I own a few different carry pistols that I’ve carried for self-defense over the past several years. They’re all great, reliable options and carry comfortably. I recently picked up a Kimber Micro 9, and it’s been my go-to EDC carry since the day I got it. There are a few good reasons why I choose it over my other handgun options, and it mainly comes down to reliability and size.

What is the Kimber Micro 9?

Kimber’s Micro 9 has been out for a few years now. It’s labeled as a sub-compact carry gun, and it’s smaller than my other carry guns, which makes it super easy to conceal. I normally carry it IWB (inside the waistband), but given its small size, it’s great for pocket carry with the proper holster, too. 

Kimber Micro 9 Pistol
The Micro 9 creates a compact and comfortable carry package. (Photo: Annette Doerr/Guns.com)

The Micro 9 is essentially a small 1911. Fans of the 1911 platform will love that the thumb safety, slide release, and magazine release are all basically identical to their full-size friend. The grip angle is also the same. One difference you’ll notice right off the bat is there is no grip safety on the Micro 9. 

The frame is aluminum, which provides strength and helps keep the weight on the lighter side. The barrel is machined from stainless steel, which is great at resisting moisture and keeping it ready to fire even between cleanings. The single-action trigger also has a short, smooth pull. 

All Micro 9s feature a lowered and flared ejection port for smooth, fast ejecting of spent casings as well as a beveled magazine well for fast, efficient loading. The sights are steel and mounted in machined dovetails. Of note, the magazine release is not reversible, so if you’re left-handed, this may be something you’ll have to adjust to.

I’ve listed some other helpful specs below:

Caliber: 9mm
Height: 4.07 inches
Length: 6.1 inches
Width: 1.08 inches
Magazine Capacity: 7 or 6 with a flush magazine
Weight: 15.6 ounces with an empty magazine

Shooting the Kimber Micro 9

Kimber Micro 9 Pistol
Despite its small size, the Micro 9 actually handles nicely on the range. (Photo: Annette Doerr/Guns.com)

Shooting the Micro 9 is smooth and fast. It’s one of those guns that just feels good in my hand. For a small handgun, the recoil is surprisingly mild and easy to manage. It’s much milder than most of my other carry guns of the same caliber. The grip is comfortable and secure, and I’ve had no limp-wristing issues or slipping despite the small size, even in wet and sweaty conditions. Of note, as you’ll notice in my photos, my Micro 9 has Hogue grips installed rather than the traditional rosewood grips that it came standard with. 

The high beavertail ensures you’ll get your hand in the right place each time you draw from your holster and avoid a nasty slide bite. The slide is very easy to rack, which was a nice surprise, especially coming right out of the box without a break-in period. The solid aluminum trigger has a pull of what Kimber claims is 7 pounds as the factory setting. It feels less than that, and I’ve seen other tests that put it around 5 pounds out of the box.


Kimber Micro 9 Pistol
I've actually opted for the rubberized Hogue grips for added controllability. (Photo: Annette Doerr/Guns.com)

Reloading the Micro 9 isn’t as easy as reloading a full-size 1911, due to its small size, but it honestly isn’t that bad. Like everything else, practice makes perfect. Dry firing and working on that muscle memory with reloads will make you more efficient and faster. 

Should you ever need your Micro 9 in a defensive situation, you’ll be thankful that you practiced some reloading on the move drills so that you won’t fumble your mag change in an emergency. I will say, I did get pinched by the baseplate during a reload, and you’ll need to pay attention when inserting the new magazine in order to ensure that your palm is fully out of the way. Again, practice makes perfect. 

Field Strip

Field-stripping the Micro 9 is intuitive and uncomplicated. It does not require a trigger pull to remove the slide. Similar to most carry guns, the trickiest part (which isn’t tricky at all) is lining up the slide-stop notch with the slide stop to remove the slide-stop pin, allowing the slide to be removed. The manual from Kimber does a good job of explaining the steps, but the takedown is very similar to my other carry pistols, and it’s much easier than stripping my full-size 1911.


Because of the Kimber Micro 9's small size, there may be a slight advantage for those of us with smaller hands. But I’ve had a few friends shoot it, and even the men seemed impressed with the way it functioned, the comfort of the grip, and how easy it was to shoot. Overall, it’s compact, comfortable, easily concealable, and a delight to own. 

revolver barrel loading graphic