Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

The Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense.

The Kimber Micro was initially offered in .380 ACP caliber, and a year later Kimber added a 9mm Micro lineup. It’s a line of pistols, Kimber has been aggressively expanding — it currently encompasses 14 models — and one of the newest is the Micro 9 Nightfall D/N (Day/Night, manufacturer product # 3300194) version. It’s one of five Day/Night models in the Micro 9 family.

The gun stands out from its stablemates thanks to its Hogue rubber wraparound finger-groove grips. These sport the Kimber name, and they provide a comfortable fit and soften the felt recoil of even the stoutest 9mm +P rounds. That’s right. The Micro is rated for +P, although Kimber notes extensive use of this high-pressure ammo will shorten the pistol’s service life.

If you’re wondering about whether the size and the stickiness of the rubber grip would make it difficult to carry in a pocket, I carried it in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and discovered the rubber grip did not hinder my ability to draw the Micro cleanly from a pocket.

I mentioned this gun is a Day/Night model. This means the gun features Truglo TFX Pro Day/Night fiber-optic/tritium sights. These are scaled to the smaller Micro and dovetailed into the slide. The rear sight also has a 90-degree front edge that can be used to do an emergency one-hand slide manipulation.


Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review
The Truglo day/night sights on the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall (manufacturer product # 3300194) combine tritium for low light and fiber optics for normal light, making them among the best and most useful sights on the market.

These sights are tritium-powered for good visibility in low light, and the green fiber-optic elements in the front and rear offer extremely fast sight acquisition and a defined sight picture in good lighting conditions. Additionally, the front sight’s green fiber-optic insert is surrounded by a bright orange circle that draws the eye to the sight. This is one of the best sets of sights I have used on any of the defensive subcompact pistols.


The matte black stainless steel slide incorporates a firing pin safety that prevents the pistol from firing unless the trigger is pressed to the rear. It has a traditional 1911-style internal extractor and a large ejection port with a relief cut at the rear to ensure positive ejection.


The rear of the slide has seven forward-slanting grooves for positive grasping and manipulation. The slide and recoil spring are easy to pull, making it user-friendly for those with less power in their hands and wrists.

The Micro 9 does not use the traditional 1911 removable barrel bushing. Its bull barrel flares slightly to lock up solidly and provide great accuracy.

The frame is black anodized aluminum and reduces the overall weight of the Micro to just 22 ounces fully loaded. A beavertail rear grip tang surrounds the cocked hammer and prevents hammer bite to big hands and also effectively spreads the snappy recoil impulse across the hand’s web. The mainspring housing is checkered at 25 lines per inch.


The smooth-faced trigger is pinned in place and pivots to the rear. Trigger weight runs in the seven-pound range, which is a good compromise for a pistol designed for high-stress situations.

The ejector in the Micro is spring-loaded and acts not only to clear fired cases but also is part of the firing pin safety mechanism. When reassembling the slide and barrel onto the frame, be sure to push the ejector forward to allow the slide to move rearward. If you fail to clear it, the slide will strike it and can damage the pistol.

The stainless 3.15-inch barrel has a small cutout at the top rear of the hood that acts as a loaded-chamber indicator. The barrel has an integral feed ramp that ensures feed reliability and adds support to the cartridge case head. The locking system uses a camming barrel lug instead of the link of the 1911.


Kimber-Micro-9-Nightfall-3
The Nightfall is available with an ambi safety at additional cost. As a lefty, Chudwin found the right-side safety on his sample to be tight and on the sharp side.

The Kimber Micro 9 doesn’t incorporate a grip safety, but it does have a manual thumb safety. Unlike a typical 1911’s, it can be engaged when the hammer is either cocked or uncocked. The slide can also be cycled with the safety on. I’m a lefty, so I requested a version with an ambidextrous thumb safety, which is available at additional cost. I found the right-side safety lever to be tight and the edge too sharp.

After testing the Nightfall with 400 rounds of ball and hollowpoint ammo, function was 100 percent, right out of the box. The sole provided magazine was easy to load and has a finger extension that makes for a longer gripping surface. I believe you should always carry a spare magazine, so I think Kimber needs to add a second mag to the package.

Kimber-Micro-9-Nightfall-4
The Micro 9 offers seven rounds of 9mm and is rated for +P. Chudwin wishes the company would furnish more than one mag.

The Nightfall proved consistently accurate with all ammo tested. Several groups had multiple rounds in a ragged hole and a flyer or two that I take responsibility for.

The Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. It has excellent ergonomics and is very accurate, especially for such a small pistol. The light weight allows comfortable carry. As long as you do your job and commit to practice, the Micro 9 Nightfall will prove a faithful companion.

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall accuracy
Notes: Accuracy results are averages of four five-shot groups at 15 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of 30 shots recorded on a ProChrono placed 10 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: JHP, jacketed hollowpoint; SCHP, solid copper hollowpoint

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Specs

TYPE: single-action semiauto
CALIBER: 9mm Luger
CAPACITY: 7+1
BARREL: 3.15 in., stainless steel, ramped
OAL /HEIGHT/WIDTH: 6.1/4.6/1.1 in.
WEIGHT: 18 oz.
CONSTRUCTION: matte black-finished aluminum frame and stainless steel slide
GRIPS: Hogue wraparound rubber w/grooves
TRIGGER: 7 lb. pull (measured)
SAFETIES: ambi thumb (as tested), firing pin
PRICE: $775
MANUFACTURER: Kimber, KimberAmerica.com

Recommended for You

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

The Ruger Security 9 Compact 9mm (model # 3818) is a shootable, dependable gun with a low price tag. Compact

Ruger Security 9 Compact Review

J. Scott Rupp

The Ruger Security 9 Compact 9mm (model # 3818) is a shootable, dependable gun with a low...

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market. Semi-Auto

SIG P210 Standard Pistol: Legendary and American Made

Handguns Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

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.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

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 Stories

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all others will be judged. Compact

SIG P365 Review

James Tarr - October 31, 2018

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all...

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

See More Stories

More Compact

HK shrinks its excellent VP9 pistol to subcompact size. Meet the VP9SK. Compact

Review: Heckler & Koch VP9SK

Patrick Sweeney - August 06, 2018

HK shrinks its excellent VP9 pistol to subcompact size. Meet the VP9SK.

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all others will be judged. Compact

SIG P365 Review

James Tarr - October 31, 2018

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all...

The new Taurus Spectrum is a subcompact automatic I consider to be a mix of old school and new cool. As for old school, in the era of subcompact wonder-nines it is chambered in .380 ACP, the original subcompact workhorse cartridge. It features a double-action-only trigger system, and the sights for this subcompact piece are small and machined in one piece with the slide. Compact

Taurus Spectrum .380 Subcompact Review

James Tarr - January 22, 2019

The new Taurus Spectrum is a subcompact automatic I consider to be a mix of old school and new...

See More Compact

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×