Quality – SIG SAUER and Kahr Arms

SiG and Kahr

Two more brands to consider: SIG SAUER and Kahr Arms.

Kahr is a relative newcomer to the gun scene. Founded by the son of the man who headed the Unification Church (the “Moonies”), Kahr makes small and medium-sized handguns with steel or polymer frames. They’re all single-stack, striker-fired designs.

SIG is . . . SIG. Their guns used to be designed in Switzerland and made in Germany. Nowadays SIG make slides and other components in the United States, as well. They have a reputation for quality and precision. They were late to the polymer frame pistol party, but have been making up for lost time.

Same method as before: every review in Gun Tests magazine back to 1996. A gun’s judged as “broken” if it stopped working, shed parts, or physically disintegrated in some way. A gun classified as “unreliable” if it had failures to fire, feed, extract or eject that were not attributable to a documented problem with the ammunition. An obviously defective part like a single bad magazine would not render a gun “unreliable” if the manufacturer’s regular magazines worked when the bad magazine was replaced like-for-like.

SiG vs. Kahr

Not a huge dataset of Kahr tests to draw on. Kahr specifically states in their owner’s manuals that you must fire 200 rounds through their guns before you can consider them reliable. In 4 of the 9 guns tested, there were reliability issues during the break-in period. In each case, however, the guns ran perfectly after the break-in was completed.

Four of the 36 centerfire SIG pistols tested were unreliable: a P239, a P226 (during break-in period) a SP2340 (during break-in period) and a P250.

Three of the 39 SIGs that were tested were .22 target guns: two Mosquitos and a Trailside Target. Both Mosquitos were unreliable, and one of them fired when the gun was out of battery. The Mosquito has a troubled reputation, much like the Walther P22.

SiG Mosquito

UPDATE: Now with the notes page I forgot to post…

SIG and Kahr Notes

SIG and Kahr Notes

12 Responses to Quality – SIG SAUER and Kahr Arms

  1. avatar84P6 says:

    What’s with the capitalized ‘G’ in ‘Sig’?

  2. LOL. I must be showing my age. I thought it used to be SiG (small “i”) years ago.

  3. avatar2yellowdogs says:

    I can attest to that Kahr break-in period thingy. I had two failures to feed in my CW-9 during the first 100 rounds. Since then, I’ve put about 350 rounds through it without a hiccup. Very nice fit and finish, buttery trigger and easy field stripping. Very nice gun.

  4. avatarBob H says:

    I have always heard about the Kahr pocket pistols. Has anyone seen a review of the larger .40 and .45 stainless and/or polymer guns with 4″ barrels?

  5. Crap. I forgot to post the notes. I will update the post…

    Bob, as a rule Gun Tests reviewers liked the Kahr products. The trigger takes some getting used to, as did Glocks when they debuted (but the trigger isn’t like a Glock trigger). Rent one at a range if you can.

    Regarding the P40, they said “• Kahr P40, $707. Our Pick. We liked the look, feel, and especially the rapid-fire potential of the P40 far better than either of the other two test guns, and because this gun excelled at that important function, we rated it higher than the other two. We would not hesitate to choose the Kahr P40 for self-defense, of these three pistols. It’s small, light, easily concealed, fully functional, and easy to hit with under pressure, we found. “

  6. avatarSam Adams says:

    My wife bought a Mosquito and has fired around 3000 rounds through it without a single failure. It is as reliable as any firearm we own. We do clean our firearms regularly though.

  7. avatarChris Grome says:

    I currently own two Kahrs P-9, K-40 and looking for a P-45 and K-9Elite. I sold my Sig p226 and Glock. My Kahrs are more comfortable, handle recoil better, and amazingly just as if not more accurate! And to top it all off they cost the same and are far more concealable than Glock or Sig. Ask any one that has honestly owned Kahrs for a while and has followed the break-in period recommendations. They are excellent quality and by far the best in and for CCW situations. I come across LE’s all the time that areswitching their backup- pieces froma Sig, Glock , to a Kahr. Don’t think so check-out the LE forums. Most LE’s are going to light weight snubbie revolvers or a KAHR!

  8. avatarChris Grome says:

    Carry light thin and sexy, dependable I might add or carry a stumpy- lumpy brick! TAKE YOUR PICK!

  9. avatarJChandler says:

    Once upon a time, Kahrs were great. I owned one of the original K9s and a K40. I can tell you right now they’re not as good as they used to be. I just purchased a new (stainless) K9, and it had the following issues:

    1. Very poorly machined. Looks like the person who made this frame, or inspected it, was drunk that day. Tool marks everywhere.
    2. The “brace” bar that runs from the top to the bottom of the frame at the back of the grip looks like it was finished with a file. The bottom isn’t even square, and is uneven at the bottom of the magazine well on either side, also. The bar also has casting pits. Seriously poor workmanship you’d never see in the store.
    3. The interior front of the magazine well still looks rough-cast, as does the dust cover, and there are enlarged grains visible in the POORLY cast steel, indicating either sloppy workmanship or bad heat treating that was covered up by bead blasting.
    4. Grips don’t match up, with rear edge of the left one sticking up higher than the right. I believe this is due to poorly located holes.
    5. Grind marks in the trigger guard, behind the trigger. Again, attempted cover up with bead blasting.
    6. Inside the frame, where the trigger is located, there is still casting sprue sticking up. Seriously, this is CHEAP Chinese quality…not the product of an American company which advertises such precise, well-made firearms (which they USED to be, by the way).
    7. The larger side of the trigger pivot pin isn’t centered in the frame hole, and looks like it was finished with a file.
    8. Frame to slide fit is SLOPPY. Gun actually rattles when shaken. Both side to side and up and down slop.
    9. Minor tool marks on back of frame, disguised by bead blasting.
    10. On right side of frame (where larger side of trigger pivot pin is), the frame is actually wavy. Not obvious until you get in good light.
    11. Poor machining of slide. Ejector port looks like it was finished with 60 grit.
    12. Tool marks on slide rails.
    13. Left side of top of slide evinces an abrupt transition from front to back, instead of smooth, flowing blending. Not very obvious until you get in good light, but you can feel it.

    The barrel seems to be pretty good…isn’t that the only part Kahr doesn’t make?

    Looks like Kahr has ceased caring about quality or precision, and just wants to dump as many pistols as they can on the market. Unification Church must need money. For what they are (extremely compact CCW guns), Kahrs are supposed to be top tier. They’re sure priced that way. Turns out, though, that the new models are bottom rung. It’s a great LOOKING gun, with superb ergonomics, but the build quality puts it in the range of a Hi-Point or a Lorcin.

  10. avatarJChandler says:

    Just a follow-up…I sent that POS back to Kahr, and they replaced it for me. Even gave me a DLC coated one. While not perfect, it’s a huge improvement, and equal to most of the other factory guns I own. I’m quite satisfied, and it’s still the best concealment gun on the market. The new one is highly accurate, and feels great, as all Kahrs do.

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