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The Kahr CM9

The Kahr CM9
A top-quality, deep concealment 9mm in affordable trim.

Going into the second decade of the third millennium, the demand for powerful, concealable handguns has created a seller’s market for the companies with the smallest 9x19mm pistols. Kahr’s original pocket-sized PM9 has been riding the top of Kahr Arms’ sale charts and also occupies the alpha position on a number of lists of the smallest 9mm pistols.

The original version, the PM9, is even marginally smaller in most or all aspects than one pistol claiming the title. Adding the suffix “… est” is a precarious leap, particularly when we are bandying the smallest fractions of an inch. Nevertheless, the PM9093 is small, popular and relatively expensive. In recent years, Kahr has been bolstering its product line with economy versions of their mainline pistols and now has extended the process to the 9093. The alterations described below have lopped a solid $200 off the price without doing even the slightest degree of mischief to the product.

The CM9093 has a pinned plastic front sight instead of the steel dovetailed unit of the original. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage and the CM sights have the same Patridge profile with the same white dot front/white bar rear accents. It does not stick up above the pistol like a sore thumb and plastication is not likely to put it in the way of getting sheared off. The polygonal-rifled barrel gives way to conventional rifling—a step unlikely to produce any noticeable change in accuracy.

There are fewer machining operations on the slide. The engraving and finish are simplified though remain as attractive as need be and the pistol is sold with a single flatbased, 6-round magazine (obliging the savvy buyer to order a spare). The 7-round thumb extension unit would certainly make sense for a backup. The slide stop is a product of metal injection molding rather than machining, a process deplored by purists. It is a cost saving expedient with proponents as well as detractors.

Kahr representatives report the polymer-framed models currently outsell their all-steel models by a significant margin. The CM9 has a machined stainless slide and polymer grip frame with steel elements molded into the frame at all points in contact with the slide. The trigger system is cam-assisted, full-time double action with the striker partially loaded to accommodate the passive striker safety block. It is a widely used principle, making the pistols totally drop safe. Some shooters dislike it because there is no “double-strike” capability. If a round fails to fire, it is necessary to work the slide to reactivate the trigger. The trigger on our sample pulls through at a stack-free 7 pounds—in exact accord with factory specifications.
By Mike Cumpston

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