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Kahr’s PM40 is one of the most size-efficient handguns on the market and fits the role of backup LE gun perfectly. The Crimson Trace Laserguard adds to its versatility.

Kahr Arms introduced their PM9 model in 2001 and the gun became an immediate hit with LE officers looking for a powerful pocket backup gun that could chamber the same round as their duty pistol. Small, lightweight and easily concealable, the 9mm gun also possessed an uncanny degree of accuracy and flawless reliability.

Kahr could not keep up with the demand for these pint-size pistols. It just seemed like a matter of natural progression when Kahr Arms introduced the PM40 the following year. Sharing the same trim dimensions of its predecessor, the new pistol provided roughly 25 percent more power with the .40 S&W cartridge. The result was a pistol that should be ideal for an LE officer who carries a .40-cal duty pistol.

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Generally any time you can increase the horsepower of a gun without substantially increasing the size of its platform, it’s a good thing. In the case of the PM40, there were some birthing pains. Early guns suffered failures in two critical areas: magazine catches were breaking and the trigger pins were backing out during firing.

According to Frank Harris, Kahr Arms’ vice president of sales and marketing, the guns required some re-engineering to handle the larger cartridge. “We had to basically redesign the gun in those two places. The original magazine releases were made from plastic with a metal insert. The high pressure of the .40 S&W rounds caused these releases to crack and fail. We started making the new ones with the MIM (Metal Injection Molding) process and that cured that problem. To keep the trigger pin from walking, we cut a groove in the pin and then frame-mounted a detent. The fortunate side to this story is that we integrated both of these upgrades into the entire polymer line.”

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With both the standard and extended magazines, the author was able to comfortably carry the PM40 concealed in a Galco Pocket Protector.

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