Olde English Outfitters Blog
He Said / She Said
(Mike Jackson / Tara Dixon Engel)
The Kimber Solo is the new “gun to get” (assuming you can get it, which, at the moment, requires an act of God and the patience of Job). Some reviewers are hailing this microcompact semi-automatic as the newest variation on the 1911 theme, which isn’t entirely accurate. Kimber is being a little more cautious when comparing its 9 mm Solo to the venerable workhorse .45 that has earned its spot among the most popular pistols ever made. The manufacturer’s promotional materials describe the sturdy new concealed carry gun as having “1911 ergonomics.” And the Solo does settle comfortably into your hand in a manner reminiscent of the snug fit made possible by the 1911’s beavertail design.
We were fortunate to get one of the early Solos to test. With a barrel length of 2.7 inches, a durable stainless steel slide and barrel, and a premium aluminum frame, the solo offers many advantages over its concealable competitors. Plus, it just looks cool.
At the same time, we compared this much-heralded new firearm to the Kahr PM9, a gun of similar size, weight, and function. The Kahr we test-fired featured a 3 inch barrel, a blackened stainless slide and polymer frame, and weighed in at 15.9 ounces (magazine empty), compared to the Solo’s 17 ounces. The PM9 also offers an assortment of “options” that we will discuss later in this article.
In an “eyes closed,” hand-to-hand test, the weight difference between the Solo and the PM9 is negligible. Both guns are heavier than a pocket pistol such as Kel-Tec’s P-3AT, which weighs in at 8.3 ounces, or the Ruger LCP, only slightly heavier at 9.4 ounces.