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Thread: New CW380 range report and review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default New CW380 range report and review

    I've been lurking here for a little while now. I've been a Kahr owner for about 8 years. Started with an MK9, traded to a PM9 to save some weight, and just recently bought a CW380 to add a pocket summer gun to my line up. Below is my experience with the firearm up to today's range experience. I've had the gun for a wk. I field stripped and cleaned it (not a complete break down of smaller components) and inspected for burrs and rough spots. There were a few where the slide is cut to accommodate the slide lock, but nothing that I thought would hinder function. The spring was stout! I'm used to service sized and compact guns where you can sling shot the weapon from a grip close to the barrel. I like the technique as you can sweep and clear stove pipes while racking the slide to chamber a fresh round. Well, take note... this is not a preferred technique with this small of a firearm! The strong spring and narrow slide caused me to slip and I literally flayed a chunk of my thumb off when the 90 degree edge of the chamber (which is razor sharp!) ran down my thumb. Holly jimminey cricket! Any of you who work with your hands know that when you scrape a layer of skin off, you're going to be hurting for awhile from that exposed area. Ouch! I took some advice on the forums and locked the gun back over night to help break the spring in. I'm not sure if that was a great idea (more on that later). On to the range today... The first 50 rounds out of this thing was literally the worst shooting experience I have EVER had with a firearm. I have put hundreds of thousands of rounds (that's not an exaggeration, my particular profession has allotted lots of range and ammo time) down several types of firearms over the years, let alone the rounds I put down range on my personal time and guns. I've never ever been as frustrated with a weapon as I was for this first 50 rounds. Failure to go into battery, failure to extract, double feeds, nose dives, nose ups (never seen this one before, I think the extractor was so tight that instead of allowing the rim to slide under it, it was pushing the round down into the magazine and causing a stove pipe with a live round) and stove pipes. 2-3 failures per magazine. In frustration, I field stripped her again, wiped her down, and applied a copious amount of lube. The next 50 rounds got better. One, MAYBE two issues per magazine. The last few magazines ran without issue. A light at the end of the tunnel? The last 50 rounds I had ran without a single issue. I started firing at combat speeds, 2-4 round strings of fire, and still not one failure. I even ran some one handed speed strings and still no issue. I bought 100 more rounds today at my LGS, and will await the results of those rounds before trusting this gun with my life. (ammo was 100 rounds of WWB, 50 rounds PMC bronze. Failures from both out the gate. In the second 50 rounds the PMC bronze seemed to be giving me more issue than the WWB) Some observations: The trigger is all Kahr. Super smooth and a nice break. The recoil was more than manageable. The dimensions of the firearm are a little difficult to master. I'm used to an aggressive thumb forward grip, and this caused a failure to lock the slide back on the last round almost every time. I won't knock the weapon for that, it's my positioning. When I slide my firing hand thumb above or to the outside of the support hand thumb, the issue stopped. Some concerns: It seems you can over travel the trigger. When I hold the trigger back as hard/far as possible and rack the slide after squeezing and firing on an empty chamber, the slide meets ALOT of resistance. There is an audible *click* as the slide (I assume) finally slides past the raised trigger sear and then it finishes the manual cycle. I was curious if this resistance could have been causing any of my misfires? When I hold the trigger in place immediately after the firing pin releases, racking the slide is not difficult at all. The resistance only occurs when I forcefully squeeze the trigger all the way back and try to rack the slide. Any thoughts? The last concern is that this thing is ridiculously easy to take out of battery. All of my semi's are easy to slide out of battery with a little bit of pressure to the front of the slide/barrel shroud area, but this thing is worn out springs type of easy. Also, it will even remain a few mm's out of battery if slide back and hold it in place for a second, then when I release my pressure it wont always return to battery. I'm worried leaving it slide locked over night may have messed the springs up. When a few mm's out of battery, when I squeeze the trigger the slide will return forward and the gun will fire during the trigger stroke. Do I ask Kahr for new springs? Is this even an issue since the last 50 rounds were flawless? Like I said. 100 more rounds and I will begin to look for a defensive round I like. I hope this was informative. I love this site and will keep my eye out for any of your suggestions regarding the resistance to a squeezed trigger and the ease of which this gun can be taken out of battery.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    Sorry about the gigantic single paragraph. I put them in using the enter key while typing it all out... for some reason it didn't transfer when I hit post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Jacksonville, FL


    Welcome to the forum, MM. I love my P380 and I wear it most of the time... around the house and for short trips to the stores, and sometimes when I need the smallest profile and need to take it off while out. I usually carry my P9, PM45, or P40 for "heavy duty". My PM9 has become my backup carry for when everything else is down for cleaning after range use.

    The .380 Kahr is sensitive or prone to problems after 50-60 rounds from fouling. Just wiping the feed ramp can help. I haven't found mine sensitive to HP or FMJ, but I stay away from steel-cased ammo and flat-nosed stuff, though I did try a bunch of flat-nosed 95-gr +P Buffalo Bore FMJ. I would rather use the Speer Gold Dots pushed to +P by BB or Underwood. That extra velocity helps with performance of the bonded GD's... expansion and penetration.

    I've had problems with a bad extractor on the second P380 I bought... for Wifey, but Kahr fixed it and sent me a new magazine catch when the original failed. then it was working well when I sold it... Wifey hasn't shot any of the last FOUR pistols I "bought for her". The P9 became one of my favorites and I like the Gen 4 that replaced the Gen 3 G19 that was "too big".

    For Wifey's P380 I tried leaving the slide locked back for days... weeks... but it was still "too hard" to rack. That dual spring and short travel with tight tolerances makes for a hard rack... and it doesn't seem to really get better.

    You might try radiusing the extractor claw and the parts of the breech face that might be causing too tight a fit. Another guy is having somewhat similar problems and had a bad set of recoil springs. His inner spring was 2 coils and quite a bit shorter than mine. Those two should be about equal in length, so you might want to look at those recoil springs, too.

    His post:

    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law:

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

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