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  1. #1
    rpmmtrsprts is offline Junior Member
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    a safety warning to kahr handgun owners

    i just want to let people know about my expeirence with my kahr .40cal . i bought my .40 from my old roomate who is and was an avid gun collector he highly reccomended the kahr mk40 as a excellent personal protection handgun and praised it's workmanship and overall quality. i have owned it for a few years now and fired maybe 100 rounds thru the gun. recently i was shopping for ammo and a sales person recomended that if i were just shooting at a range i should use police reload ammunition as a inexpensive range load. so i bought a box of HSM(stevensville,MT) police ammunition 40 S & W 180 grain plated. i fired 1 round from my kahr 40cal and this is what happened. well i wanted to post pictures of the remains of what used to be my kahr 40 but i am not allowed to insert pics in this post but i will send them to anyone who is interested in viewing them. the gun was completely destroyed the barrell was split in half the trigger guard was blown off the gun the handle was cracked it was amazing everyone who has seen it said they had never seen anything like that happen to a gun. so i contacted kahr they asked to me to send it to them so they could examine and look into replacing the gun. long story short they said it was due to lead buil up in the barrell from shooting reload ammo well that was the first and only reload round ever ever fired tru that gun so i was a little confused as to how that is possible. and as far as replacing the gun they are only willing to sell me another one at a small discount. not what i expected from what i thought was a high quality gun manufacturer. take it for what its worth but i thought it was b.s.

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  3. #2
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
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    So, let me get this right... you bought cheap crappy reloads and it blew up your gun, so that's Kahr's fault?

    I've put around 9000 rounds thru my K40 Elite over the years and it's still running strong.

    Saving money on cheap ammo isn't always so cheap. Buy quality ammo (Winchester, Remington, hell even UMC) before trying to save a buck.

  4. #3
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    I have a Kahr as well - and ALL gun manuals for every gun stated not to use reloads. When you do, you void the warranty.

    I blew up a Glock 17 in 1993 using someone else's reloads. I have NEVER used another reload again.

    If lead buildup indeed cause this (and it wasn't just a bad round on that 1 occasion), what other brands of ammo have you shot in the past? Off hand, without examining the barrel for buildup (and checking the internal dimensions), I would have expected a double charge or squib or something.

    You cannot really claim that this is Kahr's fault. Admittedly, SOMETIMES people luck out and get their gun replaced even in a similar situation. But the gun company doesn't HAVE to if reloads were used. And, unfortunately, in your case - it seems like you are stuck.

  5. #4
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Small gun, big caliber, history of leading in barrel (which can occur even with factory lead loads over time), one reload round overpressurized, and Kaboom! Your mostly lucky no one was hurt! This is the first I've heard of a Kahr "exploding" like that, and it seems odd. In any event, I still prefer "large for caliber" guns as they are able to take more punishment without failing.
    Eli

  6. #5
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
    Small gun, big caliber, history of leading in barrel (which can occur even with factory lead loads over time), one reload round overpressurized, and Kaboom! Your mostly lucky no one was hurt! This is the first I've heard of a Kahr "exploding" like that, and it seems odd. In any event, I still prefer "large for caliber" guns as they are able to take more punishment without failing.
    Eli
    This issue has nothing to do with the size of the gun. This could easily have happened to a big Glock or something...

  7. #6
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    This issue has nothing to do with the size of the gun. This could easily have happened to a big Glock or something...
    Ok, scenario...one overloaded .38+P round...its bad and its gonna blow, and I have to fire it.
    I can either use my 442 J-frame, or my 686 .357 L-frame. I think I'd go with the "bigger" stronger gun for the physics involved. Wouldn't you, or are you saying the results would be the same with either?
    Eli

  8. #7
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
    Ok, scenario...one overloaded .38+P round...its bad and its gonna blow, and I have to fire it.
    I can either use my 442 J-frame, or my 686 .357 L-frame. I think I'd go with the "bigger" stronger gun for the physics involved. Wouldn't you, or are you saying the results would be the same with either?
    Eli
    That's assuming you know it's overloaded... if that's the case... toss it out or tear it down.

  9. #8
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    That's assuming you know it's overloaded... if that's the case... toss it out or tear it down.

    If you know its overloaded, yea - don't shoot it..

    My pooint is that any polymer gun, no matter the size, will likely suffer the same fate. It doesn't matter if it was a Kahr or not. And, the barrel is probably shot no matter what gun it is in.

    So, an all metal gun may come out of the deal better... But, this scenario... fullsize Glock OR a small Kahr... I don't see it being much different.

    And, while we are at it, I'm just not much of a 40 cal fan. The pressure in that round is already pretty high compared to 9mm and 45 ACP. There isn't much room for error in that particular round. Not all kabooms are 40 cal, but the vast majority of them are.

  10. #9
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    I have a Kahr that I have put over 2000 round through and have had zero problems.....your warning should be to patrons of the gun store you shop at not Kahr.

    The MK has Polgonal barrel if there was lead shot through that barrel you could have trouble. It may be the first reload you shot ....you did not buy the gun new. Did you try to clean it before you shoot it? That is something everyone should do no matter what in my opinion.

    I feel bad it happened but I have a hard time believing it is an issue with Kahr

    RCG

  11. #10
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoilguy View Post
    .you did not buy the gun new. Did you try to clean it before you shoot it? That is something everyone should do no matter what in my opinion.

    I feel bad it happened but I have a hard time believing it is an issue with Kahr

    RCG
    Damn, you are right.. I missed that..

    Everyone knows about lead buildup in polygon rifling (also an issue with Glocks). I missed that - that he got the gun from someone else... SOMEONE shot lead reloads thru that barrel, more than likely...

    +1 to recoilguy!

  12. #11
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    If you know its overloaded, yea - don't shoot it..

    My pooint is that any polymer gun, no matter the size, will likely suffer the same fate. It doesn't matter if it was a Kahr or not. And, the barrel is probably shot no matter what gun it is in.

    So, an all metal gun may come out of the deal better... But, this scenario... fullsize Glock OR a small Kahr... I don't see it being much different.

    And, while we are at it, I'm just not much of a 40 cal fan. The pressure in that round is already pretty high compared to 9mm and 45 ACP. There isn't much room for error in that particular round. Not all kabooms are 40 cal, but the vast majority of them are.
    Roger that Shipwreck, I shall defer to your senoir status. I too prefer a 9mm or a .45ACP to the .40 for the reasons you have mentioned. Plus, I don't know anyone who owns so many Beretta 92s, my personal favorite handgun!
    Eli

  13. #12
    gewehr is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post

    And, while we are at it, I'm just not much of a 40 cal fan. The pressure in that round is already pretty high compared to 9mm and 45 ACP. There isn't much room for error in that particular round. Not all kabooms are 40 cal, but the vast majority of them are.
    I would just like to clarify something in regard to the .40 S&W round. The pressure in that round is no different than that of a 9mm round. If you don't believe me look at the specifications on those two rounds. The SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute) pressure limit on both the 9mm Parabellum and .40 S&W are 35,000 psi. In comparison, the .45 ACP is 21,000 psi. I see it spouted over and over again when discussion of kabooms come up in regard to the .40 S&W that the round is highly pressurized. Please know your facts before spouting off comments like this.

    Most kabooms (they're not as common as you would think) you refer to are due to the lack of full case support, NOT a highly pressurized round.

  14. #13
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gewehr View Post
    The pressure in that round is no different than that of a 9mm round. If you don't believe me look at the specifications on those two rounds. The SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute) pressure limit on both the 9mm Parabellum and .40 S&W are 35,000 psi. In comparison, the .45 ACP is 21,000 psi. I see it spouted over and over again when discussion of kabooms come up in regard to the .40 S&W that the round is highly pressurized. Please know your facts before spouting off comments like this.

    Most kabooms (they're not as common as you would think) you refer to are due to the lack of full case support, NOT a highly pressurized round.
    Yes, the SAMMI specs for the 9mm and the .40 are indeed the same. Relative to the .45 they are BOTH high pressure rounds.


    The problem is in the construction of the .40 relative to the guns that chamber it. IMHO the SAMMI for the .40 is too high for the cartridge, but was necessary to achieve that sub-10mm performance it was designed to be. In relative terms, the .40 is indeed "hotter" than a similar 9mm. When you add in the occasional reloading "experiment", the problem is compounded. The .40 S&W has been noted in a number of cartridge case failures, particularly in older Glock pistols due to the relatively large area of unsupported case head in those barrels, given its high working pressure.[25][26] The feed ramp on the Glock .40 S&W pistols is larger than on other Glocks, which leaves the rear bottom of the case unsupported, and it is in this unsupported area that the cases fail. Most, but not all, of the failures have occurred with reloaded or remanufactured ammunition. Cartridges loaded at or above the SAAMI pressure, or slightly oversized cases which fire slightly out of battery are often considered[by whom?] to be the cause of these failures. Many competition shooters[who?] who reload for the .40 S&W will utilize a heavier than factory tension recoil spring to increase the lock time of the slide and prevent potential issues with early slide lock release. These failures are referred to by many[who?] as "kaBooms" or "kB!" for short. While these case failures do not often injure the person holding the pistol, the venting of high pressure gas tends to eject the magazine out of the magazine well in a spectacular fashion, and usually destroys the pistol. In some cases, the barrel will also fail, blowing the top of the chamber off.


    While the .40 S&W is far from the only cartridge to suffer from case failures, it is more susceptible for a number of reasons. The .40 S&W works at relatively high pressures (33,000 psi/230 MPa typical, but 35,000 psi/240 MPa SAAMI max). Since the .40 S&W is a wide cartridge for its length, and is often adapted to frames designed for the equally long but narrower 9x19mm cartridge, the length of the feed ramp must be longer to provide the same angle, which causes the feed ramp to extend into the chamber. This in turn leaves more of the case head unsupported. While this is not necessarily unsafe, it does reduce the margin of safety. When exacerbated by out of battery firing (leaving even more case head exposed) and potentially weakened brass (due to reloading) these factors appear to lead to the higher incidents of chamber failure. The number of case failures in the .40 S&W is serious enough that Accurate Arms no longer recommends reloading of .40 S&W cartridges for firearms without complete case head support.[27]

  15. #14
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    I was incorrect and must confess.
    Thank you to the gentleman that got me up to speed on the .40 caliber round. No matter how much I wanted to be "right", the facts just don't support my view. In fact, if you take the SAMMI specs for commonly used 9mm+P at 38,500, they are actually loaded to a higher pressure than the .40! And a 10mm SAMMI of 37,500 is still under the 9mm+P. So, it seems that my misconception of the .40 was based on the bullet/gun combination that has been solved by firearms in .40 that fully support the case. Don't like the .40 any better, but WILL stop calling it an over pressure round.
    Thanks again,
    Eli

  16. #15
    gewehr is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
    I was incorrect and must confess.
    Thank you to the gentleman that got me up to speed on the .40 caliber round. No matter how much I wanted to be "right", the facts just don't support my view. In fact, if you take the SAMMI specs for commonly used 9mm+P at 38,500, they are actually loaded to a higher pressure than the .40! And a 10mm SAMMI of 37,500 is still under the 9mm+P. So, it seems that my misconception of the .40 was based on the bullet/gun combination that has been solved by firearms in .40 that fully support the case. Don't like the .40 any better, but WILL stop calling it an over pressure round.
    Thanks again,
    Eli
    Believe me Eli, I meant no disrespect to you, I just wanted to make sure that statements are supported by facts, not opinions. All to often people read something on the internet, so it must be true. Time and time again I see people call the .40 a high pressure round in comparison to the 9mm.

    I happen to like the .40. I own a Glock 22 and a 23. I also a fan of the the 9mm, however I prefer the .40 for SD and HD. I don't have a lot of experience with the .45 ACP, but I do know that for me, it does not justify the cost of ammunition (I am not a reloader).

    I agree with what you have quoted above that more often than not "kabooms" in the .40 are the result of improper reloading, i.e. - loading too heavy or brass that has become weak as a result of not having a fully supported case.

    To the OP, I would have to say whoever you bought that gun from shot a lot of lead and was probably aware of the condition of the barrel and thus, got rid of it. Bummer it happened to you, and thankfully you weren't injured.

  17. #16
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    [QUOTE=gewehr EDIT: Believe me Eli, I meant no disrespect to you.[/QUOTE]

    No problem here my friend, I learned another good lesson. This site has taught me a bunch and folks here tend to get you straightened out whence help is needed!
    Thanks again,
    Eli

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