Kahr Arms has long emphasized small autos in 9mm and .40 S&W until–in 2006–it introduced the P45 in .45 ACP. Now it has lengthened the barrel and added another round to the magazine of the P45 to create the polymer-framed TP45, and like other Kahrs, it is a double-action-only, striker-fired, locked-breech, recoil-operated action. With, of course, the characteristic smooth but long Kahr trigger pull.
The matte stainless steel slide is nicely finished with rounded edges and cocking serrations at the rear to provide a good gripping surface. Two metal inserts at the rear of the rails and two on the front inside the dustcover provide solid, long-lasting surfaces to reinforce the guide rails on which the slide reciprocates, thus increasing service life while adding only miniscule weight to the polymer frame.
The front- and backstraps are aggressively checkered for a positive grip, and the grip angle is the same as that of the M1911, making the gun point very naturally. The pistol grip is often the most difficult part of a handgun to conceal, and the length of this one pretty much rules it out as a pocket pistol–unless you’ve got a big pocket. Yet this gun is narrow and flat, making it a good choice for people large enough to hide the seven-round-capacity pistol grip under their clothing. The barrel is a hair over four inches long, preserving most of the ballistic effectiveness of the .45 ACP. Overall length is about 61Ã¢ d the gun weighs 23.2 ounces empty.
The slide catch is on the left side of the frame above the trigger and is nearly impossible to operate while an empty magazine holds the catch in the locked position. That’s OK in my book because when a loaded magazine is inserted, the catch works fine. The magazine-release button is on the grip just aft of the triggerguard, and the magazine well is slightly beveled to aid in fast magazine changes.
The long, smooth trigger pull is in no way a hindrance to accurate shooting.
The first eighth-inch of takeup is extremely light and is followed by a half-inch second stage that broke at just under seven pounds on the test gun. However, it was so smooth that it seemed much lighter, and I could perceive no stacking as it approached the break point.
The TP45′s stainless steel barrel is polygonally rifled with a 1:16.38-inch right-hand twist. Polygonal rifling is not new and has advantages. It’s easier to clean than standard rifling and allows greater velocity without increasing chamber pressures.
The patented Kahr feed ramps are integral to the barrel and are offset to the left instead of centered. The offset allows the trigger bar to pass along the right side of the ramp, thus making it possible to set the barrel lower in the frame and putting the axis of the bore closer to the hand, which makes it easier to control muzzle flip.
At the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, I set up on the bench at 25 yards to test accuracy using loads from Federal, Black Hills and Extreme Shock. Accuracy with all brands tested was consistent, with Black Hills turning in the best groups, averaging about 21Ã¢ Extreme Shock rounds, which caused the slide to hang up about an eighth-inch short of battery. A slight push on the back of the slide solved the problem but eliminated that load as a viable self-defense round in this particular gun. I suspect that the problem had something to do with the shape of the Fang Face bullets. Recoil was stout, especially with the hot Extreme Shock loads, but was not punishing.
With the four-inch barrel, this .45 ACP version of the Kahr will be a bit more accurate and offer slightly better ballistics than the shorter-barreled versions, so if you are seeking a lightweight .45 with a seven-round-capacity magazine, give this one a look.