The Kimber Micro 9 Rapide (Black Ice) is one sharp-looking 9 mm concealed-carry pistol. When you have a whistle-worthy looker like this, you might want to take it out and show it off to others, which is why these are often called “barbecue guns” (though the range is probably a better place to show it off).
This one’s aesthetic appeal is a blend of factors. The subtle two-tone silver/gray finish with black grips is certainly striking. The slide shines slightly more than the frame, but insets on the slide match the frame. Other pieces, like the hammer and trigger, match the black G10 grips, providing an overall harmonious feel to the styling. The grip texturing is a bit fancy, too, with varying patterns for the parts of your shooting hand. Even the trigger manages to look interesting, with V-cut styling. (All these design choices were seen previously in the full-sized Kimber Rapide (Black Ice) last year, which is why we now have the Micro 9 version.)
But this gun offers far more than just looks. At just slightly over four inches tall and six inches long, it’s highly concealable. It’s just as light, at 15.6 ounces, as many other guns in this size range, but it has an aluminum frame rather than polymer, with a match-grade DLC-coated stainless-steel barrel.
The texturing on the grips and frame function well to keep the gun under control. These are hard grips, so they aren’t exactly the friendliest feeling, but I noticed the texturing a lot less while shooting than I thought I would. The grips are also easy to change out if you want something a little softer. The backstrap beavertail flares out perfectly (for my hands, at least). And the pinkie extender on the magazine is very helpful for fitting this smaller gun to most people’s hands and for preventing gun flip as well.
While professional trainers often suggest not having a manual thumb safety on your everyday carry gun, many people still prefer it. If you do prefer a safety, it makes sense for it to be ambidextrous, as comes standard on the Micro 9 Rapide, since you can’t be certain you’d be able to use your dominant hand in a self-defense situation. There is a downside to the ambidextrous safety, though, as it offers one more possible place you could get pinched beyond all the usual ones: If you keep your shooting hand high and aren’t used to where the safety clicks downward, it’s easy to snag a little skin. Practice sweeping the safety down with either hand easily solves this issue.
TRUGLO TFX Pro day/night sights come standard on the Micro 9 Rapide (Black Ice). The tritium green dots on the rear and front sights glow in the dark (without requiring batteries or light exposure in advance), but the front sight is also outlined in a high-contrast orange, making sight acquisition in daylight easier. The rear sight is a U-notch and slightly angled on the front so you can rack the slide one-handed (using a hard edge) if necessary. These really pop, so achieving sight alignment was intuitive and easy.
Swapping the Micro 9 Rapide’s magazines is a smooth process, thanks to the well’s beveled, funnel-like design. Unfortunately, only one seven-round magazine comes with the gun, and additional ones are costly; however, they are very high-quality stainless steel, and like all of Kimber’s products, are made in the United States. (Note, if you have a different Kimber Micro 9, its magazines will not fit this gun. Kimber assures me they’re working on an adapter that would let you use the other Micro 9 magazines. I want that pinkie rest, though, so I would stick with this design.)
Overall, this is a great gun. It’s small enough that I can actually conceal it (not an easy task as a small woman); it shoots very nicely, and it feels solid, like it could last to be passed down to my great, great, great grandchildren someday. What more can you ask from a tiny gun? Well, you could ask it to look great, and it does. Maybe I could show you at a post-COVID-19 barbecue someday.