Kimber SOLO is Laid to Rest… while the MICRO 9 Expands Its Line-Up

Solo

This may not come as a surprise to many. Kimber ushered in the Micro 9 in 2016 to growing popularity, and in 2017 they will discontinue the Solo.

SoloThe Kimber Solo was always a picky pistol for many shooters. Kimber recommended in the Owner’s Manual of the pistol to shoot specific ammunition as well as on their website. The friends of many Solo owners joked over the years that you’re limp-wristing it ya newbie! Those sentiments in most cases were false, but shooters still felt that agony of a picky pistol regardless.

None of Kimber’s full-frame 1911 pistols, the Micro 380, or Micro 9 were ever plagued with the problems that the Solo could not seem to shake.

Maybe it had some flaws that simply could not be corrected. Possibly, the gun had no failings in design and consumers genuinely needed to pump heavier ammo through it. Kimber seems to have no problem making hammer-fire pistols so maybe transitioning to a striker-fire just was not in the cards.

For the time being, the Solo is listed on Kimber’s website, but it is completely absent in their 2017 Product Catalog. A quick glance through the catalog shows some very exciting new offerings, but no details or images of the Solo.

Kimber has not shown any intentions to try a new striker-fire pistol for 2017 (unless they are holding out for SHOT Show – still unlikely). Their main objectives appear to be improving their existing lines of 1911s with modern grips and more curb appeal. A sneak peek into their new 2017 products shows them expanding their offerings in the highly successful K6s revolver and Micro 9 pistol as well.





The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


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  • iksnilol

    Meh, I’ve never seen the appeal of strikers to be honest. Seems like you get less positive primer strikes using a striker system.

    • Dougscamo

      But…but….you hate 1911’s….prefer Hi Powers?….

      • iksnilol

        I primarily dislike Glocks, but it’s just that I am not sold on the concept of the striker due to not really doing anything better than a hammer.

        Then i found out that the DA/SA trigger in the CZ (which I am used to) is unusual in comparison to others in regards to the safety.

        • Dougscamo

          Like my CZ….you mean the decocking function?….

        • Harry’s Holsters

          In theory the striker is a sealed system so there are less places for dirt and debris impairing it. In all the “reliability” tests the main problem with hammer fired guns is debris between the hammer and firing pin. Striker systems tend to have less parts. Unless their isn’t sufficient force I don’t understand why a striker would have a problem with ignition.

          • iksnilol

            That last thing you mentioned, as far as I understand they usually strike with less force.

          • THRUST FORCE (ALLCAPS)

            Glocks have a “spade” striker profile in all of their designs save their models 42 and 43 which are more traditional rounded-tip. The spade profile is more efficient at delivering thrusting force (giggity) into the primer, which includes hard (giggity) primers a la subgun loads…which Glocks digest without issue.

            Typically, you either have enough force to ignite the primer or you don’t. Hence don’t lighten up your glock trigger pull too much because that usually reduces overall striker thrust force (giggity) as a consequence.

            Spontaneous thought: Make comic book called “Thrust Force” immediately.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Wouldn’t that have to do with the spring pressure? Increase the spring weight and you’re good to go.

          • iksnilol

            Pardner, I’m a Mosin armorer. There’s a limit to how much I know.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I can see how a light spring my have more impact with a hammer but I don’t see how a striker could be less reliable if it has the proper weight.

  • Emfourty Gasmask

    Link to the catalog? 😛

  • Dougscamo

    Kimber Solo discontinued….James R’s revenge!….

    • Adam Scepaniak

      Haha!

    • iksnilol

      Yes… I can imagine him cackling like a maniac, throwing his arms into the air (only for his waaaay too tight shirt to spontaneously tear).

      • James Reeves

        hahahah yes pretty much exactly like this except I wear v-necks for more range of motion without tearing during my maniacal cackles.

        • iksnilol

          You… you wear V-necks?

          wow…

          I am so conflicted now, my world is lowkey shattered now. Like, I’ve only had bad impressions from V-necks, but I obviously don’t have a bad impression of you. Hmmmm.

          • Dougscamo

            Time to rethink your fashion consciousness…..

          • iksnilol

            Maybe James is just an anomaly amongst the V-neck wearers?

          • Dougscamo

            Anomalies do exist in nature….

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, I saw that Ukrainian documentary trilogy about that in the Chernobyl region.

            Really surprising stuff.

          • Dougscamo

            🙂

  • It’s a shame the design never worked out, as the Solo was one of the most beautiful pistols to come out in the 21st century.

    I personally would love to see the design re-done as a modern 9mm 1903 Pocket Hammerless – 7rd magazine with 3.7″ barrel.

    I think that would likely improve on the reliability as well, as larger autos are easier to make work.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It was a good looking gun, no doubt.

    • RealitiCzech

      It is a lovely pistol. Too bad it was made by Kimber, where the finish is more important than the function.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Highly successful K6? They are nowhere to be found. Not in the hands of buyers or on the shelves of dealers. I know kimber released them but I haven’ heard anything about them.

    • I actually handled one in a local sporting goods store yesterday. The trigger (in terms of weight, smoothness, etc) was a quite a treat. At least, compared to anything S&W puts out now. Asking price was $850ish. Almost bought it.

    • Dougscamo

      Gun Broker has a couple…..

  • Charles Meredith

    My favorite pistol in my collection is my P-6 SigSauer. Dated 1980.
    Single stack magazine gives my right hand a great grip!

  • SKZ

    That’s too bad. Solo was an attractive pistol that fit my hand perfectly. Say what you will about Kimber, the company knows how to round edges in its pistols. Alas, because of the reliability concerns, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on buying a Solo.

    • RealitiCzech

      I was going to buy one, until I noticed it was Kimber. I would’ve bought it if it had been a more reliable manufacturer (like Lorcin or Taurus).

  • Will

    Striker fired Kimber….
    Everybody want to make a Glock. Until it’s time to toe the line and have it do what Glock does….fire and function flawlessly every time the trigger is pulled. At least mine does.
    I have two friends who own Kimber Solos. One loves his the other thinks his is a POS. I also know people who wouldn’t own a Glock if you gave them one wrapped in winning lottery tickets. All a matter of choice.

  • scaatylobo

    I have one and carry it as a BUG.
    Not fun to shoot more than a few mags from it.
    But its a great pocket / BUG,in my not so humble opinion.

  • Oldtrader3

    Anyone who says that Kimber’s full framed 1911 pistols are not subject to FTF/FTE and other jamming issues have obviously never owned a Kimber Custom Shop Eclipse II, a Kimber Pro Carry or any other Commander/Officer frame Model Kimber 1911. The two that I had would not fire a complete magazine from any commercial brand magazine that I tried without jamming.

    • Marcus D.

      Mine too (Compact Carry II), least ways after about 70 rounds.Part of it has a lot to do with the fact that their tolerances are too tight, and it takes a bunch of rounds for them to wear enough for reliable operation. In fact, I have bubba marks on my frame because the takedown lever was sooo tight I had to use a screwdriver to pry it out. I sent it back (no perceptible change), polished off the Kimpro finish caked on the feed ramp, tried McCormack mags (which are much better than Kimber mags), and still, after about 70 rounds or so, it would fail to return fully to battery. Finally, after about 1400 rounds, I replaced the (supposedly Wolff) recoil spring with a spring direct from Wolff, and it suddenly became reliable.

    • Mark Horning

      I solved all my Kimber issues by using a Lee Facotry Crimp die. Rounds that won’t fit into a case gage cause problems in my Kimbers. As long as they plunk in the gage they work fine.

  • Marcus D.

    I always thought it was a beautiful little pistol, what with all of its rounded edges that are great for concealed carry, but it was never on the California roster, so I never actually saw one in the flesh, although at the time, if you wanted to spend another $100, you could do what was called a “single shot conversion” (or buy a lightly used one off of a police officer). And this for a gun that was well over the cost of the competition. Sad that they could never get it to work, wonder if they’ll have better luck with the Micro–which will probably be overpriced as well and looks like a Springfield EMP rip-off (that I lust for).

  • valorius

    I wish a major manufacturer would make a pistol that is competitive in weight and dimension to the Diamond Back Arms DB9 pistol.

    It is literally in a class of it’s own…sadly they seem to have a lot of problems.

  • T Rex

    If you want a Solo sized pocket 9 that’s both reliable and a bargain ($350 or less) buy a Kahr CM9. If spending more money makes you feel better about owning a pocket 9, buy a Kahr PM-9 ($550-$650). You can’t go wrong with either Kahr, unlike the Kimber Solo, they’ll run just about any 9mm ammo you choose to feed them.