Gun Review: Kimber Solo Carry

Let’s get this out of the way right now: the black-and-silver Kimber Solo Carry is one of the prettiest little all-metal 9mm mini-pistols ever made, second only in appearance to the all-stainless Solo Carry STS. Because other pocket nines have polymer frames, there’s not a lot of competition for title of prettiest all-metal mini-9. But still, the Solo Carry is a great looking gun that’s perfectly proportioned and loaded with quality touches. Pictures can’t do it justice. It’s so pretty that I wanted to love it the minute I saw it, which was a complete 180° turn for me. Before I saw it, I wanted to hate it.

There have been adverse reports about this pistol emanating from trustworthy people. Most of them have complained of FTFs, with the intermittent FTE tossed in as a variation on a theme. One word often associated with the Solo in those reports is “unreliable.” Unreliable is a polite descriptor that’s a synonym for “untrustworthy,” and nobody wants to carry an untrustworthy gun.

Suffering an FTF at the range is a drag, sure, but it’s not the end of the world. Wait for the hangfire, tap, roll, rack, assess — we all know the drill. But the Kimber Solo is not a range toy, and despite its runway model good looks it was not intended to be a safe queen. The Solo is designed to be a fighting gun, built to carry concealed and shoot a fairly powerful round when necessary for self defense.

Viewed in that light, an FTF isn’t a mere inconvenience; it’s an invitation to a funeral. An unreliable self defense pistol is a liability of monstrous proportions. Jumpy yet? Making things worse, Kimber inadvertently contributed to the rumor mill by demanding the exclusive use of “premium” ammunition to feed this silvery sweetheart. For the uninitiated, premium means “really effing expensive,” which implies that the Solo is a delicate little pistol that cheap range ammo would somehow damage.

To make matters worse, Kimber strongly encourages replacement of the recoil springs after only a thousand rounds. They gotta be kidding, right? A thousand rounds is nothing. My personal EDC has handled many thousands of rounds, and the recoil spring is still just as fresh as a teenage brat. Twenty boxes of ammo might be two solid range sessions for TTAG gun tests, and perhaps a pleasant hour of shooting for our own Foghorn. While each shooter’s “average” mileage is going to vary, even Kimber should admit that a thousand rounds between changes doesn’t seem like a lot of headroom and does not build confidence in the Solo’s long term reliability or durability.

Against that backdrop, I was suspicious of the Kimber Solo. Yes, it was pretty, but I did not want to be led astray by a pretty face. Not that such a thing has ever happened.

Handling the Solo

When I opened the box, my Solophobia began to moderate. The pistol not only looks very desirable, but the build quality is unmistakable. Despite weighing only 17.2 ounces, the Solo feels hefty, like it was carved from a single block of silver, even though the frame is aluminum. Everything fits together as tight as a gnat’s ass. The stock is well-angled, so the Solo points naturally despite having grasping room for only two fingers. The grip panels are plastic but not plasticky, and nestled in their recesses they look like part of the handle, not just tacked onto it.

The Solo is adorned with sights that actually seem like they might be useful for something other than shredding the lining of one’s pockets.

I was also impressed by the beefy extractor, which is a part that I would expect could be strained on a small gun that fires a powerful round. All in all, this pistol feels like it’s made to be shot. Even the magazine feels stout. To top it off, the lovely presentation purse – excuse me, the handsome soft case accompanying the pistol — would make a nifty stocking stuffer all by itself.

The magazine needed a firm press to snap into its home, which was fine with me. I figured that a tight fit would loosen over time, while a loose fit would only get wobbly. The magazine well iss nicely beveled, which should facilitate rapid magazine changes. Speaking of which, anyone who wants to practice rapid magazine changes will have to shell out for extra magazines, since this pistol comes with only one. Kimber offers additional six-round mags for $27 bucks a pop, or five for $105 should anyone be interested in stocking up for the annual mouse-hunting season.

Slide action was very smooth and positive. Dry firing this pocket piece proved that Kimber’s disclaimer was accurate – the Solo is not a scaled-down, 9mm 1911. It’s a single-action, striker-fired, conventionally recoil-operated baby 9mm and nobody will ever confuse its trigger with that of a well-tuned 1911’s. That’s not to say that the 7 pound trigger of the Solo is heavy or that the pull is as long as a Kevin Costner movie, but it’s not the 4 1/2 pound instant-on giggle switch for which well-made 1911s are justly famous.

Dropping the magazine required very firm pressure on the ambidextrous release button. The button did not loosen up over time, trashing my theory that tight is temporary but loose is forever. Let’s just say that accidentally dropping a magazine isn’t going to happen with the Kimber Solo and let it go at that.

I field stripped the Solo to clean out any excess lube or dirt that might have accumulated in transit. Unlike some pocket nines, the Solo field stripped very easily. I lined up the slide stop lever with the wee disassembly notch, pressed the small nub where the lever penetrates through to the right side of the frame, pinched the lever fully out from the left side and most of the work was done. The manual states that if the lever proves too tight to pinch out with finger pressure, a flat screwdriver could be used to pull the lever from the frame. Releasing the striker from the sear – that means pulling the trigger – enabled the slide assembly to be removed from the frame. There. That was easy.

I couldn’t help but notice the odd, spittoon-shaped barrel. The flared muzzle-end probably guarantees a snug and secure fit in the slide, but why the barrel is equipped with its ungainly looking pot belly, only Kimber knows.  The bulbous shape looks bizarre and probably adds to the cost of manufacture, but if it works as it’s supposed to work, that’s great.

A few swipes of a clean rag and a minute of reassembly later, the Solo was range-ready.

Shooting the Kimber Solo Carry

I loaded the magazine with five rounds of Remington Golden Saber hollowpoints, which is one of the “premium” brands recommended by Kimber. I hate wimpy magazine springs because they often lead to misfeeds; I also hate very tight springs because they always lead to scarred thumbs. The spring inside the Solo’s magazine had just the right amount of resistance, and the cartridges loaded uneventfully. I did not top off the mag or the pistol because I prefer to shoot five-shot test groups during the first session.

The Solo, being a single action pistol, is outfitted with an ambidextrous thumb safety in the usual position. The safety’s operation was very intuitive as I toggled between no-go to go and back again, each time with a satisfying “snick.” Tactile feedback is critical with any gun, but especially from the safety of a carry piece that is likely to be deployed in a hurry, if at all, and in the dark.

I aimed, I fired, I hit the target. Accuracy was pretty damn good, too. Here are the first five shots I took with the cold, never-ever-before-fired pistol.

It’s not target pistol accuracy, but it’s plenty good enough for alternate dispute resolution.

Kimber claimed that the pistol would need a break-in of 24 rounds, or four full mags, so I was expecting problems right off the bat. Mirabile dictu, I didn’t have any. None. Zero. Zilch. Niente. Mag after mag of premium ammo went through this pistol with nary a hitch. There were no misfires, FTFs, FTEs, light strikes, hiccups, explosive farts, the heartbreak of psoriasis, nothing. You name the problem, and I didn’t have it. Reliability was flawless.

So much for break-in. But that’s not to say that all was perfect.

I’ve fired a bunch of tiny-nineys and they are all just a bit snappy. Naturally, some are snappier than others. The little Solo was quite snappy. Not as snappy as a Louisiana swamp turtle, but snappy nonetheless. Although the gun didn’t try to hop out of my hand as fast as my monthly income, muzzle flip was prodigious and not easily controlled.

The non-1911 trigger was also an issue. While the trigger was classically smooth and light enough for serious shooting, its reset point was somewhere in northern Rhode Island when the rest of the gun was somewhere in southeastern Massachusetts. When a long reset is coupled with vigorous muzzle flip, the result is always rapid-fire inaccuracy. The Solo was not an exception to this immutable law.

Smallish groups could be slow-fired, as one of my fellow instructors demonstrated at a later outing by placing two out of two, touching, in the red, at five yards. That particular minigroup was the best of many, and could be covered by a nickel with change left over. Rapid fire produced wider groups. Keeping five rounds in an eight inch circle proved to be challenging but still possible.

I like to shoot one-handed because I was trained that way and because in a real fight, my other hand might have something else to do. Like gallantly pushing aside a helpless bikini model, or shielding a frightened child, or texting, or zipping my fly. After trying to shoot this gun with one hand, I can state without fear of contradiction that the Kimber Solo is to rapid one-handed shooting what a bowling ball is to water polo.

Not willing to let well enough alone, I decided to test the Solo with the crappiest commercial ball ammo available to me, contrary to Kimber’s demand that I use premium hollowpoints. And just to push the envelope, I crammed six into the magazine, racked the slide to chamber a round, and after flipping the safety to the fully upright and locked position, I topped off the mag. I was hoping to make the gun jam, because a tough gun test is all about being tough on the gun.

I was disappointed in the Solo’s monotonous consistency, as the gun performed flawlessly time after time, no matter what ammo I shoved into it. It devoured gristly Silver Bear like it was prime filet mignon. PPU proved as reliable as the afternoon mail. The Solo also shot 115 grain Fiocchi, which Kimber claims is too light to reliably cycle this pistol. Well, it wasn’t. The pistol cycled perfectly through two boxes of light ball ammo without a flinch. Satisfied with what I’d accomplished on day one, I decided to leave the range and allow my thoughts time to crystallize, intending to return a few days later for some serious torture testing.

Before my second trip to the range to retest the Solo, I ran into trouble. Actually, trouble ran into me. I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle. Many Christmases ago grandma got run over by a reindeer and had a song dedicated to the event. Me? I got run over by a Buick and all I got were these lousy bruises. And lemme tell ya, those cars are very solidly constructed. Fortunately, the bike and I survived with nothing broken, not even a spoke. However, my accuracy suffered as a result, as did most of my body which also turned the color of a freshly picked eggplant.

Nevertheless, I sucked it up and limped back to the range just a couple of days after being felled like an oak before a bulldozer. Gee whiz, the things I do for you people.

The Solo’s accuracy suffered as much as I did when I shot it with basic range ammo, but not enough to make me want to throw half dollars downrange instead of dimes. I’m not suggesting that you try this at home, but I’m saying I shot a couple more boxes of non-premium, non-recommended rounds through this particular Solo. Kimber recommends 124 grain or heavier hollowpoints. I used 115 grain ball ammo, and once again they worked just fine.

Conclusion

I’m not discounting the early Solo failure reports. In my opinion – and this goes for cars as well as guns – early adopters are unfairly punished for taking a chance on unproven engineering or new production. Teething problems notwithstanding, the Kimber Solo Carry that I tested was as consistent and reliable as precipitation in a rain forest. The Solo proved to me that it’s a sweet little handgun that reliably fired hundreds of 9mm rounds including the most craptastic, both imported and domestic, without any problems. The Solo Carry has killer good looks and fires a killer round, so what’s the issue?

Potential buyers who can get past the reputation may gag at the price. The MSRP for the Solo Carry is $765, and as befitting a small gun from a small-market manufacturer, discounts are also on the small side. Pistols from Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson and other manufacturers that are comparable in weight and firepower to the Solo can be purchased for less, and in some cases a lot less. It’s a very competitive market.

Diehard Kimber fans might not mind paying a few extra hundred for this pistol. If they do, they should be rewarded with a great looking, fine shooting, good handling, accurate, all-metal gun that works like a charm.

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Kimber Solo Carry
Caliber: 9 mm
Magazine capacity: 6 rounds
Materials: Aluminum frame, stainless steel slide
Weight empty: 17.2 ounces
Barrel Length: 2.67″
Overall length: 5.5″
Sights: Fixed front and rear, three dot
Action: Striker fired, single action
Finish: Matte black lower; stainless steel upper
Price: $765 MSRP

RATINGS (out of five stars)

Style * * * * *
Step right up and don’t be shy, because you will not believe your eyes. She’s a beauty…one in a million girls. Why would I lie? Why would I lie? It’s not like I own stock in the company.

I added that last part.

Ergonomics (carry) * * * * *
It’s tiny. If it was any more slender that its 1.2 inches, it could slide under a door like a delivery pizza. It’s lightweight and perfectly capable of hitching a ride in almost any pocket or purse. There’s just no reason to leave home without it.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
The gun points well. The grip is comfortable but short, so shooters who demand a full grip or the ham-handed will have to purchase the optional eight-round extended magazine. Good luck finding one. The trigger is smooth and reasonably light, but anyone expecting a 1911 trigger will be disappointed. The trigger does not reset quickly. The sights are just fine. One handed shooting is strictly a one-shot-at-a-time affair unless aiming at an airplane in flight.

Reliability * * * *
I was shocked to find that this much maligned pistol showed itself to be completely reliable during our all-too-brief time together. Long term durability is a different issue and would require thousands of rounds for a true test. Based on apparent quality, the overbuilt extractor and following the manufacturers’ ammo and spring replacement policies, it seems that this pistol should last a long time. Still, I consider replacing the springs every thousand rounds an unacceptable inconvenience.

Customize This * * *
Rejoice, Star Trek fans. A nifty laser is available from Crimson Trace in black basic or rosewood. I also expect that, in time, there will be a variety of high-zoot grip panels available in the aftermarket, crafted of exotic woods, mother of pearl, faux elephant ivory and fuscia taffeta, all designed to enhance this pistol’s elegant appearance. But, really, what purpose would be served by gilding the lily?

OVERALL RATING * * * *
Holding up to seven rounds of 9mm ammo, I would be confident carrying this pistol just about anywhere that doesn’t have “stan” in its name.

154 Responses to Gun Review: Kimber Solo Carry

  1. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    So, the 8-rounders are hard to find? Pity. I would think that the added grip area would help with the muzzle flip. Not a lot, of course. You’re still shooting 9mm through a gun weighing barely over one pound. Every little bit helps, though.

    Glad you’re okay, Ralph. We really need stricter car control.

    • avatarRalph says:

      The girl who ran me over was maybe 25 and cute, too. She was very upset and wanted to drive me to the nearest hospital, which offer I refused.

      Before the police and Rescue arrived, I told her that I’d be okay and that she could leave the scene. She protested and asked, “don’t you want my license and phone number?”

      I said,”I’d love to have your number, but I’m old enough to be your grandfather.”

      I recognize that getting plowed into by two tons of steel might be an extreme way to meet pretty girls, but it’s cheaper than Match.com.

    • avatarWilliam Wilson says:

      Kimber’s after market service SUCKS! I had to send in my CDP II because it kept jamming they have yet to return it.
      Does Kimber have SO MANY problems with their guns that they have a big back log? Or are they too cheap to hire enough people to deal with problems?

      • avatarJoe Flynn says:

        I have tried to shot the Kimber solo 9mm with 115 grain bullets and the first 200 rounds went through fine, now I have a single shot. No one told me this at Gander mountain when I purchased the gun about the ammo requirements in fact he sold me 350 rounds of 115 blazer ammo with my purchase, now we are chasing our tails and I will do what ever I have to make this right if I cannot work something out tomorrow.

        • avatarJoe Flynn says:

          Gander Mountain went out of their way to replace this Kimber with a sig, which I have yet to fire the sig but have faith in the sales manager which sold it to me. It was sold to me by a unknowing salesmen who has probably been trained now. My hat’s off to Gander Mountain for fixing a wrong made by one of their salesmen and their great firer arms manager. Thank you Joe Flynn

        • avatargary says:

          Hello Joe, Looks like you came out good. I too did not know anything about having to shoot specific ammo when purchasing my Solo for my wife. Sales person never mentioned to me when he was showing us the gun. I t was after I made the purchase and started showing some friends the nice little Solo. Wow I thought I had really bought a nice piece. My friends immediately popped my happy bubble and told me I should have read the forums on this gun before I bought it. So my Solo still was in the box I bought it in as well as two extra magazine clips I also purchased and I went straight to the computer and started to research the Solo. What I discovered was heart breaking bad news. So I have had this gun for two years now and I refuse to fire it because I know it will start having the issues and I have suffered enough.I probably soon will run an ad in the local papers and get whatever I can for the unfired Solo.I will never have anything positive to say about Kimber.They are way over priced and are not as reliable as a much less expensive Ruger and a whole lot of other less expensive fire arms. Thanks Joe. Let us know how your Sig works out. Was it the 290 ?

    • avatarGil Baumgarten says:

      I bought a Solo (or three) and proceeded to disassemble it. I was dismayed to take it to the range when I found it would not load any subsequent shell after each initial fire. So the rumors were true? Not so fast. I called Kimber and they quickly pointed out that the typical reason for failure to feed issues are from improper reassembly. Sure enough, the tiny spring that operates the slide catch is easy to overlook since it’s not found on a 1911. You can barely see it poking its nose out from under the grip near the catch cavity. Reassembling so the spring hooks onto the catch caused my Solo to function flawlessly since.

      • avatarJon says:

        Same problem first time my wife used her gun. Someone at the shop must have played with it before she bought it.
        I reassembled it and it works great with any ammo above 124 grain. 115 gr is hit or miss. My glocks are just as picky.

  2. avatarIce says:

    Thanks for the review. Did you buy this pistol or receive it from Kimber as a test gun?

  3. avatarsdog says:

    “tight as a gnat’s ass” ROTFL. Interesting review Ralph, i am still not crazy about the shape of the barrel (without explanation for the shape of it), but the fact that it ate up silver bear without hiccups says something to me.

  4. avatarTrickyDick says:

    Great report. I’ve been looking at these for some time but lost interest after talking to some dealers. Sounds like Kimber “may” have the kinks worked out. I’m looking to replace my Kahr PM40 (which is a handful to shoot), but watching the video, the Solo looks equally so. So, maybe the P290 then?

    On a different note, just curious if your mouse-hunting quip is in reference to yesterday’s news story of the Utah guy who shot his roommate while shooting at a mouse in their kitchen. Good stuff. Hope you’re healing well.

  5. avatarEric says:

    Great review as always, Ralph.

    Glad you are okay and please keep the rubber side down. How did your gun in the Remora fare during your car-bike interaction?

    I never gave much thought to the one handed shooting thing, but those are very valid points. I think I will stick with a Glock 26 which handles one handed duties fine. I am curious what the fully loaded weight of the Solo is? I would guess 23 ozish. One oz more (with seven rounds loaded) lets you carry the Glock. Three oz more carries the G26 plus 11 rounds total. The G26 is not a happy pocket gun, however.

    • avatarRalph says:

      How did your gun in the Remora fare during your car-bike interaction?

      I was pocket-carrying a S&W 642, which came through the incident in perfect shape. As an aside, I had a nice conversation with the police officer who responded to the accident call (along with a fire engine and an ambulance). I mentioned that I was carrying. He didn’t bat an eyelash and never asked to see my permit.

      The police in my town are absolutely NOT afraid to have citizens carrying. If anything, it’s encouraged.

    • avatarGary Howard says:

      Pick up the Glock in one hand and the Solo in the other. They aren’t even in the same class of guns. The Solo is a true concealed carry pistol. The Glock is small but the Solo is very small.

  6. avatarJonathan A says:

    You have reviewed the LC9 and now the Kimber Solo. How does recoil compare between the two?

    • avatarRalph says:

      I reviewed the Sig P290 and the Solo. The Sig had very little muzzle rise, and facilitated both rapid fire and one-handed shooting. The P290 was the recoil winner, hands down. The Kimber has its own strengths, but recoil isn’t one of them.

  7. avatarRob Drummond says:

    I enjoyed the review on the Kimber Solo. To be honest, my all time favorite pistol is the Colt 1903. When I saw a picture of the Solo for the first time the impression I had was that it looked like a modern Colt 1903. That is probably one reason I want one. I carried the Colt 1903 as a CCW even though there are some draw backs to it. An extra mag isn’t only hard to come by but expesive to boot. But one thing I knew about the Colt 1903 is I could hit what I aimed at easily & with confidence. Reading your review & others on the Solo I am not sure I’d be as confident hitting what I aimed at with it but I still want one. I have yet to see one other than in a picture and I suspect you can’t restt three fingers around it but that didn’t keep me from buying a Ruger LCP (two for that matter.

    Kimber makes nice 1911′s and from some of what I have seen I like the way they handle. I suspect the Solo would be similar.
    Rob Drummond
    Hillsboro, NH

  8. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I bought my first Kimber in 2002, and I’m one of the die hard Kimber fans. I own several custom shop Kimbers, and I just received my Rimfire Super(it took 14 months) which is one of the most accurate pistols I’ve ever shot. I was going to buy the Solo when I first heard about it, but I was turned off by all the bad reviews. I loved your review Ralph, and I’ll consider buying one after I get to sample one at the range.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I’m sorry you weren’t around for the tests. Because you’re a Kimber guy, I would have been very interested in your input. FYI, this pistol has nothing in common with Kimber’s 1911s, except for the name.

  9. avatarJonathan A says:

    Personally, I would wait until mid-2012 to purchase one of these.
    My local firing range, Calibers, in Albuquerque, NM has 1 for rent. It is down for repairs, replacement of springs, pins, etc, roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of the time, according to the gunsmith there. Also, according to the sales staff, they have sold 8 Solos since January, and all 8 have had to be sent back to Kimber to have some malfunction repaired. 3 of those 8 have been sent back at least 2 times. For a $700 gun, that’s unacceptable. The gun’s like a Playboy bunny: looks great, but there’s nothing inside and it doesn’t function.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Personally, I would wait until mid-2012 to purchase one of these.

      That would be the prudent thing to do. FYI, Kimber raised the MSRP from $724 to $765. Next year, will it be $800?

  10. avatarLC Judas says:

    I got a P290 a bit ago and carry it as a secondary in my strong side pocket. I’m in love with it. Now…that gun with the six round mag has the trigger guard nicking my finger. Does the Solo do that with you or not?

  11. avatarBrett Solomon says:

    Nothing like Ralph metaphor. Great review!

  12. avatarsguido2 says:

    Ralph, Great Review, I’m a fan of the Solo. Why can’t I find one for sale anywhere? been looking for months.

  13. avatarUnclePete says:

    I’ve been meaning to reply to this. I bought a Solo in early November.

    I sort of followed Kimber’s break-in advise, starting with 100 rounds of 124gr Federal FMJ. I then put 20 rounds of 134gr Federal Hydra-Shok JHP through it. There were no failures.

    After that, I tried to make it fail by going through a box of 115gr Blazer aluminum case and a box of Remington 115gr FMJ. I even alternated the Blazer and Remington in the magazine, and threw a few Hydra-Shoks in at random. I also limp-wristed a few rounds, but no failures. Finally, one of the guys at the range gave me a dozen or so rounds of 147gr lead handloads, which the Kimber sent downrange with no problems.

    The only problem I had was with the trigger — it’s very curved and pointed at the end, so my fingertip was pretty sore at the end of the day.

  14. avatarJohn says:

    Very nice looking and good handle ability for it’s size. Although, Problems. Sear spring end fell off shelf in rear of frame during fire rendering firearm inoperable, Kimber says they have only had this problem one time. one too many I say. Extractor will not pull spent shells out of chamber consistently causing a jam. I lock open the action, pull the clip and simply tip the gun upward and dump the spent round. (it is not stuck) Expansion pin securing trigger into the frame slowly works itself out during fire.
    I am currently sending back to Kimber. Will post results at a later date.

    • avatarJohn says:

      After only a 12 day wait my newly rebuilt Solo was returned from Warrenty with a new slide, barrel, spring assembly, sear and spring assembly. It operates like a totaly different firearm, Flawlessly I might add. 115 Gr Federal FMJ even fires perfectly now. I would have to note that after 50 or so rounds with no jams or problems I took the gun apart for cleaning and noticed that there was no wear at the barrel or slide lock. and I mean no peaning whatsoever. This is great. Kimber would not document the issue of the sear spring falling off but they did repair/replace.

  15. avatarGordon Johnson says:

    I bought a Solo, and could not get it to cycle without jamming. I sent it back to Kimber and they replaced barrel and slide. After repair it still did not work, they
    have now sent me a new gun for replacement and I will soon take it to the range
    to test it.

    • avatarJohn says:

      let me know the final results.

    • Gordon, I am curious to hear more about the results of the second solo that Kimber sent you?? thanks Gene

      • avatarGordon says:

        Have tried the second completely new Solo, and it has the exact same problem the first had that they could not fix. How can this be this is Kimber? It simple will not cycle without jamming. I cannot believe they would send me two guns that will not cycle properly. I hope they have stopped manufacturing them.

        • avatarSteve says:

          Thinking maybe you should look at the operator. It’s not like the pistol is a one of a kind pistol. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but visit the gun forums long enough and you’ll see plenty of hate for every pistol manufacture out there.. Getting one lemon is just bad. Getting two back to back is BS. If you don’t want to follow the manufacture specifications don’t buy the gun.

  16. I truly appreciate this blog post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  17. avatarBill says:

    Any thoughts on how the Solo would compare with the Beretta Nano and is a review of the Nano in the future?

  18. avatarKatrina says:

    Any word on when the stainless model is being manufactured this year? So far, they have only released the two-toned.

  19. avatarSTONE COLD says:

    Im looking for small 9mm for my wife, who can shoot my Glock 26 better than I can. Does the Solo have that much recoil to eliminate this gun for her. She really loves the looks of this gun… I have never seen one at the range we shoot at so I m pretty sure we can’t rent one to fire. As someone said earlier, the Glock is not a “happy pocket gun “. Its got to feel good for her to carry… Thanks.

  20. avatarMark says:

    Great review and comments about “Solo” and potential issues. What are your thoughts about “Solo” compared to the Sig P-238? In-short, looking for a good functional pocket gun with a decent weight, caliber, and of course reliability. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Beretta Nano impressed the hell out of us at the SHOT Show range day. Still like the Ruger LC9 as well—save the safety. Otherwise, man-up, get a proper gun and dress around it.

  21. avatarLarry Snake says:

    I waited almost a year for a Kimber solo carry stainless,I finally gave up and bought a Kahr MK9 Elite, beautiful little 9 mm and dependable,about same price as a Kimber stainless and shoots just as well.I really wanted a Kimber but factory just couldn’t produce.

  22. avatarDwight Smith says:

    Months after leaving a deposit, I finally got my Solo. Rather than the basic model I ordered, I received the CDP with laser grips. After two FTE/FTF events during the break in using recommended ammo, the rest of the first 1000 rounds were flawless.

    Compared to the DAO Kahr pistols I have (PM45, PM9 and P380), the Solo’s trigger is close to perfect. I shot accurate groups, and I don’t think the muzzle flip or recoil is bad at all. I rather carry this than wish I had the gun back home in the safe.

  23. avatarKeith Papulski says:

    Got a Solo after about 6 months of waiting. The mag release empty was stiff but when I got it home and loaded the magazine it was nearly impossible to eject. Sent it back to Kimber for repair but came back with the mechanism replaced with no change. Ended up selling it as it was going to be a carry for my wife.

  24. avatarJeff Brooks says:

    Excellent and comprehensive review of the 9mm Solo Carry from Kimber. After almost a full year on a waiting list, I recently received my Solo Carry Stainless and find Ralph’s review spot on! The gun is a pleasure to carry. I like the nearly total ambidextrous nature of the controls and the ergonomics of the gun! The gun is very easy to field strip for cleaning and just as easy to re-assemble. Ralph is totally correct about the magazine release…you won’t accidentally dump a mag when you are in a fight! Besides, shooting 9mm ammo in a 17 ounce gun is going to require some practice, skill, and physical strength…so “Man Up” and CCW this fine firearm! Finally, I strongly recommend the Mitch Rosen holsters and mag pouch sold on Kimber’s website, and do buy extra magazines…all of these items are top quality. All you 1911 lovers out there will have probably now found your new back-up gun (BUG), with the more “proprietary” thumb safety and a safer yet very smooth CCW trigger pull. All y’all stay safe!

  25. avatarMark says:

    Glad to hear the “Solo” is working great. Still waiting to compare the new Sig P938 to the “Solo” before I drop the $$$, as both these firearms are pricey but both appear to be high quality from very good manufactures. Hope to hear/learn more insite as more persons describe their experiences, both positive and negative, with the “Solo.”

  26. avatarFrettbird says:

    I just got my local and State permit today. CT, it was pleasant, from the town up. The State Police person told me where to go buy 2 firearms, and I bought this Kilmer Solo and a .357 Revolver, which I can’t remember the name, and I have loaded this Kilmer solo, I have both a pocket holster and am wearing it on my belt. I have to call my instructor, he’ll be joyous. He carries a little Kahr.

    I haven’t taken a shot yet. As a matter of fact, I have never shot a 9 mm anything. I have been practicing on blowback heavy air pistols. Big deal, but I am getting pretty good in my basement.
    I probably shouldn’t fire this in my basement. The woods out back are calling for me to come on out with a few shoot ‘n c’s, to shoot dead trees…quiet please. My Kilmer Solo carry is speaking. I bought it because it has a nice safety, and I have a need never to be beaten senseless again. It’s become a pet peeve. Nice small auto. Now to open the Revolver. It’s a 4 inch Ruger GP 100 .357. I bought 38+p and some huge home defense rounds. But that’s for another thread.
    Thanks for the review, witty writing. Man, putting 6 bullets in these Kilmer magazines (I bought extra) destroyed my already destroyed fingers. Maybe I can hire a guy… (Gun was 659$ new and in stock, not sure if I’m supposed to say where.)
    Peace
    The Frettbird. (first comment, I’ll learn to shut up.)

    • avatarMark says:

      Frettbird, be safe with your new Kimber and practice a lot. Remember to take lessons or guidance from someone with a lot of firearms experienc. You should enjoy your Kimber as they are known to produce outstanding firearms. Also, the GP-100 is an excellent revolver; you did well on your purchases. Best of luck in getting to know each of your firearms; a couple thousand rounds of practice down range and you’ll feel like you’re starting to know your “Solo” and “GP-100.”

  27. avatarJim says:

    I’ve sent my Solo back to Kimber for the second time. The issue is what you and others stated shouldn’t be a problem: Accidental magazine release which then causes fail-to-feed. Mine is a fairly early model, and I wonder, since the magazine release spring in mine isn’t stiff at ALL, if Kimber has changed to a stiffer spring in later models. Since the magazine release is ambidextrous, and the buttons project out on each side quite a bit, and they are square topped, I think what is happening is that on recoil, the mag release button is hitting my thumb and causing release. I thought it was my technique, but I had a local gun guru and a friend who is ex-highway patrol and an excellent shot both fire it, and they both experienced the same issue.
    I will say that Kimber product support is easy to contact, and very responsive, and they speak American English, and they are gun people. I am confident the issue will be resolved, and eagerly await its return, because otherwise, it is everything you described.

  28. avatarMatt Trevors says:

    Thanks so much for the thorough review! I was really considering the Solo, despite the report problems. But… your description of the trigger is enough to turn me off for technical reasons. Thanks for that!

  29. avatarJackson says:

    Had a Solo for 2 weeks. Sold it after repeated jams with Gold Dot 124+P and 147, Golden Saber 124+p and 147, DPX, and American Eagle 115, 124, and 147 FMJs. This from 4 different magazines. If it’s THAT picky, it’s not worth carrying.

  30. avatarAndy says:

    Recoil spring replacement after only 1000 rounds, no way !

  31. avatarTom N says:

    I own 2 of these and I have had no problems with either factory ammo or my reloads. The only issue I have had is when I reassemble it my 52 year old eyes sometimes misses the small wire that the magazine lock needs to catch. The gun is very accurate for its size and is very easy to carry! My wife loves her’s!

  32. avatarClayton says:

    I’m glad you didn’t have any issues; I bought this for my wife to be a little more firepower than her Sig 238. and it has been nothing but trouble. 115 gr. Federal American Eagle jammed/FTE’d every time. Clear the shell, cycle the slide, aim, bang, jam again. We upgraded to 147 grain Federal AE flat-head (we were told they were equal enough to the recommended “premuim” rounds) … two rounds in, the dots in the rear sight disappeared…mailed off to Kimber, replaced the rear sight, back out to the range with the 147 gr, still FTE, incomplete cycling of the slide, and then a couple of FTF’s as well. We could not even get through a whole magazine. As the author said, unreliable means untrustworthy, and I won’t let my wife carry an untrustworthy gun. Back to her 238, and we’re going to return or sell the Solo and replace it with a Sig 938 or the new XDS.

    • avatarSpanky Pete says:

      See – you are the freaking problem with this gun’s reputation. You buy it – totally ignore and disregard Kimber’s instructions on use and then whine about it not working right. I’ll bet your lawnmower wouldn’t run so well if you put kerosene in it. And you’d probably bitch about that too.

      • avatarGwyn Hollar says:

        Amen! People, read the instructions that come with the gun. It tells you what ammo to load. It can’t get anymore simple than that. If you do that you want have any problem…if you feel that is not for you get something lessor. I knew this going in to my purchase of a CDP solo and have not had one misfire…ever!
        On another note…complaining about the cost and necessity of purchasing a spring..that’s like buying an insurance policy and hope you don’t need it. I bought this for one reason, my life may depend on it some day and I want to be sure it is ready to go if needed. The cost..? that is about the cost of two boxes of ammo and a small price to pay. I know with confidence when I’m ready my Kimber CDP will be also!

        • avatarSam says:

          Mr. Pete and MS Hollar,

          We should not be too critical of people who use substandard ammo in their Solo pistols and complain about malfunctions. Many online professional reviewers have pointed out that this is a weakness that Kimber must address. A lot of people are just not going to spend $120 for 100 rounds of target practice when they can buy 100 rounds for $15 – no matter what the manual says. Maybe these complaints will force Kimber to modify the Solo so that it will work properly with 115 grain ammo, which would benefit us all. The same case can be made for extending spring life to 3000 or 4000 rounds. We all know that Kimber can make these modifications if they get enough pressure from their customers. Meanwhile, folks like us who will never sell our Solos because we think they are great will stand to benefit from future improvements made to our favorite pistol.

          Sam

        • avatargary says:

          Sam, I love the feel and looks of the solo. What I do not like is the fact that for personal defense is I can’t trust the solo in a life threatening situation. It is not about 115 grain ammo. We all know this is not the recommended ammo for the solo. I get that. My complaint is that you shovel out $700.00 to $800.00 bucks for what is supposed to be a high end firearm. I have read so many reviews where the people do use the recommended ammo from 125 grain up to 147 grain paying the $30.00 for 20 or 25 rounds and the solo still has the feed issues with the best ammo out there.This is just one issue and there are the other issues as well that also puts your life in danger. Besides the clips falling out and the spring that just sits on a ledge that comes loose causing jams. Also this gun is pretty untill you shoot a couple hundred rounds then you start seeing wear on the slides or maybe you have to push the safety lever back in place because for some reason it protrudes out. My gosh I have $400.00 guns that shoot anything you feed and gets thousands of rounds shot and still don’t have to worry about replacing springs and you don’t have to look at metal shavings from the slide action that you see on the solo. Give me a break it ain’t just about 115 gr. ammo.The folks at Kimber should have to replace the solos with a gun you can really rely on for a lifetime.The folks that really like their solos are the folks that only shoot them if they have to.They work fine in the glove compartment. You better cross your fingers if you really have to save a life with it.Sorry but just read the reviews from the people who have did some shooting with this gun.The factory has done nothing about the issues except say they can’t find anything wrong and we are stuck with their mistake.

  33. avatarBob says:

    Sorry to report but my solo is up for sale. Two jams. Not the kind you would expect but following a soft strike and failure to fire
    I could not retract the slide more than an 1/8 inch. Took a gunsmith to free it up. Sent to factory.. nothing.
    Second jam when trying to unload it.. the slide stuck again. Since the round was still live I fired it. Back to the factory..nothing found.

    Regrets Gun go uy buy

  34. avatarCarl says:

    You people that are selling your solo that you are unhappy with. Are you telling the prospective buyers about all the problems it has? If so I would think you would have to sell it for a huge discount. I wouldn’t buy one unless it was almost give away price. I see them on Gunbroker for 800 and up. One was used for 805.

    • avatarBlueskky says:

      I agree, I’ve been looking for a CCW 9mm. I decided on a solo. Gunbroker has them used, I tried to buy one and luckily (after reading these reviews) I didn’t meet the reserve. However, I did purchase a new one on Gunbroker for $640! I couldn’t believe I won. If I would have got a used solo that was malfunctioning, and it came “as is”, I would have been pissed. At least mine is new and I can deal with Kimber with a warranty if it malfunctions.

      Thank you for this great review, I can’t wait to get my solo in about 5 days!

  35. avatarDavid says:

    I have a test Solo and plan to write an article about it. I have shot it less than 30 rounds so far, only one failure to lock on last round with PMC 115gr ball. Remington GS 124 +P worked, as did S&B 124gr ball. No, it isn’t a 1911 at all (not even close). I guess the thing to remember is that being as small and light as it is, recoil is going to be brisk, but not as outright punishing as a .38 snub wheelie with +P ammo in it. What rounds I have fired were shot a 25 yds from a bench. Feed reliability appears good, and the mag catch spring has been substantially beefed up since the earliest guns.

    Just remember when you are dealing with a light slide, fast cycle time, and a fair bit of recoil, you are going to need heavy magazine springs to keep up with that slide, and that slide is also going to need a heavy spring to reduce slide velocity down to safely unlock when pressure has dissipated.

    It does disappear into ordinary jeans or khakis pockets readily and while I agree with many of the posters here about having to replace a recoil spring (or the entire buffer assembly – $35!, gulp) every 1,000 shots, if that is what it takes to maintain reliability, then consider it preventative maintenance just as you would any other fine instrument, automobile, or motorcycle.

    These days of $940 S&W Scandium M340s also don’t make me cringe quite as much as the Solo’s MSRP, which is substantially less on the street but still not exactly “cheap.”

  36. avatarDiane says:

    Let me preface this post with this: I live on a ranch in Wyoming, we are avid hunters and own numerous guns.
    My husband took me to town for our anniversary and gave me the choice of a ring or a gun. Of course I chose the gun. I fell in love with the Kimber Solo the moment I saw it. It is absolutely beautiful and fit my hand perfectly. It was also the most expensive in its class, but I had heard great things about Kinder so I had no problem spending the extra.

    WHAT A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!! BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER!!!

    The first time I fired it, it jammed. And then it jammed again. And again. Turns out I was not using the correct grain (the salesman told me it didn’t matter what ammo I used- hah!). So after reading the owner’s manual and some reviews online, I drove the 100 miles to town to purchase the correct ammo. The gun jammed again. And again. This time it took a lot to dislodge the cartridge. I was pissed (and a little scared). But I was sure that Kimber would stand behind their product.

    I HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

    They basically told me that it was because I’m a woman. Fortunately for him, he was in NY and I was in WY. After 2 phone calls I was told to send the gun in, even though they’re sure there is nothing wrong with it.
    I bought the gun August 3. Three months later I still have no gun. They have had the gun in their hands for 10 weeks with not even a phone call. When I called today, they said there is nothing wrong with the gun and when the storm is over they will ship it back. And for the third time, the customer service rep hung up on me.

    DO NOT PURCHASE A KINDER FIREARM!!!

    I would have been better off purchasing a lame horse.

  37. avatarBill says:

    As the owner of 4 Kimbers I must say. I like Kimbers because they put all of the bullets in the same hole. They take some break in, throw the factory mags away and spend a couple of hundred on a sear, disconnect, hammer and springs. Then you have a handgun that IMHO is as accurate and reliable as any production or custom gun. I decided to purchase a Solo for my wife. With her not being a hammer cocking person and after watching her put 2 boxes of ammo through a friends Solo with no problems. I chose the Solo over the Sig 938. Contrary to what I have read on the net, this thing eats any type ammo that I have thrown at it. However, during the second trip to the range, I got a failure to fire. No feed or eject problems just no bang. Upon removal of the slide it was easy to see that the sear spring tail had slipped from its home position to a recess in the frame. I could see where the spring tail had “walked off the ledge into the frame recess”. It was a simple thing to move the spring back to it home position. But after a few rounds, same thing. NO BANG. Disturbing… not because of a broken part but because there is no way that the spring tail can possibly remain on that little ledge. There is no groove for the spring to sit in nor is there a pin to keep the spring from sliding off. We took the slide off of my friends Solo and the sear spring is the same way. It just sits on that small ledge. His Solo has not had the spring to fall into the hole, so to speak.

    This issue is something that any designer should have avoided. After calling Kimber, they sent a mailing label for return shipment. They would not discuss the obvious problem. They only said that “there have been no occurrences of this before”. I know this not to be true because someone on the net described the exact problem. Now my Solo is at Kimber for a repair, or redesign, that will take 4 to 6 weeks. Just to replace a spring? I know that Kimber’s QC has gone downhill, but so have most other manufacturers. But just DANG. Has anyone else had this problem?

    BTW. The new unfired round in the chamber had a dimple in the primer, I assume from the sear not catching the striker. That could have been interesting..

    Thanks,
    Bill

    • avatarSteve says:

      I’ve had my Kimber Solo for 13 months now and I’ve fired about 400 rounds. I’ve never had a FTF or FTE but this past week I had a failure to fire. The rear tail of the sear spring slipped off its shelf rendering the sear, hence the weapon, inoperative. This has seriously affected my confidence in this pistol’s reliability. There is no groove or indentation in which the tail of the spring can rest thereby preventing it from slipping off the shelf. Thus, I can only assume this will happen again until the design is improved. Since Mr. Murphy is lurking everywhere, the next time this malfunction occurs will be when I really need the pistol to function properly. Kimber — are you listening? This is serious!

      • avatarBill says:

        Steve,
        Have you discussed your spring issue with Kimber? Just curious as to what they told you and their attitude about the whole thing. Mine has been at Kimber since January 8, 2013. I have not heard from them. I am almost afraid to ruffle their feathers because they may “Back Burn” me.

        Thanks,
        Bill

  38. avatarBryan says:

    I bought a solo 2 months ago. Shoot about 150 rounds no problems with function.
    But my ambidextrous safety selector has play when pushed on from side it pops back and forth threw the frame about a 1/16 of an inch. When pushed tight to frame from side with slide release it will click in up and down position. When pushed tight on other side it does not click in down position and feels odd. If anyone else has a solo and could see if theirs has play in it and let me know I would appreciate it. Thanks

    • avatarBill says:

      Kimber Solo returned last week after 6+ weeks at Kimber repair center for the “Sear Spring” issue. It appears that they replaced the sear spring with one that appears to have more of a bend in the tail. This new shaped spring tail sits much further to the left side of the frame. I would think that this design should keep the spring from falling off the ledge into the frame recess. It ran through 50 rounds of Winchester white box and 25 rounds of various defense ammo with no failures of any kind. I also received 3 magazines that were back-ordered for 2 months. 2 of the three NEW mags will not engage the slide stop on the last round… Hey…I guess I should be happy the the gun operates….

  39. avatarSteve says:

    Bill,

    Just got mine back from the Kimber factory yesterday. They simply installed a new sear and said nothing about addressing the real problem which is where the sear spring rests. I gave them a very detailed description of the problem and shipped that letter with the gun. I’m very disappointed that they choose to ignore such a fatal flaw. I’m going to try a phone call to see if I can find out why they won’t deal with this issue. I’m not counting on a satisfactory result. This almost great little pistol will probably work great…with the always nagging thought of when will the sear spring slip off and render the weapon useless? Guess it’s back to my Glock 19.

    Steve

  40. avatarDave says:

    I purchased my Solo in March 2012. I am left handed and liked the ambidextrous safety. I’ve fired 500 rnds (200 white box and the rest Golden Sabres) with not a single FTF, FTE or jam. The only flaws were operator error, it took me a moment to adjust to the trigger reset and if the slide lock is not properly reinstalled so that it catches the spring on the frame, a malfunction will occur. I installed a Hogue JR grip sleeve and greatly improved the recoil control. Since the initial break in period, I’ve carried it daily inside the waistband. pocket and on the belt. After reading the most recent posts, I checked my sear spring position. I found it to be positioned well to the left side of the frame and I am confident in the Solo’s operation. I like the solid feel and appealing looks of my Solo.

  41. avatarEddie G says:

    Great review. Well written, informative. Big problem is waiting 10-12 months and they won’t even take a deposit.

  42. avatarBll M says:

    Since my last post I have received my Solo back from Kimber. This was the 2nd repair. I returned it because of this. After loading 6 in the mag and 1 in the chamber the brass did not eject. No stovepipe, seemed as if the slide did not go all the way back. Also, the magazine fell out. The original mag and the 2 new mags all fell out. They fall out if you have more than 3 rounds in them.The new style magazines would not contact the slide stop and leave the slide open after the last round. I also noticed some flaking of the barrel locking lugs in the slide area. Not just finish, but chips of metal. I described the problem(s) in detail with the Kimber service rep. I also enclosed a letter with description of the problems in with the packaging during return. Upon receiving the gun from Kimber, I looked at the repair invoice. “Replace magazine catch” fired several mags of ammo. The chipping of the slide and the magazines not holding the slide open were not even addressed. Sorry Kimber, strike 3, you’re out. I own several Kimbers, I like kimbers. But they missed the mark on this one. What kind of husband would I be if I gave a non dependable gun to her for personal protection. HEY, Honey…Your solo is fixed.. Just dont put more than 3 rounds in the magazine.. NO, I think it’s going to be, Hey, babe aint this new Smith & Wesson shield sexy…Solo is going bye, bye.. The good news is, I only paid 600 for mine, New.. With the way that these things are selling, I could probably make a couple of hundred off of it. I will probably bow up enough to call Kimber one more time and try to reach the CEO Just to tell him how crappy his service dept is…He would probably just say.. Send it back, we will make it right.. NO, I already tried that twice, and if it takes a CEO to get gun repaired, then there is the problem..”Home of the Worlds finest production firearms”…I call BS on that one too.

    • avatarMark says:

      Well, after so many persons in this blog having issues with the SOLO it was easy for me not to purchase one. Thus, I purchased the Sig 238 and use Bufflo Bore Ammunition. In-short, a great firearm with the power to boot and no issues with approximately 600 rounds through it.

      Sounds like Kimber needs to revisit both it’s quality and customer service before they loose too many current and future customers.

  43. avatargary says:

    I purchased a brand new solo for my wife in november 2011. After reading all these reviews I have determined this Kimber is not to be relied on. Therefore all the joy I had about buying what was supposed to be a top of the line gun has gone to frustration therefore I have not even taken the original price tag off the trigger guard which is $689.99 and have not fired this gun at all. The reason I have not fired the gun is because I am trying to sell it and get back as much money as I can to replace the Kimber with a reliable gun. 6/6/2013 Any suggestions are welcomed

    • avatarMark says:

      The Sig P238 (.380) or P938 (9mm) are both well made and capable of shooting the powerful Buffalo Bore ammunition. This is a well built, strong and accurate small handgun that has its issues worked out and dependable. Thus, if the Kimber SOLO can’t keep up its quickly loosing the high end status it once had.

      • avatargary says:

        Thanks Mark, My wife has two 380 cal. An LCP & Ivers Johnson. She wanted a very small gun like the SOLO in 9mm. I jumped in there and ordered the SOLO and took the associates word that KIMBER was a high end gun. After I received the gun and took it to show some of my friends how beautiful it was that is when the frustration started. My friends said I should have checked the reviews first because the SOLO was having huge problems. So I stated checking the web sites and true enough I was very disappointed in all the trouble the people were having with SOLO. So I told my wife we were not going to load or shoot this gun and ruin the value ,that I have plans to sell it and buy her another very small 9mm with a proven tract record.

        • avatarJon says:

          My wife wanted a solo so we picked one up and actually tested it.
          It was awful, slide would lock open failure to eject. Horrible gun.
          I figured out it was assembled wrong. It stopped locking open, but still only ejected 70% of the time.
          Then I found out about the ammo requirement. I wish that was in the manual not just the website.
          If you miss the little spring on the slide stop, it will lock open every shot.
          If you use under powered ammo, it will fail to eject.
          With any decent ammo above 124 grains, it runs great.
          People love to bad mouth expensive guns. Spend a few cents on quality ammo and it is a very good little pistol.

        • avatargary says:

          Thanks Jon. We have had this beautiful a little gun over a year now and it has stayed in the box. I just hate to go out and shoot it brand new condition because I felt like I had a better chance of selling it unfired with price tag still attached to trigger. Yes I have thought a lot about buying some really good ammo and shooting it but I am afraid that for the long haul I will be disappointed. It is a shame that you can purchase a gun for half the price and can rely on the cheaper gun for your life as to apposed to one you spent a arm & leg for.Kimber should have did a better job on the engineering of this firearm before they stuck it to their customers to do the testing. I will never have any faith in a Kimber firearm. I have Rugers and CZ75B and have shot any brand of ammo in I chose to buy and have never had any trouble from their guns. It cost me better than $700.00 to see that Kimber firearms were just made for looks.Yes my new unfired beautiful little SOLO is going to go for the best offer I can get.

        • avatarJon says:

          One of my favorite guns growing up was a Ruger p89. Dad still has it. He bought it as his first auto. A few years later he bought a glock 19 and 26. Both glocks are picky about ammo. Glock told him they will only cycle high pressure ammo.
          He uses the Ruger to shoot the ammo the glocks won’t use. Not bad for a $300 gun. That said all three of those are huge compared to the solo. When you push the envelope tolerances get tighter. Same way my jeep runs great on cheap gas and oil while my wife’s German sports car takes premium everything.

        • avatargary says:

          I understand what you are saying. From all the reviews Ive read and watched on the SOLO it looks like a lot of people still had trouble even using the required ammo specs. Also it looks like even when you strip the gun down to clean you would have to go out and shoot it first to make sure you picked up that little spring that has to be just right when reassembling. I would hate to see a life lost because that little spring was missed. Also the reviews show metal shavings in the slide after shooting.Also clips falling out ??? Just too many issues for me to carry this gun for protection, always hoping it will fire and fire again ??? Believe me I would love to keep and be able to depend on this gun but it is in my head now that I just can not rely on it. Good to hear about the P89 you mentioned. I have the KP89 and I love it.

  44. avatarrdb1950 says:

    I did not see this particular problem mentioned, so I thought I would throw my two cents worth in, having learned this the hard way.
    Beneath the rear end of the slide stop, there is a very small loop of spring which looks like it is extending from the left grip. This MUST be located in the groove in the center of the back of the slide stop, in that this spring is what holds the slide stop down during firing and prevents it from engaging the slide stop notch, holding the slide open, and making it appear that it has jammed. If you do not specifically make sure that this spring is properly located, it will almost certainly end up under the slide stop, where it does no good.
    Depending on the shape of the bullets being used, the bullet being fed from the magazine can hit the inner portion of the slide stop as it comes up into position for feeding, forcing the slide stop into the slide stop notch.
    My experience is that if this spring is not properly positioned, the gun can jam almost 100% of the time, or only occasionally. I have never had it jam with the spring in place. I own Smith & Wesson, Kahr, Diamondback, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Glock and Kimber automatic pistols, and the Kimber Solo is the only handgun that I own that has this feature, which is why I missed it the first time I field stripped the gun.
    Check this particular issue before you complain too loud. I placed a somewhat embarrassing call to Kimber Service, complaining of a “design flaw” before the service person very politely straightened me out. When all else fails, read the manual!

    • avatargary says:

      Thanks for the info. This is just another reason I can not have any faith in this gun for protection & carry. You are right about this being such a beautiful little gun. I have had this gun a year now and have never put a bullet in the magazine and have not ever tried to fire this gun. I am checking out the Guns America classified adds and when I understand what I have to do to advertise this Kimber Solo on their site , my plans at this time is to do so. That is why I do not want to fire this gun in hopes of being able to sell and get back some of my money.If I could have faith in this gun I would love to keep and use it. Any suggestions on legal ways to sell this gun and the two extra clips would be helpful.

      • avatarLynn Luther says:

        Any gun dealer will buy your gun legally. Cabelas, Gander Mountain or other Large gun dealer, but don’t expect retail prices. Many times you can sell at a gun show, more easily than Guns International.

        • avatargary says:

          Thank you. I do still have this Solo and still have never put a round through it. I do plan to sell it and I am aware I will have to take a loss. All though I would hope to keep my loss at 2 to 3 hundred dollars. I have not advertised the gun for sale or carried it to any gun shows. I guess one day I will run across someone who would love to have it. It is a beautiful little gun and it just stays in the box. Thank you for your response.

      • avatarBrandon says:

        Still have the kimber for sale?? I’m interested in buying one

        • avatargary says:

          No I traded the solo in for a Kahr CM9 . Liked the Kahr CM 9 so much I have purchased two more CM9′s for a total of three.

  45. avatarCharles W. Howard says:

    Not a thing wrong with my Solo, it eats any ammo I put in it. I just cannot find fault with this piece. I am surprised at all the negativity about this gun! Excellent concealability!

    It is a bit hard on the hands, kicks pretty good! That is what small, light guns do though. I have to say I really like this little gun!

    • avatargary says:

      Glad you are having a positive experience with your solo. When was your gun produced. I still have my solo but I have never fired this gun yet. I HAVE HAD IT NOW FOR 2 years and have not fired it. I would love to keep and use this gun but I am afraid it will start hanging up ammo and have issues that I read about. I have thought about calling the factory and ask if they have made any changes in the gun and maybe send them my gun for updated parts that would fix any of the issues. I know this sounds crazy since I have never fired the gun. I did not want to fire the gun because I thought it would be easier to sell new in the box unfired. You may have a newer model with all the bugs worked out. That sounds amazing that you have fed this gun with any type of ammo and have not had any problems.

  46. avatarLynn Luther says:

    Just purchased a Kimber Solo CDP after watching You tube Video where the reviewer shot all kinds of ammo, including not recommended , 115 gr and ball ammo. I shot mine today with one of the recommended ammo, 147 gr Golden Saber. Shot 4 clips with no problems and accuracy was great.Very comfortable to shoot. I love this little gun.

  47. avatarEd May says:

    I purchased a Solo in December 2012. I lubricated it before firing the first time. I quickly learned that the Solo is extremely critical to lubrication. I had so many failures during that first session that I was embarrassed to be observed by others at the range. The only way I’ve been able to get any reliability from the Solo is to LIGHTLY oil, staying well away from firing and ejection mechanisms. Then wipe off oil so that you can not feel any evidence of oil. The four corners of the slide do tolerate a small amount of grease, although this does not prevent the black coating on the slide from being worn off after an alarmingly few rounds are fired.

    Once the lub was correct, subsequent trips to the range have gone flawlessly with all types of ammo fired, even reloaded. However, this does not mean there are no problems with the Solo. Despite all advise to the contrary, I do not keep a round in the chamber. More often than not, the first round does not load in the chamber. I’d hate to cock the pistol in a life or death situation only to pull the trigger on an empty chamber. The only way I know around this problem is to keep a bullet in the chamber. Subsequent bullets seem to load without problem. I do feel better having a bullet in the chamber because the Solo has a safety, although I personally would rather carry with an empty chamber.

    To compensate for these shortcomings with the Solo, I purchased a Sig P290. I’ve never had a failure with the Sig. The problem is the Sig is larger and heavier than the Solo. It’s not a good choice for pocket carry. It’s too heavy. The Solo is the perfect size and weight.

    Of course the Solo is a beautiful pistol while the Sig looks like a military weapon.
    I hesitate to fire the Solo too often because of excessive wear and spring wear out. (I haven’t found an internet site who sells the Solo springs and my local gun dealers don’t seem to want to bother with them.)

    Conclusion?: In a life or death situation I’d reach for the Sig every time. In a low risk C&C situation, I’d load a round in the chamber of my Solo and slip it in my pocket – praying that I don’t have to use it.

    • avatargary says:

      Thank you for the info. What a surprise, I was just researching the Sig 290 on the web and just checked my mail and saw your comments. Will the sig 290 fit in your front pocket? I still have my Solo and this gun is still new in the box and never fired. I love the gun but just do not trust my life with it. That is why I am researching for a 9mm that will fit in my pocket.I sometimes carry my wife’s LCP380 in my front pocket.I want a 9mm that I can rely on and be able to carry in my pocket.I also want one you can shoot several thousand rounds without spring replacements.I have been saying that I am going to sell my Solo for two years now but have never put an add in the paper as of yet.I called the Kimber factory and talked with them about the issues with their Solo and they say all the issues on the forums are just a very small picture. They still claim the Solo is the best micro 9 you can get. They told me to shoot my Solo with high quality ammo and if I have a problem that they can duplicate they will be glad to fix. I am still skeptical and will eventually get rid of my beautiful little Solo. Thanks for your help

      • avatarEd says:

        Gary, Yes, I carry the P290 in my front pocket and also in a IWB holster. It is heavier than the Solo, but in loose pants can be carried in front pocket. It works great in a jacket pocket. It’s very accurate. You won’t go wrong with a Sig especially with this new wave of “Knock Out.” Ed

    • avatarDrew Johns says:

      There are currently replacement recoil springs on the Kimber site under Store –> Solo. $34.95. http://store.kimberamerica.com/Products/tabid/67/CategoryID/141/Default.aspx

  48. avatarJoe Flynn says:

    Joe Flynn says:

    November 6, 2013 at 22:19

    I have tried to shot the Kimber solo 9mm with 115 grain bullets and the first 200 rounds went through fine, now I have a single shot. No one told me this at Gander mountain when I purchased the gun about the ammo requirements in fact he sold me 350 rounds of 115 blazer ammo with my purchase, now we are chasing our tails and I will do what ever I have to make this right if I cannot work something out tomorrow.

    Reply

    avatarJoe Flynn says:

    November 7, 2013 at 22:47

    Gander Mountain went out of their way to replace this Kimber with a sig, which I have yet to fire the sig but have faith in the sales manager which sold it to me. It was sold to me by a unknowing salesmen who has probably been trained now. My hat’s off to Gander Mountain for fixing a wrong made by one of their salesmen and their great firer arms manager. Thank you Joe Flynn

    • avatargary says:

      Looks like you were done fair Joe. I too was not told about the specific ammo you had to use in the Solo.I found out after the purchase was made. But i have never put a round through my Solo because after reading all the bad reviews I decided I was not going to keep this gun. Who wants a gun you can’t rely on ??? Did you get the P290 Sig ? I know I will never buy another Kimber. There are too many less expensive guns out there that you can really rely on and can shoot any ammo you put through them.A Ruger is a better gun than Kimber,not as pretty but very reliable and there are plenty of $300.00 and $400.00 guns that will outlast and much more reliable than a Kimber.

  49. avatarMichael says:

    Hey Gary I was just curious which firearm you went with? I myself bought the solo after being so excited to find out it wouldn’t cycle the rounds right before I even got to fire it. Off to New York it went! Got it back, it shoots nice & looks great but still doesn’t like to load rounds sometimes. Bottom line..I’m not keeping a ccw pistol for looks & don’t trust it enough to carry it.

    • avatargary says:

      Hello Michael, I have not purchased a replacement yet for the Solo. I have not yet tried to sell the Solo. I will be putting an add in the local papers any day now to sell the Solo, I have just not been in a hurry.For now I have been using an LCP 380 and an Ivers Johnson Pony 380. I also have Ruger 9mm and a CZ75B stainless 9mm. I will be getting a small 9mm to carry instead of the 380′s. I have not made up my mind yet. I will do a good research before I purchase a micro 9mm.The Solo is very pretty but is not a gun you can put your life on. Too many issues. Kimber has really put a huge dent in their reputation for building a reliable gun.I learned a lesson from buying the Kimber Solo.I will get a Ruger or Sig, Springfield, S&W, Baretta, but never a Kimber. That says a lot about Kimber and I havn’t even fired my Kimber because of all the issues I have read about. Thanks for you response.

  50. avatarMichael says:

    Yeah I agree. I myself will never own another Kimber. I just sold mine today and got 675.00 out of it. I had only ran 3 clips through it but I decided I better take the cash and run. I’m looking at purchasing a sig p224 but I cannot get over the 1000 dollar price tag even though I own a 229 I paid close to that for. Want to go with a xds in a 45 but I hate the feel of a plastic gun..

    • avatargary says:

      Hey Michael. Wow ! you did good getting the $675.00. I have never fired my gun and also bought 2 extra Kimber clips when I purchased the Solo. With tax I have $800.00 in this gun. I would be very happy to get $600.00 and every thing is still in original packages and never even loaded. How did you go about selling your Solo. Local news paper, internet or what. Did you look at the Sig p290 ? I WAS WANTING TO HAVE A LOOK AT ONE.I want something as small as the Solo but it has to be reliable . I would also like a good trigger. My cz75b has the best trigger I have ever felt. The cz is too big to carry in my pocket. keep me informed as to what you get.My 380′s are small enough but I sure like the power of the 9mm. Also the 9mm rounds are a lot cheaper to buy than 380.Get back tome when you can and let me know what method you used to sell your Solo if you don’t mind. Have a good day Michael and I hope to hear from you soon.

  51. avatarMichael says:

    Yeah that’s why I took the cash n ran! Haha. I posted it on a local gun page on Facebook that people sell firearms.. Mostly all individuals but a dealer actually bought it for himself. I still had the receipt and everything. I gave 729.00 for it before taxes and bought a outside the waistband holster. I guarantee it will bring more than you think it will.. They are kinda rare & sharp looking. I had a ton of offers and only took a day to sell it. Ill have to check out that sig p290.

    • avatarEd says:

      Michael,

      I bought a Solo and after having the usual problems, I bought a Sig P290. The Sig has never failed with any ammo. I trust it completely. It is heavier and bulkier than the Solo, so it’s harder to conceal, but it’s durable and it works. It’s got about a two inch pattern at 25 yards when handheld. You won’t go wrong with the P290. Ed

  52. avatarMichael says:

    I also had an extra clip I forgot about that went with it but I didn’t pay for it. Kimber sent me that for having to wait on it 2 months while it was in New York getting fixed if that’s what you would call fixing it.it was better & could actually chamber a round but it still wasn’t a sig. Had no trust in it anymore. I had the solo stainless btw.

    • avatargary says:

      Hey Michael. My Solo is the two tone. I do like s/s but I had to wait 4 months for the dealer to get the two tone.I think the Sig p290 may be a little bigger than the Solo . When I do sell the Solo I will get out and have a good look at the Sig P290. I just want to find a good 9mm that I can carry in my pocket if possible.By chance do you have a contact to the dealer that bought your Solo. I would give him a call and make him a deal on my Solo.I know a tenn. state trooper that carry’s the Sig 357. He loves the gun.

  53. avatarMichael says:

    Thanks for that info Ed! I love my P229 chambered in a .357 sig. Best pistol I have ever bought and trust it like no other! ill have to look into a p290

  54. avatarMichael says:

    Hey Gary sorry it took so long to reply, I have been looking for that guys card & cannot find it. However I do have a buddy’s friend’s dad that was interested in mine. He lives in Tennessee so I told him about your solo you have for sale. I am from Missouri btw. I messaged him back on Facebook letting him know mine sold but I knew where another brand new one was for sale.

    • avatargary says:

      Thank you Michael. Yes my Solo is brand new in the original box and all original manuals and paper work and trigger lock. This gun has never been loaded to shoot and has never been fired. The price tag has never been unattached from the trigger guard.I also have two brand new factory Kimber magazines still in original factory packaging.If your friend is interested you can let me know. Thank you very much.I do not use facebook and I live just outside of memphis, tn. I go to Jackson Tn. once a week to visit my daughter.

  55. This review is confusing! I am not sure I want this Kimber after reading it. The last thing I need is to buy a high end piece and have trouble with it after 200 rounds.

    • avatargary says:

      Hi Amanda. The Kimber Solo is a gun built perfect for the ladies. It is very small and powerful in the 9mm ammo. The gun is beautiful. But my opinion is that you can not rely on it shooting every time you pull the trigger.You can buy a much more reliable protection gun for a few hundred less dollars.I love the 9mm bullet for power so if you want to stay with 9mm get another brand of firearm.RESEARCH THE WEB SITES before you make a purchase.Ruger makes a good dependable gun for $450.00 or you can step up to a small Sig pistol for 2 or 3 hundred dollars more. Also if you can’t find a 9mm you like then consider the 380 caliber.There are a lot of 380′s out there that are perfect for protection especially if you buy the right bullets for protection. Hope this helps.

  56. avatarDrew Johns says:

    I’ve had my Kimber Solo STS for over a year now and it’s my every day carry. I’ve never had one – not one single issue with it firing off Golden Saber 124 grain hollow points. Not a stovepipe, not a failure to eject, not a failure to load and certainly not a failure to fire. Nothing but a nice little kick as I send a hollow point into a nice little grouping.

    Yes, there is a hefty price tag and yes it requires expensive ammo. For some of us it’s worth paying more for a better experience. An oil change in my Mercedes, costs more than my Ford. A watch battery for my Tag Heuer costs more than my Seiko. Dinner at Ruth Criss costs more than Olive Garden. It’s only money. Spend yours however you think best. And I’ll do the same.

    • avatarBryan Derry says:

      I bought a solo 2 months ago. Shoot about 150 rounds no problems with function.
      But my ambidextrous safety selector has play when pushed on from side it pops back and forth threw the frame about a 1/16 of an inch. When pushed tight to frame from side with slide release it will click in up and down position. When pushed tight on other side it does not click in down position and feels odd. If anyone else has a solo and could see if theirs has play in it and let me know I would appreciate it. Thanks

    • avatargary says:

      Drew, Are you trying to separate the rich from the poor ? It kinda sounds like it from your statement. I think it is great you have had no issues with your solo but you are one in a hundred with a good review.Apparently it offends you that others are having issues.There are a lot of people that have bought the solo and tried to put the high end ammo through it and have still had the issues.My opinion is that if you fire enough rounds thru yours it will have issues.Read all the reviews you can find and you will see just about everyone that bought this gun had to send it back to factory and still the people were unhappy with Kimber. This is not about a poor person buying a high end gun just to shoot a poor mans bullet.Hope you have continue luck with your gun but I would never buy the solo again.and there are a lot of folks that agree with me.

  57. avatarBrowning says:

    Kimber, please provide a % statistic that shows number of Solo’s manufactured or sold vs. number returned for repair. I want to trust your Solo but need an official rep to weigh in on this discussion. Thank you.

    • avatarJon says:

      Compared to 100% of xds and s&w shields?

    • avatarEd says:

      Better yet, Kimber, please fix your product and replace Solos for all customers who request replacement. Stonewalling your dissatisfied customers does not work. Ask Government Motors. I hate to see a US company with so much promise fail because of pride and unwillingness to face facts.

      Ed

  58. avatargary says:

    You should know that Kimber absolutely will not give you the true facts if it in any way will be negative for sales.

    • avatarBrowning says:

      Agree. The engineer in me seeks facts. In my line of work we build a product around how our customer community will use the product. I have to believe Kimber does the same. I’ll contact them directly.

      • avatargary says:

        Mr.Browning, I did contact kimber by telephone and had a pretty lengthy conversation with regarding the Solo Carry. As you would think Kimber stood behind their Solo. There technical man told me that you can’t look at they called the small picture.Their small picture was all the bad reviews.THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING. They also said each and every Solo was built exactly the same.There are too many bad reviews and all the guns were made the same way therefor that puts enough doubt in my mind to be afraid of issues at any given time.The tech said you have to look at the big picture. We will never see the true facts of what they call their big picture.Kimber will feed you positive results to try to change the mind set in their favor.They should replace the customers with a fire arm that can be relied on period.But you know they do not want to suffer the cost. It is more profitable for them to let the customer absorb their cost of a major screw up for the Solo. They will improve this gun but all that were built and sold to customers with issues will not be addressed.They will let you return your Solo and if they can duplicate your problem they will attempt to repair it. As you can see from many reviews the guns that were repaired and sent back to customers still had the issues and are told to use the high end ammo and the poor customer is again stuck with an unreliable firearm.This should be illegal.Kimber is just abiding their time waiting for the problem to go away.When and if they ever replace my Solo with one that can be relied on for many years their problem will never go away for me.Reviews are the only picture we have of this gun and I say this is the big picture.You as an engineer should agree with this.Kimber just did not do their job on the Solo but look at all the money they made.Now I wonder just how much they stand to lose .Can’t wait to here back from you after you contact them directly.

        • avatarBJ Browning says:

          Do you think their was a change from initial Solo designs to the ones they sell now?

        • avatargary says:

          BJ Glad you ask that question. That is exactly the question I asked the tech. and he said no that there was no change and that all the Solos were built the same. This was two months ago.Kimber says there is no design flaws in the Solo to be changed.Kimber does not want to admit any fault at all on their part. That is why we the customer that bought guns with issues are up the creek without a paddle.Kimber has no intentions of taking care of past customers on the Solo.It is like I said before kimber does not want to eat the cost of bad design.There are some of the solos that will start off working fine.There will be a lot of people that will shoot the solo maybe 25 to 50 rounds or less and just carry it with a degree of confidence. Maybe they will be ok if not fired a lot. This is what Kimber wants.A true fire arm enthusiast will not carry the solo for personal protection for the long run from reading all the negative reviews.Kimber would have to have a recall and make an announcement on design change and be able to get great reviews before anyone could carry with confidence for personal protection.This gun was made to shoot a minimum amount of rounds and to just let it stay idle until you really need it and then you have to hope it will fire more than one or two times.If this gun is fired a lot you may as well get ready for issues.

        • avatarBJ Browning says:

          If all things true I agree with you 100%. As a former US Marine I recognize walking around with a false since of security is just that…false and not worth it. I’ll call them and let them know I still can be an addition to their loyal customer base but not at this time and not with their Solo. Declining sales and need for retailers to offer specials on Solo’s at lower prices will eventually get them to re-invest in R&D improvements making their Solo a weapon consumers hoped it would be. My limited research on their Solo tells me they did a great job marketing but rushed the product to market to capitalize on sales revenue and failed to do the proper trades between cost, quality, & schedule. Cost = about &125 over similar products in that market. Schedule = may have been rushed and therefore Quality was sacrificed. Thank you for your time spent on this by the way…Merry Christmas :-).

  59. avatarAl Hodges says:

    (I’m sorry this post turned out so long.)
    Been an avid shooter since 1962. Was in the military from 1969-1997.
    Heres my 2 cents on the Kimber Solo Carry!
    She’s a cutie, but for me, the Solo does her best to take the fun out of shooting. When I dry fire the gun, the trigger pull is one of the best I have ever seen, but the trigger itself is the worst in the industry once you expose the gun to ammo. I have never had a trigger bite my finger like this pistol does. The trigger does not draw blood, but after every shot, I look to see if I have broken the skin on my trigger finger. No matter how I position my finger, this trigger bites. I did not know that triggers could bite until the Solo. It is the worst trigger I have ever touched.
    I would never let a novice shoot this pistol. My wife or my grandkids would not find this pistol amusing. In fact, I would lose their trust if I let them shoot this.
    Even though the pistol never jams with the 8 round mag, it is a single shot with the 6 round mag that came with the gun. Every time I use the 6 shot mag, it jams. The 8 shot mag never jams. If I had only the magazine that came with the gun, I would be terribly upset.
    One day I made the mistake of putting the Solo on my work bench next to my Kahr K9. Before the Kimber solo came along, I considered my Kahr K9 an ordinary pistol that was too large and heavy to pick up with the car keys and cell phone as I was walking out the door. I never realized what a nice pistol my Kahr K9 was until I experienced the Kimber Solo. The Kahr is old and has always performed and lets me take her for granted. I had forgotten she always does the right thing. The K9 is as dependable as the Sheriff of Mayberry.
    Since buying the Solo, I have discovered that my Kahr K9 is everything the Kimber Solo wants to be. They look strikingly alike. The K9 is about 1/2 inch longer overall, and the grip of the K9 is longer, so you can grip it better. Suddenly, my Kahr K9 got her respect back. The Kahr K9 is tons more accurate, recoil is less, never never ever has a failure to feed or eject, won’t bite your trigger finger, and is always ready to fight with any ammo you find laying around. I am positive that the Solo is none of these things. But don’t believe me. Buy yourself a Kimber Solo. Go ahead, waste you money. Here is the net net. Beware! The Solo kicks like a mule, will not dependably feed or eject, bites your trigger finger, and is not much smaller than the Kahr K9, and I would never considered a K9 a micro pistol. Make sure you are good enough to hit your threat in the head with your first shot, because you may not get another shot with the Solo unless you are using the 8 round magazine; but the 8 round mag takes the Solo out of the Micro Pistol Category. You have been forewarned!

    • avatargary says:

      Thank you. You also have confirmed what ever body else has been saying about the solo. I did buy a new solo and after reading all the reviews decided not to fire my new solo. The reviews were disappointing enough. I just could not be further disappointing by having all those issues stated in reviews.If and when I can ever sell the solo I will purchase a small 9mm that can be relied on for the long haul.Until then I will keep carrying my ruger 380.Kimber has screwed all of us that bought their solo carry. It is sickening that they just don’t care.Their advertisement in the gun magazines are the only positive advertisements they will have and we all know that their guns are made just to look at. Reliability is poor.

  60. avatarBJ Browning says:

    Gary and others,
    I called Kimber and results of the conversation remain consistent with this string of Kimber Solo reviews. By the way in the history of TTAG reviews does anyone know if this is the longest? If nothing else surely it’s the most controversial. Anyway Here is what I learned. The gentleman I spoke with was named Surgio and was as nice and cooperative a customer rep I’ve ever dealt with at any business. I was unable to get actual numbers of Solo’s sold vs. number of Solo’s returned for reported defects but judging from all the post above I’m guessing it’s around 5%. Anyway, Surgio’s response was “no more noticible returns than their 1911 based models”. I found that to be an odd response as it could mean they have issues with their other models but I can’t tell. Anyway, He was consistent with the following regarding the Solo Retention spring:
    • It must be installed properly
    • It must be replaced around 1,000 shots fired
    • Stiffness required 124 grain or higher ammo
    • The spring and pistol were not intended to be shot more than a few hundred times per year…again I found that to also be a strange comment
    • They figured the retention spring would need to be replaced about every three years at a cost of ~$35.00 per spring assembly…I don’t like this but it is what it is
    Regarding returned Solo’s:
    • They function test “dry fire” first
    • Perform live fire test
    • Function test again
    • Correct defects and return to owner
    My challenge was did they live fire test under the same conditions as reported by the owner and the answer was no. This creates a problem in my line of work because lab environments are easily controlled and consistent to produce repeatable outcomes by design. This means the manufacturer runs the risk of appearing unconcerned to customer issues when they can not duplicate the error. The result is the manufacturer appears to not care or believe their customer base which results in all the above postings and eventually a loss in revenue. Had Kimber said they made some design changes or any changes since initial release I would buy one and test it. By the way I’m Looking forward to test results from one gentleman above named David. So to conclude, I’ve now read this entire string of posts twice starting with Ralph’s initial test results. I took notes from each post and compared them to each other resulting in something very ironic and that is…that this site is called “The Truth About Guns” and even after all above the only “Truth” I can arrive at is that the Kimber Solo is a good looking gun that can’t be trusted in a life or death situation and that’s upsetting as I’ve been saving for months now to buy one and now have start my research all over again.
    To all who are following and posting on this subject…Thank You.
    To Kimber, the Solo may be hurting your reputation. So please come out in public with facts, heck post some time lapse video’s showing a 1,000 Shots fired without issue and I’ll buy one until then I’m sticking with my Glock 19 I purchased in 1994 have never cleaned, go hiking with, camping with etc with who knows how many thousand rounds sent down-range without a single error of any kind…ever and I hate buying something not manufactured and originating from American hands. Thank you all for your time spent on this you saved me around $1,300.

    • avatargary says:

      Very well done Mr. Browning. I have also heard that Kimber has trouble with their other guns too but the Solo was their worst on reliability.I was researching last night on the Kahr PM9. It looks to be a choice worth looking into.I want a 9mm that I can carry in my front pocket.I keep the larger guns in my car and on my night stand.

  61. avatarBrenda Howard says:

    The Kimber Solo is the only gun I ever bought and didnt research first, bad mistake. You would think they would have better return policy for the price. give me my S&W Bodyguard any day !!!! Its cheaper,lighter,and takes any ammo without jamming !!!!!

    • avatarGwyn Hollar says:

      Brenda, I read your article on the beauty of the 9mm solo. I happen to have the CDP solo..ie custom defense pistol. I agree on your first part of your response but disagree on the remainder. I guess I’m the luckiest person alive that I got the only one that has been absolutely perfect and has not had one jam out of 550 rounds. I use the recommended ammo, I don’t use it for recreational target practice.. I use it for self protection. I have many weapons to chose from but that is my choice for personal protection. I don’t mind paying $35 for a new spring when I reach 1000 rounds. I always use a firm grip (not a limp wrist) when firing and clean the weapon after firing and I’m sure you know what an idot scratch is on the solo if infact that you have (had one) and mine does not even have that as I am careful when reassembling the weapon. I have many friends that have the solo and they have not had any problems either. And no, mine is not for sale!

    • avatargary says:

      Good try Gwyn. There are just too many people out there that have bought the solo and used the recommended ammo, had to send back to factory again and again then dumped the pistol.It is hard to believe you have a lot of friends with the solo that has had no problems. With all do respect I don’t buy that.Maybe you will not have issues with yours but in time I think you will.According to 90% of reviews on all the forums.Kimber just did not do enough testing before dumping the solo out to customers.ONE out of every 50 that research this gun before buying will not buy it, just my personal opinion. Good luck with yours.I would rather have a Kel-Tec than solo.

      • avatarGwyn Hollar says:

        This is my last and final response on this matter. I don’t know what makes you an authority on kimber solo but I resent the fact that you responded to my post as “Nice try Gwyn,” I have an opinion as well as you. You based your opinion on other responses that May or may not be qualified to respond. I’m basing my responses on actual experiences from members from our gun club made up from very professional people from all walks of life including gun smiths. So I’m just saying……you are not the end all in making professional statements about weapons if so you would be in Las Vegas at the Shot Show instead of reading this and my final email on this subject. I will not continue to make comments on this site

        • avatargary says:

          Wow !!!! Miss Gwyn, You are right to be mad at me for saying good try. That was bad of me putting it that way. My frustration is really aimed at The Kimber Company and not you.I do not know how many handguns you have used over the years, maybe this is your first handgun ??? Like a lot of folks that have spent a lot of money on a handgun we all want to feel like we made a good purchase and just get offended if someone feels the purchase was a bad one.Kimber admits that the solo was not built for a lot of shooting.Most of us that like our firearms buy them for a reason which is mainly for protection or just for the sport of shooting.Either reason we want a gun that we can truly rely on especially for self protection.Kimber’s solo does not meet this requirement.I am not the only person that has come to this conclusion.Just read all the reviews you can find.From what I researched at least 90% of the reviews are negative as far as reliability on the solo.The solo was voted the worst new handgun produced in the last 10 years.Why do you think this happened?? All of us that was taken in on buying this gun should hold Kimber accountable. I have bought a lot of handguns that are very reliable and will shoot any 9mm bullet you want to shoot and as many as I want to shoot. My Kimber solo cost me $200.00 more than I paid for any other gun I have purchased and it was the worst gun I ever bought. I just traded in my solo for a baby Glock gen.4 and the Glock was $200.00 less than the solo. If you check the reviews on the baby Glock you will see about 98% positive reviews.Your gun will probably be okay if you do not do a lot of shooting and you stay with the high end ammo. I will hold Kimber accountable for charging too much for their gun because there are too many other guns you can buy that will shoot thousands of rounds without issues.That is what I want for self protection and I can go to the range and practice with this gun without wearing it out also spending a lot less for practice ammo. Any how do not be mad at me for my remark. Stay safe and happy shooting.

        • avatargary says:

          I hope you have forgiven me a little for remarks. You know you were a little hard on me as well but that is okay. I am wandering why you were on this site in the first place ? I t seems to me we all are on this site to research the truth or what we personally feel is the truth about guns.We should’t get offended if someone does not agree with us.Also if you are using this site you should be willing to make comments on this site whether or not you agree or disagree.Hope your Solo is serving you well.If I never had any trouble with my Solo I would never have been on this site in the first place???????

  62. avatarroger says:

    So, I’m just gonna ask……….. Solo or SA XDS 9 ????

    • avatargary says:

      Okay, my honest opinion for you. If you like and think you want the solo because it is very small and easily concealed then your best bet is to get the Kahr CM9. The CM9 is much more reliable and you can shoot all the 9mm ammo.The solo is made to use only the high priced defense ammo and the reliability is still questionable.Just read the reviews on the solo.Now if you like the little larger 9mm guns that really put a bulge in a pocket carry or you want to carry in small holster inside the waist or outside the waist then I would go with the Glock 26 .The Kahr is smaller than the glock 26 and will easily be carried in you pocket.The Kahr will also need to be shot at least 200 rounds for break in and then you have a great little 9mm for carry. The Glock is a proven reliable gun that is well worth your money.The purchasing of either the two of these guns depends on how large or small you want your gun to be.Glock 26 generation 4 comes with 3 mag. clips that hold 10 rds. each and the Kahr comes with 1 6rd.mag.You can buy extra mags for the Karh for 28.00 each. I like both these guns and have bought 3 of the Karh CM. Hope I have helped you.

  63. avatarArt says:

    I bought the solo and love it. I use only golden sabre ammo and have never had an issue. Its my summer carry gun not my range gun after breaking it in I shoot a magazine through it once in a while with great accuracy. If you want a range gun this is not the un for you..

    • avatargary says:

      Well Art that is great. I remember when I bought my Solo I loved it too. I did get rid of my solo and now have peace of mind.I bought the Karh CM9. Loved it so much I bought another for my wife and bought another one for my daughter.Shoots any ammo you can feed it and great accuracy what more can you want.If my solo shot like the Karh I would have kept it.I enjoy taking my Kahr to the range and practicing with it with any ammo I want to use, that way I can practice and enjoy shooting the gun without spending a fortune and having to unjam the less expensive rounds . Also my Kahr has never jamed on me with the high dollar or the cheaper ammo.My solo was proned to jam with any ammo .Enjoy your solo they are the prettiest guns anyway.

  64. avatarArt says:

    About one hundred fifty rounds through my solo. Like a said it is not my range gun I do put a mgazine or two through it every month. At the range I prefer my glock 19 or ppq m2..But to carry I like the solo or my LCR.

    • avatargary says:

      No Jon I have not shot a great deal of ammo from my CM9 at least not as much as I have from my CZ 75B or my KP89 Ruger but no matter what I shoot it goes BANG just like the other two guns I mentioned any round you shoot no jams!!!Now I know you guys & gals that like your solo’s think they are the greatest. I agree they are beautiful and feel great in your hand I just don’t think you get the BANG for your buck. I hold my frustrations to the Kimber Co for making the customers test their new product and eating the losses.Just can not deal with Kimber again.I hope you continue to have good luck with your solo if that is the way you want to go.

      • avatarJon says:

        I understand. But not all guns will go bang with all ammo. Even my glocks. That’s just part of knowing your firearms. I’ve never had a firearm that I’ve loved, but the kimber works well for what it was designed for. It’s a small easy to use pistol that is designed for the ammo it should be used with

        • avatargary says:

          Okay Jon.I am glad you like your Solo. If you experienced the same problems that everyone else has had you would probably feel different about the solo.I know the solo was designed for the better ammo. If you researched this gun like I did you would see that a lot of the people sent their solo back to factory because they had issues with the premium ammo.Some of the solo owners keep bringing up the fact that it only has issues with cheap ammo. This gun had issues with the premium ammo too.There were also other issues with the reliability of the solo. It was all the unreliable issues that made a lot of folks feel that the solo was a bad purchase. The factory did very little to help the people that paid premium price for this gun.That for one made me not like Kimber at all.In my research of the solo I also saw that the solo was voted the worse gun made in the last 10 years.May by now the factory has made some changes in design???. When I talked with the factory I was told there would be no changes because they felt there was nothing wrong with the gun. In other words Kimber did not want to admit their mistake and left all their customers holding the bag on an unreliable gun.Kimber also said that the solo was not meant to be shot a lot. Well that is okay as well but looking at the big picture I was not going to put my life on this gun.For the high cost it should have been a gun you could shoot all you wanted to and not have to worry if it would shoot in an emergency.Too many other guns out there that you can carry with peace of mind.In other words Jon the damage has been done thanks to Kimber not getting on top of this issue.If you like your solo you can keep it. Happy shooting

  65. avatarEmily B says:

    I am a 14 year old girl,and i want to buy a handgun. I want something fairly cheap and small,preferably with a three-finger grip,although that is not a must. It needs to hold at least 9 rounds,perferably more. A metal frame is a must,preferably stainless. 9mm is favourable,although i would not mind a .40 or a .380,or some other reasonably cheap and available caliber. It must be reliable to the extremities,and something that can shoot rapidly.

    Can anyone suggest a gun of this general nature?

    • avatargary says:

      Emily, You are going to have to make some compromises.

      • avatarEmily B says:

        I would be willing,depending on what i am comprimising.

        • avatargary says:

          Emily you are pretty young to be wanting a firearm with all the choices you have requested. What exactly is your intended use for this firearm ? Maybe your dad or mom can help you decide if you should have a firearm.

  66. avatarEmily B says:

    Sir,my parent approve and even encourage it. In fact,i already own two rifles. My next project is a concealable pistol,something to use as a self-defense in an emergency situation. Unfortunately,my mother knows nothing about guns,and my father knows little about pistols,so i do not have much help there.

  67. avatarBrandi says:

    My sister has a Glock 30SF and a Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II but still wanted something smaller that was easier to conceal during the hot Oklahoma days and nights. We literally went to every gun store and gun show in the city to handle as many subcompact guns as possible and see what actually felt good. There’s a staggering number of subcompacts and compacts that are almost unbearable to hold because of design and the sharp edges and points. Finally we came across the only Solo we had seen. Unfortunately, it had just sold but the new owner allowed us to hold it and look it over. It was a complete opposite from everything we had come across so far, and started us on the search for one that was still for sale.

    Despite the many warnings we received saying the Solo was junk (strangely enough, not a single one of them actually owned or had owned a Solo…uh huh, figures) we finally located, after two years of searching, a Solo CDP which was the only model she wanted. I wasn’t concerned about the reliability, we had been told not to buy the Ultra Crimson Carry II and it runs perfectly. Just as expected the little Solo ran like a champ and has yet to malfunction after over a year.

    The fit and finish of this gun is excellent, Kimber built these guns right. The ergonomics are fantastic, it is far above every other gun in it’s class and feels great in the hand. Accuracy is good for such a small gun and while there is noticeable recoil and muzzle flip it was very controllable for me and not a concern. If it is too much for someone and there’s no reason why it should you could have it ported. We got the gun for my sister, I’ve always preferred compact .45acp caliber 1911′s myself but after shooting the Solo I really, really want one for myself.

    These guns are not cheap, they carry a price tag that is expected for such a fine weapon and the Solo CDP is the most expensive of the group. I will say that when I do buy one for myself it will be the CDP like the one we bought my sister. The addition of Trijicon night sights and especially the Crimson Trace laser grips puts this Solo in a category of extreme ease of use. The accuracy of tiny nine’s is already limited so the short radius of their sights isn’t ideal but with the additional of the CT laser grips the gun is fully functional shooting offhand or from an awkward position. While I always preach mastering the iron sights of any gun and do with this gun as well, you can guarantee in the event of a gunfight the laser will be active in my hands. The ease of use in a bad situation makes the laser, should you be so equipped, the primary sight and the irons your backup. That’s my view anyway…yours may differ. If you choose a Solo at least consider the laser grips because they improve the ability of the gun greatly.

  68. avatarLonnieD says:

    Crow has a very fowl (sic.) taste.
    (I apologize in advance for the length of this post.)
    I have lusted after a Kimber Solo since first reading about them over two years ago. This was in spite of all the negative reviews. I thought it was probably an early design issue which had SURELY been corrected by now. I have been carrying a Kahr PM40 for about 18 months and wanted to go to something with a bit less kick. I recently came into enough money to justify trading my Kahr for a Solo with my local dealer who happened to have “many” new STS’es and two used CDP’s. I walked out with one of the “not a mark on it” “looks like it had never been fired” used CDP’s. Got it home and noticed that it wouldn’t eject a cartridge when hand racking the slide. Called the dealer who told me to shoot the darn thing. Went to the range with a box of the “approved” ammo Federal Hydra-Shok both 124 and 135. Approx. 1/3 of the attempted firings failed with almost all doing so by the spent cartridge being trapped 1/2 out of the chamber by the next cartridge in the magazine. Called Kimber and told them what happened. Nice man told me to send it to them, they would “test” it, and get it back to me in 6-8 weeks. He also said it might be the magazine. I told him the wait time was ridiculous and that I would try another magazine. Took the gun back to the dealer, explained the results, and traded the CDP for a new STS. Took it to the range. Fired over 200 rounds through it with 4 different types of ammo and using two factory new magazines. Two of types of ammo were on the “approved” list. Got numerous failures. AFTER the initial 200 rounds I started counting the failures. Ended up with a 75% failure rate with the failure mode being the same as the CDP: the spent cartridge being extracted approximately 50% and being trapped by the next cartridge in line. There was no difference in the percentages between ammos or magazines. Called Kimber again and was told the same thing: “6 to 8 weeks to evaluate and fix IF NECESSARY”. I took the gun back to my dealer who “no questions asked” traded it for a new Kahr MK9. I have now fired over 300 rounds through it using three different types of ammo. I have had TWO failures: FTE’s on round #3 and round #78.
    Both of the Kimbers were manufactured in January 2014.

    Rant off.

    • avatargary says:

      The Kimber solo was voted the worse hand gun made in the last 10 years.This is why because of it’s unreliability. It is not because of using the wrong ammo. Too many solos are sent back to factory even when the premium ammo is used.Kimber does not care because they keep rolling them out all built the same and the customer keeps paying the price and having to be disappointed and sending them back. This has gone on for 3 years now.I just can’t understand why the people keep buying this product.We all should spend our hard earned money on a gun that has a proven track record.A few people get lucky and fire their kimber 25 to 200 rounds and they work okay then post a good review and thank they have a great dependable gun.I would not touch a product that has 90% bad reviews.The public should hold Kimber accountable for this inferior firearm.Beauty is only skin deep, life is precious purchase a gun that can be counted on with a proven record and a great customer service that takes care of the customer.Shame on Kimber for after 3 years will not even go back to the drawing board and getting it right.I got rid of my solo now I am not embarrassed to tell people what I carry.If you want a pocket pistol get the Kahr CM9. Not as pretty as solo but you can depend on it and shoot the ammo you want to shoot. Most of you will be a happy camper for money well spent.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.