Kimber Solo Pros and Cons – Kimber Solo Problems

Kimber Solo Pros and Cons based on my personal experience. I purchased the Kimber Solo Carry 9mm subcompact pistol in March 2011. After six months of shooting over 1700 rounds I gained an appreciation for the Solo’s good points along with some disappointment.

It is important to note that not every Solo owner has problems. There are some users who claim to have Solo’s that are reliable and trouble free.

Kimber Solo Small Size

Kimber Solo Small Size

Kimber Solo Pros, What I like about the Kimber Solo:

  • The Kimber Solo is small. It can be held in the palm of your hand. It is about the smallest 9mm pistol you can buy. It has the smallest barrel length at just 2.7 inches.
  • It feels good in the hand. Even with the short grip with pinky finger curled underneath, the Solo is easy to shoot and control. Kimber has anextended magazine available that
    Kimber Solo Very Accurate at 15 Yds

    Accurate at 15 Yds

    provides a full grip and two extra rounds.

  • The Kimber Solo is very accurate. My Solo could easily shoot two and three inch groups at 7 yards. Six and eight inch groups at 15 yards become easy after a little practice. I never shot it at 25 yards but Kimber claims the Kimber Solo will shoot three inch groups at 25 yards with the gun clamped in a vise and I believe it could.
  • The trigger is absolutely outstanding. It is glass smooth and breaks clean. I love the Kimber Solo trigger. The only small gun with a better trigger in my opinion is my Smith & Wesson CS9. The other 9mm subcompact manufactures could take a lesson from the Kimber Solo trigger.
  • The Safety flips on and off easily with the thumb on both the right and left sides. The magazine release can be stiff but is located on both right and left sides. The slide release
    Kimber Solo Thumb Safety

    Solo Thumb Safety

    operates easily after break in. Mine was difficult to operate until after a few hundred rounds.

  • Take down is very easy and is easier than a 1911 and may even be easier than a Glock.
  • The slide and barrel are stainless steel.
  • White 3 dot sights are easy to see and make it easy to acquire the target. Night sights are available as are crimson trace laser grip sights.
  • The 9mm Kimber Solo is a great looking little pistol with no snag rounded edges.
Kimber Solo Night Sights

3 Dot Night Sights

Kimber Solo Cons, What I don’t like about the Kimber Solo:

  • The Kimpro finish on my Solo wasn’t much better than paint.The Kimpro finish scratches easily, flakes off, and doesn’t wear well. My $700 pistol looked worn and abused after just 6 months.
  • At first the Kimber Solo was very reliable and worked flawlessly. It worked so well that I tried different brands and quality of ammo from cheap 115 grain to quality Remington Golden Saber 124 grain. It shot them all. During cleaning after each range session I noticed metal filings in the area of the slide locking lugs. This turned out to be what is called “slide peening”. The pistol was sent back to Kimber after 450 rounds. The Solo was
    Kimber Solo Slide Peening and Barrel

    Slide Peening

    returned after 39 days with a new slide and new barrel. It never performed as well after that and became finicky about ammunition. It slide would not lock open after the last round, and there was still evidence of metal filings in the locking lugs. Another trip back to Kimber and after 34 days they replaced the slide release and spring. After that the problems of FTF, FTE, light strikes just kept getting worse. The Solo was returned again to Kimber for the third time and all the parts that had previously been replaced were replaced again.

  • Some owners had trouble with grip screws coming loose. I never had this problem.
  • Some owners had complaints of magazines dropping. I never had this trouble but the magazine release was a little stiff.
Kimber Solo STS Stainless

Solo STS Stainless

When I got the Solo back after the third repair trip to Kimber I returned it to my local gun shop and got my money back.

For those interested in buying a Kimber Solo I would suggest waiting for the STS stainless model that, last I heard, is scheduled for release in 2012. Perhaps the stainless finish won’t show the scratches and wear like the Kimpro finish did, and maybe Kimber will have addressed the reliability issues by then.
Kimber Solo Pros and Cons Video

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