Concealed carry is an ever growing trend in the firearms community. Many years ago, there wasn’t much emphasis on this, possibly due to many states not allowing it as they do today. Regardless of the reason, the majority of states do allow some form of concealed carry at this time, and I happen to live in one of those locations.
A few years back I purchased a Beretta Nano. I’ve not carried it much, and in all honestly haven’t even put that many rounds through it. It’s a nice little pistol and feels well made and solid, but I recently felt like trying something different. Enter the Kahr CM9.
Kahr specializes in handguns for carry, and is well knowing for a trigger system that is something like a smooth DA revolver. The trigger pull is long but constant, and is lauded by many for its combination of safety and controllability. I’ve always wanted to try the CM9 and finally had an opportunity to purchase one, NIB, from CDNN for $299. Let’s compare it to the Beretta.
First, both pistols are fairly lightweight. They are both polymer framed with metal slides, although the Kahr is clearly the winner here at 16.8 oz compared to the Beretta’s 19.87 oz (both are weighed with an unloaded 6 rd. magazine). As you can see, one big difference is the Kahr has a slide stop and the Beretta does not. This is intentional on Beretta’s part, as they wanted a pistol that had nothing to snag on holsters or clothing. Some like this feature, some do not. Either way, it’s personal preference. I personally prefer a slide stop for the ability to lock back the slide with a loaded mag.
Next, they both have “long and strong” trigger pulls. Meaning, they are purposely designed to have a long trigger pull that is not light in nature, with the intent of ensuring any pull of the trigger is purposeful. With a concealed carry pistol you want a trigger that isn’t too light or too short. This isn’t a range gun, it’s a defensive weapon intended for situations when your adrenaline is pumping in a fight or flight scenario. The Beretta’s trigger is heavy at over 8 lbs, whereas the Kahr’s is a lighter 5.5 lbs. While both are long pulls, the Kahr’s is more constant throught the length while the Beretta exhibits a slight bit of stacking toward the end. The Beretta uses a trigger mounted safety lever, much like a Glock, while the Kahr has a smooth and wide metal trigger. The Kahr’s feels better in my hands.
Here you can see the Kahr is definitely a shorter pistol, even though both are loaded with a 6 rd mag. While it may not look like much, the difference in hand is noticeable with the Beretta feeling taller. Some might like this, some might not. I like how the Kahr sits lower.
Finally, for a subjective quality of build observations, I will say the Beretta feels like a better built pistol. The polymer feels more stout, the slide is smoother on the rails, and overall it feels like the better executed of the two. Even the mag follower on the Beretta is metal whereas it is plastic on the Kahr. While I like the quality of the Beretta, the little Kahr feels more “right” to me in terms of size, shape, and in-hand feel.
I have not yet taken the Kahr to the range, I intend to this weekend and wil post a report afterward. Both are known as fine pistols and would serve the needs of most for a concealed carry 9mm.