Kahr CT380 Compact 380 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 29th, 2014

UPDATED February 23rd, 2016

 

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

UPDATE! February 23rd, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slide locks open on an empty magazine.

 

 

Magazine release.

 

 

Grip is well-textured for a positive hold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE! February 23rd, 2016

Kahr is now producing a limited number of their excellent CT380 pistols in Tungsten finish, which is a tungsten-colored Cerakote over the stainless steel slide. The Limited Edition also features a hard plastic case rather than the standard cardboard box, and one extra magazine, all for the same MSRP as the standard CT380 pistol ($419.00 US at the time of this update). This represents a great value on a fine pistol, so get them while you can!

Check out the entire line of Kahr products at: www.kahr.com.

To find a dealer where you can buy this pistol, click on the DEALER FINDER at:
www.lipseys.com.

To order online, go to the GUN GENIE at:
www.galleryofguns.com.

Buy 380 ACP ammo at:
www.buffalobore.com
www.doubletapammo.com
www.midsouthshooterssupply.com and
www.luckygunner.com.

Boge Quinn

A little over five years ago, Kahr introduced their excellent sub-compact 380 semi-automatic pistol; the P380. Like all Kahr pistols up to that point, the baby Kahr proved to be just as smooth and reliable as its larger brethren. When Kahr introduced their value-priced CW and CM line of pistols a couple of years ago, they included the 380 in that series as the CW380. Both of these are excellent pocket pistols, but some shooters want the quality of a Kahr 380, but in a slightly-larger package, which brings us to the newest Kahr 380 pistol; the CT380.

Weighing in at just over an ounce heavier, a bit over half an inch taller, and a bit over an half an inch longer, the CT380 is barely larger than the baby Kahr, but it is just larger enough to make it much easier for many shooters to control. The CT380 fills the hand better, allowing the little finger to get a good grip on the weapon. The CT is the same thickness as the CW, but the extra length also makes it easier for most people to manipulate the slide, as there is a larger area to grasp. The Kahr CT380 is constructed primarily of stainless steel, with a black reinforced-polymer frame.

Critical specifications for the CT380 are compared to the CW380 in the chart below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine floor plate. Maximum width is measured across the top of the frame, and includes the slide lock.

 

CW380

CT380

Chambering 380 ACP 380 ACP
Weight with Empty Magazine 11.4 oz 12.8 oz
Trigger Pull 3 lbs 12 oz 4 lbs 2 oz
Barrel Length 2.58" 3.02"
Barrel Diameter 0.469" 0.469"
Overall Height 3.93" 4.47"
Overall Length 4.88" 5.42"
Grip Width 0.776" 0.776"
Slide Width 0.756" 0.756"
Maximum Width 0.9" 0.9"
Trigger Reach 2.32" 2.32"
Magazine Capacity 6 7
Magazines Supplied 1 1
Sights White Dot, Rear Windage Adjustable White Dot, Rear Windage Adjustable
Accessory Rail No No
MSRP as of November 2014 $419.00 US $399.00 US

I fired the CT380 with every brand and type of 380 ACP ammunition available to me to check for reliable function. On my ammo shelves, I had only three different types of 380 ACP factory ammunition available, which is unusual, but that's all I had, so I decided to go with that. Then, when I began my chronograph testing for velocity, I found my stash of 380 in the shooting shack, so I was able to then do a thorough evaluation of the reliability of the weapon with a variety of ammunition. I fired several types of ammunition over the chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the CT380. Bullet weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. TAC-XP and DPX are Barnes hollowpoint homogenous copper bullets. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. FP is a full metal jacket flat-point bullet.  PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall. HC is a hard-cast flat-nose lead bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature around the fifty-four degree Fahrenheit mark, with forty-five percent relative humidity.   

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Remington JHP 88 843
Stryker FP 95 892
Atomic JHP 90 841
Cor-Bon JHP 90 1002
Cor-Bon PB 70 1231
Cor-Bon DPX 80 952
Handload JHP 88 844
Buffalo Bore JHP 90 998
Buffalo Bore FMJ 95 808
Buffalo Bore HC 100 913
Buffalo Bore TAC-XP +P 80 1177
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 90 1120
Buffalo Bore +P 95 1115
Buffalo Bore HC +P 100 1062

Reliability was flawless with every type of ammunition tested, except for one. For some reason, the standard-pressure 95 grain Buffalo Bore load would not reliably cycle the slide to chamber the next cartridge in the magazine. The empty case would eject perfectly, but the slide did not go fully rearward to pick up the next cartridge in the magazine. This ammo has always worked perfectly in every other weapon in which I have fired it, so I have no explanation for why it would not work in this Kahr. However, this does emphasize the need to always test any ammo that will be carried for serious purposes thoroughly before entrusting that ammo to work well in any particular weapon. Every other brand and type of ammunition fed, fired, and ejected perfectly, every time.

I really like the CT380. For me, in my hand, it feels better and is much more easily controlled than its baby brother CW380. It is just larger enough to make it more "shootable", for lack of a better term. It fills my hand better, yet is still small enough to slip easily into my jeans pocket for concealed carry. It holds one more round than does the CW, which is no big deal, but that one cartridge could make the difference, if needed. The main advantage to the slightly larger size is in the shooting. I can fire the CT more accurately, quicker, than I can the smaller pistol. While on the subject of accuracy, the little CT380 delivers. Keeping every round on a life-size human silhouette at twenty-five yards is not a problem. The CT380 has much better sights that does some of its competitors. The CT380 is also priced right, with a suggested retail price of only $399 US, as of the date of this review.     

The little Kahr CT380 is a great choice for a pocket-sized 380 auto pistol. It is small enough and light enough to always be within reach. It is reliable, accurate, built right, and built in the USA.

Check out this and other Kahr firearms and accessories online at www.kahr.com.

For the location of a Kahr dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.

To order the CW380 online, click on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.

To order quality 380 ACP ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.midsouthshooters.com, www.luckygunner.com, www.doubletapammo.com, and www.lehighdefense.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

UPDATE! February 23rd, 2016

 

 

 

 

CT380 compared to the CW380 (Davidson's Exclusive Purple-Framed CW380 shown).

 

 

Seven-shot magazine.