The most recent addition to Kahrâ€™s line is the CM9. Itâ€™s intended as entry level or â€śeconomyâ€ť model, and for this reason it differs from the firmâ€™s standard polymer frame pistols in several respects. To hold down manufacturing costs, the exterior of the slide has fewer machining operationsâ€”resulting in a rather slab sided appearanceâ€”while the plastic front sight is pinned in place rather than using a dovetail cut. There are also fewer markings, and these are engraved rather than rollmarked.
The CM9â€™s slide stop is metal-injection molded, not machined, and the three-inch barrel has conventional rifling rather than polygonal used on higher-end Kahr pistols. Last, the CM9 is shipped with a single six-round magazine.
And while none of these changes could be considered radical, they reduce the suggested retail price to only $565. So you
save lot of money that can be spent on holsters, extra magazines andâ€”most important of allâ€”practice ammo.
I have to admit was not overly enthusiastic about the CM9 when I got my test sample, but then again, while the CM9 is admittedly less glamorous than its higher priced relations, its plainness does present a simplicity I find desirable. There is nothing here that was not necessary for its intended purpose as a close range, defensive handgun.
After chronographing the various loads I set up a pair of combat targets, belted on a Galco Yaqui Belt Slide holster and ran the CM9 through the following a number of drills, including weak-hand shooting, combat reloads, double-taps and slow aimed fire.
Being I have a great deal of experience with my Kahr PM9, there was little about its less expensive cousin that I found surprising. The DAO trigger pull was smooth and stage-free, ergonomics were very good, and while recoil was â€śsnappyâ€ť the aggressively checkered grip frame helped control significantly. I am a big fan of the white dot/bar sighting arrangement and feel it allows much faster sight alignment than the more common three-dot system.
There were a few failures to feed with the Winchester 147-grain load, which I believe was due to it having the greatest OAL of the five types of test ammo. This shows that you should always extensively test a defensive handgun with various loads to find those that function 100 percent of the time.
The only complaint we could voice about the CM9 was that the grip was a bit on the short side, which prevented us from taking a full three-finger grip. While this does enhance concealability, it was mildly problematic as regards recoil control. So as to make a comparison we also fired the CM9 with the extended seven round magazine that came with my PM9 and found it provided a marked improvement especially when it came to rapid fire follow up shots. If you have beefier paws you might want to consider purchasing a seven round magazine from Kahr.
As is my usual practice I carried the CM9 daily for the next two weeks in a Galco IWB holster and I found it easy to conceal under a loose T-shirt. Thanks to its light weight and flat cross section I was hardly even aware I was carrying, but it was there if I had needed it. And that is one of the primary characteristics of any defensive handgunâ€”one that Kahrâ€™s CM9
performs in a most admirable manner.
- Type: striker-fired, locked-breech semiauto centerfire
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 6
- Weight: 15.9 oz.
- Barrel: 3 in., 1:10 twist
- OAL/Height/Width: 5.42/4.0/0.9 in.
- Construction: stainless steel slide, textured polymer frame
- Trigger: DAO, 6.25 lb. pull
- Sights: blade front rear w/white dot; square-notch rear w/white bar
- Price: $565
- Manufacturer: Kahr Arms, kahr.com
- Smallest avg. group: 105-gr. Federal Guard Dogâ€”2.5 in.
- Largest avg. group: 147 gr. Winchester PDX1â€”3.25 in.
- Avg. of all ammo tested (5 types)â€”2.9
- Accuracy results are the averages of five five-shot groups fired from a Caldwell Matrix rest at 15 yards.