How to fix a Kimber Solo when slide locks open after every shot

Kimber Solo Slide Locks Back After Every Shot

Is your Kimber Solo CDP jamming after cleaning? Or did you take it down recently?

Is your slide staying open on your Kimber solo after every single shot? regardless of ammo? 124gr, 115gr, 147gr?

Is your Kimber Solo stuck? Until you hit the slide release?

Most likely, you reassembled the pistol wrong, trust me 🙂

So if you download the Kimber Solo Users Manual Here

Kimber Solo Slide Locks Back After Every Shot

Kimber Solo Slide Locks Back After Every Shot

Press slide stop inward until fully seated and release slide (Figure Above). Be certain that the slide stop has picked up the retention spring located on the frame (Figure Above). Failure to install the slide stop below the spring will cause the slide to lock open while firing.
There is a small slot on the back side of the slide stop, this slot is where the retention spring goes on the slide stop.
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  1. Fred Baer says:

    Thanks! I shot my Solo for the first time tonight, and it was locking back after every shot, with all 3 mags I tried it with. I was so disappointed! I was all ready for the call to Kimber tomorrow (where I hope they would have told me about this…) but you saved me the call!


  2. Great news! how did it shoot otherwise? for me, I find it an incredibly accurate little gun.

  3. Chris Amow says:

    Good writeup! I heard about this issue when searching for slide lock issues, but nothing as detailed and I hadn’t found the downloadable manual yet. I’m looking forward to going back the range to try things now, the first trip was looking pretty depressing…

    Interestingly, I couldn’t reassemble the solo following the instructions so I wonder if this will be a problem. Without the magazine in place first, after putting the slide lock lever back in (paying attention the capturing the spring) the pistol would not return to battery and would not allow me to insert a mag.

    This is such an important detail Kimber should have put this all over the place including the front of the manual. Most people would think they would know how to assemble it looking at it if they are familiar with 1911s and they would be making a giant mistake. And from a business point of view the amount of support this issue generates must be huge.

    They also should have put in a picture of what the captured spring looks like from the other side – to me (assuming I’m doing it right) the way this spring fits in doesn’t really inspire confidence…

  4. thats a great picture!

  5. Larry Hagemann says:

    Thanks Erik. I’m with Chris, the diagrams on how the slide stop was to hold the rentention spring are solrely inadequate. THe booklet (came with the gun) and the web site are identical and unclear…they show one side only.

    With these cautions, I studied my new gun in a variety of positions to fully understand how the sping should be held in place. Now I understand, but (like Chris said) it seems to be rather loosely held and not intuitive from the photos from Kimber.

    I am neither a wimp, nor an aging senior. But I had trouble racking the slide and (heaven forbid) dropping the magazine. The mag release is already a two thumb exercise. I was shocked at how much force each required. I am hoping that 500 rounds will give me some relief. If not, this gun (as nice as it looks) is going to gun-heaven.

    I have not seen any web comments to indicate that my expectations will be met. My wife’s Sig Sauer P238 is a sweet=heart compared to this Kimber. I love the Solo look and the specs…but the real feel and forces required have given me pause.


    • 2kmaro says:

      I went down to purchase one today – ended up going home empty handed – all because of the magazine release. We tried 3 pistols and all three were basically a 2-thumbs required show. If you can’t drop the magazine with one hand while bringing up the full magazine to load, it’s not a weapon you want to have to depend on if you ever get stuck in a really ugly situation where you need more than the 7 shots you had when you started. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has found this to be a real issue. 5/23/2014.

  6. I don’t have any issues with the standard issue mag and the mag-release. I only have issues with the extended mag’s.

  7. Devin Price says:

    Not sure I understand the picture but my kimber solo carry 9 mm locks open after every shot. I put 50 + rounds through it right out of box. I am hoping I just need to clean and oil it as it was straight out of the box any suggestions. Thanks

  8. Greg Barnes says:

    Thanks to all. Bought a used Kimber Solo and fired today with same results. Bet my issues are the same. Guy I bought it from probably cleaned it prior to my purchase. Other than that…nice gun.

  9. Tim Good says:

    My Solo did same thing today. I field stripped it and reassembled it. The problem went away. The gun had been sent back to Kimber because of extraction problems earlier this year. It does seem to be a picky eater. My Shield has digested everything I’ve feed it.

  10. […] Welcome to the forum from StLou… The slide lock will stay open while firing if you don't put the spring in properly. Here's a little info… How to fix a Kimber Solo when slide locks open after every shot […]

  11. Stacy Oldham says:

    Wow, I went to range today for first time with my kimber solo CDP that I have $525.00 in and thought I would be contacting Kimber tomorrow but after reading this and getting my book out I saw that pin was not properly installed and now it seems to be fixed. Keeping fingers crossed and will update after going to range tomorrow. Thanks for opening my eyes up to this. It looks and feels a lot like the 1911 but this is something I never dreamed I would have to do. Thanks again.

  12. Ray F. says:

    Purchased a solo about two weeks ago, shot it at the range. Worked fine. Took it apart to clean it and put it back together. Went to range today 1-16-14. Shot Federal AE FMJ and Federal JHP. The slide would lock up on both ammo. Took gun to where I bought it. They called Kimber and got the the same solution as above. It works. The spring is hard to see. It is easier so see what you have to do if you put the slide lock pin in without the slide on first. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy to do.

    • In my opinion, gun shops should not let the gun leave the store without showing the customer this issue.

      • Tim Good says:

        Same thing happened to me. It has to do with small spring by slide release. I field stripped and reassembled. The Solo then functioned properly. I’m carrying a Shield. I just can’t come around to trusting the Solo. It went back to Kimber once because it could not function five shots in a row. Better now, but Shield always goes bang.

  13. John says:

    thank you for posting that reminder! I had just experienced the same problem after a cleaning and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. When I read this, I immediately went back and disassembeled/reassembled making sure to catch the spring and now it cycles with a snap round flawlessly. I still have to go back to the range and fire it, but I think (hope) that’s what it was. My initial problem was loading and the slide not setting, then the slide would not cycle properly. I’m really hoping that was it.

  14. Jerry says:

    Finally conquered the spring issue, now the slide mechanically stops short as I attempt to finalize the re assembly process. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong??
    It stops hard approx 1/2″ from the normal closed position.

  15. Rusty says:

    Bless you, you just saved me a lot of time and energy.


  16. bob says:

    This is good info. I am still disappointed with this gun. I have been aware of the spring issue for sometime. I have shot cleaned carried for weeks went to shoot stuck open. Found info at Kimber support stripped down cleaned carried for weeks went to shoot fired a couple shots stuck open. Called Kimber again asked for new spring they would not send me a spring. I asked the support tech if I should just clean the barrel and give up on stripping the gun down all the time. He says no you must completely break the gone down after every use. I would just like others to know that you can get that spring where it belongs and still have trouble. For as much as this gun cost me, if I would have needed it I may be dead.

  17. Erin says:

    I just had this problem with my solo tonight at the range, but not with every round. When I would get down to the last two to three rounds, it would cycle correctly. The biggest problem I’m having with it is not chambering the top round of a full mamg.The cartridge seems to nose dive. But if I lock the slide open, insert the magazine and release the slide it does fine until I shoot it, the second round won’t chamber and my slide is half open. I’ve had this problem since day one.

  18. John Frusha says:

    I disassembled the Solo and oiled it as instructed in the manual but did not notice the instructions about the retention spring when I reassembled it. I went to the range and had the problem described above. The experts at the range did not know why it was doing this. Thanks a lot, it saved me a call to the dealer. I just have to go back to the range and try it again. THANKS

  19. Rick Raus says:

    That was definitely the fix. The only thing that makes me curious is that I bought the Solo new and have put about 75 rounds thru it when it started locking open. I had not disassembled it previously, so now I wonder how that spring slipped off? Guess I need to do a visual inspection for the spring before pocketing the Solo!

  20. Don Brown says:

    Thank you very much for this article. I’m late to the party, since wife and I just got our Kimber’s to the range for the first time last night. I had followed the rules on disassembling before first firing, she had not. Her’s worked great, mine didn’t fire once without my having to pull the slide first. I’d heard all the rumors, and tried to run three different ammo types through it. I was ready to go to Kimber, when I saw this post. I had read and reread that bit about the retainer spring,pretty sure I had it where it belonged, so I didn’t look for it to begin with. Tonight, after determining it was that @#$%^ spring and the )*&$#@^ who assembled it (me), I will try again. Though I am pretty sure it was in place for the first shot, I will be curious if it comes out of the slot on the pin within the first few rounds. It really doesn’t look like a very secure “slot”.

    The accuracy and the “feel” are as good as I expected from a gun in this price range (awesome!) I was getting ready to kick myself for not staying less expensive with a Shield. I really liked the first one of those I fired, also. I really prefer long guns, so the 30-30 I was also sighting in, made my evening a lot of fun.

  21. Brian Gottfried says:

    Eric, thanks for this post. I had the same issue and thought I had an issue with my new Kimber. I thought I had bought quality! I also thought I had read the manual! My little Kimber works perfectly now!

  22. Dominick says:

    Same issue here! Bust out my new $700 carry gun in front of my buddies and it doesn’t cycle! I can’t wait to get out of work today to correct the spring/pin issue. I was literally on hold with Kimber customer service and about to blame the mags, when I found this post!

  23. Robert Scholz says:

    My Solo was a gun I could not carry and could not sell, thank to your adviivce and rereadiing the manual she will get anouthe chance. I gues being a guy I thought I did not need to fully understand the manual. Thanks so much RCS

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