A good friend of mine asked me the other day if I would help him sell his Kahr CW45 since I have a little more experience in private party sales and am a self-professed (or is it possessed?) wheeler and dealer when it comes to this sort of thing. Anyway, I digress. Whenever I sell something, I always like to take pictures of the piece that not only do the gun or accessory justice, but also make the item fun to look at and appealing to potential buyers. It’s essentially the same principle I use when photographing items for review. Sometimes you don’t have a choice or location doesn’t allow you to be picky, but anyone can take a picture of something slapped down on the carpet and post it to the web.
After a bit of the afternoon feeling up this gun in my hand and squeezing off a few dry fires, I was sure I really liked this gun and needed to convince myself not to buy it from him. Not only is it super reasonably priced to move quickly, but it’s got a Crimson Trace lasergrip/trigger guard sight installed to sweeten the pot a little more. I figured the best cure for my infatuation would be to do a little research and post up a quick handgun review on the pistol to give my initial thoughts to any potential buyers. Bear in mind all of this is in the context of my handling the gun without firing a shot.
First impression is a little gaudy. I mean it’s not bad to look at, but it’s not the sexiest gun you’ve ever seen. Ironically too it’s also a little top heavy as the frame and grip are all polymer (or glass filled nylon or something) and come across as much lighter than that of the stainless steel barrel and slide resting on top of this mini-beast. Remember, the CW45 is a .45 ACP so a really lightweight gun plus the ever reliable .45 is enough to make you regret filling your hand with a featherweight cannon if your focus and technique are weak. Lightweight .45s are not for the feint of heart.
With those early impressions settled in, I grabbed for the grip which has pretty generous checkering/stippling on the front and back strap while almost feeling anemic as it settles into your palm. The Kahr CW45 is a Kahr Arms “single stack” answer to the difficulty of concealment from say a Glock 30 compact .45 auto which has a double stack magazine and in my opinion (remember I do love Glocks) is anything but compact. Like a Glock the Kahr CW series is without an external safety which makes some uneasy, though I want to be quick to add the safety of their striker fired Double Action Only trigger system which while being DAO is a surprisingly short pull and lighter than I had anticipated. The sights aren’t technically what you would call “bar dot combat” style, though the front and rear sights are stackable, but almost seem moot with the Crimson Trace installed.
One downside of this gun is round capacity. Since it’s just a single stack magazine and .45 ACP rounds are a bit on the chubby side, carrying a 19.7 ounce gun (empty weight) for just 6+1 rounds of .45 seems a bit hectic in my mind. But different people have different preferences. Each hand holds each gun differently, comfort and confidence play huge roles in choosing a concealed carry weapon, and many who are committed to carrying something in .45 ACP may not be to worried they’re only getting 7 rounds total BECAUSE it’s .45 ACp and they won’t need more.
Just like any gun, if the performance and reliability is there, it all comes down to personal preference. Whatever it takes to get you to carry the gun you say you’re going to carry, then those are the distinguishing factors that matter the most.