PM4544 (3.24″ Barrel)
Black polymer frame, matte blackened stainless slide
Caliber: .45 ACP
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; “Browning – type” recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.24″, polygonal rifling, 1 – 16.38 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.79″
Slide Width: 1.01″
Weight: Pistol 17.3 oz., Magazine 2 oz.
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte blackened stainless steel slide
Magazines: 3 – 5 rd, Stainless
I began shooting .45 ACP pistols as a young man when surplus .45 caliber ammo was readily available and very inexpensive. The same was true of .45 caliber pistols that had been used by our troops since the adoption of the 1911 as the official sidearm. There were some smiths who did custom work to those guns but for the most part, they were strictly stock guns. Some grouped well and some didn’t but they were generally very reliable.
Fast forward a few decades and what was unimaginable back then is now available from Kahr. Now there is a .45 ACP pistol that’s less than 6″ long and weighs just a bit over 1 lb. Add to that the built-in safety features and accuracy of polygonal rifling and you have the Kahr PM45.
First of all, this is a beautiful pistol. The fit and finish are excellent.
“The PM4544 matte stainless slide is blackened using an ultra hard and super thin coating. This coating has been used successfully in the knife industry to protect blades from corrosion and scratches.”
The first time I put the PM45 in my hand, it seemed to fit correctly. I did have some concern about shooting full power .45 ACP loads in such small pistol however. Over the years I’ve shot a lot of .45 ammo, through a number of different guns. I’ve never had one hurt me but they were all larger than the PM45. This gun is very similar in size the the Kahr CM9 that I’ve carried on a daily basis for some time and I like the idea of all the familiarity that I’ve gained with the CM9 being transferred to the PM45.
There’s only one way that I know to see how a gun performs and how it really feels in the hand and that’s putting some rounds down range. So, I picked up a couple of brands of .45 ammo and headed to the range.
For all of their guns, Kahr recommends that you put 200 rounds through the gun before relying upon it for personal defense. I trust Kahr and always do that but frankly, I’ve never had a malfunction in that first 200 rounds with any of my Kahr pistols. I have noted that they seem to become smoother in operation after a couple hundred rounds however.
To “function test” the PM45, I loaded 3 magazines with some .45 ball ammo that I use mainly for that purpose. I used the same procedure for each magazine fired. I filled each magazine with the maximum of 5 rounds, inserted the magazine, racked the slide to chamber a round, ejected the magazine and put an additional round in it, then reinserted it, so I was ready to go with 6 rounds each time.
For this portion of my evaluation, I just wanted to put some rounds down range, so I used a one hand hold and fired at a target 7 yards away. The shells that I used were full power with a full metal jacket and not particularly accurate. I was pleased to see that I could still keep all the hits in a pretty tight group at that distance. Like all Kahr pistols, the PM45 has an excellent trigger and that really helps.
After firing 18 rounds through the PM45 I was not “gunny” nor did I feel any particular trauma to my shooting hand. The design keeps the recoil to a very manageable level and the grips seemed to have absorbed most of the recoil from those rather harsh rounds.
Now that I had a few rounds down range to test function, I wanted to try some of the ammo that I would favor for self-defense, Polycase 118 grain Inceptor ARX shells. These shells feature a very light, 118 grain bullet that leaves the muzzle at 1307 fps with 448 ft lbs of energy. Compared to many other .45 loads, the recoil is much less, the accuracy is outstanding and the ARX bullet does what it’s designed to do.
I loaded 3 magazines with the Polycase shells, using the same procedure as before and again used the standard 7 yard distance for my target. It was quite evident from the first round that this combination would be something special and it truly was. Squeezing the trigger carefully, I was able to shoot groups of 1″ with 3 shots. For me, that’s excellent shooting and I’m sure that others could do even better.
Then I shot 2 shots and 3 shots rapidly as might happen in a defensive situation. Again, groups remained tight and very manageable. My confidence level in the PM45 continued to increase with every round.
I had fired 36 rounds of .45 ammo through a very small pistol and if you’d asked me before the session began, I’d have told you that half that number of rounds would have been enough to make me want to stop for the day. That was just not the case with the PM45 however. I was still feeling good about the gun, its accuracy and my ability to shoot it.
My first .45 was a Model 1911. It was reliable, inexpensive and ammo was plentiful and cheap. Over they years, I had a series of those guns, including a couple of 1911A1s. I enjoyed shooting them all.
The Kahr PM45 delivers full .45 ACP power just like those 1911s but with built-in safety features that are far superior. It is exceptionally accurate, with excellent sights, a great trigger and all in a package that is easily carried for personal defense. If you’ve ever wanted a full power .45 ACP pistol in a compact package, I’d recommend that you take a look at this one.