It has been a long time since I used, let alone owned, anything that fits in the “pocket pistol” category. Several years ago, I had a run-in with an older Ruger LCP that left a bad taste in my mouth and I swore off of .380 ACP forever… or so I thought. In all fairness, I never really gave the smaller calibers a chance, judging them universally for the failures of a specific weapon that had been treated poorly by its owner. Thankfully, the Micro Carry came along and gave me a chance to change my opinion.
For those who missed it, the Micro Carry was first publicized during SHOT Show 2012 as an alternative to the LCP, Colt Mustang and similar small-frame pistols. Despite the 2012 unveiling, the Micro Carry never hit the shelves until mid-2014 and the massive following commanded by Kimber kept those shelves nearly bare until late in the year. Thankfully, the general consensus is that this little beauty lives up to the hype.
I picked up my Micro to serve as a backup piece. Before finally settling on the Micro, I spent months checking out the alternatives which, as anticipated, universally fell short. However, for a variety of reasons, I was determined to find something compact enough to comfortably and discretely carry in an ankle rig, and eventually decided to give the Kimber Micro a chance. The few of my friends who have had the opportunity to snag some range time with me know that I’m not a Kimber fanatic. Years ago, Kimber gained a reputation for producing high-quality factory 1911s. And, at the time, their weapons really were top-notch for what was basically a factory-produced product. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they fell into the same trap that so many other manufacturers do and ended up putting quantity over quality. Prior to picking up the Micro, I hadn’t found a recent-model Kimber that I actually liked in years.
Right off the bat, the Micro feels perfect. So many pocket pistols feel wrong that finding one that just feels right is a breath of fresh air. Being a micro-1911, it shares a virtually identical profile to its full-sized counterparts. The Micro I picked up was their base model in black. It ships with a matte black aluminum frame and steel slide, black synthetic double diamond grips, and a 2.75 inch stainless steel barrel. The base model comes with a single six-round magazine, though a seven-round magazine with pinky extension is available (in fact, some models ship with it).
Anyone who has ever fired any of Kimber’s full-sized 1911 offerings will immediately feel at home with the Micro, which features a crisp, solid aluminum single-action trigger with a factory trigger pull of about seven pounds. This feature really makes the Micro stand out in a lineup of similarly-sized pistols that, all too often, can’t match the standards set by their full-sized counterparts.
How a gun looks is important, but just as important is its performance. This is even more vital in a carry gun, where your life could well rely on the quality of your weapon at any given time. The range is also where the Micro really shines. Rarely will you find a sub-compact or pocket pistol that is both easy to carry and fun to shoot, but the Micro manages to pull off both nicely. Despite weighing in at just 13.4 ounces, it handles effortlessly; at 15 yards it held a remarkably tight group and I put 150 rounds through it before finally calling it a day.
One place in which the Micro deviates from the design standards of full-size Kimber 1911s is its safeties. Many of the larger 1911s include a beavertail grip safety which, obviously, wouldn’t fit well on the smaller frame of the Micro. However, Kimber delivers on safety nonetheless, including a traditional 1911 thumb safety and firing pin safety block in the design. One thing which may take 1911 owners a moment to adjust to is that the thumb safety on the Micro doesn’t actually lock the slide. While I initially found this slightly unsettling, it does have the advantage of allowing you to clear the weapon without disengaging the safety.
Once you’ve dirtied up a weapon you have the privilege of cleaning it and, of course, the Micro design breaks down in much the same way as any 1911. The one noticeable difference (and you should take note of this) is that when reassembling the Micro you have to manually depress the ejector below the slide. It does take a while to get used to, but once muscle memory kicks in it’s no big deal… just don’t forget about the ejector and try to force the slide back onto the rails. You will do damage.
While I opted for the base model, many of you might prefer one of its siblings… and Kimber provides several options. The base model is available in both matte black and stainless, and retails for between $650 and $680. Prices go up from there and peak at around $1200 with the Micro CDP (LG) which is a two-tone model featuring Crimson Trace Lasergrips and tritium night sights.
Anyone who is familiar with Kimber can tell you that their firearms aren’t on the lower end of the factory-made price list. That said, comparing the Micro to similar pistols like the Ruger LCP, Colt Mustang or Sig P238, the price difference is more than justified. Nothing I’ve fired (yet) in this category comes close.