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Review: Kahr CM9

by Paul Scarlata   |  November 2nd, 2011 4
Kahr CM9

Kahr's CM9 is an economy version of the firm's PM9. Some parts are MIM'd instead of machined, it has conventional rifling and it ships with just one mag.

The most recent addition to Kahr’s line is the CM9. It’s intended as entry level or “economy” model, and for this reason it differs from the firm’s standard polymer frame pistols in several respects. To hold down manufacturing costs, the exterior of the slide has fewer machining operations—resulting in a rather slab sided appearance—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 CM9’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

Kahr CM9 sights

The CM9 features a white-dot/bar sighting system, which the author prefers over the 3-dot.

save lot of money that can be spent on holsters, extra magazines and—most important of all—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 “snappy” 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 handgun—one that Kahr’s CM9

Kahr CM9 in Galco Yaqui slide holster

The CM9, shown here in Galco Yaqui slide holster, is a great concealed carry gun.

performs in a most admirable manner.

Fast Specs

  • 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

 

Accuracy Results

  • Smallest avg. group: 105-gr. Federal Guard Dog—2.5 in.
  • Largest avg. group: 147 gr. Winchester PDX1—3.25 in.
  • Avg. of all ammo tested (5 types)—2.9
  • Accuracy results are the averages of five five-shot groups fired from a Caldwell Matrix rest at 15 yards.
  • Chuck

    Pickuped my CM9 a couple of weeks ago. Have only run a couple of hundred rounds through it but has been flawless. It is a little snappy but less so than the Taurus PT738 that is is replacing for most of my daily carry. I do have some Pearce grip extensions and a 7 rd magazine on order. Recommend anyone that gets one prep and lube it as shown on Kahrtalk.com. Also, Kahr recommends a 200 round breakin.

  • Max

    I have one and love it. I was carrying a Kel Tec P3at due to it's size but wanted to have a 9mm for it's power. The CM9 was a great find. I have fired 300 rounds of Winchester ammo with no issues at all. I have a K9 too which is a wonderful gun but the CM9 is fine in it's own right.

  • Russ

    I wanted more than my 380's and bought a cm9. After the smaller guns. the recoil of the Kahr was welcome for being better. I have put 200 rounds thru it and have not had any problems. I also only paid $390.00 for it .I love this gun. Great concealed carry.

  • Charlie

    I have put about 250 rounds through my newly purchased cm9. I am a retired LEO and have been practicing at 25 yards. I have to shoot at this distance when I qualify for the national carry. I find that I must shoot high and to the right to hit center mass. But I guess a 3 inch barrel isn't designed for long distances. As with any gun, you have to learn it! The cm9 is a totally dependable concealed carry protection.

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