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Handloads For 1927-a1 Kahr


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#1 The Virginian

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 06:26 PM

I recently sent back my 1927 A1 Thompson-Kahr to have it fixed, I ran about 200 of my handloads that basically duplicate ball ammo. I also ran some Fiocchi 230 grain factory ammo through it. Eventually the gun stopped working and I had to send it back for repairs. The report I got back from the factory was astonishing. The bolt had cracked and the extractor broke. In additon they had to pin the cutts compensator on as it fell off twice before. My question is, are my handloads too much for this gun? They are by no means +P, but could +P or hot loaded ammo that is OK in a 1911, damage a semi-auto Kahr Thompson?
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#2 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 06:36 PM

The Kahr version of the Thompson was really designed to only fire BBs'.
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#3 The1930sRust

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 07:00 PM

That's real helpful, Arthur. Good job...
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#4 The Virginian

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 07:06 PM

Thank you, Arthur, I feel much better about my purchase! cool.gif Seriously, any thoughts. The gun looks 300% better now and seems a lot tighter with a nicely finished bolt.
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#5 full auto 45

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 07:09 PM

The gun should be able to fire any .45 ACP on the shelf. If you loading a round to factory specs or what the book would call for you should be just fine. The fault should (is) the fact that Kahr is building a very crappy gun right now. The bolts now are not as strong of metal as old, you found this out, and the extractors are brittle and almost everybody breaks one in the first 50-200 rounds from what I have read. As soon as you get it back I would try to run 100-200 factory rounds, I use S & B rounds, through it and see if it runs ok. If not call them and complain and they will make it right as they can. What are you loading your rounds at and with what? I use on re-loads zero brand FMJ bullets and Hogdon powder at 5.2gr. with Winchester primers. I've burned about 10k rounds of those if the past few years and my 1928 WH runs great with it.
Pay no attention to Arthur he suffers from to many Colt kicks in the head.
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#6 Walter63a

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 07:24 PM

The Virginian, I own a Kahr 1927A1. I had a problem with the rear sight screws working loose. I used Locktite on that. I had trouble reassembling the upper to the lower. I took it back to the shop I purchased it from and had their gunsmith mill down the rod of the safety switch, which seemed to be catching on something. It has worked fine since. However, for about $800 out of the box, one should have the right to expect a gun to work and work well!! To say the least, Kahr produced Thompson semiautomatics have serious quality control related problems. It would not surprise me to find out that, not only are their production methods inferior, but also their material choices. ohmy.gif blink.gif mad.gif When I bought my gun, the guy behind the counter suggested that I use factory ball ammo (FMJ). I wouldn't take the chance on using more powerful loads. Good luck! smile.gif blink.gif biggrin.gif Regards, Walter
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#7 junglewalk

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 08:11 AM

Hey Virginian; For over 2 yrs, with 2 broken extractors, 2 broken firing pins, a broken charging handle, and a rear sight base that broke the screws twice, I finally got my 27A1 'broken-in'..........I have shot over 10,000 rds, and pushed thru all kinds of ammo, but mostly my reloads of LRN-230 grs, with 4.7 Bullseye behind them...Each new problem was a challenge,ha !.....But now it runs fast and reliable, and I'm also thinking about doing the SBR proceedure on it, even though I have a 28 in transfer. Once it is SBR'ed, and Doug Richardson see's well enough to make the period rounded charge handle, might look very well enough to keep. ohmy.gif Whip that sucker into shape, good luck ! (right now,mine is running with a shortened firing pin, ground down, when the orig-pin tip broke off,ha!).....jw

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#8 Bill in VA

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 08:20 AM

While Kahr may make a product that's lacking in the QC department, I'm curious what recipe you were using for your handloads that "duplicate ball ammo." Perhaps your load was/is too hot?
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#9 The Virginian

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 10:52 AM

I was using 6.2 grains of Universal Clays, which burns like Unique only cleaner behind a 230 grain FMJ. I checked 3 reloading manuals to make sure the load I was using was safe and out of a 1911 5" barrel should chrono at 845 fps, more in the Thompson. These loads are by no means too hot. My OAL is 1.273. I shoot this load out of my 1911s, S&W 625 and S&W 4506 and never had a problem of any kind. The brass showed no signs of pressure and the primers looked normal. From what I have read, the Thompsons should be able to handle loads hotter than this and why the parts failed is a mystery. Could the gun as one of you suggested, be breaking itself in? No pun intended.
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#10 PK.

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 11:34 AM

The Kahr bolts are of new manufacture and are carburized to harden the surface. They have had a bit of trouble getting the depth of carburization uniform and if it gets to deep, the thin areas that retain the extractor become brittle and break. I’ve only heard of a handful of this type of failure and don’t considerate it rampant. The extractors they are using are GI surplus (the last I knew).

I would not consider the semi Thompson suitable for a steady diet of +P ammunition; the light weight bolt and lack of retardation or locking mechanism offer only minimal resistance to chamber pressure. Stick with “factory ball” loads and you should be OK.

The original specification for 45 ACP was for a 230 gr. bullet and 5 gr. of powder (unspecified other than “smokeless”). This gives a total ejected mass of 235 gr. As the use of slower powders requires an increase in charge weight (even to produce standard velocities), the impulse to the bolt is increased accordingly.

I have used a load of 5.0 - 5.2 gr. of WW 231 and a 230 gr. RN plated lead bullet for years and find it to be satisfactory in any situation requiring “ball loads” for the 45 ACP


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#11 The Virginian

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 02:59 PM

The load I have been using is well under the maximum according to the loading manuals. I basically does what your 231 loading does. I will try shooting more factory ammo in it this time and then a few handloads to see how the gun handles them. I find it very strange that Kahr would have such a problem since they have a state of the art facility.
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#12 The Virginian

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 12:20 AM

I am using Universal Clays, not the other Hogdon powder Clays, which burns faster. Bottom line if the CUP is at or below 19,000 CUP mark, then there should not be a problem. I will try shooting a bunch of factory ammo out of it to see what happens. Most factory ammo I have shot is hotter than my reloads anyway. I recently read an article in the American Rifleman that discussed using +P in the semi-auto Thompson and they concluded it should not cause any problems since the bolt was so robust. Perhaps the new heat treatment of the bolts as PK points out can be defective and cause pre-mauture parts failure.
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#13 adlake

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 12:37 AM

I think there should maybe be legal action taken in consideration as I been thru 3 extractors, now the 3rd bolt, new mags, and new catch and all that cash used to ship to Kahr. My 3 rd bolt broke after the warrety expired. I bought a 1911 and the pluger tube when south along with a pin that flew out after the safety dropped out. I got sick of sending the thompson in so I fixed the 1911 and took the hit but I mailed Kahr a letter and they send replacement parts that are now sitting in a box.
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#14 Incomplete

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 05:41 PM

Sadly it appears the only way a real legal action will be taken againist Kahr is when one of their guns malfunctions and harms someone, severly.
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#15 junglewalk

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 08:32 AM

Again, let me suggest, to the guys who got Kahrs, still under a year, right now, let Kahr know, your firing pin just broke, then your extractor, broke, and whatever else anyone else can suggest, to get these parts, so when they do break, you'll have the parts to replace them, with no cost to you..........It will happen....jw mad.gif
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#16 The Virginian

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:32 AM

Good idea, I might just give them a call and tell them. It will be nice to have replacement parts on hand. I am still miffed that this gun has broken with such mild loads. I compared my handloads to Winchester white box and the Winchester factory loads are much more harsh in a 1911, so I don't think it is MY ammo per se, rather that the Kahr had a crappy bolt when I got it. I will take it out for testing next week. Still a month left on the warranty.
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