When Kimber came out with the Sapphire Ultra II, based on the Ultra Aegis II 9mm with a 3-inch barrel, it became a gun that raised eyebrows. People’s first impression was, “It’s a woman’s gun with a glitzy sapphire gemstone glow.” But the more you look at it and handle it, the more you like it. It’s not gender specific; it is just a sharp-looking, eye-catching finish on an otherwise handcrafted 9mm pistol.

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Like Kimber’s compact Aegis II version, the Sapphire and the new Solo Carry Sapphire use Kimber’s satin silver, KimPro II-finished aluminum frame. They also feature a cut-scroll, border-engraved slide that’s finished in an iridescent blue similar in brilliance to nitrite blue. But unlike traditional nitrite blue finishes, which are easily worn, the PVD Sapphire finish on the Kimber models is exceptionally durable and very easy to keep clean without fear of wearing down the finish. The same brilliant sapphire blue hue is also on the slide release, the ambidextrous thumb safety, the dual magazine releases and even the hex-head screws securing the ball-milled Micarta grips.

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The stainless steel trigger provides a subtle contrast to the Sapphire blue accents and complements the satin KimPro II frame and triggerguard. In every other respect it is the same Solo. The Meprolight three-dot, tritium night sights and a unique look make this not only an ideal 9mm for CCW use, but one of the best-looking little pistols around. The MSRP is $1,291.

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