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Old September 1, 2012, 11:15 PM   #1
Rifleman1952
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Kahr FTF Issues

I purchased a Kahr CW 45 this past April with high expectations of a quality firearm at an economical price point. My initial impressions of the CW 45 were quite good. I put 200 rounds of ammo through the CW 45, as recommended for the break-in period by the manufacturer. The CW 45 worked flawlessly during that initial period. After 200 rounds of successful firing with Winchester and Federal FMJ ammo I decided to try some Hornady 185 grain .45 from their Critical Defense line of personal defense ammo. I’ve had very good luck with Hornady ammo in the past with pistols and rifles. The very first round of Hornady I attempted to chamber at the range jammed the slide on the frame about ¼ of an inch from where it should end up in the full forward position. The jam was so tight that the slide would not move in either direction. I have been shooting for a long time and had never experienced a jam like that in any firearm I have ever owned. I contacted Kahr’s customer service and they advised me to take the pistol to a gunsmith to clear the jam. The jam was cleared by the gunsmith. I contacted Kahr again and was told I could send the gun to them at my expense to see if there is a problem with their pistol. I also contacted Hornady and they offered to pay for UPS to pick up my two boxes of Hornady ammo from my home and have it shipped to them. After about one week a Hornady rep called me and advised that the rounds I sent were “in spec” and the problem was not with their ammo. Even though Hornady was not at fault they offered to replace the ammo in any caliber I wanted and had it shipped to me at their expense. When I informed Kahr customer service about my conversations with Hornady, Kahr pointed the finger right back at Hornady and said the problem is with the ammo and not with the Kahr. They again offered to look at the pistol, but at my expense.

I decided I would keep the Kahr and just avoid using the Hornady .45 ammo in it. I know that some guns just don’t “like” certain ammo. Then, after about another 150 rounds at the range, my Kahr CW 45 started failing to pick up rounds off the magazine when loading. In the Kahr owners manual it states that the only way to load a Kahr, is to lock the slide back in the full rearward position; insert a loaded magazine; release the slide stop lever; and a round will be chambered. Any other manner of attempting to chamber a round (“sling shot” etc.) does not consistently extract a round off the magazine into the chamber. Even by following Kahr’s prescribed method for chambering a round, I was still having problems. At this point I have come to the conclusion that the Kahr CW 45 is not reliable enough for concealed carry. Perhaps I just got a lemon but I did not find Kahr’s customer service helpful. I traded the CW 45 yesterday on a Springfield Armory XD 45. The XD will be a good house or nightstand gun and I’ll have more fun at the range with it. I’ll go back to my trusty Smith & Wesson .38 Special for concealed carry. I won't be buying another Kahr. One bad experience is enough for me.
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Old September 1, 2012, 11:37 PM   #2
doingMach1
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I don't own a Kahr....but I know three others who do, and have been to the range with each of them. EVERY time I have been to the range with them, they have had 'multiple' jams in their Kahr pistols. One of them has a PM9, and the other two have the .380 version. Every time! Not once have they made it through a box of 50 rounds without multiple jams!

I have a Glock .40, the second Glock I have owned....also used to own a Taurus PT45, and a Taurus PT92....and a Bushmaster AR15.....thousands of rounds through them....all different types and brands of ammo....NEVER a jam!

I do NOT consider the Kahr brand a reliable self-defense weapon, and I don't see any other use for them. I will NOT buy Kahr!
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Old September 2, 2012, 01:33 AM   #3
Shadi Khalil
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This is the first time I've heard of someone sending the ammo back after having problems with a new pistol. Have you tried any other JHP's in it?
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Old September 2, 2012, 06:31 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear of your troubles regarding your Kahr. Buying an low priced gun to save some money can often end up costing much more in the long run. As a former Taurus owner, I'd have saved a lot of money had I just bought the S&W I really wanted instead of buying the Taurus because it was cheaper. It was a valuable, and expensive lesson learned.

Anyway, congrats on the XD. Nice guns and if you do have problems, Springfield has great customer service.
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Last edited by Kreyzhorse; September 2, 2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old September 2, 2012, 07:07 AM   #5
Rifleman1952
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Kahr FTF Issues

Shadi: The Kahr did fire Winchester hollow points, but was not picking up rounds off the magazine consistently when loading. If the Kahr chambered the first round, it would successfully fire and chamber until the magazine was empty. The problem starts after inserting a fresh magazine into the mag well. That is when it becomes a hit and miss proposition. That would be a bad situation to be in if one had to do a reload in a self-defense event.

Krezy: I learned my lesson the hard way too. I took a real beating on the trade-in, but I had such bad feelings about my CW 45 that day, I had to be done with it. It's like the old saying goes "you get what you pay for." Each semi-auto I have owned in the past had metal guide rails. The CW 45 does not have metal guide rails. The slide simply rides on the plastic rails of the polymer frame. That should have been my first warning signal. Live and learn.
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Old September 2, 2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
The problem starts after inserting a fresh magazine into the mag well. That is when it becomes a hit and miss proposition. That would be a bad situation to be in if one had to do a reload in a self-defense event.
What, if anything was different from the first magazine to the reload? I'm not quite understanding why one is different from the other, or am I misunderstanding the above quote?
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Old September 2, 2012, 05:13 PM   #7
Rifleman1952
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Sorry for not explaining better. The issue might occur on the first try or after several mags had been fired. The sequence would go like this:

1 Fire mag until empty.
2 The slide locks back in the most reward position after the last round is fired.
3 Remove the spent mag and insert a new loaded mag.
4 Release the slide stop lever, the slide moves forward but does not pick up or chamber a round.
5 Remove loaded mag, retract and lock slide.
6 Inspect & reinsert same or different loaded magazine.
7 Release slide stop lever and a round still is not picked up by the slide into the chamber.

After the third or fourth try a round may or may not finally be chambered. This may be OK for plinking but certainly is not unacceptable for self-defense applications.
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Old September 2, 2012, 05:27 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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Since you already disposed of the Kahr, it's too late, but possibly the magazines were dirty.
Common reasons for a failure to pick up a round from the mag is a dirty magazine or a damaged magazine catch that's letting the magazine sit lower in the frame.

Did you clean the mags?
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Old September 2, 2012, 09:40 PM   #9
Shadi Khalil
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I didn't mean any disrespect by my comment, just thought it was interesting.
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Old September 2, 2012, 11:59 PM   #10
chris in va
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FWIW the rental CW 45 i tried did the same thing. That's ok, didn't care for the recoil anyway.
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:31 AM   #11
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
Krezy: I learned my lesson the hard way too. I took a real beating on the trade-in, but I had such bad feelings about my CW 45 that day, I had to be done with it. It's like the old saying goes "you get what you pay for.".
Sounds like my experience with my Taurus exactly. I was bitter, really at myself more so than Taurus and it was a mistake that I will not make again.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:22 AM   #12
Rifleman1952
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dfariswheel: Yes, I cleaned the magazines after first experiencing the problem and consistently after each visit to the range. As you suggested, that seemed to be a logical place to begin, but the problem persisted even with freshly cleaned mags.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:42 AM   #13
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I've got a first gen Kahr K9 and it is finicky with reloads but will eat any factory ammo I feed it. The finickiness comes about because of COL and once I figured out the "correct" COL it feeds and fires reliably. I suspect this old K9 is probably heavier than your new CW45 though. The ogive on that Hornady CD ammo is pretty much a flat angle and from the first FTF jam you had it sounds like it just didn't make the transition up the ramp and into the throat. This could be corrected by throating and polishing.

I have enough confidence in the Kahr to use it for summertime carry (carry a larger pistol in the cooler months). My wife also likes to carry it and I trust it for her.

I wonder if the issues are with the polymer frame stretching or distorting with use. As was mentioned above if the mag catch opens up just a little bit and the mag gets sloppy in the well that'd do it. If this is the case, I would not be surprised that Kahr is reticent to acknowledge it. A model-wide defect can be devastating to a company.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:02 PM   #14
smokehouse4444
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I puchased the Kahr CW9 for my wife several years ago to get her CHL. It had the "usual" Kahr problems. FTE, FTF. Quite a bit. I kept firing it, and eventually it started shooting very smoothly and I didn't have a bit of problem with it after about 500rds. She never warmed up to it, though, so I ended up buying her a Ruger SP101 357mag with laser grips that she loves. I ended up exchanging the CW9 for the CM9, and wow...what a difference. I have never had the least bit of trouble with it, and it has shot smooth as butter from the 1st time out of the box.

That customer service thing would have soured me as well. I cannot stand companies that try to give you a runaround. Customer service is everything to me. I was going to have the SIG SRT installed on my old P220. The parts just came in, but I am going to let them go to the next person waiting on the list. When I originally talked to the gunsmith that was going to do the work on it, he was such a Jack@#s that by the time I was home I had decided I wouldn't be spending my money there.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:14 PM   #15
whippoorwill
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Kahr pistols are generally considered to be good quality, reliable firearms. Mine has been problem-free so far.

By the way, this thread isn't about Taurus, so no real need to mention them other than to gripe. Every manufacturer has lemons.
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:16 PM   #16
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I've fired 2,050 rounds through a CW-40. Every conceivable type of ammo including lead bullet handloads, hundreds of handloaded ammo and hundreds more of factory ammo of all bullet weights. Never once in all that shooting has my Kahr ever failed. I suspect your gun must have a defect somewhere.
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:44 PM   #17
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I suspect your gun must have a defect somewhere.
Probably so. In which case, Kahr should have addressed the "defect" at their expense. They didn't. Lesson learned (at least by the op).
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:47 PM   #18
federali
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Kahrs are not Saturday Night Specials

Any gun can have problems. I currently own a Kahr P9 and I too noticed that the magazines are especially sensitive to grit and dirt. I discovered that when I cleared a magazine by hand and the follower stuck about two or three rounds down. Give the gun a thorough cleaning and try it again.

Maybe ten years ago, Kahr had a recall on their shortened 9mms because of reliability issues. It was the all steel model. Don't remember the number.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:52 PM   #19
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I am surprised at the response given by Kahr. I bought a CW45 that had issues at the range with the slide lock lever coming loose. I e-mailed their CS, and received an e-mail back within a day or two. The next day a replacement spring (that holds the lever in place) was shipped out. It was only about a week total, from when I mentioned the problem, to when I was back at the range shooting again. I have yet to have another problem with the CW45.
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:53 PM   #20
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I too am surprised at Kahr's response; perhaps the OP could have been more insistent.

I have an early PM9 that had the infamous barrel peening issue. I talked to the service rep at Kahr. Her name was Dottie, and she was familiar with the problem. She asked me to send in the pistol at my expense.

I asked her if I could just send the "top half"--slide assembly, barrel and recoil spring assembly. She was fine with that. Within two weeks I had a complete, brand new top half. It worked great from round one and continues to work fine to this day. I carried it every day for 3 1/2 years, before switching to a Kahr P45. That one worked perfectly from round one, and I still have it as well. I will say that it is not all that crazy about my lead handloads, but works fine with any factory ammo, JHP or FMJ.

More recently I bought a PM45. It too worked well with almost all ammo, but did not like Remington Green Box JHPs. It was also not as small as I thought (about halfway between the PM9 and the P45). I sold it to a friend who loves and carries it.
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Old September 4, 2012, 08:24 PM   #21
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The only problem I had with my Kahr CW45 was the free 7 round extended magazine (from last year's promotion). Dang thing consistently wouldn't feed the second round of whatever ammo was loaded.

The original 6 round mag has worked perfectly with no problems through 250+ rounds, so I love this little pistol. The recoil is milder than my full size Springer 1911.

IMO, CW45s are an excellent value & very well made.
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Old September 4, 2012, 11:48 PM   #22
rburch
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Quote:
I traded the CW 45 yesterday on a Springfield Armory XD 45.
Please tell me you explained to the shop you traded it to what the gun was doing, and didn't just dump a defective gun off on the next unsuspecting buyer.
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Old September 5, 2012, 05:35 AM   #23
Rifleman1952
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rburch: Yes and like I said, I took a real beating on the trade-in.
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Old September 5, 2012, 06:19 AM   #24
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Consider it a mixed blessing that Kahr did not service your gun. I got a MK9 because I thought that the size could not be beat. Thing never worked right, trip back to Kahr thanks to the shop I got it from did not fix or improve anything at all and the gun was returned to me filthy, still with a visibly buggered grip screw that had come from the factory that way and had been requested to be replaced on the return.

I too found Kahr's customer service to be less than useful, insisting that more shooting would fix their gun, or more lube, or less lube etc. I REFUSE to even consider any gun maker that has "break in" hog wash codified in their manual. Sure you bet I am going to shoot the snot out of any new gun and throw a few hundred of carry ammo down the tube if it's a carry gun but I expect it to WORK out of the box, not FTF every magazine. The makers that have that "break in" crud seem to hide behind it and use it as an excuse for their INABILITY to produce a reliable gun out of the box. I will admit that a gun "breaks in" as any mechanical devise will but this should make a working gun work better / smoother, not work period. No one would accept a new car that thuded and shuttered the automatic transmission shifts as simply "needing break in" and guns should be the same.

I too took a beating in the trade in but never looked back.

I know some of their guns do ok / make their owners happy but really and truly there are also a lot that have issues and those that do seem to not get resolved quickly. Furthermore I have been decidedly unimpressed with the quality of the machine work I see on Kahr guns, even the MK that I had had cuts in the frame that were clearly done with a dull cutter or wrong feed / speed for stainless. This should not happen and if it does the product should not leave the factory.

Personally I think as with some other makers, AMT comes to mind, Kahr has some decent ideas, poorly designed and executed.
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Old September 5, 2012, 11:46 AM   #25
sliverflinger
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CW45 problems

I too had problems with a new CW45. When I first tried it, it wouldn't chamber my handloads or Winchester white box. A lee factory crimp die cured that. Then it started not picking up the rounds properly. Colt or Kimber officers model mags cured this .Before everyone jumps it ,let me say that this is a far from ideal solution , but it was fun to work out. I'm an old retired miner,with more replacement parts than a Havana taxi.
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