Tell you what. If you’re a person who thinks the heavy hitters in the gun industry don’t have a wild sense of humor I think we should talk. Remember the Kimber Solo? It’s been the talk of the town ever since its weighty entrance at SHOT 2011. Kimber’s first true venture into the micro compact 1911- ish 9mm market have yielded mixed feelings as well as mixed results. Personally I can’t claim to have fired or even held one, they’re sort of like the YETI or BIGFOOT around here. People believe there real and some have even had sightings but even fewer actually believe or have had personal experiences themselves. I like to think I’m a believer, though often overpriced (in my opinion), Kimber guns have served me well and without exception in the past several years. That said, and getting back to my original point, as hard to find and even buy the Kimber Solo has been, they’ve stretched their humor out even further with the announcement of the Kimber Solo CDP. As if the list isn’t long enough to get a Solo for yourself (ESPECIALLY the all stainless), you better believe the CDP may seem even more of a myth over the coming months and even years.

The CDP in the “Solo CDP” as I understand it stands for CUSTOM DEFENSE PISTOL. Custom refers to the highest level of product attention a gun can receive from Kimber as a factory produced firearm. All edges are rounded (or “melded” as they say), they ALL have ambidextrous safeties (big deal to lefties wishing to yield a 1911 style hand cannon), checkered front and rear backstraps, heavy angled ejection port, match grade barrel, beautiful rosewood grips and even rounded slide serrations for comfort of carry. The Kimber Solo CDP is no different in any of these areas. It does however boast an integrated Crimson Trace Lasergrip into the custom rosewood grips as well. The button is located on the front strap of the little pistol’s grip and potentially makes this the most accessory/”extras” laden micro compact 9mm pistol on the market!

Excited yet? Well finding out the price on this new piece could potential dampen your spirits. Remember the original Kimber Solo is coming in at right around $700 and often more in the case of shops that get a rare glimpse of one for sale. Well, add all the features we mentioned above and hold your breath as you learn the price on the Solo CDP falls (or should we say rises) at right around $1200. Yes you read it right, there are four digits in that number. Seems as though the pricing on many Kimbers reflects a refusal to find ways to mass produce their beloved 1911s in hope to preserve some sort of elitism and even moreso quality control within their immediate grasp. You’ll just have to be the one to decide if these little works of art are worth the wait AND the cost.

Tagged with:

30 Responses to Kimber Solo CDP Review

  1. Icabod says:

    Sounds as the CDP is an attempt to salvage the Solo. I received one of the first Solos. it
    Made two returns for repairs (FTE, peening, magazine failure, slide not staying locked back) and finally was replaced by Kimber. Good customer service, lousy QA. I suspect each CDP will be extensively inspected before going to the customer. Perhaps that will help.

    • Ebbs says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the problems you had with yours immediately made them start taking a closer look at ALL Solo’s heading out the door. Seems like poor initial quality control would make people shy away from a higher end model like the CDP instead of the other way around.

  2. John says:


    • Ebbs says:

      Thanks for the input, John. Would love some more input on the Ruger SR1911 if you don’t mind sharing. I’ve heard mixed reviews though I haven’t shot it myself so it’s all just speculation from me right now.

  3. Danny says:

    I’ve had money down on a Solo since Jan 24th, 2011…my dealer has no new info on it and Kimber will not return my messages. Thanks but I’m tired of waiting. I’ll let you in on my new little secret…Kahr CM9…$449…same format as the Solo and it feeds and fires ANY ammo you feed it. Mine has digested everything from 92 grain Magtech to 145 grain Silver Bear. At $300 less then the Solo and it’s readily available on the shelf. No brainer IMHO.

    • Ebbs says:

      I’ve been on a Kimber Solo call list since March. Got my first call this week and didn’t have the cash on hand. They wanted $689 which is the most reasonable price I’d heard yet but I agree. I’ve heard outstanding things about the CM9 in my neck of the woods as well. If I wasn’t head over heels in love with my Kel Tec PF9 I’d have picked up the Kahr already. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Danny says:

    Don’t get me wrong…I fell in love with the Solo the first day I handled one (Jan 24)..alloy frame..ambi safety..Kimber name…what’s not to love? Plus, it helps that I have girlie size hands. But come on…eight months so far and no word? Pleeeease. The only reason I haven’t got my $100 deposit back is the $599 guaranteed price on the Kimber. Maybe it will be a Christmas surprise…

  5. Danny says:

    Ask and ye shall receive! My Solo came in last week believe it or not…the ears at Kimber must have been burning. Ran a quick 30 rounds through of Silver Bear 145 gr HP with no problems except a very sticky mag release. Perhaps that will smooth out over time. Will take the Solo to the range this week with a mixed bag of ammo weights and types….the goal is 100 rounds will no malfunctions.

  6. Danny says:

    Well the mag is still hard to release, but the overall fit and finish is impressive. Recoil compared to my 15 ounce Kahr CM9 seems sharper with all bullet weights..due to the alloy frame perhaps? Still easily controlled, oh, and I love the manual safety by the way. Good news is 100% reliability with the following lineup (in order): 58 rounds of Silver Bear 145 gr HP, 30 rounds of CCI 115 gr FMJ (brass), 10 rounds of Fiocchi Extrema 115 gr HP, and finally 2 rounds of Magtech Guardian Gold 115 gr +P HP. I did not shoot for accuracy so no feedback there. Well that’s my informal range report, hope it helps anyone interested in one of these pocket 9mm’s.

  7. Shawn says:

    My gun dealer called last night with bad news/good news. My stainless Solo Carry, ordered and paid in full 10 months ago, was still not in! However, they had received 3 of the new Kimber custom shop Solo CPDs with Crimson Trace rosewood grips, and one of them was mine if I wanted it cost. It cost me a ‘few’ more dollars, but it is truly exquisite. My only dilemma now–should I shoot it and start carrying it, or leave it NIB?

  8. Ron says:

    I have been a .45 man for as long as I have been shooting. I typically carry my Kimber ultra CDP. I am an ER doctor and I have never seen anyone survive one good shot with a .45 (hence why I carry one). However, even my ultra can get cumbersome to carry. I just got a Solo CDP and man am I impressed. It is a very refined special carry gun. The laser is nice, the night sights a big plus, but it shoots awesome for such a small 9mm. It has a recoil reducer built in and the extra front and back checkering make a big difference. I will certainly carry it some when it would be more comfortable. Just remember folks….the Doc says keep the mass of the bullet as high as you can because too much velocity means less damage to your target and more danger to the people or things on the other side.

  9. Bill says:

    Purchased a Kimber Solo in October. Sent it back for FTE. Kimber replaced the barrel, spring and slide. Worked great for a few weeks. Last week, with the magazine loaded, pull the slide back and will not load. Had to lock slide open, insert magazine, then release. Sent back to Kimber again this week. This is the most accurate pistol I’ve ever shot.

    A friend found 2 Kimber Solo CDP at a nearby gun shop. He purchased one and held the other for me. Picked up today and will shoot tomorrow. This is a beautiful pistol. Crimson trace laser, checkered grips, tritium night sights, oh boy. We’ll see.

    • Eric Ebbinghaus says:

      Interested to hear what you thought about that Solo CDP.

      I am also interested to hear why you would hang on to and continue to put up with a pistol you love so much if it continues to malfunction. If it’s a tool my life is depending on, I have no interest in taking chances with something that has a history of breakdowns or failures. JMHO.

  10. […] was almost as if the Kimber Solo CDP (basically a $900 version of the trouble laden Solo) couldn’t come out soon enough on the […]

  11. ThomasB says:

    Great little gun, have put a little over 500 rounds through it, mostly hand loads, some 124gr Rem saber reg and +P and 100 rds of the cheap Winchester 115gr that was laying around with no problems at all. It kicks for a 9mm being so small, very sharp. Its not a “fun” gun to shoot, mainly me getting used to it, its the smallest pistol that I have shot. Its my daily concealed carry weapon and fits that roll perfectly.

  12. Bill says:

    Have 2 CDPs. One for wife, the other for me. Great for Alabama summer carry. Sorry to hear all the bad press about earlier Solos, but mine are faultless. Accurate, go bang every time. Disappear in sticky holster wearing t shirt and shorts. I usually carry CDP ultra ii .45 or Nighthawk Custom Talon 4″. The Solo disappears and is much more comfortable to carry. The 9 is a far down the scale I am willing to go and put up with the hassles and responsabilities of CC. I know current ammunition has improved the 380 and even 22mag, but the 9mm is as far down as I am willing to compromise. Thank you Kimber for the Solo CDP.

  13. Gizmo says:

    Alright already. I’ve been in both high & low volume production environments (Q.A. & Operations) and sure there are start up problems but where is the current production, you just can’t find one. No one either local dealer or on the internet have them. What’s wrong do you guys need a consultant to figure it out? From what I am seeing there is plenty of demand. You have a great product now let’s get it together guys!!

  14. Brad says:

    Own both an all-stainless and a black-stainless one (one for me, one for wife). I am required to wear a suit at work, and the Solo is perfectly easy to conceal in the right front pocket of my dress pants in a pocket holster.

    Quick pros and cons:
    -Small, light, easy to conceal
    -Reliable. Though I completely degreased it after buying, lubed it TW25B grease, and made SURE to get the slide stop spring installed correctly. That said, I’ve shot 350 rounds (50 Gold Dot 124, 50 HST 124+p, 150 WWB 115gr) through mine and 200 rounds (50 Gold Dot 124, 50 Critical Defense 115, 50 HST 124, 50 Ranger-T 147) through wife’s gun. No issues of any kind, with either gun.
    -Accurate. I wouldn’t try shooting bullseyes at 25 yds, but at 10-12 yards, I can consistently place 6 shots in a 3″ ring. And I’m sure that’s me. A better shooter could probably group closer. Recoil is manageable, in my eyes (compared to my XD40 subcompact, it’s about the same). But what do you expect from a 17oz 9mm powerhouse?
    -Looks sexy as hell….does it really matter for a gun? It does look good though.
    -Packs more of a punch than similarly-sized .380 ACPs

    -Price. At $669 for the Black/Silver model and $700 for stainless, it ain’t cheap.

    That’s really the only “con” I can think of. It’s reliable, concealable, accurate. Way I see it is, protecting my family is worth the $669. Even more important, my girlfriend is a working professional, who must wear skirts or suit-type pants to work. She can (and does) carry the Solo everyday in her front left pocket. The knowledge that she carries daily, helps me rest easy when I’m out of town.

    • Ebbs says:

      Wait, I’m confused!!!…

      Own both an all-stainless and a black-stainless one (one for me, one for wife)

      And then…

      Even more important, my girlfriend is a working professional, who must wear skirts or suit-type pants to work.

      Did I miss something, or did you just accidentally reveal a secret life?

      Honestly man you’re one of the few rave reviews I’ve heard on these pistols. Though I personally wouldn’t consider 550 combined rounds through these pistols a real test of endurance. It doesn’t hurt that many of those rounds are Premium Defense ammo, but if I were you I’d be thinking more along the lines of 550 rounds APIECE without failure before I’d trust my life with either then 200 rounds each minimum without a stoppage with defense ammo.

      Just my 2 cents and thanks so much for your well thought out addition to the discussion.

      • brad says:

        Hey, lol, good call. She’s actually neither, technically. We are engaged, so she’s my “fiancee”. Sometimes I just call her wife, and sometimes girlfriend.


        • Ebbs says:

          Haha no worries. I just figured it was a typo of some sort. Good on you for coming alongside and helping her learn to carry and protect herself. I’ve got an interesting post going up this week about thinking through your concealed carry setup that after our conversation today I’m sure would interest you.

  15. willie says:

    been waiting 1 1/2 years for a solo from my distibutor, got my first 2 on fri. solo cdp-lg’s. they look great and feel’s great, real eye-poppers. now i just have to find a couple of buyers.

  16. Gerard says:

    will you ship them?

  17. Simon says:

    Having owned a Kimber Compact CDP for 16 years, the Solo CDP was a natural when I decided to buy a pocket 9. After having fired 200+ rounds through it, I must say this is an absolute pleasure to shoot. Much more accurate than my wife’s Sig P938, and the quality of this little work of art is phenominal. I have been carrying it for a couple of weeks in a new Garrett Silent Thunder Solo holster and, apart from the comfortable pressure, you can hardly tell it’s there. The combination of leather lined kydex with a leather/neoprene/suede backing is quiet to draw, easy on the finish and extremely comfortable to wear, even without a belt. It also carries comfortably in a pocket using my DeSantis superfly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...