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Semi Auto Wh-kahr? Yea Or Nay?


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#1 regalgseguy

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 08:11 AM

I would like to get a SA Kahr or WH thompson. However, I read many posts about questionable quality/reliability of the SA thompsons. Are the problems posted commonplace in the SA models or is it a case of the squeaky wheel gets the oil? I do not want to spend $800+ on a gun that I have to send back to the factory time and time again and then still not have it function the way it should mad.gif

I had a 1927A3 .22 years back and that gun was marginal at best, lots of failure to fires. I was told at the time that the .45s were much better? I have little tolerance with spending big$ on guns that have poor quality and function. As of this time I'm leaning toward NOT buying unless someone can talk me into it. I recently purchased a SA UZI and that gun works excellent in SA form. Wish I could say the same fo thompsons
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#2 PK.

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 08:31 AM

I guess the question is “how badly do you want a Thompson?”. If reliability out of the box is your primary concern then you would be better served by considering another model.

If you really want a Thompson, you don’t have many choices. Thompsons can be extremely reliable firearms. The WH produced SA & FA guns and the current Kahr SA models often need the care of a competent ‘smith to set them right and provide the satisfaction you desire. If you really want a Thompson and can’t afford an excellent condition early model, commit to spending some extra for having a later model set right. You won’t be disappointed.

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#3 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 03:51 PM

I have to agree with PK 100%! I have a SA West Hurley, and it will need a bit of fine tuning. For instance the rear sight. They come riveted on, and usually break sometime during the first 100 rounds or so. Any competent Gunsmith will be able to tap it for screws instead. Thats what I did to mine and it has been fine through several thousand rounds. Another area of concern is the magazine catch, which will have to be modified to use military surplus magazines. Actually, it is a great way to learn a few gunsmithing tricks, which is a great hobby in addition to shooting. Refinishing the wood is a great place to start. They come rather "rough" and bulky, but some time with a round file, some sandpaper, and liberal amounts of linseed oil gives you a gun that you are proud to look at, as well as fun to shoot!

Like PK said though, how bad do you want a Thompson?
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#4 Motorcar

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 04:09 PM

I purchased a new 1927A1 Kahr Thompson several months ago and love it. The feeding problems I had were with mags bought at gun shows that just needed to be tweeked to feed right. My 50 round L drum feeds as fast as I can go without a miss. The only thing I've had to do is locktight the sight screws and had my local gunsmith make a solid pin for the compensator that matches early 28 models. Total cost, $26. The finish is beautiful on all blued parts. As others said, isn't owning AND tinkering part of the fun?
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#5 regalgseguy

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 11:51 PM

I must admit that I feel the same way about a gun that I do about a new car, TV, Washing Machine ect. If you brought home a new TV and it did not work right I can't imagine that would bring a smile to your face because now you get the chance to "tinker" with it to make it work? I understand the joy of working on things like old radios, old cars ect. However, when I buy something new in box I expect it to work as it should! Why can't Kahr engineer/ tweek/tinker with their $800+ guns before they send them out to unsuspecting buyers who think their high dollar piece of history will actually work? Why do you think those UGLY Glocks sell like crazy? It's because they work! Why do those fugly Rugers sell like hotcakes? Because they WORK!

The thompson IMHO is a very nice looking gun! and yes I would love to have one. However, the more research I do the more I realize that in this case "beauty is only skin deep" I just can't bring myself to spend that kind of $$ and have a better than average chance of getting a lemon that needs to be "tinkered" with
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#6 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 12:21 AM

regal,
You have echoed sentiments expressed here many times before. American consumers have come to expect quality out of the box; especially if they are paying top dollar. Unfortunately, Kahr is the only game in town for those who want a new semi auto version of the TSMG. It is a mystery why they don't hire PK to oversee their quality control. The answer must be that they are quit satisfied that, even with all the bad PR, Kahr Thompson's still sell. So why fix what's broke?

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#7 regalgseguy

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 01:51 AM

Arthur,

Good point.
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#8 The1930sRust

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 05:41 AM

Someone in the know about such failings should write an open letter to Kahr. We could pin it to the top of the forum, let everyone sign it and offer their comments (constructive comments) and then show them. Send it to them. Make our voices heard.
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#9 Sgt

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 07:51 AM

Chris--
I like that idea, but something did occur to me. Shouldn't they already know something is badly wrong, by all the guns that have been returned for repairs? Maybe this problem is already in their marketing equation and they feel comfortable with their bottom line, as is.

Having said that, I certainly support a petition. Can't hurt to try.
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#10 Walter63a

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 10:20 AM

Chris, I'd sign the petition. smile.gif I'm just wondering whether it will fall on deaf ears? I guess we won't know until we try. They definitely have a quality control problem. I think the best thing would be for them to sell the company to people who take pride in their work and are not in business merely to milk the relatively small niche market for the semi-auto version of the Thompson. blink.gif sad.gif Regards, Walter
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#11 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 12:05 PM

Hmmm.... I guess he doesn't want a Thompson bad enough...That's a shame really, as my Thompson is without a doubt, hands down, the funnest gun I own!!! So what if the rear sight needs a liitle fixin'? I personalized my gun, as with all my guns, and they become an extension of my personality. Who else here has lovingly hand checkered their grips? Refinished the wood to fit their hands? Added other little things like sling swivels, etc? Someday, if I get a digital camera I'll have to post pics of my grips, as I think I did a nice job on 'em, if I do say so myself....

I would sign your petition, if only to convince Kahr to fix their guns so that others would be convinced to buy a gun as fun as this one! biggrin.gif
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#12 Motorcar

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 02:56 PM

Maybe I didn't clearly state my thoughts, I love mine and have no regrets. If you don't want the Kahr or WH 27 then spend 20 thousand on a 95% colt, then you can begin "tinkering" with it to get it the way you want, Oh that's right..no tinkering alowed when spending hard earned American dollars. My only regret is missing that WH 28 on Subguns for 8K in my own state!
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#13 WEllin11

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 08:45 PM

Chris,
Count me in on signing a petition. I was on a first name basis with Dick Ducharme, the Service Manager, and technicians Larry Meyer and Don something, for most of 2002. They finally sent a replacement rifle with a pinned compensator, but I still had to fix the loose fitting magazine, smooth out the leaving magazine lips, take out the slop between the frame and receiver and loc tite the sight screws before it would shoot without jamming or things falling off. The journey has been ugly, but I have certainly learned alot about this rifle, both inside and out!! It has been a "labor of love" as others have mentioned before. I can't tell you how much fun my son and I had last week when we shot 200 rounds through 3 different XXX mags and had 'zero' stove pipes!!! It was awsome!!!
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#14 regalgseguy

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 05:06 AM

I've bought some real lemons over the years however, the internet has changed that. I now have the tools to do a throuogh research on potential purchases like the Kahr thompson. This has saved me many a headache and I can honestly say that I'm a much wiser consumer because of it. Until I start seeing better reports on the Kahr thompsons I'll have to pass. I would consider a cheaper used model that I would not feel as bad about putting some extra$$ into to make it work as it should
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#15 Zamm

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:15 PM

regalgseguy,

I think the question is do you want a Thompson?

If so, then you only have a limited number of choices, Kahr being the only one on a new firearm.

As for getting a used one, chances are you are going to pay more because they have allready been "tweaked" and personalised by the previous owner.

As for the open letter to Kahr, I'll sign up.
Zamm
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#16 Grey Crow

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:36 PM

From the forum its been mentioned more than once that the Kahr has a nicer finish than the older AO guns. Both are known to have feeding problems as well.

Replacing or modifying the magazine catch should be the first priority. then Acquire some GI mags an easy task, and less expensive than the Kahr mags..

Pin the compensator if it isn't already, then put some loktite in the rear site screws. From there on it's all glitz as to what else you want to do with it.

As to reliability I've purchased 2 Colt pistols, "NIB" and had feeding problems, all were fixed by polishing the feed ramp, and chamber. My Kahr 27A1 functions as reliably as any other firearm at this point.

The only other thing like with all semis, keep it clean.... tongue.gif
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#17 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (Zamm @ Aug 17 2003, 06:15 PM)



As for getting a used one, chances are you are going to pay more because they have allready been "tweaked" and personalised by the previous owner.


I have to agree with this, despite what some of the "purists" may say. I put a lot of time and effort into handcheckering my grips. and refinishing the stock. I've also polished the bearing surfaces in the trigger to a mirror finish to get a better action out of that long creepy trigger pull that it comes stock with.

It's kind of weird, and maybe I just lucked out, but I have never had feeding problems with my gun. From day one it has emptied all 10 of my XXX box magazines and my "L" drum without a single hangup. In fact, untill I came to this board and starting reading some of the other posts, I never even realized that feeding malfunctions were a problem.
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#18 nfafan

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 11:11 PM

QUOTE (regalgseguy @ Aug 15 2003, 11:51 PM)
I must admit that I feel the same way about a gun that I do about a new car, TV, Washing Machine ect. If you brought home a new TV and it did not work right I can't imagine that would bring a smile to your face because now you get the chance to "tinker" with it to make it work? I understand the joy of working on things like old radios, old cars ect. However, when I buy something new in box I expect it to work as it should!
<snip>
The thompson IMHO is a very nice looking gun! and yes I would love to have one. However, the more research I do the more I realize that in this case "beauty is only skin deep" I just can't bring myself to spend that kind of $$ and have a better than average chance of getting a lemon that needs to be "tinkered" with

Agree 100%.

That's why I have yet to shoot my AOC/WH 1927A1 Deelux that I've had for 6 years. I'm still not convinced that an $800+ .45 carbine - that has as many issues as discussed here - is worth getting dirty.

I'm verrrry tempted to keep it NIB and sell it as such.

But... the coolness factor... Seeing as how I'll never own a real TSMG, this is about as close to the real deal as I'll ever get. Which is why I still have it.
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#19 7Cav

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 12:03 AM

wink.gif My 2cents worth...i have a 1977 vintage AO 1927a1 that is a virgin.MUCH better than the Kahr's from what I've seen. I bought it & a new 39 rd mag as an ivestment . I shoot my other toys for fun.
From what I read the old quality and unique features makes it too valuable to shoot. Still can't imagine GI's carrying that monster everyday.
I appreciate my CAR 15 in RVN more now.
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