Kahr CM9 9mm

The Kahr CM9 is a polymer-framed ultra compact 9mm with…

The Kahr CM9 is a polymer-framed ultra compact 9mm with a short 3-inch barrel and a mere 15.9-ounce weight—making everyday concealed carry with the reasonably priced pistol a walk in the park.

Compact used to be the definition for a small handgun. Now we have subcompact, ultra-compact and micro-compact. And then we have the new Kahr CM9, a little more than .380 ACP-sized pistol that carries 6+1 rounds of 9mm in a package small enough to unobtrusively conceal in a pocket holster or almost totally disappear tucked into an IWB rig aft of your hip. Overlay the competition; it is slightly smaller than the Ruger 9mm LC9, slightly larger than the Ruger .380 LCP, and with a weight differential that is almost negligible at less than 16 ounces. The Kahr CM9 in its two-tone, polymer and steel build arguably lacks “elegance,” but there is obvious charm to its utilitarian approach to design. In a sense, its simplicity is the source of its beauty. At its core, it is a trim, semi-automatic pistol that delivers a lot for a comparatively reasonable suggested retail price of $517, with the CM9 being a more cost-conscious variant of the PM9 series of pistols from Kahr (while still maintaining the brand’s excellent quality).

The author puts the CM9 through a vehicle barricade drill, drawing the pistol with ease. It proved to be a highly capable compact pistol that was a pleasure to carry.

Gun Details
Peel back the layers of what defines an ultra- or micro-compact 9mm and you will always find three fundamental characteristics: small size, light weight, and good capacity. The CM9 has everything you want, and that means as little as possible. This is the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) poster gun. Based on the earlier PM9, the CM9 is a lower-priced variation with conventional rifling rather than the more costly Lothar Walther polygonal match grade barrel used in the PM9; it comes with one six-round magazine and is offered only in a two-tone finish with a 416 stainless steel slide, black polymer frame featuring molded-in front and backstrap serrations, textured grip panels and single magazine release. A traditional trigger cocking double-action-only (DAO) design using a Browning-style locked breech, the CM9 is a simple and straightforward pistol. No external safety and no magazine disconnect, so it will fire a chambered round with the magazine removed. Standard is a drift-adjustable dovetailed white bar-dot rear sight with matching fixed white dot front.

In terms of basic design the CM9 is more akin to Kahr’s CW series, which have 3.6-inch barrels and 7+1 capacity in 9mm (there are .40 S&W and .45 ACP versions in both the CW and PM lines), making this the first lower-priced Kahr polymer frame ultra compact with a 3-inch barrel. Like the PM9, the overall length for the CM9 is a modest 5.42 inches, height 4.0 inches, a skimpy 0.90 inches in width, and weight is a mere 15.9 ounces. The significant difference between the PM9 and CM9 really comes down to finish options and the Lothar Walther match barrel.

Controls of the Kahr CM9 are simple, made up of a slide release lever, a magazine release button and the double-action-only trigger.

Load Comments
  • Pingback: Combat Handguns May 2012()

  • Dave

    Wow Lowell sounds like u have a vendetta against Dennis

  • Lowell Wills

    Nice puff piece on the Kahr CW 9 by Dennis Adler in the May issue. In light of the fact that Kahr apparently is one of CH’s major supporter/advertisers I suppose that’s understandable. However, since a brief perusal of the Internet will turn up quite a large number of posts regarding feeding and reliability with the PM/CM series (admittedly a greater number for the .40 than for the 9mm)I find it interesting that the author neglected to address the issues of feeding, reliability and ammunition preference, as well as Kahr’s 200 round break-in recommendation, any issues with Kahr’s Customer Service Department or the manner in which any problems may have been resolved.

    So: did the gun work? Did it go “Bang” every time? If not, what seemed to be the problem? Did it cycle equally reliably with each of the “highly recommended defensive loads” he used? If not, which ones seemed to cause problems and, specifically, which type of malfunction. ie.: stovepipe jam, failure to return to battery, failure to lock open, light primer hit, etc.. And…did he need to fire 200 rounds through this pistol before it operated reliably, or did it ever?

    Aside from the technical omissions, Mr. Adler pretty well covers the basic ergonomics and aesthetics, although I do feel he gives the gun a bad rap when he describes the fieldstripping procedure as requiring “…strong hands and extraordinary dexterity…”. I am a bit surprised that someone who feels qualified to evaluate firearms for magazine articles seems to be unaware of the extremely basic technique for removing the slide stop on a pistol of this type: press on the end of the slide stop pin while slowly retracting the slide until the slide stop aligns with the window in the slide, at which point the slide stop just pops out. My wife had no problem fieldstripping this pistol after one demonstration of this technique. And I do wonder a bit why he feels that a “distinctly large and easily activated slide release” are, as he states, “two very important features for an ultra compact semi auto”. Presumably he feels pistols like the Walther PP series and the Seecamp are deficient…

    Oh, and by the way: I’m not sure I’d call the Kahr operating mechanism “a traditional trigger-cocking double-action-only (DAO) design”, since it is neither a traditional (unless one considers the Glock design “traditional” after only 25 years) DAO, nor is it entirely “trigger cocking”.

    Mr. Adler invites the reader to “overlay the competition”; unfortunately, most of us don’t have examples of the Ruger LC9 and LCP to “overlay” for comparison. Perhaps Mr. Adler might have spent the effort to give his readers an overlay diagram or, at least, a comparison chart with all the dimensions of the two Rugers (and maybe such other competitors as the Rorbaugh)…or at THE VERY LEAST a complete list of specifications for the tested pistol, including the gun’s height.

    I subscribe to your magazine for objective articles on guns, gear, tactics and techniques. Subjective puff pieces like this hardly provide useful information, unless the reader wants to know how the reviewer “feels” about the gun in question.

  • Ronnie Dunlap

    I Love my CW-9,if this is anything like it I think this will be the best carry gun you could get I paid $365 for mine and it is the best money i have ever spent on a concealed carry gun or any 9mm as far as that goes ,,Even Shoots better than my Glock 9mm’s,Sigs P-226,p-228,P-229’s,and the Ruger SR-9c,Put it up there with my OLD Beretta 92FS,This thing Shoots and eats everything,and does it as good or Even better.The only other 9mm that was a better more accurate gun was my Browning Belgium made Hi-Power 2nd gen.That is the only other 9mm I can say was top dog,,The Kahr is A Real Good Second to only that one..