Customizing the Kahr

Customizing the Kahr
Cylinder & Slide makes a good pistol a perfect pistol

I recently tested Kahr's PM9 pocket pistol. I thought the pint-sized pistol had a few rough edges, but its reliability and compact size impressed me enough that I bought it. I was planning on working it over a bit myself until a friend of mine pointed me to Cylinder & Slide's website. There, he promised, I would find some packages that would make the little pistol just about perfect.

Clicking around on the website, I found a few Kahr packages. Any one of them would have worked, as all my gun needed was a trigger job and a minor carry bevel. But I didn't think the packages were all that expensive, and the wait reasonable, so I elected to go with the simply named Package 2, which sells for $600.

Reliability is key with any carry gun, so C&S started by throating and polishing the feed ramp to a mirror finish to ensure reliable feeding with even the most wide-mouthed hollowpoints. The gunsmiths also radiused the extractor and checked the extractor tension to make sure the little pistol would extract without a hiccup.


To make the PM9 more comfortable to carry, they broke all the sharp edges off the pistol. They also beveled the slide stop, which was a nice touch because the lever is a bit oversized on the Kahr. Beveling it keeps the bottom edge from rubbing my hand during rapid fire strings.


Though my Kahr shot great, C&S took a few steps to improve its accuracy. First, it re-cut the barrel crown to 11 degrees. Next, the gunsmiths radiused and polished the trigger and reduced the trigger pull to a smooth, easy-to-manage five pounds, two ounces.

Finally, they installed and zeroed a set of XS Sights' 24/7 night sights.

When the little polymer pistol came home, I was blown away with the quality of the improvements. Though subtle, they made an appreciable difference in the little pistol's accuracy and shootability. I fired more than 500 rounds through the C&S-customized Kahr over the next few months. In that time, I really came to appreciate all of C&S's modifications.

I was most impressed with the pistol's trigger. The polished trigger felt good, and the pull reminded me of a tuned PPC revolver, though it was noticeably shorter than my old K-frame's trigger stroke. It was, in my opinion, a big contributor to the pocket pistol's incredible accuracy.


I was also impressed with XS Sights 24/7 sights. Though I am long-accustomed to a classic express-style sight when tracking through thick brush in Africa, the idea of a big ivory bead front and shallow V rear sight on a pistol was hard for me to get used to.

But on the range, that brilliant bead stood out like a tie-dyed shirt at the Republican National Convention. My eyes were instantly drawn to it, making fast, accurate hits a snap, even on moving targets and in low light.

My PM9 was reliable out of the box, but it had a little hitch during reloads. Often, when changing magazines from slide lock, the slide would not close. This happened more often when I tried to slingshot the slide than it did when I used the slide release, but it shouldn't have happened at all.


It resolved itself for the most part by the time I got 500 rounds through it, but it hasn't happened once since I got it back from C&S.

The carry bevel package is another subtle improvement that paid big dividends. Now the pistol is smooth in my hand and doesn't snag my clothes on the draw. And the modified slide stop no longer cuts my thumb during rapid-fire strings. I could have lived without these improvements, but they sure make the pistol more civilized during extended training sessions.

Kahr's PM9 is a nice pistol right out of the box, but Cylinder & Slide made mine perfect.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The unique Revolvers

Remington Timeline: 1858 - Beals Revolver

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The...

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

See More Trending Articles

More Semi-Auto

The lines of the SIG P210 Target are clean, smooth and classic, and the finish is impeccable. Semi-Auto

SIG P210 Target

Stan Trzoniec - June 07, 2019

The lines of the SIG P210 Target are clean, smooth and classic, and the finish is impeccable.

The SIG P365 is an excellent 9mm carry pistol—one that's rated for +P ammo—and it's now available with a manual thumb safety. Reviews

SIG Sauer P365 MS Review

J. Scott Rupp - July 25, 2019

The SIG P365 is an excellent 9mm carry pistol—one that's rated for +P ammo—and it's now...

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters. Semi-Auto

CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 21, 2019

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters.

The Kahr T9 Elite is an accurate, attractive, well-built pistol that should last a lifetime with good care and ammunition. Semi-Auto

Review: Kahr T9 Elite

Eve Flanigan - June 06, 2019

The Kahr T9 Elite is an accurate, attractive, well-built pistol that should last a lifetime...

See More Semi-Auto

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now