Kahr P45 Range Report (Long & With Photos)
As some of you know, I purchased a Kahr P45 last week. I managed to fire it yesterday in the presence of PW (administrator of the Beretta Forum ), who fired off 16 magazines worth of .45 ACP ammo through the gun.
My earlier post regarding purchasing the P45 is here (including a couple of photos): Uh Oh (Again)..now this time my P7 is in trouble.....
To give range report some perspective, the weapon mimics the overall design and basic ergonomics of the rest of the Kahr line as you can see in this photo:
Note, my weapons in the photos, from top to bottom, are the P45, P9 Covert (9mm) and PM9 (9mm). To accommodate the larger .45 ACP, the gun is of course larger overall.
The P45 is a double action only (DAO) semi automatic pistol utilizing, as seen in the photos, a stainless slide and polymer frame. The frame has very aggressive checkering fore and aft. The P45's external extractor is big and blocky. The sights are tightly dovetailed into place. The front sight has a white dot and the rear sight a vertical white line. The magazine well is lightly beveled. The magazine carries six rounds of .45 ACP ammunition.
One thing here...I don't really like the plastic baseplate on the magazine. They add some bulk to the magazine. This a concealment weapon and a 1/2 inch or so of added concealment is...well, 1/2 inch of (possibly) added unnecessary bulk. That said, I did a little experimenting. I took the metal baseplate and tab that locks the baseplate into place from a range-only Star PD .45 ACP magazine. The baseplate fits perfectly, but the tab does not...it's too long. The tab for the P45 magazine won't fit the Star PD magazine baseplate. If I can only file it down.....one day I suppose.
As my earlier post stated, I noted that the magazines require a very good hard smack to lock them into place. PW noted something I hadn't up to then....a major difference between my polymer framed 9mm Kahrs and the P45 is that the magazine release button is apparently made entirely of metal. Those of my 9mm Kahrs are (externally) polymer. That said, I had only had to strike the bottom the magazine with the strength of Superman only twice. I believe a round was already in the chamber both times. Loading the gun from an empty chamber did not require a hard slap.
God bless Kahr for giving us a grip that is (for my smaller hands) perfect. I have no problems reaching the DAO trigger. A person with really large hands might have a problem, but perhaps not, the grip is truly bigger than its smaller (albeit older) siblings.
This Kahr's barrel mimics it's 9mm siblings: the feedramp is offset which, according to Kahr, assists in keeping things compact. The ramp is very lightly polished. The recoil assembly is a simple affair: a metal rod and spring. Although I don't know what the spring weight is…getting the rod/spring to seat properly. takes a bit of doing since it's heavy (maybe 20+ pounds?)
I didn't notice things gunwriters take note about like tool marks.
Prior to taking the gun to the range, I performed my usual basic stripping of the weapon and cleaning of the barrel and slide/frame interiors and lubricating of the rails and barrel hood. Field stripping is as with other Kahrs: mate the two lines (one on bottom left of the slide and a second on the top left of the frame), push the slide stop lever out from the right and pull the slide off the frame. Reassembly is reversed. Militec was the lubricant used as with all of my guns.
I noted that getting the slide and frame to lock back into place was a bear. Something (I believe the recoil spring rod) was catching somewhere. I never could figure out where. It took about five minutes of "fitzing" with the gun to get the two halves to mate and lock into place.
Range day saw me taking 200 rounds of Winchester White Box (WWB) 230 grain FMJ, 100 rounds of Remington 230 grain JHP (all from Wal Mart) and a handful of CCI Blazer Brass 230 grain FMJ ammunition. PW had, I believe, WWB ammunition as well.
Anyhow on range day, I set up a couple of targets and set it for seven yards, inserted the magazine and fired off six rounds carefully. All six went into a very tidy group. Daddy be likin' the P45! Lots! For a gun with a short sight plane and long DAO trigger pull (more on that in a second) this gun is accurate! However two negatives were quickly noted:
1. Ejection: the ejection on this gun is very (VERY) erratic. Within a magazine of six rounds, one round might bean me on the head, one might bean PW five feet on my right, one might hit my right earmuff, one might go straight up, one might go ten feet behind me and the last empty cartridge case just a few inches from me. This issue happened throughout the range session.
2. Trigger pull: in a word....it's L---O---N---G....no, really, it's really long. Oh, by the way, did I say it was long...no? Well, it was. I put in this perspective to PW after firing the first 12 rounds...the only other gun I own that is as long (actually a bit longer) is the trigger pull for my Kel Tec P3AT .380 ACP....when I pulled the trigger it would take about a week for the gun to discharge due to the long trigger of the P3AT....that said, it would take about three or four days for the P45 trigger to discharge after I initiated pulling the trigger.
That said, no one can ever accuse a legally armed citizen or LEO of accidentally discharging this gun, but it will definitely take training to get used to it's long arc. PW and I both found ourselves throwing at least one round out of six out of a group if our concentration drifted a bit.
Good thing about the trigger pull....it's nice and smooth and not heavy at all. It's weight stacks a bit (but it's not that heavy even then) at the point the shot breaks which is good...your trigger finger will have feedback when pulling the trigger.
The bottom line about the trigger is that despite it's length of pull, it's manageable. It is a street gun trigger meaning, it's meant for self-defense and not competition.
Ok...on to other observations.
PW stated that the "pineapple" checkering in the polymer was a bit sharp....he's right, but I liked it. The gun was well anchored when it discharged.....and with this light gun, you need it. This gun does recoil a bit which is to be expected given it's chambering. Recoil was well managed in this gun though. Taking into account the aforementioned trigger pull, firing controlled pairs were not difficult with this gun. I attribute that to the aggressive checkering, polymer frame and low bore axis of the gun.
The outside of the slide and slide stop lever can use dehorning....especially the lever....there are some sharp areas.
The sights were nice and blocky.....but this gun begs to get tritium night sights installed.
The magazines would fall freely from the gun after hitting the magazine release button. The feedlips of the magazines are bit sharp so maybe check that if you buy a P45...you may need to lightly file the lips to knock the sharp edges.
Well, in firing the gun (almost 400 rounds) I do have to report that there were two failure-to-feed (FTF) malfunctions using the WWB ammunition within the first 200 rounds which is not uncommon with Kahr 9mm's. In both instances (within two magazines of one another), the slide stripped the rounds from the magazine into the chamber, but the rounds did not fully chamber. At that point, the gun was filthy. I think the rounds might have been slightly oversized. That, and a dirty chamber, might have contributed to those two FTFs. Kahr recommends a break in period of 200 rounds with their product line. I'm not too worried about the two FTFs; my PM9 has suffered some malfunctions within its first 250 rounds. It has not suffered one since and its current round count is about 1000 rounds.
Leather for the Kahr 9mm's does not the P45. Maybe Glock or HK USP leather will? The magazines will fit in a carrier for a 1911 but not for a single stack 9mm.
How to improve this very nice gun…..for starters, Kahr needs to give us magazines with a flat metal baseplate (actually its not a huge deal but it would be nice as that would aid in concealment), dehorn the slide and slide stop lever (necessary), check into the ejection pattern of the gun (maybe this issue is isolated to my gun) and reduce the long trigger pull by about a foot (kidding....just a little) but not the pull weight. Oh, they also need to look into the magazine loading issue (loading the magazine into the well). Although I only had the problem a couple of times in actual testing.
Wrapping up this LONG report (only a wee bit longer than the trigger pull), this is a good gun....one that will now be part of my off-duty carry battery (when leather is available for it) which currently consists of the Kahr 9mm's in the photo above.
Here is a parting photo. Note the soot on the muzzle. Range was seven yards and that time all six went into that group:
I hope this range report is remotely helpful to someone.