While the debate between 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP will rage for decades to come, Kahr Arms has worked hard to produce some of the best semi-autos for concealment in each of those chamberings. The company’s mini .45s are top-notch, and the CW45 is no exception. In the upcoming November 2013 issue of Combat Handguns, author William Bell got his hands on one to see how it stacks up against the competition.

As Bell writes, “The goal behind this pistol was to offer Kahr quality and features at a reduced price.” Cost-cutting measures include a slide that is roll-marked rather than engraved, a barrel with land-and-groove rifling instead of polygonal, and the pistol only comes with one magazine. “What that amounts to is an MSRP of $485, as opposed to the $805 price tag on the P45.”
So how did it do on the range? Was it able to soar during Bell’s combat firing drills, or did it’s budget-friendly construction hinder its performance? To learn more, check out the November 2013 issue of Combat Handguns, available on newsstands and digitally August 6, 2013. To subscribe, go to http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/subscribe/combat-handguns/.

Show Comments
  • fishnshoot

    I’ll get one, once you vacate that commie state, NY.. and officially move to PA

  • Clifford Sherry McCarty

    I have one and I love it !!!! It’s glued to my hip !!!!

  • Debrah Price

    My husband just bought me a CW45 and it was so disappointing, only because I can’t find ammunition. I am so excited to be able to do some target practice just as soon as I find ammo.

  • Mike johnson

    I bought the CW45 about 18 months ago and what a HUGE disappointment. I should just sell it. I won’t carry it because I can’t rely on it. As long as there is a round in the chamber it always goes bang but, I have problems with it chambering the next round. When I first got it I read that you were supposed to put at least 200 rounds through it to break it in. What a joke that KAHR has to make that statement about their pistols. Anyhow, with just over 500 rounds through it apparently it still needs breaking in. Problem is, it’s just too expensive to sling 45acp down range just waiting to see if the gun will work properly or not. I can sometimes shoot a few 6 round mags through it and have zero problems. Or other times I’ll have two stoppages out of the same mag. You never know. I use only brass and have tried many different brands. Problems occur with all. I did contact KAHR because I was also having problems with the take down pin coming out during shooting. They sent me a new spring which I replaced and it seems to have solved that issue. I let them know about the pistol failing to return to battery sometimes and they said to shoot it more. Uh, okay, are they going to send me some 45acp to do this?? As for now it’s just sitting in the safe. For a pistol that cost me $400 out the door and that I have shot over $200 worth of ammo through trying to get it “broke-in” I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve invested too much to sell at a loss. I really don’t want to have to send it to KAHR since it’ll be on my dime to ship it. Just more money out of my pocket. Should never have bought it.

    • ikaikasdad

      Try a different mag. You can use a slightly modified 1911 officers mag. I had the same issue until I bought extra ones and only that first mag I had failures with. May or may not work but it’s the cheapest alternative. Good luck, they are amazing guns.

    • Mick Hess

      I agree with Mike Johnson and have had the exact same problem for months. I just got my CW40 back from the factory and they said they made the following, “polished feed ramp – reworked chamber and extractor – new mag catch – lubed and tested, fired OK.” I have 3 mags, all of which are Kahr mfg. Two 7 round and one 6 round. The 6 round mag has been replaced once already. I had the mags fall out after the first shot. It would not feed properly after the first shot. I had it out today for the first time since it came back. The 6 round mag went through OK. The other mag didn’t feed after the first shot or the 3rd mag fell out again. I’ve lost faith in the gun. I also resent the 200 round break-in. It’s stiff action is unnecessary and now I’m just throwing bullets through it hoping for a miracle to happen and it will work. They got lucky in their “TEST”. Not dependable after 500 rounds. I wouldn’t sell it to someone. If the dealer says for me to send it back, Kahr will give you a Return Authorization for free Fedex. I paid $18.00 USPS just to get it out of the house.

    • allen

      I have a cw45 with the same problems exactly. sent it back to Kahr (on their dime) got it back and it was possibly worse. Called them again and spoke with their head gunsmith. This time he was very interested in my problems (mag also drops on my model when you shoot hotter loads), and he assured me he would look at it personally. I’m mailing it to them on Monday (again on their dime). I also have a cm9 my first purchase from Kahr. I absolutely love that little pistol! Over 500 rds through it, with every type of 9 ammo I can find with no malfunctions and superb accuracy. I’m not ready to give up on the cw45 just yet. Although I don’t know if I could ever really trust it after so many problems.

    • Bill G.

      I had the same issue with mine even after a 500rd break in.
      I disassembled it and tried to figure out what was happening.
      It seemed the case was being held too tightly by the extractor not allowing the round to slide up against the breechface and into position.
      I popped the back plate off and shortened the extractor plunger a few hundredths reducing the spring tension on the extractor. Problem solved.
      Now it’s one of my favorites….

      • Maddog Marine

        Stop Limp Wristing

    • Maddog Marine

      Stop limp wristing.

      • Mike johnson

        You’re an absolute moron.

  • Excelerater

    ordered one today ,hard to beat that price