Kahr CM9 and Ruger LCR .38 review

This is a discussion on Kahr CM9 and Ruger LCR .38 review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; LCR Price and stats - $459.24 including 5% tax and $13 background check fee Caliber: .38 Special capable of +P Capacity: 5 Operation: DAO Barrel: ...

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Thread: Kahr CM9 and Ruger LCR .38 review

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 45ACP4ever's Avatar
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    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
    Capacity: 5
    Operation: DAO
    Barrel: 1.87” 1-16 right-hand twist
    Length O/A: 6.50”
    Height: 4.5”
    Weight: 13.5oz
    Width: 1.28”
    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.
    Caliber: 9mm
    Capacity: 6+1
    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"
    Height: 4.0"
    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:
    Caliber: 9mm
    Capacity: 16+1
    Barrel: 4.05”
    Length O/A: 7.3”
    Height: 5.5”
    Width: 1.25”
    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.

    Shooting experience
    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.

    Overall Impressions
    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.

    azchevy likes this.
    "It is your evil that will be sought by us. With every breath we will hunt them down. Each day we will spill their blood, until it rains down from the skies. Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles that every man from every faith can embrace." -McManus twins Boondock Saints

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Had the CM9 and it functioned flawlessly right out of the box. I paid $399 new for mine. Ultimately I decided pocket carry isn't for me. I need something that feels substantial in a holster. But it was a fine weapon indeed.

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    Senior Member Array 45ACP4ever's Avatar
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    I doubt I will do much pocket carrying with either. I have the LCR in my belt with a Fricke Zach holster at the moment. The Kahr will be getting a belt holster as well. Pocket carry doesn't make much sense to me if you have absolutely any other option, with the possible exception of ankle carry.
    "It is your evil that will be sought by us. With every breath we will hunt them down. Each day we will spill their blood, until it rains down from the skies. Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles that every man from every faith can embrace." -McManus twins Boondock Saints

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    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45ACP4ever View Post
    I doubt I will do much pocket carrying with either. I have the LCR in my belt with a Fricke Zach holster at the moment. The Kahr will be getting a belt holster as well. Pocket carry doesn't make much sense to me if you have absolutely any other option, with the possible exception of ankle carry.
    in this picture, my hands are on on two loaded Keltec PF-9 9mm's. Very casual looking and incredibly fast to bring your weapon into action. I find pocket carry to be one of the most discrete ways to carry and is very effective in situations where a larger handgun is not practical.

    Philly Boy likes this.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45ACP4ever View Post
    I have no speed loaders that work for the LCR at this time, but a few 5 Star loaders are on the horizon.
    great review...

    check this out

    The Ruger LCR .357 and different speedloaders

    I highly recommend the S.L. Variant Model J-36 if you don't like shiny fake chrome things ( which I personally do not)

    As with any snub, you have to eject the cases with authority.

    After training by moving and shooting with pocket carry I found that it only works well if you are ready for the attack and know it is coming, if you are reactive and have to move and draw, it can cause issues, which is why I try to avoid it when possible and carry AIWB.

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    Senior Member Array Ramjet's Avatar
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    Nice review well written and very open.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array 45ACP4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    great review...

    check this out

    The Ruger LCR .357 and different speedloaders

    I highly recommend the S.L. Variant Model J-36 if you don't like shiny fake chrome things ( which I personally do not)

    As with any snub, you have to eject the cases with authority.

    After training by moving and shooting with pocket carry I found that it only works well if you are ready for the attack and know it is coming, if you are reactive and have to move and draw, it can cause issues, which is why I try to avoid it when possible and carry AIWB.
    Thanks. I will have to check out those loaders.

    Pocket carry works well for certain situations, but as soon as you start moving and trying to draw your pocket turns into a raccoon trap. But, I did stick my LCR in the pocket of my hoodie last night when I took the garbage out. That type of pocket obviously doesn't change shape like a pants pocket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjet View Post
    Nice review well written and very open.
    Thank you very much.
    "It is your evil that will be sought by us. With every breath we will hunt them down. Each day we will spill their blood, until it rains down from the skies. Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles that every man from every faith can embrace." -McManus twins Boondock Saints

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