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Practically Shooting

Hickock45 shoots the LC9


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I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these compact 9s for carry, so I'm glad Hickok did this video. I still think the PF9 is junk, and his video on that gun pretty much confirmed my opinion. The LC9 looks good, but I still think for the same price the Kahr CW9 would be the better gun: It's the same size as the LC9 but weighs less. Stainless vs carbon slide. Striker vs hammer fire. Both made in the USA, and you don't need any "tools" to take down the CW9.

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I'm happy with my Kahr. In fact, it did what I never thought would happen- It bumped the J-frame from my pocket.

I am, however, batting .500 with Kahrs. I love my current one, but the first Kahr I had was not as successful.

The first one was an all-steel MK9- their "micro" model with smaller grip and slide compared to their standard K9. It's slide would sometimes fail to fully close on a chambered round (or to be all cool and stuff, an FTRB-Failure to Return To Battery). It got better as it went along and after getting some help from my gunsmith, but it still did it once every hundred rounds or so. Not bad for a range gun, but potentially tragic in a carry gun.

I blame the recoil spring system. The MK9 uses a dual recoil spring arrangement that is similar to the Seecamp system (I heard Kahr licenses it from Seecamp but don't know that for certain). I found that one of the springs didn't exert pressure on the slide through full travel. It stopped pushing on it just short of fully closed. Right about where it stopped when I got the FTRBs. When working the slide by hand, you could feel where that spring stopped doing anything.

I looked at two new ones in the gun shop- same thing.

I poked around online and found a couple of similar cases.

I decided it must be a thing that could happen with the design and there wasn't much to do about it, so I got rid of it.

Two important things:

1- I have heard Kahr made a change there. I don't know what they did, if anything, but that's what I hear. It has been 10 years, so they could have made a dozen changes.

2-The K9/P9 size Kahrs use a single recoil spring. I would assume the larger T9 does too. With a single spring system, the problem should be eliminated.

Ordinarily, I might swear off a gun after something like that. A few things kept the Kahrs on my mind, however. For one thing, I heard they had fixed that, which helped me feel better but maybe wouldn't have been enough. The thing that kept nagging me was that aside from those hiccups, I loved the design. It was palm size yet held only a round or two less than guns that were considered "service size" 9mms not very long before. Once I knew the K9/P9 used a single recoil spring, which should fix the only complaint I had, I wanted to give them another try.

The catch there was that the MK9's grip frame was just short enough to work with my pants pocket. The slightly longer K9/P9 grip would probably be too long.

That's when I found out about the Covert models.

The Coverts used Kahr's standard length K9/P9 slide and barrel, but the shorter MK/PM length frame. The best of each. I found one with the polymer frame (PM9 Covert), bought it, and after testing it enough to become confident in it, I've carried it as my BUG ever since. That's been maybe seven years or so by now.

Sure enough, the single recoil spring has been fine. I have had zero troubles with it. I shoot it regularly in practice by either shooting it deliberately or to practice BUG use (I load it with FMJ and put it back in my pocket, so when I run my other gun dry or have a rare malfunction, I pull the Kahr and shoot it). I've used it in a couple of classes, and shot at least one IDPA match with it (and should do more). No gun is perfect and they all will fail sometime, but this one has been just fine so far.

So I had one Kahr that was lacking some, and one that I dearly love. I know a 50% average doesn't sound good, but I tend to cut some slack to itty bitty 9mms no matter who made them.

We are asking a lot of them.

I am far from the oldest dog on the porch, yet I can easily recall when the S&W 39 was considered small. When the S&W 469, then later 3913 came out, some people marveled at them. Every early article on the HK P7 talked about how small they were. Remember the Detonics "Pocket Nine"? Today's Kahrs, Kel-Tecs, Ruger LC9s, etc, are tiny in comparison to any of those, yet they only hold a round or two less.

Not very long ago, we didn't even dream of a 9mm that small. I think we are pushing the ragged edge here, and asking a lot of a 9mm this size.

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Here's an interesting comparison. I think I'd rather pack a 40 than a 9mm, all else being equal.

             Ruger LC9     Kahr CW40
Caliber      9mm           40 S&W
Barrel       3.12"         3.6"
Weight       17.1 oz       16.8 oz
Length       6"            6.4"
Width        0.9"          0.94"
Height       4.5"          4.62"
mechanism    Hammer        Striker
Slide        Blue          Stainless

price        ~$400         ~$375-$400

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