Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Out With A Bang

This is my promised Kahr Arms CW9 review, which will also be my final article until I return from Afghanistan. The good news is that I'll be leaving on a high note.

My friend James and I argued a lot over my carrying a S&W 442. I loved my 442 because it was so small and light that it wasn't a pain to carry. I could easily conceal it under just a t-shirt in an IWB holster. James's counterpoint was that I only had five rounds of rather anemic .38+p on board and that it takes an eternity to light off the second shot because of muzzle rise. Then one day I went to a local big-box gun dealer and saw a Kahr CW9 in the gun case and just out of curiosity, I asked to see it. It was very small and very light. Strikingly light. Then I pulled the trigger and fell in love. It had the same long, smooth pull as my 442, but several pounds lighter. Add in that the CW9 has a 7 round magazine (8 with one in the pipe), and it didn't take long for me to make the trade.

As of this writing, I have about 350 rounds through the CW9 with no failures of any kind. It has been a fantastic carry piece, and I love it. The only hitch has been that one of the extra mags I bought (Kahr brand, not some cheap knockoff like Pro Mag) does not drop free. That's fine because I have two mags that do drop free and when I carry an autoloader, I typically only carry one extra magazine.

On to business, the first time I took the CW out, I practiced from 10 yards on a steel plate rack. I dropped one shot on the very first magazine I fired, but then went on to hit every time, and only missed when I rushed a shot. The gun is accurate. Sometimes I needed to adjust the nut behind the trigger though. I can draw from concealment and fire a volley of three or four and keep them all inside 4" from 10-15 yards. It handles fast too. There's some muzzle flip, but very little felt recoil. My M&P9c might be a bit quicker, but doesn't carry as nice. Oh, and I put about 50 rounds of Hornady XTP 124gr JHP through it without a hitch. I will feed it some 147gr Winchester Ranger STX tomorrow and see what happens. I'm guessing it will continue to be as reliable as an anvil.

On that note, I've been carrying my CW9 since I put the Kahr-recommended 200 rounds of "break-in" through it. It carries just as easily as my 442, if not a little easier. My shirt was forever being caught on the rubber grip of my 442 as I got in and out of cars or stood up out of chairs. The hard plastic grip of the CW doesn't do that, and it is easier to hide because it doesn't have that lump in the middle where the cylinder goes.

I will probably go back to the M&P for winter carry just because I get four more rounds in each magazine, but the CW is much thinner. The CW has a longer grip that accommodates my whole hand, but is about half an inch shorter down the slide. For a skinny kid, the CW makes more sense, and is really easy to put in the waistband every day. And that's what you want--a gun that you won't leave at home or in the glovebox because it's a pain to carry.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the CW. I would absolutely recommend it, especially given its very low sticker price. Mine was marked $440, but I got nearly $300 in trade from my 442. If you shop around, you can probably find one for around $400. Maybe less. Mags are a little pricey, especially since they only hold 7 rounds (8rd mags are available, but stick out under the grip).

I'm looking forward to shooting this thing a few more times before I strip it down for long term storage. Best of luck to my meager audience over the next year. Plan on seeing an owner's review of the 2011 Mustang GT when I get back.



Huey148 said...

Godspeed and good luck in the 'Stan...keep your kpot over your boot tops...or whatever they call helmets these days...

Anonymous said...

Hey Houghton, this is Becker. Give me a call oemtime, I lost your cell. late, K

ezrablu said...

good review, thx

Becket Saunders said...

Great review. Thorough.

Kahr is the hardware of choice at my home. The PM40, w/Tritium sights, .40 S&W is always either in my boot or pocket. The CW40 is in our personal vehicles, our pockets & purses, & several drawers at home. I have used the larger CW40 twice, for concealed carry renewal in Texas. Many hundreds of rounds of all flavors in Kahrs-never a stovepipe, failed to chamber, or miss-fire. My wife has a variety of Kahr's, but her night time tool is a well lighted, laser sighted H&K USP Compact, .40 S&W.

redleg said...

Good write-up on the Kahr. Fired a couple and they do nicely. Don't know if I'd drop the 442. With a pocket holster it fits nicely in the front pocket.

But, you can't go wrong with the Kahr.