Carrying a concealed handgun for personal defense is a balancing act. From a pure performance standpoint, we want a gun that shoots a large, potent caliber that maximizes our chances of stopping the fight. For ease of carry, we want something that is small, lightweight, and conceals well. And because we’re cost conscious, we also want a gun that provides all this at an affordable price. Sound impossible? Well, it’s not—thanks to Kahr’s new CM40.

Gun Details
Kahr Arms is one of the premier manufacturers of compact, sub-compact, and ultra-compact pistols. During the past several years, they have strategically expanded their product line to offer a broad selection of handguns in the most popular defensive calibers. In the process, they have wisely created both premium products and more economical versions of their designs—literally something for everyone. Their latest offering, the CM40, combines the qualities of their popular polymer-framed ultra-compact pistol platform with the power of the .40 S&W cartridge.

The CM40 is based on Kahr’s premium-grade polymer-framed .40, the PM40. To make it more affordable, the CM40 features several calculated alterations in its construction that reduce production costs while still maintaining Kahr’s well-established standards of excellence. The result is a very economical pistol that still provides high performance and extreme reliability.

The most significant difference between the CM40 and the PM40 is the barrel. While the PM40 boasts Kahr’s premium Lothar Walther polygonal match-grade barrel, the CM40’s 3-inch barrel features standard rifling with a 1-in-16-inch right-hand twist.

The matte-finished slide of the CM40 is machined from a solid billet of 416 stainless steel, but has less intricate machining than that of the PM40. Although it is still extremely precise and well executed, it lacks some of the cosmetic details of the PM version and is only available in a matte finish, while the PM40 can also be had with a black finish. Unlike the PM40, which features a slide-stop lever and extractor machined from solid stock, the CM40’s parts are produced through a more cost-effective MIM (metal injection molding) process. The CM40’s front sight is also pinned and made of polymer, in contrast to the dovetail-mounted drift-adjustable steel front sight found on the PM40.

Additionally, the CM40 is furnished with a single, five-round, flush-fitting magazine, while the PM40 comes complete with two magazines—one flush fitting and one extended six-rounder. The CM also ships in a cardboard box, unlike the PM’s molded ABS plastic case.
In terms of dollars, these details account for the difference between the $786 suggested retail of the PM40 and the $517 price tag of the CM40—a savings of nearly 30 percent. However, in terms of performance and reliability as a personal-defense firearm, the differences are negligible. To put it bluntly, the CM40 is an extremely capable defensive handgun and an absolute joy to carry.

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