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Thread: CW380--Let's Try This Again

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    183

    Default CW380--Let's Try This Again

    After a trip back to Kahr for some TLC to remedy a sticky slide and some light strikes, I finally got my CW380 back to the range today to check out the performance.

    I started with a few uneventful magazines of Blazer FMJ round ammo, enough to remind me of how great this pistol is when it works…smooth, light trigger, good sights, nice feel in the hand, minimal recoil. When I moved on to SD ammo, though, things got interesting again.

    First up was the Underwood XTP, which, once again, my pistol DOES NOT LIKE. I disregarded that result, as it's a type of ammo I will simply avoid in the future. Next up was Hornady Critical Defense, which for the most part was smooth sailing. "For the most part" does not mean 100%, unfortunately. On a few occasions, I had a weird failure to cycle…the striker failed to ignite the cartridge, but a small "wiggle" of the slide got the striker to reset and the round to fully seat, at which point the cartridge would fire. I'm almost certain that the issue is a failure to completely feed, wherein the round rides up but does not fully seat. Then again, I could be wrong. In retrospect, I should have ejected the round to see if there was a primer strike…I'll do that next week when I get it back to the range.

    I ended the range visit by shooting Hornady XTP (because I'd run out of Critical Defense) and some more Blazer. The last 20 or so rounds were fine, so I'm hoping that we've gotten past the rough spots.

    So, for a total of 80 or so rounds, I had 3-4 fails (discounting the Underwood, which is a lost cause). Not bad, but still not reliable enough for EDC.

    After talking to a friend at my LGS, I had a crazy impulse come over me, and I purchased a new Glock 42 in Flat Dark Earth. It is far larger than the Kahr, so it's not intended as a replacement. It will, however, give me a good comparison shooter when I take the CW380 out again next week. I'll be stocking up on more Hornady XTP and Critical Defense, and may throw in some Sig V Crown and Hydra Shoks for variety's sake. This is make-or-break time for the Kahr, now. It will either end up on my hip, back to Kahr for another tweak, or at my LGS on consignment.

    p.s. I took my Pico along this time for comparison. It's trigger is not as nice as the Kahr's, although it has improved, and it is a bit tougher to shoot with its high bore axis and skinny grip (it wants to wiggle around a bit). But, dang, that pistol is like Old Faithful. Any ammo I throw at it, FMJ or HP, mild or hot, and it cycles it like a champ. Amazing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    317

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    A local gun shop has a CW380 in stock for $249. I would be tempted if it wasn't for the possibility that I'd end up with another high-maintenance b**** like my P380. Normally I try to buy duplicates of my defense guns so I will always have a backup in case one goes down, but in the case of the Kahr I'm afraid to. If only Kahr would realize they'd have a winner in the house if only they'd go and re-design this pistol to correct its flaws. Ruger wasn't bashful about improving the LCP, and even Glock (quietly) made improvements to the G42, yet Kahr still seems to act like there's nothing wrong with its guns and that the buyers simply needs to break them in a little more. The fact that guns go back to them and are often returned with the same issues speaks volumes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    3,955

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    1,357

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    I bought a Remington RM 380 and didn't look back! After over 200 shots fired I haven't had the first malfunction. What does that tell you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    183

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikeo74 View Post
    I bought a Remington RM 380 and didn't look back! After over 200 shots fired I haven't had the first malfunction. What does that tell you?
    Same! Love, love, love that gun. I just wish the sights were a bit better…I know it's a belly gun, but my "what if" LEO sense tells me it's always better to have decent sights (especially night sights) and never need them. If Remington made a model with night sights, for this buyer almost no price would be too high.

    Have you become proficient at rapid-firing the Remington? The trigger IS a bit long…albeit very smooth, and much lighter than when I bought it…so double-taps might be a challenge. The commercial range I use disallows rapid fire, so I'll have to get to my buddy's "wilderness range" to give it a try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    317

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    I've said this many times before, but the reliability of mine improved significantly once I replaced the magazine springs and followers with MagGuts kits. I haven't had any misfeeds since.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    1,357

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsk View Post
    I've said this many times before, but the reliability of mine improved significantly once I replaced the magazine springs and followers with MagGuts kits. I haven't had any misfeeds since.
    I have been saying this for several years now, If Kahr would pre-stress the recoil springs and the magazine springs, most of these problems would go away. The alternate would be to just use weaker springs, but if they did that the useful life of the springs would be shortened. But that is just my opinion and if they did either one of the spring enhancements their sales would go up and complaints would go down..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikeo74 View Post
    I have been saying this for several years now, If Kahr would pre-stress the recoil springs and the magazine springs, most of these problems would go away. The alternate would be to just use weaker springs, but if they did that the useful life of the springs would be shortened. But that is just my opinion and if they did either one of the spring enhancements their sales would go up and complaints would go down..
    This spring issue has me about ready to fold my hand on the CW 380, call a misdeal on the CM9 I am thinking about and just go to a different firearm altogether. After almost 800 rds thru the CW 380 cycling the slide countless times at night and even taking the recoil spring assy off and compressing the springs individually it is still a virtual nightmare trying to hand cycle it. A gun should NOT be this difficult to break in. Have had several small 380 firearms and none of them were this much of a PITA to use. To even lock the slide back it is a chore ....turn the gun sideways and pull/push/kick/scream and cuss like hell to get it in position to lock. If I did not like the size, had bought extra mags and a nice holster and it was not so darn accurate, it would be in a pawn shop by now!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    317

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    Pre-stressing springs in the Kahr won't help. When I put in a new recoil spring set it's very difficult to get the gun reassembled and the slide is very stiff, but within 500 rounds the springs are so weak the slide won't even close all the way with much force. The OEM springs in all five magazines I have wouldn't lock the slide open after a month of being left loaded. The springs in the MagGuts kits by comparison are still fine after two years of use. People tell me that Wolff makes the springs for Kahr, but given how crappy they are I have my doubts. I really wish Kahr would re-engineer the P/CW380 to incorporate a captive recoil spring assembly like Glock does with the G42. Either that or go with flat wire springs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    1,357

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    For the cost of 800 bullets in 380 ACP you could have bought another holster and magazines for a different brand gun. I have 2 Kahrs in 9mm that work great but I would never buy a Kahr 380 until they get one that works 100% out of the box and I think that is several years down the line. So I have jumped ship for a 380.

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