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Thread: Kahr CW380 diary

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

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    I bought 250 .356 95 grain cast and powder coated lead bullets at a gun shop that I stopped at on the way home. I can cast and powder coat my own but I was just being lazy. I will load some of these tonight and try them out later.

    I also ordered a Lakeline striker for this gun. No real world reason as the factory striker hasn't given me any trouble. I did read of others who had issues with the striker breaking and decided to eliminate that possibility.

    When it arrives and I have the slide stripped for installation I will also work on the extractor and remove some of the metal from the pin allowing the extractor to move a little farther from the breachface. I hope this will help with feeding some of the European brands of ammo. At any rate, I put another 50 rounds of various ammo through the little cricket.

    06/28/2021
    The Lakeline striker system arrived today. I stripped the slide this evening and installed the striker. There are several videos and Lakeline also sent instructions making this a simple procedure.
    While I had the slide apart I cleaned it and then I removed 3 /1000 of an inch from the inside of the pin on the extractor. I then sanded it smooth with 500 grit paper and reinstalled all the parts to the slide. Shooting the gun will be the test, however, I did load a magazine with some Geco brand 380, walk outside and test for function by locking the slide back, inserting the magazine and releasing the slide. It fed every round in the magazine with no issues. That was a first for this gun with that ammo. I will test fire it tomorrow on my way home from work.


    06/29/2021

    I will be the first to state that I believe a handgun should function and fire reliably with any factory ammunition. Handloads or bagged rounds bought at a gun show do not count in this process. Unless they are my handloads of course and that stuff should work all the time. (<;

    This little gun did function reliably with most ammo I have on hand. Most American brands seem to work 100 percent of the time. As I have said, Geco, Maxxtech, and Fiocchi were problematic in feeding at least once in every magazine full. Once they were in the chamber they fired fine and were accurate.

    My Kahr CW380 was fine with the right ammo and worked with all the defensive ammo I fed it and most of the FMJ stuff I have or could find. However, I was determined to see if I could manage to make it feed any 380 I can find, within reason of course. That Wolf steel cased stuff was bad in any 380 I fired it through.

    The rounding of the bottom edge of the extractor hook helped and the removal of material from the inside edge of the extractor pin finished solving the problem. I do not know if the striker replacement did anything to help with feeding ammunition and cannot see how it would. That was an addition to prevent further issues of another kind.

    At any rate, today I fired 50 rounds of Geco,Ficocchi, and any other trash ammo I could find today in testing my alterations and fixes to this little gun. It fed and fired every round with no issues except there was one misfire, once again Wolf primers from and old lot I had reloaded.

    Relatively speaking, I have not had to"fiddle" with this gun very much, simply polishing the feed ramp and sticking some Talon grips on it to make myself feel better. Rounding the extractor and removing a littlefrom the inside of the extractor pin, and then installing the Lakeline striker were not onerous chores. I do not count converting the magazines, as that was not necessary for reliability. It simply made the gun better for defensive purposes in that it added a round of ammo. The recoil spring was simply a maintenance issue. I have replaced recoil springs in Glock, Colt, and S&W handguns also.

    I believe wholeheartedly that this gun is worth the effort I put into making it uber reliable because of how well it handles and shoots. The accuracy, size, and the durability have endeared it to me. It also gives me pleasure to carry it knowing that if, and that is a big if, I find ammo that is not Federal, Remington, Hornady or Winchester. I can buy it knowing it will allow me to practice with my little cricket.

    So for now I am calling this problem solved. The only tests I have in mind now are some accuracy, velocity, and maybe some expansion tests of some reloads I would like to cook up. I will use this gun because it will tell the real story of how the ammunition will perform in the gun in which it will be carried. I will publish that info also if anyone is interested.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    13

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    Thank you for logging your journey. I know this site has become more and more quiet, but I wanted to respond to let you know there are people reading this. Your feedback and sharing is appreciated. I recently acquired a second had P380 that I have yet to fire. Always wanted one and cant find one new. Its circa 2012, and does not seem in bad shape. Hopefully I wont get too many issues and that someone else got to break it in nicely for me…

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    26

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    I also would like to appreciate your time sharing these valuable logs with us.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

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    Thank you for the kind replies and encouragement. When I complete the ballistics testing I will post it also.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    11,322

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    Thanks. Nice posts.

    With magazines, it has been my practice to take them apart and clean them completely then run a lightly oiled patch with my Tetra oil on it through the tube and finger oiling the springs with the Tetra oil.

    I take 600 grit(I believe) sandpaper to the lips and the follower, including passing over the retention hole inside and out a bit. I'm feeling for any burrs and making things a tad smoother, but the mags can be really gunky inside when new. I want the follower to fall freely from the top and out the bottom of the tube with no spring in place. The tube interior is pretty dry when I finish and doesn't attract lint.

    My pistols do accumulate lint and I vacuum them with the nozzle on the end of the vacuum hose... empty of mags and ammo, of course, then holding the nozzle over the top and the bottom at the magazine well. The sights, too. And the mags can accumulate dust, as well as the soft IWB/pocket holster that I use for my 2010 P380.

    My pistol usually starts not chambering fully after 50 or 60 rounds. I'll pop the barrel out and wipe down the feed ramp and continue on. If that really persists... not chambering fully but a small push gets it done, it might be time for new springs. Those springs probably make it the hardest to rack the slide. I bought one for my wife, but she couldn't rack any of my Kahrs. After trying the G19 gen' 3 and 4, she wound up with a G43 and some good standard pressure ammo... Federal Micro HST 150-grain JHP, 9mm.

    I switched from my +P Speer Gold Dots, Short Barrel, to that myself because the tests were much better with the Federal.

    I got the Lakeline striker kit, too, and a stainless steel guide rod. I was having a problem with rust on the rod and the springs and it seeming to migrate to the trigger pin and the slide lock spring. It got noticeable a few times and I knew that I had to change the rod, but the striker kit was precautionary... heard nothing but good things about that.

    I recently switched from Underwood +P Gold Dots at 1,200 fps to Hornady's 90-grain Critical Defense FTX ammo for defensive carry. I needed something easier to shoot and improve my deteriorating accuracy with the +P. The standard pressure loads are much better and seem to test well, with a favorable mention by Mas' Ayoob when he was asked about .380 ammo for defense.

    I use Sellier & Bellot 92-grain FMJ for my range ammo and have no problems with it. I've bought many cases of that at low prices in the past and still have over a case after reselling some years ago and shooting a bunch. I finally had a bit of luck and got 10 boxes of the CD from PSA a few months ago after only scoring good swaps on a few boxes at the gun show. I brought some of my FMJ to trade, as ALL .380 is hard to find and expensive.

    My other pistols are all black, but I still have my original P380 with the SS slide. I will have to watch the sights as they will need replacing someday, but still act as a night light at the head of my bed in its soft IWB Uncle Mike's holster. I think I'm on the third one of those. I have a G21 and extra mags at the head of the bed for normal deployment.

    My EDC is my Kahr P40 with a 4" ported barrel, carried in a CrossBreed MiniTuck Horse Hide holster, with a 7-round spare mag on the opposite side in a Kydex mag carrier. All are supported by my Looper Kydex-reinforced gun belt for a secure carry, but the P380 is my wear around the house full-time or on outings where I need max concealment. For doctors' visit, of which I have many, I carry the P380 in the soft holster on my belt until getting out of the car, then it can go in my pocket, or lately into my notebook case which has a zippered interior pocket. That way I don't get the extra pound when I weigh in.

    I guess I had better go catch the rest of The Five on FoxNews now.

    Take care.

    Wynn
    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: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

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

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

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    845

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    @wyntrout, I think you might do well to polish your chamber. I have put 150 rounds through a P380 and 200 through a CW380 with no chambering problems. The round count is only because that is all I shot out of them in a single range visit and I always clean when I get home. I did polish my chambers when new.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    11,322

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    I did... with my trusty Dremel-Like-Tool. I HAD to do the feed ramp after I started to alter it a bit with a diamond bit! It went into the ramp like a hot knife into butter. I had to work really hard to get that straightened out... sanding and polishing!
    Last edited by wyntrout; 07-07-2021 at 04:36 PM.
    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: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

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

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

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Here is a pic of my normal carry set up with this gun. Either IWB holster or pocket carry. The mag pouch works very well given how inexpensive they were.



  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

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    07/10/2021

    Itried some lead bullet handloads today. The gun fed and fired them with decent accuracy (4" groups) off hand at 20 yards.

    .380 ACP

    Lee Precision cast leadbullet

    .356 diameter 105 grain

    coated with Alox (these were very old. I powder coat bullets now)

    Crimp .372 / COL.953

    3.0 grains Titegroup powder

    WW cases

    CCI SPP

    These fired and functioned perfectly and were decently accurate.

    .380 ACP

    Unk maker 95 grain .356 leadbullets powder coated

    3.0 grains Titegroup powder

    Crimp .372 / COL .935

    CCI SPP

    WW cases

    I easily hit 8" plates with this load at 15 yards

    I also loaded some defensive loads with the Hornady 95 grain XTP bullet. I will chronograph these and report back. The lead bullet and hardball practice loads aren't a concern as long as they function and are accurate.

    Another 25 rounds downrange from the cricket.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default

    07/20/2021

    While attending a conference in a southern coastal city I carried the little Kahr in my pocket for the entire time. I carried the extra magazine with the Magguts kit installed, giving me 15 roundsof .380 ammo available. The weather was very hot and dress was either business casual or shorts and a t-shirt. It was nice having such a firearm that did not print or stand out to the crowd. This was important both while in the conference hall (very discreet) and wandering around the large city's streets.
    It was very comforting being able to walk with my hand in my pocket while walking back to my room late one night after having to park several blocks from the hotel. There are some strange street folks out at night in that coastal town.

    I started working out scenarios in my head (that were specific to my location) as I walked and realized that any issues I might have would have been measured in very few feet (10 to 15 feet) at most and in the dark. The lighting was dim and while I think I could have made out the white dots on my factory sights it would probably have been a point and shoot situation.

    This little gun does point very well when I have trained for such close range situations, which is one of the reasons I am so fond of it. However, I think I may look for a set of night sights to add to this gun. My other defensive handguns have them, so why not add them to the cricket.

    We live in strange times and planning for situations in your head while you are out and about is a good exercise. Your response changes depending on a multitude of factors. Carry everywhere you can and train as much as you can.
    Last edited by JakeGa; 07-23-2021 at 06:50 AM.

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