By Lars Dalseide | June 15 2014 09:56

CW380 one-third the cost of the Kahr P380

Kahr Arms new CW380 American Rifleman takes a look at Kahr Arms new CW380 pistol ...

Kahr Arms CW380 Pistol Review
Kahr Arms continues to grow its CW line of pistols, which includes the latest addition, the CW380, chambered in .380 ACP and based on the P380.

Kahr Arms has been manufacturing single-stack, polymer-frame semi-automatic pistols since the mid-1990s. The company’s P-series of premium, lightweight, concealed carry pistols has garnered a reputation for excellent quality and reliability. Recognizing that not every customer is able to pay top dollar for a defensive firearm, Kahr developed and continues to grow its CW line of pistols. A recent addition to the line is the CW380 pistol, chambered in .380 ACP and based on the P380.

The cost-reducing changes to the CW380 include a cosmetically simplified 0.75"-wide matte stainless steel slide with beveled edges and roll marks in place of the more elaborate engraving of the P380. The white-dot front sight is polymer and pinned in place, whereas the P-series pistols feature a metallic dovetailed front sight. The stainless steel slide catch is constructed using metal injection molding techniques instead of being machined from solid stock. The 2.58" Lothar Walther match-grade barrel with polygonal rifling used in the P380 has been replaced by a standard barrel with six grooves and 1:16" right-hand-twist rifling. Finally, the pistol ships with just one six-round stainless steel magazine instead of two.

As a result of these changes, the CW380 is approximately one-third less to purchase than the P380. However, the remaining features of the pistol reflect the proven design of the original guns. The slide is fitted with an extended extractor claw to aid in positive ejection of spent cartridges, and the dovetailed metallic rear sight is drift-adjustable and of the white-bar combat configuration. The recoil assembly consists of a full-length steel guide rod fitted with two round-wire recoil springs.

The polymer frame contains steel inserts molded into the interior of the dust cover, polymer rails, and short steel inserts at the rear of the frame, all of which support the slide as it cycles. The rounded trigger guard houses a smooth-faced stainless steel trigger. An oval-shaped magazine release button is located on the left side of the frame. The grip frame provides enough room for a two-finger grip when using the flat-base six-round stainless steel magazine. It features molded-in checkering along the front and back straps with light texturing on the side panels.

Kahr describes the CW380 as a double-action-only, trigger-cocking semi-automatic pistol, which denotes a striker-fired ignition system. The pistol does not have an external safety, a magazine disconnect or a loaded-chamber indicator. An internal passive striker block safety prevents the pistol from firing unless the trigger is fully depressed.

Several modern pocket-size .380 pistols employ a simple blowback action, relying on the weight of the slide and the recoil assembly to retard the rearward movement of the slide. However, this pistol’s action is of the locked-breech variety, employing a barrel hood that locks into the ejection port. The CW380’s slide locks open when the last round is fired, yet another feature commonly missing in many sub-compact .380 ACPs.

Read the American Rifleman's review of the Kahr Arms CW380 on their website.


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