When it comes to concealed carry pistols, there are a number of companies and guns that get overshadowed because they may be smaller or less widely known. Kahr is one of those companies, and the CW9 is one of those guns. Yet, the gun has earned a reputation among its fanbase for being reliable and comfortable to carry, let’s find out why.
Through acquisitions, the Kahr Firearms Group is now behind some pretty famous guns that you may not have even known were under the Kahr Arms umbrella. It purchased Auto-Ordnance in 1999 and Magnum Research in 2010, which are respectively famous for the “Tommy Gun” and the Desert Eagle. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting both, but up until this CW9, I had never shot a true Kahr Arms firearm.
The CW9 came tucked nicely in a custom foam insert with one magazine. At first glance, the slide looked to be FDE, but it was actually a burnt bronze Cerakote. It’s a unique color choice, but I actually like how it works with it. Picking it up out of the box, it feels smaller in my hand than it really is at 0.9 inches thick.
I was anxious to see how it shot, so I didn’t waste any time and took it straight from the FFL counter to the range on the opposite end of the building, which I’ll discuss in a little bit.
Specs & Features
Usually, if I were to say there aren’t many “standout” features, I’d be saying it in a negative way. Given the price point of the CW9, though, it’s not. You have the features that you need, just without any fancy upgrades. The controls are easy to manipulate, especially the large slide stop, and the mag release gets the job done.
The adjustable white bar/dot sights were dead on out of the box. I wasn’t a huge fan of the rear sights due to my unfamiliarity with them, but they aligned easily, so I can’t really complain. Directly below the sights, you’ll see some nice slide serration, and the grip texture holds on to your hand quite well.
This trigger is loooong, but it’s smooth. It’s not a bad trigger overall, but the length definitely took some getting used to over a few magazines. Check out all the specs below:
I’ve had my fair share of guns that required a “break-in” period before their true reliability showed. I usually won’t judge a gun too harshly until I’ve put at least a few hundred rounds through it. But when the manual of a gun explicitly states that it should not be considered fully reliable until it has fired at least 200 rounds, it makes you wonder why that disclaimer had to be in there.
Luckily, the CW9 I was testing came to me with some rounds already through it. Still, I decided to put 200 more through it since that number stuck in my head from the manual. Out of those 200 rounds, I experienced a whopping zero issues. I used two of my go-to target rounds, Federal American Eagle 115-grain FMJ and Blazer Brass 124-grain FMJ.
As for accuracy, it wasn’t as bad as I expected for such a small gun (at least in my hands) and a longer trigger pull. With a gun this size that seems to be made for carrying, I typically stick to training with it at 21 feet or less, just to go along the average defensive distances. With my first couple of magazines through it at those distances, I saw 2.5-inch groupings that tightened up quickly. By the end of the 200 rounds, I was able to maintain those same groupings out to 30-35 feet. That is good enough for me for a gun this size.
With the Glock 43 being so close in size and capacity, it was hard not to compare them in the back of my mind. While you do get an extra round or two with the CW9, the G43 happens to be more accurate for me, probably because I’m much more used to the standard Glock sights.
Both are easy to conceal, reliable, and don’t break the bank, so I think it really comes down to personal preference between the two. If you’re someone who likes a long and heavy trigger pull, then the CW9 would be your go-to choice.
Pros & Cons
The long trigger pull took some getting used to, but it ultimately ended up not being a true “con.” And, yes, you can always carry multiple magazines, but even with a spare and your +1 in the chamber, that’s only a total of 15-17 rounds (depending on your magazines).
Easy to conceal
Lower recoil than you’d expect
Low capacity and only comes with one magazine
Long trigger pull
With pistols of this size, I’m ultimately trying to decide if I’d carry it or not, since it’s not a competition gun or safe queen. Simply due to the fact that it’s a bit too small for complete comfort in my hands, paired with the low capacity, I probably would not.
With that being said, if I did have to carry it, I wouldn’t be concerned from a reliability or accuracy perspective. If you are looking for a super-concealable and reliable pistol, give the Kahr CW9 a test and see if it’s for you. It never hurts to try out a new gun!