A Range Report At Last - Kimber Forum


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Old 08-06-2017, 08:14 PM   #1
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A Range Report At Last

BRIEF: The Kimber Solo, while not for a novice shooter, is an astoundingly capable concealed carry pistol.


So, after much delay and anticipation, I finally took full ownership of my Kimber Solo DC. (I was unaware that, as a recently retired federal LEO, I could no longer take possession of a purchased firearm the same day in Rhode Island. Yes, the powers that be here have decided that, the day I was no longer active duty, I could no longer be trusted with purchasing a weapon and not waiting a full 7 days before taking possession. So much for 34 years of service to society.) Without delay, and without even the benefit of a thorough cleaning and lubrication, I took it right from the sales desk to the establishment's range and put 75-100 rounds through it.

A brief preface: I had looked the pistol over when it arrived at my LGS from the gunbroker seller, and it looked like it had come directly from the factory. I'd be shocked if the previous owner had even fired it. Second, the Solo looked even higher quality than I'd remembered from handling one in the past. The all-black DC with the Micarta grips is very sharp, and my Kahr PM9 seems much more blocky and less refined in comparison. STILL, I've had my share of pistol disappointments in the past couple of years, and with all the negative press swirling around the Solo, I tried to remain cautious in my optimism.

On to the range. I brought along my PM9 for comparison, since they occupy the same single-stack niche. Similar in size, similar in weight, same ballpark for price. My PM9 needed a little break-in, but it's been 100% reliable after the first 150 or so rounds.

All the shooting was done at 7 yards (the minimum distance at this indoor range). I used solely Gold Dots 124 grain 9mm +P…it was one of our carry rounds in ICE after extensive testing, and if you look at tests like those done my Lucky Gunner it hits the sweet spot for FBI-testing penetration. Rapid fire is discouraged at my range, so I fired at a fast but not hectic pace. I used a bad guy target, aiming at center mass. (I don't, and never have, shot for bullseye accuracy. i've been trained to combat fire center mass in a hurried manner, and my goal is to put the rounds in a salad-plate-circumference at combat distances ((less than 20 feet)). Both I and my gun have done their job it that's where the rounds go.)

I fired the Solo first, and after two magazines my initial impressions were 1) Wow, what a natural shooter, and 2) D**n, that is one angry little firearm.

The Solo feels great in the hand. It's a natural point-shooter, but Kimber also put amazing tritium 3-dots on it to aid the process. It presents great for a pistol that feels like a little .380. The magazine release button takes a bit of pressure (good for a carry pistol), but the magazines jump out once it's pushed. I found the slide release harder to work, but since I've always been trained to slingshot, it is inconsequential to me. I also won't use the safety, but found that it was easy to engage and snicked into place with certainty.

The trigger is sublime…short travel, light and consistent pull, and a break that will surprise you every time. Even at that, though, I was able to learn to stage it, taking out just a little bit of slack so I could really bear down on the sight for the last 1/16." But once that trigger does it's job…BEWARE! The Gold Dots are a pretty hot round, but shooting them out of my Glock 26 felt like .22s compared to the Kimber. I have no problem with heavy recoil, but even I was laughing with the range master after about 50 rounds…my hand felt like it'd been beaten with a rubber hose. Still, I didn't buy the Kimber as a range gun. It's intended as a small, EDC single-stack 9mm with a tiny profile that's easy to dress around, and it does fills that roll with aplomb.

Perhaps most importantly, the Kimber cycled 100% of the rounds without a hiccup. All my fears were laid to rest after reading so many horror stories,

I shot my Kahr intermittently throughout the process, and the PM9 suffered by comparison. It may have handled the recoil a bit better, but the Kahr trigger, although excellent, was nowhere near as good as the Solo. It's sights didn't present quite as well for me, and it felt a bit…chunky…compared to the Solo. (This is all subjective, mind you…the PM9 is a great little single stack. It just lags a bit compared to the Kimber.)

A tribute to both pistols at the end of my hour-long session: a center mass crater was completely blown out of my target, and even the few flyers were but inches away and well within the 5-point zone. Both are amazingly accurate pistols, especially for their size.

Bottom line: I may have, at last, found the carry pistol of my dreams. It exudes quality, is nicely smoothed out around the edges both for aesthetics and carry, has the best trigger of any pistol I've owned, and is 100% reliable with an effective self-defense ammo. Just for fun, when I got home from the range I compared it two my two .380s, the RM380 and the Pico. The KImber is bigger, but it's close. Close enough that it's got me wondering how many times I'll be reaching for the Remington or Beretta in the weeks ahead. Neither can compare to the Kimber for either range ergonomics or ballistics, so unless I'm in minimalist clothing that makes the extra couple of ounces or centimeters matter, I'm thinking the Solo is going to get the bulk of my carry duties.

And did I mention how dead sexy this little pistol is?
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:16 PM   #2
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Did I mention how pretty my Solo is?

Because of that, I decided against buying a Kydex holder from any of my favorite manufacturers. No sense tempting fate and marking up my Kimber already.

But I love the fit and retention of Kydex, and have come to prefer IWB carry with a hybrid setup.

After much research, I found Garrett Holsters, who make a leather-lined Kydex holster. Better still, their Silent Thunder Solo (how appropriate!) is a hybrid setup, so you don't have the hard Kydex shell against your body.

Looks like I'll have to wait a few weeks for delivery, but--amazingly--my Solo fits remarkably well in my Don Hume PM9 holsters, so I won't have to keep my Kimber waiting in a dark, lonely safe while I await delivery.

And I've already bought some fancy grips and 1911 grip screws to customize my Kimber. Pictures to follow…..
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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First, thank you for all your years of service! Second & third, welcome to the forum & congratulations on your new pistol. I don't own a Solo but I've always thought it was a good looking pistol! There are some people on here that have had issues with the Solo & others that just love it and are problem free. There should be lots of info on the Solo forum to peruse, hope it will be informative for you. Good luck & God bless you & keep you safe in retirement!
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by starnovi View Post
First, thank you for all your years of service! Second & third, welcome to the forum & congratulations on your new pistol. I don't own a Solo but I've always thought it was a good looking pistol! There are some people on here that have had issues with the Solo & others that just love it and are problem free. There should be lots of info on the Solo forum to peruse, hope it will be informative for you. Good luck & God bless you & keep you safe in retirement!
Thanks very much. It was an honor and pleasure to serve. Love this forum, and happy to be a member of the Kimber family.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:00 PM   #5
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Great Report!

The Solo is a sleek looking and great feeling in the hand handgun. Here is the one I bought. Believe it or not I am looking for a DC myself just because of the way they look. You might like the finger extension I put on the magazine. They are machined aluminum and available at amazon.com they are a little pricey but it makes gripping really nice! I bought two in Black and two in clear anodized. They are at Black Optics.

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Old 08-07-2017, 06:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for your service and welcome tothe site . Nice range report, they are great little handguns. I have 3 and all shoot great. If you want to sell the stock grips off the dc let me know, again great report sounds like you have a keeper.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:15 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum from AL. As the other have said, thank you so much for your service! Great range report, but, it's missing pictures. I love pictures and the DC is a sexy gun for sure.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:41 AM   #8
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First (and foremost), thank you for your service !!
Second, Welcome to the forum !
and Thirdly, welcome to the Solo Ownership Club !!!

Great range report on a great little pistol. I now own two and both are shooting without issue now, each time I take them out for some range exercise. My first one was a used Solo Carry that took some time to get the kinks worked out, but I was able to do so without a trip to Yonkers. The second, a new Solo CDP has been 100% out the box. Its now in my available carry roster of pistols and has been getting some carry time lately.

There are a few nay-sayers on this site that have had some horrible experiences, and I can't say I blame them for having a bad taste in their mouth for Solos based on their individual experiences, but there are also some of us that love our Solos and share information willingly and freely

Keep shooting and sharing your experiences...... we love pics too !
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:07 PM   #9
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Congratulations on your purchase, a fellow Solo DC EDC user, I always like to read positive reviews. After many years of studying the Solo and reviews, I've come to the conclusion that 99% of the bad reviews are by people who bought a gun they liked for the size of it, having no knowledge of firearms, ballistics or shooting. The other 1% seems to be the unlucky few that happen to get a monday or friday gun. I EDC in a Galco Stinger after having tried others and can attest to it not marring up the gun, providing you don't leave it in there after sweating profusely on it! Even here in South Carolina, as hot and humid as it is, I have yet to mark the gun up after 2 solid years of OWB carry and 1 previous year of pocket carrying in a Desantis Super Fly. Like others, I STRONGLY recommend the finger extension, it will make you even happier with the gun. I also recommend you step away from the +P ammo, it serves no purpose in our pistol... the short barrel negates any gains in ballistics, so all you end up with is extra recoil for no pay off. I will say the GD 124gr is the most accurate round I've shot from the Solo, the HST Micro being the least recoil, but you do give up some penetration to that particular round.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:37 PM   #10
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Excellent range report. I don't own a Solo but they do look and sound like interesting guns. Maybe a bit small for my big mitts but worth a look.

Welcome and good job on the comparison reporting.
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