Review of the New Kahr Arms CM40

I had the pleasure to shoot the new Kahr Arms CM40 at SHOT Show 2012 Media Day at the Range.  The CM40 is the .40 cal. version of Kahr’s sub-compact polymer framed pistol.  At an MSRP of $517.00, the CM40’s price point is over $250.00 less than a comparable Kahr PM40.  I think the new gun is a winner for powerful concealed carry.

Kahr’s new CM series differs from the PM series in that the barrel on the CM has conventional rifling and not the match grade polygonal rifled barrel of a PM.  In addition, to save on cost the CM series has simple engraving on the slide, a pinned polymer front sight, a metal injection molded slide stop lever, fewer cosmetic machining operations to the slide, and ships with a single six round magazine.

Functionally, the CM40 is the same as its more expensive brother.  None of the value conscious changes alters the pistol’s outstanding capabilities as a police back-up or concealed carry weapon, in my opinion.

New Kahr CM40

I own a Kahr PM9 that serves as an on duty back-up and an off duty carry gun.  I have over a thousand rounds through my PM9 and it has suffered not a single malfunction.  I broke the gun in with a few hundred rounds of hardball, then transitioned to 124 grain 9mm standard pressure Speer Gold Dot hollowpoints, which is my department-mandated carry ammo.

At 14 ounces unloaded, the PM9 is very light, but its 9mm recoil is negligible.  By comparison, the CM40 is 15.8 ounces unloaded.  I thought that this slight increase in weight would not offset the greater recoil of high pressure .40 cal. ammunition.

You can see in the video that the muzzle rise of the CM40 is not excessive.  I thought the gun was thoroughly controllable and not much different than shooting my Glock 27, which weighs about four more ounces.

The edge of the torso-sized plate I’m shooting at is on the upper right side of the frame.  You’ll see a couple of hits on it.  It is about 15 yards away.  From the pings, you can hear four of the five shots striking home.  I think the fifth one is in there, too–it comes off as a faint echo.

I am happy with the revolver-like long smooth trigger pull of the DAO Kahrs.  Their manual says 7 to 9 lbs. on the trigger pull, but I think it is closer to the 7.  The CM40’s trigger pull and break felt the same as my PM9.

Both the CM and PM series have dimensions that make concealed carry a snap.  I am able to easily pocket carry the PM9, if I wish.  Its small size also allows it to ride close to the body in a CCF holster.

The CM40 is just .05″ longer and .04″ wider than the PM9.  The height is the same with both containing a flush floorplate magazine.  Speaking of which, you can see in the photos that the “flush fit” magazine sticks out a bit below the bottom of the magazine well.  That is normal for a Kahr, though I admit to sometimes checking to make sure it is properly seated anyway.

I am thrilled to see Kahr Arms produce a less-pricey version of their pistols.  One dig on Kahr is that the guns have been a little on the expensive side.  Considering Kahr’s features and reliability, I do not have a problem with the cost.  That said, the new CM series will bring their guns into the reach of those on tighter budgets.

Author's Kahr PM9 for comparison


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6 Responses to Review of the New Kahr Arms CM40

  1. George Deroche says:

    I just purchased a CM40 yesterday. Not sure how I missed it but I later realized that it has no safety on it. It bothers me to have CC weapon w/o a safety. I could keep one out the chamber but then I am not ready to defend myself “on the spot”. If I leave one in the chamber than there is a risk of accidents while carrying. What is your take on this and how should I handle this concern. Otherwise, I love the gun. Your opinion will hopefully stop me from returning to the gun shop, trading it in and loosing money. I would love to keep it and feel safe as a CC weapon but just need you to help me feel better. Thanks in advance for your time!!!

    • Randall says:


      I have many carry guns without external safeties. The key is to have a secure holster made for your firearm and following safe handling procedures. Col. Jeff Cooper proposed four rules of gun safety:

      1. All guns are always loaded.

      2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

      3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.

      4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at shadows and/or noises.

      There are many variations of these rules, but I think the most important is keeping your finger (or any other object) out of the trigger guard unless you are ready to shoot. It might also make you feel more comfortable with your Kahr to take an NRA or other reputable firearms training course. Choose whatever makes you feel at ease.


  2. George Deroche says:

    Thank you for your reply. I do have a good understanding of gun safety. I guess it’s just the idea of not being able to just flip a safety. I was always comfortable with that so I will just get used to the level of comfort I need with no safety. I would like to get a laser and holster and have not had any luck finding one for my Kahr CM40. If you happen to know of where I could find one I would greatly appreciate it. Again, thank you for your help. Your time is much appreciated.

  3. Brogan says:


    As its May now I hope you found what your looking for in a holster and laser site, however, I would recommend FoxX IWB Hybrid Holster or for deeper carry the “Little FoxX” IWB FoxX Hybrid Holster from Both can be specifically ordered to accept the the crimson trace site for the Kahr CM40/PM40. I am in no way affiliated with FoxX but they do make a darn good product at a reasonable price that makes carrying a whole lot nicer.


  4. George Deroche says:

    Thanks for the information. I have been looking for good grips and found it at their site but under Kahr it did not list the CM40 but did list the CW and PM so I am not sure if the grip would fit my CM. I called but the closed already. I appreciate the info. They have some great products.

  5. George Deroche says:

    I finally found a great leather maker that made me a pocket holster for front or back pocket. I soaked the holster then molded it around the CM40 then let dry and it works perfect. I have had some issues with pocket carry of the CM40 in my cargo shorts and wondering if I should get a Bodyguard .380 but in looking at the specs its not a lot different then the CM40. Little lighter yes but not totally impressed vs tolerating CC the CM40. If I ever had to take a shot I would rather it be a .40 vs .380. Do you think the Bodyguard .380 is a “lot easier” to carry or just work with the CM40? Thanks!!!

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