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Thread: New Kahr P380 w/Tritium night sights: my review

  1. #1
    maximize_me Guest

    Smile New Kahr P380 w/Tritium night sights: my review

    Hi all, from Dallas-TX. I'm fairly new to guns, and my only other gun is a like-new Taurus 24/7 Pro 9mm for home defense.

    After 4wks & countless hours of extensively scouring internet forums for CCW weapon reviews, range reports, gun/size/caliber/brand comparisons, I finally took the plunge and splurged with my top choice - a new Kahr P380 with factory-installed Tritium (Trijicon) night sights.

    My gun serial number is RBXXXX. I have found others posts about their guns being serial # RAXXXX, but had not yet seen anyone to date post with an RB (vs RA) number, so I believe my piece must be very new. It is a two-tone (nickel slide) P380. I got a pretty good deal from the local gun range shop for a total discounted price of $679 - discounted because I also bought a cheap annual membership to the range for discounted range fees.

    I won't do a detailed range report or detailed review of all aspects of the gun; rather, just the things that stood out for me, from my first use of the gun today.

    When I bought the gun, my initial impression was that it felt VERY light (MUCH lighter and smaller than the Kahr PM9 - so much so that I found it definitely worth getting the P380 over the PM9 - since weight/ concealment was a higher priority for me than caliber size)

    I also was sold on the gun after a lengthy discussion with the range officer/CHL instructor, who also has the P380 and ranted & raved about it, and attested to its flawless operation and service as his only CCW.

    I shot two boxes (100 rounds) of Winchester .380 95gr range ammo with the P380 today.

    First impression was that the .380 is not a pipsqueak slap-on-the-wrist type round. In spite of the naysayers who tried to dissuade me from getting a .380 pistol (to instead opt for a larger caliber for CCW), I'm very happy that I stayed true to my initial desire to get a .380 / super compact pistol. It would be no picnic to get hit with a .380 round, that's for sure. This was my impression after my firing several range ammo rounds (for the first time). It packs plenty of punch and "pow factor" to suit my needs just fine.

    Before going to the range, I took apart the pistol and thoroughly cleaned & lubed it - it was very easy to strip, clean, lube and put back together. All under 10mins, for the 1st time field stripping of this pistol.

    At the range, the gun was extremely easy to hold, acquire a sight, and extremely accurate. It was very easy on my hands (I have smaller hands), and left very little impression on my right hand after shooting 100 rounds. It is an extremely pleasant shooter, with very little/manageable recoil. I could easily have put a few more boxes of ammo through it with no hand fatigue.

    At the end of every empty magazine, the gun always locked the slide back. It was extremely easy and fuss-free to thumb-flick the slide-release lever to chamber the 1st round, upon inserting a full magazine.

    About 5 times out of the 100 rounds fired, I had the slide not go all the way forward after firing a round. It stayed back about 1/8th of an inch. This did not seem to cause any performance issue as it always fed/fired the next round. The range officer advised to casually be aware of it - and if it happens, just thumb the slide all the way forward before shooting.

    The trigger is so perfect - it has just the right amount of weight to it to inspire confidence that it won't accidentally discharge. And the pistol has a long trigger pull - something to get used to, but also gives you pause every time you squeeze the trigger - as if to ensure that you are really are certain and intentional in firing the weapon.

    I had 1 failure to feed ("FTF") - where the action/breech stayed open - after the 3rd round fired from the new pistol. It took a simple tap/rack/bang motion to fire the next round. In the 2 boxes of range ammo I've gone through so far, I had a grand total of 3 FTFs. This is a remarkably low number of failures for a gun that has a Kahr-recommended breakin of 200 rounds before it's 100% reliable. 3 FTFs surely exceeded my expectations. After about 80 rounds, I had no FTFs at all. I do plan on going through the 200 rounds total, before completely trusting/relying on it as my full-time CCW.

    I was quickly and consistently able to get 2-3" groupings at the 3 and 7yd range distance.

    From the reviews I read online before purchasing the gun, I'd heard of people having a lot more than 3 FTFs in their breakin period. This simply was not an issue for me. I had lowered expectations from the many issues I'd found in my research on the P380 from various internet sites - glocktalk, youtube reviews, etc.

    Aside from the few FTFs, the gun (practically always) fired no matter how I held it - limp wrist, "gangsta" grip*, one-hand, two-hand, etc. (*just to test not holding it correctly: I'm not advocating improper use)

    I had no FTEs or other malfunctions aside from the FTFs mentioned above.

    Bottom line, when you pull the trigger, it will go bang. I very STRONGLY recommend the Tritium night sights – even at the range (daytime) it greatly aids in very quickly acquiring a sight and accurate aim.

    This pistol really felt and stayed true to its reputation as the Rolls Royce of micro/compact CCW suitable pistols. The only con I can think of is the mid to high price point.

    For an extremely pleasant, accurate, easy to shoot, reliable gun you could "trust your life with, if it depended on it" - you cannot go wrong with the Kahr P380.

    It has exceeded my expectations, and I will be treasuring this piece and exercising it a lot at the range over the next several months. Feel free to comment or ask any questions. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Texas
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    341

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    Welcome to Kahrtalk from Houston. Great first post. Post pics of your new Kahr and a target if you can. We love pics. Dusty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    130

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    and the nice thing is that this gun will even smooth out more with more rounds down range.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    20

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    first of all, my negative, a 9mm for home defense? I would go with a 20 gauge, large bird shot, wide open choke, MINIMUM. Other than that, welcome to the Wall, great post and hope to see some pics of that Kahr.

  5. #5
    maximize_me Guest

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    @dusty10: Thanks for the welcome! I was unable to take pictures of the target b/c the range I shot at has a no cameras/pictures/cell phone policy Ė Iíll have to find a range at some point where I can take pictures to post. Iíve attached pictures with this reply.

    @jocko: Thatís good to know, Iíd be plenty satisfied if the gun stayed at least as functional/smooth as it is now. to know that it gets ďeven betterĒ is exciting!

    @ 1911fanatic: I totally hear ya, on the 9mm being too puny for home defense...Iím just getting started with my gun hobby/passion, one day Iíll have one in every caliber. Actually, next on my wishlist is the Viridian X5L green laser that I was going to mount on my Taurus 24/7 9mm at home. Question is, which might be more effective as a deterrent Ė since the cost might be about the same for the Viridian vs. getting a 12ga or 20ga shotgun. Decisions, decisions!

    In the pictures Iíve attached, you can see just how smooth, efficient and helpful the tritium night sights are, on the P380. Iíve taken a few different angles from my iphone, hope itís informative. Even in any manipulation of the piece, the P380 exudes extremely high quality and a solid/superior fit & finish/ attention to detail in manufacturing. The only nit is having to snip off the tiny little polymer strands here and there, but really no biggie.

    If anyone reads this thread and is inspired to either go shoot a P380 or purchase, please post Ė itíd be nice to know this was influential in your decision! I wanted to post my positive review b/c sometimes only people who are experiencing issues go through the effort to postÖ Thanks!
















  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Wet & Wild Pacific NW
    Posts
    31,282

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    Really nice pictures. Your phone does a better job than my camera. Might be some operator error on my part. Technology challenged is an understatement with me.
    Glad that thing is working so well for you. Like Jocko said, it will only get better.
    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."

  7. #7

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    good stuff! I had alot of problems with my P380 in the beginning, but once I got the issue fixed, it's actually one of my favorite pistols to shoo! I really enjoy shooting the little thing... in fact I'm itching to go shoot it, so I might do that tomrrow

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