Kahr CW9 First Impression

Kahr CW9 First Impression

This is a discussion on Kahr CW9 First Impression within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't usually post things, but I reviewed numerous posts in deciding which handgun I would purchase for concealed carry. That being said, I realize ...

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Thread: Kahr CW9 First Impression

  1. #1
    New Member Array avidrider's Avatar
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    Nov 2007

    Kahr CW9 First Impression

    I don't usually post things, but I reviewed numerous posts in deciding which handgun I would purchase for concealed carry. That being said, I realize my opinion is mine and what works for me may not work for someone else.

    I am in law enforcement and legally able to carry with or without a concealed weapons permit in my state as long as I have my ID. I do have a cwp to make purchases easier, and due to the fact that I travel out of state to other areas with cwp reciprocity.

    My duty weapon is a sig p226 stainless in .40 sw and I own two other sigs, a 226 in 9 and a 245 in .45. I have to mention right off I am a sig snob, and prefer metal framed guns over non metal. I tried glocks after my first year on the job, and they don't point the same as sig. Rather than retraining with glocks which would have solved the problem, I decided to stick with sig.

    I have a modest handgun budget and spend between 1-2 thousand a year in guns, ammo, holsters etc. That amount of money allows me some freedom with firearm purchases that other people don't have. I'll tell you right now if you can only afford one handgun buy a Ruger SP-101 in .357. It's funny, I prefer semi-auto but the ruger is damn versatile, relatively small and easily changeable to the situation.

    That being said, I own multiple handguns so my versatily comes from going to the gun safe and picking the weapon for the situation. I prefer semi auto, and have tried to come up with an off duty carry solution that works for me.

    I started with a mitch rosen arg, and tried to carry my duty weapon, too big, too heavy, and in the summer too much of a pain. I then tried my 226 9 which has an aluminum frame. Slightly better but still not my thing. I'd leave the house unarmed rather than carry. Then I tried a colt lightweight officers in a Kramer IWB holster. I bought the colt used and the previous owner had some serious work done to it. The gun is ugly, but shoots like a laser. This is probably the most comfortable setup I tried of my first attempts of constant carry. I bought some eagle secret service grips for my SP101 with a don hume clip IWB holster which worked pretty well also. The thing about revolvers is, I practice with them, but I feel more comfortable with a semi auto. My grip works better and they just seem better for me.

    So my gun fund got built up recently to where I could start looking for something better to carry all the time. I started reviewing posts, going to gunstores, and looking at manufacturers on-line. I breifly considered kel-tec, but they feel like junk to me, and I decided against them pretty quickly. Thought about NAA guardians and decided against them for weight vs. power issues. Then thought about a seecamp in .380 (I'll end up getting one eventually) but too hard to find and almost 800 bucks for a .380 seemed steep. I've known about Kahr's for years, but never found many for sale here in

    After about 3 weeks of looking into it, reading reviews, etc. I finally had it narrowed down. I wanted small, powerful, light, dependable, and fairly easily carried. I knew whatever gun I purchased had to fit these categories pretty closely. That being said I narrowed my choices down to the following firearms.
    1. HK P7 grade A condition $790
    2. Sig P232 .380 auto (but hey its a sig) $509 new
    3. Kahr PM9 non night sight, black DLC, $599 new
    4. Kahr CW9 $389 new
    5. Rohrbaugh R9S $900 new (approx)
    All of these firearms were in the range of money I was willing to spend for a gun I would carry all of the time. I compiled a spreasheet of the specifications for all of these guns to compare side by side.

    I gotta say, I've always wanted a p7 so I was leaning toward that even though it was the biggest, heaviest, and most oddly balanced. I decided against the sig because I felt the .380 just didn't have the power I wanted in my primary off duty gun. I likewise discounted anything above a 9mm because my belief that bullet placement and handgun control make up in some ways for bullet weight. My lightweight officers and p245 are relatively small, but you feel .45 in a gun that small. I wanted a caliber I felt comfortable controlling one hand, offhand, and two handed. For me that meant 9.

    I thought seriously about the Rohrbaugh but decided against it for two reasons. Availability, there is no dealer in Montana, and I didn't want to have to deal with getting one here. Additionally, the PM9 is only slightly larger and a couple hundred bucks less. The other reason I decided against it was that fact it wasn't +p rated. I knew I was going to but a 9 but I wanted all of the power I could get out of the 9mm cartridge.

    So after all that I was down to three choices, Kahr pm9, cw9, and still the hk p7 lurking in the fringes. I read some more on the p7 went and fondled it some more at the gun store. After playing with it a bit more I noticed a few things. It's not a small gun, (I may buy it eventually but I had serious doubts that I would carry it every day.) While grip and trigger seemed relatively intuitive, its a different system than I am used too. So choices down to 2.

    I went to the other gun store and played with all of their Kahrs except the .45's. I played with p40, cw40, pm40, p9, cw9, and two pm9's. I thought hard about the forty, because I am a fan of tactical redundancy. I have a sig. 40 and a ruger pc4 carbine that shoots 40. I figured another forty might fit right in, and with the cold of Montana winters, the heavier bullet might have better effect through clothing. After a few minutes I discounted the forty (again I may buy one in the future) and decided to stay with the 9.

    So i decided against the p9 because it's the same size as the cw9 and costs two hundred more. sure it's a little prettier, has one more magazine, and has a replaceable front sight, but $200? Sorry I may have money to spend on guns but I try not to spend it stupidly. So pm9 vs. cw9.

    The PM 9 is small, and that was its main attraction to me. I wanted something highly concealable. Plus the all black just looked better than the two tone. However, the cw9 just fit my hand better. It was also about $200 less. I looked at the feedramps of both guns and noticed the feedramp on the cw9 seemed to be more highly polished than the pm9. So after weeks of indecision, I finally plunked down my money and bought, the cheapest of all the guns I had been considering. Oh yeah Kahrs are rated +p+, and that was an important factor in eventually deciding on one. I recently bought some Winchester Ranger SXT 127 Gr. +p+ and wanted to use it in whatever gun I purchased.

    I took the gun home loaded it with 124 hornady TAP's and stuck it in a DeSantis bellyband I had purchased for whatever I eventually decided on. The gun fit well, was lighter than anything I had previously carried, and carries 8 rounds. Not a bad deal at all. Definitly the least noticeable of everything I've tried to carry.

    Today I decided to go to the range, to begin the 200 round break in the manuel and numerous web sites advocate with new Kahrs. I took 74 rnds of blazer 115 gr fmj bulk ammo. 7 rnds of winchester 147 gr SXT personal protection, 7 rounds of Hornady 124 GR. TAP, and 7 rounds of the winchester ranger mentioned above.

    It's mid decemeber in Montana, and that meant cold. It was about 15 degrees at the outdoor range, and snowing lightly. I fired most of the blazer ammo wearing gloves, Black Diamond stretch gloves that I wear on duty in the winter when its cold. I fired 8 7-rnd magazines at 25 yards to start. During all of that I had one failure to fire, and everything else loaded cleanly. The gun seemed to shoot slightly to the left, but at the correct height. However, I have a tendancy to shoot almost every gun slightly left so I think that was just me.

    At 25 yards I noticed the gun was fairly accurate. I am a relatively good shooter, one of the better in my department, but I really need some time to adjust to a new gun. Additonally, I believe more in instinctive shooting, and don't spend a ton of time aiming before pulling the trigger. That being said, at 25 yards I could hit the head 4 times out of 7 with every magazine.

    I then moved up to ten yards and could hit head shots with every shot out of the magazine. I fired the last four rounds instinctively shooting while walking toward the target. All four went to point of aim.

    I then loaded and fired one magazine of each of the three better quality ammo. All three performed very well, but the Ranger seemed to work the best, (putting three almost on top of each other.) the +p+ ranger was a little more crisp in firing than the others but not noticeably less controllable. In fact the ranger seemed to return to target quicker and just felt better.

    I then field stripped the gun to look at the internals. Very little noticeable wear. The guide rod was slightly scratched and marred, but that was about all of the wear noticeable to my eye. I returned home, stipped it again, cleaned it and loaded it up with the ranger ammo.

    Another high point of the Kahr was its trigger, smooth and consistent throughout the length of pull. Noticeably smoother and lighter than double action on my sigs. I gotta say in a less than 400 dollar gun, the best trigger I've ever felt. The grip size of the CW vs Pm, while bigger, seems to allow for easy control of the gun using even hotter loads.

    I know this has been long winded but I think it may benefit people considering purchasing this versus similar sized gun. To sum it all up, I have complete confidence in the Kahr, and most likely will purchase one or two more in the future.

  2. #2
    Member Array LAFLA's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Thanks for the great thread on how you made your decision. I had some of the same thought process and ended up with the CW9 as well. My wife settled on a S&W 640 and quickly regretted it due to its weight and size. It's a nice revolver but now resides in the gun safe. She bought a well maintained used PM9 and shoots it very well. We have only carried Corbon Pow'R'Ball due to worries about failures to feed but recently put lots of WWB JHP through with no problem and will now try some Speer 124 Gr GDHP short barrel. I don't feel it will be an issue and will also try some Hornady TAP PFD 124 Gr as well just to see. We have over 1500 rounds through each of the Kahrs and have absolute faith in them.

  3. #3
    Member Array LAFLA's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    By the way, a local Army Navy store has the CW9 for $399 but anywhere else around this area it is about $500 or more. You got a good deal for $389 and I think the price will only go up as more people realize what a great pistol it is.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    I'm happy with my Kahr K40, although I find myself carrying my Glocks most often. Nice review.

  6. #5
    Member Array nuparadigm's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Thanks for the review of the CW9. I've wanted one for a long time - mainly because the barrel has conventional rifiling instead of the polygonal rifiling found in most other Kahrs. I carry a P45 and am very satisfied with it .... but a CW9 may be in my future.
    The Edge ... there's no honest way to describe it. The only ones who know where it is have gone over.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up . As an owner of all 3 finalists ( well a p7 a grade , kahr p9, and kahr pm9 ) I strongly feel you made the right choice for your needs . The pm is nice at times but is not near as easy to shoot well as the p/cw series . Be cautious on aftermarket mags tho since the reviews on cheap kahr mags of all brands seems mixed . All my mags are kahr .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  8. #7
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    I also recently bought a CW9 and they are sweet little pistols. It is quickly becoming my favorite carry gun.

    BTW I found the 8 round Kahr mags (Kahr #K920G, w/small grip extension) at Cheaper Than Dirt for less than $27.
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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  9. #8
    Member Array klx9mm's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    panama city, fl
    good review. i have the cw40 and love it so far. it's become my every day gun.

  10. #9
    Member Array njeske's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Sparks, NV
    i like my CW9 as well. it shoots great and conceals great.

  11. #10
    Member Array JrHawk's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Thanks for the post. Very detailed and informative. I learned quite a bit. Stay safe out there!

  12. #11
    Member Array Hoot's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Let me put your mind at rest regarding not purchasing the HKp7. Like you I carried a Sig226 in the 80's and early 90's as a duty gun. I bought an HKp7 in 1987. It was a great little gun, and at 25 yards would print groups just as tight as the Sig's. But, you had to unlearn and relearn with the HK. It a tight moment you don't need to think about squeeze and release. I would go with the HK if it were the primary gun and I used the p7 drill all the time. I wouldn't want it for my off duty gun. Of course, it is a great toy. I have a lot of toys that I wouldn't choose to carry. I think you made the right choice. I have a MK9, but I get to hankering for one of the lighter weight models now and then.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array wvshooter's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Charleston, WV
    Very nice review. I've had my CW9 for about nine months and it is my every day carry. I have tried to carry a Sigma 9mm, and a CZ 75 but the Kahr is much lighter and thinner. It's so comfortable I don't really notice I'm carrying it. With eight backup rounds in a spare mag I feel I have plenty firepower. They are cheap and not very sexy but they are very practical for cc.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array swiftyjuan's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Madera, CA
    Very informative review. The CW9 is on my short list, and you just moved it to the top!
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