Saturday, March 05, 2011

Kimber Solo 9mm Review


I have finally gotten my hands on the Kimber Solo!  I have been eagerly waiting for any dealer near me to get one.  On Wednesday the Manager of Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale, MN contacted me and told me that his dealer’s display model was in.  Rather than just have it sit in the display case they were going to make it a range rental pistol so perspective customers could actually shoot the thing before deciding to order one.  Wow…this makes a lot of sense!  Even better, he offered me the opportunity to be the first one to shoot the pistol.  It took about a nanosecond for me to accept that offer.

The first thing to strike you about the Solo is that it is a very handsome little pistol and “little” is the operative word.  


I have longed for someone to produce the Colt Model 1903/1908 (.32 ACP and .380 ACP) Pocket Hammerless in a 9mm platform.  
The resemblance with these pistols is uncanny; the Solo looks like the Darwinian evolution between the .25 ACP version of the model 1908 and the .380 ACP version of the same model.  The Solo evolved into a size "in-between" the two Colt pocket pistols chambered in a much more effective caliber.

Never have I so anticipated the arrival of a pistol which has received such a spate of negative chatter on the internet boards. 
·       
       “Five our of six rounds jammed" read one person's posting

·       “It’s just trying to be a Kahr PM9”

·        “I wouldn’t want one because the trigger is not as good as the Kahr PM9”

·        “I wouldn’t  want  one because it is striker fired”

Let me address these one by one:

Reliability
Six people total shot this pistol this afternoon.   The instruction booklet stated that the pistol should be broken in by shooting 24 rounds of 124 grain factory fresh ammunition.   I put 12 rounds of 124 grain PMC JHP ammo, followed by 20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point 124 grain ammo, followed by 12 rounds of Winchester Bonded 147 Grain PDX JHP ammo, followed by 6 rounds of Pow ‘R Ball 100 grain + P ammo, followed by 10 rounds of Corbon DPX solid copper 115 grain + P hollow point ammo, followed by 20 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain ammo, followed by 12 rounds of Hornady 124 grain XTP JHP ammo, followed by 50 rounds of Sellior & Belloit 115 grain FMJ ammo;  142 rounds and no jams.  After that I put another 100 rounds of Sellior & Belloit through the pistol and the jams began to occur.  In fact it became impossible to fire a full magazine without at least three jams.

It’s Just Trying to be a Kahr PM9
That statement is just silly.  Why would it try to be the same thing as a Kahr which is a popular pistol and well made pistol?   The Solo is trying to be better than a Kahr PM9…and it is!  Better trigger pull and better ergonomics aided by a 1911 grip angle--a subtle but important difference.

I Wouldn’t Want One Because It is Striker Fired
Oh grow up.  People have been singing that song since the Glock was first introduced.  Millions of Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&Ps, Springfield XDs and XDMs, and Kahr striker fired pistols have been sold and the striker fired platform has become the most prolific handgun operating system in the our modern age.

Since it is most often compared to the Kahr PM9 let’s look at the specifications side by side:

Specifications
Model
Caliber
Height
Length
Barrel Length
Width
Weight
Capacity
Sights
Kimber Solo
9mm
3.9”
5.5”
2.7”
1.2”
17 oz
6 + 1
3 Dot Fixed
Kahr PM9
9mm
4”
5.3”
3”
.90”
15.9 oz
6 + 1
3 Dot Fixed

There is not much difference between the dimensions of these pistols.  The difference is in the aesthetics and handling.  The Kahr PM 9 is butt ugly compared to the Kimber Solo.

Kimber Solo Performance “At-A-Glance”






Handling
Terrible
Poor
Acceptable
Good
Excellent
Fit & Finish
Terrible
Rough
Acceptable
Good
Excellent
Sights
None
Too Small
Useable
Good
Excellent
Trigger
Terrible
Poor
Acceptable
Good
Excellent
Power Scale
.22LR
.380 ACP
9mm
.40 S&W
.45 GAP
Carry/Concealment
Too Large
Compact
Ultra Compact
Micro Compact
Pocket Pistol
Reliability
Unreliable
Somewhat Reliable
Fair
OK
Completely Reliable
Accuracy
Poor
Fair
Acceptable
Combat +
Bullseye

Let’s examine the individual characteristics of the Solo:






Handling
Terrible
Poor
Acceptable
Good
Excellent

The handling is excellent.  For me the Kimber Solo has a better grip angle than the Kahr pistols.  She also sports ambidextrous slide safeties and melted edges including the ambidextrous magazine release.

In using the magazine release I found that I had to be certain that it was pushed in completely, almost flush with the frame.  The magazine would not drop free for me but I think that had more to do with my fat hands blocking the drop due to the small frame on this pistol than anything mechanically wrong with the pistol.






Fit & Finish
Terrible
Rough
Acceptable
Good
Excellent

The fit is fantastic with a dual tone Kim-Pro finish that provides the shooter with a black frames and stainless steel slide.






Sights
None
Too Small
Useable
Good
Excellent

The sights are very easy to pick up and the only drawback is that they are not night sights.







Trigger
Terrible
Poor
Acceptable
Good
Excellent

The trigger pull averaged 6.4 pound trigger pull but the smoothness of the pull made it seem like it was about a 4 pounds pull.






Power Scale
.22LR
.380 ACP
9mm
.40 S&W
.45 ACP/GAP

Well, it’s no .45 ACP but it is a sweet shooting 9mm and + P ammo was not at all difficult to shoot in this small package.






Carry/Concealment
Too Large
Compact
Ultra Compact
Micro Compact
Pocket Pistol


The Kimber Solo would disappear in a waistband holster and make you forget it was even there.  She could also be carried in a pocket holster with comfort and ease.






Reliability
Unreliable
Somewhat Reliable
Fair
OK
Completely Reliable

I have already discussed the reliability issues above.  Suffice it to say that I do not have any concerns over the reliability of the Kimber Solo.






Accuracy
Poor
Fair
Acceptable
Combat +
Bullseye

I give this a rating of Combat + due to the pistol’s ability to keep the shots within the center mass of the target at greater distances.  Ana seems to like the group she shot with Hornady Critical Defense ammo at 21 feet.

The following targets were all shot at a distance of 21 feet:

1.      12 rounds of 124 grain PMC JHP ammo,

2.      20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point 124 grain ammo

3.      12 rounds of Winchester Bonded 147 Grain PDX JHP ammo

4.      6 rounds of Pow ‘R Ball 100 grain + P ammo, this round makes the lightweight Kimber Solo bounce!

5.      10 rounds of Corbon DPX solid copper 115 grain + P hollow point ammo

6.      12 rounds of Hornady 124 grain XTP JHP ammo

7.      Followed by 50 rounds of Sellior & Belloit 115 grain FMJ ammo

The next three targets were fired from 35 feet, 50 feet and 75 feet using Sellior and Belloit 115 grain FMJ ammo.

There are a few opportunities to make the Kimber Solo even better:   

·        Maybe the moniker “Solo” was selected because, as usual, Kimber only sends their pistols with one magazine which is contrary to the fact that every instructor will tell you to carry at least one reload.
·        Night sights.  The Solo is crying out for them.
·        No short trigger reset.  The trigger must completely return to its starting point in order to fire the next round.  

The first and third points are doubtful to be addressed but I think the second point will eventually be rectified.  

With warmer months just around the corner small but powerful pistols will be all the rage.  Unfortunately I cannot recommend this pistol until Kimber solves the reliability issue.  Too many shooters have posted the same problems on various internet forums that myself and the range officers experienced.  The accuracy is better than expected but the reliability factor is a deal breaker.  Maybe Kimber released this one before they got the bugs worked out.

58 comments:

Chris said...

I wouldn't wait until they're mathematically eliminated. Last year they were practically eliminated by June. Dare to dream!

Eclectic Breakfast said...

I do wish Ana wasn't pointing the Solo at her pretty fingers in the photo.

Nice review. Just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more. Nicely done

wasiech said...

The gun shop called, my Solo was in. First I read the instructions, bought Hornady TAP 124g, then lubed the pistol. The only issue I found was that the magazine spring is stiff and with 6 rounds the first bullet didn't always chamber. When I went to 5 rounds, no problems. Left the magazine with 6 rounds in it and expect the problem will go away. Did fire some generic 115g. Again No problems. I think a lot of the "jams" reported are due to the stiff spring.

wasiech said...

Today the gun shop called. My Solo was in. When I picked it up I bought 124g Hornady TAP ammo to make sure the break-in went well. Fired 50 rounds. 40 of the Hornady and 10 rounds of some generic 115g. No problems with cycling. The only issue I had was when I loaded 6 rounds in the magazine. Then had some failures to fully chamber. The reason was that the magazine spring was stiff and the round stuck. When I went to 5 rounds the issue went away. That could well be the reason for all those reported ‘jams”

rjf415 said...

Nice review on a good design, so far the best review on the Solo to date. Night sights! You don't need any stickin' night sights--you really think you're going to see those glow-in-the-dark green orbs hovering in the dark when "life happens"--if you believe that then the Cubs will definitely win the pennant.

Average Joe said...

Eclectic Breakfast,

Actually if you look closely there is a bend in the target and her fingers are well out of the way however, you point is well taken and I'll be more careful in selecting photos in the future.

Wasiech,

The range reports that they are having issues with the magazine and downloading them does the trick in getting it to run without jamming. They are contacting Kimber for an answer on the magazine issue. I will keep readers updated.

RJF415,

With my eyesight I need the night sights just to see the front sight during daylight. But you make a point; they should offer the Solo with the sight trough ala the RCP!

wasiech said...

Kimber solo range report: Third trip to the range and 126 rounds used. That brings the pistol to 246 rounds.

My daughter and I went to Cabels to pick up some the ammunition listed as working with the pistol. (copied below) We bought and paid:

Winchester USA, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., FMJ (USA9MM)* 14.99
Winchester USA, 9mm LUGER, 115gr., JHP (USA9JHP)* 14.99
Sellier & Bellot9mm LUGER, 115 gr., FMJ (SB31042)* 13.99 Oddly the range had it at 12.99 and used it for their rentals
American Eagle®, 9mm LUGER, 115gr., FMJ (AE9DP) 14.99

The only brand the Kimber didn't like was the 124gr. Winchester NATO. We fired 6 Hornady TAP rounds then opened the Winchester. In 3 magazine there was at lest one FTE. Switched to the Winchester 115gr. and no problems (24 rounds.) (Think Wally World carries this)Next was the Sellier & Bellot (18 rounds) and no problems. Tried the Federal (48 rounds) and still no problems. Finally went back to the Winchester 124 (30 rounds total) and no problems.

Couple of points. The Kimber Solo doesn't need ammo that costs an arm and a leg to work. However the gun show special doesn't work. Second the "24 round break in" is, at best, optimistic. Seems this one took 130 rounds or so to be happy.

Accuracy. When I sat on my bad habits (jerk, finger placement) my groups were tight. Better it seems then the Kahr, Kel-tec,and Taurus subcompacts I tried.

CCI®:
Blazer®, 9mm LUGER, 124gr FMJ (3578)
Blazer”l, 9mm LUGER, 147gr FMJ (3582)*

Federal®:
American Eagle®, 9mm LUGER, 115gr., FMJ (AE9DP)
American Eagle®, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., FMJ (AE9AP)
American Eagle®, 9mm LUGER, 147gr., FMJ FP (AE9FP)*
HYDRA-SHOK®, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., JHP (P9HS2)
HYDRA-SHOK®, 9mm LUGER, 147gr., JHP (P9HS1)

Fiocchi®:
Shooting Oynamics®, 124gr., FMJ (9APB)*
HornadY®:
Custom™, 9mm LUGER, 115gr., JHPI XTP (90252)*
Custom™, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., JHP/XTP (90242)*
Custom™, 9mm LUGER, 147gr., JHP/XTP (90282)*
TApTM, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., JHP (90248)*
TApTM, 9mm”LUGER, 147gr., JHP (90288)

Remington®:
Golden SaberTM, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., HPJ (29420)*
Golden SaberTM, 9mm LUGER, 147gr., HPJ (29422)*

Sellier & Bellot®:
9mm LUGER, 115 gr., FMJ (SB31042)*
9mm LUGER, 124 gr. , FMJ (SB31049)

Speer®:
Lawman®, 9mm LUGER, 115 gr., FMJ (53615)
Lawman®, 9mm LUGER, 124 gr., FMJ (53616)
GoldOot®, 9mm LUGER, 115 gr., JHP (23614)*
GoldOot®, 9mm LUGER, 124 gr., JHP (23618)*
GoldOot®, 9mm LUGER, 147 gr., JHP (23619)*

Winchester”l:
USA, 9mm LUGER, 124gr., FMJ (USA9MM)*
USA, 9mm LUGER, 115gr., JHP (USA9JHP)*
Supreme EliteTM, 9mm LUGER, 147gr., Bonded PDX1 JHP
(S9MMPDB1)

Anonymous said...

Good review. I was wondering why a 1911 type thumb safety on a double action pistol. You also did not discuss the field strip of the gun.

Average Joe said...

Anonymous,

There is a safety on it because it is a single action, not DA. I apologize for overlooking that thanks for pointing that out. I did not discuss the field striping procedure because I rarely do. In any case with the exception of not having a barrel bushing it breaks down much like a 1911.

Gun Cabinets said...

Good review. I was wondering why a 1911 type thumb safety on a double action pistol. You also did not discuss the field strip of the gun.
Thank you for post.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the excellent review. I just found your blog and am very impressed. You way that the trigger must be released all of the way to reset. What happens if you pull it before it resets? Can you simply let it all the way out and fire it, or do you need to cycle the slide to get it running again. I ask because the Kel Tec PF-9 does the latter and I hate it.

Bradley said...

Very good review and photos.
I considered replacing my Glock 26 with the Solo, but I'm not sure if if would be advantagous.
By the way, what brand and model is that fixed blade in the photo with the Solo?

Chuck Burns said...

Excellent Review!
I just picked up my Kimber Solo. I am concerned about accuracy at 15 Yds, thats the shortest target at my range. Now I see from your targets that I'm not too far off at 45 feet. Can't wait to get some practice in at 7 Yds.

Thanks again for the target pictures.

Average Joe said...

Jeff,

If you do not let the trigger out all the to the reset position it will just not fire when you pull it to the rear and you'll have to let it all the way out again.

Bradley,

If you are not having any problems concealing your G26 then you might not want to replace it with the Kimber Solo. But, it you find times where you need a smaller pocket sized pistol then the Solo would be a great choice. Me, I'd get the Kimber and keep the Glock too. The knife shown is a very sweet and discontinued Spyderco Lum Tanto.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I held the Solo yesterday but unfortunately I did not have pm9 to compare with.

My major concern is with the width. The Solo is said 0.988 for slide only and 1.2 at the safety. PM9 is 0.9 for slide and 1.1 at the slide release.

Since the solo has ambi safety does that mean each side the safety is only 0.1 in?

Solo is thicker by 0.1 but the slide has a better curve. The Ambi safety look like it is going to be a little uncomfortable for the leg and may rub a hole in the pants. PM9 the widest part is the slide release which has to be covered by holster since it is right next to the trigger. So with the holster the widest point for pm9 is 1.1+hoster width, where as for kimber it is just 1.2. I still dont know if this is such a good thing though since holster can help with breaking up the line and making it more comfortable.

Can you tell me between the pm9 and solo, which one is easier to pocket carry?Is it easy to turn safety on/off very quickly? Is it easy for safety to accidentally disengage, while in your pants?

wasiech said...

Being honest, the solo is back with Kimber. About round 500 I started getting FTE with almost each magazine and with most ammo. Stuff that had worked (S&D Winchester white box) didn't. I was able to get Speer 124 Lawman to function but still had 3 FTE out of 50.
Kimber was good and took it right back. Now it's waiting.

wasiech said...

Being honest, the solo is back with Kimber. About round 500 I started getting FTE with almost each magazine and with most ammo. Stuff that had worked (S&D Winchester white box) didn't. I was able to get Speer 124 Lawman to function but still had 3 FTE out of 50.
Kimber was good and took it right back. Now it's waiting.

Average Joe said...

The specimen from the range that I fired continued to have FTEs and their pistol is now back at Kimber. This is such a neat little pistol and it is a shame that it was released with what is now an obvious flaw. I am hearing about this problem more and more but yet I have not heard of nor can I find any information about a general recall of the pistols. I wonder if they have not yet identified the cause.

Steve said...

Good review but shave to tell you you're missing one very important point....Talked to Kimber after experiencing a large number of FTE's and was told that the paperwork that came with the gun...sure enough, it says:

Solo is designed to function optimally using factory-loaded premium hollow-point self-defense ammunition with bullet weights of 124gr and 147gr."

they told me NOT to use 115gr....

RandyF said...

Thanks for the very honest review on the Kimber Solo. Since it is a new model, I have not been able to see one in person yet and wondered if there might be issues that need resolving. Looks as if the choice of ammo might be the Solo's weakness. I have the Glock 26 and it does not have problems with any ammo I know of. The Glock is actually my wife's and I was considering the Solo for myself. Now I am back at square one. I will wait until I hear what Kimber tells you.

Average Joe said...

Randy,

The Solo was returned to the gun shop by Kimber who said that they could not find anything wrong with it but they did adjust the magazine. I put another 50 rounds through it and three failures to eject about half way through the box. After that I griped the pistol so tightly that my knuckles turned white and my fingers turned blue and had no further problems. I cannot recommend this pistol for defensive carry until I am satisfied that all of the bugs are worked out. While they seemed to have diminished they are still there and I would not depend on my life with this pistol yet.

Roberta said...

It's been almost three months since your last post on the Kimberly Solo. Has anything changed since then regarding your hold-off-for-the-time-being recommendation? Thank you.

Average Joe said...

Roberta,

No nothing has changed. I checked at the range today and they are still experiencing failures to eject and feed properly. One of the clerks said he thought it had been sent back again, but I need to confirm with the Manager.

NRA LIFER said...

I've had high hopes for this SOLO pistol, hoping it would perform as well as my Custom CDP II. Sounds like we all need to wait for Kimber to work out a few problems and I agree with you saying you wouldn't want to use it as your carry gun with its present faults. I've seen a MSRP of $747.00, does this sound correct to you and do you know what most shop's pricing on it is? Thanks for a great detailed review - I'm new to the site and will be a regular!

Average Joe said...

NRA Lifer,

$747.00 sounds high. In my neck of the woods they are supposed to be going for $649.00. I say supposed to be going for $649.00 because I haven't actually seen one for sale yet. Two shops have their display model which Kimber will not let them sell (which makes we wonder if Kimber knew that the first run had problems).

Anonymous said...

I have been very happy with the Kimber I own and am looking at the Solo. My pistol guru told me to throw away the Kimber clip when I made the purchase. I used the Kimber clip for a while and experienced a few jams. once I DID toss them out and used Wilson Combat clips, the problems stopped immediately.

Average Joe said...

Anonymous,

I too have been happy with all other Kimber pistols I have ever owned; but not the Solo. I also agree that Wilson Combat magazines are the Gold Standard by which all others are judged however Wilson does not make magazines for the Kimber Solo.

Anonymous said...

Great blog.
My opinion on the "Solo"
1-Wish it wasn't called the "solo".
Wish it had a Colt style S.A. trigger.
2-Glad it's 9mm and NOT ANOTHER 380!
3-Wish it came in solid black.
4-Wish it had Colt style slab grips instead of funky inset ones.
5-Wish I owned one.

wasiech said...

It's been over a month for my Solo's second return to Kimber. They called and will replace the gun inside of a week. Had peening on the new barrel and original slide ( less then 200 rounds) the slide wouldn't stay locked back (shake and the slide went forward) and the magazine came apart.
The question now is to break in a new gun or sell

Dave said...

I have been a Kimber Master dealer for 15 years. I placed my order at the Shot Show Jan of this year {8} solos. Was promised delivery in four months months it is now July 10th have not seen one gun yet my calls to kimber are always answered the same way do not have any idea on delivery time. My customers send E mails and never get a response. (Dave} KIRKWOOD OUTFITTERS INC. And yes I am a stote front dealer 18 years now.

Anonymous said...

The Solo is a piece of crap. Just got mine after waiting months. Average Joe is right. Problems with magazine not releasing, and ammo stuck. I'm returning mine ASAP! Give me my good old reliable Glocks anyday>

Ross said...

The Solo shot great groups at 20 feet but shouldn't the Kahr PM9 with a longer barrel shoot better? Would have liked to seen comparison target shots with these two guns. What is interesting is that the Kahr has a longer barrel but it is shorter in length than the Solo

Laura said...

142 rounds = extremely dirty? really? i put nearly a thousand of really dirty UMC range ammo through my Bersa before i cleaned it the first time. it had no issues whatsoever. not even a hiccup.

sorry, but that short time between cleanings makes me continue to avoid Kimber. they're not worth the price tag, to me.

JeffZ said...

She's skinnier than the pistol

Wes said...

Everyone always has an excuse for Kimber fails. It's probably dirty. That particular mag must be bad. You must be limp-wristing it. You just need to tweak this or that a bit. A North Carolina LE agency bought $1000 Kimbers and then sold them because they literally fell apart. Even if they were cheaper they still wouldn't be a good deal.

roger said...

Still in the beta phase for $800. Get a KelTec PF9 for under $300

Dr. J said...

Great carry pistol. Shot mine the first time yesterday.

++ This gun is not for the limp-wristed. It requires a firm grip. Duh.

++ Load mag w/5 rounds until it is broken in. Absolutely.

++Use only premium ammo, especially during the break-in period. Buy cheap stuff to plink with your .22, not this gun.

Anonymous said...

My solo is back with Kimber. Out of the first three-hundred rounds fired, I only shot two complete mags without some sort of stoppage. Failure to eject, failure to fully close, double feeds, light strikes, slide not locking back, slide locking back between shots. I really hope they replace my gun so I can sell it.

Anonymous said...

Now I heard that they fixed the problem and have just stated to reproduce them. has anyone got one and used it sence?

Carl said...

This pistol is also available with laser grips. I know you didn't shoot with this option but, could you extrapalate whether a laser sighting system would enhance the accuracy, handling, night combat etc.

Average Joe said...

Carl,
The biggest thing affecting accuracy on the one I test was the lack of reliability. The reliability factor took my concentration away from focusing on the front sight and properly managing the trigger. However, to more accurately answer your question, if the laser sight is properly dialed in then yes, it will assist with accuracy. They are also a great training aid as that red dot on the target really shows you how much the pistol is moving as you pull the trigger.

Anonymous said...

I think Kimber left out the night sights because they are pushing to sell the Crimson Trace Lasergrips for which they have exclusivity. You cannot buy the laser grips from anyone but Kimber. I just bought mine today for $675 used. A gal bought it and put 50rds through it. She wasn't strong enough in the wrist to handle the recoil of a small grip.

Anonymous said...

I love my solo. It did jam on me. It was not dirty. The only thing I could think was the load I used was not enough, 115 grain. I still love it.

Anonymous said...

I've had mine for 2 weeks now. I bought it for $619 and got an extra magazine from Kimber. It's had 2 range sessions now and was "broken in" with 50 rounds of 147 grain Federal. In that 5o rounds one cartridge only fed about 3/4 of the way into the chamber. It required a slight push with the thumb and was shooting again. Each session was done with 7 rounds loaded. That's how I'll carry it so I want to know it works that way; and it does. It now has about 250 rounds through it, including a few 115 grainers and has only had that one little hiccup. I'm happy as a pig in ****!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like leaving the mag at max capacity for a few days to fix that problem if it is the tension of the mag. Lol.

Eric Nguyen said...

Average Joe, I'm a first time buyer. Currently I'm looking at guns that meet CCW specifications for Nevada and have a thumb trigger such as the Ruger SR9c and the Kimber Solo. What are your thoughts on comparing those two guns and what others can you recommend for me?

Eric Nguyen said...

Average Joe, I'm a first time buyer. Currently I'm looking at guns that meet CCW specifications for Nevada and have a thumb trigger such as the Ruger SR9c and the Kimber Solo. What are your thoughts on comparing those two guns and what others can you recommend for me?

Eric Nguyen said...

Average Joe, I'm a first time buyer. Currently I'm looking at guns that meet CCW specifications for Nevada and have a thumb trigger such as the Ruger SR9c and the Kimber Solo. What are your thoughts on comparing those two guns and what others can you recommend for me?

Anonymous said...

Joe,
I have had a PM 9 for years with few complaints but one: Shoots so very sweet and puts them in the middle easy! Only problem I have had was keeping the magazine from falling out while firing. Would I accomplish anything by going to the Solo?
John

Violence Prevention Consulting said...

Anonymous,

No, you'd be better off finding out why the magazine is dropping. If you are inadvertently hitting it with your thumb due to a thumbs down hold then try using thumbs up/thumbs forward grips. If you shot at a range with a qualified instructor could help you fix this in one session.

Average Joe

Simon Eggington said...

I have the Kimber Solo CDP. 750+ rounds through it and not a single FTE. It eats Winchester white box 115 grain all day long. Absolutely reliable and, coupled with a Garret Industries Silent Thunder Solo holster, amazingly comfortable wearing it 10+ hours a day for the last year and a half.

roger said...

I remember when the SOLOs first were introduced they have issues. Almost bought one because they are attractive. I went with a Boberg however as same price. Great review of the SOLO!!

Anonymous said...

I bought the Solo (Jan 2014) given the recommendation of the dealer, along with the form factor and finish which are fantastic. Was told to shoot only premium 124 to 147 grain ammo, so I stocked up on Hornady XTP defense rounds. Also bought a box of Blaser 115 grain and was told should work ok for "break in". Well, nothing worked. Not the 124, not the 147, and not the 115. All failed to eject, causing jams. Some did not extract at all, some empties laid in the magazine area requiring the magazine to be pulled before the shell could be removed. Of all the pistols I have owned, I never had such a problem, including my famously finicky Seecamp 32 which has functioned flawlessly with the recommended Silvertips. Also, the dealer stated it was striker fired. One of my stated absolute requirements was double action. My shock when I opened it up and found it to be single action (thus the safety). Tried to "break it in" firing over 80 rounds through it and the most I could get to work was three in a row. Needless to say I was horrified. After reading other reviews, my heart sank. Took it back the next day (no returns allowed) and the dealer was nice enough to let me trade straight across for a Sig 290RS (that cost a lot less). The Sig worked every time, every type of round, and is double action. I have never heard of a gun that should require a break in period to function. This design is a complete disaster. At this point, the gun had zero value to me, short of teaching me a lesson on buying something before reading the reviews. There is no way Kimber should allow any firearm to leave their plant without a function test. For god's sake, the very first shot jammed with 147. I have never, ever, had a modern pistol jam with good factory ammo!!! I left a couple hundred on the table, but I was so glad the dealer worked with me to get me a competent firearm. Though it is chunkier, I love the little Sig. Frankly, I don't think the flaws are fixable. I would never trust this design to give me more than one shot. I never could have imagined this from Kimber who has a first class reputation building 1911's. Now I read that some folks have had perfect function, but if you check the reviews, you will see that at least an equal number have shared my experience exactly. This is a pricey gun. Imagine buying a new BMW, and it stalls and will not start at the first turn from exiting the dealership. That is how I felt. Sorry Kimber, I wish I could hype your great looking and feeling product. But somebody goofed here.

Anonymous said...

Mine was having issues from the beginning. This article fixed it for me........fires flawless now.

http://www.kimbershooters.com/how-to-fix-a-kimber-solo-when-slide-locks-open-after-every-shot/

Anonymous said...

Just a horrible experience today. Brand new 2014 production and had 5 FTF out of 40. No interest in trying to fix it because it is a design flaw in my opinion no matter what one prefers to "call it" Remember the ford pinto when the gas tank exploded? Yet it was on market for years? DITTO.

Discerning2 said...

Thanks for the great review, and the testing with different ammo. I was on the waiting list for the Solo, and used your test results to select ammo. Looking forward to breaking it in. My second Kimber.

Anonymous said...

I had decided to buy one of these and went to the local gunshop to do exactly that.
The pistol looks great, has a nice smooth trigger pull; the slide is a bit stiff to jack, but I suppose that's to be expected in a 9mm this small (my Kel-Tec .380 is a stiff pull also).
But then I hit a deal killer: when I went to eject the empty magazine, it didn't! It turns out that the ejection mechanism is so stiff that ejecting the magazine is almost a 2-handed job. We tried 3 different pistols, all the same.
I like the looks, I like the feel, I like the name (but don't much like the price - but I knew what that was going into the deal). What I really don't like is the thought of getting into a situation where this becomes my primary or only weapon and I need a magazine change and it takes 2 hands to do it.
If they'd lighten up on that some, heck, I'd probably buy two!

Ron said...

When I bought my Solo, I picked up some practice rounds, as well as personal defense ammo. Yesterday, I thought I would practice with the "Federal Premium Personal Defense Low Recoil Ammunition 9mm Luger 135 grain."

Save your money. I had a FTF on every round. It may be in the right grain range, but the "low recoil" apparently disqualifies this ammo for the Solo.