Kahr TP45 Semi-Automatic 45 ACP

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 8th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.





Slide Lock.





Grip is well-textured, and provides a secure hold.





The sights are rugged, made of steel, and are dovetailed into the slide.





All the TP45 needs to make it a superb carry gun is a Crimson Trace Laserguard.









Kahr Arms makes some of the best compact semi-automatic pistols on the market. They have a good reputation for building high-quality, reliable, smooth-functioning pistols that are lightweight, slim, and easy to use. Many men and women choose to carry a compact Kahr pistol in a pocket or on the belt, as they find the Kahr pistols to be a great choice for concealed carry, when small size and great reliability are important.

While Kahr pocket pistols (such as the CW380, P380, CM9, and CM40) get a lot of attention, and their slightly-larger P series pistols (such as the PM9, PM45, and CM45) are also very popular, their larger pistols do not get much press. The TP45, while still slim, smooth, and reliable, is a single-stack 45 ACP that is more comparable in size and capacity to a Commander-sized 1911.  Compared to a lightweight Commander, the Kahr has a slimmer grip, a shorter reach to the trigger, a lighter weight, and a much shorter overall length, while having a barrel that is still four inches in length; only one-quarter inch shorter than a Commander-sized 1911. For these reasons, many shooters find the TP45 easier to carry, and easier to shoot. Like other Kahr pistols, the TP45 has no external safety. It is easy to operate, and easy to shoot well. The trigger pull is butter-smooth, and on this test gun, weighed in at four and three-quarters pounds resistance, but felt even lighter, due to the wide, comfortable stainless steel trigger.  The external frame on the TP45 is made of black reinforced polymer, with most other parts made of a satin-finished stainless steel. The magazine catch is a matte black steel, as are the sights. While I love the feel of a lightweight Commander 1911, my hand is large. For many with medium or small hands, the TP45 is a much better fit. The trigger reach is shorter, and the grip circumference is much smaller on the TP45.

Critical specifications for the TP45 are listed in the chart below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine floor plate. Maximum width is measured across the top of the frame, and includes the slide lock.


Chambering 45 ACP
Weight with empty magazine 23.2 oz.
Trigger Pull 4 lbs., 12 oz.
Barrel Length 4.03"
Barrel Diameter 0.578"
Overall Height 5.78"
Overall Length 6.78"
Grip Width 0.98"
Slide Width 1.00"
Maximum Width 1.10"
Trigger Reach 2.46"
Magazine Capacity 7
Magazines Supplied 2
Sights White Dot, Rear Windage Adjustable
Accessory Rail No

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at twelve feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, with a sunny sky, a slight breeze, and seventy-eight percent humidity. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level.  Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. Tac-XP and DPX are homogenous copper hollowpoint bullets. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented bullet inside a copper alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall. LRSP is Buffalo Bore Low Recoil Standard Pressure ammunition. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 230 956
Buffalo Bore FMJ +P 230 963
Buffalo Bore Tac-XP +P 185 1143
Buffalo Bore HC +P 255 944
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 185 1112
Buffalo Bore LRSP FMJ 185 837
Buffalo Bore LRSP Tac-XP 160 927
Cor-Bon JHP +P 200 1049
Cor-Bon JHP +P 230 902
Cor-Bon DPX  +P 185 1044
Cor-Bon  PB +P 165 1182
Stryker FMJ 230 784
Atomic JHP +P 230 958
Atomic JHP +P 185 1004
Remington FMJ 230 764
Remington JHP 230 798
NPA Frangible 140 1130
Handload  LWSC 200 979
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 744

Reliability with every type of ammunition tested was one hundred percent. There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject. With some types of ammunition, the empty cases ejected towards the shooter, but with most types, the ejection was well to the right. The excellent trigger feel made accurate shooting easy. I fired the TP45 at steel and paper targets at distances from seven to one hundred yards, with satisfying results.  For accuracy testing on paper at twenty-five yards, I rested the TP45 hand-held on a Target Shooting, Inc. Pistol Rest. Accuracy varied from good to superb, depending upon the ammunition used, but every load tested was plenty accurate for social work, with a couple of loads from Buffalo Bore and Remington providing match-grade accuracy.  The grip of the TP45 is well-textured for a positive hold, which is ideal for a fighting handgun, but during an all-day shooting session, it can be a bit abrasive with heavy Plus P ammunition. While on that subject, for a very effective 45 ACP load with light recoil, I have come to really love the Buffalo Bore Low Recoil Standard Pressure 160 grain Tac-XP. This load has very light recoil, but the 160 grain Barnes XP bullet expands fully in ballistic gelatin, while penetrating almost twelve inches.

In my opinion, the only thing lacking on this TP45 is the ability to make it more useful in low light, which can easily be corrected with the addition of a set of good tritium night sights, or a Crimson Trace Laserguard laser. Even better would be to add both.  Packing eight rounds of 45 ACP power, the Kahr TP45 is lightweight, reliable, accurate, built right, and built in the USA. I highly recommend it.

Check out this and other Kahr firearms and accessories online at www.kahr.com.

For the location of a Kahr dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.

To order the Kahr TP45 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.

To order a Crimson Trace laser online, go to www.crimsontrace.com.

To order quality 45 ACP ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.midsouthshooters.com, www.doubletapammo.com, and www.luckygunner.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



TP45 comes with hard case, two seven-round magazines, lock, and instructions.





TP45 (left) compared to Ruger SR1911CMD Commander-sized 1911 (right).



Buffalo Bore 160-grain TAC-XP low-recoil load performed perfectly when fired into ballistic gelatin.



Accuracy results, fired at 25 yards using a Target Shooting, Inc. Pistol Rest: Stryker 230-grain JHP, 2.375" (top); Buffalo Bore 160-grain LRSP TAC-XP, 1.5" (center); Remington UHD 230-grain JHP, 0.875" (bottom).