Kimber introduced the Micro 9 in 2016, and it became an immediate hit with the concealed-carry crowd. Weighing less than a pound and chambered for the 9mm cartridge, the gun’s manual safety, magazine release and slide stop are all located in the Browning-inspired locations. Though it is not a miniature 1911 internally, the gun is intuitive for its fans to use without packing the size and weight of “Old Slabsides.” My test sample produced groups around 1.25 inches wide at 10 yards and was 100-percent reliable with all of the high-performance defensive loads I used.
But what made me a fan of the Micro 9 is just how well it shot during field exercises. I set up a paper USPSA target at 7 yards and ran failure drills, firing a double-tap to the body with a quick follow-up shot to the head. The Micro 9’s sights are big enough to present a very bold sight picture, and the trigger, while a bit heavy at 6.75 pounds, is crisp and manageable with a firm reset. Running this drill over and over again, trying to increase my speed each time, I felt like it was nearly impossible to miss with the little gun.
With its flush-fitting magazine, the Micro 9 has a capacity of 6+1 rounds. Kimber also offers a slightly extended seven-round magazine for the gun that will allow the shooter to place all three fingers on the frontstrap. In short, I found the Micro 9 to be an extremely well-made gun capable of excellent accuracy and flawless reliability.
Micro 9 Popularity
Apparently I am not alone in my praise of the gun. Kimber officials told me that the company has stopped production of the striker- fired Solo Carry pistol to devote more production time to the Micro 9 and all of its variations.
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The Micro 9’s trim dimensions and light weight might tempt you to just drop it in a pocket or waistband. But you have to keep in mind that this is a single-action pistol that should be carried with the chamber loaded, the hammer cocked and the thumb safety applied. For these reasons, a responsible concealed carrier should use a properly designed holster to contain the Micro 9.
We invited three different holster makers to send us concealed-carry rigs for the Micro 9. Clinger Holsters, Alien Gear and Vedder Holsters all rose to the challenge.
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0
This latest Cloak Tuck evolution incorporates spring steel, ballistic nylon and neoprene to create a flexible and comfortable holster platform. Alien Gear utilizes tough glass-filled nylon belt clips for this rig that are adjustable for ride height and cant. Its outer layer, thermo-elastomer Alien Skin, has a rough and grippy texture to keep the holster in place and provide protection from wear.
Alien Gear ships the holster with a bag of extra hardware, including extra green spacers to adjust the distance between the polymer holster and backing. Retention can be adjusted by tightening the holster shell screws. Once everything is adjusted to your liking, Alien Gear recommends using thread locker to prevent them from loosening.
The Cloak Tuck is designed to be worn at the 4:30 position or just above the user’s back pocket. The manual advises against wearing the gun at the 6 o’ clock position or small of the back as an injury could result if the user were to fall on the gun.
The Cloak Tuck 3.0 is a tuckable design, so the user simply tucks the shirt between the belt hooks. The holster’s neoprene backing also provides an unexpected degree of user comfort. Finally, Alien Gear offers a 30-day free test drive. If you don’t like the holster, you can send it back—no questions asked. The company also offers free shell trades. In the event you switch to a different carry gun, send Alien Gear your old shell and it’ll send you a replacement shell for your new gun free of charge.
Clinger No-Print Wonder
Clinger Holsters provided us with a sample of its No-Print Wonder (NPW). This IWB rig has a Kydex holster with opposing leather and Kydex tabs designed to pull the pistol close to the body. Clinger calls this patent-pending technology Cling Tabs. The NPW is a tuckable design, meaning your shirt can be tucked around the gun and the belt-retaining clips, completely concealing the gun without another layer of clothing. The holster retains the Micro 9 via a dimple at the front of the triggerguard.
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Clinger Holsters eschews leather sweat guards on its rigs because “leather is not sweat proof.” Instead, the company prefers to surround and protect the pistol with sweat-proof Kydex. The NPW can also be adjusted for ride height, cant and retention.
Clinger Holsters is so confident that you’ll like the NPW that the company offers a zero-risk guarantee. If you don’t like the holster, you can return it for a full refund. It also comes with a free lifetime warranty.
Vedder LightTuck IWB
Vedder’s popular LightTuck IWB rig has a very small footprint and is very durable thanks to its Kydex construction. The Micro 9 locks into the holster with an audible “pop,” letting the user know the gun is securely holstered. There’s a screw just in front of the triggerguard that can be adjusted for retention, and there is an integral sweat guard that extends to the rear of the slide on the left side of the holster.
Vedder uses a unique J-shaped belt hook on the LightTuck IWB, and it allows users to adjust the holster for ride height and also offers 30 degrees of cant either way off center. The shape of the J-hook also allows for the carrier to tuck their shirt over the holster.
The LightTuck IWB can be used for appendix carry or moved all the way to behind the hip. Its minimalistic design and versatility is amazing! Finally, Vedder claims that it can make your holster in three days or less, and it offers a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty.
As you can see, all three manufacturers go out of their way to guarantee customer satisfaction and provide lifetime warranties. Visit their websites to discover what holster might best suit your concealed-carry needs. Be armed, be aware and be responsible.
Alien Gear Holsters
This article was originally published in “Combat Handguns” September/October 2017. To subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.