If you love America, 1911’s, and think plastic pistols should be melted into Tupperware, then the Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Black Ice just might be the EDC you’ve been dreaming of. It’s small, thin, light, smooth, and absolutely gorgeous.
In all seriousness though, in this review, I’m going to try to keep fluffy words to a minimum and give you hard facts with pictures to illustrate so read the captions as they are part of my review.
Kimber’s Micro9 Rapide Black Ice is essentially a miniature 1911. It’s very light but well-balanced. The frame is made from aluminum. The gun only weighs 15.6 ounces with an empty magazine. The aluminum frame is coated in a matt silver coating that Kimber calls Kim Pro 2 Silver.
I didn’t have a single failure of any kind. I tested several different factory loads ranging from 115 to 147gr. The majority of the shooting I did was with my own handloads using RMR 124 gr bullets and I had no issues with those either.
What would I Change?
The trigger pull weight of 7lbs advertised by Kimber is surprisingly heavy. Mine was worse than that at an average of 8.5 lbs. The Kimber Black Ice is essentially a custom machined micro 9mm 1911 with a heavy trigger. 1911 triggers can be some of the best triggers in handguns. I understand that it’s meant to be carried concealed and that it has no grip safety but I still feel like 5lbs would have been a better number.
In its favor the trigger pull is crisp and relatively short and if I had to guess I would have guessed it at about 6lbs rather than the 8.5 that the trigger pull gauge registered. If I decide to purchase this gun I will have a gunsmith buddy work over the trigger.
The Black Ice is only limited by its heavy trigger when it comes to accuracy. I’ll be honest, I don’t shoot guns very often that have 8.5 lb triggers and I absolutely will admit that they are hard to shoot groups with. When I did my job the Black Ice stacked them in there. I don’t generally shoot small guns at 75 yards but this one had no problem putting round after round on the steel bcc target offhand.
I own several custom 2011’s and 1911’s. If I were to get a machinist to build an aluminum-framed 1911 and put the cuts, serrations, and coatings that the Black Ice features, the bill would be somewhere between $2500 and $5000 depending on specific parts. Kimber’s MSRP for the Black Ice is $910 but the street price is less. Honestly, I think that the price is fantastic considering what you’re getting. Many of the polymer wonder guns that are a similar size are $600 or more and they aren’t even half as nice as this gun. If you demand better you should take a hard look at the Kimber Micro9 Rapide Black Ice.
About the author:True Pearce is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911 https://www.instagram.com/true1911/
If you are looking for an expensive, unreliable, safe queen… then this Kimber is for you.
I backed into an original style Micro-9 last year and could not be happier.
The Quick Slushy, Velocitous Glaze or whatever these new ones are called leave me cold – aesthetically.
All those cuts look like so many gratuitous tattoos of a pole-dancer to me.
That said, my pleasure with my Micro would still allow me to buy one of these *pimp-my-ride* pistols if a normal version was not available.
Hasn’t coughed at any load yet, is as reliable as should ALWAYS be expected and is accurate and easily holstered, pocketed and and handled.
I carry it in replacement of my SIG 230 SL or S&W 340 SC.
A little bigger and I go with my Pro Aegis. Bigger still, I open-carry my Det-1.
Not too long ago I would never have thought that my go-tos would be Kimber products from Micro to standard but, the quality of the pistols were their own arguments in favor of just that happening.
Wonderful little gun!
Speaking for myself my backside still hurts from my Solo trydon’t think I’ll go that way again!
Want a “semi 1911”??? Find a STAR BKM. Bought mine about ’83, a commercial model. STAR had both an all steel, and aluminum frame model. As a NATO approved/issued (Spanish Navy) pistol, appears that all of the issues the KIMBER has, was addressed by STAR to get their NATO approval. Sometimes it appears that designers ignore what had been done by others to put their mark on a new design, while others find that sometimes an “old” design (i.e. – Remington #8 safety versus AK47) is still a viable option. KIMBER should buy a BKM, and just make a clone.
Mark, I don’t want to be on either end of your 40mm pistol!. Yes we all know what you meant. Cheers!
I’ll take my “combat Tupperware” any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I’m sure Kimber makes a fine weapon but I’ve carried Glocks my entire career and have absolute confidence in them at a fraction of the weight and cost.
Bought a Micro 9 two years ago after shooting a single magazine from the one my son bought. True, it is not a mini-1911, but it FEELS like one! Mine shoots multiple bullet weights without any hick-ups. Six pound trigger pull. Put a box of ammo through it and you are good. Carry mine all the time in a pocket holster with one in the pipe, safety off, an hammer down. I practice drawing and thumbing the hammer. Shot a 1911 in the Marines for years. This pistol was like coming home. Love it. My son dumped his M&P after he got the Kimber…more accurate and smaller.
It doesn’t matter how nice the gun if you can’t find a dealer with one that can ship, or sell in West Kentucky!!
That’s a beautiful pistol, but beauty is only skin deep. Kimber is famous for building beautiful guns with reliability issues. I would love to own this gun, but I’m not going to buy a pistol with an 8.5-pound trigger pull. Besides that, Kimber has built a beautiful sorta 1911 in 9mm with a 7+1 capacity when modern 9mm pistols have capacities of 10+1 or more. While Kimber was redefining the 1911, they would have done well to figure out how to get the round count up to at least 10+1 and spent a little more time improving the trigger. My Sig P365 is not as pretty, but it does hold at least 10+1, is smaller, and has a very good trigger. I would certainly consider buying a Black Ice should Kimber build one that brings the pistol into the 21st Century.
It looked like the pistol was dirty, at least to take photos.
Nice looking pistol but I think I’ll stick with my Hellcat 9mm with 14 rounds and half the price. Never had any issues with it in 2 years.
Y’all want to take a ride in my mini Ferrari? It’s made by Pontiac and called a “Fiero”.
That’s what this article sounds like.
I’ll stick with my Bond Arms Bullpup 9. It isn’t a “1911”, but it also isn’t a “Tupperware” gun. It’s shorter than this Kimber with the same length barrel. I just have to stay away from cheap ammo and remember to load the magazine backwards.
Maybe Kimber has improved their machining. I bought a Kimber micro 9 in 2017 that took hundreds of rounds to break in before it would function reliably and then only with 147 grain ammunition. I like Kimber rifles but wary of their pistols.
Having been bitten really badly by the Kimber Solo when they came out. I had to return them for “upgrade”, they wouldn’t eat everything (or anything), I finally sold both of them and lost a bundle. I don’t believe that Kimber can actually build a concealable 9mm gun. both Springfield and Sig have ergonomics and the accuracy that have eluded Kimber up until now. Maybe Kimber should buy one of each, reverse engineer them, and find out how to build one.
I have about 20 1911s. Two of which are Kimbers. I won’t buy another Kimber because they both have exhibited the same problem. They are the only 2 that I have that have had repeated failure to go into battery. My 1911s from Springfield Armory, Rock Island Armory and Sig Sauer have never had this issue.
I even had a reliability and trigger job done on my Kimber Custom II. It did not resolve the failure to go into battery issue 100%. As a result, I’ll never trust it in a life or death event.
Sure it’s pretty, but is it truly reliable?
As for the Black Ice not being a true 1911. That is a true statement. It does NOT have all the features that a 1911 has.
No GRIP safety,
No straight pull trigger.
No link pin
Safety is not 1911 design.
Yeah, this gun disappoints me. It’s just not a 1911. No grip safety and no 1911 trigger system. The trigger is arguably the best part of the 1911 and Kimber blew it by making a change.
After 30+ years split between policing and the military jumping out of airplanes and fun filled all expenses paid adventure tours in foreign lands, I am bemused at those who are fixated on “too heavy a trigger”. There is indeed such a thing, but the primary weapon of the pointy end of America’s bayonet is the M16/M4 platform. Americans pull the triggers on those rifles when it means something tens of thousands more times than they do using either military sidearms or civilian sidearms.
A trigger pull gauge will those who never served that most of America’s military service rifles have a trigger pull somewhere around the 8.5 lb. mark. That’s for a weapon that’s stabilized by being mounted to the shoulder with a cheek weld, not waving around in extended arms, while being fired while the other side is trying to kill you.
If an 8.5 lb trigger pull on a shoulder mounted and stabilized weapon specifically intended for use while your life was at risk in battle was derogatory to the performance of troops in battle, at some point or other in the last 50, 60 ,70 years, you would think at least some NATO country would have figured it out even if America (apparently) hasn’t been able to. By now, somebody’s troops should be issued some Western manufactured assault rifle with a 4 – 5 lb trigger to get rid of the disadvantage of an 8.5 lb. trigger while engaged in battle. But for some odd reason or other, that hasn’t happened.
8.5 lb. triggers are too heavy for citizen self defense on the streets, while at the same time our soldiers can’t deal with a better 5 lb. trigger on their rifles while fighting battles in places like Fallujah?
Things that make you go “Hmmmm…. ” Kind of like all the arguments about why safeties on handguns are bad – but they’re just fine on military and police rifles, shotguns, etc.
But yeah, 8.5 lb. trigger pulls are not very good for target practice and assorted other recreational gun games. But then, neither is the short little sight radius on a little sub-compact like this. It’s almost like some guns are specifically designed for a specific purpose… imagine that! Full disclosure: I do like a 5# trigger pull on my carry guns, but I also shoot them almost weekly. Other pistols I own have the dreaded awful 8.5 lb. trigger pull (despite the fact the trigger breaks cleanly) – and I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep if I ended up carrying one of those pistols instead.
The trigger press and trigger break is much, much more important than what the trigger pull gauge tells you.
I like the Micro 9s, having fired one a fair amount over two days with our booth situated next to Kimber at a local event. I will be buying one in the near future. But after the pictures in this review, I doubt it will be this one with all the angles and lightening cuts. It’s like they got the design ideas and angles from Battlestar Galactica. Their marketing department must have done their analysis and decided the design theme would be profitable. Those who choose this one over the other Micro 9s will obviously love and prefer this look.
I don’t know how much weight this saves over the other Micro 9s, but it’s a fashion show fail on a self defense pistol specifically intended to never be seen unless in use. Like buying a $1000 suit jacket that’s going to be worn under a parka.
It appears that most of what the reviewer called “machined” are in all reality just injection molding features. Not something I will be looking to buy.
Boy, if you want to stir up a HORNETS NEST… just start in on a 1911 !!!
(Of which, I like ALL of mine !!! Even the diminutive Colt Government .380… a sweet Mouse Gun !)
The only thing I thought people would get upset about on this Kimber was the dirty Barrel … I stand corrected…
At least it has a normal recoil spring and guide, unlike the Ultra. Ugh.
Why is Kimber still being manufactured in Yonkers, NY? Time to move to a free state.
They are now made in Troy Alabama
How sweet. 9mm I’ll keep my Glock for my life depender. Fascination doesn’t do it for me. A lifetime of experience does. Never had a jam and punks don’t carry a few rounds.
This pistol is not a “ mini 1911”, although the exterior of the gun is designed to appear that way. Surprised reveiwer would say such a thing. A legitimate 1911’s phenomenal trigger is a result of the trigger and fire control system. That trigger moves straight back and levers the sear off of the hammer hooks. This pistol is actually a pivoting trigger evidenced by the pin seen in the frame above the trigger in pics provided. One of the reasons the trigger is really heavy. Additionally this pistol does not use a link to disengage the barrel from the slide during cycling. There are other significant differences between this pistol and a 1911. In summary, while this gun looks nice and is made to appear as though it is just a 1911 shrunken down, in fact, it is anything but. Thought the readers should know, for those that do not………..
I do not know why reviewers insist on calling these little guns “miniature 1911s.” They are not. They are Colt Mustangs, from what I understand originally a Star model. The trigger mechanism is not the same; it is on a pivot pin right above the trigger, not a straight press. As a result, the trigger pull is higher and longer. There is no grip safety. The manual safety is not the same, it does njot lock into the slide, but only blocks the firing pin. Sig builds these in .380 and 9mm, among other manufacturers (including Colt). Yes, it is a pretty pistol, but it is not a 1911.
My Springfield EMP 9mm (also available in 40mm) IS a miniature 1911 except for the spring capture on the takedown mechanism (the worst part of a very sweet handling and shooting gun.)
I’m ready to purchase the EMP 3″.9mm too …
Everyone I’ve talk to seem to really like it.
Its $1200.. in the Repub of California ..😡