New For 2023: Kimber KDS9c

posted on June 8, 2023
Kimber KDS9C 01
The Kimber KDS9c takes a mechanism that uses an M1911 manual of arms and puts it into a package the size and weight of a compact, polymer-frame, striker-fired handgun.
Image courtesy of Kimber Mfg., Inc.

One hundred and twelve years on, the M1911 is still one of the most popular handgun designs in the U.S., yet it’s beginning to show its age against the latest and great self-defense and concealed-carry handguns, especially when it comes to overall size/weight and magazine capacity. One solution is to shrink the M1911 design to the approximate overall size of the popular Glock 19 and shoehorn a 15-round 9 mm Luger magazine into its grip. The latest company to offer a handgun along these lines is Kimber, with its new-for-2023 KDS9c.

The mechanics of the KDS9c is traditional M1911, with the exception of an external extractor, a bushingless barrel design and no grip safety. The frame is made of 7075 aluminum. Though following the basic lines of an M1911, it makes a few notable changes. The trigger guard is enlarged, the rear of the frame “bobbed,” and the grip area widened to accommodate a double-stack magazine and given a more ergonomic profile.

Though lacking a grip safety, the frame’s beavertail is extended to facilitate a high grip. Crosshatch checkering is machined into the front and rear of the grip frame. The firing mechanism is single-action only with a skeletonized hammer and manual thumb safety, and a trigger pull weight claiming to be in the 3.5 to 4.5 lb. range. A safety and magazine release are present on the left side only (an ambidextrous safety will be offered), and the magazine release button is reversible. Grips are made of G10 material.  

Right side of an all-black Kimber KDS9c handgun shown on a white background.The KDS9c is chambered in 9 mm Luger and uses a magazine with a 15-round capacity. Image courtesy of Kimber Mfg., Inc.

The metal double-stack detachable box magazine has a capacity of 15 rounds of 9 mm  Luger and is a proprietary design. Two are included with each pistol. The company will be offering a 10-round magazine for residents of areas that have capacity limits, and an 18-round, extended magazine.

The KDS9c uses a stainless steel barrel and slide. The slide features front and rear cocking serrations that extend across both sides and over the top. The rear of the slide is cut for optics mounting and uses a plate system (RMR and Shield RMSc footprint plates will be offered initially). Mounting an optic allows for the retention of the rear iron sight. The proprietary rear sight is adjustable and the front blade has a fiber-optic insert. The barrel is 4.09” long, fluted to reduce weight and uses a 20-degree target crown. Kimber claims it delivers “match grade accuracy.”

The overall size of the KDS9c falls within the industry standard for a “compact” handgun, with an overall length of 7.75” and a height of 5.35”. Its width is 1.33” across the grips. Its weight of 25.3 ozs. approximates a polymer-framed pistol of the same size and capacity. Two finishes are available on the KDS9c: KimPro coatings of either all black or all silver.

The MSRP for the Kimber KDS9c in either black or silver finishes is $1,499 and the model is scheduled to be available in August 2023. For more information, visit


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