In a world getting charged with compact pistols for concealed carry, there’s a growing competition that’s likely not ending anytime soon. Kimber added the Micro 9 line to their products, & they’ve been flying off the shelves.
The Kimber Micro 9 CDP is specially designed for concealed carry. Let’s take a glance at some specs before we continue.
Height (inches) 90° to barrel: 4.07
Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 15.6
Length (inches): 6.1
Magazine capacity: 6
Recoil spring (pounds): 16.0
Full-length guide rod
Finish: KimPro II, Charcoal gray
Width (inches): 1.06
30-lines-per-inch front strap checkering
Material: Stainless Steel
Finish: Satin Silver
Carry Melt treatment
Length (inches): 3.15
Material: Stainless Steel
Twist rate (left hand): 16
Fixed low-profile 3-dot tritium night sights
Radius (inches): 4.3
Kmber micro 9 grips & kimber micro 9 laser
Solid Aluminum, match grade
Factory setting (approximate pounds): 7.0
The Model 1911 pistol is well-established in the American gun culture. Virtually every handgun maker of any size offers some version of the old classic, & many smaller firms craft radically upgraded competition or presentation versions. As American shooters, we like the century-old duty pistol, so much so that a steady current of M1911s issues forth, successfully competing with all the modern polymer semi-automatics.
Every gun person believes this, but some makers take it a bit further. It is not just an infinite stream of copies of the first Colts as much as it is the enjoyment of the M1911 as a style of pistol. Almost as soon as the gun was first offered, other makers made pistols that strongly resembled it & often handled in pretty much the same way. Some of the weapons were much larger, & others were much smaller, but all had those immediately recognizable lines.
Kimber is one of the largest-known makers of M1911s, with a wide choice of various models. Nifty, miniaturized M1911s chambered in 9 mm Luger, the Micro 9s fill a substantial need in the company’s product line. This more-than-a-century-old cartridge, which dates to the Kaiser’s time, has become America’s most famous pistol cartridge. Gunmakers all want the 9 mm to be well-represented in their handgun catalogs, & in recent years, the 9 mm Luger cartridge got a lot of recognition from ballistics engineers. It is an almost perfect size to fit into some very concealable small semi-automatic pistols that yet offer respectable power.
Make no mistake about it—Kimber’s Micro 9s are not competition pistols, nor are they really at home as a sidearm. These are defensive guns, configured for concealed carry or police backup roles. In 9 mm Luger, they are perfectly suited for these jobs. In the past few years, some firms have offered similar pistols chambered for the .380 ACP. Kimber did just such a gun, the Micro (February 2016, p. 44), & it was the starting point for the Micro nine series.
The Kimber website describes six variants of the Micro 9, all of which are the same primary gun. A single-action semi-automatic with a steel slide & aluminum receiver, it boxes at 4.07″x6.10″x1.06″ & weighs just under one pound (15.6 ozs.). The .380s, whence the Micro 9s evolved, were slightly smaller pistols, but they were too recoil-operated semi-automatics. This indicates the barrel is locked to the slide upon firing & remains so until the bullet has left the muzzle.
Micro 9 Kimbers work the related way, but some strengthening was needed to deal with the higher pressures of the 9 mm Luger cartridge. Also, the simple gain in 9 mm cartridge length over the .380 ACP dem&s a more in-depth kimber micro 9 magazine (in front-to-back measurement) & an appropriate magazine well to handle it.
What follows are two charts that list the Specifications & some Features for the Kimber Micro 9, Two-Tone 9mm pistol. Then I give you my ten criteria that I use to evaluate all guns. Finally, I present my analysis & how I correctly assessed the weapon against each of my tests to recommend or not recommend it. As always, set your criteria & priorities, do your research & check my data, information, etc. with yours, for your very personal selection process.
Kimber Micro Specs & Features
I wondered if there were holsters, flat base & extended mags, & accessories readily available for the new Micro 9? Searching around I could not discern a lot of leather kimber micro 9 holster choices CURRENTLY. But, I found this well-made leather Outside-the-Waistb& (OWB) pancake Belt Scabbard Holster manufactured by Kramer Leather & it fit the Micro nine very well & looks great. You can see the beautiful craftsmanship in the stitching & handwork in the image below. It is high quality & made of very durable horsehide. The holster fits the Micro nine perfectly, & it has excellent retention while allowing it to ride high, close to the frame, at a slight FBI cant. It was also comfortable & concealed my gun very well. It also fits my Sig 938 fine. Kim one of the friendly owners at Kramer Leather is offering a 15% discount on holster orders for readers of my Micro 9 Review if you order through the end of November 2016. Just enter “COLBEN15” (all caps) when you order online at their website below or call them.
Criteria & Considerations
Here are just 10 of my Criteria & factors I use for evaluating any handgun so that I will practice them for the Kimber Micro 9 subcompact.
In addition to my criteria, there are different individual features that may be appealing to any, like a specific style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, bore axis, type of sights/modifications, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, combined extras like a holster & pouch, customer service, etc. So, I mixed these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that ALL gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I want ALL of my tests to be met. I assigned a whole possible point score of 10 points for all of my ten tests for an overall potential score of 100 points. You can surely add your additional rules & preferences or subtract any of mine. Here is mine:
1. Accuracy & Reliability – Performs well without reoccurring malfunctions & stoppages & results in consistent, accurate target hits with a 3″ inch hit group or so at 5-15 yards for concealed carry;
2. Trigger Press maximum of about 5.5-6.5 pounds – lessens force applied for less movement & better accuracy- & press that is crisp & identifiable (TRAIN to be Trigger Safe);
3. Trigger with short travel distance (a short travel distance increases the speed the trigger can be fired) & easily identifiable & quick reset point; Trigger with a smooth, consistent press for every shot (less need to transition between reporters & make adjustments);
4. Barrel length of 3.0″-4.5″ (primarily for concealed carry); for subcompact pistol ideally prefer 3.0″-3.5″.)
5. Sights that are basic & simple (easy to use & see–I like Fiber Optic fronts); fast target acquisition; for my purposes– adjustable for windage; Night Sights for low-light situations;
6. Proper Gun Weight to minimize recoil (I prefer about 25 oz. or less for carrying- but there are tradeoffs;)
7. Caliber match to my needs, characteristics & abilities (consider medical & physical limitations); 9mm is my preference for carrying;
8. Capacity – adequate for use & feature tradeoffs- usually prefer about 7-8 rounds or so (for subcompact) in a 9mm magazine for carrying (but can take a spare mag or 2 sometimes);
9. Ergonomics – hand Comfort & Grip Fit, controls easy to work & quickly accessible; rounded, low-profile;
10. Miscellaneous – Overall Finish, fit, & quality appearance & workmanship; mag release location & function to drop mags freely; ambidextrous controls; accessory rail as required; grip angle; bore axis; competitive market price; excellent customer service with friendly & helpful agents; ease of disassembly-assembly; Hard
Case; Extras (equal a third mag, holster, pouch & flush mags); warranty unit & extent; safety factors, etc.
Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros & cons, & personal criteria to include & consider & you make your tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, & use.
Kimber Micro 9 Two-Tone 9mm RANGE TEST
I used high-quality Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown JHP ammo in 115, 124, & 147-grain weights, so I could try different ammo to understand how it cycled the variety. I only fired about 200 rounds to decide this gun (usually I shoot 500 rounds over a several of days) to decide if I want to carry the weapon or not, I had the information I needed after shooting it. Below are my evaluations for each of my ten criteria for my concealed carry purpose. While this old coot is not a top expert shooter by any means, I wanted to put the gun through its paces & check it thoroughly for malfunctions & performance with quality JHP ammo & reloads. Thanks to Sig Sauer for providing various Elite Performance ammo for me to test & evaluate the Kimber Micro 9.
This Kimber Micro 9 in Two-Tone looks excellent & the quality appearance, fit & finish are exceptional. The Micro subcompact 9mm has superior ergonomics. It was comfortable in my hand, & the aggressive grip texture was just right for me, as I tend to sweat a lot. As expected, my pinky finger did not fit the smaller frame, & it dangled some.
But, I can get accustomed to this & hopefully an extended mag with an extra round will be ready in two months or so, per my marketing contact there. The stippling was right, & it extended high up the backstrap to enhance my solid grip. I could quickly reach all the controls. It has an ambidextrous thumb protection. Its single-stack magazine was nice, but at the cost of extra rounds. The slide was effortless for me to rack & the felt recoil & muzzle rise was surprisingly very manageable for this subcompact. The 16-pound recoil spring & full-length guide rod probably helped. Well, below I will present my ideas for each of my criteria after my range testing.
Overall after my live range fire, the Kimber Micro 9 single action subcompact gun impressed me as a beautiful, accurate, & reliable (with limited rounds fired by me) carry gun. I had no malfunctions or stoppages at all with the various types, weights, & quality of ammunition fired.
At the field shooting the gun for the original time, my greatest seven rounds fired rapid fire at 5 yards all hit in a friendly 2.5″ group, considering my declining eyesight. My next seven shots fired at 7 yards formed a similar association with the others (see below.) For this old Mr. Magoo shooter with challenging vision, the hits were acceptable for closeup self-defense encounters. Over different up-close, tactical distances, accuracy was very fair, but shoot it for yourself to make your own decisions, based on your abilities & proficiency. Below are my hits for my first 14 rounds at 5 & 7 yards with the Micro 9.
Range Test Results for each of 10 Criteria:
1. The Accuracy of the subcompact Micro 9 was very pleasant for me at distances of 3, 5, 7, & 10 yards, with my aging vision. My groups at each of the up-close battle distances were about 2.0-3.0 inches for the first time I ever fired the gun, after first cleaning it. Crowds were smaller for me at all intervals using the 124 grain HP ammo. I shot about 200 rounds. The 6.8# trigger press I experienced was crisp, soft & acceptable. The nice grip surface & the rounded single-action trigger helped. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, & shot high-performance Sig Sauer V-Crown 115, 124, & 147-grain JHPs…
2. The Trigger Press averaged about 6.8 pounds with ten readings from my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. This was correct at the upper limits for my press reach for my carry guns. It will improve after break-in & shoot it more. I favor that my carry guns have a max. of 6.5 pounds press or limited, so this is very close & no problem.
Of course, this is personal preference & a training issue, but I know some of my recommended & actual 9mm 1911-style single-action carry guns have lighter presses. I analyze & compare 21 of my top 21 concealed carry guns in my recent book. I liked that the trigger press was crisp & easily identifiable. The polished feed ramp helped.
3. The match-grade, solid aluminum Trigger had a tactile & very identifiable click & reset. I liked the relatively short & positive reset & very crisp trigger. My shots were consistent each time, & I could quickly recognize the reset point. I did like shooting it. It has an excellent soft & smooth trigger for a small gun.
4. The 3.15-inch Barrel with its 16-pound recoil spring most definitely helped control muzzle flip & recoil. Very nice recoil control. The steel barrel was of high quality, & the short barrel helped make it very concealable.
5. The three dot sights were medium-sized, distinguishable, & helped my sight acquisition, sight alignment & sight picture. The sights are dovetail mounted. The views were indeed acceptable, but with my impaired vision & color-blind eyes, I preferred the bright green fiber optic front sight for a solid lock on to the front view & wanted larger sight points. I wish it came model with night sights.
6. The overall 15.6-ounce unloaded weight was very light & sweet for concealed carry within my desired range, but with the lightweight comes some disadvantages… which can be overcome. The pressure is probably very acceptable.
7. It was relaxed & comfortable to shoot the 9mm Caliber. The Micro has a closed-breech design. Felt recoil was lower than I expected & the recoil was very easy for me to control. It digested the various weights of 9mm ammo quickly without a single malfunction or stoppage. The lightweight aluminum frame made it comfortable for carrying, & the recoil was not a problem.
8. There was only one 6-round magazine included, & I could find no other magazines specifically designed for the Micro 9. Communication with Kimber indicated that an extended magazine with added capacity would be forthcoming very soon in 2 months or so. I prefer at least two mags be included with an option to purchase a readily available extended mag with added round(s). Of course, like most, I want more capacity, but there are tradeoffs with a single stack, single subcompact action 1911-style gun. I discovered for myself that my Sig 938 flat-base (not extended) mags would fit in the Micro 9, but I did not shoot the Micro with them.
Aside from a CRITICAL safety issue, this could be a Warranty issue, & I do NOT RECOMMEND using the Sig mags even if they seem to fit. They are not designed for them, & there could be safety problems, etc. SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS! So be patient & wait for the newly extended mags.
9. The Ergonomics of the Micro 9 was very helpful. Aside from its outstanding appearance & excellent fit & finish, the grip was excellent & the texturing right for me. The grip’s body was ample to allow me to acquire a firm & comfortable grip, but (as expected) my pinky dangled below the grip. This was not a problem for my medium-sized hands & me. I was able to quickly reach all the controls without changing my grip or with a minor rotation. The 1 included mag was polished with a smooth finish, & it dropped freely from the mag well.
10. Miscellaneous. As always before shooting any new gun, I disassembled, lubed & cleaned, & re-assembled the Micro nine before I shot it. I did NOT have to hold the trigger to remove it, & it was straightforward & quick to do. Just cock the hammer, move the slide rearward, take out the slide stop pin, & remove the slide. The price of the gun is equivalent (within $80 or so) to the Sig 938 (both have around a 3″ barrel; 6″ length; 16 oz; with Sig 7 rounds (some with 6- weapon came with one 7-rounder & 1 6-rounder) & Micro 6 rounds.)
Some Sig 938s have G10 grips, & there are some different items received in the box (Micro) or case (938.) The Micro does not include accessories like some others, e.g., a holster, mag pouch. But, there are several excellent features for this very quality gun. There is a one-year warranty for the original purchaser, rather than a lifetime warranty for all.
Total Points = 91 out of 100 Possible.
I certainly RECOMMEND this handgun for consideration as your concealed carry subcompact gun. I especially like its accuracy, outstanding fit, finish, & appearance, lightweight for comfortable carry, & small size for concealability.
Its felt recoil was very soft for a short subcompact 9mm, & its rounded lines prevented snags. I wish it became standard with more rounds capacity, included more than one 6-round mag, & had night sights. But its many other features make up for most of those preferences. I want to shoot it more to see its long-term reliability before I buy it & carry it. I was very fascinated with its accuracy out of the box, its low muzzle flip & recoil for a subcompact 9mm, & that I had no malfunctions or stoppages whatsoever with the 200 rounds I fired. These are just my opinions & ideas, so handle & shoot it for yourself.
I hope this review of the Kimber Micro 9 Two-Tone, single action 1911-style subcompact 9mm has supported you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that these are just my opinions with limited live-range fire & shooting myself only about 200 rounds of ammo. Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, & what features are important to you, & you are willing to pay for ahead of your range time.
Then critically evaluate the weapon YOURSELF per your criteria & purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types & br&s, over an extended break-in period of about 500 rounds. Remember, Safety First Always.