiple trips back to Kahr and resulted in the the replacement at one time or another of nearly all the components. Some problems were never solved, and I haven't shot them in some time now.
The biggest problem was the potential to fire out of battery, as a P40 did when I'd just got it back from the factory from service for various problems. It blew out the magazine and side plate and vented into my face, and burned my hand.
|Fighting the good fight|
The 3913 is an excellent carry gun. I used one as my off duty carry for my first several years in law enforcement.
However, the Glock 19 was actually introduced before the 3913. The G19 debuted in 1988, two years before the 3913 came along in 1990.
It just took a bit longer for the G19 to gain acceptance and rocket to its current popularity. Whereas the S&W semiauto 9mms had already been popular for several decades with their other Gen 1/2/3 guns, so the 3913 was readily embraced and immediately popular.
Thus it took several more years before S&W eventually began losing a large chunk of its market share to Glock.
This thread got me thinking. Intellectually, I'm not a fan of the long trigger on the Kahr. In practice, I carry a PM9 or Pm380 daily. I've fired both extensively and haven't had a single malfunction. I have a CW9 that I've carried quite a bit. I put 200 rounds of Federal 115 +p+ through it as fast as I could load and fire it. No issues. Did the same with a CM9. All of these pistols were bought used at a good price. In my experience, the combination of reliability, size, capacity and power offset my dislike of the trigger.
|Like a party |
in your pants
I have carried a Kahr CM45 for years, no problems.
|posting without pants|
Bonus feature, you can TOTALLY hit them with it when it fails. It goes from gun to brick in less than a second!!! Now tell them the BEST feature Dan!!!
Strive to live your life so when you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor, the devil says "Oh crap, he's up."
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