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On going Range and Carry report on a Kahr PM.45

First let me say that never thought I would ever trade my .380 away for a .45, even thought I have two larger frame .45's. I always like carrying my smaller and lighter .380's. But for a defensive carry weapon, my personal preference has always been .45 since that is what I was trained with and carried as part of my job. So with that all said, I did indeed trade a Keltec. 380 and a Sig.232 in for a Kahr PM .45 and I haven't looked back. No buyers remorse, no regrets.

The Kahr seems to be one of those guns that you either hate or love. I've spent several nights reading reviews, forums and watching videos and I have yet to find much middle ground on opinions. Also while studying reviews there seems to be Kahrs that come from the factory finely tuned and fully operational, and Kahrs that come from the factory that will hardly cycle a round, bind up or have other issues. I'm not sure if it is older models or just dumb luck, but the one I bought has been flawless so far.

The Gun:
Caliber: .45 ACP
Capacity: 5+1
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.24", polygonal rifling, 1 - 16.38 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.79"
Height: 4.49"
Slide Width: 1.01"
Weight: Pistol 17.3 oz., Magazine 2 oz.
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide
Magazines: 2 - 5 rd, Stainless

Well, it's small for a .45...really small. It is also very light weight. It is easy to carry concealed IWB and easy to carry OWB, it is great in my belly band that I used for my Sig.232. The fit and finish on the PM seems to be a tad bit more refined that on the CW and that might be just the way I look at it. There is some additional machining on the slide that gives the PM a little less boxy look. There are some other differences in the rifling, sights etc. but there is also a big price difference in the PM and the CW. If you're looking for economy the CW offers a lot of gun for the money, the PM maybe a little more refinement. Did I mention that it was small? It is....small.

Well, here is where the rubber meets the road. Doesn't matter if it's pretty, ugly, or somewhere in between, if it doesn't shoot well, not much of a gun.

Kahr says there is a break in period of at least 200 rounds for the PM .45. I have now fired 305 rounds through the gun without a single glitch. The action is smooth as glass. I expected some trigger stacking and a then a break point but honestly if there is any stacking I can't tell it. For me the trigger is smooth all the way back until the gun fires. The trigger pull is somewhat long, but on a striker fired gun without any external safety, I prefer that. I also cannot determine when the trigger re sets. It's just as smooth going back. I took me some getting use to.

The gun is very accurate for such a " little" gun. I did mention it was little didn't I.
I guess that might be why it is checkered like a cheese grater.

The first 5 rounds all shot at 21 feet at an indoor range went into the center mass area of the target. The group was 5" across for 5 rounds but after shooting 50 rounds my hands were killing me. The front strap and the back strap were eating into my hands, well, like a cheese grater. I was done after 50 rounds of .230 hard ball. Happy with the performance, the accuracy but very concerned about the comfort of the grip.

Of course, it was off to the internet to see what others had done. Long story short, I ordered a grip sleeve for the gun and it made a huge difference. The next 105 rounds were indeed a pleasure to shoot. Now, don't get me wrong...this gun has some kick too it. But no where near as bad as I thought it would be. Here is my best example. My wife shot it and I was really expecting her to look at me like I was crazy. She's actually more accurate than I am with it. She went through several magazines and you could tell she loved it. I then let her shoot my Para CW Stainless .45 LDA and she said she preferred to shoot the Kahr. I thought the heavy Para would be more comfortable for her but she liked the " little" gun!! Oh well, you never know unless you shoot it.

The last 50 rounds were +p 185 gr. PowerBall. I would not recommend shooting up expensive ammo like this for range practice, but I wanted to make sure that the gun would cycle the round ok. It too was flawless.

The gun is small! Light weight and easy to carry.
The gun shoots very well, has a smooth trigger and is accurate at self defense distance.
The gun is well made, the fit and finish on the PM is excellent.
The gun has some really REALLY stiff springs so racking the slide takes much more effort that any of my other guns.
The grip if not modified could be used as a cheese grater or in a survival situation you might be able to cut down a tree with it. GET A GRIP....sleeve that is.

After another 200 or so rounds this will be my EDC.
Happy and safe shooting.

Kahr Arms - A leader in technology and innovation

Up date May 9th:
I have just finished putting 600 rounds total through the gun. Not a single issue, no FTF, FTF, FTE or Stove Pipes. Everything I've fed through it including a number of different types of defensive rounds have performed flawlessly. The Pachmyer grip sleeve works great and makes a huge difference in the comfort of the grip. I'm pondering if I should/could file down the checkering a bit more and maybe use it without the grip.
I've taken it down 6 times and have noticed some plastic " dust" around the polymer slide. This only happened during the first few hundred rounds and has stopped. The only lubricant I use has been BreakFree and a little Hopps to clean the barrel. If I had one issue with this gun it's racking the slide back and locking it using the slide lever. I'm a pretty big guy but I swear this gun has the strongest springs I've ever encountered. I finally figured that if I just stick in a unloaded magazine, I could lock it back and then just drop the magazine. I still recommend this gun if you want a really small .45 that is not a bear to handle ( only to rack ). So far, completely dependable, light, small, accurate and reasonable recoil. As Jeff would say " a dandy little gun".

June 11th Update:

Just a short update on the Kahr PM .45. I have been carrying this in a Galco B129L holster IWB and using a Wilderness Belt with stiffener. I changed my carry position from about 3:30 to about 1:30, really close to the appendix carry position. Every gun I've ever tried to carry there just killed me when I sat down. The Kahr in the Galco was such a pleasant surprise. Very comfortable and much easier for me to clear my shirt and reach the weapon. I had to take a two hour " holster " class to be able to use the tactical range at the local shooting range I belong to and the combination just performed flawlessly. I've now have put over a 850 rounds through the gun and have yet to have a malfunction of any kind. I picked up a 7 round spare magazine and that is what I carry as my extra ammo. I am still very please with the gun, I also gave all my .380 ammo and holsters to a friend of mine who uses a .380 off duty and as a back up. I have really become a fan of the Kahr PM .45. Hope everyone has a great summer, stay safe, and may all your shots be on target.

Update July 27th
Just a quick update. I finally after better than a thousand rounds had my first failure to feed. I had purchased two Kahr after market 6 round magazines and after firing one magazine I loaded the next, hit the slide release and it did not feed the round into the chamber. I did a tap/rack and it went bang. I have not had any failures since and have also installed a crimson trace laser on the gun. I really makes a difference in getting back on target fast for the second and third shots. I've had CTG on several of my guns but they were always the grip type, this is my first under the barrel laser. Just as easy as it comes on as soon as you wrap your fingers around the grip. I still highly recommend them and it works really well on the Kahr PM45. I did have to do a little stitch cutting to get it to fit in my two favorite holsters, but that was the easy part.
Safe Shooting and keep fighting for the 2nd Amendment...seems we are under fire more than ever.

Update September 15th
Well, we're a little over 4 months and close to 2000 rounds through the Kahr PM45. Have not had any issues since the one failure to feed. I'm duly impressed. I carry the weapon every day, most of the time in a IWB but recently purchased a Simply Rugged Cuda for OWB. This is a great all leather holster at a fair price, more overly it only took about two weeks to get it.

I've been doing some shooting from various positions, such as sitting behind a table or from prone. Since this CTG does not have a on off switch it's always working. It does make a huge difference, especially in evening shoots down in the bottom behind the house.

I have tried to carry in the pocket and it works good with several coats I have, but even at my size, it's just a tad to big for me to consider it a pocket gun.
I'll give one more update after another thousand rounds or so or if something happens,. As of now, I have 3, .45's a full size Colt 1911, a Commander size Para .45 LDA CW and the Kahr. PM45. The Kahr is by far my favorite EDC. Carried with one extra magazine and a good pair of New Balance shoes, I feel very satisfied that I have a great weapon and enough ammo to see me through a bad situation.

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20,679 Posts
Good report - thanks for the post.

Re magazines, I've had my experience with aftermarket mags for the Kahr, specifically, ProMag. I won't even use those miserable things for paperweights. One came with a K40 that I bought used, the other I bought for the CW9. That thing was so unreliable, I pounded it flat before throwing it out because I didn't want some scavenger thinking it was good (or worse, seeing it show up on fleaBay). Strictly OEM mags for my Kahrs from now on.
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