Kimber’s Scaling Down Its Hard-Hitting Style with the Micro Carry .380—SHOT Show 2014

kimber03Kimber Manufacturing

Kimber showed up to the SHOT Show this year with some good news. The Micro .380s, patterned off of the miniaturized single actions popularized by Colt, are ready to roll. Now all of you single action aficionados can tuck a scaled-down version of your favorite carry pistol into your waist band when the weather prevents you from carrying your full-sized 1911. We got some trigger time with the new guns at the range, and they perform splendidly.

Kimber went in big with the Solo, yet many devoted Kimber fans groused about the finicky action. The Solo was picky about which 9mm you chose to feed it. While this isn’t unheard of for a well-tuned carry pistol, the Solo’s reputation was a bit tarnished. The Micro Carry aims to bring some of the compact Kimber fans back to the fold.

It is a tight little gun. Like the Solo, it is exceptionally well finished. The Micro Carry makes the Mustangs look rather pedestrian. And that’s Kimber’s niche. If you are looking for a single action pistol with custom features, Kimber is the place to start the search. The Micros will be available in stainless, all black and Kimber’s signature two-tone style (which often adds a third tone with the wooden grips). Once the initial demand recedes, they should settle out around $600.

kimber01But don’t be fooled by Kimber’s class. These are hard-working guns. Kimber and GemTech had partnered at the range, and we got to sling some lead from a tactical pistol with a suppressor. I’m happy to say it was one of our first stops at the range, which was still quiet enough to appreciate the silenced guns. With the GemTech can, the Kimber ran like an entirely different animal. It was just muffled enough that you could take off your ear protection and talk in a normal voice. Not Hollywood quiet, but perfect.kimber02

{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Brent January 16, 2015, 12:51 pm

    bought one found kimber has issues with the slide not returning to battery i sent it in like other have mo word yet on the fix

    • Chuck March 9, 2016, 7:58 pm

      Kimber 380 Micro I purchased would not ‘lock out’ when the last shell was fired in a magazine. Took it back, they traded me for a second micro; same problem. Took it back to dealer and now am on my 3rd micro. Haven’t fired it yet, almost afraid to. What’s the matter Kimber??????????

  • Grumpus July 4, 2014, 8:56 pm

    Looking up and down this comments list, and no one mentions the Taurus .380. Light, durable, accurate and not too expensive. I’d love to be able to drop $600 on a Kimber .380 or a 238, but I can’t afford it. But that working-class Taurus has been dependable and concealable and accurate. Check one out…

    • Army Spook January 19, 2016, 5:02 pm

      Thanks for the info. I will check out the Taurus.

  • D. Mitchell February 16, 2014, 5:53 pm

    I own a Bersa .380 and I can’t say enough good things about this weapon. It shoots everything. I can count on one hand the number of misfeeds I’ve had with this gun in the last 11 years I’ve owned it. It’s not the prettiest gun I’ve ever seen. But if I wanted pretty, I would have bought a pink one. Easy to break down, 3 dot sights, rear drift adjustable, comfortable to shoot. Priced right.

  • Scott C Bailey January 31, 2014, 1:23 am

    I have a second generation LCP that shoots great, I added 2 10 round mags for range work which gives you an excellent grip. I have put in plenty of time with the std mags as the ten defeats the pocket gun charm of this little gem. I will say with my baggie carpenter jeans,my LCP with the ten round mag drops into one of those Velcroed big pockets with room to spare. My son got me the add on red laser which is very handy and snugs on the gun adding no extra weight or unsightly appearance. You can have your high priced Kimber, if my LCP wears out I can buy a new one and still not have spent what one Kimber cost.

  • Mike January 30, 2014, 4:34 pm

    I wish Kimber made a steel frame for they’re pistols

  • Mike January 30, 2014, 4:33 pm

    I wish Kimber made a steel frame for they’re pistols

  • k9base January 30, 2014, 4:26 pm

    looks like a my KimberCDP-for a midget.But i like it -Had colt mustang in the 1990s -got very loose after shooting it 1000 0r so times

  • tommy two tone January 30, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Hey guys for my money in the .380 market check the Bersa thunder single stack. I’ve carried it for 3 years and initially I ran it 100 rounds or so every weekend without cleaning it just to see when it would give me a problem. It took around a year and a half (one FTL). It’s slimmer than a supermodel fits into a man’s hand (I have big hands so some of the micros just don’t work). I used the Walther PPK/PP7 but the slides can chew a chunk out of the meat of my hand if I wasn’t real careful. You can run the cruddiest reloads through the Bersa (I did) no freaking issues. And they’re relatively cheap. I’m not a brand name snob- I go with what works and each piece has a function. I’ve got a full size Baby Eagle 9mm (may personal favorite go to war gun) , a desert eagle .50 (for when you need to stop a car that’s chasing you). But for the money, the Bersa Thunder will be in my IWB holster chambered and ready let loose if some crack head wants to hurt me or my family. This gun will hit at 20 feet within a 6 inch diameter 7+1.

    • TangoDown January 30, 2014, 11:18 pm

      I think, after having made several posts here and thinking about it, I’m going to look at the SCCY 9mm and the NEW Remington R51. Retro-style R 51 has the obvious old-style look about it and reminds me of the Makarov somewhat. The lower bore/higher grip is better suited for recoil and accuracy. Sweet.

  • Jay January 30, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Hey fella’s,
    Great points on all ends!! I’ve had a couple differant .380’s , the first i purchased for my wife, it was a Diamond Back .380, and i couldn’t have been more dissapointed with the rack of the slide, which was virtually impossible for my wife,! And then even worse, was the customer service! But, I’ve since had the LCP, and besides the heavy trigger pull, i have no issues with! And finally, i just put my order in last night, for the “NEW” G42 and I’m happy to hear the good reviews!! Thanks! I don’t mind the “plain jane”look of the Glock, as long as it gets the job done! Thanks for the great insight everyone! It’s greatly appreciated.

  • Alan Robinson January 30, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Well pardners, John Wayne here, and if you are afraid to carry a cocked and locked 1911, by all means don’t.
    Sorry vito, but that’s your opinion, and we all know what those are like.
    I’m as good out of the holster with a cocked and locked 1911 as most are with any other gun, and yes I’ve also carried several of the polymer striker type firearms. I’m pretty close on all of them for speed of deployment and concealment. It’s all about the operator, and it’s a choice.
    The reason they sell so well is it’s a time proven design, period. Doesn’t make it better or worse than any other handgun from a reputable manufacturer, it’s about the operator, period.
    As to the .380 stopping power, would any of you really want to be shot with one? Didn’t think so.
    Better to have ANY well made gun of most ANY caliber than none at all.

    • TangoDown January 30, 2014, 11:01 pm

      Well said ‘Duke’. Although I’ve never even really considered carrying a .380, and haven’t (or don’t at the present), carried anything less than a 9mm, this new Micro has my curiousity up. Sharp looking piece and IF it shoots/handles anything like what their known for, it’ll probably be a winner for them.

  • Randi January 30, 2014, 1:25 pm

    I have a Sig P238HD – there is no sweeter 380 CC than this gun. I have put probably close to 1000 rounds though it with no FTFs or any other issues. Love this gun. It is amazing to shoot, little to no recoil, awesome trigger pull and very accurate.

    That said, I just bought the Glock G42. Glock did an outstanding job with this 380. I put it right up there with my P238HD but still prefer my Sig.

    I’ve tried several 380s and have found they just don’t measure up to either my Sig or my Glock. The LCP and the S&W Bodyguard 380 beat the crap out of my hands and both were very unpleasant to shoot.

    I now have 2 CC guns to recommend to my lady shooters, with absolutely no qualms about either. For those who want a pretty gun (in addition to a very functional gun), I recommend the Sig P238 if they don’t get sticker shock. For those who don’t really mind the plainest of the Glock or don’t want to shell out the extra dough for a Sig, I recommend the Glock.

    I bought the Kimber Solo a couple of months ago and will most likely be selling it when I can get my hands on the Kimber Micro Carry. I prefer my Sig P938 as it shoots better than the Solo and doesn’t beat my hands up.

    • Shooter January 30, 2014, 3:56 pm

      As to your last point, I agree that the Solo is not fun to shoot as the recoil is significant, but I also tried the P938 and felt like the trigger was no where near as good as the Solo. I was pretty surprised by how much I disliked it since I love the P238 and the 938 is pretty much just the 9mm version of it. Night and day difference though, at least to me. I carry the Solo and shoot with it regularly, as it represents the best of all possible worlds for a carry gun for me, but I shoot other guns for “fun at the range” time.

      • Shooter January 30, 2014, 4:13 pm

        Also, using the 8-rd. mag with the Solo makes a HUGE difference in the grip, increasing comfort somewhat and accuracy significantly.

  • LarryV January 30, 2014, 1:24 pm

    I’ve got a Sig Sauer P238, and the specs are nearly the same as this Kimber. My P238 is very accurate for such a small pistol, has a smooth trigger pull, good sites and is fun to shoot. Still, it is too heavy for my liking for carrying in the front pocket, in a pocket holster, while dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. Next to my Ruger LCP it feels like an anvil in either the front or rear pocket. Summer shorts (I live in a warm climate)are just too flimsy. Therefore, as much as I like it, it stays home most of the time. And when I wear jeans, I mostly carry my Kahr PM9 in a Remora holster. Just my thoughts. We’re all different, which is why there are so many carry options. Carry what works best for you.

  • GrouchyJohn January 30, 2014, 12:12 pm

    You compare them to the Colt Mustangs, which haven’t been produced in years. You forget the baby 1911 style SIG P238, which is basically the Mustang redone by SIG. The SIG P238 comes in a multitude of models, all approx 1/10 of an inch smaller in height and width, both are Single Action and the fancier models of the 238 make the Kimber look rather pedestrian. I don’t see any engraved slides/frames and pearl handled versions of the Kimber.
    In the end, the way a gun looks only matters when they are being passed around and admired, the proof is in the firing, accuracy, and reliability. “Pretty” don’t put lead downrange. My P238 is one of the very early plain jane ones. I have run over a thousand rounds through it with no problems and hope the Micro Carry can match the P238 in reliability, accuracy and quality.

  • Paul W January 30, 2014, 12:10 pm

    I’ve got both the Kimber Ultra carry and the Ruger LC9. I agree that the hammer and grip flare make carrying the Kimber without a holster impractical, and I carry the LC9 in my back pocket all the time. The Kimber is much smoother to operate, but not practical for a pocketed gun. And I don’t like wearing a holster…

  • Ex-military January 30, 2014, 11:57 am

    I agree , New Yorks leadership as well as Colorado is anti 2nd admendment, they violate the US Constitution as if it’s just toilet paper, let’s face it BIG BROTHER is here!
    And these elected officials of both states want to grab your guns, Kimber should relocate out of state. Just like the magazine and accessories manufacturer in Colorado did after the state banned 30 rd mags.
    Any gun manufacturer should not pay taxes and financially support a state that violates our rights period .

    The 1% ERs that run America need to be brought up on treason charges!! And hung from the neck

    • old sundance January 30, 2014, 12:44 pm

      I purchased a used Mustang Pocket Lite a few months ago it was equipped w/tritium sights and seemed not much used. I tried FMJ, LRN and JHP all fed with delightful consistency. I then, purchased a Laser-Max unit from Colt. I mounted and zeroed the unit dropped it into a De Santis Gun Hide pocket holster and carried it in that until my Versa Carry holster arrived. My “reliable little hoss ” leaves the homestead in one or the other rig each time I do. Cocked and locked.

    • TangoDown January 30, 2014, 10:04 pm

      RIGHT on ! As long as a manufacturer, OR a gun owner is silent…THEY ARE COMPLIANT. And to STAY and pay taxes to that particular state, absolutely ridiculous. I get that it would be “tough” to just pack up and leave, but if it’s YOUR livelihood..NP PROBLEM!

  • Thomas January 30, 2014, 10:51 am

    When Kimber starts standing up for the 2nd Amendment, then I’ll buy one if their handguns. But as long as they’re happy to stay in the Nazi like state of New York, they can keep ’em!

    • PAUL VINCENT January 30, 2014, 12:39 pm


      • k9base January 30, 2014, 4:24 pm

        -err -Protect Israel-they have maybe 400 nukes.What about the USA.Less coffee more thought .my 2 cts

      • TangoDown January 30, 2014, 10:36 pm

        Amen Brother, for the most part. DO FEAR this ‘anti-everything-worthwhile’ government! BHO has shown he can’t (didn’t) run a popcorn stand. No wonder since he had no experience in anything except activism. He and the morons he’s put in place have shown nothing but CONTEMPT for this country…unless of course it’s someone who has no moral barometer. As for “helping us purchase machine guns and silencers and 50’s”..uh, not that I’ve seen. I’ve seen him come down on the 2nd amendment LIKE NOBODY EVER HAS BEFORE with all his cronies behind him! He’s a TRAITOR in every sense of the word. Ok, I’m off my high horse. Now, about the Kimber .380, I like it, and as of yet don’t have a Kimber. But I am familiar with them enough to say they are of high quality and for excellent firearms. Here’s where I turn some people off. I do carry the G22 and a G17, both fine pistols with no complaints from me. I went from the Sig P229 to a lighter- weight gun due to a back issue and HAD to do something different. I like the Sig P238 mentioned and will definitely look at this Kimber .380 closer. It’s no argument, find a handgun you like, want and can afford…and shoot it till you’re proficient. Then take defensive class-es and shoot often.

        • tony July 18, 2015, 4:31 am

          got a micro carry and can say it is a pistol to be proud of, I also have an LCP its ok for its purpose but very harsh , my PPK is as and always will be awesome , although a little heavy it shoots great and consistent., kind of cool for a 1929 design. Just picked up a kimber 1911 and wow the trigger is amazing and why can’t they all be like that.

  • Ken January 30, 2014, 10:26 am

    I love cocked and locked single actions. I carried several 1911s throughout my career thus far, even one on my ankle. What does not impress me is the caliber of this one. Its fine for carry; just not pocket carry as the hammer will hang up and slow the deployment.

    • greyfox73 January 31, 2014, 1:52 pm

      Ken (great name) You carried a 1911 on your ankle? Was this a muscle building thing? When in the army, I carried a 1911 as a matter of no choice. As a proud infidel I’ve always considered the 1911 “big medicine” for the rads should I encounter any. As a former urban dweller, I’ve been using a Kel-Tec PF9. Shoots fine with CT laser grips. I must say I never considered the 1911 on my ankle unless I had a mind to deliver a (pitiful) karate kick. Even my dog laughs when I try such stuff.

      I will draw this lecture to a close by saying we all are looking for the “perfect” carry piece. I doubt such exists but we can agree that reliable, accurate (doesn’t need to be beyond 7 yds), durable with a smooth/light trigger are necessities. I’m aware that as the CC culture has advanced we are seeing the manufacturers tweak and tune their designs/production to deliver on most of those expectations. The fear of law suits from light triggers seems to have faded(yea!). Even Glocks are not as heavy as they once were. The European makers have led the way in this regard. I suspect mostly because liability law suits are rare in the EU.

  • Rick January 30, 2014, 10:13 am

    Huh, I must have gotten one of the “GTG” .380’s as my Colt MK IV Series 80 Mustang feeds FMJ and HP’s flawlessly.
    The only modification done was replacing the plastic Guide Rod with a stainless steel Guide Rod.
    The Mustang is very small and it has a crisp SA trigger that beats the heck out of the other DA/SA pocket auto’s.
    And it makes for a great backup very similar of a mini sized 1911 for those of us that carry both weapons.

  • Vito Monopoli January 30, 2014, 9:44 am

    If you have to carry it cocked and locked, it is not a good carry gun, especially conceal and carry. Full size 1911’s are great target guns, but only a wanna-be John Wayne would carry one for self defense. The reason that 1911’s are selling so well is because of a pseudo patriotism that was spurred up by the 2001, 911 incident. I think that the modern day 1911 is a great gun for bulls-eye competition because they are accurate and comfortable in the hand. But to protect my life in a spur of the moment situation…I’ll take a Glock or a Sig. Oh, and I do.

    • Ed Canupp January 30, 2014, 11:30 am

      Well said, I agree 100%, I also would like to add that in my opinion that a 380ACP caliber is not enough punch to authoritatively put down a problem when shot placement is not 100% accurate, which is often the case in a defensive situation. I like the warm fuzzy of at least 9×19 Luger and DA/SA preferably the double strike capability of the SIG P229 in 375SIG – yeah, I know it’s a high pressure round, but I shoot it well, if I had to do over, I would have gotten a DAK version of the P229 SAS Gen II ( herein lies the argument for a J Frame Smith, too ).

    • DarthVaderMentor January 30, 2014, 11:31 am

      Well said, Vito. I’d just by personal choice add the Walther PPK to the list.

    • JLA January 30, 2014, 6:13 pm

      Oh sure, the 1911 is a bad gun for self defense. Why don’t you go explain that to the Marines & all the SWAT teams that carry them, and don’t forget all the tens of thousands of regular folks who also carry one every day. I’m sure that’s information they would like to know. Just because you don’t know how to use it doesn’t make it a bad gun, and, just for the record, a 1911 is every bit as safe to carry as a Glock, safer actually.

      • vince gibbs May 6, 2014, 9:14 pm


    • Mario February 1, 2014, 6:05 pm

      1911’s are popular because they WORK, AND FUNCTION THE WAY THERE SUPPOSE TOO. They will fire everything you feed them. I should know, I own Three 1911’s. I have used everything from hollow points to LSWC’s with no loading or extraction issues. In my opinion they are the most accurate automatic pistol out there. They’ve been around for over 100 years. If they didn’t work, they would have faded away a long time ago. AND YES, they are very good as a defensive pistol, although a little on the large side. Not knocking Glocks as I own one, and had a Sig at one time as well. But don’t degrade the 1911. It has, is, and will always be an icon in pistols.

    • Billy December 22, 2014, 6:53 pm

      Vito, first off, I wouldn’t own a Glock but you are right about the Sig. Sig makes awesome guns that shoot very well. I have several. So you don’t think 1911s are good carry guns. You obviously have never had a top of the line 1911. I own many guns and out of all my pistols the 1911 in .45ACP is my all time favorite. I carry one every day and I promise you I can punch out a 2″ group at 25 yds all day long. Do yourself a huge favor and buy yourself a Wilson Combat 1911 and your mind will be forever changed. I carry it cocked and locked all day every day. There isn’t a better 1911 made. I also have a Sig P238 SAS (380) that I use as a pocket gun and I carry it cocked and locked very often and it is an awesome little pistol as well.

  • Alan Robinson January 30, 2014, 9:09 am

    Lipstick on a pig?!? Must be talking the Mustang .380, I’ve owned one as did my friend, and both were unreliable as the day is long. After the second trip back to Colt without results, I got rid of it and went with a Walther (which wasn’t much better, but it I made it work with some gunsmithing)
    If the Kimber functions, that’s all it needs to be 100 times the gun the Mustang is.
    A well made .380 that works out of the box is difficult to find. I hope Kimber got it right.

    • Steve Green January 30, 2014, 10:05 am

      My LCP out of the box has never failed me thru over 500 rounds. 2nd Gen LCP’s are flawless.

    • DarthVaderMentor January 30, 2014, 11:27 am

      I had sporadic feed problems with my Walther initially but once I changed the spring from 20lbs to 16lbs it hasn’t failed me again in over 2400 practice rounds I’ve fired this past two years (I practice at the range religiously every week). For me, it’s a Walther or Sig if my life depends on it. This especially true if your Walther is jostling around inside a jacket pocket with one in the chamber having the manual safety is something I think has value over the Sigs. The LCP’s are nice, but no manual safety, the lack of SA and the heavy trigger pull required keeps me away from them. It’s always a personal choice with conceal carry weapons, all based on your needs, even including the typical weather and clothes you wear. Check them all out and learn through experience the best combination for you.

      • Mark Are January 31, 2014, 9:25 am

        A pistol that small is designed for up close and nasty. So whether it is SA, DA, or both really makes no difference. Just point and pull tigger. LCP is fine, Sig is fine, Walther is fine, heck ANYTHING that close is fine. I’d say fill those little suckers up with Glasers Safety slugs and pray you never have to see someone’s head explode.

        • greyfox73 January 31, 2014, 1:14 pm

          MarkA: Speaking of Glaser SSs, I think they are the ticket but I’ve always had feeding issues with them?

          Is that a problem for you, and if so, whats the fix?

      • greyfox73 January 31, 2014, 1:11 pm

        DVM: Which Walther model do you speak of?

    • Ron G. February 15, 2014, 1:35 pm

      I bought a Browning BDA .380 a few decades ago and right out of the box it’s ran like a singer sewing machine,
      fast, straight and smo-o-o-o-th.
      It can be done, “Right Out Of The Box”.

      • wayne smith January 18, 2017, 5:42 pm

        i use to have a Browning BDA in 9mm. it was absolutely the most accurate & most reliable pistol i’ve ever owned. sure wish i had kept it.

        as far as the kimbers….. once had a stainless kimber in 45. lousy accuracy- after break-in, it would not dependably put 5 slow-fire shots onto a six inch bull at 10 yards. bucked like a sonofagun. the finish went bad- actually starting showing holster wear and rust on the finish within 2 weeks of purchase- in spite of daily cleaning, talked to some other folks who also had stainless Kimbers and they were having the same problem with the finish. one gun store owner had one sitting on display, never been fired, had been frequently cleaned and oiled, and it was showing rust on the top of the slide. sold my kimber and never looked back. have no plans to ever buy another kimber, and wouldn’t recommend one to anybody.

  • sheepdog January 30, 2014, 8:22 am

    Looks like a twin to my Sig P238.

    • Shooter January 30, 2014, 3:22 pm

      I was just gonna say the same thing. This was obviously made to compete with the P238. Looks virtually identical, same price point (for similarly equipped models), etc. I’m a Kimber fan. Own several and carry one every day. But I really don’t know what advantage this gun would have over the P238. My wife carries one and it’s really a pretty flawless little gun, especially with the 7-rd. mag. which gives you a little better grip. Also has noticeably less recoil than even some of my much larger .380’s, which is great for the ladies or anyone who is recoil-sensitive.

      Btw, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a “cocked & locked” carry gun, as long as the safety is an intuitive design like this one, the P238, and any 1911. Not everybody likes the trigger action of a Glock or similar. Many are more comfortable and more accurate with a SA.

      To Mr. Green, If you are comfortable with your LCP, then rock on, that’s what it’s all about. For me personally, the LCP has the worst trigger action of any gun I’ve ever shot. I didn’t keep the one we had long enough to know if it had any problems. My wife and I each shot a couple of mags through it and said, “screw this!”

  • Nick January 30, 2014, 6:44 am

    You can put lipstick on a pig…

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