REVIEW BY BRIAN MCCOMBIE
Tiny, Potent, and Very Accurate
As concealed carry became increasingly popular, gun makers turned out dozens of smaller, much-easier-to-conceal handguns. Makes sense, right?
Big potential problem with pint-sized pistols, though: they can be very difficult to shoot accurately. Tiny grips, smallish trigger guards, and dinky sights. Sure, they tuck right into a pocket. But try to hit a target at 10 yards. Not the bullseye—just the target!
Thankfully, Kimber has figured out how to make a smaller carry gun that is also accurate and easy to shoot: the Kimber Micro 9 Rapide in 9MM.
Essentially a baby 1911, the Kimber Micro 9 Rapide is a single action, semi-automatic, and mine looked great right out of the box. Done in a two-tone finish—a silver gray slide and a darker, almost pewter-colored frame—the pistol also features stepped cocking serrations, slide lightening cuts, black G10 grips, and a Stiplex front strap pattern cut into the frame for added gripping stability.
But it was also small, fairly short with a 3.1-inch barrel, and weighed under a pound. So, I had to wonder: can I hit anything with it?
To answer that question, I used five brands of ammunition in the Micro 9 Rapide, including Winchester’s Train and Defend self-defense round with a 147-grain jacketed hollow point bullet. In over 200 rounds, I experienced no loading or ejecting malfunctions.
The one problem I had with the Micro 9 Rapide, early on, was gripping the pistol too high. With the recoil of firing, my hand came up on the grip and onto the beavertail, and the side of my shooting hand’s thumb engaged the ambidextrous butterfly safety. I was holding the Micro 9 Rapide much like a full-sized 1911, with my shooting thumb riding up on the frame.
The solution? I laid my shooting thumb over the left grip on a horizontal line with the middle of the trigger, then placed my other thumb over the shooting thumb at a 90-degree angle. The pressure from my non-shooting thumb kept the other thumb away from the safety.
Once I had mastered this holding technique, I was amazed at this little pistol’s accuracy. I started at a concealed carry range of five yards, firing offhand, and quickly concluded that any five-shot group not at 1.0 inches or better was my fault.
At 10 yards and still shooting offhand, my groups averaged larger in the 1.5-inch to 2.0-inch range, still quite admirable. My best 10-yard group was shot with the Winchester Train and Defend ammunition at just .85 inches. I also shot a 1.o-inch group with Winchester’s USA Ready range ammunition.
The Kimber’s Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day Night Sights popped nicely and put me on target quickly, thanks to the fiber optic inserts front and back. The rear notch was also large enough so that I could see the whole front post with space on either side, versus the all-too-common handgun sights that don’t allow the shooter to see much beyond sights themselves.
Trigger pull on the Micro 9 Rapide averaged five pounds, five ounces. The trigger itself was just a bit balky, but with the accuracy I achieved, it was obviously not a problem.
I carried the Micro 9 Rapide for several days using a Galco Stow-N-Go, IWB holster (Model K-STO664). The Galco clipped on to the outside of my belt and held the Rapide at a near-perfect height for drawing out the pistol. The holster and pistol were comfortable, even after hours of carry.
I also carried the Micro 9 Rapide in the small of my back using a Sticky Holster. This was ultra-comfortable when walking and standing and really wasn’t a bother when sitting as long as I sat with my trunk leaning a smidge forward.
In hand, the Micro 9 Rapide feels solid and serious despite its relatively small footprint. Concealed carriers will find much to appreciate in this pistol, and it will fit nicely on the nightstand, too.
MSRP: $910. For specs and more details, visit: kimberamerica.com.