Kahr P380 – The Best Tiny Pocket 380

The Kahr pocket pistols are the king of the hill in small guns. You get what you pay for, and these Made in USA guns have a hefty pricetag, but are the choice of most police departments as backup weapons for a reason. With the right ammo our P380 test gun worked flawlessly and was extremely accurate and easy to handle.
The best carry round for the P380 is the Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain FTX bullet, which is the red tipped version of their novelty Zombie Max. Make sure you get the FTX bullet. The other Hornady bullet is too squared in the front to feed reliably in the P380.
Any FMJ range ammo with a round nose will also feed perfectly, but beware that the Winchester white box at Wal-Mart has a flat tip and will have intermittent failures to feed.
The feed ramp on the P380 is very steep because the gun is so squat. A flat nosed bullet catches on the front of the ramp at least occasionally does not feed.
The Kahr P380 has a last round hold-open, which most small guns don’t have. The idea of the Kahr pistols is that they are the functional equivalents of larger guns, in a small gun package.
The gun comes with two magazines and a hard case.
The P380 is a tiny gun even with the extended 7 round magazine. For small hands it is, ergonomically, perfect, but for big, fat hands, it takes some getting used to in order to shoot it well.
Even right out of the box with no practice it is easy to keep into about 3 – 4 inches at 10 yards.
All of the ammo we tried had slightly different points of impact, but the P380 comes with steel sights that are drift-adjustable. The accuracy was consistent among all of the ammo, even the stuff that didn’t feed well in the P380 like the PDX1 and hollow point Critical Defense.
The P380 field strips easily, and does require that you pull the trigger to remove the slide.
The California version has a loaded round indicator on the top of the slide and is slightly more expensive.
Kahr Firearms

The best gun to have in a gunfight is the one you chose to take with you that day. This is why small pistols are so popular. They are light and pocketable, so people actually carry them. But small pistols are also something of a conundrum. Smaller and lighter is better for concealed carry, but small guns means small parts, and small parts break easier, and they can be cantankerous when it comes to accuracy and reliability. There is no perfect small pistol, but after beating up one of the worst of the bunch recently, we thought it probably a good idea to review one of the best of the bunch, the Kahr P380, MSRP $649. The gun is somewhat ammunition sensitive, as most small guns are, but the P380 is built to the standards of a full size pistol, and performs as such. Made in Worcester, MA, the Kahr small pistols are chosen by more law enforcement and security personnel than any other brand of pistol, and the P380 is the smallest of the bunch. If you were scared away from small pistols by our Diamondback review, don’t be afraid. Legions of Kahr owners and fans unanimously say that Kahr pistols can’t be beat. There are some details you need to know though, so read on.

First of all, it is important to understand that Kahr is the owner of 6 firearm patents, and they have won infringement cases against them, which means they are real patents. The reliability of the Kahr is unique because of these patents. They have found an internal system that is able to buffer the recoil of full caliber rounds without beating up the internals of the gun, and it works . Other small pistols have developed good reputations these days, but nobody would tell you to take them to the range every weekend for plinking practice. The Kahr guns are built to the same tolerances of full size pistols. They have stainless rails molded into the polymer frame, and they come with a match grade Lothar Walther barrel. All of the springs are made by Wolff Gunsprings. The Kahr guns have a last round hold open feature (rare in small guns) and the slide release is meant to be stiffer when there is an empty mag in the gun. It does, however, become easier when you replace it with a full magazine, or remove the magazine. Most importantly, Kahr guns are known for not failing when you need them most. There are Kahr owners who have thousands of rounds through their guns, with no problems, and they still carry the guns today.

Our tests with the Kahr P380 bore out what you will hear about the guns if you Google around on them. If you read the Kahr manual, you are supposed to break in all of their guns with 200 rounds when you first get them. This being our second Kahr (the first was the CM9), neither gun has shown that this is actually required, but you should be aware of the advisement in the manual. The P380 is extremely ammunition sensitive though, and if you run into a bad comment about them online, most likely ignorance of this fact is the source of the complaint. Right now, the cheapest .380ACP range ammo that you will find at Wal-Mart is white box Winchester, and it has a flat point. The P380 is a shirt pocket gun and it is extremely squat at 4.9 inches long. This requires a steep feed ramp, and it doesn’t like ammo with a flat point. With the flat point Winchester, as well as any flat hollow point or flat nosed bullets, you will get failures to feed occasionally, and hollow points with wide flat noses with leaves in the jacket won’t feed at all.

The Hornady Critical Defense FTX bullet, shown here as the green zombie version called the Z-Max, has a polymer point and a pointy overall profile. They feed like butter in the P380, with no break-in, right out of the box. It is the same with Remington, Federal, and even Tula roundball (Kahr doesn’t recommend steel case rounds though). You shouldn’t ever get a failure to feed with any of these bullets with the P380. It is an extremely reliable gun, but you do have to understand its limitations. At just over 9 ounces, this is a genuine micro-pistol, and you should expect that you do have to follow the directions for it to work as well as you need it to. Kahr suggests right in their online FAQ that you try a different ammo before assuming a problem with the gun. This kind of ammo sensitivity is an issue with nearly every small pistol on the market, in every caliber. The smaller the gun, the more finicky it will be with ammo.

Accuracy with the P380 was fantastic. This is a very small gun, so with big hands it was remarkable that I could consistently keep a full magazine of 6 and 7 rounds within three to four inches at 10 yards. Most people think of tiny guns as “belly guns,” for extremely close range, but the Kahrs shoot as well or close to as well as most duty pistols at the same distances. The only limitation is how well you shoot such a tiny gun, and that takes some practice, but I bet you can get this gun inside two inches. This is why most police departments choose the Kahr as a backup weapon, and it is one of the reasons why the public doesn’t even flinch at the high price tags on all the Kahr guns. The P380 is only 3/4 of an inch thick, and even with the extended 7 round mag, it is not a three finger grip for a large hand, yet it’ll hold three to four inches at ten yards all day long. Different ammo has different points of impact, but the steel sights on the Kahr P380 are both drift adjustable.

The six round magazine is flush with the magazine well and the whole gun stands at four inches high. The standard sights are a Kahr design, a dot in the front above a bar in the rear, and it is also available with three dot night sights. There is also now a $799 Crimson Trace version, and a $733 California legal P380 that has a loaded round indicator at the top of the slide. Our test gun came with a six round and seven round magazine, but the website says it comes with two, six round mags. Most pocket holster companies have a P380 model, and this is the most practical mode of carry. The P380 comes out of the pocket fast, gets on target fast, and the ergonomics are superb. For small handed, recoil sensitive shooters, the P380 is about as much gun as you could recommend, with those 90 grain Hornady Critical Defense FTX/Z-Max bullets, and is just as ideal for the purse as it is for the pocket. The Recluse holster in particular is great for purse or back pocket carry.

One of the side benefits of buying a Kahr is right on the product page on the website. Click the Slide Assembly, Frame Assembly, or Magazine Assembly tabs. All of the parts for the gun are right there on the page, available from Kahr. Down the road, with a lot of shooting, almost all guns eventually break and need a part. Kahr is a reputable gun company and also owns Magnum Research and Auto Ordnance, and they will be there if and when your gun breaks. They also have a very reasonable repair department for warranty and non-warranty repairs. You pay more for a Kahr, but you are buying a different echelon of firearm than the pocket pistols in the $250-$400 range. Those guns work, some pretty well actually, but they just aren’t in the same class as the Kahrs. If a tiny 380ACP is the gun you’ll carry, and if you can afford it, the one to get is the Kahr P380 – and feed it those Hornady FTX bullets.

{ 81 comments… add one }
  • Ken October 27, 2016, 2:14 pm

    I was in law enforcement for 25 years and private security for another 25. I have carried an assortment of small back up revolvers and semi autos during that time including AMT, Colt, Browning, S&W, Baretta and Kahrs. I carried the Kahr P9 for over 10 years without one problem, when the P380 came out I rented two fired a few hundred round out of each of them without problem and bought a brand new one with night sights. I have been carrying it as my EDC ever since as in corporate work people are very sensitive to bulges. I have put over 3000 rounds through it without a problem. I liked it so much I bought a second P380 to keep at my home in Florida. Anyone who is serious about carrying any firearm should want to fire it and practice with it and be totally familiar with. If you complain about having to fire 200 rounds you shouldn’t be carrying any gun. These small guns take practice to master, they need to be kept clean and well lubricated. I own over 35 handguns all top quality brands and I have no qualms picking the Kahrs for my EDC.

  • burns August 18, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Experience counts, after 45 years of daily gun carry, here is the truth. We carried 380’s like PPK’s back in the 60’s and 70’s into the 80’s because there were no small sub compact 9mm guns. If there were, we would all have been carryin one.
    Now you have options that we never had back then, I carry a 9mm, daily, and occasionaly a 45. I never carry a 380 as a primary weapon, it just makes no sense. The 9 is at least twice as deadly as the 380, “no matter how you disect it”. All of the LEO statistics show 2-4 rounds to stop a bad guy. You may kill him later but you may not stop him right away with anything less than a 9, 40, 45, etc. Unless you are a marksman who can make head shots while under fire running , ducking and trying to stay alive and protect whoever you are with. You don’t want to fire 6-10 times wne half of all shots fired are complete misses. And be standing there with an empty gun, while two guys are still trying to kill you. Get over it, this is not a video game, you will miss easy shots. Have enough ammo to finish the job, and make sure you can get it done with your carry gun.
    I would agree that the p380 makes a great backup gun, “when you are out of ammo, you still can pull it and put 7 rounds in a perp”, which is what you may need to stop him.

  • Charles Rothera October 22, 2015, 10:06 am

    I carry my 380 daily. I just put it in my pant or jacket pocket.
    I\’ve had it since your last review of it a couple of years ago and got one from a local Targetmaster shop used but in case with all tags atteched and never used! I got it for $310. First year after shooting 3-4 mags monthly, a piece broke on the ejector and I had to take it back, send away for fix. Took two months or more to get back and for some reason I was told the body was changed as well, requiring me to re-register it due to a diff. Serial number! Been good since and I love knowing its with me and no way anyone can tell; no holster needed.

  • Mike K July 6, 2015, 9:05 am

    Why??? With all of the tiny, pocket sized 9 mms out there today, WHY carry any size 380? And at that price? I’ll stay with my Kimber Solo thank you. I just don’t understand people willing to trust their lives to a 380 when such effective alternatives are available.

    • John Perkins June 24, 2016, 9:57 pm

      Besides being shorter, thinner, lighter (by 7oz), I can’t think of a reason!
      BTW, I paid $300….much less than I can purchase a Kimber 9mm for.
      This is my wife’s carry gun….while I carry a 9mm.
      I love Kimber, especially the 1911s. Not trying to bash Kimber, but there are valid reasons to carry this gun.

    • Dick July 21, 2016, 9:21 am

      You have to be kidding, right?
      A) He can carry whatever he likes.
      B) That Solo you are referring to is an overpriced piece of junk.
      It is SUPER picky on ammo, has a mainspring that needs to be replaced like every 500 rounds and is a jam-o-matic.
      It’s the equivalent of a high maintenance bitchy girlfriend.
      You sir, need to do your homework.
      There are all kinds of review on youtube of people complaining about that gun.
      You keep carrying that thing to your own demise. It’s nature’s way of “thinning out the pack”.

  • Bill Pietrak March 24, 2015, 9:52 pm

    My Kahr PM9 is my 380. Not much bigger, but better energy when you need it, and the only time you really need it, it’s worth a little more abuse. Use target loads at 850fps for practice, mine loves Hornady Critical Defense 124’s for accuracy and power. I think you should compare both, and consider the trade offs either way, then buy.

    • Glenn K. March 14, 2017, 8:28 pm

      The PM9 you could probably load it with a rock and it will shoot; I also carry it with Hornady Critical Defense and have had no malfunctions in five plus years. The P380 I use for summer pocket wear and though it took me 500+ rounds to find my 100% reliability ammo I can now say I carry it with no reservations. I have the all black with night sights and it is a center mass shooter. For me–IWB or OWB PM9. For pocket carry P380.

    • Doug September 9, 2017, 10:55 pm

      If you have room for the PM9, you have room for the PM40, I like mine. One less round, but desive power. My CA approved has no loaded chamber indicator or magazine safety. I got it for $150 discount from the 9 as some people thought they couldn’t handle the recoil. I don’t think it’s bad at all.

  • Steve February 1, 2015, 1:06 pm

    I have owned the Kahr PM9 and the P380 for years. When I first bought the P380 I hated it too many FTE & FTF, sent it back to Kahr but the problem continued. Called them again and they sent me a new recoil spring and have not had any problems since. I have well over 3000 rounds thru it with no problems. This is a very good, reliable, accurate and easy to shoot gun that I carry in pocket or OWB. I had a TCP 380, which was good at first but broke and the slide did not always lock open after last round. It may cost more for the Kahr P380 but I think it was worth it. Although I have never shot +P ammo thru it is nice to know it can handle it if I choose to do so, as far as I know you can’t do that with most other 380’s.

    • Doug September 9, 2017, 10:57 pm

      You may want to check that new recoil spring to make sure it is plus P rated. They may have sent you a weaker spring.

  • D-MAN January 24, 2015, 1:55 am

    Well you got this one wrong for sure. I have a ct380 and it sucks. 14 failures in 100 rounds. I lubed it with Mepro7 racked the slide 500 times over 36 hr period and left in locked open for 3 days, completely unreliable and parts are cracking and wearing funny AT 100 ROUNDS. EFF THAT I’m sticking with my tcp380 its never failed I just liked the feel of the Kahr but its a paper weight, nothing more.
    Anyone interested in a Kahr 380 you have been warned, STAY AWAY

    • Dick July 21, 2016, 9:25 am

      Your comment has to simply be trolling for remarks.
      The taurus is a piece of junk.
      I have a CW380 and a CM9 and bother are great high quality guns.
      That’s the reason why they are popular with law enforcement for back-up weapons.
      The only law enforcement that would use a TCP as a back-up is law enforcement in Brazil m LMFAO because they hav no budget for anything else.

  • Totum October 3, 2014, 5:39 pm

    Bought the best ammo from the get-go and I’m still getting jams. Unless you are real careful, the slide recoiling will take a little of your flesh between the first finger and thumb. In addition, the slide does not go all the way to full battery and I must push it forward manually. When attempting to field strip, the slide would not move forward and off the receiver. Several attempts at this and what appears to be a small spring and a small plastic part fell out from the trigger area.
    I have a real dislike for this little gun

    • tony April 10, 2015, 7:29 am

      youre just simply doing it WRONG… its a very easy gun to field strip.. but because of the tight fits, it has to be done in sequence.. insert empty mag, pull slide back to locked position and then release (cocking the firing pin). then slightly pull the slide back until side grooves marxh up, then push the slide release pin out. after removing the pin, drop the mag, then while squeezing the trigger pull slide forward and off. this is for a CA version that wont “fire” without a mag to move the safety… follow the instructions.. its easy

    • Dick July 21, 2016, 9:35 am

      This gun is built for real men.
      You may want to consider a Ruger SR22 for yourself.

  • Engineer March 10, 2014, 3:16 am

    I brought a Kahr CW380 two months ago, now is back to Kahr for repairing. After 400 rounds of different ammos, it still jam on and off, the spring still stiff. I like the size, the trigger and the sight, but it is not reliable! As an mechanical engineer, I think the metal slide assembly is ok, but their polymer frame (or mold) has problems.
    I hope they can fix it, because I already spent some money on ammos and accessories. May be the newer model of Ruger LCP is my right CCW.

    • Bill Pietrak March 24, 2015, 9:59 pm

      I use a cratex tapered cylinder on a Dremel on every semiauto I own except Glocks, which seem to have a better mfg process. Once you polish the feed ramp and radius the break into the barrel it’ll cycle wadcutters. I just use the fine grit on better guns.

  • gun papa November 8, 2013, 5:12 pm

    My Wife has a P380 of the “RD” serial era. It is still very tight, even past the break in period. I have fed the gun almost entirely truncated nose Winchester White box ammo with fairly decent results. My 95 gr. handloads have worked well with an occasional FTF because of a burr on the head of a case. The slide still does not lock back most of the time, and the spring is still stiff. I am willing to shoot the hell out of the gun, and I will be looking for some Hornady bullets for her. She feeds 95grAguila HP’s just fine.

    I like what the gun has to offer. It is tight and compact, and has its place as a back up piece. I am willing to give it time to mature. GP

  • Idaho Redneck October 13, 2013, 4:32 am

    Purchased a new Kahr CW-9. Followed all the break in procedures to the T. Had problems with failure to fires and the trigger failed to reset at random times. Sent the gun back to Kahr three times. Gave up on the gun after the last time I sent it back to Kahr as they never fixed the problems. Bad product and bad customer service, I will never buy a Kahr again.

  • william W. Tehan June 7, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Screw all of ya bunch of A-holes, I am still looking to buy a Kahr CW-380 Pocket job wheather you like it or not. Bill.

    • TC May 19, 2014, 10:27 am

      I own(d) 2 Kahrs .380 and PM9. Lots of problems and too rules on what “not to do”. Don’t use certain ammo, don’t slingshot the slide, don’t rely on until broken in (500 rnds is what my .380 took) that a lot of money for ammo and range time. The extractor broke after 2 weeks, had to send it back to Kahr. Bunch of crap. The PM9 mag would fall out and it blew up in my hand. It fired out of battery and blew the side cover off and it flew 5 feet across the room. Don’t tell me it “can’t fire out of battery” it did! I got pics of the shell casing to prove it. Had to send it back to Kahr also. Then I sold it. Bunch of crap. My reliable carry piece is the G26. Never a concern about it working every time!

  • Jack M April 29, 2013, 8:29 pm

    I will not carry my Kahr P380. It is very ammo sensitve. By that I mean it “goes click”. Primers are stuck, but didn’t fire. This occurred with Reminton and Wincester. No issues with PMT ammo. 400 rds fired and 200-225 times this pistol failed to fire. Had the slide lock back or jams with type 3 malfunctions. I’ve carried a pistol everyday for 40 years but I wouldn’t risk my life with this one. worst pistol I’ve every had.

  • Eric March 2, 2013, 3:56 am

    Aside from the article pointing out flat nose rounds causing failures, I have also found that certain casings can cause an issue as well. Two brands that will not feed a single round properly for my own P380 are TulAmmo and Fiocchi. Looking at the casing near the primer these two brands are different, the taper down to the collar of the casing is shorter and cuts in sharper to the area that the extractor rests. On rounds that have fed good for me (Blazer Brass, Federal Hydra Shok, Magtech) the taper down to the collar is more gradual and starts farther up the casing.

    Just my own two cents!

  • Bill January 29, 2013, 3:44 pm

    I bought the P380 about a year ago. Right now I trust it with my life, and it is my EDC gun. Not so when I first got it though. It would fail to return to battery, and had failures to eject (stovepipe) problems. I sent it back to Kahr twice, and still had the same problems with it. Instead of trying to send it back to Kahr again, I opted to have a local gunsmith work on it. I’m not sure exactly what he did to it, but it runs like a sewing machine now. Zero FTE’s, and zero failures to return to battery. I am glad I stuck with this gun, as it is one of the few 380’s rated for +P ammo, it has great sights, a fantastic trigger, good accuracy, and offers 2 more rounds than a snub nosed 38, in a flatter and more concealable package, that also gives you more stopping power when using +P ammo than any 38 special round, and even a few 38 Special +P rounds. You also get a lot faster reloads than a snubbie, which is why in my opinion the 38 snubbie is now obsolete.

    • Alan June 14, 2013, 7:23 am

      Similarly, I have been working through slide lock back at round number four. Kahr worked with me twice to assist, no problem with service. I think the gun is close to being reliable. What defense ammo did you settle on?

  • David Hutchinson January 20, 2013, 8:13 pm

    My two cents worth. I bought a Kahr MK40 several years ago before they were well known. Still have it, excellent gun, and never one problem of any kind. So, when I decided to look for a 380 I went with the Kahr. I bought it new about a year ago and just didn’t get around to shooting it much and when I did, I would get the slide locking back fairly regularly on every few rounds. So this past December I decided to shoot a variety of ammo to see if it that was the issue. Still same problem. I checked some forums and found several complaints about Kahr’s customer service to include not wanting to pay shipping for warranty issues. I was dreading it, but I called Kahr and explained the problem. The gentleman I spoke with verified my info including my email address and gave me a return authorization. I didn’t argue about the shipping and figured I’d foot the bill first time around in case there were other issues later. To my surprise, I checked my email and Kahr had sent me a shipping label. I sent the 380 in and it was returned within two weeks and this was all around the busy Christmas season! A detailed list of the repair work including some new parts was included and the gun runs great now. It is an easy gun to shoot and the accuracy is fantastic. Anyway, just passing along my experience with Kahr.

  • PeterC November 27, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Gawd, what a bunch of whiney babies! I’ve had a Kahr P380 for several years, and I’ve never had a problem with it, function- or accuracy-wise, regardless of ammo. It is an accurate, dependable pocket pistol. I also have a Ruger LCP, a Colt New Mustang, a Sig P238 and a Seecamp .380. They’re all excellent guns, but the Kahr is the most accurate of the bunch.

  • Davidio Flavio November 27, 2012, 3:46 pm

    I recently got to handle a P938, hands on next to my P238. While its not MUCH bigger, its definitely bigger in hand feel, so much so, with small hands, I prefer the 238, especially since Hornady’s Critical Defense ammo has been gelatin testing so well.

    12″ of penetration, with the 380 round, plus the lack of recoil over the 9mm.

    I also got to shoot the new Springfield Micro 45, and while hand fit wasn’t bad, the recoil was, I believe I could easily get 2 shots off with my 238 in the time it took to get one shot off with the Springfield, adding in time to re-point the pistol.

    And, I added a clipdraw to my glock 27, and guess what, it fits very nicely in my front pants pocket, holds 10 rounds, and completely eliminates the need for a “tweener” micro nine, like the 938.

    I say, 380 for summer, 40 for winter, and go straight from 38 to 40 if you are going to make the jump.

    That said, if I didn’t already own the 238 and the Glock 27, I would probably find the 938 a single gun compromise.

  • StPat November 27, 2012, 8:08 am

    I recently purchased a SIG p938 and it fits in the back pocket of my jeans. It every cheap 9MM I have tried and so far I love it. For $700 I would go for this gun over any khar. Just my humble opinion

  • AJ November 11, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Article captions state: “The Kahr pocket pistols are the king of the hill in small guns.” Not an accurate statement. If you mean of the absolute smallest micro .380 “mouse” guns with a DAO trigger then the statement has legs with regard to the P380 only. See: http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf However, the P238 is of equal or greater function and quality”You get what you pay for, and these Made in USA guns have a hefty price tag, but are the choice of most police departments as backup weapons for a reason.” This statement is misleading. Sure the PM9 might be recommended but show us one major department or agency that has in house tested the P380 and recommends it?”With the right ammo our P380 test gun worked flawlessly” So the gun did have plenty of malfunctions? But if one found a box of ammo that worked (what the hornady FTX at $1.50+ a round?) and it fired 50 in a row it was then declared reliable? These tests need more disclosure. In addition Kahr despite being asked doesnt recommend a specific ammo. Other than “high quality.” Well what is that? [At least the SIG guys at the factory will tell you they test the P238 with the 95gr. Blazer AL .380. SO if it doesnt work with that then SIG will acknowledge a problem.]”was extremely accurate” is a misleading statement. No gun that small is “extremely accurate” in the hands of almost all shooters no matter how well it might shoot in a ransom rest on a relative basis to its peer guns. I agree that for its design it has excellent mechanical accuracy on a relative basis–when it works.”easy to handle” I’ll give you that one but only on a relative basis compared to the other guns of its size. However, that large slide lock lever it problematic for large hands and 2 handed shooting.

  • AJ November 11, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Great on paper. However, with much experience with guns and the P380 specifically I can confidently say it does not work well. Even after Kahr was given an attempt at fixing it. Every malf. imaginable happened. After $250 of all different types off .380 ammo later (Thats about 700 rounds). In addition it is too small to really shoot well confidently and accurately under stress for many; unless all you want is a noise maker. [Tho this is true with most uber micro ones.] PM9 is a much more reliable design.The Sig P238 however, is much more reliable and feels much better to shoot. But I am not a fan of C+L SAO and that small safety on a micro pistol.In any event I think the PM9/P938/Nano form factor is a much better option in 9MM from every standpoint (except ultra smallness and recoil).

  • mark November 3, 2012, 6:40 pm

    When I was loading the chamber with a magazine full of ammo and would release the slide to load the gun, it would “hang” up and not feed properly

  • mark November 3, 2012, 6:38 pm

    I bought this gun,expensive. Handy like a mini glock. I had high hopes. The slide would’nt close all the way. They sent me new slide release. It went back to the company. Fed FMJ ok but not my hornandy zombie ammo. It alwyas failed to close the chamber fully. I took a loss returning it. It was a big waster of my time and money.

  • Paul October 6, 2012, 11:18 am

    I just purchases the P380N with California loaded Chamber Indicator. I am very disappointed on the special
    instructions to disassembly (to remove the slide). First, I cannot believe it’s not covered in the operating instructions. I spent over an hour, going over and over the manual, thinking I had a problem gun. I went to the Kahr web site and could not fine any help. I just happen to thumb through some loose material and fund a orange
    special instruction card on how to remove the slide. Then I thought that the on line shop sold me a blimished gun as a new gun. I can not believe something so critical is put on a card. Kahr, you need to have a individual operating Instructions for this gun (or any gun). I think it’s poor design to have to go through the steps to disassemble and it’s very poor packaging. I expect more when paying top dollar for any product. The gun handled well and I am pleased with the performence.

    • RJ grambeau October 19, 2012, 8:49 am

      I am shopping for the Kahr .380 so I am not familiar with the specifics of your problem. Would you elaborate on exactly what the problem was with removing the slide? Is this specific to the “California” model with the chamber indicator? (Dumb laws in your state btw!). All of my Semi-auto handguns are Glocks so simpicity in field stripping is something I take for granted. Once you had the information was the procedure resonable? Thanks.

  • Matt October 5, 2012, 10:34 am

    Had one. Its not reliable. Cool shooting little gun that is accurate with little recoil. However, it’s not reliable.

    • Ron November 27, 2012, 12:36 pm

      You didn’t really read the review, did you? Or the instructions. I’ll bet it’s dead reliable with the right ammo.

  • jim October 1, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Worst repair and customer service that i have ever dealt with!! They have had my Kahr 380 for over 5 weeks and i still can’t get an estimated repair completion and return ship date. I have also been told that they will ship without notifying me when it ships or provide me with a tracking number. They ship requiring an adult signature it sure would be nice to have a tracking number so that i can make sure someone is available to sign for it or be able to notify FED X to hold for pick up! I have never dealt with a company that did not and will not provide this service!!! MY LAST CAR PURCHASE!!

    • Dan Roth November 8, 2012, 11:45 pm

      I have been through this with Kahr recently. The service rep said he would “try” and get me the shipping info when the pistol went out but he didn’t. It was a warranty repair on a PM45 right at the end of the warranty period which I think was 5 years. Everything looks good but I have not been able to get to the range to test it out yet. I may now be over the 5 years and if it is still bad it sounds like I may be SOL. The repair took many weeks, not like in the old days at Kahr. It was probably well over a month. I guess there are a lot more handguns out there today than 5+ years ago and that crowds up the service departments at the various gun manufacturers. Keep the faith gentlemen.

    • MickD November 28, 2012, 11:05 am

      I can top that. After the 2nd trip back to the factory for my Kahr PM40, they decided it needed the frame replaced. Not only could they not tell me when it would ship, but I also had to pay the FFL fee for a gun with a new serial number. STILL wasn’t reliable, so I stopped throwing good money after bad at that point and got rid of it.

    • Jason May 8, 2017, 9:52 am

      Maybe you have the wrong tires on your car!

    • Jason May 8, 2017, 10:10 am

      I carry my P380 in a Mitch Rosen pocket holster it keeps pocket fuzz out of gun.Never had a problem of any type except brief use of flat nose ammo.Hornaday critical defense works great.

  • peter September 24, 2012, 1:17 am

    hi i like to no were can i get one of this pistol’s any info will be appreciated thank you very much.

  • John Marke September 21, 2012, 3:25 am

    I carry my Kahr P380 in a DeSantis “Super Fly” pocket holster (#M44BJEIZ0) which includes a removable flap that completely eliminates printing. But here’s the catch, the holster is recommended for the Glock 26. Yes, it is a little bit lose in the holster, and i like that. Weapon retention is not an issue for an inside the pocekt holstered weapon. This completely eliminates printing and gives me a very quick and precise draw.

    I have not had any malfunctions regardless of the ammunition used. My Kahr recommends at least a 200 round break-in period. My gunsmith said 500 rounds for todays precision manufactured automatics with very tight tolerances.

    I also have a P9 Kahr that I bought used. I didn’t know that Kahr recommends using the slide release to chamber a round, since the weapon did not come with an instruction book. Regardless, I never had so much as hick-upped. However the new out of the box P380 will sometimes give me a bad time if I sling-shot chamber a round, so I usually chamber by the slide release.

    Overall? Great, high quality weapon.

  • DesertMadness September 19, 2012, 2:35 pm

    While the Kahr is an attractive little pistol, I can have 3 Bersa Thunder .380 for about the same money. My BT380 which I bought used for about $200 (and was barely used by the old gal that owned it) has had about 1000 rounds through it of every flavor and brand. I was looking for the most reliable loads and so far have not found one that it chokes on. It shoots Golden Sabers and Silvertips both with no problems so those are what I keep on hand. I also like a positive hammer drop safety and a metal frame. Call me old fashioned.

  • ROBERT H. September 17, 2012, 11:57 pm

    I own a sig 380p and i do not see how this gun can improve on what i already have…

    • Duray October 18, 2012, 12:26 am

      Slimmer, lighter, and much smoother (fewer sharp pokey widgets.) Not bashing the Sig- it’s what my wife shoots, but it’s nowhere near as comfortable in a pocket as my Kel-tec, or any similar polymer DAO such as the Kahr. On the rare occasion I need to slide the Sig in my pocket the slide corners nearly punch a hole in the fabric.

  • Merica September 17, 2012, 5:29 pm

    No safety? At least have a trigger safety if you are going to charge $600+ for this.

    • Ron November 27, 2012, 12:33 pm

      You don’t need a safety on an inherently safe design like the Kahr. Treat it like a revolver. What safety is on a revolver? Old ones don’t even have a transfer bar.
      Don’t pull the trigger, and it won’t go off. Pull it and it will. That sounds pretty safe to me. You could throw this thing out of an airplane and it won’t go off if something doesn’t pull the trigger.
      It has more than one interna “safety” built-in.
      I have a K-9 I used to carry daily when I lived in a state (IN) that recognized the Constitution, and will again when I can someday where I live now due to work. The K-9, their first, is a fantastic pistol. As others have said, a bit heavy, but that makes it feel solid. The best I’ve ever felt in my small hand. First time I picked it it up at the range, I pointed it close to the target, closed my eyes and it nailed the “X”. Glocks have too much angle on the grip for me, but the Kahr is the most natural point for me among the many I’ve tried.
      I did manage to break the extractor on mine somehow. Broke off about half the little “ear” that slips under the cartridge rim. They sent me a new one, which took all of 10 minutes to install, and it’s better made than the old one was. They learn from experience.
      All in all, you just can’t beat the quality of Kahr’s arms. Absolutely nothing like the shaky Glocks my neighbors brag about, and much more accurate. All the advantages (easy operation and takedown, accuracy) without the crappy feel of the Glock (IMHO).
      If I could carry daily, this would be my backup piece for sure.
      As the article says, if your gun’s at home because it’s too heavy, it doesn’t help you at all.
      You’ll carry this one. And if you ever need it, it’ll go bang when you need it to.

  • ivin prince September 17, 2012, 2:20 pm

    i want to buy this kahr 380!

  • Davidio Flavio September 17, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Sig P238.

    I have handled many, shot a few, and this is what I have settled on, especially after very bad KT experiences. And, any word of poor function SCARES ME, as it should.

    FMJ, for all of you decry it, works. Its that or a wheel gun.

  • Nade September 17, 2012, 12:51 pm

    The P380 is far better than my previous micro desert eagle. However another occasional problem that I have noticed and has been mentioned by others on the web is the rare to occasional premature slide lock which is more often in my experience with +p ammo or wider nose ammo were the diameter doesn’t decrease (taper off) much compared to the base of the bullet.

  • John September 17, 2012, 12:33 pm

    I had a Kahr P40. Most times I fired it the magazine would fall out. I also had trouble with the slide locking back after most shots. I sent it back to Kahr to be repaired. They said they replaced a spring and that it was fixed. First chance at the range I shot it and it had all the exact same problems. I was so disappointed that I traded it at Cabelas for a Beretta 92 which I love. (Sorry to the person who buys the Kahr – Cabelas offers a guarantee for 30 days that they will repair it.) I’ll never buy a Kahr again because they had the chance to fix this pistol and failed as miserably as the gun did.

    • Jay November 27, 2012, 12:45 pm

      Sounds like a shooter that is limp wristing and holding his thumb on the mag release to me. Possabley the gun is to small for the hand and a lazy wrist. on the other hands the 92 fs is one of the largest gripped pistols available and works well even limp wristing.

      • MickD November 28, 2012, 10:35 am

        Another “My Kahr is great, so it must be your fault” diagnosis. I don’t claim to be an expert, just a garden-variety engineering type, but how does limp-wristing cause slide lockback? If you’re limp-wristing, the result should be FAILURE of the slide to retract all the way, resulting in FTF, FTE, etc. If you’re getting slide lockback, then by definition you’re either not limp-wristing or it doesn’t matter (e.g., Beretta 92). Full disclosure: I had a PM40, constant slide locking back in the middle of a magazine, feed ramp hitting the followers and breaking them. I’m left handed, so there can’t be any thumb hitting the mag release OR the slide stop. Sent it in twice, came back working worse each time, so I took a very large loss to get rid of it. I think a lot of the slide lockback issues have to do with the slide stop spring–it’s very small, and if you tighten it too much, the slide won’t lock back on an empty magazine, too loose and the nose of the bullet hits the lever, locking it back in the middle of a magazine. Maybe the other Kahr models don’t have that problem, but I no longer trust Kahr engineering. My Sig P290 that replaced the Kahr runs all day, nary an issue. Steel followers, too, not plastic like Kahr. I REALLY liked the PM40 when it worked, but it just never worked reliably.

        • Administrator November 28, 2012, 1:04 pm

          Guns are machines that handle an incredible amount of stress and often times don’t work well. Overall the Kahr guns are comparatively well made and reliable, and have been the choice of professionals for many years. This article was primarily written because of the dismal performance of the Diamondback guns we reviewed. The .40 caliber cartridge is not the .380, and it specifically is a high pressure modern cartridge. It is not the gun under review here.

          • MickD November 28, 2012, 7:27 pm

            Well, I really wasn’t trying to hijack the thread, and my main point was that everyone wants to jump on “limp-wristing”, but it can’t possibly cause slide lockback… and as to high pressure modern cartridges, I’m reading the comments on your review of the Springfield XDS 45, and am strangely having trouble finding anyone who says that their new XDS is having major problems–and that’s a brand new model. Springfield engineering vs Kahr engineering? I don’t own a Springfield, but I may be getting one soon.

  • we the people September 17, 2012, 12:15 pm

    The Kahr is an excellent weapon I have the mk40 stainless steel 40sw best trigger on any gun I have shot! Walther lothar barrel very accurate! But someone asked how they compare to the seecamp? Well nothing compares to the seecamp! Both function and realiability and if you ever have problems call the company and speak to the owner and son of the designer “Larry seecamp”cause he answers the phone beat that love my seecamp its with me every day its like a fine tuned watch!!!!

  • John Volk September 17, 2012, 11:29 am

    The above article is a nice advertisment for Kahr Arms. I disagree with several of its claims; especially, that it is worth more than double the cost of several of its close competitors. Also, I hold the opinion that the last shot slide hold open feature is both unnecessary AND IS A POTENTIAL RELIABILITY DETRIMENT, on any very light pistol, as it was on Kahr’s early light, sub-compact caliber .40 S&W “Covert” model that tended to randomly lock open the slide with rounds still in the magazine; especially when fired using only one hand.

    In 1999, George Kellgren (Kel-Tec) revolutionized the sub-compact pocket pistol world starting with his locked breech P-32 in .32 ACP. It weighs 9.4 oz. fully loaded, and only 3/4″ taller and 1″ longer than a steel Baby Browning or Walther Model 9, both of which weigh more fully loaded. George quickly followed with his almost identical size P-3AT in .380 ACP weighing 11.1 oz. fully loaded. Ruger’s J.E. is usually credited with the design for the Ruger LCP which many, if not almost all, knowledgeable firearms experts regard as a very close copy (“rip-off”) of George’s P-3AT. Albeit, the LCP is usually regarded at being more expensively and robustly constructed, and sometimes worth the extra $50.00 that it typically costs vs the P-3AT.

    Kahr handguns are of seemingly sound mechanical and ergonomic design. Going back perhaps 8 years, Kahr’s customer service and warranty policy were excellent, even though (in my informed opinion) their quality control was inconsistent. Today Kahr SEEMS TO LOOK FOR ANY EXCUSE NOT TO STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY DEFECTIVE! {I personally know of several Kahr MK9’s with slides that have cracked at the front end. Kahr has refused to “make right” at least one of these cracked MK9 slides.}

    Today, because of their customer service and warranty practices, I will not buy any new Kahr product. I will buy a used Kahr product only after a very close inspection, and if it is offered at a price so low that I can almost certainly resell it to a dealer at a profit.

    • Jon B September 18, 2012, 1:07 pm

      I have had my p380 for 2+ years and is my every day carry. I bought it used from a local shop. The overpressure panel on the right side of the grip seemed to be popping out. I called customer service and they required it to be sent back. In less that 2 weeks from when it was mailed it was back in my hands. They replaced the panel with an updated version, they also put on a new barrel, new extractor, new slide stop release and new springs.

      Frankly customer service doesn’t get any better than that. The gun has worked flawlessly before and after the repair. My experience with Kahr’s customer service is completely different than your. YMMV.

  • DAVID HARDY September 17, 2012, 11:20 am


  • kenk September 17, 2012, 11:17 am

    Excellent pictures with the article, couldn’t ask for more

  • john creveling September 17, 2012, 10:22 am

    The Kahr p380 is one of my carry guns and I have been very happy with it. Beware of after market night sights if you have the California version with the loaded chamber indicator.The sights I bought were not high enough and the indicator blocked the front sight.The Hornady critical defense cycle beautifully and would ruin your day. John C.

  • Mike September 17, 2012, 10:00 am

    I own the larger PM9. I thought it was small till I saw the P380 in person. It is a real little gun. I may have bought the P380 had I read this review first. If the P380 shoots anything like my PM9, it is well worth the extra money.

    • Melisa November 16, 2012, 11:33 pm

      I have a 340PD and I believe mine has a titniaum cylinder. I also have a set of crimson trace grips but mine are about a 1/4 inch longe rand that is just enough for my pinky finger to grab on to. These are fantastic pistols for 38+P but are just too painful to shoot with 357 loads. This is the only pistol I have ever shot that made my hand go numb. That includes 460 S W Mag.

      • mstrong1 November 27, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Melisa, I totally agree, in fact Gold Dot +P’s are painful too, I carry the 340PD, but practice mostly with the Airweight, or .357’s in the 640. I’m a tucked in shirt guy, so J frames in the pocket (Disantis Super Fly) is best for me. 340PD is light enough not to make my pants hang down lower on the gun side and the .38+P Gold Dot makes the cut on Dr. Roberts chart. I keep Crimson Trace grips on my J frames and have them all worked by Teddy Jacobson, who is probably the best J frame guy on the planet. Hand loads in my old 460 Automag feel like .22 shorts compared to .38+P’s in a 340PD

  • parambir singh September 17, 2012, 9:50 am

    what about oiling and cleaning after firing 50 rounds, how easy is to clean and oil so that it does not jam.

  • John September 17, 2012, 8:44 am

    How would this compare to something like a L.W.SEECAMP?

    • mstrong1 November 27, 2012, 2:24 pm

      I have a few Seecamps, how do they compare ?

  • StoneChimney September 17, 2012, 7:52 am

    Is there any substantiation to the claims about “most police departments” issuing Kahr .380’s as backups? We are seeing far more sales of the S&W Bodyguard .380 than the Kahr.

  • Sgt. Schultz September 17, 2012, 7:48 am

    This is the most accurate article on the P380 I have seen. Having carried a P380 for over a year now, I can attest to the ammunition sensitivity. I found that the smaller 88-grain Remington JHP’s, which occasionally pop up at WalMart, work well. My P380 likes the Seller & Belloit 92- grain rounds for everyday practice. Kahr is a step above the rest of the crowd. You do get what you pay for though- a durable and accurate pistol that, once you break it in and figure out which ammo works best in it, can be counted on to work every time.

  • Terry September 17, 2012, 7:06 am

    I own two Kahrs, the P-9 and P 40 both in stainless, no polymer! I find them to shoot flawlessly and am impressed with the workmanship. Both are identical in size and fit the same holster. I would like to see a wider range of holsters available for them . Apparently not that many Kahrs are out there to demand holster production.

    • parambir singh September 17, 2012, 9:52 am

      why keep 2 captain sell me 1 so that you have the best and i have the second best shall be highly obliged. money is no problem.

    • Jim September 17, 2012, 11:52 am

      The P-9 and P-40 are both polymer frame pistols Terry. That’s what the P means….I own 4 Kahrs from .380 to .45ACP and they all are great guns.

  • Jim September 17, 2012, 6:29 am

    No matter what’s on my hip, my P380 is in my pocket. I’ve carried one for several years now and have put thousands of rounds through it. It is by far the easist to shoot small pistol for me. It replaced a Ruger LCP which was a great pistol to carry, but not so great to shoot well. My wife wouldn’t shoot the LCP because it hurt her hand
    but has no trouble with the Kahr. It may cost more, but to me it’s worth it. Good trigger, good sights,and easy to hit with.

  • Ron September 17, 2012, 6:00 am

    I have not tried the P380 Kahr pistol as of yet. I must say that the MK9 and K9 (all stainless) are sweet and trouble free shooters, although a little heavy for a very small pistol. After shooting and collecting various pistols for over 60 years, I wished that I would have discovered Kahr much sooner.

  • Derek September 16, 2012, 12:40 pm

    I’d be real curious to see you guys do a review of the Boberg XR9-S, only slightly larger than the Kahr but in 9mm format. It is crazily engineered.

    • Administrator September 16, 2012, 4:22 pm

      A lot of companies are afraid to send us guns because we are the only ones who talk about bad points on the guns and who do all out bad reviews on bad guns.

  • Kevin Mendelson September 14, 2012, 6:58 pm

    how much? looks like a concealed gun purfect size

    • Nigel Brown November 29, 2012, 5:38 am

      Price is in the article. Several options are available.

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