A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Kahr K40 Revisited

Back in 1999 I purchased this Kahr K40 as a carry gun. I found it at a used gun counter, and forked over $489 for it. Unlike many of it's brethren, this pistol is plated in electroless nickel, making for a durable and beautiful finish.

I carried the pistol for a while, until my wife shot it. It then became her carry gun. The Kahr is one of the first pistols that was designed on computers through CAD/CAM and 3D modeling and then produced on CNC equipment. The result is a mass produced pistol that has the fit and feel of surgical precision. It is not a flyweight pistol like some of the polymer Kahrs that followed it. The K40 has heft. You know it is on your belt.

The K40 utilizes polygonal rifling, and a 6 round single stack magazine. Until the pistol is grasped in a firing grip, it feels top heavy. Insert a full magazine and grip the pistol properly, and all that changes. It becomes an imminently pointable pistol, an extension of one's hand. The Kahr pistol incorporates six different design patents that make it unique in the world of firearms. It sits lower in one's hand, and the single stack magazine provides an almost straight path for chambering ammunition. The feed ramp is offset, allowing the trigger to be next to it, rather than below it. The barrel hood is relieved to facilitate ejection from tight quarters. The result is a pistol that carries the maximum amount of ammunition in the smallest space, while maintaining the lowest possible bore axis, without compromising reliability.

The Kahr K40 is not a match quality pistol, but it is accurate. I can keep all shots on a 5X9 index card at 10 yards. Other people had better accuracy, but then, gun magazines usually have better results. The Kahr K40 does exhibit some snappy torque on recoil. It's not unmanageable, but it is stouter than a Government Model in .45ACP. I no longer care for the trigger on the Kahr. It is silky smooth, but it progressively stacks until sear release. For a man grown accustomed to 1911s and Smith & Wesson revolvers, the Kahr trigger is disconcerting. For other shooters, it may be ideal. When I bought the pistol in 1999, I liked the trigger. In fact, I bought the pistol because of the superior fit and finish, and that trigger. It's strange how perceptions change over time.

My wife now carries a J frame, and I prefer a 1911. I don't have any .40S&W practice ammo in my cabinet any more, and the Kahr rests in it's plastic box in my safe. I don't shoot it any more. I suppose the time is coming that it will be traded off. It is a good pistol though, just not my taste anymore.



Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

I have a Kahr MK9 Elite and I love it.
The fit and finish, as you have noted, are supurb, and as for firing...

You already said it. I wish I could have gotten a 40, but the 9mm is what crossed my path. It's still a nice piece.

Great review. My next one might be the 40.

Question: Did Kahr make a 45 NOT in polymer? That is what I would want.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Chris Byrne said...

I have a first gen K9, that I bought as NOS for $375 (otherwise I'd have bought the k40) and carried as my small CCW gun for when I wasnt wearing a covering garment for two+ years.

I bought a KelTec P3AT last year, and I now carry it all the time (no matter what else I'm carrying). Since I bought the KelTec, I've mostly been carrying my custom commander as primary with the p3at as backup; and my wife has been using the Kahr as a purse gun.

Lately my wife has been stealing the KelTec for me as her front pocket gun. I plan on buying a KelTec PF9 and a S&W 340pd as pocket guns, and giving my wife the K9 and P3AT full time (as well as buying her a 640).

My wife really loves the Kahr (and so do I). It shoots well for her, feels good in her hand, and packs well. I agree, and that's why I carried it for so long, but the PF9 is so small and light, there's just no reason for ME to keep carrying the Kahr after I buy it. My wife on the other hand could not take full power 9mm from a gun as light as the PF9.

7:44 PM  
Blogger EgregiousCharles said...

Would you like to trade it for a Browning Mark 1 BAR in .300 Win Mag? The iron sights are missing but it deserves a scope anyway.

7:10 AM  

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