Gun Of The Week: Kimber KDS9c

posted on May 3, 2024

Welcome to another American Rifleman Gun Of The Week video, and this time, we’re looking at the Kimber KDS9c, yet another M1911-style handgun that accepts a double-stack magazine. Watch our video above to see this latest Kimber pistol in use on the range.

Kimber KDS9C right-side view background image text box overlay noting GUN OF THE WEEK AMERICAN RIFLEMAN XX

Kimber is, of course, no stranger to the M1911 platform. The company is well-known for its feature-rich and thoroughly embellished line of M1911s, and the company even stuck with the M1911 theme when it came to compact carry, as its Micros are basically shrunken M1911 pistols, complete with single-stack magazines, crisp single-action triggers and a manual thumb safety. So it makes tons of sense for Kimber to stick with tried-and-true elements of the M1911 when it designed the KDS9c, a firearm with cutting-edge features for modern shooters.

Unlike many other double-stack, 2011-style guns on the market, the Kimber KDS9c was built to be a dedicated concealed-carry gun, and for Kimber, that started with saving weight. The gun is built with a 7075 aluminum frame, which is mated to a stainless-steel slide. Outfitted with a 4” barrel, the KDS9c qualifies as an easily carryable compact, and the gun’s unloaded weight of 25.3 ozs. is surprisingly light for an all-metal handgun.

Kimber KDS9c 9 mm pistol details man shooting gun silver finish metal blue stockstiles arrangement 9 images text on image noting AMERICAN RIFLEMAN PRESENTS

Control-wise, the KDS9c is all M1911, complete with a crisp, single-action trigger and a single-sided manual thumb safety, slide-stop lever and push-button magazine release. At the back end of the gun is a generously sized beavertail grip safety that protects a shooter’s strong hand from the skeletonized external hammer. Serrations at the front and rear of the slide make manipulation easy, especially as the serrations wrap around the top portion of the tri-top slide design.

Though the KDS9c handles and feels like a classic M1911, there are a few notable upgrades. Of course, the magazines hold 15 rounds of 9 mm Luger, and Kimber promises extended 18-round magazines will be available, too. An easily visible set of adjustable sights are dovetailed into the slide, with an all-black rear and a high-visibility, fiber-optic front. The back portion of the slide is cut for an optic adapter plate, and Kimber offers a mounting plate for the Shield footprint.

Kmber KDS9c pistol 9 mm stainless steel company logo central engraving

After getting our hands on the Kimber KDS9c at the range, a number of features stood out. One nod to everyday carry we appreciated was the bobbed frame and mainspring housing that curves in toward the magazine well at the rear of the gun, thereby reducing printing. This didn’t impact our firing grip at all. Despite the double-stack nature of the gun, the use of thin G10 grip panels meant that the KDS9c, in the hand, feels more like a single-stack pistol than a double-stack.

We also appreciated the texturing on the frontstrap and backstrap, as well the relieved portion of the grip frame under the trigger guard that enabled us to get a high firing grip. The beveled and flared magazine well also made reloads easy. For fans of the M1911 platform who are looking to upgrade their capacity and take advantage of the growing marketplace of red-dot optics, the KDS9c is a unique, carry-ready option that’s worth a look.

Kimber KDS9c Specifications
Manufacturer: Kimber Mfg. Inc.
Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Barrel: 4.06" stainless steel
Frame: 7075 aluminum; KimPro Silver finish
Slide: stainless steel; KimPro Silver finish
Magazine: 15-round detachable box
Sights: drift-adjustable fiber-optic front, elevation-adjustable U-notch rear
Trigger: single-action; 4-lb. pull
Overall Length: 7.75"
Height: 5.25"
Width: 1.3"
Weight: 25.3 ozs.
MSRP: $1,495


Project ChildSafe 25th Anniversary Since 1999 handgun with lock around
Project ChildSafe 25th Anniversary Since 1999 handgun with lock around

Project ChildSafe Program Celebrates 25 Years

Project ChildSafe has raised awareness about safely handling and securely storing firearms when not in use, along with educating children about firearm safety.

I Have This Old Gun: M1/M1A1 Thompson Submachine Gun

As World War II developed, engineers found ways to simplifying the Thompson submachine gun, and later M1 and M1A1 Thompsons were easier and less-expensive to produce.

New For 2024: Legacy Sports SCSA Taipan X

A straight-pull, pump-action design developed by an Australian firearm company, the SCSA Taipan X is now being imported into the U.S. by Legacy Sports International.

2024 Optic Of The Year: Trijicon RCR

American Rifleman is pleased to announce the 2024 Optic Of The Year Award goes to Trijicon.

Review: Walther WMP

Near the end of 2022, Walther took its handgun lineup in a fresh direction with the release of the sporting WMP pistol chambered in .22 WMR, designed for field use as a "kit gun."

Rifleman Report: Individual Liberty & Innovation

When it comes to the design, manufacture and sale of innovative firearms, the intuition and innovation of unique personalities are often the common threads that result in success.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.