There was no warning. No pre-show promotion. It arrived with zero fanfare yet made a huge impact, catching the shooting community flat-footed. I’m talking about the Kimber Solo Carry pistol introduced to the world at the beginning of 2011. It was already in production before anyone in the shooting industry had a chance to hold it. Kimber was that sure it had a winner on its hands. The Solo Carry is the first production non-1911 pistol that Kimber has fielded. Built on an aluminum alloy frame and using a barrel just 2.7 inches long, the striker-fired 9mm pistol with a 6+1 capacity was designed expressly for those looking for a micro-compact semi-auto firing a serious defense cartridge.

I fell in love with the Kimber Solo autopistol as soon as I picked it up. It had an oddly familiar feel to it, and I realized that it has the same grip angle as the 1911’s. With the gun weighing just a hair more than a pound unloaded, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where its user couldn’t readily conceal it. The Solo is slim and flat and possesses no sharp edges. It has good sights, a great trigger and excellent controllability. It also has ambidextrous thumb safeties and an ambidextrous magazine release. It is a well-engineered pistol that should suit the needs of those looking for a micro-compact pistol with punch.

Kimber Solo
The Kimber Solo frame is machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and coated with the corrosion-resistant, self-lubricating KimPro II finish. As mentioned, the gun uses the same grip angle of the 1911, which any aficionado will immediately recognize and approve of. If you’re an avid 1911 shooter, you’ll appreciate that the Solo doesn’t point high or low—it’s just right. The juncture where the triggerguard meets the frame is relieved, allowing the middle knuckle of the third finger to ride as high as possible and encouraging a very high grip on the gun, which will minimize muzzle flip. Kimber makes a cut on the barrel’s lug so that the trigger bar can ride next to the feed ramp/lug instead of under it, and this dramatically reduces the gun’s height. The result is a gun that sits low in the hand and is very comfortable. It’s easy to pick up the sights quickly, and the little finger rides comfortably below the magazine floorplate. The trigger bar is on the right side of the receiver…


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There was no warning. No pre-show promotion. It arrived with zero fanfare yet made…