The Kahr TP40 “full-size” handgun.

Ultimately that’s not a lot of money for a self-defense pistol but it is still a couple hundred dollars more than many other popular and proven options on the compact handgun market.

In order to face their less expensive competition head-on Kahr is developing a new “value” version of the TP series, the CT series.

The new CT series is in many ways similar if not identical to the TP series. They have the same triggers, the same frames and the same magazines. But there are many small changes that, added up, allow Kahr to offer the new models for much less.

They have a different slide design that simpler and requires less machining. The slides sport pinnned polymer sights, as opposed to more expensive dovetailed metal sights. The slide is roll-stamped with the Kahr logo, not laser-engraved.

For the CT series Kahr uses an injection-molded slide-stop and takedown lever, not a machined part. Injection-molded parts are less expensive and may not necessarily last as long as machined parts; they’re infinitely more replaceable.

The biggest difference is the use of a conventional button-rifled barrel. For the premium guns, Kahr uses hand-fit match-grade polygonal-rifled barrels, which is a big part of why they cost more.

This isn’t the first time Kahr has developed a value version of their guns. A couple of years ago they introduced the CM series, a less expensive version of the PM series. All of the changes to make the CT series are the same ones Kahr uses to make the CM series.

In the end with the CT series Kahr can offer gun owners a gun that is just as reliable and just as shootable as the TP series but at a significantly lower price point. Kahr expects to be able to deliver these with a $450 MSRP, which means they ought to be available in stores for less than $400.

Kahr will launch with the CT40 and CT45 at the top of next year, with the CT9 in late 2014 or early 2015.