I am a longtime proponent of double-action-only (DAO) triggers on handguns that are used for personal defense. And of the many DAO pistols on market, those made by Kahr Arms are some of the most user friendly in my opinion.
Kahr pistols use a system whereby a trigger stroke of 0.7 inches rotates a cam that unlocks the spring-loaded striker safety, pulls it to the full-cock position and then releases it to fire the pistol. This produces a smooth, stage-free trigger pull with a crisp let-off. Safety is provided by a striker block that immobilizes the partially cocked striker, which can only be overcome by pulling the trigger through a complete stroke. Because of this, Kahr pistols have a snag-free exterior, a very nice feature for a pistol designed to be carried and drawn from concealment.
Kahr pistols feature an offset barrel with the trigger mechanism beside it, producing a frame with a high grip close to the centerline of the bore for enhanced recoil control. Breech locking is accomplished by the barrel hood bearing on the front edge of the ejection port to lock the barrel and slide together. Upon firing, the slide moves rearward and the barrel is cammed down, unlocking it from the slide, which continues rearwards, extracting and ejecting the spent case. The recoil spring pushes the slide forward, stripping the next round from the magazine and chambering it. As the slide goes into battery, the barrel hood moves up into the ejection port, locking the two units together.
The most recent addition to Kahr’s line of subcompact, poly-mer-framed pistols is the CT380. Intended as a “value” model, it differs from standard polymer-framed pistols in several respects. The slide has fewer machining operations while the front sight, which is made from plastic, is pinned in place rather than using a dovetail cut. There are also fewer markings, and these are engraved rather than rollmarked.
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The CT380’s slide stop is produced by a metal-injection-molding process rather than being a machined part, while the barrel has conventional rifling rather than polygonal style. Lastly, the pistol is shipped with a single magazine in a cardboard box. These qualities result in an MSRP of only $399.
My fiancée (and photographic assistant) Becky and I tested the CT380 for accuracy by firing a series of five-shot groups from a rest at 7 yards. The bar-dot sights provided a fast and clear sight picture, and we were able to produce sub-2-inch groups with all three brands of ammo.
Off-hand drills on a combat target produced results that were just as satisfying. Recoil control with the CT380 was very good and we had no trouble making fast, accurate follow-up shots. I should also mention that we ran about 200-plus rounds through the CT380 that afternoon without a single malfunction.
We found the CT380 to be a fitting addition to Kahr’s line of concealable handguns, which includes a wide variety in several different calibers. Let’s check some of them out.
To me, the most unique of these is the new CW9 Purple. Based upon Kahr’s medium-sized polymer frame, this 9mm pistol has a 3.6-inch barrel, an overall length of 5.9 inches and the magazine holds seven rounds. As you have no doubt ascertained by its moniker, the polymer frame is purple and designed to appeal to female shooters. The contrasting purple frame and matte stainless slide give the pistol a distinctive and attractive look.
The .40 S&W cartridge is the most popular police round in the U.S. today, and Kahr offers a variety of pistols chambered for it. I feel one of the more attractive designs is the PM40. Thanks to its polymer frame, it weighs only 17.7 ounces and it has an overall length of just 5.47 inches. With its stainless steel/polymer construction, the PM40 ought to be able to stand up to moisture, wear, perspiration and anything that Mother Nature might subject it to and keep on working.
So whether you want a compact, medium-sized or full-sized pistol for concealed carry, home defense, backup or off-duty carry, Kahr has what you need.
For more information, visit http://www.kahr.com or call 508-795-3919.