I recently decided to purchase a Micro 9 for concealed carry. I liked my XDS 9mm, but just couldn’t stand the spongey trigger with all the pre-travel, even after installing a Powder River Precision sear and spring kit.
My favorite gun is, pretty much, any 1911. For me, the Springfield 1911 TRP, is the perfect gun. It’s comfortable, reliable, accurate, powerful and sexy. I haven’t owned every manufacturer or model 1911, so I’m sure there are some real beauties out there. But the baseline for all comparisons is my Springfield TRP.
I decided that I wanted a light 9mm carry pistol, but prefer the feel, features and operation of a 1911-style weapon. Now, I realize that comparing a compact carry pistol to my Springfield cannon is not entirely fair, so I won’t compare the two directly, but just individual characteristics.
I purchased my Micro 9mm in stainless with white-dot sights for $549. The earlier models came with black sights, which I’m not a fan of. I wouldn’t mind fiber, but there aren’t a whole lot of options available at this time.
The finish on the gun is lovely. The frame is silver finished aluminum and just gorgeous to look at. The weight is ridiculous… so LIGHT. Without magazine, it weighs in just under a pound. The other things I immediately noticed were the smooth grips and extremely sharp machined edges. Nothing that draws blood, but certainly not pleasant to the touch or easy on a holster. The slide-stop is one such piece. It is machined stainless steel with nice ribs that are comfortable and prevent slip. But the edges are quite sharp and when introduced to the leather of a holster it left some deep grooves and took a few divots out of my brand new N82. I used an Emory board to take the edge off without touching the flat surfaces or disturbing the finish. Much better!
The magazine well is beveled, but the stock six-round magazine is not. It has a flat stainless floorplate which actually recesses into the frame (yellow arrow). The only part of the magazine that can be accessed, if a malfunction occurs, is the front of the floorplate which is exposed through a small cutout in the frame in front of the mag well. The edges of this cutout are SHARP (purple arrows). I used the Emory board again to soften and round the edges without ruining the finish of the gun. The stock magazine doesn’t SLAP into place very easily since it is fully recessed within the frame of the gun when seated. So you have to push it into place with your thumb. This magazine should have had a beveled rubber boot (bumper pad) that extends below the frame that would allow you to slap it into place with ease and comfort. This was a missed opportunity by Kimber. There is an easy solution though… SEVEN-round extended magazines.
Seven-Round Extended Magazine
Unlike many compact guns without full-sized grips, this gun is plenty comfortable with only two-fingers on it. With my sausage fingers, my pinky has nothing to grip on the M&P Shield, XDS or Micro 9mm. But unlike the former, I feel comfortable firing the Micro 9 with only two fingers on the handle. However, I still prefer a place for my lonely pinky to grip. The extended magazines will provide this. And this is where I ran into my next disappointment. The pinky extension of the extended magazine is smooth, slippery plastic. In conjunction with the smooth grips, I was not happy when my hand began to sweat. And I can’t guarantee that when I need to use my weapon in a self-defense situation that my hands will be dry. To remedy this, I cut some small strips of Talon rubberized grip tape around the plastic pinky extension. This made all of the difference. Just that little tackiness was all my pinky needed to really feel secure. When applying the tape, I added a small rectangle piece to the front of the magazine first, then applied my long strip over it to build out the front for additional height and compression. For me, it just felt better with the pinky pushed out that extra 1/16th of an inch.
The gap between the magazine and frame is aesthetically unpleasing, but a necessary evil since it is spring-loaded and has to fully engage to seat. It could be tighter… but is really not a big deal. You can add a thin strip of black foam tape or black O-ring if it bothers you that much. It will only bother you if you stare at your gun in wonder all day.
Rosewood is not my bag. Lovely on guitar fingerboards and some guns, but not my bag. I would have tolerated them if they provided outstanding grip…. Alas they don’t. Again, this is a personal preference. Many may love the grips. But with my pachyderm skin, I need something more aggressive to detect any nerve signals. At first, I added some 3M Safety-Walk 370 Gray tape to the frame as a front strap, as the frame is a super-slick, high-gloss clear coat. The tape is thick and aggressive, but looked good due to the matching color of the rear checkered strap. So long as you don’t try to make the curve toward the trigger guard, the tape will stick. The photo displays my first application of the tape, where I continued to the trigger guard. The curve is too much for the thick tape and it began to lift in one corner. I cut the tape down and added a curved arch at the top. This worked great and looked terrific. But it still wasn't optimal.
Then VZ Grips released their custom grips for the Micro 9. Among their designs is the Double Diamond Black G10 grips which is similar to my Springfield TRP. Rather pricey at $60, but unbelievable effective. Not only do the grips look delicious, but they perform even better. No front strap is even necessary. The gun became glued to my hand in pure comfort. Remember, I have thick skin and virtually no feeling, so aggressive grips suit me.
Although the grips adherence to your hand is more than adequate, I still like a little texture on my fingers along the front strap. I added some 3M Safety-Walk 220 Clear tape which is much thinner (half the thickness) than the gray 370 tape and far less aggressive. It isn’t very rubbery or tacky like the Talon grip tape, but added just enough texture to leave my hand fully content.
Racking the gun is simple, even for my wife. The feed ramp is very narrow and nearly straight up and down due to the miniscule size of the firearm. So you can’t do a controlled rack. Yank the slide and let it go and she’ll successfully rack every time. I haven’t had a single jam during initial load, testing, or firing.
The trigger is not a slide-style trigger like a 1911, but a hinged trigger. No set screw for over-travel adjustment, although this design could have used the set screw for pre-travel adjustment. The pre-travel is about 1/8” which is not bad. I would prefer less, like the match trigger in the TRP, but this is far better than any XDS or Glock trigger. The specifications state a factory trigger weight of 7.0 pounds. Mine broke at nearly 8.0 lbs., although I must say, it doesn’t feel that high. Personally, I like 4-5 lbs. If your finger touches the trigger, it should be for making the gun go boom. And this should not require effort. The trigger has a crisp break and is nice and consistent and doesn’t require a whole lot of effort. No spongey, gritty trigger like the XDS, and a nice reset.
Shooting the gun is a real pleasure. It has smooth recoiling and for such a small, light gun, hardly moved at all when rapid firing. FYI… I fire Federal 147 grain, exclusively. My groupings had a 2 inch radius at 10 yards. I found that my left index finger naturally wanted to wrap around the front of the trigger guard, which I think helps to keep the gun in place while firing. I fired 200 rounds my first outing and could have fired another 200 with ease.
Out of the box, I would give the gun a 7.5
. The smooth grips and polished, slick front strap area did not meet my satisfaction. The stock six-cartridge magazine is terrible. The extended 7-round magazine fixed this. I would think one would be included when purchasing the gun. The extended magazine could use a longer pinky extension, perhaps with some texture or a curved bottom. And you could ALMOST jam an 8th cartridge in the magazine. A smidge longer, and it could have been an 8-round magazine with a slightly larger pinky extension with a nice curve at the bottom!!!
The VZ Grips made a world of difference. It’s a shame these style grips don’t come stock on the gun. A removable front strap or even a slightly rougher-textured front strap area would have been beneficial for me, but I’m happy with my clear bathtub tape.
With my minor and simple alterations to the extended magazine, textured rubber pinky extension, the front strap tape, and new grips, I would rate the gun at 8.5
If the trigger was lighter and had a smidge less pre-travel, I would rate it at 9.0
out of 10
. Add fiber sights or tritium/fiber combination sights on top of a slightly longer pinky extension and the trigger adjustments and it would get a 10