CM9 Break-in Report #1 (and gear preview)

16 11 2011

After much comparing, researching, testing, and finally inspecting of the firearm I was about to purchase – I finally walked out of BMT Firearms’ new shop in Seville, OH with a brand new Kahr CM9 in hand. Well – in case, with the case in hand. You get the idea…

Kahr CM9 Left Side

Before diving into the specifics, Todd – the owner of BMT Firearms – recently opened this new shop in Seville, and it is a beauty! Check out his new business card, and if you’re in the area I highly suggest you stop by and check out his extensive inventory.

 

As I may have mentioned, I’m a Glock guy.  My first handgun was a G17, and it has seen 10’s of thousands of rounds at this point.  I love it for its reliability above all, but also for its simplicity, ease of breakdown and cleaning, accuracy, hunger for ammo (it’ll eat anything, I swear!), and availability of accessories and aftermarket products (although my only addition is TruGlo sights).

My first thoughts when looking at the Kahr was how stiff the spring was, how tight the machining tolerances and resulting slide/frame fit were, and how long the trigger pull was.

My second thoughts were amazement that this little pistol is rated for 9mm +P (hence the stiff spring), how accurate almost every reviewer mentions it to be (due in large part to tight machining tolerances), and how smooth the long trigger pull was.

After purchasing I took it home and started in on the obligatory post-purchase pre-range cleaning.  And THANK GOODNESS!  Not only was the thing swimming in oil from the factory, but I found two small metal curly shavings inside the slide rails.  Now this is NOT cause for alarm in my opinion – but is merely proof WHY we should clean new firearms before heading to the range for the first time!  This first cleaning session did bring about some slight cussing as I dove into it like a Glock, somehow missing the part of the manual that tells you to pull the trigger AFTER the slide stop has been removed AS you are pulling the slide forward.  Other than that, it came apart (and went back together) relatively easily.  Not quite Glock easily, but pretty close.

Once at the range I started feeding it a diet of Winchester white box Wally-world specials.  Doing this resulted in a couple of Failure-To-Feed (FTF) stoppages.  Thinking that this ammo may be a tad light for the brand new and heavy recoil spring, I switched to Magtech and had zero additional failures of this type.

After about 75 rounds and 50 rounds without incident I decided to try some defensive ammo, and BOY am I glad I did!   The first type I tried was some old 147 gr. Winchester Ranger (black talon).  With this ammunition I found that the slide lock would engage after almost every other shot!  Upon close examination I found that the bullet’s profile was clipping the finger on the slide lock that extends into the front of the magazine well, causing it to deploy.  I made sure the bullets were fully rearward – I tap every magazine backwards against my leg after loading, regardless of the firearm – but the problem persisted.  Thankfully I had some Hornady Critical Defense on hand, and this cycled without problem  Here are some shots comparing the two bullets.  Yet again – the old suggestion that you practice with what you carry held true, and I’m glad I found out about this issue before it had an opportunity to become a problem.  Here are some pictures comparing the Winchester Ranger and the Hornady Critical Defense which illustrate the differences in bullet shape that allow one to function flawlessly and the other to cause problems.  That being said – I LOVE Range in my Glock 17, and it loves to digest it!  Just depends on the rig…

9mm Bullet Comparison

 

9mm Bullet Side-by-Side Comparison
9mm Critical Defense in front of Winchester Ranger

Without getting into too much detail, I also wanted to mention the holster that I picked up for this firearm.  I made this purchase based on a review by Shelley Rae of West Coast Armory, who indicated that it was the most comfortable holster she had worn in a long time.  Well – I totally agree.  Very comfortable, and with this size of firearm easily concealable.  It is a N82 Tactical Pro holster – if you carry, you should check them out.  Totally worth the price in my opinion.  An no, they did not compensate me in any way to say that – I payed full price and they don’t know this exists (yet).  Full product line can be purchased directly from their website at http://www.n82tactical.com/.  Here’s a couple of pictures of this holster, including an inverted (and unloaded) retention test.

N82 Tactical Pro holster profile

 

N82 Tactical Pro holster back
N82 Tactical holster retention

 

That’s all for now.  I am hoping to get back to the range ASAP to finish up the break-in on this guy, do some accuracy tests from the bench, and will report my findings.  Until then, stay safe and keep shooting!

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