I have trouble copying stations that are within a 1500 mile radius and are using a lot more power then that. There is just too much QRM and QRN. My radio doesn't have the optional narrow band CW filter installed. It just uses the standard SSB filter when in CW mode. I thought that maybe that is my problem and that with a narrower filter I could copy weaker signals better as the noise floor should be lower.
I looked online for the optional CW filter for my Kenwood and they are going for about $100. If this is my problem and if a dedicated CW transceiver comes stock with a narrow filter I should be able to copy better with it than with my Kenwood.