Skip to main content

Kimber Micro 9

Kimber Micro 9
Check Prices

Kimber has risen to the top of the ultra-competitive 1911 market, and that's no mean feat. There are dozens of 1911 manufacturers and an army of 1911 fans who will take any company to task if its product doesn't live up to expectations. But there's an even larger pool of shooters, who are joining the growing wave of concealed-carry permit holders, and for many of those new shooters a full-size 1911 chambered in .45 ACP is simply more gun than they want. The trend has been to develop lighter, smaller carry pistols that are simple to operate easy to hide under light clothing.

To that end, Kimber America launched its svelte single-action Micro in 2012. Chambered in .380, the Micro was like a shrunken 1911, with the same grip angle and controls. But functional as the .380 is in terms of sheer numbers of guns sold, the 9mm Luger is the undisputed king of self-defense cartridges. Kimber launched a 9mm version of the Micro line of firearms this year.

The Micro 9 is much like the older Micro in many regards — an aluminum frame, single-action pistol with a steel slide and a six-round magazine — but it is roughly 10 percent larger than its cousin. The .380 Micro measures 5.6 inches long, has a 2.75-inch barrel

The concealed carry market is driving the move toward smaller guns because few people—especially those new to CCW—want to lug around a full-size 1911. The Micro 9 is considerably smaller yet controllable because it's a 9mm.

and an unloaded weight of 13.4 ounces. The new 9mm version is 6.1 inches long, has a 3.15 inch barrel and weighs 15.6 ounces. In practical terms the two guns are almost identical.

What's not identical is the chambering. The 9mm is a significant step above the .380 in terms of power, and that will lead some to choose the Micro 9 over the Micro. It's also a gun that's smaller than its ancestral 1911 cousin, too. Even Kimber's Super Carry Ultra Plus with a three-inch pipe weighs 27 ounces and you have .45 recoil with which to contend. The Micro 9 plays the middle ground between the less powerful .380 and the bigbore .45.

The version I tested was the Micro 9 Crimson Carry, which comes equipped with a pair of rosewood Crimson Trace Lasergrips with a red laser.

The power switch is small and is tucked into the lower portion of the left grip panel; the activation pad is on the frontstrap just below the trigger guard, an intuitive position that provides instant-on laser power when you draw the pistol to shoot. The addition of the laser grip doesn't add weight and allows the shooter to enjoy the advantages of a laser without having to mount anything on an under-barrel accessory rail.

The gun comes with a two-tone finish: matte black on the steel slide, satin silver for the frame. The barrel is also stainless steel, and the spring weight is 16 pounds.

The sights are steel, too, and they are dovetailed into the slide. There's a post front and notch rear sight that are high enough to be easily visible, but the contoured shape helps draw the gun without the fear of hanging up on clothing when doing so. The solid aluminum trigger has a factory weight of around seven pounds.

The Micro 9 faces stiff competition from the array of striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mms designed specifically for concealed carry, but this gun stacks up well against those competitors. For one thing, the aluminum frame helps keep weight low enough that you aren't adding a bunch of bulk.

The Micro 9 doesn't have a barrel bushing, and disassembly is a snap. With the gun emptied, the hammer cocked and the magazine removed, simply retract the slide until the semicircular tab on the rear of the slide stop aligns with the disassembly notch on the bottom of the slide and, with the slide held in that position, push on the slide stop pin from the right side.

With the stop out of the way, the slide can be moved forward and removed from the gun. The spring, guide rod and barrel are accessible for basic cleaning and lubrication. Precise machining and tight tolerances make the process smooth, and it becomes intuitive after a few cleaning sessions.

The standard magazine holds six rounds, but there's an optional seven-round version. For safety features there's a manual thumb safety that mimics what you'll find on a standard 1911 but no grip safety.

The Micro 9 has a firing pin block and a disconnector. Its ejection port is flared and lowered, and the cuts in the frame offer a comfortable hold on the gun when shooting, and the rear strap has a checkered insert. The frame itself is 1.06 inches wide, which offers a firm hold when firing yet remains trim enough so that you can easily conceal the gun under fairly light clothing.

The overall fit and finish and build quality of the Micro 9 are excellent, from the slide finish to the checkering to the robust magazine construction. The tolerances are tight and the machine work is excellent, befitting a carry gun with a suggested retail price just under $900.

The thumb safety and slide stop are both sized right: small enough not to interfere with a smooth draw but not so tiny you'll have trouble finding or operating them.

Before I perform standard 15-yard accuracy tests with a pistol like this, I spend time on the range shooting offhand from more intimate distances to familiarize myself with the trigger and overall feel of the gun. This makes the accuracy test more valid and provides an opportunity to examine how the gun handles while drawing from a holster, delivering doubletaps, practicing reloads and moving while firing.

The Micro 9 performed well during these exercises. The safety is not so large that it will hang up during a draw, yet it's easy to find and manipulate — especially if you've ever handled a full-size 1911 or any gun with similar controls. The same can be said of the slide stop. It's easy to find without fumbling or taking a timeout to hunt for a minuscule release like those you'll find on some other carry guns.

The magazine release button is tucked away, but the position is intuitive, and the small mags drop out without any hiccups or hassles. This may not seem like a big deal, but if the gun runs dry and someone is trying to kill you, it's a blessing to know your pistol is a snap to reload.

The 16-pound spring slams the slide with authority, and the trigger pull is smoother and shorter than on competing striker-fired guns, always a bonus when carrying a single-action. Though you likely won't touch the hammer in most shooting situations, the compact design, with its serrated top, is easy to manipulate.

The slide isn't the lightest you'll find on a carry gun, but it's quite smooth, and the spring is robust enough that it should last for a long

The gun's sights are all black, the rear being serrated to eliminate glare. While not as effective in low light as other designs, that's not an issue since this version has a laser.

time. Recoil is stiff but certainly manageable, and with plenty of grip surface with ample checkering and a beavertail, you can comfortably handle this gun even with the hotter 9mm defensive loads.

The all-black sights aren't as visible as other configurations, but they're functional under most lighting conditions. And with the Crimson Carry version that's not as much of an issue because the laser is great for low-light conditions or if you find yourself in a compromised position where raising the gun, aiming and firing is an impossibility.

For the accuracy portion of the test, I chose four hollowpoint defensive loads and a full metal jacket target load, all of which weighed either 115 or 124 grains. Despite rather basic sights and a stubby barrel, the Micro 9 performed quite well in those accuracy tests. It managed a few groups under 1.5 inches, although the average was more like two to three inches—perfectly good for a 15-ounce carry 9mm at 45 feet.

Toward the end of the test, there were two different failures to feed with two different ammo brands, but the problem in both cases

The Crimson Trace Lasergrips feature instinctive activation. When your hand is in a firing grip, it turns on the laser via a pressure pad in the frontstrap.

seemed apparent and was easily remedied: The noses of those two bullets hung up on the polished feed ramp that, after a couple hundred rounds of ammo, had become fouled.

After the test was complete, I cleaned and lubricated the internals and sent two more boxes of ammo downrange. There were no problems after that cleaning, and those same problem loads ran unimpeded.

Compact dimensions make this gun easy to carry, but the short grip and the six-round magazine in place means your last digit will be left out in space. On some guns that means you'd better hang on for a wild ride when touching off a powerful defensive load, but that's not an issue with this gun.

If you're a right-handed shooter and your trigger finger rides a little high, there's a chance you'll block the laser unit, too. The factory sights on the test gun were about three inches high at 15 yards, but as the test shows, overall accuracy was good.


I carried the Micro 9 in a Galco Underwraps belly band and found it to be comfortable and easy to conceal. For light summer clothing — say a light T-shirt and athletic shorts — it's about as big a gun as a person of average build can expect to keep hidden during the warmer months, but it's not nearly as difficult to hide as guns that are just 10 percent larger.

The durable finish on the slide seemed to hold up well, even against perspiration and the constant shuffling and friction of all-day carry.

The $900 price tag might scare away shooters on a limited budget, but those who are willing to fork over that kind of money for a concealed carry weapon want to know that the product they're purchasing is built to a lofty standard. You get that with the Micro 9, and I don't think its price tag is out of line for a pistol of this ilk, especially with the added versatility of the Lasergrips. If you elect to purchase the Micro 9 sans laser, the price tag drops to $654.

Kimber has a pretty good handle on what shooters like, and there's no doubt the Micro 9 will appeal to the concealed-carry crowd. Not too big, not too small, it's an ideal personal defense gun for those who like everything about the 1911 except its size and traditional chambering. And who knows? With its compact design, easy takedown and stylish looks, this gun might even win over a few polymer pistol fans.


Kimber micro 9 CDP 9mm

Check prices, read customer reviews or buy it at Everest

Check Prices

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Taurus 856 Defender

Taurus 856 Defender

Scott Rupp reviews the Taurus 856 Defender, a fine revolver with a variety of enjoyable features.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

We all want to shoot better with a pistol, but what drills do we need to practice?9 Best Pistol Drills to Become a Better Defensive Shooter Training

9 Best Pistol Drills to Become a Better Defensive Shooter

Patrick Sweeney - September 24, 2019

We all want to shoot better with a pistol, but what drills do we need to practice?

The affordable price, reliability and shootability of the Taurus G3c make it a perfect choice for concealed carry.Taurus G3c Pistol Review Reviews

Taurus G3c Pistol Review

J. Scott Rupp - December 23, 2020

The affordable price, reliability and shootability of the Taurus G3c make it a perfect choice...

Walther's Q4 Steel Frame is a carry-friendly version of its popular Q5 Match SF.Walther Q4 Steel Frame Pistol Review Reviews

Walther Q4 Steel Frame Pistol Review

James Tarr - January 08, 2021

Walther's Q4 Steel Frame is a carry-friendly version of its popular Q5 Match SF.

Revolvers have experienced a surge in popularity recently. This article takes a look at six top revolver candidates for home defense.Six Best Revolvers for Home Defense Revolvers

Six Best Revolvers for Home Defense

Payton Miller - December 16, 2020

Revolvers have experienced a surge in popularity recently. This article takes a look at six...

See More Trending Articles

More Compact

Kel-Tec's P-32 in .32 auto is a small gun capable of handling big jobs.Review: The Kel-Tec P-32 Compact

Review: The Kel-Tec P-32

Patrick Sweeney - November 20, 2018

Kel-Tec's P-32 in .32 auto is a small gun capable of handling big jobs.

The defensive handgun market is ripe with affordable, accurate and dependable choices, but these six compact high-capacity 9mm pistols stand out from the rest of the field.6 Best Compact High-Capacity 9mm Handguns Compact

6 Best Compact High-Capacity 9mm Handguns

Jeff John - July 08, 2020

The defensive handgun market is ripe with affordable, accurate and dependable choices, but...

Pinfires and some other handguns come in small sizes, typically measuring about an inch in length and weighing less than an ounce. One that is hard to beat is the 2mm pinfire. Some fire a projectile at a listed 1,000 fps, producing a single foot-pound of energy.Tiny Pinfire Pistols - Old School Compact

Tiny Pinfire Pistols - Old School

Bob Shell - February 27, 2019

Pinfires and some other handguns come in small sizes, typically measuring about an inch in...

The new Springfield Hellcat 9mm subcompact pistol is poised to claw its way to the top of the concealed-carry market; this detailed review will explain why. Video included!Springfield Hellcat 9mm Review – Helluva Carry Gun Compact

Springfield Hellcat 9mm Review – Helluva Carry Gun

D. Faubion - September 25, 2019

The new Springfield Hellcat 9mm subcompact pistol is poised to claw its way to the top of the...

See More Compact

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now