In 2016 Kimber introduced the Micro 9—a semi-auto 9mm pistol weighing less than a pound and possessing 1911-style features. The pistol is single action in operation, has a manual thumb safety and can be safely carried cocked and locked. Sales of the tiny 9mm pistol were so phenomenal and unexpected that a Kimber executive told me confidentially that the demand for the gun took production time away from the Kimber Solo Carry, leading to its eventual demise. So, it only made sense for Kimber to introduce the latest Micro 9, with the Rapide Black Ice.
The Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice
My initial review of the Micro 9 showed the gun to be completely reliable and possessing a great degree of inherent accuracy. In fact, I enjoyed shooting the Micro 9 so much that I purchased my test sample. To keep the Micro 9 line from stagnating, Kimber has offered a number of variants.
Meet The Micro Rapide Black Ice
Last November Kimber introduced the Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice to its line-up. Buoyed by the tremendous demand for the 1911 Rapide Black Ice introduced in 2019, Kimber decided to offer a Rapide Black Ice version of the Micro 9. The differences between my original Micro 9 and the new Rapide version are all cosmetic, but I have to admit the newest version is one good looking gun and has me thinking that maybe I need to expand my collection!
The new model features dramatic stepped cocking serrations fore and aft. The slide also has some ports to lighten its mass. Kimber’s website says this is to reduce lock time, but that isn’t quite right. The slide’s weight has nothing to do with the fire control system, but the lighter weight does help with slide velocity. I used loads from 77 grains to 150 grains and the gun cycled just fine! But the ports do look cool and also add another dimension to the gun’s top end as the stainless-steel barrel, with black DLC coating, is visible through them. Kimber coats the stainless-steel slide with silver and gray KimPro II finish to accent the multiple cuts.
Keeping it Light
Kimber machines the Micro 9 Rapide’s frame from aircraft grade aluminum alloy for weight savings. With an unloaded magazine, the gun’s weight is just 15.6 ounces! The pistol features ambidextrous manual thumb safeties and a mainspring housing that features oblong cuts to complement the slide cuts.
The bottom of the frame features a flush-fitting magwell. Also, the 7-round, extended magazine with base pad, adds enough length to accommodate the shooter’s pinky. For control, Kimber machines the frontstrap with Stiplex texturing, and the G10 grip panels also possess relief cuts similar to the slide and frontstrap to give the gun consistent stylization.
No Mini 1911
While the Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice might look like a miniature 1911, it is not. Internally, the lock work is quite different, and the gun’s barrel lock-up and pivoting trigger differentiate it from a 1911. That being said, if you’ve run a 1911 you will be able to run the Micro 9 intuitively. The slide release, thumb safety and magazine release are all in the Browning-inspired locations and function similarly. One notable difference, however, is the gun can be loaded and unloaded with the safety engaged. That’s a plus in my book!
Kimber uses a stainless steel, match-grade barrel in the Rapide and it features a supported barrel with an integral feed ramp. As I said earlier, the Black Ice model’s barrel has a black DLC coating, giving it a nice, peek-a-boo contrast to the silver/gray slide. There’s a recoil spring guide rod under the barrel, and the gun uses a single, flat recoil spring.
Made to Fight and Look Good Doing It
Kimber went to great lengths to enhance the cosmetics of the Rapide Black Ice but it remains a fighting gun. To enhance hit probability the gun includes TruGlo TFX Pro Day/Night sights. The fiber-optic rods glow with ambient light during the day and in darkness, a piece of tritium makes the rods glow so the shooter will always have the ability to see the sights in any light condition. It’s a great solution to an age-old problem.
Trigger pull on my Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice registered right at 7 pounds, and while that sounds heavy, I feel it is just about right for a compact pistol weighing less than a pound. It is reasonably crisp, and I was able to maintain a steady sight picture while completing the trigger press. Shooting from a seated rest with my targets at 15 yards, nearly all of my five-shot groups measured under 1.75 inches. I ran everything from 115-grain range ammo to expensive 147-grain defense rounds, and the little gun chugged right along. There were no failures of any kind during my testing.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re a fan of the 1911 but dread carrying all of that weight for your daily concealed carry handgun, the Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice might be just the ticket. Small and lightweight, the Rapide has all of the reliability and accuracy needed for uncompromised concealed carry. Kimber offers the Micro 9 in a number of other variations—16 or more, in fact.
Visit KimberAmerica.com to see which pistol best suits your needs.
Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice Specs
Barrel: 3.15 inches
OA Length: 6.4 inches
Weight: 15.6 ounces (empty)
Grips: Black G10
Sights: TruGlo TFX Pro Day/Night
Finish: Stainless steel, Kimpro II
This article was originally published in the Tactical Life Gun Annual June/July 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email [email protected]
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