Editor's Note: To view detailed photos of the Kimber Solo, visit our photo gallery, "Kimber Solo Pocket Pistol."
There aren't too many things to get excited about in the world of cop guns these days. Anything "new" seems to be a variation on an old theme, even though the manufacturers' PR departments tout their new offerings as the gun that will revolutionize police work.
That said, there was one particular gun introduced at this year's Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show that was pretty darn cool.
This cool gun was not a duty pistol that fit everyone's hand because of its "Transformer" hand grip. Nor was it a never fails to fire tactical black patrol rifle that sees around corners and automatically illuminates the suspect with alternating green and red lasers. It was a small and easily concealable gun that will make a great backup or off-duty carry pistol.
What makes this concealed carry pistol, the Kimber Solo Carry, so noteworthy is its caliber. Instead of the somewhat anemic .380 ACP or the borderline .38 Special, this one is offered in 9mm.
Kimber has built this gun from the ground up and has six new patents pending on the engineering. It fits into the palm of your hand and weighs only 17 ounces, making it very easily concealed. It slides into a pocket holster in your jacket or pants pocket or in an ankle holster and you'd be hard pressed to see any printing, as the gun is only 1.2 inches wide. The slide is manufactured from stainless steel and the frame from aluminum. The gun is only 5.5 inches long and 3.9 inches in height, which adds to the concealability.
The Solo Carry's barrel is also manufactured from stainless steel. It is 2.67 inches long, has a 1/10 twist and 6 lands. OK, maybe that's overkill in barrel specifications for a gun with a 2.67-inch barrel. After all, it's not a sniper rifle, but the accuracy of this little gun is really uncanny. More on that in a moment.
Kimber's new Solo even looks as good as it shoots. The aluminum frame is coated with Kimber's KimPro II treatment. KimPro II is a premium coating that's self-lubricating and extremely resistant to the elements and salt.
Salt is a major concern for a concealed gun. Often we wear them next to our body where the salts from perspiration rub off on the gun's finish causing rust. You don't want a rusty gun. KimPro II and a number of other new high-tech finishes protect you from the job of continual maintenance against rust and from having gun oil all over your clothing.
Kimber's Solo Carry reminds me a lot of the Colt Pony in its size and general look. Kahr Arms sued Colt over the offset barrel lug design, so the Pony is no longer produced. The Pony was chambered for
.380 ACP, which I believe is a problem. Even with the new premium ammo produced these days, I'd much rather launch a 9mm round when the need arises.
If you're a 1911 shooter, the Solo's controls will be very familiar to you. The slide release and ambidextrous safety are in the same spot and easily manipulated.