Kahr CM40


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The Compact CM40 Offers a Big Punch in a Little Package

Kahr has a well established reputation of building high quality firearms.  As a result of the high quality, some of these pistols also have a high price.  As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for."  That's true in many areas of life, and it's also true in the world of firearms.  However, that doesn't mean that you can't get a high quality gun for a reasonable price.  The Kahr CW series of pistols established a value line of high quality pistols with very competitive pricing.  Taking it a step further into the ultra compact concealed carry market, Kahr released the CM series in early 2011 with the introduction of the CM9 (a subcompact 9mm pocket pistol).  This pistol has become have big success.  Knowing that some people want something more than a 9mm, the Kahr CM40 fills a niche of firearm owners that prefer larger caliber guns but also want an ultra compact pocket pistol.  The Kahr CM40 shares many of the same features of the CW40, but it comes in a more compact package. Packing the punch of the .40 S&W round, the Kahr CM40 offers a total of 6 shots with 5 rounds in the magazine and 1 round in the chamber.          

CM40       CW40

Kahr CM40 compared to its bigger brother model CW40

With typical ballistic energy in the 400 - 500 ft-lbs range, the .40 S&W approaches the ballistic energy of the legendary .357 Magnum which has long been established as an effective defense round.  The .40 S&W round was created for law enforcement use as a substitute to the more potent (and more difficult to shoot) 10mm round that was being used by some agencies at the time.  More powerful than the popular 9mm, and with more manageable recoil than the 10mm, the .40 S&W soon established itself as the preferred caliber for law enforcement officers.  As a result, it has also become a popular caliber with private citizens wanting an effective round for self defense.  If you really want to pack as much power as possible in a 40 cartridge, there are some companies that make high powered +P rounds.  A couple such companies are Buffalo Bore and Double Tap.  Both of these companies sell ammunition that pushes the ballistic energy of the already potent 40 S&W closer to 600 ft-lbs; although these higher ballistic energies are achieved with higher velocities achieved in a typical length full size handgun barrel.  That is true of most ballistic energy tests.  These tests are usually done from guns with normal length barrels.  What means is the Kahr CM40, with its compact length barrel, will have lower energy levels than a full size 40 pistol.  Even so, if you want the most powerful round available for your CM40, then some of these +P rounds might be worth considering.  The Kahr website states that Kahr guns are rated to shoot +P. 

Specifications of the Kahr CM40   

Length:  5.47 inches

Width:  0.94 inches

Height:  4.0 inches

Barrel: 3.1 inches

Weight:  17.7 oz

Slide: 416 Stainless

Frame: Polymer

MSRP:  $517

With an MSRP of $517, expect to see street prices much lower than that once the initial rush to get this pistol subsides.  In fact, at the time this is being written, street prices from some online dealers are as low as $360 on the CM40.  Granted, if you buy online then you will need to have it transferred to a FFL and the transfer fee will cost you around $20.  That fee will vary from dealer to dealer, but $20 is probably a good average figure these days.  With that in mind, if you shop around you should be able to find a place where you can purchase it for under $400.  That's a very good price for such a high quality gun.  The Kahr CM40 incorporates some innovative features such as a polymer frame that has molded in steel inserts that reinforce the frame for greater strength and durability.  A patented trigger system includes safety features like a firing pin block not found on other pistols.  In addition, the Kahr CM40 has a much better double action trigger pull than most other comparable handguns.  Some of the pocket pistols on the market are well known as having terrible double action triggers.  The slide locks back on the CM40 after firing the last round, which helps result in quicker mag swaps.  Offering many of the same great features as the more expensive PM series, the CM is manufactured with some cost saving methods that lowers the price around $200 compared to the Kahr PM model.  More specifically, the CM series has a standard rifled barrel compared to the match grade barrel of the PM.  In addition, the value priced Kahr CM40 comes with a single magazine compared to the two magazines that come with the PM40.  Furthermore, there is less machining on the slide of the CM series, and the slide stop lever is also made using the more economical metal injection molding process.  All this adds up to a significant price reduction of over $200 as compared to a PM40.  For the value minded gun enthusiast, this is a winning combination with the accuracy, quality, and reliability of a Kahr pistol, but with a price point that is competitive with other compact guns on the market.  It's a winning combination for Kahr too, as they are capturing a bigger share of the compact pocket pistol market with the CM9 and the newer Kahr CM40.  The video below shows the PM series of Kahr handguns.  As mentioned, the CM40 is virtually the same as the PM40 apart from some minor differences, so this video will give you an good idea of what to expect from the Kahr CM40 pistol.