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Old September 8, 2011, 01:40 PM   #26
18DAI
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The guy in the stall next to me was trying to shoot a Kimber solo last weekend.

I say trying, because every other round was a jam. He informed me that it had been back to Kimber twice and was STILL unreliable. He was going to send it back again because the black finish on the frame was flaking off.

Evidently another overhyped, overpriced, single shot Kimber. It appears, to me, I've not missed anything by avoiding anymore Kimbers. YMMV. Regards 18DAI.
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Old September 8, 2011, 01:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI
every other round was a jam
Do you happen to remember the type of ammo, or what ammo brands he had tried? If available in my area, I wouldn't mind trying what ammo he was using myself; if it worked in mine but isn't in his, that could indicate a slight redesign between the first runs of Solo and the ones coming out now.
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Old September 8, 2011, 01:55 PM   #28
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Fargazer it was two types he had on the bench. WWB 9mm and Federal 9mm ball. It appeared he had simply stopped by the local Walmart for range fodder. Regards 18DAI.
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Old September 8, 2011, 03:55 PM   #29
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Quote:
I think Kimber is really pushing the limit of what may be possible in a 9MM platform, and the failures show that.

American Eagle
I think there is a limit to how small the 9mm form factor can be but the Kimber hasn't hit it.

The snaller pistols take a lot of engineering and quality components and qualilty precision assembly but Rohrbaugh seems to have been able to do it.
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Old September 8, 2011, 04:09 PM   #30
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Hmmm. That explains a lot. Kimber specifically states to run at least 124 grain or heavier, and at least the WWB (if not both of those) are going to be 115 weight. The official requirements are at Kimber's Solo section page.

There is a more complete list of specific ammo at the Kimber 1911 Solo blog; this list includes some 115 grain ammo recommendations. Since the Kimber hosted link specifically states only 124gr and 147gr 9mm, I called Kimber support to ask them which was correct. They stated Kimber now only recommends 124gr and heavier, and that the FAQ linked at Kimber1911Pistols was probably composed before the official release date.

Once I finish running through my tests with American Eagle 147gr (so far no malfunctions), I'll run both of those through my Solo. I fully expect the gun to not function well with them, but I just want to see exactly how it behaves with the lighter bullets for my own curiosity, and so when people invariably ask me what happens when you use lightweight 9mm, I can answer them based upon not only the literature, but personal experience.
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Old September 8, 2011, 08:39 PM   #31
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Had a Kimber Solo. Sent it back twice, then Kimber replaced it. Had FTE with all ammunition, yes even from the Kimber list. Had the barrel replaced, ditto the magazine, the slide seemed made of pot metal. The cut to hold the slide back wore and failed to hold the slide back. Shake the gun and the slide went forward. The inside of the slide started to hit the new barrel and I had metal chips. The new magazine feel apart when the baseplate was pushed on with a thumb. In short you couldn't trust the gun to fire a clip.
Looked at the replacement, had no faith it would be better, and traded it for a Springfield EMP. Love it.
Maybe in 5 years I'll look at the Solo again.
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Old September 8, 2011, 11:37 PM   #32
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Update: I ran another 6 magazines worth of AE 147 grain ammo through the Solo, and I got a couple stovepipes in the last couple mags. This is significantly different than the earlier failures, so I stopped and cleaned it this evening. The pistol was fairly dirty inside. I cleaned the gun, lubricated according to the manual with Militec-1, and confirmed that the slide stop caught the retention spring. No peening, no metal wear visible inside; just a bit of finish wear on the inside of the frame below the barrel. So far, so good.

I'll start another string of 147 gr AE ammo Friday. Based upon the previous run (attributing the Fiocchi issues to cartridge OAL), I'm expecting to get at least 150 rounds of AE 147 through it before I start seeing malfunctions. If that happens, I'll clean it and then run 100 rounds of Remington 147 grain Golden Saber through it (150 if I think I can afford it - not cheap stuff). Finally, I'll clean it again and inspect for peening and other metal wear - that will put it around the 600 round mark, which is where some have seen those type of problems.

If it passes all of that, I'll trust it as a carry gun, just one that needs to be cleaned often. If it doesn't, then I've got some thinking to do - I'm not a safe queen collector, and the Solo is a bit too compact to shoot "for fun". If I decide to unload it, I'm pretty certain I can get at least my original purchase for it (I've already been offered $100 over that), and consider one of the following alternatives:
  • Walther PPS
  • Springfield EMP
  • Beretta Nano
  • Kahr PM9
I'll keep you all posted - I should be able to run through all that by the end of the weekend.
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Old September 9, 2011, 08:08 AM   #33
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From your list of choices Fargazer, I'd select the Walther PPS. The two folks I know who own them have reported them to be reliable, flat, easily concealed tack drivers.

Personally, I prefer the S&W 3913 for a concealed carry 9mm. The 3913 is a little bigger than your list of choices.....except for the Kahr maybe. It isd however bet your life reliable, accurate, durable and being underated is a value as well. Good luck with your Solo! Regards 18DAI.
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Old September 9, 2011, 04:57 PM   #34
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To each there own but for me a 9mm pocket gun for CCW does NOT have to be sexy, as a matter of fact less glitter the better.


Therefore, why would I want to pay +500 for the same results I can get with an LC9 or a PF9 for about $250 less...rather put that extra $$$ toward ammo a better than good bottle of scotch, a great meal out, another firearm - you name it

LC9 shoots every time I pull the trigger, hits what I'm aiming at, and never misses a beat, locks open after every last round what can I say

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Old September 9, 2011, 05:45 PM   #35
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You answered your own question...."to each his own"....and I don't drink scotch
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Old September 9, 2011, 06:36 PM   #36
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Many of the problems of buying the first batch of a car , gun , etc is that there is risk that the design and manufacturing details have not been worked out !! Marketing wants to get it out to the market quick !
Note preference for heavy bullets.
Note comments in manual about break-in and that recoil spring assembly should be changed every 1000 rounds.
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Old September 9, 2011, 07:14 PM   #37
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Well, I cleaned and lubed to spec, loaded up my 4 magazines with AE 147gr ammo, and got a stove pipe on my second and 5th shots. Not what I want to see for a potential carry piece.

My patience is rapidly reaching its end. I have one more thing I'm going to do - tomorrow morning, I'm going to the range and run 20 or 30 shots through the gun with a single magazine, then do that in sequence with the other three. It's possible the problem is with one of the magazines - I'd hate to chuck a $700 pistol for the sake of a $20 mag.

If I can narrow the problem down to a particular magazine or two, all is well. If not, I either decide to work with Kimber customer service, or I sell the Solo along with 4 magazines and a nice IWB holster made by HBE. I'll post what happens.
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Old September 9, 2011, 08:03 PM   #38
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There have been numerous reports of the first batch of Solo's being terrible. I know the ONE we got in and sold came back with all kinds of problems. We sent it to Kimber for the customer and he got it back about 4 week later. Haven't seen it since so I guess Kimber made it right.

Personally I would never carry a gun that was just recently cleaned. There can always be something put back together wrong. Generally I will clean my carry gun, then "function check" it with about 100 rounds, then it goes back in my holster.
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Old September 9, 2011, 08:33 PM   #39
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I think you're doing the right thing - cleaning it and lubing it to spec.


Eliminate that as a factor in the failures.

Sorry to hear that you're having problems with the Solo.
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Old September 10, 2011, 07:20 PM   #40
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Well, I tested the magazines; first magazine I got two stovepipes, but then never had another using it 4 more times. No other stovepipes.

Later I tested using Remington Golden Saber 147 - got another stovepipe on my first magazine, none on the second run.

I'm going to call Kimber customer service Monday; at this point I can't trust it for a carry weapon, it's too small to be a fun range gun, and I don't collect safe queens. If they offer to take it in for repair, great; if I get a song and dance about how 450 rounds isn't enough, or how I just need to find the right ammo, then it goes on the sale block.
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Old September 10, 2011, 07:34 PM   #41
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I really want a Solo. I doubt it will ever completely replace my Beretta 85FS (my current carry piece) but it would be nice to have a small 9MM pistol for those times when I am in a rougher area of town.

What I like about the Solo, other than being a small 9MM that looks a lot like the classic Colt Model 1903, is the fact that it is an all metal gun. I prefer classic looks in my firearms.

However, until Kimber works all the kinks out of the Solo, I can't justify buying one. I think I'll stick with my Beretta Cheetah 85FS for now. Maybe in another 2-3 years when the Solo has proven it's reliability will I finally get one to supplement my Beretta.
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Old September 10, 2011, 07:38 PM   #42
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Kimber wont give you a song and dance....they will repair it till they get it right....mine had the barrel replaced and now it functioning 100% with 60rd down range....I am going to put 50 more next week.
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Old September 10, 2011, 07:48 PM   #43
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Think I'll stick with my Glock, the Solo is a little big for my taste. If I ever buy a Kimber, it will defintely be an Ultra Crimson Carry!
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Old September 10, 2011, 09:42 PM   #44
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Solo is a little big ???

Kimber Solo
Caliber:9mm
Barrel:2.7in
Length:5.5in
Height:3.9in
Weight:17oz
Capacity:6+1 Rounds

Glock 26
Caliber:9mm
Barrel:3.46in
Length:6.29in
Height:4.17in
Weight:19.75 oz w/o magazine
Capacity:10+1 Rounds


I don't think there is a Glock in existence that is smaller than the Kimber Solo Carry.
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Old September 12, 2011, 05:47 PM   #45
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Well, I spoke to Kimber today; they sent me a UPS label, and I'll probably have it in the mail tomorrow. Sounds like it will be a couple weeks round trip.

One interesting thing I noticed about the gun; when I shake the gun back and forth, I can hear the slide move. That seems unusual; none of my other semi-auto's do that. I'm wondering if the issue is the recoil spring (which is not atypical for new small guns). The pistol has around 500 rounds through it, so it's nowhere near it's official 1000 round capacity.

Meanwhile, my LGS has 4 of the Beretta Nano's arriving late this month. I'll need to see what kind of trigger pull it has; if it's acceptable, I may try it out. It's always good to have options.
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Old September 12, 2011, 08:54 PM   #46
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Kimber Solo

Was going to just write out a check for one of these in February in Florida without even trying it. It was one of the neatest small 9mm guns I have ever seen.

Started reading the forums, then tried (the operative work is "tried") to shoot one at a range in Michigan. It simply did not work. The black finish was already flaking off and this was only a range gun to try out at a high end mid Michigan gun store.

Bought an LC9 just to try out. Works perfectly with anything. Never had a single problem. Just not too "sexy".

Bought a beautiful EMP 9 that also has never hiccuped. What a great gun and what a classic.

Really am sick about the Solo, and not to impressed with the Sig 290 either.

Just some thoughts,

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Old September 12, 2011, 10:22 PM   #47
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I'm sorry to hear about the Kimber Solo.

I know that when you lay down your money, you expect to have fun with it at the range, and carry it. But instead your time is taken up testing it, making calls, shipping it and waiting for it to return.

Thanks so much though for taking the time to make these range reports.
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Old September 13, 2011, 03:25 PM   #48
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NOW...I am digusted.....range today....the Solo wont feed a single round...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Kimber gets another call...for 3rd time.
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Old September 20, 2011, 12:22 AM   #49
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Solo arrived at Kimber Monday morning. I"m waiting to see how it turns out. Meanwhile, I had the good fortune to win a pistol this weekend, and I traded it and a bit of cash for a new Walther PPS, one of each size magazine, and a Remora holster. I also told the LGS that I'm interested in the Beretta Nano, which should arrive in store October 6th.

I'm betting that part of the issue is the recoil spring; again, I could shake the gun and hear the slide move forward and back (not sideways - the fitment is good) - that's not something any of my other semi-autos do.

I'll post once it returns how it behaves, and what Kimber says they did to it.
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Old September 20, 2011, 01:35 AM   #50
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I think I'm going down the revolver route instead of forking money over for a SOLO. I still want one, but I can wait for all the bugs to be fixed. It's not like I don't have other concealed carry firearms at the moment.
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