Range report S&W Model 60 vs Kahr MK9

Range report S&W Model 60 vs Kahr MK9

This is a discussion on Range report S&W Model 60 vs Kahr MK9 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My curiosity finally got the best of me and off to the range I went. I recently had been carrying a S&W model 60, .38 ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Range report S&W Model 60 vs Kahr MK9

    My curiosity finally got the best of me and off to the range I went.

    I recently had been carrying a S&W model 60, .38 Special factory DOA, with a 3 inch heavy barrel and had just picked up a Kahr MK 9 with an advertised 3 inch barrel.

    I know this is not a scientific test but a test of the ammo I had chosen to carry as my SD ammo in the specific guns mentioned: 110 Gr /125 Gr bullets in the .38 Special and 147 gr bullets in the 9mm.

    The S&W model actually had a 3inch barrel measured from the front of the cylinder and the Kahr's 3 inch barrel included the length of chamber.

    Before anyone gets their underwear in a knot I am fully aware of the difference in how revolvers barrels and Semi- Auto barrels are measured

    I was concerned how much I was giving up, if anything by going from a .38 Special with an actual 3 inch barrel to a 9MM with just 2 inches of barrel beyond the nose of the 9mm cartridge.

    I was surprised how close the chosen ammo performed

    Range report: No testing was done today for accuracy as I had tested the accuracy of all the rounds included in this range test before and found them quite accurate in my firearms at SD ranges at 15 yards and under.

    The outside temp was 66 degrees, slight wind 3-5 MPH, bright, sunny, a perfect range day.

    I set the Chronograph up at 10 Ft. I fired 5 rounds of each test ammo, enought to establish what I wanted to know

    #1 Corbon DPX 110 Gr, Plus P, .38 Special.
    #2 Remington 125 Gr, JHP, Plus P , 38 Special
    #3 Remington Golden Saber, 147 Gr Hollow Point, 9MM

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S&W Model 60 .38 special results

    test #1 Corbon DPX 110 gr Plus P .38 Special.
    Average Velocity = 1005 FPS
    High = 1078
    Low = 962
    SD = 52.5
    AD = 38.4
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    test #2 Remington 125 Gr JHP Plus P , 38 Special
    Average Velocity = 975
    High = 991.6
    Low = 964
    ES = 27.3
    SD =11.5
    AD = 9.2
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kahr MK 9 results

    test #3 Remington Golden Saber 147 Gr Hollow Point, 9MM
    Average Velocity = 915
    High = 936
    Low = 880
    ES = 56
    SD = 21.5
    AD = 14.8


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    It would have been interesting if you tested a few 9mm +P rounds like the Speer Gold Dot 124gr.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    and, using all my fingers and toes, it looks like your muzzle energy equivalents are:


    #1 = 246 fpe

    #2 = 264 fpe

    #3 = 272 fpe

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Comments on the data

    I was interested in your test, as I happen to have a S&W model 60 revolver and a Kahr MK9 semiauto.

    In terms of preference between the two guns for self defense, I tend to look at momentum (bullet mass times velocity) rather than energy (bullet mass times velocity squared). In looking at gel test data, it always seemed to me that momentum correlated more closely with penetration than energy, and that heavier bullets had the advantage in penetration of the gel. I think that penetration, along with expansion, are the two most important parameters in evaluating defensive ammo.

    Comparing your 125 grain .38 +P with the 147 grain 9mm, I calculated that the 9mm had roughly an 11% momentum advantage over the .38. Then I look at capacity, and the Kahr with standard magazine will hold 7 rounds (6+1) while the model 60 holds 5 rounds, giving the Kahr a 40% advantage in capacity. So you might argue that the Kahr has approximately a 50% advantage in firepower (capacity times momentum per round) over the revolver.

    The two guns are about the same dimensions, although the Kahr weighs more. The Kahr has a much faster reload, which may be important. So overall I tend to favor the Kahr for carry, although I like the model 60 very much.



    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  5. #5
    Member Array NoScreenName's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to compare and post the results.

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