Kahr P380 review

shooter521

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May 13, 2008
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Hey, all!

A co-worker of mine bought a Kahr P380 a couple months ago, but has been unable to shoot it due to ongoing health and scheduling issues. So he brought it to me along with a couple spare mags and some ammo, and asked if I'd wring it out and report back to him. Duh, OK. :D

So this afternoon I happened to be down at lovemywoods' place doing some troubleshooting on a couple of guns in preparation for NFA Day, and figured I'd shoot the little Kahr alongside my customized Colt Pony Pocketlite and do a bit of comparison/contrast. lovemywoods and esrice graciously agreed to help out. ;) The P380 was unfired prior to today, beyond anything done at the factory before shipment. The Colt had a documented 725 rounds through it.

The Kahr and the Colt:



esrice shooting the Noisy Crickets:



My results:


Some thoughts:

SIZE
The Pony's grip is nicely hand-filling while the P380's seems almost too thin (think Kel-Tec P3AT or Ruger LCP here). Both guns only allow two fingers on the grip. The P380, being slimmer and lacking the beavertail found on the Pony, is a bit more concealable. Capacity on both guns is the same, 6+1. Advantage: None.

SIGHTS
The P380's sights are of the "bar-dot" pattern but are extremely low profile. They are better than what pass for sights on the P32/P3AT/LCP, and are even preferable to the standard Pony sights (rear notch and integral front blade), but the custom Cylinder & Slide front sight on my Pony was much easier to pick up. Plus, the P380 shot consistently low at 7 yards.
Advantage: Pony.

TRIGGER
The P380 trigger "feel" is identical to that on my P9... smooth DAO with about 1/4" of take-up, ~6# break and a long reset. No surprises there. It blows the stock Pony trigger pull out of the water, and is shorter and lighter even than my C&S tuned example. That said, I felt I could manage or "stage" the Pony's trigger more easily. lovemywoods also preferred it by a small margin.
Advantage: Pony.

RELIABILITY
The P380 burned through 110 rounds including 3 types of FMJ and 2 types of JHP, without a single malfunction. The Pony had 1 malfunction in an equal number of rounds.
Advantage: P380.

ACCURACY
Despite the fact that it shot low at 7 yards with all ammo types, consistency and accuracy were outstanding. Average group sizes with the P380 were smaller than with the Pony, and I had multiple holes touching on several occasions.
Advantage: P380.

In closing, the Kahr P380 would make an excellent backup or deep cover gun. It has usable sights, is small enough to conceal easily but has enough size and mass to be a comfortable shooter, has a good trigger, is quite accurate for its size class, and is boringly reliable. As esrice said, "it's everything Kahr, only smaller." :)

The P380 with factory night sights is supposed to be available by year's end... I will have one.
 
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esrice

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It was good having you down Mark. Be sure to give your friend a big "THANKS!" for letting us run his gun and his ammo!
 
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Bigum1969

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Great review. I personally really like Kahr's and my PM9 has been utterly reliable.

BTW, how do I find a friend or three like that?
 

shooter521

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So, it looks even a little bit smaller than an LCP? Thoughts on that?

It's actually a little shorter in length than the KT P3AT (and thus, the LCP), but was way more comfortable to shoot than I recall the P3AT being. The checkering on the front of the P380's grip is a little coarse (I've got a raw spot on the social finger of my shooting hand this morning), but it didn't bother me at the time; I could've shot the thing all day.

 

Mac238

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Aug 17, 2009
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Mark,

I knew you would be accurate with your test. I was concerned about lockback after last round fired which Ruger LCP/Kel Tec P3AT does not. Once the night sights are available I will purchase them and have Russ install. BTW, my P45 should be in tomorrow and I will pick up Saturday. See you then.
 

esrice

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Jan 16, 2008
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Mark,

I knew you would be accurate with your test. I was concerned about lockback after last round fired which Ruger LCP/Kel Tec P3AT does not. Once the night sights are available I will purchase them and have Russ install. BTW, my P45 should be in tomorrow and I will pick up Saturday. See you then.

Are you the P380 owner? If so I owe you some rep for a free gun and ammo to shoot!

I had the slide not lock back on me once during the testing, but only because my fat "high thumbs" grip kept the slide lock depressed.
 

Mac238

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Aug 17, 2009
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Indianapolis
Hello,

I am the friend of Shooter521 that loaned to Mark the P380 to test. I've first met Mark in 2000 and have taken shooting classes with him on three occasions. He writes his range reports on the Glocklist and is always thorough with his reports. I knew if I let him squeeze on the P380 a bit he'd tell it like it is. :o)

I am new to In Gun Owners and with just a few days being a member I find it an enjoyable list. I'm looking forward to more post in the future and mostly will be on the learning/question portion.

Thanks for allowing me on board.

Mac238
 

GTM

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May 26, 2010
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Bloomington +/- 20 miles
Hello,

I am the friend of Shooter521 that loaned to Mark the P380 to test. I've first met Mark in 2000 and have taken shooting classes with him on three occasions. He writes his range reports on the Glocklist and is always thorough with his reports. I knew if I let him squeeze on the P380 a bit he'd tell it like it is. :o)

I am new to In Gun Owners and with just a few days being a member I find it an enjoyable list. I'm looking forward to more post in the future and mostly will be on the learning/question portion.

Thanks for allowing me on board.

Mac238

It's now been 10 months since this review was written, has there been any more experience with this P380? I'm thinking about purchasing one, but from reading reviews and other peoples' experiences it seems the P380 may be hit or miss in regards to reliability.
 

shooter521

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May 13, 2008
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Indianapolis, IN US

GTM

Marksman
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6   0   0
May 26, 2010
355
18
Bloomington +/- 20 miles
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