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Thread: My CW380 is a source of frustration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    278

    Default My CW380 is a source of frustration

    I bought my CW380 maybe 5 years ago. It was a hassle from the start. It wouldn't run at all with the gun show .380 reloads I bought, and worked somewhat with WWB---but even after I got through a 300 round break in(not cheap at all), it still wasn't reliable. It failed to feed a LOT, like every third round. I sent it back to Kahr and they threw the kitchen sink at it--and it was actually reliable. I didn't shoot it a lot, but it did get brought out maybe every third range visit, at least to burn up the carry ammo.

    I took it out yesterday( and to the KAN members here, excused the duplication), and it was terrible. I loaded six rounds, pulled the trigger, and it fired/ejected, but the slide locked up just before engaging the slide lock. I pulled to lock, depressed the slide stop, and it chambered. Fired again, same thing. Repeat. The last three rounds fired and chambered fine, but then the slide wouldn't lock.

    It did that like clockwork. Finally I resorted to loading just three rounds, and it chambered/fired/ejected, but the slide wouldn't lock back.

    I have a set of replacement springs I ordered from Kahr a few months ago, but they're so much longer than the ones in the pistol, I've been unable to get the new springs installed. The guide rod is so short, and there's so much excess spring length, that the springs kink and bend and it's just freaking impossible. The parts numbers I have are 005W381 for the inner recoil spring, and 005P380 for the outer recoil spring. I got them from Kahr's website so I assume they're the right springs. they just seem so long. I tried inserting the guide rod in the spring on one end, and inserting a Phillips head through the other end, and trying to maintain rigidity---sliding the Philips out as I guided the spring in. No dice. Spring still kinks. And now I fear I've kinked the spring.

    Kahr made a nice captive dual recoil spring for the MK9. Easy peasy assembly. If any pistol in the line could benefit from that, it's the CW380.

    So I'm assuming my problem is recoil spring, but I don't see how I can get this in. Could this also be magazine related? It's frustrating. It's a nice little pistol to shoot. Trigger is awesome. It's very accurate. But it's useless to me now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    421

    Default

    Several of us have developed our own technique to deal with the dread new recoil spring. Here is what I do. Crank it down and leave it overnight. It will decrease the length some.


    3C14C332-913D-4896-A19E-8A388A6B1F16.jpg
    Kahr P380 x2
    Kahr K9
    Kahr CM45
    Sig P938
    Sig P365 x2
    1911 Range Officer 9mm
    M&P 9mm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Mike - you have more than one mag, right? Try a different one.

    One that hasn't been sitting around loaded.

    Like I mentioned on KAN, a mag spring from a CT380 or MagGuts should do the trick.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2016
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    Default

    Thanks for both tips, Ed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    715

    Default

    I posted a review of a new P380 running 200 rds without failure. I will not go into detail again about how to go about breaking them in. Other than to say take the magazine, load it to full capacity and let the darn spring take a "SET" for 48 hrs. These are strong, quality springs. They need to take a set. Also, then load up about three to four rounds and take a dowel or other device and "EXercise the Spring by compressing and de-compressing it. Rack the slide and let the Recoil Spring take a SET for 48hrs!!

    Start off shooting hot ammo if possible and only load the mag to about 5 rds for about 10 mags.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    1,504

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    Itís not a new pistol.

    muggsy: Let's face it, being shot by a .380 will ruin anyone's day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,099

    Default

    I feel your pain MMyers1970....So far I have owned 3 Kahr pistols, first was a CW40 which had many problems, magazine fell out while shooting which is how I found this place trying to fix it, it wouldn't feed or extract and after several trips back to the mothership it still wouldn't shoot a full box without problems so I traded it for a PM40 which functioned perfectly but the recoil was a problem for me but I kept it a couple years....In the mean time I bought a CW380 and had all the problems you are having, sent it back home 2 times and Kahr replaced the barrel and slide but it still was a problem child, would lock back every other shot or stovepipe with all kinds of ammo.....I traded the PM40 for a PM9 which I still have and she is a keeper, perfect out of the box with no break in issues and is a great little shooter but I never felt good about the CW380 so I traded it for a Beretta Pico and found a perfect .380 pistol....The Pico is a nice pistol, never jams and is accurate for such a small gun....I love my PM9 and Kahr makes some nice pistols but IMHO they never figured out the .380 pistols, seems you either get a good one or one that's possessed and will never be right....I hope you get your CW380 working but sometimes it's best to move on to something else....Good luck!
    The Federal Government can not give anyone a single penny that it has not taken away from someone elseÖ.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    1,197

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    Its the damndest thing. Some people never have any luck with them, some never have any problems. I currently own 2 CW380s and 1 P380. I don't need 3 but the P380s went on sale for the same price as a cw so I couldn't resist. New springs are hard to install and get back in after cleaning, and they take some focus to rack, but mine have all worked smoothly. I can't say why, except luck of the draw.
    Rest in peace Muggsy

    "Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world." Winston Churchill 1899

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBurn View Post
    Its the damndest thing. Some people never have any luck with them, some never have any problems....
    ....Or is it the things we do that make our little Kahrs operate perfectly?

    How much is luck, and how much is good habits and choices? Or even skills and/or techniques? It's not magic, for sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed M View Post
    ....Or is it the things we do that make our little Kahrs operate perfectly?

    How much is luck, and how much is good habits and choices? Or even skills and/or techniques? It's not magic, for sure.
    Seriously , itís a gun. If you need some sort of secret sauce to make it run right then itís either a bad design or poor manufacturing.

    Kahrís 380 pistols are hit or miss. I had a CW that was an absolute piece of crap. The mothership gave a half-a**ed effort to fix it but it never ran right. I have a CT that has been absolutely flawless through 750 rounds.

    muggsy: Let's face it, being shot by a .380 will ruin anyone's day.

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