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I've had some thoughts on Solo ammo reliability. I measured several types of 9mm ammo. RN it tends to be on the long side of acceptable OAL. The semi-wadcutter shapes are a little shorter, but the shapes are such that they would strike the ramp at about the same point. The breech face to barrel distance on the Solo is very short. There's not a whole lot of margin for inconsistencies.

I think that's the whole problem with the Solo, or any mechanical device that is built to endure tight tolerances: when you start introducing wider variables, problems can arise.

So what if I loaded some 9mm ammo to a shorter OAL, but still within specs? Maximum allowable length is 1.169". Minimum is 1.000". That's a HUGE difference. An extra 0.100" would give the cartridge more time to pop up and stabilize before the slide slams it into the barrel. On the other hand, the angle between the base and the point where the bullet contacts the ramp would be greater, possibly creating more binding.

My thoughts are that this is an issue worthy of experimentation. As I've been typing this, I've also been browsing the web on the subject. Apparently my thoughts are in no way original or novel, and the problem is far more complex than I imagined. Below is a link to what I think is the most informative web page. Has anyone else dabbled in handloading with the primary goal being increased reliability?

Bullet Design and Feeding Reliability
 

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If you have a finicky gun that only likes a certain bullet type or OAL, hand loading is the cure all. If you know that a certain gun will only operate with this type bullet at this exact length, as a hand loader you now have a extremely reliable gun(just make sure you keep a good supply of components on hand)

I believe in sticking with what you know for a fact works, I have been reloading my handgun training rounds for over 20 years. My recipes are proven to function 100% in my assortment of handguns. Keeping with the same philosophy all my carry ammo is Remington Golden Saber, I have years and years of shooting this ammo out of all my different gun makes and calibers and it simply works every time.

One thing about the Solo I find interesting is Kimbers advice to use 124 gran bullets. I have always felt the 115 gran 9mm ammo was by far the least reliable.
I only shoot 124 or 147 9mm in my carry and training ammo.

If I owned a Solo, I would do exactly as you stated find a recipe that functions 100%(providing there are no other issues with the gun)and if I needed too I could also make my carry rounds.
 

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I can understand the consternation about not being able to shoot anything you want at the range as cheap range ammo might be more desirable.
But I fail to grasp the problem of having to use only ammo that is consistently reliable and better suited for self defense when conceal carrying as long as the proper ammo were readily available. Why would you want to use anything else other than what works best in your gun?
At least this would not be a problem with me, but to each their own.
Certainly would be a problem if the gun only functioned properly with special hand loads and would concede that such a gun is not really practical to own.
 

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I understand what you mean by a practical to own and cheap training ammo. But when you have the capability to make tens of thousands of inexpensive(note, I did not say cheap)training and carry rounds, then that solves both problems. It cost me $140-150 to make 1000 9mm training rounds, that are a better quality ammo then any of the Walmart value pacts that will cost you roughly $100 more.
Your gun will function 100% all the time, where this gun would be a problem is in a SHTF scenario, but really a Kimber Solo would not be a prime candidate in that situation anyway.
While I get and agree a gun should run reliably with different kinds of ammo.
But if you own a gun that dose not, but you really like the gun and want to keep it and enjoy it, there is a way and that way is also much more cost effective and satisfying in the long run.
 

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I understand what you mean by a practical to own and cheap training ammo. But when you have the capability to make tens of thousands of inexpensive(note, I did not say cheap)training and carry rounds, then that solves both problems. It cost me $140-150 to make 1000 9mm training rounds, that are a better quality ammo then any of the Walmart value pacts that will cost you roughly $100 more.
Your gun will function 100% all the time, where this gun would be a problem is in a SHTF scenario, but really a Kimber Solo would not be a prime candidate in that situation anyway.
While I get and agree a gun should run reliably with different kinds of ammo.
But if you own a gun that dose not, but you really like the gun and want to keep it and enjoy it, there is a way and that way is also much more cost effective and satisfying in the long run.
In such case, I would say you have the best of both worlds.
 
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