December 5, 2012

Kahr PM40 .40 S&W

A short while back Gun Tests magazine tested some pretty small 9mm pistols, by Kahr and by Rohrbaugh. They particularly liked the Kahr PM9’s handling qualities, and the fact that it worked well as a back-up pistol. They noted Kahr produces a similar pistol in .40 S&W caliber, called the PM40. They decided it was appropriate to try one, because anyone who liked the PM9 would probably welcome more power in a package nearly as small.

If you take the small/powerful concept to the limit, you’d be looking at a pocket pistol chambered for the .500 Linebaugh. But they said they would not dare shoot such a gun. The problem is, of course, recoil. If a powerful handgun has small dimensions, one can’t get his whole hand onto the grip, so control can become a problem, depending on the load selected. Self-defense handguns are normally loaded with strong-recoiling ammo. If the entire controlling hand can be wrapped around the grip, all fingers on the gun, control becomes more manageable. Unfortunately, they said, they could only get all fingers onto the grip of the Kahr when it was fitted with its extended magazine. Even then, with stout loads the gun tended to jump out of their supporting hand. In a nutshell, they felt they were at the edge of control with the Kahr, and they thought small 40s in general will be best used by more-experienced shooters, not novices. Here’s a closer look.

The test Kahr came with green tritium inserts in its excellent sights, but if you can do without such sights, the gun lists for only $707. That’s over a C-note for night-visible sights, but many shooters feel they’re essential on a carry gun. The slide of the PM40 was “white” matte stainless, and the frame was black polymer with molded-in square checkering on the front and rear grip straps. The gun felt top-heavy. The “white” appearance of the PM40’s slide probably contributed to the larger look of the .40-caliber Kahr over the all-black 9mm version tested earlier. The PM40’s trigger was also white finished. They measured the slide dimensions on each gun and found the .40-cal’s slide to be 0.052 inch higher and 0.040 inch thicker. Kahr added steel to the slide to make the design viable with the higher-recoiling .40 S&W cartridge. They were sure the spring rates were altered also, and they said they knew the magazines were different. The five-shot .40-cal. mag won’t go into the 9mm pistol. However, the magazine for the 9mm worked well (with limited testing) in the .40 pistol. It even held the slide open after the last shot.

Gun Tests November 2004

Clean lines and significant horsepower in a small package, the Kahr PM40 ups the ante for back-up pistols. Slightly larger and just over an ounce heavier than the PM9, the .40 S&W Kahr was a handful with some loads, and probably not totally suitable for novice shooters. We liked it even better than the PM9.

The fit and finish were excellent on the PM40. The metal polish was flawless, and the slide serrations were sharp enough to make controlling the slide easy during loading and unloading. The sights were dovetailed in place, but not pinned. They noted the barrel, which was matte finished, quickly showed marks from cycling. The PM9 did this as well, but after the wear shows up, it seems to stop and just looks slightly worn in. They didn’t find this all that objectionable. The PM40 was well deburred all over, presenting smooth surfaces to both hands and to a holster. How well it would work from the pocket would depend on the pocket and on the size of the shooter’s hand.

There was no shake to the slide in its fit on the frame. They expected the fit might open up slightly, as it has on the PM9, but by no means has it got excessive on the latter. The trigger pull of the PM40 was consistent, and broke with some element of surprise, but though they could easily double-tap the PM9, they found that action to be distinctly slower on the PM40 because of greater recoil. The sight picture was, once again, excellent. They liked the tritium inserts and believe they complete the package of this small handgun. The grip checkering helped them control the little gun.

Takedown was a snap. Unload the gun, then align two marks on the slide and frame, and bump out the barrel-retention pin from right to left. Then press on the trigger, hold it, and ease the slide off the gun. The captive slide springs can then be removed, and the barrel can be lifted out for cleaning. The rifling was segmental, and worked well. Reassembly was easy, though they noted that they had to take care to get the rear part of the tiny pin-retention spring in the correct place, on top of the small inner protrusion on the barrel pin.

Gun Tests November 2004

The first magazine-full gave us one failure to eject with the softest ammo. The empty was caught going out. Kahr recommends 200 rounds for break-in. This never happened again, and the PM40 gave excellent reliability after a dozen shots. After much firing and no cleaning, one round failed to fire because it did not go fully home in a dirty gun. Proper maintenance would cure that completely.

The shorter of the two magazines provided with the gun in its fitted black case held five rounds, plus one in the chamber. The longer magazine upped capacity to six, plus one. They did most of their testing with the smaller magazine, and made sure to test the gun with a full complement of rounds. On the range, they had one failure to feed from a full magazine when the gun was entirely new, and one failure to eject a round. However, after a few shots (Kahr recommends 200 to break the gun in), everything worked perfectly, but for one shot along the way. They had a misfire, but there was no mark on the primer. The offending round came out with difficulty. They had fired many rounds at that point, and suspected there was dirt on the round or in the chamber, and it caused the slide to fail to go completely closed. That round fired perfectly once they cleared it and put it back into the gun. They don’t believe this was a fault of the gun; it was a failure on their part to keep things sufficiently clean in the test environment.

Trigger pull was right at 7 pounds. The accuracy was adequate, but not outstanding, with the test ammunition. Most groups were just over 3 inches at 15 yards. They tried three brands of ammo on target and over the chronograph, Cor-Bon’s 135-grain JHP, Winchester’s Personal Protection 155-grain Silvertip HP, and PMC’s 180-grain FJM/FP with flat tip. The Winchester ammo was the heaviest-recoiling load of the trio, and would be the first choice for a defensive round in the .40 S&W. They also tried two other types of ammo for function, Remington’s 155-grain JHP and Federal’s 135-grain Hydra-Shok JHP, and all worked perfectly with the limited shooting. They noted that with the Remington ammo, which chronographed slightly faster than the 155-grain Winchester test ammo, they got a huge ball of flame and a thunderous concussion with each shot. The flame ball was easily 2 feet in diameter, clearly visible on a bright day. Remington might want to change powder in that load, because such a flash would both blind the shooter at night and give away his position to anyone within a few miles. Undoubtedly that ammo would work better in a longer barrel.

Gun Tests November 2004

The sight picture of the PM40 was outstanding, though this photo might represent any one of the three test guns.The Kahr had tritium inserts, a costly but desirable extra.

Gun Tests Recommends:

"Our Pick. We would be happy to use the Kahr as a back-up to a larger piece, much as we would its smaller cousin, the PM9. As noted, we don’t think this gun would be suitable for inexperienced shooters because of its hefty recoil. However, we noted the kick of the Kahr was less objectionable with some hot loads than the same load in the heavy-slide Springfield XD or the Rami. We don’t know why this is, but the two heavier guns, particularly the XD, gave us a stouter whack on the hands with some loads than the PM40. We could not fault the PM40, though we found it to be a little slower for the second shot than the PM9. It was easy to shoot one-handed with the stoutest loads available. The PM40 was well made, reliable, and had enough accuracy for just about any purpose. We believe it fulfills its design parameters very well, and clearly was the best of this trio for back-up work. Street prices can save you a bunch, and that might make the Kahr perfect for you."


Comments (48)

I have owned the Kahr PM 40 for five years. While the price of the PM 40 is not quite equal to a premium handgun, it is still reasonably expensive. For that price I was confident that I was getting a high quality firearm. But, the PM 40 has the absolute worst trigger than any gun that I own. It was actually the purchase of the PM 40 that encouraged me to spend my money on high-end handguns. I called Kahr and asked them about the trigger. And was told that the trigger was their biggest complaint about the gun, but nothing could be done about it...the tech with whom I spoke agreed that the PM 40 trigger was a piece of junk. I would say that the gun is fully accurate at about five feet (close quarter combat).

Posted by: Corespray | December 27, 2012 2:54 PM    Report this comment

I have over 40 years of small arms weapons experience including a US Marine Corps career including but not limited to Primary Marksmanship instructor, US Marine Corps Shooting Team, Marine Sniper School, Owner Operator Wholesale-Retail gunshop and repair services, State CWP Instructor etc... which makes me more than qualified.

I've had numerous contacts with law enforcement officers and their lack of concern for weapons handling and maintenance over the years. Some of the worst marksman I've ever come across were law enforcement members, civilian and military. That plus substandard handling and maintenance habits of these people put citizens in danger everyday they carried a gun and threatened to use it.

Gunshop repair exposed me to an abundance of these problem people. One officer needed to qualify and last used his pistol at last years qualification. His problem turned out to be a rusted round in the dirty chamber left there from last year which put a snag in the functioning of his Glock.
Another was an undercover NYC cop who couldn't figure out the reason his glock 26 wouldn't feed and subsequently jammed the 40S&W round from his G23.
I have many many more of these stories, not saying that some civilians don't have some of the same problems. Thankfully they AREN'T cops.

Fact is quality weapons have problems at times due to closer tolerances and the needed break-in time that comes with it, but mostly caused by human error, the inability to handle the recoil, reloading improperly, or just plain mishandling or ignoring proper required maintenance.

If you buy cheap magazines they will have issues and may crack. Never have I encountered this problem with Kahr magazines, infact they go the extra and add steel to the follower to lockup with the steel stop. The fact is that you DO get what you pay for when it comes to semi auto handguns due to the high speed of flawless functions timing required to reload a round from the point of firing in the miniscule time afforded.

Posted by: MikeK29340 | December 11, 2012 12:18 PM    Report this comment

Whole lotta you guys had a defective gun that Kahr took care of. Sounds like more of a testimonial for their customer care than their weapon quality. Just sayin'

Posted by: Anishinabi | December 11, 2012 10:33 AM    Report this comment

I ccw the K9 and love it its a little heavy but the feels great shooting had an issue with a broken trigger bar but khar took great care of me nothing but thumbs up to khar from me

Posted by: JPT | December 10, 2012 7:13 PM    Report this comment

almost heaven west virginia

Posted by: JPT | December 10, 2012 7:08 PM    Report this comment

Smithkowitz: I almost never shoot reloads or any off-brand ammo. I don't reload myself, but I did have a friend back in the late 70's who reloaded .45acp for me. I never loaded either of the Kahrs with anything but Winchester White Box at the range and Cor-Bon DPX for carry. I only fired enough of the Cor-Bon to get a feel for the recoil before carrying it for personal defense. I have carried and fired a variety of 9mm, 380, 40 and 45 cal pistols and never had a magazine crack until I shot the Kahr PM40. I don't have the time or money for guns that don't go bang every time I pull the trigger.

Posted by: jimonthe beach | December 8, 2012 9:56 PM    Report this comment

@jimonthebeach: I'm curious about the mag issue myself. I've had my MK40 for 3 years, I've used all 3 sizes of mags, the 5, 6 & 7 round. I've had zero issues and no cracks no matter what ammo I shoot, and I have shot plenty; do you ever fire reloads or remanufactured ammo that might be out of sammi spec?, just a thought.

PS - MikeK29340; Kahr does not make a PM380, it's just a P.
As for cracks in mags; not only do they crack, but so do frames, not necessarily in Kahr products; but I've read stories about this. Ya know, recurring explosions cause unusual things to happen to materials.

Posted by: ThinkN_Do | December 8, 2012 11:31 AM    Report this comment

MikeK29340 I am somewhat surprised by your reponse to my post. You may have never seen a magazine crack, but you no nothing about my experience or background. I sent those magazines back to Kahr. They didn't have any doubts about what I reported. Never did the dealer who sold me the pistol. I don't know what your background is, but having 21 years of military service and 20 years in law enforcement I have significant experience with pistols of several caliber including .40S&W. I don't need an excuse, flimsy or otherwise, to know when a pistol is not reliable. Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions when you don't know what you're talking about. If you don't want to believe the comments made by other shooters, maybe a firearms forum is not where you belong.

Posted by: jimonthe beach | December 7, 2012 1:11 PM    Report this comment

Any and all semi auto handguns shoot ammo differently. Some are not picky when it comes to reliable functioning however, those that aren't and shoot anything put in it are either sloppy or inacurate and/or both (like the GI Colt 1911, Beretta M9, etc.). It is a requirement that you match your semi auto handgun with the best possible ammo for the situation..... It is a must that when you put your life or your families life on the line, the handgun functions flawlessly AND accurately. Either one or the other puts all in danger. A stopage and a miss both endanger lives.

I've never heard of a handgun causing the magazines to crack once needless to say over and over again, ever in all my years. A flimsy excuse if I've ever heard one. To some the PM40 is too much period!

Claiming a Glock shoots better and is easier to carry than any Kahr is just rediculous. Weapon Specifications alone nulls the claim of the Glock being better suited. I owned several Glocks before Kahr came into existance, and when I dropped them the plastic sights smashed rendering the pistol useless. Additionally the need for carrying the Glock in a holster is a safety requirement but not the case for the Kahr.
I remember Glock Armorer School when we were told that the reason for Glock changing the box it came in was due to a safety concern. The box with the cone in it that goes through the trigger guard is YES a nuisance when putting a loaded gun in the box!! HA!! Special handling required is a must when a Glock is involved and additional thinking required!

Posted by: MikeK29340 | December 7, 2012 11:17 AM    Report this comment

I own to Kahrs, both all steel; K9 & MK40; they have never had issues with feeding any type of ammo. I even mix brands and types on purpose, to ensure reliability in all situations. I imagine the poly models are a bit snappy for sure, just like the Ruger LCP is. I have had a few instances with that loading certain hollowpoints, but never an all steel gun. I see no reason to own a poly 45, 40 or 9 unless the extra 10 ounces (or so) of an all steel gun are really too much weight to carry all day? I feel the benefits of all steel, Out Weigh the added ounces. The Kahr MK40 is my daily carry gun most of the year. The most accurate gun I own, shoot chains offhand at 7.5yds.

Posted by: ThinkN_Do | December 7, 2012 8:07 AM    Report this comment

PM40 is too fussy with ammo. Had it for 2 years and could not overcome failure to feed issues. Do not believe it was me - limp wristing, etc. as this is only small auto. I have this problem with. Also, as noted by others, plastic magazine feed ramps had to be replaced a number of times. Finally sold it and now have Glock 27 - a totally RELIABLE piece.

Posted by: Lakeside | December 7, 2012 7:38 AM    Report this comment

I have a PM9 and had a PM40. Both are small and easy to conceal and carry, but I got rid of the PM40 because everytime I shot it, it cracked the magazine. I contacted Kahr whose customer service rep told me they had received some magazines made of poor quality metal. She assured me that the problem had been corrected and sent me two new magazines. These new magazines cracked the first day at the range. I sold the PM40 at a significant loss and while I still have the PM9, I have little confidence in it's reliability. While many people here swear by their Kahrs, I personally would not trust or recommend them.

Posted by: jimonthe beach | December 7, 2012 12:03 AM    Report this comment

While I haven't been carrying my PM9 for as long as some here have been carrying their Kahr pistols, I have come to rely on it as an "always with me piece". I carry the PM9 as a pocket pistol back-up to my major pistol, which is usually a SIG P229 DAK in .357 SIG. In those venues where full-on concealed carry is not welcome (as stated on the signs that are posted) I obediently leave my major carry pistol in my car, but the little PM9 is ALWAYS in my pocket. Now that Time Warner Cable has gone national in their prohibition against licensed concealed carriers bringing their pieces into Time Warner offices, when I have need of visiting our local office, the PM9 is still in my pocket.....just as it was yesterday when I had an appointment at our local hospital, and when I go to the bank, etc, etc, etc.....

Posted by: canovack | December 6, 2012 7:27 PM    Report this comment

I may have the longest relationship with Kahr here so far. NONE with the PM40. I bought a E9 (carbon steel) the first year Kahr was on the market. Serial # 0043!! A heavy little 9mm for the size.I could not "carry" it living in L.A. County but there was several times (during riots and such) I chose to break that law. It had two stoppages during break in. For the next 12 or 14 more years it was next to my bed. in my camp any place I needed it. Come 2004 I moved to TN to marry a high school sweatheart I had not seen in 30 years. I got my carry permit ASAP and it now went everywhere and had still NEVER had a stoppage after break in. Wlakinto local Gun shop and they had CW9. I had always wanted a P9 but being disabled now money was short. Showed the guy my E9 and serial number. $150 later I had my 17 oz dream gun. 1 stoppage during breakin when young kid I was teaching limp wristed it. I carry every day I leave my house an it is less than arms reach right now. Another 2000 plus rounds it has had one stop on some European Sub machine gun ammo. Ammo and owner at fault not pistol. Now having continually owned and shot since the first year they were produced (93?) I have had not a single round stop that was not breakin or my fault(one round). It is slightly more accurate than my SIG 239 DAK (very high praise in my book) and it gets carried every day while SIG 239 does second gun duties.

All the design awards (6 I think) were well earned. These are amazing little guns.

Posted by: Vincent10 | December 6, 2012 6:59 PM    Report this comment

I have now been carrying a PM40 in a pocket holster for 7 1/2 years, the last three with a crimson trace laser sight. The PM40 is machined to very close tolerances, that's why Kahr insists that you break in a new gun with at least 200 rounds before you carry it. If you're not going to properly break in the gun, you're probably better off carrying a revolver. Also, these little pistols are unforgiving of limp-wristing, so may not be appropriate for many women and some men. I had a couple of FTF and one FTE when I first started to break mine in, but after about fifty rounds it ran smooth as silk. Break it in right, keep it clean and oiled, and don't limp-wrist and it'll serve you well. Any and all brands of gun will occasionally manufacture one with defects. Just like with all machines, sometimes things just don't work right. Kahr's are no different. I have a Rem. 700 BDL .243 that won't shoot better than 2 1/2 inch groups. I have about 10 other Remington firearms that are all top quality, including several rifles that shoot sub-MOA out of the box. I didn't quit buying Rem. products just because of the .243.

Posted by: tat47 | December 6, 2012 4:56 PM    Report this comment

Except for the p line Mike. Also small and much more accurate.

Posted by: playhookie | December 6, 2012 3:22 PM    Report this comment

I've been carrying a PM40 since they first were available. Needing money at a point I sold the two tone along with the 3 other Kahrs I bought as they became available and owned several years ago. However, I could not successfully replace them with anything other than a Kahr. I immediately purchased another PM40 as a #1 pocket stopper for all year round use in Blackened Stainless with NiteSites, a PM380 for light pocket carry, and additionally a PM45 for winter use as well. The PM40 is the only the #1 stopper of other than my preference .45acp caliber that I own because of its size and quality. There simply is no other carry gun so well suited than the Kahr PM Line PERIOD!

Posted by: MikeK29340 | December 6, 2012 1:25 PM    Report this comment

I have had issues two out of two times with Smith and Wesson handguns. First in the 1970s with a new .22 mag kit gun, where the cylinder ratchets were scored and would not turn reliably. It was never right so I got rid of it. Second incident was with a SW99 which was chambered and headspaced wrong. They fixed that with a new barrel. Any brand can have a defect. What I didn't like about the Kahr is it felt quite stiff and because I was planning it for my wife, I did not purchase because I did not believe she could manipulate. She is happy as a clam with her G17 and as a home gun a XD-40 which feels the same to her. I had some problems early on with a Colt Commander that resulted in some parts replacement and tuning by a good gunsmith. It happens.

Posted by: Anishinabi | December 6, 2012 12:52 PM    Report this comment

I purchased a PM9 new probably 4-5 years ago. Right out of the box, it would not go into battery, even dropping the slide from a locked position, and after a more than ample break-in period trying to get past this, I sent it back to Kahr. Some parts were replaced, gun returned, and similar gross reliability problems were experienced, most often failure to feed correctly from the magazine, causing the round to hang up half way into the chamber. Again, back to Kahr and more parts replaced, along with extensive polishing and throating by factory. Gun has since been 100% reliable and is super accurate, but the initial experience shook my confidence severely, and I would never recommend this brand.

Posted by: RK | December 6, 2012 12:36 PM    Report this comment

Had a magazine follower issue. E mailed Kahr with a suggested remedy. They followed through with NO excess communication or questions or BS. Really excellent service. Lesson Learned: Got a PM40 cheap because the slide kept locking back. Turned out to be a weak (bent back into shape) slide stop spring. So, if you bugger up your slide stop spring by putting the slide stop in wrong, don't sell the gun, replace the damn spring. ($6.60) And DO NOT over-tighten the slide stop screw: the spring must move freely.

Posted by: ROGER C | January 7, 2012 9:11 PM    Report this comment

I appreciate your predicament, Roger. Jobs being what they are, right now, it's understandable that you want to hold on to yours. Still.....somewhere in the logic, I can't help but think there is another option. Not knowing who your employer is, and what your job is, along with the chances to be taken, I don't know whether I would put up with it. Obviously, it is a very personal matter, and I sympathize with your predicament.

Posted by: canovack | January 2, 2012 6:39 PM    Report this comment

I've had a PM40 for a few years now. I bought mine for something just under $450 (used - barely, deputy bought it, fired two rounds and traded it, LOL). Yes, it kicks. No, it's not comfortable. But it shoots the same caliber as my duty pistol and hides away really nice in an IWB holster as an off-duty/BUG. Mine came with the Express Sites. They're not for target shooting but they get on target super fast. I have tried 180gr, 165gr, & 155gr loads and didn't notice the difference in recoil. We just went to 165gr Federal HSTs so that's what's in it now. Mine has been completely reliable and I have no trouble qualifiying on our OD/BUG course (15 yard max range, lots of quick one-handed fire from 7, 5, and 3 yards with fast presentation). Definatly not a gun for the untrained or unseasoned but if you can handle the recoil and hold it FIRMLY then it's hard to beat!

Posted by: CeltKnight | January 2, 2012 2:55 PM    Report this comment

I'm 58, same employer for 32 years. If I get busted for carrying, my employer would fire me in a heartbeat. I would rather be robbed, beat half to death and hospitalized for 6 months than lose my job at 58. So I only carry when I'm going somewhere with my wife. That is screwed up, but it is reality. SCREW California: bunch of commie bastards!

Posted by: ROGER C | January 2, 2012 2:22 PM    Report this comment

My experience with Kahr pistols was not a positive one. I picked up a new PM9 for a carry pistol. Unfortunately, it cycled very poorly. After 300 rounds of frustration I sent back to Kahr, following their return proceedures (very important). About three weeks later the pistol was sent back to me. I noticed that the barrel and lug had been polished, a new recoil spring and guide installed and a new magazine. I figured they must have fixed the problem, and maybe they did. However, now the gun would not lock up in battery. Once again I sent the piece back to Kahr. A few weeks later they sent me a new gun. (Of course, since it had a new serial number, I had to have it received by an FFL dealer and go through the California/Federal hoops and waiting period). Given this experience I decided not to risk my life on one of these guns and had the dealer sell it for me. Bottom line, good customer service, crumby guns. I am back packing my J-frame with total confidence.

Posted by: STEPHEN A | January 2, 2012 12:59 PM    Report this comment

Well, Roger, are you willing to gamble that you are among the 9 victims who will survive by giving the thug your money? Or.....are you figuring that you could be in the ten percent who might sustain serious injury or death? I didn't get to recently celebrate my 71st birthday by betting on being in the ten percent.

Posted by: canovack | January 2, 2012 11:03 AM    Report this comment

Sort of makes one wonder who the real 'thugs' are, doesn't it?

Posted by: rev_dave | January 2, 2012 7:16 AM    Report this comment

It's a choice of getting caught by the cops carrying a gun, or get caught not carrying one by a predator. 9 out of 10 times, the predator wants my money and that's the end. In Kali, cops catch you and you are screwed. The "Civil Authorities" would rather see 100 live victims than one dead thug. That's a fact.

Posted by: ROGER C | January 2, 2012 12:15 AM    Report this comment

'Gotcha loud and clear, Roger C. One of my sons used to live in San Marcos, and later Murrieta, and when ever I went to visit I always carried concealed. I tend to be very unobtrusive when I am doing something for which I can get busted, but I simply refused to surrender my natural right of self-defense just because California is run by a bunch of left-wing mealy mouthed pacifists. My son left California in 2007, and he is happily residing in Austin, Texas, just 60 miles south of me.

Posted by: canovack | January 1, 2012 5:18 PM    Report this comment

When I was breaking in my PM40, I gooped it up really well (per 10 point lube chart) before firing. Now I use RIG, because it stays put. To be honest, my PM40 sits in my safe because I live in Kalifornia and do not have a CCW. This means I can either carry something that is small enough to look like pocket change (Seecamp) or I have to worry about unsightly bulges that can get me busted. So, I carry a small knife and keep my fearful eyes peeled for scumbags. Sometimes life just sucks.

Posted by: ROGER C | January 1, 2012 3:14 PM    Report this comment

Roger C, it sounds like your guns may be exhibiting normal wear from friction between the slide and the frame. Do you lubricate the surfaces prior to firing?

Posted by: canovack | December 30, 2011 7:54 PM    Report this comment

Like my PM40. Recoil not much more harsh than my LCP and easier to control and fits in it's pocket holster - prefering the IWB for easier retreval. Winter clothing-it's the Sig 1911 C3 wCT .45.
Sure it may take a little more concentration to do well but for me the PM40 is enjoyable to fire and no problems for the 3 yrs of use.

Posted by: xhumbug | December 30, 2011 6:50 PM    Report this comment

They are small particles of black plastic that accumulate in the notch in the frame behind the slide stop spring where the end of the slide stop rests. I noticed it when I was breaking mine in and there were some in my son's PM40 that he is now breaking in.

Posted by: ROGER C | December 30, 2011 5:31 PM    Report this comment

As I stated in my post of 29 December (above), Firemouth, I am quite satisfied with the PM9 in 9x19mm as my back-up piece. I can see no reason to go to the .40 S&W.

Posted by: canovack | December 30, 2011 4:11 PM    Report this comment

Seen and tried a lot of micro cannons I still can’t see the furor with these small guns. All of them have ferocious recoil, extremely short sighting planes, and a finger short grasp. Every now and then gun manufacturers come out with this “new” idea of a micro gun for one of the “big” defense calibers; 9mm.,.40S&W or.45ACP. Can they build a good, reliable gun in this micro sizes? You can bet they can. The Kahr Arms PM40 is a fair example (be sure that Glock is a lot better). How many people can shoot well (2” at 7 yards) these micro howitzers? Truth being told, very few people, with lots of training and experimenting with their hold of the minuscule power guns. If concealment is an issue I still prefer the J frame S&W in the old .38 Special LSWCHP with a 3” barrel. I read some complaints about the recoil of the .40S&W, even on bigger guns. That is no news. The .40S&W jabs and it jabs fast and hard, but it is, maybe, the best defensive caliber around. You can have a lot of loads in .40S&W that emulate what I consider the King of defensive calibers, the .357Mag. In a gun the size of the Kahr it’s going to kick like hell. But it is the same for every light framed, shortened 1911 in .45ACP I know. If I have no choice, except for caliber, you can bet I will go for the 9mm model better. The .40S&W is a little bit too hot for micro guns.

Posted by: Firemouth | December 30, 2011 3:32 PM    Report this comment

I cannot comment about the problems you mentioned, Roger C, since I haven't experienced them. That said, however, at which end of the slide are you seeing shaved plastic? If it's in front, you might wish to check the seating of the slide on the two embedded guide rails in the dust cover. If it's in the rear, it suggests that the slide may be too tight or too loose on the frame rails. Also, are you lubricating the slide and rails?

Posted by: canovack | December 30, 2011 10:54 AM    Report this comment

I like my PM40, but what's with the plastic shavings around the slide? Also, the front lip of the magazine follower on two of my magazines have broken off, rendering the magazine useless. I just E mailed Kahr about that issue. I'll leave another comment here detailing their response. Anyone have a similar problem?

Posted by: ROGER C | December 29, 2011 9:45 PM    Report this comment

I'm not sure I understand your comment, olafhardtB, but in my experience, any ammo that routinely fires and functions in the guns I use and carry, is the ammo that I purchase and keep in the gun. My Kahr PM9 was pretty temperamental when I was running it through the 200-round break-in period.....perhaps because I was firing cheap Russian ammo that I got for next to nothing. One I got through the break-in and started burning good American ammo, I had no problems.....regardless of the brand. I figure that little pistol was so happy to get off of that Russian steel case crap that it runs well on brass ammo out of gratitude for me giving it good ammo.

Posted by: canovack | December 29, 2011 7:21 PM    Report this comment

You guys dis the Remington ammo for its fire ball and noise and I have seen the. 357 take this hit also. I wonder if this infact might be a plus in a purely SD gun similar to a flash bang grenade?

Posted by: olafhardtB | December 29, 2011 4:07 PM    Report this comment

I have had a PM40 for several years. It had some problems during the break-in period. After that,it wouldn't feed Gold Dot. I polished the feed ramp and have had no further problems. It rides nicely in a Galco ankle glove. It's a bit pricey, but it works.

Posted by: peach | December 29, 2011 3:29 PM    Report this comment

I have carried the PM9 for about 8 years. It is the Porsche of concealed carry. Small but powerful. I wear it in a Galco suede "inside the pocket" scabbard. I was lucky enough to find a used one (not yet broken in) for about $400. If I was buying new I would get Kahr's CW version. All of the internal parts are the same as the more expensive original line. I would bet my life on the reliability and accuracy of the Kahr. The negative? It is not for everyone. The first round should be chambered by releasing the slide-lock on a full magazine. The slide is very stiff to cycle. The Kahr is not as easy to take apart or reassemble as a Glock, but what is?

I look it as a one-time investment that I will leave to my next of kin someday. It is a top quality gun that is great for deep concealment, daily carry.

Posted by: OregonGreg | December 29, 2011 3:20 PM    Report this comment

Hi Ordnance Outsellers. I was intending to buy a PM9 when I suddenly had the urge to buy the PM40. I'm used to the PM40 but agree with the article that the PM9 is more controllable and therefore quicker to get back on the second shot. I'm curious if you have handled or shot the CW9 and your thoughts on it.

Posted by: tat47 | December 29, 2011 1:23 PM    Report this comment

As a dealer, I've sold literally hundreds of PM9's,some PM 40's, and PM 45's, which are much more controllable than 40's! PM9 has been my personal deep concealment/backup gun since 2005 and nothing has come along to replace it! The testers may not have factored in effect of dual recoil springs in controllability! Why even consider a 380 or less, when this small package is available!

Always open to something new: but often find "latest is not the greatest"!

Posted by: ordnance outsellers | December 29, 2011 1:02 PM    Report this comment

I have been carrying a PM40 in a pocket holster as my primary and only CC weapon for about 6 years. Soon after I bought it, I took it to the range for the 200-round recommended break-in. My gun came with a 5-round magazine as well as a 6-round magazine with pinkie extension. I shot the 5-round mag a few times, then went to the 6-round mag, which was much more comfortable, but even then I had to put on a shooting glove to finish. The back- and front-strap checkering are deep and sharp and along with the fairly stout recoil the web of my hand was taking a beating. I had a couple of FTFs and a stovepipe early in the break-in, after which it functioned flawlessly. I kept the moving parts soaked with RemOil throughout break-in. At the end of break-in, accuracy was about 4 inches at 7 yards. Since then I have installed a CT laser and groups are now about 2-3 inches at 7 yards. I think this is the best CC pistol I own. Six rounds of .40 Critical Defence with six more in my spare magazine are much more comforting that 5 round of .38 in a J-frame and a speed strip backup. Kahr builds top-notch guns and I'm thinking about buying another one.

Posted by: tat47 | December 29, 2011 12:40 PM    Report this comment

I have carried the PM40 daily for over 2 years. My accuracy results are better than those in the article. This pistol is 100% reliable. I ran several brands of defensive ammo through it before choosing Wilson 140 gr TAC-XP as my carry load. No feed issues with any brand of ammo after I got a few hundred rounds through the gun to break it in. The only negative is the strength required to pull back the slide. My wife cannot operate this pistol because she lacks the strength to lock it open.
I highly recommend it to anyone with enough hand strength to operate it.

Posted by: rproulx | December 29, 2011 12:34 PM    Report this comment

Just got this gun for Christmas and am extremely pleased with it. I find it just a little easier to conceal than a J frame, while carrying much more of a "payload". Recoil? Sure, it's there, but I honestly feel that my Glock 23 has more kick and muzzle flip than this little Kahr. I can't explain why, but I'm sure of it. There were two failures to feed, early in the 200 round break-in period with flat-nosed white box FMJ's. Since then, it's been flawless with several kinds of HP ammo, including the 180 Federal HST that I will be carrying in it. Mine does not have night sights, but came with the Crimson Trace laser which attaches seamlessly in front of the trigger guard. Accuracy both with regular sights and CT laser is more than acceptable for the use this gun is intended for.
Two thumbs up for this gun. Sorry, J-frame, but you're moving into the safe for a while!

Posted by: packratjim | December 29, 2011 11:40 AM    Report this comment

I have been carrying a Kahr PM9 for about a year. It's my back-up pistol that rides in a Galco pocket holster in my left front pocket. I carry a spare magazine for it on my belt, also on my left side, in a Leatherman tool holster. I have carried a variety of small pistols as back-up pieces, to include such items as the Beretta Tom Cat, Kel-Tec P3AT, North American Guardian .380, and Ruger LCP. All of them were OK in the back-up role, but I like the PM9 best, since it is a full house 9x19mm. It took considerable shooting-in before it was completely reliable, but once it was broken in, it has become a great little back-up piece. I suppose the PM40 would be about the same, except it might be a bit snappier in recoil. In its role as back-up, I see no reason to trade the PM9 for a PM40.

Posted by: canovack | December 29, 2011 11:23 AM    Report this comment

I am a reserve deputy who carries an XDm in 40 and use the PM40 as my back-up. After the break-in it functions flawlessly and is much more accurate than you guys were getting(1to1&1/2 inch groups at 10 yds). It carries well next to my vest and is fun to shoot.

Posted by: WENDELL N | December 29, 2011 11:19 AM    Report this comment

OK, so I'd be looking for feedback from any of you who have one of these and use it.

Posted by: rev_dave | December 29, 2011 10:37 AM    Report this comment

Add your comments ...

New to Gun Tests? Register for Free!

Already Registered? Log In