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We recently did a review of the Kahr P380, which includes a field report, ammunition reports, accessory reviews, breakdown, etc. You can take a look at the original post here. I'm also posting it below so it can become a resource for those considering a concealed carry pistol. We'd really like to get your input and your questions. I tried to stay picture-easy, but there are more pictures on the original post. Enjoy, and hopefully it helps some people make a decision.


Kahr P380 Overview

We live in dangerous times, and the security of our family and ourselves comes down to individual responsibility. A responsibility we know isn't taken lightly by those of you who carry concealed. Here at the Brown Safe Research Labs we've tested and retested many sub-compacts and micro compact pistols to identify the one that best fits with our approach to self-defense and our overall philosophies regarding a personal defense weapon. It's imperative that the tools we stake our lives on fit certain criteria; not the least of which are effectiveness, accuracy, reliability, and comfortable concealabilty. After a lot of examination we've found the Kahr P380, fulfills all the needs to meet our core principles.

The Kahr P380 surpasses its competition simply because it hits on the key components necessary for a pocket carry pistol: it's extremely reliable, very concealable, and highly effective. Don't let the size of this little beast fool you, it packs some serious punch, and the ability of this particular micro compact to fire +P rounds puts it in the same arena as a 9MM sidearm. Even still, and possibly best yet, the Kahr P380 is a surprisingly fun gun to shoot. And let's face it, if you don't actually enjoy shooting the gun you are relying on to save lives, then you're really not likely to adequately practice with it. Reality check Annie Oakley, practice is requisite to making sure you're are in top form when called upon in do or die scenarios. So having a carry gun like the Kahr P380 that is made to see serious use makes all the difference in self-defense.


Much like its older brother, the Kahr PM9, the P380 is bound in black polymer and stainless steel. As is with most of Kahr's firearms, the construction of the P380 is considered one of its strongest traits. Attention to detail is top-notch, one very cool feature unique to Kahr construction is the addition of steel inserts molded directly into the polymer. These ensure the action on this weapon is both smooth and durable, and holds up much better to excessive use and heat in comparison to other subcompact pistols, such as the Ruger LCP. And although the Kahr is very lightweight compared to an all steel pistol, its clever design results in much less felt recoil, making the Kahr P380 the most fun of all the subcompact and micro-compacts we've tested.

Setting itself apart from the competition again is the P380′s sight system. Considered to be much closer to a full-sized pistol's system, the Kahr P380 provides steel, dovetail mounted front and rear sights that are both durable in construction (to ease the fear of damage in a holster or pocket) and providing a broader range of sight. Did we also mention the sights are horizontally adjustable? This simple addition wrecks much of the competition, as many pocket pistols don't even have sights, let alone adjustable dovetail.
Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. "ooooh fancy sights! Yeah, that's real great if it's a full length barrel, but we're talkin' sub 3" pal." And my response is: First, I don't appreciate your tone. And secondly, If you're wondering what those sights are going to be assisting you fire, the answer is a premium, Lothar Walther, match-grade barrel that far exceeds the barrels that are installed on most subcompacts. Which I know sounds crazy, but is actually pretty dang accurate. Check out these images of the grouping we got our first time out with the Kahr P380. Again, just another addition that'll give you a bit more peace-of-mind when you have to make split decisions that your life may rely upon.

Range Testing

With our first grouping, we already saw amazing accuracy. With 5 inch groupings (from 10 yards away), we were sure we'd struck gold with the P380. The results from our first magazine were comparable to many .45 caliber and 9MM sidearms we've tested.
We captured the first firing of the minuscule mighty P380 on video. Not bad for a virgin christening.

We found that using a single stiff arm technique, where the dominant arm is locked out, gave us a longer sight plane and greatly reduced muzzle flip to a very manageable level even with the +P rounds, resulting in rapid follow up shots with better than average accuracy. Combining the straight arm technique and practice along with the addition of the Crimson Trace Laser Sight for the P380 our final grouping ended up being within 3 inches, which far-exceeded our expectations. Check out this video of us shooting the Kahr P380 using the straight arm technique. Note the minimal muzzle rise.

Looking closely at the above video, you may notice the Crimson Trace laser is functioning intermittently. Sure, a bit troubling to us at first, but having worked with Crimson Trace customer support before and having found them to be more than responsive (on one occasion even able to talk to a real live person at 12am) we weren't too concerned. Just as we thought, one quick call to Crimson Trace and the rep told us they were not only aware (and apologetic) for the issue, but they had a solution for us right away. It was simply a bad batch of batteries, and the laser now functions flawlessly. Gotta love companies that actually stand behind their products!

Kahr's attention to detail with the P380 is astounding. Whether you look to the fact that they incorporated a locked breech/tilted barrel system or an external slidestop lever, it's apparent that Kahr designed the P380 with the intention of bringing all the basic features of a larger-caliber pistol to the P380, sans size.

Another benefit of the Kahr's construction is simply how much more solid it is in comparison to other subcompacts. The guide rod, magazine, slide, trigger, extractor, and firing pin - all of which have a tendency to feel pretty marginal on most small everyday carry pistols - are much larger on the P380. This only boosts the Kahr's durability and strength as the premier pocket carry pistol.

(To see interactive disassembly pictures, please look at the original post here)

And for those who love being able to know your gun inside and out, the Kahr was built with simplicity in mind, and offers the ability to be broken down with no tools necessary. Below is a brief breakdown on how to break down the Kahr P380, plain and simply.

  • Always perform a safety check. Remove magazine, verify it is empty, then check the chamber.
  • Push the barrel back with the palm of your hand, aligning the notch in the slide with the notch in the chassis.
  • While keeping the notches aligned, push the back of the slide stop pin, pushing it outwards from the other side. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but you're welcome to use some sort of plastic wedge or flathead screwdriver to remove it if you'd like.
  • Once removed, set the slide stop to the side. Then, hold the trigger down, and pull the slide forward. It should simply slide out and off the chassis.

Congratulations, you're P380 is now disassembled for lubrication, maintenance, or repair. If you'd rather see a more interactive video, take a look here.


(Pictures of the P380s concealability available on the original post)

Kahr P380 Specifications

Model: P380
Caliber: .380 ACP
Capacity: 6+1
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block
Barrel: 2.53″, Premium Lothar Walther Match Grade Barrel
Length O/A: 4.9″
Height: 3.9″
Slide Width: .75″
Weight Pistol: 9.97 ounces (w/o magazine)
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights (tritium night sights, Crimson Trace laser sight optional)
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide (KP3833), Black polymer frame, high polish engraved stainless steel slide (KP3833CSBR), Black polymer frame, matte blackened stainless steel slide (KP3834)
Magazines: 1 - 6 rd, Stainless (KP38233), 2 - 7 rd, Stainless

Remember to take a look at some more high-quality pictures here:
Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3 | Picture 4 | Picture 5 | Picture 6 | Picture 7

· Registered
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I have a Kahr P380 "California approved" model. The gun is BEAUTIFULLY made and has the lightest, smoothest trigger of ANY pistol I've ever handled. The P380 is LIGHT, THIN, and compact in all dimensions!
When brand new it would malfunction about once every shot! Then it would malfunction about once every - two shots, then it got up to malfunctioning once every...well it never got past every two shots.
So, being a "builder of guns" myself I decided to speed up the process of wasting ammo to eventually make a gun reliable. I did a little honing work here and there...clearly Kahr's extractor design contributes to "reluctant" feeding...and after being "massaged" the gun now works like a champ! I think too that the P380 was never intended to shoot ball ammo...but seems to prefer HP with a shorter OAL that lets the rim engage into the extractor earlier in the chambering cycle...

Overall the Kahr P380 is TOP SHELF!
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