Kahr PM9 Recoil springs (probably also applies to the CM9)

Kahr PM9 Recoil springs (probably also applies to the CM9)

This is a discussion on Kahr PM9 Recoil springs (probably also applies to the CM9) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Executive summary: Replace your recoil spring every 1000 rounds. Or, use one recoil spring for carry purposes, and a spare for training use only. Failure ...

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Thread: Kahr PM9 Recoil springs (probably also applies to the CM9)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Kahr PM9 Recoil springs (probably also applies to the CM9)

    Executive summary:

    Replace your recoil spring every 1000 rounds. Or, use one recoil spring for carry purposes, and a spare for training use only. Failure to do so can result in failures to return fully into battery.

    If you are not able to manually slingshot or overhand your first round into the chamber without getting a nose-down jam, the issue is NOT your technique or physical strength. This issue is caused by variations in the length and/or power of the recoil spring.

    Some replacement springs are too long. This is a known issue. Solution from Kahr tech support is to cut of a coil, reinsert the spring, and check function.


    Background:

    Depending on which tech you talk to at Kahr, the recoil springs on the PM9 need to be replaced every 1000, 1200, or 1500 rounds. I erred on the side of caution, and replaced mine at close to 800 rounds.

    The new spring was too long – it went into the gun, but I could not lock the slide open, because the spring was fully compressed and became, in effect, a solid piece of steel. As noted above, the solution is to cut of a coil, and try to reassemble the gun and check function. Mine only needed of a coil cut to work properly. I checked function by actually firing the pistol this past weekend, and it worked fine with the new spring.

    While this need to do my own gunsmithing on what is supposed to be a drop-in part was disappointing, it had the unexpected positive side effect of curing my PM9’s inability to be hand-racked without going into the dreaded “Kahr nose-down jam.” It would seem that minute differences in the length and/or power of the recoil springs explains why some owners can manually rack their PM9s all day long, while others will nose-down and jam. Contrary to the Kahr fanbois, it has nothing to do with the owner’s physical strength or technique (“rack it like you mean it; rack it like a man; these guns are not for beginners,” etc).

    The PM9 is the only Kahr I have any interest in owning, due to its ability to fit into most pockets. If I need larger, I’ll carry one of my Glocks. Thus, I do not know what the recoil spring change recommendation is for the larger Kahrs. However, if you have a larger Kahr and have difficulty manually racking the slide and reliably loading a round into the chamber, you might wish to try a new recoil spring.

    Hope this helps some fellow Kahr owners…
    Last edited by 10thmtn; May 30th, 2012 at 10:57 AM. Reason: bullet points improperly numbered
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array VBVAGUY's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I am assuming this is only applies to the newer style PM9 and the current CM9 ??? I have the older blunt nose PM9. Thanks again for any info. God Bless

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I had an older PM9 that started having failures to return to battery at about the 1400 round mark (IIRC). That's what led me to call Kahr and ask about the recoil spring replacement recommendation. This info was nowhere in their manual. Any model of PM9 (and I assume CM9 as well) should get a new recoil spring every 1000 rounds, just to be safe, IMHO.

    I had an early PM9, a later PM9, and now have the "latest" PM9. Suffice to say, there have been numerous detail design changes along the way. I think this is one of the reasons folks are having issues with replacement recoil springs not being the proper length. Despite telling Kahr I had a new-model PM9, I still got a recoil spring that did not work properly, until I cut it.

    Take care!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Member Array theheater905's Avatar
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    Kahr made a running change on the PM9 and increased the Barrel length from 3" to 3.1", I also have to assume they increased the slide length as well. When they made this change they also changed the length of the outer recoil spring. The recoil spring guide assembly comes with the outer spring and captive inner spring with guide rod, part# 005PM9B, for the OLD style slide specify a 13 coil outer spring, for the NEW slide specify 15 coil spring. The part costs $23.10. I dont know if you can still order the outer spring separately, I also do not know its part number, they used to cost about $8.00. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    I thought part of the reason of going to the newer heavier 15 coil system was to allow for a spring to last longer and function better than the older coils. I never had any issue with mine. Never had nose dives and can slowly rack back and controling the slide forward and chamber a round.

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    New Member Array david8613's Avatar
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    I'll be watching this thread...

  7. #7
    Member Array oldNJshooter's Avatar
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    OK, lets muddy up the waters a little more.
    Last month at the range, I fired my PM9 with the carry ammo that had been it for a few weeks. I got off three rounds before it jammed! The end of the recoil spring was portruding out of the slide. Not very good for a EDC pistol.
    I cleared the pistol and re-orientated the spring several times but the results were the same, one to three rounds and JAM!
    This recoil assembly only had 389 rds. on it when it failed.
    I requested a replacement recoil assembly from Kahr Arms with a complete description of what had take place. I specified what model PM9 I have and the DOB and when it was purchased. When it did not show up in 9 days, I inquired and another was sent out. Long story short, two arrrived within two weeks!
    What I received was two units with the 13 coil recoil spring instead of the 15 coils that is supposed to be used in the newer model PM9.
    I immediately noticed that the unit installed more easily than the 15 coil unit. Pulling the slide to the rear, the slide no longer dragged or stacked before locking open.
    I ran 171 rounds thru the PM9 and it performed flawlessly.
    Maybe the shorter 13 coild spring isn't a bad idea even in the newer longer PM9 slide?
    Jim
    NRA Life Member since '69

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldNJshooter View Post
    Last month at the range, I fired my PM9 with the carry ammo that had been it for a few weeks. I got off three rounds before it jammed! The end of the recoil spring was portruding out of the slide. Not very good for a EDC pistol.
    Had a similar situation happen with my CM9.... One of the main reasons I started looking for another ultra small 9mm. I'm actually glad it happened, it prompted me to continue my search and I stumbled upon the Sig P290. IMO, way better pistol and even less expensive too boot. The Kahr has a better trigger, but overall the Sig blows it away in every other area of use.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread. I knew about needing to replace the recoil spring after 1k rounds, but had never heard about the issue with the length of the spring. I have never been able to slingshot my PM9 (an issue that irked me because that is how I was trained and prefer it). I am on my second spring in my gun but neither could be slingshot. I have an newer extra recoil assembly at home, when I get home I am going to check the number of coils, switch it with the one in the gun and see if that cures the problem. Thanks 10th

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array mhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy View Post
    I knew about needing to replace the recoil spring after 1k rounds, but had never heard about the issue with the length of the spring.
    The "issue" is because Kahr re-designed the PM9 about 2.5-3 years ago. They made the slide/barrel slightly longer so they could put angled "side cuts" on the end of the slide like a G26. Apparently, cops had been asking for this change for their BUGs because it supposedly made re-holstering easier.

    So, those of us with older 1st generation PM9s, myself included, will find the replacement outer recoil spring (and inner spring/guide rod assembly) for the new generations PM9s too long. Kahr's solution? Cut the outer recoil spring a coil at a time. Yeah, it works, but it's a VERY unrefined and unprofessional solution that I've never run across before with ANY other firearm manufacturer.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhunter View Post
    The "issue" is because Kahr re-designed the PM9 about 2.5-3 years ago. They made the slide/barrel slightly longer so they could put angled "side cuts" on the end of the slide like a G26. Apparently, cops had been asking for this change for their BUGs because it supposedly made re-holstering easier.

    So, those of us with older 1st generation PM9s, myself included, will find the replacement outer recoil spring (and inner spring/guide rod assembly) for the new generations PM9s too long. Kahr's solution? Cut the outer recoil spring a coil at a time. Yeah, it works, but it's a VERY unrefined and unprofessional solution that I've never run across before with ANY other firearm manufacturer.
    Actually, I think the issue is one of QC. My PM9 is a newer one, and my new recoil spring was still too long.

    When I ordered my spring, they asked me whether I had a "new" or "old" PM9. This leads me to think you can still get recoil springs for the old version, that is supposed to fit.

    There is a long history of QC issues over at Kahr - magazine followers, split magazine bodies, and now this. Nice design, mediocre execution...especially for the asking price.

    (Hey GBK - I PM'd you back!)
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  12. #12
    Ex Member Array mhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Actually, I think the issue is one of QC. My PM9 is a newer one, and my new recoil spring was still too long.

    When I ordered my spring, they asked me whether I had a "new" or "old" PM9. This leads me to think you can still get recoil springs for the old version, that is supposed to fit.
    Interesting... I posted about this before, as I went through the "change" a little over 2 years ago with my older PM9 and needing a new recoil spring. Kahr acted like they didn't even know what the issue was. I was sent several recoil springs before I just decided to cut one of the darned things and it worked fine. Now, I have a lifetime supply of springs, however. I wouldn't be surprised if they're still only making one length of spring. The definite thing you have to pay attention to is the replacement guide rod/inner recoil spring assembly. Kahr sent me one of those, too. The new version is a tad too long and the front "button" will stick out past the end of the slide. I did try it in my old verison PM9 and it functioned fine, but no way was I keeping in there. So, I got another "old style" recoil rod/inner spring assembly out of them for free, too. They definitely had one hand not knowing what the other was doing back then and I didn't even know there was a new version of the PM9, so that didn't help, either. Still, that shouldn't have been an issue...

    There is a long history of QC issues over at Kahr - magazine followers, split magazine bodies, and now this. Nice design, mediocre execution...especially for the asking price.
    Thankfully, I never had any issues with that stuff. Mine was $525 OTD new, so the asking price was right in my book about 7 years ago when they were next to impossible to find.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    My PM-9 has been very good, but racking the slide by hand is not recommended by Kahr.
    Due to the relatively short length, the recoil spring is very strong so as to slow the slide in a short time,
    Kahr claims that the slide doesn't get enough forward acceleration when racked by hand.
    Use the slide release.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    My PM-9 has been very good, but racking the slide by hand is not recommended by Kahr.
    Due to the relatively short length, the recoil spring is very strong so as to slow the slide in a short time,
    Kahr claims that the slide doesn't get enough forward acceleration when racked by hand.
    Use the slide release.
    No offense - but no.

    I (and many others) have trained to use the overhand or slingshot method of chambering the first round, and for good reason. I've found, for example, that my thumb will not reach the slide release on all my pistols. My G30 and G19 wear CT Lasergrips, and the extra girth around the grip makes it impossible for me to use the slide release. On my G26 (CT Laserguard), no issue.

    Bottom line is that the overhand or slingshot method will work all the time, regardless of size of or distance to the slide release lever. Plus, it is the same motion you would use to clear a malfunction. If you ever have to pick up and use an unfamiliar gun, the overhand method will work - period.

    I will not change my technique or training to accommodate a finicky gun - nor should you have to, IMHO. I considered my PM9 a 7-shot throw-down gun for this reason (shoot the 7 in the gun, then throw it down and use my BUG if needed) until the new recoil spring allowed me to rack it manually.

    JMHO. YMMV.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  15. #15
    Member Array oldNJshooter's Avatar
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    With the new recoil assembly (13 coil spring) that I have in my PM9 (new model), I can succesfully sling shot the first round into the chamber from a slide forward position. I can chamber the first round using the over the top method from a closed or locked back slide position.
    This is the way it should work with any semi-auto.
    This new recoil assembly currently has 171 rounds on it.
    I need it to work 100% because I have a HR 218 qual coming up on the 9th of this month.
    Jim
    NRA Life Member since '69

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