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Page Handguns » Kahr
Posted: 11/9/2005 11:08:22 AM EDT
As some of you may have read in a previous post, 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): Purchased New Kahr.

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.
Link Posted: 11/9/2005 7:58:36 PM EDT
Hey just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your range report and review. Looks like you got a solid pistol there!
Link Posted: 11/10/2005 11:07:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2005 11:07:36 AM EDT by FB41]
If you're in a hurry for a holster, FIST, Inc. makes first class leather and Kydex holsters and their prices are great.
I use their Kydex models exclusively for concealed carry and they fit my K9 and MK9 like a glove. Incidentally, they were one of the first companies to offer Kydex holsters for KAHR guns.
Link Posted: 11/20/2005 9:12:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2005 4:36:04 PM EDT
Nice writeup, I'm a big fan of the P9 and have been wanting a P45 since I first saw them announced.

Link Posted: 12/3/2005 4:13:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FB41:
If you're in a hurry for a holster, FIST, Inc. makes first class leather and Kydex holsters and their prices are great.
I use their Kydex models exclusively for concealed carry and they fit my K9 and MK9 like a glove. Incidentally, they were one of the first companies to offer Kydex holsters for KAHR guns.



Off topic...somewhat...have had or still have several Ultra thin Kydex IWB holsters from FIST and they are TOP NOTCH. SUPER thin and very comfortable and keep your handgun where you want it....until you want to draw it.

Cheers!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:38:14 AM EDT
SRFL, if you're not a gun writer, you need to be! That was an outstanding range report.
I bought a PM40 about a year ago. I liked the way it felt in my hand and the way it shot, but it had FTF/FTE issues so I sold it.

I have been looking for comments on their new .45, and I believe your post has convinced me to get one!

I'll report back here after I buy one with a report of my own.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:31:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 11:39:22 PM EDT by SRFL]
Thanks panzersergeant, and others, for the compliments! Sorry for the late response.

Panzersergeant, did you get your P45? If so, let's hear your range report!

I heard that that Kahr is addressing the issue regarding the gun ejecting live rounds out of the ejection port. So, when I send my slide back for night sights, I will have them look at "fixing" that "problem."

Further, I discovered that my P45 fits perfectly in a Don Hume JIT holster cut for the CZ-40B as evidenced by this photo:



....I hope someone makes an IWB holster for this great gun soon!

Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:38:14 PM EDT
Local gun store has one in stock for $579. Sound about right?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 11:51:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 11:53:26 PM EDT by SRFL]
That doesn't sound too bad....I've heard of them going $600+.

If you are an LEO, I think B&H Gun Rack on Merritt Island, FL has it a little cheaper than $579. I didn't see it listed on their Kahr products page, but an LEO from that neck of the woods saw it there one time he visited the store.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:51:17 PM EDT
BTT
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 8:16:59 PM EDT
Just picked up my new Kahr P45 today and managed to get to the range for a a quick 50 rounds. Everything ran smooth even though it wasn't even close to be broke-in. I did have a malfunction with one of the two magazines. Every time I shot the last round with the malfunctioning mag, it would fail to hold the slide open (catch) after the last round. The good mag function as designed. Looks like I'll be on the phone to get the problem (a new correctly working mag) fixed. All in all, a very accurate and powerful carry piece. The best out there in my opinion.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:17:12 AM EDT
Yesterday I fired 100 rounds of WWB 230 grain JHP and 19 rounds (all I had left on hand) of Remington UMC 230 grain JHP. I had no malfunctions, but did experience a number of instances of my slide failing to lock back. It turns out that I was riding the slide stop....so no harm, no foul.

I do need to send my gun back to Kahr so they can address the erratic ejection pattern my P45 displays. I had one empty cartridge case bean me bean me hard on the head.....I think my thick noggin damaged the empty case. Further, I noted that several of the empties were in fact damaged; I guess they hit the ejection port hard on their way out.

While at Kahr, I will have them install NS, see about the hard-to-seat magazine issue and the matter regarding ejecting live cartridges from the ejection port.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 9:44:32 AM EDT
In response to your original range report, where you said, "I hope this range report is remotely helpful to someone" I wanted to say (however untimely it may be) that both my husband and I were very appreciative of the comments, and enjoyed a couple of chuckles, as well... he
The P45 was awfully comfortable, but with the lighter weight, I am concerned about beating up my hand... any thoughts? I also thought my husband's PM9 would be uncomfortably small, and I was WRONG - (very much so) - I steal his for CC when he's out-of-town, and he has to beg for it back (almost).

Anyway, he just noticed the blackened P45 is shipping... sounds like anothe unnecessary "must have" is about to occur... he

Anyway, thanks for all of your excellent and well-written info; keep up the great posts!
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:02:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Shooter-Girl:
...The P45 was awfully comfortable, but with the lighter weight, I am concerned about beating up my hand... any thoughts?...


I have three Kahrs, a P40, a PM9 and a new P45. I'm accustomed to shooting full-size .45 ACPs (Sig P220, HK USP, various 1911s, etc.) and was pleasantly surprised in the comfort level of the P45.

As you've probably noticed, the molded-in 'checkering' on the P45 is a tad more aggresive than the other polymer-framed Kahrs, however I didn't find it bothersome at all. I considered carefully sanding or filing the texture a bit, but have decided against it.

Regarding shooting comfort, I installed the 'Agrip' product (see below pic) on my P40 and my PM9 and can personally recommend it. The 'Agrip' does look a little peculiar, however it feels great in the shooting hand. I will probably install one on my P45.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y115/Catbird1/P40-Pics001.jpg
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:02:50 PM EDT
Great info - THANKS!

Yes, the first observation my husband and I shared was, ME: "That's even more aggressive than the P9/PM9, isn't it?" HIM: "Yeah, and it's a .45 - you'll probably need it... I'm getting some gloves for range practice..."

Gee, I got a small blister/abrasion the first time out with the P9, I think a glove will also be in my future, as well. I'm getting more and more jazzed about this "unnecessary" P45, as time goes by. I will also investigate the grips you noted; sounds like they will feel great...
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:01:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Shooter-Girl:
... I will also investigate the grips you noted; sounds like they will feel great...


The 'Agrip' product is available from www.brookstactical.com, Brownell's, Kahr and many other places for < $25. It feels kind of like a nice marriage between suede and velvet.

BTW, I'm not associated with 'Agrip' in any way... just passing along my experience.
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