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Old October 27, 2012, 10:14 PM   #1
plouffedaddy
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Kahr CM9 Review



Single stack, lightweight, pocketable 9mm guns seem to be the hot selling guns this year as concealed carry continues to becomes increasing popular. I've owned the Karh CM9 since mid 2011 and here's what I've found...

Pros:
-100% reliable through over 800 rounds of all types
-Cost. The gun can be had for under $400 most places
-Trigger. It's very smooth and breaks crisply
-Size. The gun is 'pocketable' in most outfits (5.42'' long, 4'' high, 0.9'' wide)
-Uses the proven 'Browning type' recoil lug
-Easy disassembly/maintenance/reassembly
-7 round mags are available (flush 6 rounder comes from factory)
-Lots of holster options available
-I like 'straight-8' type sights for fast close range defensive shooting
-Lightweight. Only weighs 14oz empty

Cons:
-The gun moved around a little under rapid fire when hands are wet (re: sweaty). I fixed this with the Talon grips however
-The gun doesn't feel as 'solid' as the Shield or PPS. That said, it's never failed so I can't say it impacts performance
-The trigger reset is too long in my opinion
-Only comes with one magazine
-Kahr recommends (as do I based on experience) that you use the slide release to reload the gun. I've found rounds can hang up if you try slingshotting it. Since I typically use the slingshot method, this required a conscious thought on my part at first
-All small/pocket guns are more difficult to shoot well vs. larger firearms so it's certainly not a gun you're going to win many competitions with

Below is a video of me shooting the gun on some steel, a demonstration of disassembly/reassembly, a side by side size comparison with the Shield, Glock 26, and the Bodyguard 380:

KAHR CM9 HD VIDEO REVIEW LINK

All in all, if you're looking for a pocket 9mm at a reasonable price, the CM9 should be on your list of contenders. It's reliable and (for its' size) is a very shootable gun. It seems to have gotten past the reliability issues that were reported when it first came out.

Chrono numbers:

Winchester Ranger 115gr JHP: 968fps, 239 ft/lbs energy
Federal HST 124gr JHP: 1014 fps, 283 ft/lbs energy
Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP: 1053, 305 ft/lbs energy
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Old October 28, 2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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Nice review here. I'll look at the video when I have a bit more time. I have been very pleased with my CM9.
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Old October 29, 2012, 07:31 AM   #3
vba
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I like my CM9 for summer pocket carry. Thank you for the review!
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Old October 29, 2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Nice review. Considered this a my first pistol for a while, decided I wanted something a little bigger to shoot first. Contemplating the CW9 or saving up extra and getting a PPS.
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Old October 29, 2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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The CM9 is an excellent pistol in my experience. I picked mine up brand-new on sale for $327 out-the-door. It's some of the best gun money I've ever spent. I considered a Walther PPS for a long time (and still would like to pick one up one day), but for that price, the CM9 was a no-brainer.

It's been 100% reliable out-of-the-box with no break-in period needed. The CM9 is also a surprisingly soft shooter for such a small package. I can detect no discernable difference in felt recoil between the CM9 and my father's MK9 (which is the same basic design with a steel frame). It's also surprisingly well-finished (inside and out) for such an inexpensive firearm.

Also, I've found the Kahr recommendation to use the slide release to reload the gun to be a non-issue. I've never had mine fail to feed when sling-shotting. Even if it that weren't the case, would not find the slide release requirement to be a big issue. If you are carrying a pistol as small as the CM9, you are probably not carrying a bunch of extra mags for speed reloads anyway. It's not a fighting pistol - it's a last-ditch defensive weapon to get you out of trouble.

The one big strike I have against the CM9 (and this actually applies to the PM9 and MK9 as well) is the terrible quality of the 7-round magazines. The plastic baseplate is incredibly flimsy, and I've had one explode on me when loading in the gun (and I don't slap in magazines). Stick to the excellent little 6-rounders.

Quote:
if you like the CM9,youll love the PM9......
I wouldn't love dropping an extra $300 for what is basically the same gun!
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Old October 29, 2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
I wouldn't love dropping an extra $300 for what is basically the same gun!
Ditto. That's a lot of ammo
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Old October 29, 2012, 07:18 PM   #7
Seven High
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I suggest that you examine the magazines frequently for your CM9. A problem has surfaced recently where part of the plastic follower is breaking off. I have not read anywhere that the broken follower piece has caused reliability problems,but the follower should be replaced.
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Old October 29, 2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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If you have a Kahr that works 100%, by all means hang on to it. I have had heartbreak with mine, but they sure were nice to shoot.
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:14 AM   #9
Mr. Tettnanger
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Excellent review! Subscribed!

I have a CM9 and love it! My only "problem" with it is that I am not a huge fan of pocket carry. It works well in the pocket, I just don't like that kind of bulk in a pocket. I then think why carry IWB if I can carry something bigger with more capacity IWB just as easy?

Not a dilemma really, just something I think about. The CM9 has been very reliable and accurate so far for me!
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:56 AM   #10
coonbait
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i just got one and shot it for the first time yesterday and was very impressed with it, only 2 misshaps out of 75 rounds and they happen with in the first 18 rounds, after that every thing went fine. i was really happy with the accurcy with a few groups comming in under 3'' at 12yds. off hand. yes it is a little bulky in the pocket but i like it better than the 380acp i used to carry.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Very nice review. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.
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Old November 11, 2012, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
if you like the CM9,youll love the PM9......
+1

Quote:
I wouldn't love dropping an extra $300 for what is basically the same gun!
In this case "basically" is a big difference. The CM9 is not the same as the PM9.
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Old November 11, 2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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The PM9 is basically an Acura TSX and the CW9 is a Honda Civic. Same basic cars built by the same company on the same platform and will do the same job equally well in almost any and every situation you will ever face. The difference is in the aesthetic shapes (I actually prefer the cleaner look of the CM9 slide profile) and some bells and whistles like the polygonal barrel and machined slide stop. People can choose to buy whichever they choose and get a good gun but the PM9 will do nothing more for its owners then separate them from a few hundred extra dollars so they can feel like they have the premium version. there's nothing wrong with choosing to buy either.
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:01 PM   #14
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Thanks for the kind words gentlemen.

Jedi--good summary and I concur.
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:15 PM   #15
2weelz4me
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my kahr p380 jams like crazy

Least reliable gun I own. way past break in. gonna try about another hundred rounds through it and then send it back. FTF after maybe 24 shots on avg. not to mention polymer frame shows serious wear after maybe 400 rounds. called Kahr and they said this sounds normal to them. My new Glock 26 is far superior in every aspect. really unhappy with Kahr at this point.
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #16
Jim Watson
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I shot a friend's PM9 and concluded that it was more gun than I wanted in a pocket. So for a light holster gun, I bought a CW9. I am going to give it the 200 shot breakin, but it has been reliable with all three factory loads tried over the first hundred. A couple of my handloads were not compatible but that's ok. I can run off a supply of factory equivalents or just buy WWB for practice.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:55 AM   #17
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Good review. Thanks for sharing. tom.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:44 AM   #18
Fishbed77
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Quote:
In this case "basically" is a big difference. The CM9 is not the same as the PM9.
But it's not $300 different. To each his own, though. Both are great guns.

Last edited by Fishbed77; November 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:57 AM   #19
JMC
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To me it worth the extra $'s for the PM9.

I have the all black PM9094NA w/nite sights. You can't get an all black CM9.

I prefer the dovetail FS on my PM9 to that of the screwed on FS of the CM9. The dovetail sight will never fall off like so many stories of CM9 front sights.

When I bought my PM9, the CM wasn't even out yet. If it had been...I would have still gone with the PM9.


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Old November 19, 2012, 11:35 AM   #20
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I'd probably choose the PM9 if it had a grip molded such that the magazine didn't look like a poorly-fitted aftermarket accessory hanging out of the bottom of the gun.
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:17 PM   #21
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Some people just can't be pleased and have issues with the smallest details i guess.


Jim watson Give your cw9 a couple hundred rounds fired and you may find those low powered reloads will run fine. Just have to softin up that heavy recoil spring.


2weelz4me How reliable these or many other small lite weight pistol are can be effected buy handgun prep on the owners part, ammo used and skills of the shooter. Get any of these wrong and its the guns fault ,right. Note that the plastic wear you see does not matter. really!!! Those plastic rails are there to add assembly and help keep dirt out. Cut the excess off it won't matter. the slide runs on the two rails at the rear and the two rails down in the front next to where the recoil spring resides. But by know you know that.

These pistols when new , cleaned and well lubed held firmly and useing a better quality ammo or heavier bullet weights break in very easily. And WWB may not be the ammo to use . I bought my first kahr from a guy like you, great pistol. Don't like it sell it be thankfull you did not buy one of the bad glocks that are part of the gen 4 upgrades or you may just fell apart over it ,hehe.


Plouffedaddy good review on your pistol.

I have been luck to buy 3 different small light weight problem handguns of different makes from unhappy owners and all ran great with nothing to do but treat them right and feed them well.
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Old November 19, 2012, 03:04 PM   #22
JMC
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Quote:
I'd probably choose the PM9 if it had a grip molded such that the magazine didn't look like a poorly-fitted aftermarket accessory hanging out of the bottom of the gun.
That fact doesn't bother me and it does not affect the function of the pistol at all.

Maybe the standard mag looks a little better?

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Old November 19, 2012, 03:10 PM   #23
ScotchMan
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No, the standard mag was what I was referring to. Its a very minor complaint, but if there was a difference here with the PM9, it might matter to me. It won't stop me from getting a CM9 some day, probably. Still waiting for a Bodyguard 9mm or some other choice. From my research, the Kahr is the only game in town with any kind of reliability and decent shootability.
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Old November 19, 2012, 03:11 PM   #24
Fishbed77
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Quote:
The slide runs on the two rails at the rear and the two rails down in the front next to where the recoil spring resides. But by know you know that.
Yeah - I always wonder why some people complain that the Kahr PM9/CM9 slides run on polymer rails, when they clearly do not. They are steel in front and back.

The steel front rails are not in the traditional location, but they are steel nonetheless.

Last edited by Fishbed77; November 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:34 PM   #25
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Hmmm . . . I don't know why but i keep coming back to this thread and reading it . . . enjoyed the review. The more I'm looking at this Kahr . . . the more I'm getting the "itch" to try one . . . . I must be a gun addict?
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