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.
The Model 1911 pistol is well-established in the American gun culture. Virtually every handgun maker of any size offers some version of the old classic, and many smaller firms craft radically upgraded competition or presentation versions. As American shooters, we really like the century-old service pistol, so much so that a steady stream of M1911s issues forth, successfully competing with all the modern polymer semi-automatics. Every gun person accepts this, but some makers take it a bit further. It is not just an endless stream of copies of the first Colts as much as it is the appreciation of the M1911 as a style of pistol. Almost as soon as the gun was first offered, other makers made pistols that strongly resembled it and often handled in pretty much the same way. Some of the guns were much larger and others were much smaller, but all had those instantly recognizable lines.
It should be obvious that a gun intended for concealed carry on the person should be small, but more importantly, it should be light. Often, however, the small, light handgun delivers ballistic performance on the light side. That forces the defensive handgunner hard up against what I call the “concealed carry conundrum”—needing to select a hideout handgun that is adequate in terminal performance, but small and light enough to be habitually carried. Books have been written about the resolution of this dilemma. The Internet forums fester with dispute, but the fact remains that those handgunners who like the self-loader often choose a .380 ACP pistol. This article concerns a line of .380s from one of America’s leading makers of M1911 pistols. The maker is Kimber; the model is the Micro.