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Thread: Range report and other thoughts on Kahr

  1. #1
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    Default Range report and other thoughts on Kahr

    As a ďnewĒ Kahr owner, I thought Iíd share my experiences to date and also some photos along with my first range report.

    The reason I bought a Kahr was because I recently found out that the good people of Florida allow non-residents to obtain concealed carry permits, which are valid in 31 states currently (more if youíre a real Florida resident). As a Maryland resident who has family in a couple of these states, I jumped at the chance to exercise my Second Amendment Rights, denied to me here in my own home state. To me, the political principle is at least or perhaps more important than the need for actual self defense.

    But my current weapon of choice, the Beretta 92F, was too large for concealed carry. Although I love my Beretta, I needed something smaller. I wanted to stick with the 9mm however, so that I only needed to stock one caliber of ammunition. I did a lot of online research and visited a lot of gun stores. Most of the new handguns built to serve the booming concealed carry market have grips that feel too small for my hand. Either the circumference of the frame handle, or the infamous ďpinky dangleĒ of too short handles, disappointed me in options from other manufacturers. However once I was able to hold a Kahr CW9, and became convinced of their rock solid reliability reputation, I was hooked.

    Unfortunately it was impossible to find a new one anywhere in the state of Maryland, despite looking for almost two months. Fortunately, another member in this forum kindly offered to sell me his used CW9, and I gratefully accepted.

    I was a bit unsure of myself, because other than the required NRA safety course in Florida to obtain the concealed carry permit, I had not fired a handgun in over a decade. While I enjoyed firing my Beretta years ago, I got married, had a kid, my work environment changed dramatically after 9/11, etc. There just never seemed to be enough time. So with a bit of hesitation I headed off to the range a couple of days ago to see what I could do with older eyes, unpracticed hands, a shorter barrel, a lighter frame, and a used gun.

    The results are below. The first photo is my first 7+1 round at 12í. I took all the time in the world to compose my shots as I was going for accuracy. I was pretty pleased with the results, despite all of my handicaps described above. The grouping was nice and tight all things considered. (Click the image to make it larger.)

    12' group 1.jpg

    The second photo is my fourth round, still at 12í, and still going very slow to increase accuracy as much as possible. It was my best shot placement of the night. This group was extremely accurate, and was more than tight enough to convince me that any problems I might experience in the future were those related to the shooter, and not to the CW9.

    12' group 4.jpg

    After completing all five targets on that paper at 12í I then moved a fresh target set out to 25í. The third photo shows my first grouping at that distance. As I expected, things opened up a bit, but the results were still very impressive (to me).

    25' group 1.jpg

    My best grouping at 25í came next, the second group, as shown in photo four.

    25' group 2.jpg

    After five rounds of 7+1 at 12í then again at 25í, I decided to pick up the pace a bit. I brought the target back in to 12í, but then shot as quickly as I could reacquire the front sight over the target. Although I didnít formally time myself, I was probably firing about once every 1/2 to 3/4 of a second (and no doubt mostly at the upper end of that range). The fifth photo shows my best rapid fire round of the night, which was my third round on that sequence. Iím sure many of you can do far better and far faster than that, but for me, I was pleased with the performance of both the gun and me.

    <I deleted this photo because KahrTalk only let me upload a max of 5 photos and I thought the next photo was more important than this one. If anyone really cares I'll post a reply to this message and enclose that photo too.>

    The final photo shows what happened when I switched ammunition. Up to that point I had been firing 115 grain FMJ from Remington and Federal at standard pressures. I also tried some +P pressure rounds from Glaser, the 100 grain JHP PowíR Ball. This was my first time ever to shoot +P ammunition. I have to say I didnít care for it much. As you can see from the sixth and final photo, the shot grouping was quite wide. The felt recoil was significantly increased over the standard pressure rounds, and it probably came close to doubling the time it took me to reacquire my front sights and place them on target. So while many of you no doubt swear by +P rounds, I think it best for me to go back to standard pressure ammunition for self defense rounds. After all, shot placement is by far the most important factor in a gunfight. If you canít hit it, it doesnít matter what ammunition youíre carrying. And Iím clearly not good enough to carry and fire +P rounds fast enough and accurate enough. So my next area to research when I go back to the range next month is to determine what standard pressure defensive round works best for me.

    rapid fire group 4 +P.jpg

    Some closing thoughts. First (other than the +P rounds) I was surprised at how little recoil the Kahr CW9 had. Being much smaller and lighter than my Beretta 92F, I anticipated a much larger recoil, with resulting slower rapid fire and less accurate shot placement. Much to my delight, that was not the case. So while my favorite handgun at home or on the range is still the Beretta, I couldnít be happier with the Kahr for a carry weapon.

    Second, I didnít care much for the long trigger pull on the CW9, but Iím sure Iíll get used to it with sufficient practice. When going low and slow it didnít really matter to me. But when doing a rapid fire exercise, it actually messed me up especially on the first shot. A couple of times in fact, I hesitated badly on the first shot in the chamber, as a result of me anticipating a fire and releasing the pressure on my trigger finger too soon. Oddly it didnít bother me on the subsequent seven rounds, but that first shot absolutely was messed up a few times. If and when it really matters, I hope that by then I have the muscle memory to pull this off successfully. Because the other day had that been real live fire and not a practice range, the hesitation would probably have been fatal.

    Third, I tried both the standard 7 round magazine from Kahr (K820) as well as an 8 round Kahr magazine (K920G). I was a bit surprised at my reaction. One of the reasons I selected a Kahr CW9 was because my pinky didnít tangle off the end of the grip like it did on so many other 9mm small concealed carry weapons. But when I put in the larger K920G, more of a good thing did not equal better. Indeed I found the feel of the longer magazine (or perhaps the grip extension on the magazine) a bit disconcerting on my pinky finger. Your mileage may vary, but I think from now on Iíll stick with the shorter standard round magazines.

    Fourth, I was impressed with the overall accuracy and reliability of the Kahr. The accuracy is self evident from my photos, and trust me any shots off center are a result of me not firing in over a decade and my over 50 year old eyes. And as for reliability, I shot 170 rounds of ammunition from three different manufacturers at two different pressure loads in two different sized magazines through the Kahr with flawless performance. I hummed like a fine Swiss watch.

    Fifth, my gun came equipped with a Hogue grip from the previous owner. Loved it. Iíve read others who said their palms got a bit sore after firing too many rounds through the Kahr due to the stock grips. Not a problem in my case even after 170 rounds in a sort period of time. Iím confident I could have shot another 170 rounds with no fatigue if I had just brought more ammunition with me. Iím sure the bike inner tube trick works well too, but the Hogue grips are pretty inexpensive, and molded to fit your hands.

    Conclusion: I made the right choice. Feels good, shoots good, works good. The Kahr CW9 is a keeper. And fun too!

    Next up: some photos of my Kahr, my Beretta, and a few surprises tooÖ
    Ray

    NRA Endowment Life Member
    SAF Life Member

  2. #2
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    Default Range report and other thoughts on Kahr

    As promised here is the missing photo which shows my best rapid fire exercise (well as rapid as is possible for me at the moment) at standard pressure loads.

    rapid fire group 3.jpg
    Ray

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    SAF Life Member

  3. #3
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    Excellent and informative report. I'm not a big fan of the need for +P ammo myself so the +P negatives are a moot point for me. Sounds like all is good, as you spend more time with it you will indeed get much more used to and proficient with that loooong trigger. Being a long time since you had any quality trigger time it would appear you haven't lost anything, like riding a bike I guess you get back behind the gun and it all comes back to you.
    Thanks for the great report.
    In Memory of Paul "Dietrich" Stines.
    Dad: Say something nice to your cousin Shirley
    Dietrich: For a fat girl you sure don't sweat much.
    Cue sound of Head slap.

    RIP Muggsy & TMan

    "If you are a warrior legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that JOCKO will not come today."

  4. #4
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    PS- your worst target of the day would still leave a bad mark and ruin any bad guys day. I'm thinking you got absolutely nothing to worry about. Minute of pie plate wins the day over no gun anyday.
    In Memory of Paul "Dietrich" Stines.
    Dad: Say something nice to your cousin Shirley
    Dietrich: For a fat girl you sure don't sweat much.
    Cue sound of Head slap.

    RIP Muggsy & TMan

    "If you are a warrior legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that JOCKO will not come today."

  5. #5
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    Nice report! Great shooting. :53: I've never tried +p rounds in mine

  6. #6
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    seems so much defense 9mmis +P that is kinda hard to get around it. I shoot+P and have no issues for recoil, coursemy PM9 is magna ported so I know that helps alot.

  7. #7
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    I shoot what I think will work best, and in my 45's about half of that is +P, I'm not one to let recoil bother me though, in fact I kinda like it.
    Attitude: it takes 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile...and 3 for proper trigger squeeze.

    The olive branch is considered a symbol of peace, and good will. Last time I checked, it's still a switch.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlottmc View Post
    I'm not one to let recoil bother me though, in fact I kinda like it.
    I'm sure you meant what you said, but what you said is not what I would expect to hear. I'd love to understand your rationale behind your comment if you don't mind. I'm sure I'd learn something. Thanks.
    Last edited by aray; 05-23-2010 at 11:15 PM.
    Ray

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  9. #9
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    Very nice report Ray, no doubt the CW9 is a good fit you.
    So are you adding night sights?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlottmc View Post
    I shoot what I think will work best, and in my 45's about half of that is +P, I'm not one to let recoil bother me though, in fact I kinda like it.
    Sometimes felt recoil isn't the problem(at least in 9mm)...I find that some guns do not "like" +P loads and don't shoot well with them compared to standard pressure ammo. Which looks like it might be the case with Ray's CW. I personally don't even bother with +P stuff for my short barrel carry pistols.
    -The Destroyer Approaches
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    Quote Originally Posted by aray View Post
    I'm sure you meant what you said, but what you said is not what I would expect to hear. I'd love to understand your rationale behind your comment if you don't mind. I'm sure I'd learn something. Thanks.

    Actually, I grew up with guns in my hand, and one of the few things my old man ever gave to me was a love of cannons. When I was a wee lad barely able to hold his 629 (BEAUTIFUL piece that one was), I was hunting some West Texas Cotton Tails with it early Sunday mornings. Learned the basics on 22's and moved right into howitzers as soon as I could hold them. I learned to deer hunt with a Remington 700 in 7mm Mag. There again I'm kinda an odd duck like that.
    Attitude: it takes 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile...and 3 for proper trigger squeeze.

    The olive branch is considered a symbol of peace, and good will. Last time I checked, it's still a switch.

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