Skip to main content

Review: Kahr CM9

Review: 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



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


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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

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.

Federal Premium Punch Defensive Handgun Ammo: Reviewed & Tested

Federal Premium Punch Defensive Handgun Ammo: Reviewed & Tested

Handguns editor Scott Rupp fires some Federal Punch .380 defensive handgun ammo into ballistics gel the range for a performance test run.

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

If you're in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol that's feature packed, then the P17 is definitely an option for you. At less than 14 ounces fully loaded, and barely longer than a dollar bill, the P17 is concealable for pretty much anyone. The threaded barrel, Picatinny-style accessory rail, ambidextrous safety, ambidextrous magazine release and three (3) 16rd magazines come standard. That's a lot of value added in such a small package.

Taurus G3c

Taurus G3c

Taurus introduces the compact version of their wildly successful 9mm pistol; the G3.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these two models – the KelTec PF9 9mm and the Ruger LCP II .22LR – are no exceptions. They are effective for personal protection but only if you put in the time to practice.Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice Training

Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice

Handguns Staff - August 14, 2020

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these...

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.Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review 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...

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in PikeKahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in Pike

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability.Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

See More Trending Articles

More Semi-Auto

The latest in Ruger's LCP lineup is a small, easy to operate semiautomatic .22.First Look: Ruger Lite Rack LCP II Semi-Auto

First Look: Ruger Lite Rack LCP II

J. Scott Rupp - December 30, 2019

The latest in Ruger's LCP lineup is a small, easy to operate semiautomatic .22.

The iconic Walther PPK/S is back, and now it is made in the USA.Walther PPK/S Review Semi-Auto

Walther PPK/S Review

James Tarr - October 10, 2019

The iconic Walther PPK/S is back, and now it is made in the USA.

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is producing a limited-edition 25th anniversary K9.Kahr 25th Anniversary K9 Industry

Kahr 25th Anniversary K9

J. Scott Rupp - July 19, 2019

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is...

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.SIG Sauer P365 MS Review 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...

See More Semi-Auto

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

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

Phone Icon

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