Kahr Arms CT40
As it ships in a simple cardboard box with paperwork and trigger lock.
New for 2014 and debuted at the 2014 SHOT show the Kahr Arms CT40 looks like a great option for a concealed carry and home defense pistol. I was fortunate enough to secure a test sample shortly after SHOT and have been working the pistol over a good bit these past few months.
The CT40 is a new edition to the “value line” in the Kahr Arms using a black polymer frame and a matte stainless slide. It is a no frills defensive pistol but don’t mistake no frills for poor quality. There is a market for affordable handguns that are easily concealed for lawful carry. The CT40 including the width of a quality concealment holster is about the same width as a Glock 23, so it is thin enough to easily conceal.
The left side of the pistol.
Detail strip is pretty simple with lining up the slide stop notch to a half moon notch on the side. Press the slide stop notch out and the slide comes right off. I was pleased to see an all steel guide rod on this pistol.
The bottom of the slide, you can see the striker fire system on the firing pin.
Gracious ejection port
The slide stop, though slender provided enough traction for your thumb to release the slide without trouble.
The ramped barrel, while steep provided excellent case head support for the .40 S&W cartridge.
The magazine well was easy enough to find during reloads.
The single magazine that ships with the CT40
The end of the slide is nicely beveled. Though this adds esthetics to the pistol, it helps reholstering especially if you are using a snug inside the waistband leather holster
The business end, the slide to receiver fit was snug enough there was very little lateral movement but not too tight to affect reliability.
The trigger, about 1/4″ of take up before you encounter any resistance then another 1/4″ as it breaks clean at six pounds with just a bit of over travel. The trigger is very similar to a nice double action revolver trigger pull.
The sights worked great and the backstrap was aggressively serrated. It was comfortable enough and helped keep your purchase on the little pistol firm, especially during hard recoil.
Here you see the side of the ejection port with the external extractor. Also aggressive cocking serrations to help you over come the recoil spring tension when you cock the slide..
The grip texture as well as the serration of the slide stop and magazine release.
After the ballistic test and shooting for accuracy at twenty-five yards.
I started out using the CT40 as the platform for the .40 Smith and Wesson ballistic test, which you will find by clicking this link.
Once that test was wrapped up we began to wring the little pistol out. Using factory loads as well as reloads we ran approximately 300 rounds through the CT40. The reloads consisted of my cast bullet from Lyman mold number 401638 and 5.8 grains of Unique propellent. The Kahr is a pretty compact pistol and feeding felt a bit rough initially. We never really experienced any problems but the action did slicken up after the first 150 rounds or so. When I referenced the manual Kahr suggests a 200 round break in period.
I was pretty surprised at the accuracy of the little Kahr but it did well considering it is such a small pistol but it does come with pretty nice sights. It handled nice and tamed the hot .40 S&W defensive loads. Though it is striker fired, the striker is automatically held under partial tension after each round and is fully secured by a passive striker block until the trigger is fully depressed made for a pretty slick trigger pull.
The accuracy chart, please click on the chart for a larger version.
The new Kahr CT40 would be an ideal carry pistol as it proved to be reliable but I would follow the manufactures recommendations of at least a 200 round break in. Also, be sure to verify your carry round is reliable in the Kahr or any other pistol you plan to carry. Similar to a revolver, there is no external safety (though it does have internal safeties) but as we all know, the best safety is between your ears. I do not see this as an issue as long as your carry the pistol in a quality holster. The CT40 is light enough to carry all day without trouble but perceived recoil is a bit more than a larger, heavier pistol but it is easily controlled with some range time. The .40 S&W is a great choice as a defensive cartridge and performs well out of the short barrel of the CT40. Though new for 2014 and it is just on the market I believe Kahr has a solid pistol here that can serve many purposes and not whip up on your savings too bad.
Clinton Jamieson of rangehot.com and Hills Inc.
CT4043 (4.0″ Barrel)
Black polymer frame, matte stainless slide
Caliber: .40 S&W
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; “Browning – type” recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 4.0″, conventional rifling; 1 – 16 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 6.5″
Slide Width: 0.94″
Weight: Pistol 21.8 ounces, Magazine 2.1 ounces
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight, pinned in polymer front sight
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide
Magazine: 1 – 7 rd Stainless