I may have been wrong. Maybe.

At SHOT Show took a look at the brand new and shiny Kimber Solo 9mm.  At for some reason that I can’t put my finger on… I disliked it.  No, let me be clear.  I hated it.  I wouldn’t have one.  Even if it was gifted to me, I’d sell to some unfortunate nitwit who would think it was nifty and then I’d go buy something I liked more and could get more use out of… like blister cream or 8 Track tapes.

And now here it is, six months later.  To be honest, it’s grown on me.  I no longer hate it.  For some reason I can’t put my finger on… I kinda like it, and I wouldn’t mind having it.  But I’d still never actually buy it.

It’s… hmm… I’m searching for the right word for it… “Nice”.  It’s a nice little gun.   And perhaps that’s its problem from the start.  You see, a universally accepted good gun like a 1911 Commander .45 is great looking gun… beautiful, in the eyes of fellows like me.   At the same time it feels just gorgeous in the hand.  It fits.   It also looks like what a Weapon should look like… it looks like it’s going to destroy something, it just hasn’t decided who yet.  It has a form that’s based on it’s function and that function is to put large bullets through bad guys.

And this is where the Kimber Solo Nine Millimeter fails.  Even in the name, just say the name a few times out loud… it even just sounds “Nice”.  Like something Julie Andrews might have in her purse… it’s just well mannered and nice.  Or like something you might spread on a piece of toast.  It’s nice… Pleasant, without being fun or too interesting.   Like having a Brunch with your Grandmother… nice…  And that’s what put me off of the Solo.  It is completely lacking in Sex and Violence.

Julie Andrews approves of the Kimber Solo.

Now, if Kimber was to scale the Solo up… to say .45… then all the sudden it would become very interesting.  Or even something slightly different, like .357 SIG.  But just a 9mm?  Sure, it works… perfectly serviceable.  Certainly better than a .380… it’s nice.   But I won’t buy Nice.  Not for the price.  The thing is retailing for about $630 and for that much salad you have a world of other options that are less “nice” with more Sex and Violence.

Can you imagine the Solo in .357 SIG?  Kind of like a young Julie Andrews playing a lead role in a remake of Bound.  Proper, but she’s a dirty dirty girl behind closed doors.

Alternatives would be perhaps a Kahr MK9, or if you can find one, a Colt Pocket 9 – which I am still wanting one day.  A Springfield EMP9 would also be pretty cool.  But the Solo 9?  It just leaves me feeling less than satisfied.

I think I just might be the first gun writer that has compared a handgun to the star of Sound of Music… Well, at least not to Captain Von Trapp.

9 thoughts on “I may have been wrong. Maybe.”

  1. I was intrigued with this little pistol as well, until I actually tried to shoot one. There is something about the way the always ambi magazine release is designed and located that made it all too easy for the release to be pressed, sometimes causing the magazine to unseat periodically when the pistol fired, and the pistol was gripped with both hands. (This malfunction went away when the pistol was gripped with my right hand only.)

    Incidentally, I have a medium-sized hand and a high, thumbs-forward grip. Moreover, I don’t have some kind of weird jacked-up newbie grip – I have had a moderate amount of formal training with the pistol, both on the federal government’s dime as well as out of my own pocket. I have fired tens thousands of rounds through the M9 Beretta and the Glock FOW without this ever having happened before.

    Perhaps this “magazine releases while firing” issue could be overcome through extensive training, or the pistol I had was a defectively-manufactured lemon. But my sample of one was not encouraging, to say the least.

  2. Maybe a name change would help. Kimber could have a contest. The Kimber “Surprise”,
    “Dragonete”,”Viper”,”Witch”,or “Edge”.

  3. Normans report brings up one of the reasons that I’ve grown leery of ambidextrous controls. I removed the ambi thumb safety on my Rock Island Tactical because of the way I carry. (Also I wanted to go to a low ride Gunsite thumb safety) I’ve heard of other people having problems with magazine and slide releases that were ambi also.

  4. Here’s another Julie Andrews comparison for you.

    If they made the Solo in .45, they could offer easily swapped out grips. ‘Manly’ black ones, ‘Girly’ pink ones, and call it ….

    The Victor/Victoria!


  5. Mongol:
    You owe me some handi-wipes for my key board.
    Left grip pink, right grip blue, squeeze it tight and it will….oh never mind.

  6. Kimber just replaced my first Solo. Having suffered FTEs without count, peening of the barrel and slide. A slide that wouldn’t stay back and a magazine that fell apart, I don’t want to even shoot the new one. Odds are it’s perfect but I’m selling.

  7. Call me selfish but all I’m interested in is finding out if the Solo’s magazine (both regular & extended) will fit in my Colt Pocket Nine. Anyone know the answer to this?

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