Review: Kahr P380 range report

Reviews — twoamendments @ 2:28 pm

I had wanted a Kahr P380 ever since the first rumors of its existence started swirling a few years ago. Once they were actually in production and I got to shoot one belonging to a friend last year (http://www.twoamendments.com/?p=103), I was completely sold. I finally was able to score one for a decent price on Gunbroker (of all places!). I picked it up on Wednesday 4/14, and took it to the range today.

Break-in and test-firing were done using 4 different types of ammunition, totaling 200 rounds:

• Remington UMC 88gr JHP
• Independence 90gr FMJ
• PMC Bronze 90gr FMJ
• Russian LVE 92gr bi-metal FMJ (copper-washed steel case)

I was going to use a 5th ammunition type, Fiocchi Extrema 90gr XTP HP, but they would not feed at all. The XTP bullet is a long, sharply tapered design, and the round kept hanging up at the top of the chamber. Attempting to drop the slide via the “slingshot” method or the Kahr-recommended slide stop method made no difference. This ammo runs in my Colt Pony Pocketlite, but obviously the smaller Kahr has tighter feed geometry and doesn’t like the longer bullets.

My impressions are pretty much unchanged from my earlier review. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my P380 didn’t exhibit nearly as much tendency to shoot low as the one I’d fired previously. If I kept the (really low profile) sights lined up and controlled the trigger smoothly to the rear, the gun would shoot point of aim at 10 yards. I shot my best group of the afternoon with the Russian LVE ball ammo. It measures 2-5/8″ center to center.

I did not have any misfires, stoppages or malfunctions in 200 rounds. For part of the reliability testing, I fired 4 full magazines, each loaded with a different ammunition type, as quickly as I could get accurate hits, with no pauses in between mags. I also mixed rounds of all 4 ammunition types within single magazines, and fired them with the same boring reliability.

Despite being a 10-ounce pistol chambered in a somewhat-respectable caliber, the P380 is a very comfortable gun to shoot… all day comfortable, as a matter of fact! It’s much like my Pony Pocketlite in this regard, and beats the pants off the Kel-Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP in the same size/weight class.

The only issue I encountered, other than the gun’s inability to feed the XTP ammo, was that the floorplates on 2 of my 4 magazines were loose enough that I could remove them by hand without depressing the locking button on the bottom.  This caused one magazine to spontaneously disassemble itself while I was loading it, but did not cause any issues in live fire. Should be an easy fix to crimp the sides of the floorplate so they grab the bottom of the mag body a bit tighter. Worst case, I’ll send them back to Kahr with a “WTF?” note and get them replaced.

All in all, I am very pleased with the P380. It is comfortable, more than accurate enough for its intended purpose, and thus far, perfectly reliable. I am on the fence whether or not to get night sights for this gun. It shoots so well as it is, I hate to mess with it. OTOH, I am more accustomed to a 3-dot sight picture, and am a big believer that carry guns should have night sights whenever possible. We shall see.

The Kahr will be taking over pocket carry duty as soon as I can get a decent holster for it. At that point, my Colt Pony Pocketlite will probably go up for sale. I might use the proceeds to buy a second P380…

Rode hard, put away dirty…

 

Thanks to TwoAmendments contributor shooter521 for this review!

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