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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  an untrustworthy carry 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 (pocket holster anyone?) 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 subcompact 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 Solo-phobia began to moderate. The little semi-auto carry 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.



Solo pistols are adorned with snag-free three-dot 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 is 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 release was very smooth and positive. The slide had deep cocking serrations at the rear to facilitate this. 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, though it may look like a double-action, nobody will ever confuse its trigger with that of a well-tuned 1911s. That’s not to say that the 7-pound trigger pull 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 magazine-release button (located at the base of the trigger guard). 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 an empty 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 six-round 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 time I test it.

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 malfunctions 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. This small pistol 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 compact pistol 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 pocket pistol 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 9mm 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.


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.



Model: Kimber Solo Carry

Caliber: 9mm

Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

Materials: Aluminum frame, stainless-steel slide

Weight empty: 17.2 ounces

Barrel Length: 2.67″ 1:10 twist rate

Overall length: 5.5″

Sights: Fixed front and rear, three dot

Action: Striker fired, single action

Finish: Matte black lower (KimPro II); 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? 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?


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.

More from The Truth About Guns:

GLOCK 19 vs GLOCK 26 for Concealed Carry: If You Really Have To Just Choose One

Gun Review: 1903 Colt Automatic .32 ACP Hammerless Pistol

ShootingTheBull410: GLOCK 42 vs. Kahr PM9. Yes, the PM9

Gun Review: Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4″ Concealed Carry Contour 9MM

The Best Pocket Pistols in .380 ACP For Concealed Carry

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  1. 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.

    • 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

    • 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?

      • 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.

        • 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

        • 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 ?

        • The slide stop spring (not present in a 1911) is on the wrong slide of the stop. It will push the stop into the slide when the gun recoils and re-cocks. That causes the slide to lock every shot.

      • I purchased a new Kimber 1911 stainless ll just a little background a M1911a1 was my primary duty weapon when I was a MP then I went through MPI school and carried a .38 snubby.

        I was a competitive shooter at the state & national level with 4th in the state out of 3000 shooters in pistol, rifle & machine gun. I was trained to guard generals so I was given training that otherwise my MOS wouldn’t have allowed.

        I know how to clean & repair all of my weapons but this Kimber stainless 1911 had rust & pits under the grips when I got home to field strip clean & lube it like you should with any new weapon you buy.

        The gun shop tried to get Kimber to replace the weapon but Kimber’s rep said no & Kimber said it must have been the way I stored it, I asked for a new one since I hadn’t even fired it but they offered to refinish it & I told them no that there had to be something wrong with the stainless quality they said not possible.

        Well I had a metallurgist check the stainless & they found it to be a loose interpretation of stainless it is a fact that guns can’t be made from the type of stainless that doesn’t rust but Wilson’s combat & Ed Brown use a better quality of stainless that is as close to rust proof as you can get without the metal being too brittle.

        I was 40 years old when I bought this Kimber and have stored my blued weapons the same way with a heat rod & desiccant packs in the safe with not a spot of rust on my other 1911s or other rifles but Kimber didn’t care & the Kimber cult attacked me telling me how to maintain a firearm which is laughable to say the least.

        I sent the stainless ll off to robar they prepared it and applied NP3 to it but said the pits were fairly deep & they hadn’t seen this with a pistol that hasn’t ever been fired or carried. Robar is outstanding and I’ve had several weapons finished by them without issue but the Kimber stainless ll had rust start coming back out especially in the pits so they blasted more metal & used NP3+ all free of charge & they covered shipping but I had to give them permission to blast deeper and the weapon has stayed rust free for 4 years of hard constant use as I perform personal security & put a lot of rounds though it.

        As I said earlier I bought it when I was 40 and at 44 the rust came back so that’s when Robar offered to blast deeper and use NP3+ all on them from shipping there & back but they don’t usually have to go that deep when preparing a weapon but their lifetime warranty is just that it’s a lifetime warranty.

        The NP3+ is so strong/hard that it gets put in & out of a hard plastic Blackhawk serpa 2 holster several times a day and still not a mark on the pistol.

        I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the metal quality of Kimber pistols & especially their stainless quality from the timeframe that I bought mine so they were either buying the cheapest stainless they could or had a bad supplier or bad batch but it’s a fact that it was a problem on their side & their offer to refinish the weapon which they said would take a couple months instead of just swapping out a new pistol was bad business especially since their refinish would have just rusted through again anyway, it took a lot of hard work by Robar to get this “stainless” Kimber to stop rusting & get rid of the pits.

        Shame on Kimber & those that would blame the consumer just because they were lucky enough to get a good one from Kimber or unlucky enough to get a bad one but Robar gets all of my guns now because service matters & I buy any make other than a Kimber due to the way they handled my situation.

        They even had the nerve to attack me on several forums when I was asking about other 1911 owners and if they had problems then their attack dogs I call the Kimber cult came in for the kill.

        • There will always be times when a product is made wrong or mistake made, what separates the good from the bad companies is the way you’re treated by the company.

          We all know that large companies are able to absorb the cost of a bad product whether they knew it or not, if nothing else they can examine the product to find out why there is a problem.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • I don’t own a Kimber Solo, but judging by what I’ve heard, I have difficulty believing your statement that you Glock is “just as picky” as the Solo. I have a G19 and I’ve put all kinds of 115gr cheap ammo through it without ever experiencing a failure of any kind. If your Glock is “just as picking” as a gun that is known to regularly jam when using 115gr ammo, and has a spring that is required to be replaced after a 1,000 rounds, something is wrong with your Glock. I’m not a Glock fan boy or anything, but they’re one of the most reliable guns made.

        • I guess sometimes we all make mistakes in our speaking.I really don’t think Jon has Glocks that have the issues of the Kimber Solo or maybe I should say I can’t see a Glock that is picky on ammo as a solo. Glock has a reputation that matches the best.The solo has a reputation all alone unreliable at any trigger pull.

        • It all comes down to engineering.
          Normal glocks were not designed to work with machine pistol ammo.
          If you are going to usethis type of ammo, glock has a stronger firing pin spring that can be added to fix this problem. You need to remove it and use the normal spring for pistol ammo. If not the firing pin will occasionally puncture the case and cause problems.
          The kimber was designed as a small concealed carry gun that runs hot heavy for caliber ammo. you may not like that it was designed that way, but it isn’t really a problem.

        • I am not going to bash the solo anymore.Enough has been said.Need to be fair with the folks that like their solo’s.Also I respect anyone that has served our country and their statements are good enough for me.

        • Two glocks actually. A gen 2 19 and a gen 2.5 26. Both were my brother’s duty weapons. He doesn’t really like guns so when he quit his job as a Leo to flip houses full time, I ended up with them.
          Neither gun will reliably cycle cheap ammo. The ammo that I know doesn’t work are WWB and UMC bulk packs.
          I like glocks, I carried a different 19 in Iraq. They do great with 9 mm NATO (124 grain loaded just slightly hotter than normal), but my kimber has never failed using the same ammo.
          So neither my kimber nor my glock work well with cheap ammo that’s normally loaded to the low end of pressure. Yet for some reason the glock is held as the gold standard and the kimber is considered junk. To the point that random people on the internet accuse me of lying to them when I tell them that both types of guns are picky about the same ammo.

  2. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • The best place for plastic on a gun is in the very tip of the bullet. Keep all the plastics. Plastic Guns! Can’t wait for the next round.. plastic guns made in China. Now that ought to make a man rich. Fall hard on those cheep way over priced plastic guns. You haven’t lived till you drop one on a dead run and have it crack the slide. The next shot if your lucky, will send the slide flying. You can the throw the plastic frame at the B-guy. If the clip stays in….. it will at least weigh a little more.

    • 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • 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.

  11. 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.”

  19. 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.)
    The Frettbird. (first comment, I’ll learn to shut up.)

    • 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.”

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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, 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

    • 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!

  27. 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.”

  28. 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.


    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.


    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.


    I would have been better off purchasing a lame horse.

  29. 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..


    • 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!

      • 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.


  30. 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

    • 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….

  31. 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.


  32. 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.

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

  34. 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.

    • 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.

  35. 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

  36. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

  37. 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!

    • 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.

      • Gary you are obviously a liar as this post contradicts the post you made previously about trading your Solo for a Kahr.

        • Hello Dustin. You are not at all sharp. The post you falsely accused me of contradicting if you will pay attention to the date was posted Oct.1/2013 The post that was made about me trading my solo for the Kahr was posted Feb.5/2014. Where is the contradiction???? The fact is just as I stated I traded the solo for the Kahr CM9 . I liked the CM9 so much I bought 2 more for my Daughter and my wife.Also what you call my constant posting was actually replying back to the people that contacted me first on this site.It takes a pretty small man to call someone a liar with no facts to back it up. Also you kinda show your ignorance when you say I am biased. I own several different brands of firearms. I am biased towards the firearms that work for me on reliability and ammo that it will shoot with reliability. So far that only leaves the Kimber solo out for me and if you research the the reviews you will also see that most of the people that bought the solo were sorry they did.You never posted your opinion on the solo or anything else but me.My guess is that for some reason you are annoyed tell me Dustin what really is it about the solo that has you annoyed.Did you waste your money on one and are taking it out on me??Or maybe you bought one and are afraid to go out and shoot it because you too do not want to be disappointed.I know it is something.Remember this site is named The Truth About Guns. I have told my truth.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

    • 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

      • 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

  40. 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.


    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

    • 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.

  41. 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.

    • 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.

  42. 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..

    • 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.

  43. 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.

    • 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

  44. 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 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.

    • 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  47. 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

  48. 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.

    • 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.


    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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 :-).

  49. (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!

    • 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.

      • Gary your religious fervor is not beneficial to the topic as you are obviously extremely biased and unbalanced. Not to mention your lies about when and if you have traded your gun in.

        • Thanks for your kind words. I am sending you this reply because I just received another email from Jim on this site which did bring me back to this site. I was going back through some of the postings and noticed a posting I had made Jan.11/2014 where I did mention about trading the solo for a glock26 gen4. On paper I did make the trade at my gun shop which they had to order the glock. After the glock came in I went to the shop and after seeing that the little glock would not fit in my pocket very well the lady that owns the store recommended to me the Kahr CM9. I let her order the Kahr and when it came in I tried it in my pocket and it concealed well so I traded the solo for the kahr. I liked the Karh so much I came back to the gun store and bought two more Kahr CM9 ‘s.Now I know you really don’t care but I wanted to clear up the Jan. 11th posting.

  50. 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.

    • 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.

  51. 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 !!!!!

    • Brenda, I read your article on the beauty of the 9mm solo. I happen to have the CDP 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!

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

        • 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???????

    • 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.

  52. 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..

    • 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.

  53. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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

  54. 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?

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

    • 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.

      • Gary I can find 4 different stories for the history of your solo. As a person who has not bought any handgun yet, and who is researching the solo, I have to say that you have totally discredited yourself with your constant posting. Not to mention being completely annoying.

        • YOU are totally wrong. Refer to the dates of my postings. I did trade the solo in Feb. 2014 for the Karh CM9 and like I said ,liked it so much I bought two more one for my wife and one for my Daughter.What is your problem concerning the solo I know you have something bothering about the solo. Fess up tell the truth.

  58. Thanks for the reviews. Looks like you all have all put this thing through its paces. I am used to fussy pocket pistols. I work with the gunsmith and polish clean and do our best. When I find the combination that works I simply stick with it. I do not buy cheap plastic guns whether they are cash cheap or extremely expensive cheap plastic. I carry a PPK. I have been waiting for a nine that was all metal and just as small. I carry FMJ in the Walther PPK because it is the best bet for a 380. It will punch a .356 hole as deep as you would like. Every time. It will jamb on some hollow points and wad cutters. 100’s of thousands of Police and Soldier’s around the globe have successfully used it for decades with FMJ. It will not shoot a hollow point and penetrate reliably enough. It is much more liable to produce a fight stop with FMJ. That said it is all steel. I will never sacrifice metal for plastic ever regardless of the miniscule ounces it saves. Most of any guns weight is the rounds in it. I really don’t care how anyone feels about that. Plastic will always be a no go for me. All are welcome to their own however. I think a PPK has a rappy kick. I don’t believe I would notice if I had to use it. As you can imagine this little nine is going to be snappy real snappy. It will shoot a hollow point with adequate power to work well however. I would stay away from the 147grn. But the 124 will work sweet. Nice gun Kimber. A true potent high quality pocket pistol as small as my PPK.

  59. I cannot believe I bought this after reading ALL of the reviews. 50% were bad and 40% were OK and 10% said “great weapon”…

    Like many of the others,maybe YOU, I took to range today with correct ammo and out of 50 units through the gun – 5 FTF.

    TOUGH to get out failures out of magazine too.

    So disappointed. I own several pistols and ALL are better than one. Skip the good looks and go with something else. I cannot believe the problem with this design and it is still out there.


    So sorry did not READ what I “red”. My gut said “there are problems with this design” whenever I read something negative- and a lot of it – but my mind said this is a brand new production piece and all bugs are out of it. Go for it.

    From an experienced shooter- SKIP THIS- SKIP THIS- SKIP THIS- SKIP THIS!


    • Kimber knows there will always be suckers out there that likes the looks of the solo and will buy it because it looks so good.Some buyers will research the reviews and stay away from the solo but there will be some that will judge the book by its cover and make the mistake.What disturbs me most is the people that shells out the big bucks for this gun and go to the range and find out it is not the great gun it was supposed to be and in their heart they are disappointed and go to this web site and post how much they like the gun and want to bad mouth the people that tell the truth about the solo.I am not right all of the time nobody is but I think everyone that has come to this site came because they really had a problem with the solo, some just want admit it.We need to hold Kimber accountable.

  60. Hi Gary, not quite sure why you got jumped there. I was enjoying your spreading of knowledge as you searched for your pistol. Certainly not annoying! I was looking forward to some more comments. I CARE what you have to say. The older you get the more you learn to gather as many reviews as possible. It is a shame that some forums today have this sort of character assassination. I had a similar incident occur on a forum about AR15’s 5.56 vs .223. Guys attacked my character and called me about everything they could. The amazing thing was they were all dangerously wrong. Anyway, thanks for forging ahead! I always get asked about that PPK in my pocket by only those who ask “is it really in your front pocket”. Thanks for sharing a good alternative. Having a very, very good gunsmith in the family helps with little start up issues. I won’t shoot or carry a plastic gun but a lot of people and friends will and do. That’s just my preference. Thanks for the write up on a comparable pistol that meets the front pocket holster idea. Something I can pass along to those wishing to buy a potent pocket pistol.

    FYI: Of the Solo’s we have seen come in for repair, 100% of the time the frame slide stop spring is out of place. This spring is not on a 1911.Takes about 5 minutes and your shooting again. This spring on top of the slide lock is there to keep it from catching the slide. Put it in wrong and it dose the opposite. About 11 Solo’s through the shop. All had the same complaint (FTF and Jamming). All had the same assembly error. The video Kimber puts out on the Solo is good it shows how to prevent the issue.

    • Hello Robert, thanks for the very welcome response.Your information on the spring issue is very valuable.If I were a solo owner your info would help me to feel better about the solo.Seems like Kimber would find a way to fix this issue in a way the gun owner would not be able to mistakenly have this spring out of adjustment.This is one reason I just could not keep my solo.Just think of the possibility of that spring getting out of place and you had to defend yourself and the gun jammed.If I were Kimber I would do more than a video to show how it is supposed to be.The issue needs a permanent fix as well as a recall.Of course there are other less important issues with the solo that you see in other reviews.All issues totaled up I personally could not carry the solo.The solo came close to being the perfect little carry gun. I guess we will never see a perfect little carry gun but there are other guns I would prefer over the solo.You do have an alternative with your PPK in 380 cal. because you know it will defend you if needed.I just love shooting the 9mm because of a little more power and bullets more reasonably priced. I do own an LCP 380 and an Ivers Johnson 380. The Ivers Johnson is a great all metal little pistol very accurate and fun to shoot.The LCP gets you by and very easy to carry.The best shooting pistol I have is the s/s CZ75B 9mm. Thank you and have a great day.

  61. Gary, Why are you a one man army against his gun? You reply to most every post. It seems that this is your job to hurt Kimber sales. This is not a personal attack on you and I can’t stand those that resort to calling names just because someone is expressing their opinion based on experience.

    Kimber sells thousands of these guns. This page just has a handful of posts. Why hasn’t someone really hit them legally hard? GM has to recall their vehicles if there are enough problems on the same item.

    I would think a huge retailer like Cabela’s would not carry the gun if it was as bad as you claim. You may be right, that this gun is a safety hazard because when you buy and carry a gun, you expect it to work when you NEED it. I am just about a fanatic against Microsoft Windows 8 because the company was so damn stupid in putting out this product.

    I choose to trust people that they have good intentions. I hope this is you.

    • Thank you thank you thank you. I’ve stayed away for many months from this idiot Gary. He will will respond as I’m sure he will. He insults everyone that don’t have his view point. It’s not going to stop unless kimber contacts a attorney

      I will contribute on Kimber behalf. Ok big boy lets see how much money you are willing to contribute. Let’s roll.

      • I bet you have had disagreements with loved ones in your family, are they idiots too?So just because you can’t handle the truth you want to try an insult me by calling me an idiot.I had stated in my earlier post that I was not going to bash the solo anymore because I saw the light that it was offending some of the folks that do like the gun.Just goes to show you when you do try to be nice someone still wants to try and insult you.Yes I think a person should respond to post that are received.I do not try to insult anyone for not having my views. I will state what I think is the truth about a gun or anything else, if someone has a different view I understand . Your statement about contributing all this money to kimber is kinda funny, are you trying to imply that you have more money than I do ???Kimber should be held accountable for their engineering of any product that for three years running has the same problems over and over again.I will be glad to roll with you as you have stated.

    • David , I could give you a longer more explaining response about a one man army and hurting sales. I will just try to keep it more simple. From your statements it looks to me like you have not researched all , that means all the reviews on this particular subject.

  62. gary, sorry for the late post/reply but… what does holding Kimber accountable really mean? They make a lot of these guns and the percentage of problematic products is within manufacturing industry standards, just like any other manufactured product. They are not making crappy overseas products that don’t meet quality control. Just because it is expensive and it does not work to your liking, doesn’t mean Kimber revamps their whole Solo manufacturing line. Bashing a company is really not very civil especially if your avenue is this forum. It really comes off very negative. You make it sound like Kimber is a bad company producing bad products just to take people’s money. If it were true, they would have done recalls already on the Solo. I’m sure a lot of people are happy with their Solo. Especially those who read the manuals and follow manufacturer’s recommendations for operation especially with break-in period. You know, people who are happy with their purchases rarely call the company back to give feedback. Most of the time, only the unhappy ones call back (or write back, in this case) to complain. Sure, there are a lot of problems with the Solo (thus the report on one of the worst guns produced) but you make it sound like 99% of all the Solo’s are bad. It just isn’t the ‘Truth’. Kimber is a good American company. Hope you don’t take this in a negative way. Cheers!

    • Yes Jack it is a little late for your comment.If you had put as much research in the Kimber Solo as I did you may not have sent this comment to me.There are several things in your comments that I know you have no facts to back up.I guess you have not researched all the reviews on the solo from when they first came out and it appears even if you read any of the negative reviews you did not believe what the people wrote.Holding Kimber accountable means they should have fixed the problems early on when we were buying the solo and having all the problems.When the solo first came out there were no dealers telling the customers about using the hi end ammo they would let you buy the gun and were ready to sell you any ammo you wanted to purchase for the gun.So you had to buy the gun first and if you did read the manual you then found out about the ammo. In my research I found that the solo had problems with the exact ammo the factory recommended.When this gun came out it seemed all that were bought had to go back to the factory.The factory did not seem to care very much and wanted to keep your gun for two months and if they could duplicate your problem they would fix your gun.They must have had an awful lot of guns coming back to have to keep yours for two months???. When I talked with the factory I was told there was no problems with the solo.They would not admit the gun had problems and just about everyone on the internet had to send theirs back.I could go on and on about the problems all I can say to you if you want to know the history on the solo the internet is full of it.Do the research and see for yourself. i spent several days reading every site I could find and in my opinion there are more reliable guns at better prices than Kimber and better customer service. You suit yourself. Me I will not buy Kimber.

      • Hey Gary, happy 4th! I do have a few
        Kimbers including the Solo. No problems at all. We do agree on one thing, there are guns out there that have better price/value than the kimber solo. Hummer H3 vs Honda CRV debate perhaps? To be honest I buy the Solo for myself but not recommend it to people unless I know those people have time to work
        with the equipment and train with it just to know what it’s optimal performance is and how to ensure proper operation. I would not give this to my wife just because she does not train as much as I do. Kahr PM9 or any of the glocks for her 🙂 Good points Gary!

        • Happy4th to you as well Jack. Sorry but you have thrown me off on the Hummer and the Honda. If you are saying the kimber solo is the caddllac of guns sorta speaking I can’t agree with that unless maybe you are just buying the name.Now you would be getting closer to what I am talking about on holding Kimber accountable.Cadillacs use to be the number one car to buy. If you had a cadillac you really had the best. Cadillacs looked so good and had all the bells and whistles. But then they started building them with less quality even tho they looked great they started falling apart. Now if you own a cadillac who cares.The same can happen to a gun builder if they put out a product that can not be relied on.I talked with Kimber about the solo and they told me that the Solo was not made to be shot a lot.If people still want to collect that gun that is their business but when I am asked about the solo i will answer as to what I think is the truth.Every solo sold, Kimber should have made sure each gun was fixed to be very reliable and if they couldn’t fix it by changing design or something kimber should have offered our money back.In other words kimber should have been accountable.You can’t go around armed with a gun that you think might not perform if you really need it to.I know all gun mfg;s have had their problems it just seems to me the solohad too many for too long and kimber never would own up to it and that is why I will not ever buy that cadillac again.

  63. I bought the Solo new and disassembled it to clean it up and apply oil where required. I fired two boxes of defensive rounds (40 rounds) and one box of standard Remington rounds (50). I can honestly say that I have never fired a pistol that was as inaccurate and had so many jams as this one. With the defensive rounds about every third round jammmed and with the Remingtons about every second round. Three fired cases had to be pushed out of the chamber with a phenolic rod. From a bench at about 20 feet the rounds were hitting about 10 inches low and fairly scattered. Not a very defensive weapon.

    • Jack, maybe with your training on the Solo you could help Ronald out here. Does look like Ronald met the 24 round break in period and still has an unreliable defensive weapon with no accuracy at all .What kind of advise could you give Ronald to make his Solo reliable and accurate.Ronald didn’t say if he was shooting the 124 grain or higher recommended ammo. Maybe he will come back and post for us the detailed ammo he was using.

      • It sound like he wasn’t using 124+ gr ammo. The around not ejecting like that are most likely the result of a short recoil stoke. My gun does that if I use 115 gr ammo.

      • either that or limp wrist on the bench? I’m not sure if you fired all shots from the bench (probably not). either way, I would eliminate the possible issue of not using recommended ammo first before I conclude that the pistol is not a very defensive weapon. another suggestion is have somebody else try to shoot it and see if you get the same results. firm
        grip, recommended ammo. you have to break it in. I know I made sure I did initially. my wife still gets malfunctions but I don’t so I assume it’s a user issue (with my wife). she hits the targets just fine but the pistol jams when she uses it. I hate to admit it Gary, this solo is not a glock. it does not work everytime for most everybody 🙂

        • I have two glocks and even they won’t cycle every type of ammo. This mythical gun that never has a failure and feeds any type of ammo is a myth. If your weapon has never had a problem, you haven’t used it much.

  64. Ref a couple comments back. All rounds fired were 124 grain. I tried another box of Federal Premium hydro-shok JHP 124 gr with slightly better results then the first two boxes. Out of the 20 rounds 9 jammed. The fired case would partially eject but would then hang up. With the case jammed this way the magazine would not release. I had to pull the slide slightly back (with some effort) to get the magazine to release. With the magazine removed the case would then drop thru the grip. Could be a magazine problem. The case seemed to be jammed between the round in the magazine and the small tab at the rear top of the barrel.
    From a bench at about 20 feet it was still shooting about 6 inches low (average) with about a 8 inch grouping.

    • So Ronald, what is your next plan of action? At 20 ft. you would expect the solo to be a lot more accurate than your results.Also the ammo you were using is what the factory recommends.I can imagine your disappointment.Did you check that little spring that can get out of position and cause jams?

    • Most 9’s especially light ones don’t like projectiles over 115grn. Now this is a broad general statement but if you shoot a lot of 9 you already know this. If you push a 9 115grn hard it will shoot better and better. I am not a fan of hot loads just making an observation with what I have seen and shot and reloaded for soooo long! Anyway, it is all steel and as I said before we have the root cause under control here at our shop and I stole it from one pissed off dude. He bought it cleaned and oiled it up and 7 shots 7 FTF, so that’s why I bought it. He put the spring in wrong on the catch. Like I said before if you put it in wrong it is amazing that it cycles at all. It is a shooting gun now! The groups shrink right down the kick is not as bad and if assembled correctly I haven’t had any problems with the dozen or so that went through here.
      I saw the comment on the “dimpled primer”. Remember that’s a 1911 “like” firing pin in there. firing the gun will bump the primer just like a 45 1911 will if the pin is heavy. I have a custom Ti pin in mine and that doesn’t happen anymore. My 45’s with Ti pins still touch the pin but no big deal. All series 70 1911’s will do this millions of them.


      • Thanks Robert. Your post is very interesting and the most positive review to me I have read concerning the Solo.If the position of this spring is the culprit for most of the bad reviews and if the spring will stay in it’s correct position as the gun is being fired or dropped this would be good news for the Solo owner.One thing that still sticks with me is you read about the people that have sent their Solo back to factory and after the factory has inspected the gun and sent back to customer the customer says the gun still has same issue of failure to feed and again sends gun back to factory for a second time.I guess time will tell. I will look to see if the trend of negative reviews on the Solo turns to a trend of positive reviews.Thanks Robert your review I really enjoyed the info.

  65. This is just a bunch of people that are negative. I’ve been shooting since I was 7 years old I have probably the largest collection of hand guns and rifles around . I am also a kimber fanatic, I don’t care what any of these guys say I have a solo that has shot well over a thousand rounds without changing springs. No FTF’ swith any ammo. It shoots way better than my Taurus g2 or my shield and definitely better than my ruger, it is probably the most reliable 9 I have def the most accurate.

  66. My Solo when new was very tight, hard to rack the slide, hard to eject or insert the magazine. I figured to shoot it loose. Got up to about 250 rounds with ammo of the recommended weight with fewer and fewer gripes. Then I started getting failures to extract/eject/load. Called Kimber, got an Air Bill, sent it off. When it came back, they had replaced the slide, recoil spring assembly, magazine release, and the “Solo Spring”, whatever that is, and fired a bunch of ammo through it. There were some other changes I don’t recall right now. Operation has been flawless for the 300 or so rounds I’ve put through it since the repair. I shoot it every time I go to the range and carry it with confidence.

    Kimber Customer Service was prompt, polite, and helpful. On the Kimber Solo forum I frequent, my experience has been repeated any number of times with the same listed changes. Problems? Send it back. It doesn’t cost anything and what I got back is one of the finest subcompact nines I’ve ever handled. Try it, you’ll like it!

    • Bob, I hope the message was clear. Just in case….
      To all who care. Kimber started not that long ago as a custom 1911 gun shop. Just a few really good Gunsmiths and a nice shop. They brought a nice custom tough.45 1911,that could be reached with the paltry salaries of our armed United States Militia. Many police officers around the world and some of the toughest Bravest Soldiers and Contractors I know carry one confidently. They are a great American Gun Company now. The Solo delivers as promised. It’s a custom gun and one of a kind. A very small “9” that will deliver the same results all the time. ALL METAL! Yes a little start up issue. They didn’t talk to you because this is thier worst start up problem and its only one. Hundreds of things could go wrong from metallurgical to fit function and form. They only had one. The other fixes show you that they dove deep trying to fix it.
      A little groove machined into the spring leg perch stops the issue permanently here. My Favorite Custom 1911 that I bet my life on cost $3,500 bucks…. Why? At this level the Gunsmith brings you the gun. You go to the range together and fire it till it cries out. The smith polishes a little here a little there … Endless questions how’s it feel… where are you pointing? Does it drop the first shot? The one the slide drops precisely from your slipping half assed attempt at a quick reload and slide rack? My .45 came apart for a week. Good luck all. The retention groove works best.

  67. I have a Solo on layaway and now have my reservations. Also have a Glock Dragonfly, Browning Citori, and LWRC SPR M6 A2 on layaway, hence did not make the purchase right away.
    Glad I have time to look into the Solo before picking it up. During my initial handling I think the Solo had the best FEEL compared to the PM9 and 938. So I went with the Solo.
    I’ve had numerous handguns. I’ve had problems with few brands. Beretta, Glock, Colt, EAA, Walther PPK (which to me was one of my worst pistols), Desert Eagle 50, S&W 629, Sig 229, S&W Shorty 40, and others. So I understand there can be issues, but have not read so much about issues with a pistol as the Solo.
    I carry a Seecamp 32 which I absolutely love. Carried for 10 years now in a wallet holster with no issues whatsoever. Never a jam, total reliability. It is ammo sensitive and states so on the instructions. I only carry what’s recommended and have never had an issue. Either slow fire or unloading as fast as possible. So the ammo issue is not a problem. My Beretta 9000S is also absolutely 100% reliable. Although it’s slightly larger than what I can carry in a pocket.
    Still trying to make a decision before I pick it up in late December. If not the Solo, looking at the PM9 even though It did not feel as nice as the Solo, or the Boberg, which I’m still investigating for reported issues with it as well.
    Only wish I could rent a Solo to see it it really has any issues. I believe every ones comments on this site, and take them to heart. Hate to see all the comments flying around regarding hate comments, because although they are firearms that may be used to save our lives at some point in time, they are all only part of a manufacturing process, that can fail at any time.
    I’m purchasing for my CCW, and also love firearms since I deal with machinery everyday and enjoy the art of how firearms are made and function.
    Thank you for everyone’s comments. It’s making it hard to make a decision, since I do know firearms do fail, and there are lemons out there as well. I’ve been shooting now for 36 years. I know there will be times firearms will not work, or malfunction. Even the name brands, as Kimber, have their problems. Which I actually had a Kimber CDP 2 in 45 auto that had issues as well, but enjoyed the accuracy of the firearm.
    However, I am looking for a firearm that will function when I need it to function during a defensive situation. So I have a couple of weeks to decide.
    Really enjoy reading all the comments and feedback from everyone. This is getting more interesting as my time nears to decide on which one to purchase. Although from initial handling, I think the Solo has all the others beat. The stiff magazine release didn’t bother me when I tried dropping the magazine since I’ve had pistols that dropped the magazine due to weak magazine release buttons.
    I’ve looked for the dates on all the reviews and posts. This one seems to have run the longest and with the most recent comments, and I’m glad I found it.

    • Abel, If I were in your position I would consider calling the factory first and talk with Kimber tech. Ask him or her what they have done to correct all the issues with their solo in the last 6 months. If they give you good answers explaining they indeed had issues and point out the issues and what they did to correct them , maybe you can consider going ahead with your purchase. If kimber still stand fast there were never any issues I would think twice before dropping down the big bucks. You may not want a 50–50 chance of getting a good one.

    • I had a Solo and for the first three or four hundred rounds I experienced a ridiculous number of failures. After that it seemed to reach a sweet spot and had no problems for several hundred additional rounds. During this period I thought I’d stick with the Solo, but I was approaching the end of the recommended spring life and then there were so many others who had experienced problems. Even though – like everyone else – I really like the look and feel of the Solo, I could not get past the doubt in my mind that if I ever really needed it to protect a family member would the Solo fail. With so many proven reliable choices on the market I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to take the risk. I chose the Sig 938 which I think is every bit as good looking as the Solo, almost as small, same weight and 100% reliable. I think the question you need to address is: “Is the appeal of the Solo worth a nagging doubt?” Good luck in making the decision that’s right for you.

  68. Thank you for the recommendations. At this point this is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had in purchasing a pistol, and I’ve had quite a few. I love the looks, and feel, but think I’m going to pass for the PM9 or 938. They are basically the same size and weight. My only thought would be if Glock came out with a 9 in their model 42. But that doesn’t look to promising. Bogerg….I like as well, but it has a couple of mixed reviews behind it. I have a couple of weeks to think about that one.
    I had mentioned the PPK was my worst pistol ever. Jammed all the time with hardball, sights flew off, tried different mags and nothing helped. It too was a very beautiful pistol. Although my RG 22 was probably equal to the reliability of the PPK. But the RG 22 was my very first pistol I bought when I turned of age to buy my own pistol. That was a learning experience. I don’t think I need another one.
    Not bashing the Solo. I love the way it looks and feels. But I don’t need that 50/50 chance of it functioning properly when I need it too.
    Once again Thanks to all that responded on this forum. Most interesting one I’ve read on the Solo.
    Will notify what I end up with when I pick it up.

  69. I just picked up a used Kimber Solo a few days ago. Took it to the range “as is”, and it failed to extract every single round. Did a Google search on Kimber Solo FTEs and found out that there is a simple fix. Reinstalled the slide catch so that the retaining pin was properly caught by the slide catch. Went back to the range and fired 6-7 mags of Hornady Custom 124 gr and Hornady Critical Duty 124 gr +P with zero malfunctions. YMMV.

    The only issues are 1 – the mags are quite difficult to load; the 6 round mag is really a 5 rounds, and the 8 round mag is really a 6 rounder, and 2 – recoil is a little snappier than other nines of similar size.

    • UPDATE: so my Kimber jammed every shot on its first range trip. Second range trip, after properly securing the slide catch spring, it worked properly. Third range trip, even though the slide catch spring was properly secured, it jammed often. I sold it and bought a Sig P938 a few months ago. The P938 is not as pretty, and the sights aren’t as good, but much, much more reliable. Couple hundred rounds through the Sig with no failures so far. And it doesn’t have a stupid, finicky reassembly process like the Solo.

      • So your solo was just as I had been saying, unreliable. I see you also decided to get rid of it as I did mine.You also said you were not interested in what I had to say about the solo.Well I am happy for you that you found a gun you like, I believe it will serve you well.While I am on here I might as well share my feelings about the kahr cm 9 that I now carry in my pocket.I have found that the spring in the Kahr is so tight you can hardly slingshot the gun to chamber a round.I really don’t like to carry a loaded gun in my pocket and if I have to draw the weapon from pocket it is too hard to eject the slide for a chambered round.Of course Kahr tells you this on the front end not to slingshot the slide to chamber a round. This being said I believe I will purchase the new Ruger LCs 9 which I have looked at and really like how easy it is to rack the slide. I mean it is easy easy. I also liked how ruger did the trigger , short and light. Also nicely priced at $379.00. I am sure I will pick this gun up in next few days. Thanks and remember vote republican if you want to save America

        • I’m still not interested in what you have to say.

          Unlike you, I am providing first hand information to people to use in their decision making.

        • In two years never a misfire. Oh god now Gary will crank back up again. For the next two years I’ll be getting my blood pressure up getting responses from him. Anyway, I guess I’ve got the only good one made by kimber. And by the way gary I’m Mr not as you referred to as miss Gwyn

        • Aaron, the end result was all the same only difference in me and you was I didn’t jump off the bridge.I shared a lot of first hand info and I communicated with a number of people as well as talking with kimber techs.I also had enough fore sight to analyze what was going on with the solo. I also got back all that I paid for the pretty paper weight.You didn’t have the sense to read between the lines you had to jump off the bridge when you should have just read the reviews. That is what reviews are for to inform the people. Some people have good common sense while some learn the hard way. Then you wanted to be mad at me and throw insults.Well you are eating crow now. Not because you took the leap off the bridge but because of your attitude. God bless us all none of us are perfect but I love the neighbor that is always trying to help someone. End of subject.

  70. Finally made my decision. Went with the Sig 290RS. Basically same size as the Solo, with a slight weight difference. Although the weight difference was not felt at all when I had both in my hands. I Liked the feel of the Sig much better, and the grip felt perfect for my hand. The GS mentioned that if I stayed with the Solo, I had to use the premium ammo as stated on the Solo instructions, which is fine however, the feel of the Sig won me over as soon as I had it in my hand and there was not turning back. Solo was much nicer looking pistol, with a total of 5 for sale at this GS. I’m glad the GS happened to receive a 290RS when I went in last Saturday since I had been looking for one to compare the size and weight to the Solo. It was a no brainer for me, since the 290 came with the laser and was still cheaper than the Solo. Sig was 550.00 the Solo was 699.00. Solo with CDP/laser was 989.00. Price doesn’t really matter, as long as I have a reliable CCW pistol and i’ll probably sell the laser since I don’t care much for using a laser. I will put my Seecamp to rest since I’ve carried it for 10 years now. Only thing I ever replaced on it were the recoil springs since I’ve had it so long, and Seecamp actually sent them for free. Never felt under sized with the 32 auto the Seecamp provided, since it was always 100% reliable and easily concealable.
    So I now have my new companion. It was a tough decision, since I really liked the Solo. Ultimately, the fitting of the pistol to my hand and the reviews of the improved 290RS won me over. Had I not had the opportunity to feel the Sig, I probably would have stayed with the Solo. The PM9 didn’t feel as good as the Solo, and definitely did not feel as good as the Sig. Weight wise…..the few ounces didn’t make a difference. Price wise…I’d pay whatever a manufacturer wants as long as it’s reliable and fits my hand well.

    • Good for you !!!! Sig has always made some of the best reliable guns that have great track records.I may have to take a look at one myself that is the 290 sig.I know a few tn. state troopers that carry Sig and they really like theirs. You sound very happy with your choice. Let us know how well the Sig carries and shoots. Happy New Years to you, be alert and safe.

  71. This has got to be the longest thread that I’ve ever followed from start to finish. Unfortunately, a guy named “Gary” has dominated the thread and made it so long. This fellow’s obsessive diatribe has dominated this thread for so long one must question his impartiality or his sanity. He certainly must not have anything more productive to do. Virtually every question or statement is met with an immediate obsessive-compulsive “knowledgeable” response from “Gary.” This self-proclaimed Kimber Solo expert apparently has become an “armchair” expert on the subject through his extensive Internet research. As everyone knows, the Internet can quickly make an “expert” out of anyone on any subject. Apparently Gary “knows” that 50% of all Solos are lemons based upon his irrefutable statistical analyses and magical knowledge of how many Solos have been sold and how many have been returned to Kimber for repair. Yet he ignores comments from gunsmiths who offer instant fixes for the FTFs and FTEs. If I follow his long history with this pistol correctly, he never shot the one he owned since he quickly discovered online that it might be a lemon. Yes, he never shot it for fear of diminishing its resale value! Nevertheless, this lack of personal experience with the piece didn’t impugn his Internet-acquired Kimber Solo expertise one iota. Had I discovered this long-running thread in an earlier era, I would have advised him to shoot the damn thing or shut his mouth! As a now retired product-return repairman and mechanical engineer, I know that the vast majority of product returns are due to failure to read the instructions, improper reassembly, and/or simple human stupidity (not withstanding the lousy Remington R51). Kimber builds a quality product with high ownership pride. Ignore “Gary’s” ad nauseam expertise and go back and read the original TTAG review of this gun and make up your own mind.

      • Well what a surprise !!!!!! Gwyn I deeply apologize for the mistake of addressing you as a Miss. So glad you have gone two years without a misfire.Kimber sure enough got your solo right.You might need to send yours back to Kimber with a note telling them to build them all just like this. They sure are a good looking gun and the feeling of it in the hand will never be matched. Just make them where they are all reliable and then the Solo will be the best concealed carry ever made.

    • Not bad Patrick, you just told the consumer to throw the concept of reviews in the garbage and go back to the very old days and just take the word of the drummer and fork over your hard earned money and if the product is no good thats your tuff luck. Patrick ,while your at it you might want to think about all those nice people you probably offended by calling them stupid for not reading the manual or following instructions when in fact most of them did do as required and the problems were there.You are right about me having plenty of time for research on buying products. I spent years at my job before I retired doing just that. Making sure we got a good product for our money spent.Smart people want the chance to get their monies worth so it is a good idea to do some research on the product you are buying. The Kimber Solo failed the test no matter how you put it.My problem with Kimber was they never admitted their problems with the solo and took 3 years to come around with that little spring either slipping off position or mistakenly put in wrong. Either way it was still a bad design.Your comment came to my email box just like all those others did and yes I usually reply back.Bottom line ,all your Gwyn loving words still doesn’t change anything, yours is just all talk ,my talk was backed up by many many BAD Reviews from just about everyone that bought that gun.

  72. Not surprisingly, right on time, just like clockwork, just as the sun rises every morning, the ubiquitous and annoying crypto Kimber hater and master of Google searches “Gary” is back again in this thread to impress us with his Internet-gained firearm expertise. This weapon-researching windbag is more persistent than Freddy Krueger and more irritating than a left-wing politician asking for your vote. FYI: I’m a gun lover, not a “Gwyn lover”, use your spell checker, damn-it! As knowledgeable gunsmiths know, most problems with auto-loading pistols are due to “limp-wristing”, improper reassembly, sub-optimum ammunition, broken, worn, or missing parts, and infrequent or nonexistent cleaning and lubrication. Sure there are real stinkers out there such as the Remington R51. But they are thankfully rare. But most people who own firearms (especially auto-loaders) shouldn’t own firearms, 2nd amendment notwithstanding. Can’t handle the truth? Buy a 99.9% reliable wheel gun or let Granny protect you with her cane. In the interest of not making this thread much longer than it already is, I will not respond further to “Gary” the Google master’s latest retorts. I have more productive things to do with my time than to joust with this self-proclaimed expert, the Internet researching wonder boy. I stand by my original post. Now go back to doing your armchair, pajama-wearing Internet research while I go to the gun range and enjoy what my firearms are actually capable of. When the weather allows, I’m on the outdoor range several times a month. Crappy weather? I’m often at the indoor range. The ammo makers must love me. If something isn’t right, I make it right or I’ll seek out a gunsmith more knowledgeable than myself. I have sent only one firearm back (out of 47) to the manufacturer due to a safety recall. “Gary”, while you’re still in your pajamas staring at your computer screen, you may also want to check into alien abductions, crop circles, and the Bermuda Triangle. All of it true! BTW: you can have the last word, as usual, and then you can sleep tonight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite! P. Wider over and out.

    “I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.”
    Adlai Stevenson

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
    Albert Einstein

    • All you have to do is search the internet for all the reviews on the solo and then if you think you can trust this gun to defend your life or your families life then buy the solo.If the design f the solo was properly engineered we could have bought this gun and shot it without going through the long check list that Patrick has presented you with before firing your solo.Patrick, why was the solo voted worst gun built in the last ten years by all kind of knowledgeable gun people ?? You are really the one that is trying to be the expert. Me no I am not an expert on anything but I do have enough common sense to use the tools provided for us to learn and if a person wants to he or she can be as knowledgeable as anyone.I wasn’t please with what I learned about the solo so I do not mind sharing what I did learn.As you can see in the later post I was also learning from the positive comments on the solo and I did show this from my later comments. Then along came fancy mouth Patrick and started everything back up about the solo.I have been waiting for the trend to turn around with reviews on solo. I am still waiting.

      • OK Gary, let me get this straight: you bought a Solo, and THEN researched it, and based on the reviews you found, you decided you hated it, even though you didn’t fire it?


        • Okay Aaron just for you . You must have miss my early post. Here is the true story on me purchasing the solo. I was visiting Sportsman Warehouse about three years ago and along with me was my beautiful wife that I started going steady with when she was 12 and I was 13.Sorry I drifted off subject.There we were in Sportsmans Warehouse and both of us being gun carriers we wound up in the gun dept. looking at handguns. My wife at the time was carrying 380 LCP. I always wanted her to have more fire power so we looked at 9MM. She did not like the size of the 9’s because she has such little hands.Well low and behold this young salesman brought out this beautiful little pistol and wanted my wife to look at it. You guessed it, my wife absolutely loved the pistol and so did I. Well my wife wanted this pistol knowing I have never denied her of anything.So I bought the jewel.Well of course I was proud of the pistol so I brought the pistol box and all to some friends house that are all gun folks and I was so happy to show them this pistol I bought for my wife. Well Bam these guys busted my bubble right there without my wife being there.They told me man you should not bought her that pistol that Kimber was having all kinds of trouble with the solo. I tried to defend the pistol and they said man don’t take our word for it just look on the internet and you will see for yourself. Well I did just that. I started looking at the reviews and started getting very concerned, Saw huge numbers of bad reviews. Every site I went to same bad reviews. I then called Kimber and talked with them. Kimber acted like they didn’t know anything about issues with the Solo.At this point I think you get the picture.For one thing Kimber wasn’t interested in admitting any problems or making it right with customers that spent $700.00. You can read the reviews yourself for conversations. No I could not defend Kimber but I wasn’t going out of my way not to inform others to make the same mistake I did without researching before purchase.Now Aaron if you want to call me weird THATS YOUR FREEDOM.

        • your reply was too long and rambling, so i didnt bother reading it. did you or did you not perform your own reliability testing? After making sure the gun was properly assembled, of course.

          If not, then I’m not interested in what you have to say.

        • You are missing the point as well as being a rude AH. This is not about my gun. Maybe it would have been alright maybe not. The point is the many reviews that proclaimed the solo as being an unreliable gun as well as a gamble of getting one that work or getting one with issues. I would not have kept the solo if it had issues or not. After reading all the trouble everyone was having I couldn’t rely on the solo. If you can thats your business.I don’t think the people that claim they like them really like them that much after shooting them.Anyhow at this point I think I am done with the solo issue unless someone contacts me and personally wants my opinion I sure will give it to them.

    • Hello Patrick, Just so I can sleep tonight. I didn’t misspell Gwyn, she knows this, you will figure it out. Now about that left wing remark. When I am not on the internet you can find me in front of the TV watching Bill Oriely, Magen Kelly, Shaun Hanity and of course Gretta, Sheppard Smith and the rest of the fair and balanced bunch.I was impressed with your writing skills even though you did pee me off a little. You should be writing for the paper or a magazine.Hope this tells you a little about me whether you care or not. Have a good night.

  73. Wandered over here from a search to see if it was actually possible to get 6-rounds in a SOLO mag and if so what was the trick. I can get 5 but the 6th defeats me.

    My SOLO CDP will feed 147gr defense loads perfectly. It will feed 135gr subsonic loads perfectly. I put a 115 grain in it for less expensive practice it will not fire 5-shots without a combined FTF/FTE. Taking the advice of a Kimber rep I am running it as dry and I can get it without wiping it down with a degreaser. Still have the issue.

  74. Sorry, hit the return by mistake. I read all the controversial reviews, but also read some good ones, so – I traded in a pistol I didn’t shoot very often in hopes I would get one of the good ones. First 18 rounds, no a single issue, and I was falling in love. So, next day I went to give her the real test (had 500 rds of factory xtp’s). Had a FTE in nearly every clip – brass would be about half way out of the chamber. Then, the hold open stopped working. Took her back to house for a thorough cleaning, then back to the range. A FTE about every other mag, hold open still would not work, then on about mid way through the session the right grip panel fell off. No, not the screw backed out, both lugs came off the frame. I, like most folks who spent this kind of cash on a bad product am very discouraged. I really like the pistol, I like the way it feels, like the way it carries – I am sending it off for the month and half wait to see ‘if it needs to be fixed’. I am debating if I should shoot the one I get back, or just go ahead and trade it. I’ve read that the grip coming out of the frame is usually a full frame replacement, so it should look fairly new. I would like to hear any responses from folks that have a solo that functions reliable – please do not respond if you do not, or have not, had one. Also, I am interested in guns that have really been tested (500 rds or more). Thanks – db

  75. Always wanted a Kimber,so in Sept, 2014 purchased a Solo CDP (LG). I assumed the brand name & cost was going to provide me with the ultimate personal protection handgun. The Solo is a beautiful piece however, I should have read the reviews before choosing the Kimber. I like all the quality features of the Solo,however the gun that I have does not function consistently. I followed all the Kimber guidelines with regard to cleaning,break-in and ammo. Tried all three recommended ammo,and a FTE occurs + – every 2nd or 3rd clip . Also tried other 124 & 147 grain ammo with the same result.,for a total of 300 rounds. Don’t quite understand, according to the reviews how some Solo’s will function with any ammo & others ,like mine don’t. Inconsistency hints at quality control ? My gun is being sent back to Kimber, however judging by the reviews , I don’t know that I can feel optimistic.

  76. Glad your test gun worked for you. I bought a Solo “Deep Cover” about a month ago. And just like everyone else in my case I did what Kimber recommended and still I get FTF/FTE about every 2-to-3 magazines. Also I do not know about your magazine but the one I have the spring is so stiff getting that 6th round in to the magazine is just about impossible. Maybe over time it will lighten up enough for me to actually get rounds in there.

    For a pistol that is darn close to one thousand dollars in price this is totally unacceptable.

  77. A follow up comment on my 4/24/15 statement concerning my Kimber Solo CDP (LG)

    Three weeks after sending it back to Kimber due to numerous FTE’s using their recommended ammo , It was returned to me.

    Don’t know what they did, however, after 60 rounds of assorted ammo including cheap 115 grain range ammo , the solo performed flawlessly. It seemed to not have an issue with any ammo that was run thru it . That is what should be expected of any firearm. I feel that Kimber has identified and corrected the issue , and hopefully t will be a permanent fix.

  78. Interesting thread. I’m a new Solo owner, about five boxes deep into ownership. I’ve read numerous reviews and a reader gets a Jekyll and Hyde sort of impression from them. Here’s my perspective based on one gun–mine.

    It’s a good looking gun, but since it’s a carry, reliabilility is number one. Out of five boxes, one was high-end 147 gr defense. Perfect. One box was Blazer 115 gr. No problems. Three boxes were S&B 115 gr. Perfect again. It’ll carry just fine. It shoots extremely well for such a small gun. Groups were good to very good.

    This gun is not for newbs and not for the weak handed. After five boxes, the mag release is still the tightest I’ve ever seen. A one-handed, strong thumb release is almost a parlor trick feat of strength. It is also a difficult gun to rack. If it’s ever so slightly short stoked, it won’t feed. It loads faithfully every time, though, from the locked-back position and when cycled. The sixth round in the mag? Well, it’s another feat of strength, although it’s getting easier. I can’t tell if the mag is breaking in or if my technique is getting better. Based on watching others, it’s the latter.

    I’ll agree that it doesn’t have a fine-tuned 1911 trigger, but that seems to be a pretty unfair comparison. To level the field a bit, the trigger is much better than a Glock’s. The sights are good.

    The safety is the least attractive feature on the gun. It simply doesn’t match the rest of the gun in terms of smoothness or appearance. (The gun is “melted” all around, and has nothing to stick other than the safety.) It works well otherwise and is easy to take off with the firing hand.

    In sum, the gun will be in my pocket today.

  79. Good article and responses (sans petty arguments). I’ve been looking for a pocket pistol in 9mm since Illinois passed concealed carry, and as a scrawny twentysomething most handguns profile regardless of how I tote them. After reading about you guys’ experiences, seems Kimber knows about the reliability problem and is good about fixing it. That combined with the only other major con being muzzle flip, I think I’m sold. Plus it might be worth it to piss of the keyboard crusader who never actually tried out the target of his vendetta.

    • Be careful David, if you say something positive about the Kimber Solo, Captain Keyboard Crusader will not be able to resist the temptation to say something negative about the gun (for the umpteenth time) and something negative about you. All despite the fact that he never fired the gun nor met you.

  80. It is obvious why you 3 people want to bash me. It is because you can’t stand that 75% of the reviews from the others seem to agree with my posts.Even the better reviews on the solo still point out reasons not to trust this gun. ( not for newbs ) ( not for weak wrist ) ( hard to rack slide ) ( harsh muzzle flip ) ( can only load 5 rounds in clip ) I didn’t have to shoot the solo to prove a point which would only have cost me more money. My advise to anyone thinking of purchasing a firearm for personal protection should research the product to see the negatives and positives of the firearm before laying down a grand$$$ and be stuck with what you got.Anyone that does not agree with that is really just trying to start trouble.

  81. I impulse bought the Kimber Solo 9mm at last weekend’s gun show on the looks and name alone and it serves me right. 115’s jam every single time and even with 124’s there was a jam and one failure to lock back in only 3 magazines’ (i.e. 18 rounds) worth of shooting. No bueno.

    True fact – the gun shop owner I took it to over lunch just today does not even take Kimber Solos in on trades because he has a moral problem selling them. I wish I had done my research, oh well.

  82. Did you manage to get every pun you could imagine in this article? Seriously, you need a stage, not an online forum. Your article was almost impossible to read and comprehend through your constant “humor”. Totally frustrating! Also, you should spend some extra time editing rather than trying to figure out puns about gnats.

  83. I understand all the problems that folks are having.
    I’m not sure of the reasons behind all this
    I have not had any problems at all.
    115 gr, 124 gr, Hollow point, FMJ…
    No problems with any brand of ammo…
    good luck to all

  84. I agree with Gary and Paul.
    It’s 3-27-2016 as I write this.
    I have two Solos, a CDP with laser and a DC. With the correct ammo they are flawless. You will have to replace the recoil springs periodically but who cares. Keep them clean as with any other gun and don’t limp wrist them. I carry mine every day.
    I also have a Rohrbaugh which has similar requirements and is flawless.
    For the internet naysayers- I also have a car. As all cars it requires a certain blend of gas, oil, brake fluid, maintainance etc. to run and perform properly. They all require specific components yet we trust them with our lives every day.

  85. This review is worth reading just for the phrase “instant-on giggle switch”. Pretty well sums up my own experience the first time I shot a 9mm Glock. BANG BANG *giggle* BANG *snicker* BANG BANG BANG BANG *guffaw*

  86. I’ve had my Solo about 6 months, fired around 500 rounds thru it. 115 gr, 124gr, both work just fine. The recoil is crisp but manageable as long as you have a proper grip. Limp wrist shooters need not apply as it will eat your lunch and probably FTF or FTE. I think it is a fine piece and if properly handled will do the job well. To you naysayers I say ” this is not a target/competition pistol”. It is a belly gun, it is a “get off me” gun. Treat it as such and you won’t be disappointed.
    Keep it clean.

  87. Well, let me bash the Solo then. I saw the Solo 9 on sale at my local Academy Sports last month, and was really interested. I have heard that Kimber was THE gun manufacturer, and thier poop did not stink. After I handled the gun, looked at it, etc, I told the sales person that I would go home and think about it. I thought about it for a couple of days, finally got the money up to go back to Academy to get the Solo. I wnet in, they still had it, new, in the box, I inspected it again, and stood there thinking again( I knew I should have listened to that still small voice) and decided to bite it and go ahead and buy it. Hey, its a Kimber, you cant go wrong with a Kimber. American company, so great, BLAH BLAH BLAH…….I bought into the hype, like so many did. Its my fault for not reading all the bad reviews on it. I only blame myself for not doing that, and also, like I said, for not listening to that still small voice going off in my head, telling me not to buy it. Its a P.O.S. But, I did not listen. I filled out the paperwork, handed the guy my CCW card, and left Academy with it. BIG MISTAKE! I wanted to carry it, so when I got home with it, I proceded to load the mag with Federal Hydra shock bullets. Great bullets, but very expensive for 20 in a box. I finished loading the magazine, pushed the magazine back in the Solo, tried(noticed I said tried) to rack one in the chamber, and the slide locked back, and the magazine would not release. You could look, and see that the bullet was no where near about to chamber. The magazine was stuck, thus the bullet was no where near the slide to chamber. It was locked up and stuck. I couldnot believe my eyes. This is a GLORIOUS KIMBER people. Come on, the HOLY GRAIL COMPANY, isnt it? Yeah, right! Anyway, I could not get the gun unlocked from its mess up, so I called Academy and told them(now, I just bought the gun and returned home) that what happened, that I could not even chamber a bullet. Thats pathetic, and Kimber is suppose to be so great. I have a freaking Taurus thats more reliable, Yes, thats right a freaking Taurus! And this KIMBER wont even chamber a round,a nd totally locks up right out of the box. SO, I take it back up to Academy Sports, from where I just came from 15 minutes ago, and give it to the salesperson. He beats on the bottom of the Solo, and finally gets the mag free, and the slide back shut. He tries to chamber a round, and it happens again, so needless to say Academy had to send it off to Kimber. Im still waiting on it. Im sure i will be either selling this P.O.S, or trading it for a Ruger LCP9s, or mayby a Sig 9m subcompact. I dont know which, however I can get rid of this CRAP, I will. No more KImbers for me. I have always wanted a Kimber. It was the the HOLY GRAIL for me. Now Im totally disappointed in the quality and workmanship in a suppose to be great American forearms company. Some may be good, I dont know, but Im not going to take that chance anymore. Im not made of money. Its a total waste for a gun that is suppose to be so good. After all, its KIMBER. Im not impressed, sorry. no more Kimbers for me. If a gun cannot perform right out of the box, do you think Im going to trust my life with it. NO WAY! TIme to move on. I just hope it works enough(when I actually get it back from Kimber) to where I can take it to a pawn shop, gun show, or where ever and trade it for a more reliable firearm. WOW Kimber, come on. Really!

  88. Another thing. Any gun that I carry CCW, has to be reliable and eat just about any ammo I put in it.(whatever grain) To have a snob gun, that only performs with only certain types(grain) of ammo is rediculous and unacceptable to me. A CCW gun should not be that way. It sohould be reliable and go bang when you pull the trigger. Your life may depend on it.

  89. My Solo is still at Kimber. The nice lady on the phone told me its going to be another 6 weeks before they can get to it. I also explained to her what happened, and she also explained to me how that little P.O.S gun works. Its very ticky about the ammo it shoots. You cant rack the slide normally like you can normal guns, because its a little gun with a crappy spring in it(I said that). You have to put the magazine in a certain way, then rack the slide very carefully. I told her, yu know what, Thank you for the info, and thank you for being so nice, Im not mad at you, but im just mad and dissapointed in the fact that Kimber would even put out a gun that was suppose to be designed for CCW, and design it to be so ticky about ammo, and to have to treat it with kids gloves to even load the darn thing, so to speak. Thats rediculous and obsurd to tell you the truth. A CCW gun, a real CCW gun should be funtional all the time, not just sometimes when you treat it right, but ALL THE TIME. Also, shoot any ammo you put through it. How can you risk your life with a gun that you can only shoot prime ammo in, and also you have to treat it like a baby. Obsurd in the most sense of the word. PLEASE! I told here straight up, please fix the gun, ship it back, and Im going to either sell or trade the P.O.S. However I can get rid of it, im going to.

  90. I have owned about four of them, from very early to current. I guess I was lucky all along. The only problems I ever had were that 6th young going in the magazine. My current one is flawless, and all black with Night Sights, a DC Model. I’m a Marine Vet of 8 years and a 1911 die-hard obviously. This little beauty is meant to be carried, and to be shot. Mine snaps hard with the +p ammo, but shoots the crappiest 115 just as well. Machine work is perfect, and 1911 Ultra Tool makes a cool little disassembly aid that is worth $30 to simplify takedown. I lines up everything for lever extraction with one hand ease. There is also an aluminum magazine floor plate that gives a place for the pinky.. Buy them online at Amazon, because the eBay sales are terrible, from the same guy. He’s a jerk but the part works OK.

  91. Ok, I see this T&E was way back in 2011ish. Here it is 2017 and I just yesterday received a Kimber Solo purchased from a buddy of mine. He “warned” me of the expensive appetite of this little firearm, and I have never had a firearm that $$$ hungry. So, today I went to the range, and I have to say this. I love the feel of this firearm, it shoots spot on, and FTF after 210 rounds sucks. Yes, I was using Remington 115 grain ammo. To me, a firearm should be able to fire any of the correct caliber ammo it’s fed. Am I going to give up the gun? NO! I did read the post about the little spring poking it’s head out above the left side of the grip plate, and so off to the range I will go tomorrow. I will call Kimber and discuss the FTF and see if there is anything they have learned since 2011, (or not since I’m having the same issues as all of you back then) and hopefully tomorrows trip and knowing about the spring will be the fixit needed. No, I won’t be feeding it’s $$$ habit, I’m going to continue the 115 gr ball ammo.

    • Well, you can be as stubborn as you want, but the pistol will win. I have owned 4, and mine fired everything, but snaps better with at least 125

      • I was born stubborn! lol!
        It’s not a contest between Me and the Kimber, It’s a matter of compatibility, and I am confident we will be.
        One thing that I have to ask for more info in your comment is the “snap” comment you and a lot of others keep talking about. It has no more recoil than any other sub-compact I’ve fired, but everyone complains about the Solo recoil. It’s just a matter of adjustment for the size/weight of the firearm. What do you see as the issue?

        • If you use the right ammo, it will snap hard, but the accuracy will still be there. Let’s face it, use the right ammo, and it will be reliable.

  92. My Solo is 100% reliable. The disclaimer is that I only shoot 124 to 147 grain ammo, as recommended by Kimber. If someone is only able to shoot cheap 115 grain range ammo, then I suggest they buy a Glock. Frankly, I also sometimes carry a Seecamp and a Sig P232 that are both great guns, and are also both far more ammo sensitive, but all small guns pushing the envelope related to their caliber are subject to such potential sensitivity… it’s a basic issue of physics and gravity. The other problem inherent with the Solo is that it seems a LOT of people assemble their gun incorrectly, as it relates to the tiny spring discussed previously. When this happens, it becomes a single shot handgun. This has nothing to do with ammo sensitivity! Though, my guess is that the type of people who never read their gun Owner’s Manual related to the ammo requirements are also they type they don’t bother to read how to reassemble their gun… or ask for directions when lost on the highway. LOL

  93. I thoroughly enjoyed Ralph’s review and metaphors – made me laugh out loud!

    After having never bought a Kimber before, just a couple of days ago I bought a used Solo, since Kimber no longer makes it. It was from a pawnshop, and when I got the gun, included was a copy of a receipt showing they had purchased it back in April 2013, and the gun looks like it has never been fired – no scratches on the frame, barrel or hood, the magazine looks fine, everything.

    And the gun is unbelievably tight/stiff, which brings me to my question. In all the reviews and posts that I’ve read, has anyone had problems getting the slide to lock back when you’re just manually operating the unloaded gun? Because I cannot get my slide to lock back at all.

    I’d hate to think that I’m such a wuss that I don’t have the strength and that it takes the actual recoil of a round to do it, but I guess that’s possible! It’s interesting to me because of all the things I’ve read about the spring being installed the correct way or it’ll cause the slide to lock back after every round. Mine is kind of the inverse question, if you will, in that I can’t get the slide to lock back at all, although again to be honest, I have not yet actually fired the gun.

    Any thoughts? In fact, Kimber stopped making this gun so long ago I’m not sure anybody would even read this at this point. Indeed, the last comment I just saw was from September 2018, but here’s hoping! Thanks.

  94. I’ve carried a N. American Arms Guardian .380 ACP pocket pistol now and then,
    and it’s not a bad weapon loaded with Underwood 90 gr. +P JHP’s – BUT I’ve
    decided that I would rather carry a deep conceal (crotch carry) CZ-75 Compact
    9mm (14+1). It’s small enough to conceal, heavy enough to handle HST 147 gr.
    +P JHP’s and I feel much more secure than with my “mouse gun”.


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