LUVERNE, AL –-(Ammoland.com)- There is little doubt when it comes to carrying a firearm concealed for self-protection that comfort is an issue.
Yes, I understand that not carrying one to two pounds worth of gun is the ultimate in physical comfort, but for me that’s not an option.
Clint Smith is famous for saying; Handguns are supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.
I definitely understand Clint’s point. At the same time I accept that large, duty-sized handguns, such as the SIG P226, GLOCK17 or the M1911A1 are difficult to carry concealed when your mode of dress is light and casual.
In the next few paragraphs I’m going to introduce you to my favorite shorts and T-shirt pistol and tell you why it has taken that position.
I’d been familiar with the Kahr series of handguns for many years before I actually started carrying one on a regular basis. During the first season of the Student of the Gun television show Kahr Arms came onboard as a sponsor and we reviewed several of their pistols for the show. It was during this time that I became intimately familiar with the P45.
The particular model was the Kahr P45 Black. For those unfamiliar with the Kahr lineup, all of their pistols use their proprietary double-action only trigger system and that is what truly sold me on the gun.
If you’ve had experience with DAO triggers from other companies you may very well have been left with a bad taste in your mouth. Double-Action Only triggers were designed to give the end user a single trigger press to learn versus one heavy press followed by a several light presses. The concept is valid, but when the gun company lawyers got involved some of the original offerings were just awful.
What Kahr Arms did was design quite arguably one of the smoothest DAO triggers on the market. There is no heavy spring stacking or trigger creep. When you press your first live round on a Kahr pistol you will likely be surprised. You may think; “A DAO trigger can’t be this good.” Well it is.
As far as specifications are concerned, the P45 chambers the .45ACP cartridge and is fed by a single column six-round magazine. Two magazines come with each gun. Manual controls include the trigger, magazine release button, and slide stop. That’s it.
The barrel is 3.54 inches with an overall length of 6.07 inches. Maximum width is only 1.01 inches. Empty, the gun is only 18.5 ounces, with the black polymer frame attributing to the manageable weight. The metal finish on the “Black” model is what Kahr calls their “blackened stainless steel”. Even though it looks like a blue steel gun the finish is MORE corrosion resistant than a normal stainless steel.
Shorts and T-Shirt Carry
Living in the south, I spend nearly six months of the year in shorts and light shirts. Large, bulky pistols don’t hide well. The slim profile of the P45 combined with its relative light weight makes T-shirt carry possible. Also, the fact that the Black P45 is extremely corrosion resistant thus protecting it from high humidity and body sweat is another bonus.
From a practical standpoint, the straight-forward, no nonsense operation of the pistol is a big selling point for me. There are no decocking levers or manual safeties to get caught on clothing or rub against my body all day long. The manual of arms is simple; acquire target, press trigger, repeat as necessary.
Of course, a concealed carry pistol is only part of the equation. If you are serious about carrying every day, all day, you need a quality holster. This piece of the puzzle came from Crossbreed Holsters in the form of their Super Tuck IWB. This is the most comfortable in-the-waistband holster I’ve every worn.
Using the Super Tuck IWB holster (take my advice and spend the extra money for horsehide) I can wear the Kahr P45 in shorts with a dark colored T-shirt draped over it and no one is the wiser. It’s a win/win for hot weather carry and it is comfortable enough to wear for twelve hours.
Paul Markel © 2013
About the Author
Paul Markel has been a firearms industry writer for twenty years and is the author of the new book “Student of the Gun; A beginner once, a student for life.” Paul hosts and produces “Student of the Gun” a show dedicated to education, experience, and enjoyment of firearms. Episodes of SOTG can be viewed by simply going to www.studentofthegun.com and clicking the “play” icon.