Just got the Kahr P380. problems...

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Thread: Just got the Kahr P380. problems...

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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Just got the Kahr P380. problems...

    Very well built pistol with an exceptional trigger...

    Here is my problem though...

    I just took it to the range and of 50 rounds I shot, I had 35-40 malfunctions... mostly the slide wouldn't fully seat and id have to nudge it forward with my finger or pin wouldn't hit the primer hard enough, so id end up with a dud...

    I know I just got this thing, so I haven't properly even cleaned it, but this was bad! I was told at the store that these take 100-200 rounds to break in and I hope that's the case!!

    I was gonna get the bodyguard 380 but I hated the trigger on it, and the p238s safety was not lefty friendly so...

    I'm a bit nervous now, I thought kahr was the king of the hill with small 9,40, and now the 380 pistols... should this thing get more reliable with like 100 more rounds? Do I need to clean the heck out of this thing? I have no idea...

    What has your experience been with kahr's relialbility and the customer service? (Might have to deal with them soon lol)

    I thought I bought the best of the best in small pistol category :( hope she prevails!

    Ps. The ammo was lellier and bellot

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    It might just be that your pistol doesn't like that flavor of ammo.
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I'd take it apart and clean the heck outa it, then put it back together and rack the slide several times, and I mean like 100 to two hundred times. Next range session take a different ammo then the last and try the break in again. I would also suggest using gun grease instead of oil as your lube of choice. My CW9 will collect oil in the firing pin channel which could lead to a light strikes. I'd try it again before I wrote it off. The Kahrs are tightly made and need the extra attention sometimes. Good luck to ya.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    I know I just got this thing, so I haven't properly even cleaned it ...
    That's bad. All guns should be cleaned, IMO, prior to first shooting them, if for no other reason than to ensure the gun is clean and to know your starting point with the gun. Otherwise, if you have surprises, you'll have yet one more variable to consider as potentially contributing.

    Kahrs are notable for their needing to be well-lubed, particularly the micro Kahrs (PM's, MK's and the P380). Well-lubed. And that's particularly true during the time when they are tight, during your particular gun's break-in phase.


    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    I was told at the store that these take 100-200 rounds to break in ...
    Kahr's recommendation is 200 rounds. But that's not what occasionally ends up being required in practice. I've never heard Kahr state "100" ever. Unknown where the person at that shop got that information, but I doubt it was from Kahr.


    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    I thought kahr was the king of the hill ... I thought I bought the best of the best ...
    I've never known what those sort of terms meant. Kahr makes well-built small pistols. Their K9 has a great reputation for quality and reliability. But Kahrs are tight. Particularly with the smallest Kahrs, many will experience finicky behavior through the break-in period to the point the gun has loosened up sufficiently to handle any cartridge. Note that each specific gun is somewhat different, given tolerances. Each gun can behave quite differently, depending on that.


    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    I just took it to the range and of 50 rounds I shot, I had 35-40 malfunctions... mostly the slide wouldn't fully seat and id have to nudge it forward with my finger ...
    To me, having to nudge forward the slide on a Kahr PM9 or P380 is mostly the result of a tight chamber throat, possibly exacerbated by a rough feed path.

    Yes, ensure it's exceptionally clean, and take the recommendation of racking the slide several hundred times. Both will help, to the degree that cleanliness and tight action are contributing to the problem.

    Though, given what you have said I am betting the issue is something else.

    The micro Kahrs are extremely tight-fitting. That doesn't allow a lot of leeway when it comes to the angle at which a cartridge needs to approach the throat. An action job centering on throating/polishing and smoothing up the feed ramp might well be all you need. If a tight throat and feed way are the problem, then you should see this issue slowly go away (if you work through it), though you could speed this by having throating/polishing work done.

    The micro Kahrs also can be a bit testy with the magazines, resulting in frequent nose-down jams against the feed ramp. If you're experiencing any of this, consider the angle at which the cartridges are allowed to sit at the top of the magazine. Slight tuning of the mag lips might help in this situation.

    As with any pistol, timing also plays a part, since things have to be synchronized in order to line up everything at the right time such that the cartridges will smoothly feed. If that's badly off, it could be playing a part.

    As well, ammo selection can affect things. Not all guns like all ammunition. In my experience, the length of a cartridge (from base of the case to the shoulder on the ogive where it makes contact with the chamber) can matter quite a lot, particularly early on in a very tight gun. It can affect whether a cartridge gets cleanly from the magazine to the throat, and it can combine with the magazine to result in jams against the feed ramp.

    Good luck in your trouble shooting. Note that Kahr stands behind their products. I would recommend keeping good records of exactly what type of rounds and how many, shot in which magazines in which sequence, noting which specific problem occurred on which round. It'll matter, if/when it comes time to inform the Kahr shop exactly what is going on. The more-detailed information that you can provide, the better result Kahr should be able to achieve when attempting correction. BTDT, with several micro Kahrs.
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    Member Array OldLincoln's Avatar
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    I hear this complaint pretty often and almost always comes from a new owner. It's not entirely your fault taseal, but there is a process to use with a new Kahr like most new guns.

    I'm going to direct you to the KahrTalk Forum where lots of sticky posts and others will tell you how to care for your gun. First is Proper prep of a New Kahr, then the Kahr Lube Diagram.

    A lot of folks are used to slingshotting the slide back and releasing to chamber a round. This works only if you do it right and it can be tough with a new gun. So here's a video on Reloading Kahr Pistols.

    Finally for now, a post on Repeated Chambering of the Same Round is Trouble. This is true for all pistols as the slamming of the round into the chamber will eventually shove the bullet back into the casing.

    This should get you started. I intend to make a New Owners thread with these and other things you should know. I will ask you to return to this thread and post how it is going for you. I'm not selling Kahrs but I really like mine and want the good as well as the bad published.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldLincoln View Post
    I hear this complaint pretty often and almost always comes from a new owner. It's not entirely your fault taseal, but there is a process to use with a new Kahr like most new guns.

    I'm going to direct you to the KahrTalk Forum where lots of sticky posts and others will tell you how to care for your gun. First is Proper prep of a New Kahr, then the Kahr Lube Diagram.

    A lot of folks are used to slingshotting the slide back and releasing to chamber a round. This works only if you do it right and it can be tough with a new gun. So here's a video on Reloading Kahr Pistols.

    Finally for now, a post on Repeated Chambering of the Same Round is Trouble. This is true for all pistols as the slamming of the round into the chamber will eventually shove the bullet back into the casing.

    This should get you started. I intend to make a New Owners thread with these and other things you should know. I will ask you to return to this thread and post how it is going for you. I'm not selling Kahrs but I really like mine and want the good as well as the bad published.

    Good advises . Kahr's are awesome firearms, but they are a little different. The most common reason for malfunctions is that new owners do not do what the owners manual says. Furthermore, you should clean and lubricate any new firearm before using it.
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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the info.... Apparently this pistol is like a female, and needs alot of attention from it's owner! I'm more used to the shoot me guns that need no prep lol.

    I'll do as the thread says.

    however, there is no lube diagram. the thread is there, but the pic isn't... anyone have a link for it?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    however, there is no lube diagram. the thread is there, but the pic isn't... anyone have a link for it?
    A simple internet search for "kahr lube diagram" shows this discussion thread over on GlockTalk, where one of the copies of this diagram is referenced. I can see the diagram there and download it, so I'm assuming you should be able to as well: click.
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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    A simple internet search for "kahr lube diagram" shows this discussion thread over on GlockTalk, where one of the copies of this diagram is referenced. I can see the diagram there and download it, so I'm assuming you should be able to as well: click.
    yeah, just found that link after the post. thanks!

    Well, She has been lubed just like the diagram (except I lubed some areas on the lower like around the sear and all) and tomorrow I'm going to probably re-do it and use a cleaner to spray inside that striker channel...

    then I'll go and shoot some more ammo through it and see how she reacts.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    After reading each and every post in this thread, I can honestly say.......my lips are sealed although I've learned quite a bit from it, and I'm sure others have as well. Especially those contemplating a new pistol for CC.

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    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    just my opinion but 35-40 jams out of 50,that's a really high failure rate even during break-in..seems to me something else is going on with the gun other then just a cleaning issue.i hope that's all it is, but that's about a 80% failure rate.i have heard other p380 owners mention, that some brands of.380 ammo did not cycle very well through this gun.. i'd try a few different brands,if possible and see what happens..if you still continue to have problems after the 200 round break-in,i'd contact Kahr and see what they have to say!!
    Last edited by crue2009; October 3rd, 2010 at 10:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    After reading each and every post in this thread, I can honestly say.......my lips are sealed although I've learned quite a bit from it, and I'm sure others have as well. Especially those contemplating a new pistol for CC.
    I believe that Kahr´s are very good firearms. I own a MK9 which always has worked flawless, and I shoot a PM9 very often also without having any kind of problems. However, I do not think that any of those are the best "first gun" that you can get.
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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crue2009 View Post
    just my opinion but 35-40 jams out of 50,that's a really high failure rate even during break-in..seems to me something else is going on with the gun other then just a cleaning issue.i hope that's all it is, but that's about a 80% failure rate.i have heard other p380 owners mention, that some brands of.380 ammo did not cycle very well through this gun.. i'd try a few different brands,if possible and see what happens..if you still continue to have problems after the 200 round break-in,i'd contact Kahr and see what they have to say!!
    I know... which is why I'm a bit worried...

    Well I cleaned the hell out of it today and oiled it very well. I've been racking the slide all day and ran about 100 bullets through it with just cycling the slide. Every bullet is being ejected and a new one is loading and it def feels smoother...

    Ill shoot another 50 rounds theough it this week and see if aanything changes...

    I just don't know why the tolerances are so tight with this pistol...

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    The tolerances are tight because it is a high quality pistol built by craftsmen who know what they are doing.

    Anyway, since you mentioned 50 as the number you shot, I have to assume that it was one box of ammo. Any small caliber gun gets picky with ammo, esepcially a new one that has not be cleaned or broke in as the owners manual tells you to do. Since the scrub down, buy a variety of ammo and go have some fun. I'll bet it will smooth right out in no time.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    I just don't know why the tolerances are so tight with this pistol...
    Well, because Kahr designs and fits them this way, purposely. It's one of the factors that helps them shoot so accurately. But it's also extremely tight because it is so small, hence the movements the parts need to make are done on tighter radii, along shorter distances, with stiff springs (for the given distance traveled). The spring tension, at least, loosens up quite a bit over the first ~500 rounds, and the metal contact surfaces smooth up fairly well over that time too.

    Quote Originally Posted by taseal View Post
    ... cleaned ... oiled it very well ... racking the slide all day ... ran about 100 bullets through it with just cycling the slide.

    Every bullet is being ejected and a new one is loading and it def feels smoother...
    I've toyed with or owned at least one or more of the K9, CW9, MK9, PM9 and P380. Each of them has smoothed up fairly quickly in the early ~400 rounds or so. Of course, how reliable it shoots depends on far more than simple smoothness of the contact surfaces. It is heavily dependent on the tolerances of the gun's fitted parts, how they interact with each other, the timing of those parts in "lining up" just right at the correct times for feeding/firing/ejecting properly. Very small issues with parts, quality, shape, durability, fitment, cleanliness or lubrication can have big impacts on a tight gun.

    It's good to hear that your P380 is starting to loosen up. If you see the incidence of slight failure to go into battery quickly reduce, you can be fairly sure that the major contributing factor is tightness and smoothness of the contact surfaces and feed path. As you shoot, the feed ramp is smoothing, the chamber throat is getting slightly worn, the slide rails are getting better used to moving under load.

    When you get failures to feed, extract from the chamber, or eject from the gun, other things can be going on. These can be tough to track down, as many factors can be contributing. Hopefully you won't see many of these and they'll quickly begin to disappear as you head across 300 rds, 500 rds, 700 rds.

    Break-in is tough. Each gun handles things a bit differently, depending on the design, materials, tolerances. And there are certainly different schools of thought as to how a break-in process should be managed. Some makers/shops recognize that some "grit" is required to smooth up and polish a surface, hence shooting somewhat dirty isn't a completely bad thing. Some makers/shops have specific cleaning rituals, to manage the amount of "grit" allowed to build up as things break in. Some gun makers design and build the guns to be 100% reliable and "loose" enough right out of the box to handle any round under any conditions, though the steps to achieving this often get in the way of best accuracy (ie, if things are loosened up too much before the gun is first sold, such as with a loose/sloppy slide-to-frame fit with a 1911).

    Hopefully your P380 will continue to smooth up and not exhibit any of the thornier problems.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; October 3rd, 2010 at 04:43 PM. Reason: spelling
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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