Defensive Carry banner

Quick range report KIMBER SOLO STS

3885 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  oldskeetshooter
500 rounds DR with the Solo and I figured I post a couple picks an my thoughts so far.

first off. This isn't the same Solo that gave folks fits of anger and frustration back in 2011. I've had mine for a couple months now and every trip to the range has been a pure pleasure to experience. I picked my Solo up in 01/2013 and did what I always do with all new semi autos.. Took it apart inspected it, wiped it down took off all lube and put it back together and racked it 50 to 100 times... Then I took it apart again and inspected I and located the wear marks and lubed it up and put it back together and racked it a few more times. Quite the workout really... The recoil spring is stout.:wink:

Anyway, the first range trip was perfect. Not a single problem and was very please with both the level of accuracy and function. However, those 200 rounds were of the high quality JHP persuasion and pretty expensive for target. So, this last trip I decided to push the Solo and see how she faired. Below is a list of the rounds and quantities fired and the results along with a couple of pics of the visit. So far I have put somewhere over 500 rounds DW and feel the Kimber Solo is ready for active duty as my main CC option. I will add; the Solo has got to have one of the best DAO triggers on the market. I have tried several and this trigger is flat out the best I have ever used. I equate it to the elite trigger on the Kahr, for smoothness, but with a cleaner break and more constant pull weight. I guess the better way to say it is; I could not find any stacking from start to finish throughout the stroke and the break is nice and crisp. Kimber calls it a SA striker fired trigger, but that's not true. The striker is 90% cocked and the remaining 10% is finished off near the end of the extremely smooth trigger pull. Never the less due to need to finish the striker cock, I don't see how they can call it a SA striker. Is it as smooth and a SA say 1911, nope not there yet, sorry Kimber, but as far as striker fired pistols go, this thing rules the roost. The only one that I have seen that comes close is the Walther PPQ, but that's just close mind you. :wink:

Anyway, enough about that. Here's the list of ammo and the pics.

25 rds Speer GD 147gr JHP
25 rds Rem Golden Saber 124gr JhP
25 rds Horaday Critical Duty 135gr + P flex lock
25 rds Fed Hydra Shok 124gr JHP
50 or so assorted JHP
200 rds Magtech 115gr FMJ

I'm gonna give the Solo a rating system as I Feel it's only fair because it leads the pack in some areas and just holds its own in others. These are my own thoughts mind you, and you may feel differently on many points, but if you haven't owned or shot one, you really should, before you critique any of them, minus the looks of course .

Starting with looks.
Here's a pic of the girl and as far as looks go IMO, she's a 10

Performance: 10
she gets a 10 from me due to zero malfunctions through several types of ammo weights and configurations.

Recoil management: 8.5
For its size it does a good job, but honestly the Kahr PM9 being the closest in size and weight does a better job and even comes in lighter overall.

Trigger: 10
for the reasons listed above. Take this trigger and put it on any small semi and I dare say that pistol will get rave reviews. :wink:

Accuracy: 10
even with the extremely short sight radius the Solo can easily reach out and touch the 3" ring @ 25yds once you find the POA as illustrated in the pics below.

Weight: 8
There are lighter options out there, but for an overall package this area is IMO one that is easily a compromise for concealed carry.. Any single stack pistol under 20oz unloaded will do as far as I'm concerned.

Overall size: 9
Don't have the specs in front of me ATM, but roughly the same size as the Sig P938 and Kahr PM9 but slightly heavier than both. If the additional weight actually helped more with the recoil I believe a 10 would be in order.

Concealability: 9.5
The Solo gets a 9.5 here IMO, because of the overall nice rounded edges Kimber applied. Nothing like a nice melt job on a carry pistol. They did however fail to do the front, hence the 9.5.:wink:

Fit and finish: 10
IMO, you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer looking and well crafted firearm. Will the Kimpro finish last or will the action become sloppy, who knows. IMO, this is not a range gun, it's a well built finely crafted little carry piece designed to be used for defense. With that said; it's also my opinion that it should hold up to regular range trips and use. My idea of that type of use is, once a month or so and 100 or 200 rounds to stay in-tune with the function and use of the sights. You want a range gun, buy a range gun. Carry that pistol too if you want, but don't buy a stock corvette and stick it on the NASCAR circuit and expect it to hold up for long.:wink:

If I missed an area where you feel should have been discussed, feel free to ask and I do my best to give you my honest impressions. Although I do have a dog in this hunt, I have always tried to give my selections a fair shake whenever I give my opinions regarding their performance and other qualities, or lack there of.

Okay, on with the pics...

Here's the first box of 115gr FMJ with zero malfunctions.

Here's the POA COM @ 25yds. Took all six rounds before I was able to center up on the ring. Both center shots came one after the other.

Head shots @ 15yds. What I was impressed by here is the grouping. Again it took all six to find the center, but the groups are nice and tight in again, these targets are the small Silhoutes not the large ones and @ 15 & 25yds. :wink: the barrel on the Solo is only 2.73" if I remember correctly.

Anyway, that's it folks. Hope this was helpful to some entertained others.. Excuse any typos I did ton my mobile device and it's not the easiest way to post on the Internet. Have a good one.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Excellent report. Thanks!

Great range report

Excellent analysis of the Kimber solo. I'm seriously considering purchasing one and this review really helped my decision. I'm also considering the beretta pico for the reason of easier concealment. I know it's a 380 and its no kimber solo but it appears that it will slip into your pocket and you won't even know it's there. Everything I've read on it seems positive except the trigger. Just wondering about your thoughts on that. There two different animals but I'm looking for something that will do the job if needed and is the most concealable to defend myself and family. Open for any suggestions. Thanks and again an excellent review!!
I CCd a LCP for years, and decided I wanted a pocket 9mm. Granted that LCP would disappear in my pocket, sometimes I still carry it depending on the pants.

Looking for a 9mm, I shopped around, studied, read, and decided on a Solo, despite some negative stuff I had read. It's a bit larger and heavier than the LCP but not very much. I'm fine with it and agree with the OPs thorough range report.

I like my Solo!
Great review. Have you considered any aftermarket grips?
Just curious, How does it do with a full mag (6) and one in the chamber? That issue was a bear to remedy on mine.
Just curious, How does it do with a full mag (6) and one in the chamber? That issue was a bear to remedy on mine.
What was this bear of a remedy? This isn't the first time I've heard of this, but it's the first I've heard of a remedy.
Nice review...thanks for posting.
What was this bear of a remedy? This isn't the first time I've heard of this, but it's the first I've heard of a remedy.

Although mine was purchased in December of 2012, it was not a very high serial# S1115XXX. It runs like a champ now. Over 500 rounds of WW White box, (Not on Kimber's list) and various defense stuff. Zero malfunctions with full mags and one in the chamber. All of this after I started the other thread. Getting close to 1000 rounds, after the fix, still has not had a good, thorough, cleaning, only compressed air blow downs and "spray and wipes". When it hits 1000, then I will give it a good scrubbing. 1000 rounds with no cleaning and no malfunctions, in a package that small, is enough for me to call the gun "reliable". I am starting to believe that, after working out a quite a few bugs, it has "become" extremely reliable.

The multiple issues that my Solo had, may have been the exception. I don't know. However, I do believe Solos are a 50/50 proposition. Either you get a good one or a bad one.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I've always liked the looks of the Solo, but all the bad things I've heard about them have kept me from purchasing one. What's Kimber's CS like?
I dig the Solo,not the price though :)
  • Like
Reactions: 1
It's a shame many manufacturers release new models before they are ready for prime time.

1. When a person buys a gun for self-defense they deserve a gun that works.

2. Many great designs get a really bad reputation that they never overcome even though the manufacturer resolves all the problems.

I've always liked the looks of the Solo, but all the bad things I've heard about them have kept me from purchasing one. What's Kimber's CS like?
Uhhh? Real Friendly?
The Solo was the only Kimber, in my possession, that has issues.

Turn around time varied from 1 week to 90+ days.
Kimber paid for shipping every time. Shipping labels emailed within minutes of the initial phone call.
Kimber denies, specific, KNOWN issues, (Sear spring, slide stop not working on new style mags, failures with full mags and one in the chamber) but the do address most of them.
The "6 in the mag and 1 in the chamber problem was not addressed when I mentioned it, nor was it documented on the repair invoice.

Turn around time varies, depending on parts availability. The sear spring replacement (different style spring) took over 2 1/2 months.
Kimber repairs are on "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" basis. (Known issues are not addressed) I discovered this after the first return for repair.
The magazine catch and slide stop failed immediately after the first repair. The replacement mag catch was more "beefy" than the original. (Magazine catch is a "Known Issue" and was not replaced during the first repair)
The slide stop was of a different design than the original, possibly due to the shape of the follower on the newer style magazines. It was not replaced during the first repair. (My buddy has an earlier production Solo, making parts comparisons easy.)
The new "Safety recall" appears to have been done during one of the trips back to Kimber. My serial number should fall in the middle of a specific list of recalled guns. However, the serial number is not on Kimber's posted "recall" list. I guess, that is a good thing.

I believe that Kimber C/S does all that the "higher ups" allow them to do. I give Kimber CS, itself, an "A", I give the policy makers for CS a "D" at best. That is the best way that I know to describe it.

Again, I own several Kimber 1911s and rifles, The Solo is the only one that has had problems.
See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.