Kimber Micro 9: built for close-quarter emergencies, this "mini-1911" spits + P 9MM from a .380-size platform.

Author:Ayoob, Massad
Position::Cover story

At the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, editor Jeff John and I fondled the preview version of the Micro 9 at the Kimber booth. "I want you to write this up," he said. But it took a while for them to come off the production line. Apparently, Kimber was waiting to make sure they had it right. Not until the following September was I able to test it. This petite pistola tips my scale at 20.35 ounces with a full six 124-grain JHP rounds in its magazine and a seventh in its launch tube. Width is a svelte 1.06 inches. While the owner's manual contains warnings against carrying with a round in the chamber and a statement it might go off if dropped or struck, I expect this is out of an abundance of legal caution as the owner's manual also states the Micro 9 has a firing pin lock, which disengages only when the trigger is pulled. I felt comfortable carrying it in Condition One (the thumb safety is a right- hand-only setup). Ours was the stainless steel model with aluminum frame and handsome wooden stocks.


It became apparent early in testing if I wanted a Kimber that shot tight groups, I wanted one of their ,45's already in my safe. My first shot with the Micro 9 at 7 yards hit the tiny red center of a 2-inch Birchwood Casey "Shoot-N-C" aiming dot. "We're off to a good start," I thought.

The rest of the magazine opened things up, and the whole 6-shot group was right at an inch and a half. Well, we're still in a "deep brain size" group--at 7 paces. Next came the 25-yard line. While it's popular on the Internet and even in the gun press to claim pistols this size should be tested at 7 yards because they're unlikely to be used at any greater distance, I'm staying conservative in my belief bad guys don't offer easier shots to good guys who have small handguns instead of big ones.

From a Caldwell Matrix rest on a concrete bench, each 5-shot group was measured overall and again for the best three, since I've found the latter measurement compensates for enough unnoticed human error to closely duplicate what the same guns and ammo will do for all five from a machine rest. Ammo represented the three most common bullet weights for the 9mm.

Most practice shooting was done with SIG Elite 115-grain FMJ, which is getting a good reputation and which I'm seeing in more and more gun shops. Even at 7 yards shots were starting to go a little high right and of course this was exacerbated at 25 yards. The 115-grain FMJ centered its group about 3.25 inches...

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