Kahr CM9 and Ruger LCR .38 review
LCR Price and stats - $459.24 including 5% tax and $13 background check fee
Caliber: .38 Special capable of +P
Barrel: 1.87” 1-16 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 6.50”
Grips: Hogue Tamer
Sights: U-notch integral rear, replaceable pinned ramp front
Finish: Cylinder Advanced Target Grey, Frame and Barrel Matte Black
Kahr CM9 Price and stats - $429.45 including 5% tax and $13 background fee. Additional $30 for 1-7rd magazine.
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.0", conventional rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.42"
Slide Width: .90"
Weight: Pistol 14 ounces, Magazine 1.9 ounces
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide
Magazine: 1 - 6 rd flush floorplate
For comparison, my regular carry Springfield Armory XD9 Service stats:
Length O/A: 7.3”
Weight: Pistol 28oz unloaded, Magazine 2.8oz unloaded
The Kahr ate 121 total rounds of 9mm which were:
- 93 rounds Remington UMC 115gr FMJ
- 14 rounds of Winchester PDX1 124+P (my preferred XD9 round as well)
- 14 rounds of Fiocchi 124 gr JHP.
I didn’t keep as precise a count of the LCR since I knew that it would function with no problem, but it did eat the following:
- 9 rounds Federal 129+P Hydrashok
- 5 rounds Buffalo Bore 158gr Soft Lead Semi-wadcutter HP standard pressure low flash
- 10 rounds Remington Golden Saber 125+P
- Unknown number of Remington UMC 130gr FMJ. I’d say approximately 40 rounds.
All of which were .38 Special of course.
I encountered two malfunctions with the CM9 and none with the LCR. The CM9 slide failed to lock back after the last round twice, but I don’t consider that a dire issue.
The LCR had quite a bit more perceived recoil than the CM9 even though they are only 0.5oz apart in weight. I do believe this has something to do with the CM9 slide being stainless and obviously reciprocating while the LCR is almost entirely polymer and even though the frame flexes a bit that isn’t going to soak up as much recoil as a slide moving before that recoil hit’s the shooters hand(s). That said they were both decent to shoot for what they are.
Accuracy with both weapons was very good. I was shooting from five yards and did not miss either of the 8” targets even in rapid fire, which did surprise me a bit since both guns have a DAO trigger, but they are not heavy or difficult at all. The Kahr’s trigger pull did start out pretty heavy and stiff, but over the course of a weekend of dry firing and slide racking it smoothed out quite nicely and is even better than the LCR.
Reloading with both guns was kind off hit and miss. The Kahr CM9 magazine release is not all that easy to hit fast and reliably, which I do understand since it is intended for pocket carry and the last thing you need is a magazine either partially or fully ejecting. That said both the six and seven round magazines I have drop freely from the gun, even though the internet is full of accounts of them not doing so and even a spate of Youtube videos on how to make them drop free. I was also able to use the slingshot method of reload instead of just the slide release even though that is also described as not working reliably. I did not do the slingshot more than a few times, but it did work when I used it. Who knows, maybe I received one of the best CM9 pistols ever made.
The LCR is also not going to win any speed reload contests. When reloading you really have to punch that ejector rod. If you don’t you get anywhere from one to four cases still partially stuck in the cylinder and you get to pick them out because a repeat smack of the ejector rod (even smartly) will not do the trick. If I hit the rod smartly it did practically shoot the casings out. I used 2-5rd Tuff brand Quickstrips with four rounds each (two on either end with a one round gap in the middle for easier loading) to reload. It is quicker than I thought it would be, but nowhere near a speed loader. I have no speed loaders that work for the LCR at this time, but a few 5 Star loaders are on the horizon.
If you are looking for a quality snubnose revolver and/or a tiny 9mm (I hesitate to even use the term subcompact) I highly, highly recommend both guns. They are affordable, from reputable companies and both pack good power in a small package.