New CW45 concerns
I know this is a long post and I apologize ahead of time. But I am having an interesting time with a Kahr CW45 and I it occurs to me that this information may be of use to others.Post
On April 6th I purchased a new Kahr CW45. However, when I got it home, I found my new CW45 would not consistently chamber a round from the magazine. Speer Lawman, 230 gr. FMJ would only chamber all but the last 1/4 inch. A sharp rap on the rear of the slide will then close the action. American Eagle 230 gr. FMJ and Winchester 230 gr. FMJ will not fully chamber 2 out of 3 times. Federal 230 gr. FMJ will not fully chamber at all. This was from a slide locked to the rear and released by the slide stop lever as per Kahr’s instruction manual. In all cases, to extract a chambered round - or in the case of the Federal, a partially chambered round – I had to place the nose of the pistol slide against a hard surface and push my weight down on the pistol hand grips to force the slide to retract and extract the cartridge. I could not physically operate the slide normally. It was jammed tight. It must be part of the required break in period, thinks I.
I disassembled the pistol, cleaned it, lubed it with Remington gun oil, and reassembled it. I checked it for proper function and went to my local pistol range. I eventually shot 50 rounds of American Eagle, 230 gr. FMJ. At every round fired the pistol slide would lock back. I tried both magazines as well as removing the magazine after I had chambered a round. In every case the slide locked back after every round. For every round fired I had to manually release the slide by means of the slide release.
Two out of every three rounds, for the entire box of fifty, would not fully chamber. It required repeated sharp raps on the rear of the slide to force the slide to fully close. When the round was finally fully chambered I would try to manually extract it and was unable to do so. The slide could not be moved normally. If the round was fully chambered I would fire that round downrange. The pistol would then fire and extract normally.
On two occasions I could not get the round to fully chamber at all. And I could not extract the round by jacking the slide to the rear properly. The slide would not budge. Pucker time. I removed the magazine and with my finger out of the trigger guard I pushed the front edge of the slide against the shooting table with my weight behind it. At this the round would extract. In both cases I placed the round back in the magazine, was able to rechamber it, with the obligatory rap on the rear of the slide, and the round would then fire, again locking back the slide.
After I came home, I disassembled the pistol for cleaning and inspection. The oily residue was black in color and appeared to be contaminated with finely ground bits of plastic. I noticed what appear to me to be roughened areas of the polymer housing where the slide rides along the polymer frame. Additionally, the front edge of the polymer follower on one of the magazines appears to have been chewed up.
Additionally, the forward part of the frame, (What I call the "dust cover" on a 1911) is bowed out slightly from side to side and protrudes beyond the vertical sides of the slide. I subsequently was told by a Kahr service tech that this was normal.
I emailed Kahr describing the problem and received no answer. After several days I called the service department, and after several tries, spoke to a real person. He was helpful, we spoke at some length, and he authorized me to return the pistol. …on my nickel…790 of them to be exact.
I received ther Kahr CW-45, back from the service shop after about 10 days. According to the enclosed packing sheet, Kahr had replaced the barrel, replaced the slide stop spring and test fired and lubed the pistol. I took it to the range and fired 50 rounds of W-W 230 gr.FMJ through the pistol. It was much improved over my first experience. I was able to fire all 50 rounds with only three failures to fully feed. These three failures were of such a nature, requiring only a slight push on the rear of the slide to place the pistol fully into battery, that I felt that this was part of the break in period.
However, when I disassembled the pistol for cleaning, I, once again, found the inside to be coated with what looks like finely ground black plastic. Upon inspection I found the right side, forward-most outboard section of the polymer receiver frame rail to be chewed up and fuzzy in appearance. I inspected the metal slide assembly for burrs on the slide rail but found none. I then cleaned the pistol, reassembled it and checked it for proper function. When attempting to chamber a round - from a full magazine, slide mechanically locked to the rear by the slide stop, and released by activating the slide stop release - the round failed to chamber because the rising rim of the cartridge caught on the protruding firing pin.
I again sent Kahr an email with a picture of the jammed cartridge. As before there was no response. After several days I wrote a letter detailing the new problem and I enclosed the picture of the hung-up cartridge. Two days later I received a phone call from a Kahr service tech. He managed to convinced me I must have inadvertently had my hand riding the slide when I released it with the slide stop lever. I asked about the apparent ground plastic residue coming off of the polymer frame. He said that this was normal because the tolerances were so tight and that this would stop as the slide continues to seat to the frame and begins to ride more closely on the small metal guides. He said to continue to shoot the pistol and he gave me his direct line if I should experience any more problems.
Today I went to the range and fired 125 rounds of WW 230 gr. FMJ. There were no problems of any kind. The pistol was more accurate than my old tired eyes can use, although at 25 feet it is 3 inches low and 3 inches left. No real problem, I can drift the rear sight and compensate on the elevation.
Now…when I got home I disassembled the pistol to clean it. There was still a large quantity of the lapped polymer present but no other problems were noted. Then…I reassembled the pistol and in performing my function checks I discovered that the trigger bar, which serves in the capacity of a disconnector, no longer releases the cocking cam as the slide recoils. If the slide is racked and released with the trigger in the forward position the cocking cam will catch the teat on the striker and pistol will operate normally; but, if the trigger is held to the rear – as is the case when the pistol is fired – when the slide recoils, then the machined disconnector cam cutout in the right rear slide rail fails to depress the cam on the trigger bar. Instead, the trigger bar cam is pushed to the side rather than being properly depressed, metal scrapes on metal as the slide grinds against the cam on the trigger bar, and…I now have a single shot pistol.
I will call Kahr in the morning. I am unwilling to drop yet another $39.00 on FedEx to send a broken pistol back. I hope Kahr can see their way to pay shipping. No matter what they do to it in the way of service, I cannot trust it as a carry pistol. While I am certainly no saint, I do have a problem selling off an untrustworthy pistol. I guess I’ll wait to see what Kahr does and says before I make a final decision.
Like I said, sorry for the long post, but this is how info gets around. And if it helps someone in making a purchase or carry decision, well, all the better.
God bless, and Echo 7 Charlie, out.
Good post Gunny and sorry your having trouble with your new Kahr. I have not heard about the frame shaving or feeding issues with the Kahr 45's but the trigger issue is something I have read about on multiple occasions and seems to be an issue since they were released. Thought they had worked out the bugs but guess not unless you have one of those early models. Hopefully Kahr will make it right for you and on their dime. The concept of the CW45 is a good one for a ccw providing the reliability is there.
Thanks, Devil Dog
Thanks for the info and the post, Devil Dog. I had originally purchased one of the earliest K9's back after Desert Storm. Loved it. I Christmas-ed it to my son-in-law a few years ago and it's still protecting him and our girls. So that's why I went with the new .45 Kahr. You may be correct on the timing issue. Although I bought it new this April, it has a low 4 digit SN.
I called Kahr today. The service tech new EXACTLY what I was talking about, (H'mmm) and authorized me to sent it back, once again, to the factory...but this time on their nickel. Do you have any idea what change Kahr made to alleviate the trigger bar override problem?
I'll let the thread know what Kahr finally comes up with. However, my confidence in the piece is shot. (Pun intended.) But I'm perplexed as to what to replace it with. I want small, light, powerful and reliable. Maybe those requirements don't go together so well.
And, Semper Fi to you. Echo 7 Charlie, out.
My pleasure. I am fairly certain some of the members here have this model or the similar PM45 or P45's who can weigh in better than I can. I did a brief search and of course now that I'm looking couldn't find all that I'd seen before but one comment mentioned the 'trigger bar and cocking cam catching or dragging across the magazine". To my knowledge the 45 models are the only ones to experience this weird trigger issue which I can only attribute to improperly fitted parts and/or clearance issues. Not sure what the factory is doing to correct but it appears they are coming back fixed for folks. Good sign that the tech new exactly what you were talking about which should result in a fix for you. Unfortunate reality that the public is often used as the test lab and frustrating when they don't learn from the subsequent service call issues that should translate into improved production.
I sold a PM9 to a friend that ran flawlessly for me and have heard nothing but good things about the K9 and the all steel Kahrs in general. Polymer frames for whatever reason seem to be more finicky. Hopefully when you get yours back all of the kinks will be worked out. Good luck and Semper Fi.
I have a CW45 that I bought used with unknown rounds through it. It was absolutely the dirtiest pistol I have ever seen, but took a chance on it. Cleaned up really good and I have never had a malfunction of any kind. It is one of my favorite guns and I trust it totally. Also have a CW9 that I have had the same experience with. Bought it new. When assembling you do need to make sure the little spring is on top of the slide release lever. It is easy to get it wrong and mess up the spring.
I polished a light radius on the outside edge of my P380s disconnector. This stopped it from popping to the right when the slide moved to the rear.
It would seem that the plastic used in Kahrs is softer than my HKs. Perhaps there is not as much glass fibers in it?
I have two MK9s, and they don't miss a beat and shoot like champs. I would not purchase another plastic framed Karh in my future.
Thanks Green and Brent for the helpful comments. Mr. Greenjeans, I wonder if all that dirt you encountered with your Kahr is that polymer frame wearing in that the service rep told me was normal? I've never heard of this occurring to any other polymer framed pistol. Since I generally lube a new pistol with Remington gun oil during a break in period, each time I have taken the CW45 down after a range session the oily black crud inside looks like what I used to drain out of my Chevy 'way back when. Has the black crud syndrome stopped on your piece?
Brent, I am heartened to hear that you, and others, have had good luck with your plastic framed Kahrs. I have been generally pleased with Karh's service response and my prior experience with my K9 was exemplary. I actually WANT me and Kahr to win this. A trustworthy and reliable piece is my desire. Like all of us, I'm getting old. (I received my Medicare Part A & B card this month. Sheesh!) And my poor old body can no longer say, "Feet don't let your face get hurt!" I got to stand where I am and do something positive to stop a bad situation from getting worse.
As much as a good friend, a man needs a gun good enough to ride the river with.
Anyhow, the FedEx tracking thingy said the sick pistol was delivered to 130 Goddard Memorial Dr. today. I'll let the thread know how it turns out.
Blessings to all and, Echo 7 Charlie, out.
Last edited by GySgt1811; 07-09-2009 at 12:16 PM.
Reason: Whet esle? Spelling!
Sorry to hear of your trials. I hope they get it right, as the Kahr's in my extended shooting family (four in all, one steel and three polymer) pretty much shoot 100%. This might be due to the fact that all of them are 9mm's. I've read a few times that people believe that the 9mm Kahrs are overall much more reliable than their .45's.
As for wanting something "small, light, powerful and reliable" -- well, there is the Kahr CW9, but I have a feeling that you won't be getting another one from them. You might look at the Walther PPS, and of course there are the S&W J-frames in .38+p and .357. It doesn't get more reliable than a revolver. A bit larger and heavier than the PPS is the Glock 26 in 9mm or the 27 in .40, along with the Walther P99compact and the S&W M&P compacts. These aren't large at all, but are normally 100% reliable.
I have a CW45 and it had similar issues at first. After a 150 rounds or so the problems started clearing up. Just needed some breakin. I also have a P9 and both had the plastic frame shavings until broken in. It would be nice if Kahr would have cleaned up the frame a little better during the manufacturing process. All in all I am very pleased with my Kahrs. Very accurate and great carry pieces. Have my eye on a PM45 at the local gunshop. Tiny and powerful.
Sorry to hear about your problems - I have a CW9 that has been flawless. Well into the 1000+ round range, I have had 1 FTF that I can think of, and that was me limp-wristing it.
Hope you get satisfaction from customer service.
Got it back from Kahr
Well, Kahr returned the CW45. On this second trip to the hospital they installed a new trigger bar and test fired it. No complaints on the quick service.
So now what? When I rack the slide with my right hand the trigger will NOT reset. When I rack the slide with my left hand the trigger WILL reset. When I rack the slide slingshot method the trigger will reset two out of three times. I stepped out back (I live on 20 acres in the boonies) and fired 5 rounds without a malfunction. I cleaned the CW45, repacked everything the way it came and put it in the safe. It's going to the next gun show.
I've carried an auto pistol, man and boy, military and civilian, for over 45 years. I have to trust my own competence and abilities. This particular pistol is not one I want to depend on. Two weeks ago I went and bought a new Colt Defender. Esmeralda sent me a set of "Ivorywood" Celtic grips. It looks like a pimp gun. I love it. 200+ rounds of assorted types have gone down the spout without a hiccup. Twice the price of the Kahr. I guess that's my penance for doubting ol' John Moses.
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, fellas.
God bless and Semper Fi! Echo 7 Charlie, out.
Last edited by GySgt1811; 07-19-2009 at 02:04 PM.
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