By Philip Van Cleave
Covington VA –-(Ammoland.com)- This is the first of a series of three handgun reviews based on some guns that I purchased most recently. (Your mileage could vary, of course.)
My previous experiences with pocket .380 ACP handguns was not good in the recoil category. After purchasing a Kel-tec .380 some years ago, I quickly realized that to break in that gun without my trigger finger killing me due to the sharp snap of that very light and small handgun, I would need the help of others.
I went to the range with 150 rounds of ammo and would tell other shooters, “Hey – this is my new Kel-tec .380 – want to try it out?” Then I would provide them with as much ammo as they wanted and would let THEM deal with the snappy recoil! After an hour or so my gun was broken in and, just as importantly, I was none the worse for wear. 😉
So when I went to the range with my brand new Kahr P380, I brought along my 150 rounds of ammo and was prepared to let everyone at the range “try” my gun. I figured I would fire a few shots just to see how bad it was going to be for everyone else.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Much to my total surprise, although the gun was extremely light and small, the recoil was totally tamed – tamed to the point that the gun was actually FUN TO SHOOT! I selfishly put all 150 rounds through the gun without sharing it. And I could have kept going had I brought more ammunition!
The accuracy was superb and, unlike many other small .380s, the gun had real sights on it. You can even get night sights for it.
I own quite a few Kahrs and I know that the polymer ones need a few hundred rounds to break them in due to tight tolerances. The P380 was no exception. There were occasional jams during the break-in period, but those are but faint memories now. During the break-in, the Kahr seemed to have a preference for Magtech ammo.
The P380 works exactly like its bigger brothers, including the slide locking back on the last shot, a slide release, a drop safety, a fully supported chamber, and a Browning-type lockup. Oh, and it has a fantastic trigger, especially for a gun that size. Magazine capacity is 6 + 1.
The gun disappears in my pocket and is so light I can easily forget that I am carrying it. I don’t carry a .380 very often, except when either I must carry light and/or extremely discretely or if I want to carry a backup gun. The Kahr P380 is my clear choice for such times.
Here is a link to the Kahr web page for the P380: www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-P380.asp
Up next: Sig-Sauer P250
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org