Kimber Gets into the Striker-Fired Game with New All-Metal EVO SP

The EVO SP is available in four color patterns, including the CS, shown here.

Kimber announced this week their new product lineup for 2019, and along with small tweaks to their usual fare, the company offered something totally new: an all-metal striker-fired 9mm handgun they’re calling the EVO SP.

The EVO SP departs from the 1911-style handguns and revolvers the company has historically produced, but Kimber says it’s ready for the real world.

The handgun is machined to the “tightest allowable tolerances” and survived “multiple iterations of hands-on human factors testing to ensure the best possible user experience before finalizing the design,” according to the spec sheet.

The all-metal construction adds durability without sacrificing weight. At just 19 ounces, the EVO SP weighs the same (and even less) than other handguns on the market tailored to the concealed carry crowd. Springfield’s XDS Mod.2, for example, weighs 21.5 ounces, and Smith & Wesson’s Shield weighs 20.8 ounces.

Magazine capacity and overall length are comparable as well. The EVO SP ships with two 7-round magazines, and measures 6.1 inches, both standard for the category.

This is the Two-Tone, the least expensive of the new lineup.

This is the EVO SP TLE.

The price, unfortunately, is less comparable to other striker-fired subcompact handguns. Kimber offers four color combinations, and they range in price from $856 MSRP for the basic Two-Tone to $1,047 MSRP for the sleek, stylized CS. Real-world prices are usually $80-$100 less than MSRP, but that’s still a far cry from what you’ll pay for an XDS or a Shield.

SEE ALSO: Kimber Subalpine Mountain Rifle

Other features include a left-or-right-handed magazine release, striker indicator, ledged tritium night sights, a 6-7-pound trigger, and a new grip system.

Kimber announced other new models as well, including the K6s DASA featuring a knurled hammer spur; available with a 2 or 3-inch barrel. The TLE finish is now available in the K6s platform as well, and Crimson Trace Lasergrips models are now available in the DC and CDP finishes.

The new K6s DASA is available with a 2-inch or 3-inch barrel.

Kimber’s ever-popular Micro 9 lineup also got a new family: the ESV. The ESV (Black) and ESV (Gray) feature ported slides and a Titanium Nitride (TiN) finish on the Black, and rose copper Titanium CarboNitride (TiCN) finish on the Gray. The KHX finish comes to the Micro 9 platform this year, and like Kimber’s full-size 1911s, this Micro 9 has the same Hogue G-mascus grips, fiber optic sights, and hexagonal serrations.

The slide serrations in the new Micro 9 ESV cut weight and show off the Titanium Nitride finish underneath.

In the rifle world, the Mountain Ascent got an additional patterned model in the Subalpine, and the popular 6.5 Creedmoor chambering comes to the Hunter (Boot Campaign) model.

You can check out spec sheets on all of Kimber’s new models here. Also be looking for a full review of the EVO SP on GunsAmerica in the coming weeks!

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Wiz November 15, 2018, 5:50 pm

    I had a Kimber Solo, the spring on it was over produced and I could hardly get it back to take a round. I went to using an edge of my closet shelf to use to rack the slide way too tight or tougher than the average bear. Finally sold it, gave me a slide bit, first time is several years, so out the door it went. As well I had two Kimber’s in .45 ACP made from the “Pro Shop”. Couldn’t keep a safety in the weapons. Kept breaking off when I engaged the safety. Kimber was sending me safeties two at a time, By the time I dumped both of them I could change out the safety while talking on the phone using a half of a clothes pin. Sure would hate to be in a shoot out and not be able to disengage the safety, or have it break off when really needed. No more Kimber’s for me, AMF.

  • Grant Stevens November 11, 2018, 1:47 pm

    One can only hope Kimber has better luck with this striker-fired pistol than they did with their polymer-framed failure.

  • FirstStateMark November 9, 2018, 12:59 pm

    Very high price for this. I’ve always said – “show your friends your Kimber, show your enemies your Glock”.

  • Johnny November 9, 2018, 11:17 am

    Oh boy, I must say, that’s rather sexy:) I’d love to get my hands on one to try out. If their striker fire line up has a trigger anything compareable to what they did with the K6S, I’f have to guess it’s a sweet little stock trigger in a nice, sleek and stylish looking compact design.

    And no it won’t be for everyone. But, should we be knocking a fireaem simply based on its price tag? Price only makes it good or not good??? Hmmm. Again, not sure I’d be able to pony up that cash for this gun but, if I could (and didn’t live in commie-fornia where we’ll only be able to get one of these by paying twice the MSRP thru a PPT) sure I’d pick one up.

    Everyone has their own ideas but, I have a hard time reading comments where a item is bashed or knocked simply because of its price tag. There’s something for everyone out there, and we all have different wants and needs. And quite frankly, if there weren’t firearms like this being built (and some with a much much higher price tags!), boy oh boy what a boring sport shooting [equipment] would be!!!! That’s why you can buy a $200 Hi-Point or this new $1000 compact striker fired Kimber or, a $5000 Wilson Combat 1911. Or, a $500 Glock…and then dump $2000 more in to it! If you can, why the hell not?! Lol And I’m not gonna knock any firearm or tell anyone who does buy it that “you totally got ripped off” because I feel it costs too much. That’s just silly.

  • Kevin Calongne November 9, 2018, 9:12 am

    Another jam-o-matic from Kimber at twice the going price for similar handguns.

    • Area 52 November 9, 2018, 1:13 pm

      Back in 2002 or so I bought one a Kimber 1911 for almost $1000.00. Nothing but jams and if the handgun did fire and ejected successfully the brass hit me in the face. I called Kimber and was told that I had to wait until 200 round were put through to comply with their ” breaking in ” period before I could send it back for repair. I did manage to get them to take a look at it , costing me another $50.00 in postage. They said that there was nothing wrong with it. I got rid of it and read other stories of people experiencing the same. I owned other guns for a fraction of the price I paid for the kimber that were 100% more reliable. They may make some good looking guns but I don’t recommend them.

      • Alan Robinson November 11, 2018, 9:50 am

        !0 years, thousands of rounds, never had a jam, on my Kimber1911.
        But I had a Glock that did, as well as a S&W, and a really bad Colt.
        The Glock was a burr on the extractor, the S&W a bad feed ramp and the colt was a magazine issue.
        So your claim of Kimbers somehow being significant in that area is just nonsense IMO.

        • Area 52 November 12, 2018, 12:37 pm

          If you make a search on the web for Kimber handgun problems you will find the same. That is one person complaining of an issue, usually some type of jamming problem and two or three other Kimber owners responding by saying there is nothing wrong with the Kimber(s) they own. If you have a good Kimber handgun that’s great. My problem is I didn’t, and according to stories I read at various gun websites, others have similar problems with their Kimbers too. For the price they sell them at; those problems should not exist,at least not as many. Also the “breaking in ” period is ridiculous. Unless it is a precision handgun made for serious competition, a handgun out of the box should be able to function with the caliber it is suppose to fire. I could see any company putting restrictions on ammo such as no +p, wolf’s ammo, etc. However,regular factory factory ammo should function right out of the box. I read that they moved their breaking in period up to 400 rounds. If this is true I wonder why?

          • Mark N. November 12, 2018, 3:11 pm

            My Kahr, which has never hiccuped, has a manufacturer’s recommended break-in of 200 rounds.

            Kimbers are built very tight, and take a while to loosen up. I have one, a Pro Carry II. I had nothing but trouble from the very start, primarily with a failure to return to battery after about 75 rounds. I polished the feed ramp (it was covered with KimPro finish which it should not have been), bought a McCormick mag (Kimber mags having a bad rep), and sent it back. Still had problems. After 1400 rounds, I replaced the recoil spring with a spring direct from Wolff (the Kimbers supposedly have Wolff springs). I haven’t had a single issue since.

      • Wes November 12, 2018, 5:40 pm

        I like the look Price is what it is. I picked up a Kimber 1911 9mm a couple months ago for dirt cheep because it would not extract right and jam up. The owner just left it at the range for years. Did some research a there was a lot of them that had this problem. I just tuned the extractor and now it is shooting great.

        • Area 52 November 13, 2018, 9:33 am

          I’m glad to read that you and Mark N got your Kimber problems remedied. However in my own opinion, for the price they want, these problems should have never existed. Furthermore, no one should have to buy parts for a new handgun jut to get it to function. No gun company is perfect but these problems are excessive. No only that , if someone wanted to carry a new Kimber for self defense it potentially could be the assailant’s best friend with these issues. It speaks volumes when you said ” the owner just left it at the range”, for the price Kimber wants for it.

          • Mark N. November 16, 2018, 12:46 am

            Depends on the model. Mine cost $700 new. They’ve change the model designations, but there is still a Kimber that retails for around $700. The Springfield I’d like to have, formerly known as the GI model, now retails for $675 with a Parkerized finish, and up around &800 in stainless. Unless it is Brazilian, Philippine, or Turkish, you can hardly pay less than that for a gun from a US manufacturer.

  • James November 9, 2018, 8:33 am

    This EVO looks nice. Like a Mod 2 Solo. ( which was too small for my hands , sold it ). But , their prices are so high. I do have a Kimber, a .45 RCP. And I Love it , it is as close the the Old S&W ASP as could get without getting a pistol heavily customized. For this kind of $$ I will stick with my Kahr or snubby revolvers for CC/ defense carry . This on should have tried to compete with Sigs-P365. (IE: one of two more rounds capacity ).

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