The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 11, 2010, 10:27 PM   #1
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
Kahr PM9 KaBOOM and AWESOME Customer Service

-- The Purchase --

I debated on whether or not to even post this as some people will likely skim through and see pics of a failed PM9 without reading the content, and thus make a snap judgment that "Kahr sucks" etc. etc. My intent here is to absolutely show the exact opposite so I hope if you clicked the topic you also choose to read it through.

I own a Glock 39 for daily conceal/carry due to my work's location and the threat of crime being that it's a an automotive repair shop. My wife works near by in the same crappy part of town. We went on the hunt for a pistol for her and had decided on the Kel-Tec PF-9 due to it's great entry price of $320.00 or so out the door that we were quoted.

We looked at the Kahr Arms PM9 and really liked it, but we could not justify the $620.00 price tag (about twice the Kel-Tec) for it when ultimately it would be fired little, carried a lot.

...that was until we found a brand new PM9 at a local store for the mis-marked price of $465.00. It was labeled as a CW9 which explains the price. I gave the guy at the store 4-5 chances to double check the price, and he kept telling me that the price was "low because we ordered it almost a year ago before Kahr's prices went up" so I let him do the deal.

We walked out with the PM9 for $465.00 out the door.



We read through the manual and I bought a 100 count box of Winchester "white box" from a local store. My "gun guy" friend had 200 rounds of ammo for us to use too as he'd gone through 1800 rounds of the stuff before selling his last 9mm pistol.

I disassembled and cleaned the pistol to make sure it was ready for firing.

--The KaBOOM!!! --

We took the PM9 to an indoor range for my wife and I to begin the "task" of breaking it in.

First 140 or so rounds went without incident except for one failure to eject - I expected more issues seeing as how some other internet stories included FTF and FTEs during the break-in period. We exhausted the Winchester 100 rounds, and then went onto the ammo my friend had given us. It was GA Arms "factory loaded" ammo.

If you're not familiar GA Arms is a huge supplier of ammo and is very well known and respected. I saw "factory loaded" on the bag and also asked my friend if they were reloads (instruction manual says do not shoot reloads/reman ammo) and he said it was "new" so we started firing it. I noticed no noticeable recoil increase/decrease over the Winchester stuff. My wife kept plinking away as well with no mention of any change in feeling.

As I was loading a Glock mag I heard my wife yell out in pain, and say something to the effect of "now way look at what happened!"

This is what we saw:







So the side panel blew out and the concussion hurt my wife's hand, but luckily no major injuries. As for the pistol the side panel had blown out, and we found the extractor on the floor. I had to drop the mag and unjam the slide to lock it open, then pick out a slightly deformed shell casing from within the feed ramp area of the barrel.

I looked at a few rounds of the GA Arms ammo and of the four/five I checked they all had the same marking on the shell, which still lead me to believe it was "new" ammo.

My wife was done shooting for the day, and she had her own reservations about even keeping/carrying the PM9 due to the KaBOOM. I wanted to do some investigating..

After getting home I examined more of the ammo and then realized that the casings were NOT all the same, and I was able to pretty much determine the ammo was reloads - I will admit my ignorance and also admit that I should have known better what my wife and I were shooting. I called GA Arms to confirm my suspicion that it was in fact reloaded ammo, but not the "guy drinking beer and watching NASCAR reload" type stuff. Reloads nonetheless though...

--The Kahr Arms Customer Service Experience --

I wrote an e-mail and sent it to Kahr Arms that Saturday when the malfunction happened. I sent them the same pics you see, but in my moments of anxiety I did omit the part about using the GA Arms ammo. I know, I know that was a total ding-a-ling move, but I did not want them to immediately assume it was the ammo and not something such as a feed failure or a firing out of battery situation.

I waited until 1:00 on Monday before I decided it was time to call Kahr Arms since they had not replied to my e-mail. A very matter-of-fact guy answered and told me I'd have to ship it in, they'd look at it, blah blah blah. I told him I didn't feel like I should not have to pay shipping, so he sent a prepaid overnight priority shipping label. In the meantime shortly afterwards I got an e-mail reply from a gentleman that wanted for me to call him and discuss the issue. He was much more pleasant to deal with than the first guy, but would not say anything more than "let's see it first then we'll call you."

Wednesday I tracked the package and saw it was signed for at 9:00am. I called that afternoon to double check my phone numbers that they had on file, and at that time the same nice gentleman informed me it might be the following Tuesday before they'd know anything.

On the very next Monday, three business days after them getting my pistol, I got my pistol back at 8:30am!!! I worried that they may have shipped it back still busted since I never got a call. I opened the box and found the pistol to be like new again, but still the same serial number. There was a repair order that listed:

- Replaced extractor assembly and spring

- Replaced side panel

- Cleaned, lubed, and test fired "good"

That night I took the pistol apart to re-clean and lube it to my liking, and to my surprise I found this:



I'm no gunsmith, but the feed ramp was definitely polished, and quite possibly even throated. Funny that they didn't mention this on the repair order!

--The Results --

So last night, Wednesday 2.10.10 I took the PM9 back to the range with a 250 count box of Remington UMC 115gr ammo - no reloads!!!

The PM9 fed 130 rounds absolutely flawlessly (for a total of 270 rounds fired - well broken in now lol) without a hiccup of any kind. There were 4 other friends/co-workers there with me and all of them really liked the way it shot. One of the guys is a big gun nut who is a 1911 and revolver guy, but he said he's now going to look into a P45 or PM45 because he was smitten with this little PM9!

Overall I could not be a happier customer. I do regret having to be not 100% forthcoming about the ammo, but I will assume that it was the ammo and chalk it up as a learning experience. I can also only assume that it was a bad round or overloaded, etc. Can't say for sure.

Anyway I will absolutely continue to enjoy this PM9, and I'm now debating on which Kahr Arms pistol will be my next purchase - P40 or PM45 are the options.

And finally let this sink in for a moment:

A firearms company took care of a pistol repair in LESS than one week and at ZERO cost, including shipping, to the customer!!!

THAT is customer service by anyone's standards!!!

Last edited by B18C5-EH2; February 11, 2010 at 10:34 PM.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 11, 2010, 10:39 PM   #2
David the Gnome
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2007
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,092
If you take a look at the newest Kahr models that are out you'll see that they all have the nice polished feed ramps now, even the CW versions.

When I had problems with the followers cracking on my CW9 all I had to do was email Kahr and they sent me out three new replacements without asking a question. I received them within a week of sending the email. It would have been nice if they had told me they were going to send out the replacement followers but it was nice to get them so quickly nonetheless.
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
David the Gnome is offline  
Old February 11, 2010, 10:49 PM   #3
Crapulence
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Manly Flower Mound Texas
Posts: 126
It's great to hear the good reports , most of what we hear is the bitching. I bought my PM9 slightly used and noticed the impressive polishing of the feed ramp. Since it was not new I can't say if the previous owner worked on it some or it came that way from the factory. Either way the gun has been flawless and shoots great for a subcompact. I was tempted to buy another today when I was a good deal for a new one ( not as good as the deal you got) but decided to hold off for some irrational reason.
Crapulence is offline  
Old February 11, 2010, 11:03 PM   #4
IdahoG36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 2,993
Quote:
When I had problems with the followers cracking on my CW9 all I had to do was email Kahr and they sent me out three new replacements without asking a question.
+1. I had two followers that had failed. One cracked, and the other had a piece broken off of the front of it. I emailed Kahr and sent them a picture. Within a week I had four brand new followers show up in the mail.
That has been my only dealing with Kahr Arms customer service, but it was a very good experience.
IdahoG36 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 08:20 AM   #5
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
Funny how problem topics stay at the top, but good customer service topics get 113 views, and only three replies.



Thanks for the replies thus far though...

Last edited by B18C5-EH2; February 12, 2010 at 08:41 AM.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 08:47 AM   #6
dp509
Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2008
Posts: 31
I have owned a P9 and now currently a CW9.

Never had any trouble with either one.

Had to sell the P9 to pay bills

I carry the CW9 as my off duty gun with two extra mags.

I rotate them (with three more mags every six months)

No issues with any mags or the gun.

Very Accurate, always reliable.
dp509 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 08:53 AM   #7
silversimpson
Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2010
Posts: 42
Awesome,
I'm a huge fan of deep concealment CCWs like the PM series. I'm glad you had such a good experience. The truth is, no firearm is without incident. When a manufacturer chooses to support their customers after a failure has taken place, public trust is established. I'll be lookin' into buying my own PM9 before long. Which store did you buy from? I'd really like the "ignorance-discount!"
silversimpson is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:03 AM   #8
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
I called the same store I bought the PM9 from and asked how much another would cost, and he said $640.00 out the door including tax (it's 7% here in GA) so yes they are now selling them at "PM9" pricing. I'm guessing they never actually checked their cost on the PM9 they sold me for $465.00 out the door with tax.



Something else I noticed, and it may not be anything, or it may say a lot.

Before the pistol was sent back and repaired if I dropped the magazine and pulled the slide back (fairly slowly though - not slingshot action or anything) to retrieve the bullet that was already in the chamber it would drop down through the grip unless I held the pistol at a very awkward, almost upside angle. Now when doing the same procedure the bullet will only come out of the ejector port as I'd imagine it should anyways.

Maybe the extractor was part of the original problem rather than a result of another problem?

Last edited by B18C5-EH2; February 12, 2010 at 09:16 AM.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:06 AM   #9
silversimpson
Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2010
Posts: 42
Hmm... That's sounds like a red flag to me, but I would have shot it anyway.
silversimpson is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:07 AM   #10
bamiller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2010
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 455
Making me nervous. I just got mine a couple of days ago and will be shooting it this weekend.
bamiller is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:19 AM   #11
skydiver3346
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,222
GA Arms:

Wow, I had a similar kind of KaBoom last year with one of my autos after purchasing some "NEW" ammo from GA Arms (at a gun show). After carefully going through the lot of ammo, an experienced friend of mine concluded that they were definitely reloads and not new ammo. Have not bought from GA Arms again. But that is just my experience and I'm sure they still make ammo that works fine for other folks.
skydiver3346 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:19 AM   #12
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamiller
Making me nervous. I just got mine a couple of days ago and will be shooting it this weekend.
If anything I'd hope this topic gives you more comfort than anxiety. I'll never know for certain what caused my first failure, but if I keep shooting Remington UMC and it never malfunctions again I'd be lead more to believe it was the reloaded "factory loaded" ammo rather than a problem with the pistol itself.

I must also say that the Remington UMC was a lot "cleaner" than the other ammo. When I cleaned the pistol after it's failure it was pretty nasty after 140 rounds fired - you can probably see some of that in those pics.

When cleaning the pistol after some 125-130 shots fired with the Remington UMC it was not nearly as nasty.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:56 AM   #13
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydiver3346
Wow, I had a similar kind of KaBoom last year with one of my autos after purchasing some "NEW" ammo from GA Arms (at a gun show). After carefully going through the lot of ammo, an experienced friend of mine concluded that they were definitely reloads and not new ammo. Have not bought from GA Arms again. But that is just my experience and I'm sure they still make ammo that works fine for other folks.
Yeah I should have done more research before deciding to use that ammo. The thing is when my good friend had already fired 1800rounds of the stuff without incident (through a fully metal, full framed Browning Hi-Power) and the bag says "factory loaded" and coincidentally enough the handful of rounds I looked at were all marked the same on the primer end of the shell before we shot the stuff. I'd have never shot the stuff had I known going in that it was reloads. It wasn't even much,if anym cheaper than the bulk Remington UMC I buy.

You live and learn I guess...I'll never use GA Arms ammo again in any pistol.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 10:03 AM   #14
KellyTTE
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2007
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 123
I keep telling people that GA ammo is dangerous and no one listens. I'm not even a little surprized.

As for Kahr, their pricey but good guns and excellent folks all around.
__________________
Kelly H
Cool no bs gear & gun reviews
http://www.ttellc.net - [email protected]
KellyTTE is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 10:20 AM   #15
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,461
You didn't mention whether or not the feed ramp was polished when you first bought it, but assuming that it was not, then it would seem that Kahr realizes that they have a problem and are polishing all of them.

Also, I'm not sure I would be crowing so much about saving $175 on a pistol that almost took my wife's hand off. I wouldn't blame her if she refuses to carry it regardless of the repair. You should check out the LCR or another quality lightweight revolver.

I don't see any conclusive evidence that reloaded ammo caused the failure, and take exception to your characterization of "beer and NASCAR" reloaders. Reloaders are in general a very responsible bunch and have no more reason to fear their ammo than factory.
spacecoast is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 10:40 AM   #16
B18C5-EH2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecoast
You didn't mention whether or not the feed ramp was polished when you first bought it, but assuming that it was not, then it would seem that Kahr realizes that they have a problem and are polishing all of them.
The feed ramp was not polished in the manner that is now now prior to Kahr repairing the pistol.

You assume also that Kahr polished the ramp to cover up a problem, but they also charge money for such a service as an "upgrade." Maybe they did it as a good will gesture?

Quote:
Also, I'm not sure I would be crowing so much about saving $175 on a pistol that almost took my wife's hand off.
The side panel blew out and the concussion made her hand sore. Let's not get carried away here and start the "her hand was almost removed" stuff. People post Glock KaBOOMs as well as other makes and models. If you don't believe me I'll be happy to do some simple Google searches and link you tons of info.

Quote:
I wouldn't blame her if she refuses to carry it regardless of the repair.
That was her initial knee jerk reaction. It's understandable IMO. She wants to get out and and shoot it more now that I've ran more rounds through it without so much as a hiccup. She got into a car wreck once...she still drives every day.



Quote:
You should check out the LCR or another quality lightweight revolver.
She hates the trigger and action of the revolver, as do I. It's personal preference.

Quote:
I don't see any conclusive evidence that reloaded ammo caused the failure,
I'll re-refer to the point that I can do simple internet searches for "KaBOOM'd" semiauto pistols, and an interesting fact is that once you click and read nearly EVERY one was either reloads or some crazy ++P load. I searched and searched for Kahr failures and it was rare (didn't find another blown out one like mine) to see a blow out like mine. Conversely when I searched for blown up semiauto pistols and included "reload" the results did not favor reloaded ammo in general.

Quote:
and take exception to your characterization of "beer and NASCAR" reloaders.
Unless you watch NASCAR and drink beer while reloading then you should not be offended. I happen to do drink beer, and watch NASCAR on occasion, (not usually at the same time though) but I do not reload ammo.

Quote:
Reloaders are in general a very responsible bunch and have no more reason to fear their ammo than factory.
You cannot chastise me for making a remark about NASCAR and beer drinking reloader (which BTW I never said it was "common"on "reloaders in general") and go on to make another, possibly false, generalization about reloaders.

I would not generalize all gun toting members of society to be anything at all - good or bad - and I wouldn't do the same for people who reload ammo.

Sorry if my choice of words offended any of you home reloaders. Mypoint was that this particular source of ammo (GA Arms) seems(ed) to have a great rep around here, and that their quality control was assumed be better than some random reloading guy at home.

Last edited by B18C5-EH2; February 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM.
B18C5-EH2 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 12:53 PM   #17
DBAR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2009
Posts: 941
B18C5-EH2,

Glad to hear that your Wife wasn't hurt, that's the most important issue here.

I'm really glad to hear that Kahr took excellent care of you, they did more than they needed to, and that's the "mark" of a good company. I've had many conversations with them on the phone in the past, and they were always a pleasure to deal with. I had a K40 way back when, when they first came out, and it was a great gun. My brother just picked up a PM9 last week, and he put 200 rounds of ammo through it with out any problems. I shot a few magazines through it, and it was as good a shooter as any of my guns.

I'd buy one, if I didn't already have plans to buy SIG P229.

DBAR
DBAR is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 01:03 PM   #18
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 5,162
Kahr treated me very well three years ago. My PM9 had the "barrel peening" issue that was typical of a certain serial number range.
I sent in the "top half" (complete slide, barrel, recoil spring assy) and they replaced everything within a week. New Mepro night sights included.
orionengnr is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 01:19 PM   #19
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,461
Orionengr -

Was the PM9 barrel peening issue anything like what I've seen with my LCP? It's back at Ruger now getting fixed/replaced. The first time I complained they had me file it, then when it reoccurred after 50 more rounds through the pistol they sent me an overnight shipping label.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lcp_peening.JPG (28.3 KB, 143 views)
spacecoast is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 02:49 PM   #20
grubbylabs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2009
Location: Hansen Idaho
Posts: 1,465
Well I for one read the good replies right along with the bad because every company deserves a chance. And more importantly I am really big on how you treat your customer. If they do not want to treat me good then I am not going to buy from them plain and simple.

So these posts are good thanks for sharing and glad they took care of you.
grubbylabs is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 03:47 PM   #21
Smokey 92
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2009
Posts: 107
B18, very glad your wife is OK. Concerning reloads. At gun shows there are many ammo sellers that claim new, but are reloads. Most of my reloading has been centerfire rifle, along with a couple handgun, but I will not fire any reload that was not done by me. (I weigh individually)
With the ammo shortage scare recently, it has been a gold mine, and some may have let QC slide in order to keep up with demand. Wonder if the Glock ka-boom posted recently is because ammo QC related. Either way in a semi-auto pistol/rifle or a slide action centerfire rifle there is a lot to be said, IMHO, for "fire formed" brass. This is not to say that all commercial reloads are bad, or that other brands of pistols won't spit out whatever their fed, just another possibility, and my marginal experience.
Smokey 92 is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 03:53 PM   #22
Niner4Tango
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2007
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 284
Bad ammo but Kahr took care of you. I don't think they had any problem knowing exactly what happened either, so good for them!
Niner4Tango is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 04:35 PM   #23
Microgunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2006
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,324
I've recently purchased a new PM9 and am glad to hear of your good experience with Kahr's customer service. Thanks for the report.
__________________
Proud NRA Benefactor Member
Microgunner is offline  
Old February 12, 2010, 09:18 PM   #24
Nykop
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2009
Location: New york
Posts: 169
Kahr kabooom

My kahr K40 blew up at no fault of the gun faulty NEW ammo that was recalled years ago and i guess my dealer miss that notice anyhow, kahr repaired the gun to new again for NO CHARGE it was case head failure but kahr asked no questions and fixed it in a week. just thought i would share that story.
Nykop is offline  
Old February 13, 2010, 12:15 AM   #25
jfrey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Coastal South Texas
Posts: 557
I have the chrome flaking issue on my CW9 and an email to Ian got good results. He said I could shoot it or send it in when ever I wanted for a replacement. What more could you ask? So far I have decided to shoot it but I know they will make it good if I change my mind. As in any product, good customer service will get more sales and that is how they make their living. I'm already planning on another Kahr because it is obvious they stand behind their products and support their customers.

As for reloads, I only shoot my own. There have been other stories about gunshow ammo problems. I check my own stuff on a regular basis so I trust it but not everyone is as meticulous as I am. Otherwise, it is only brand name factor ammo in my pistols.

I personally didn't take offence to the comment about reloaders since I don't drink beer or watch NASCAR. Even if I did, I wouldn't do it while I was loading ammo.
jfrey is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.09903 seconds with 8 queries