I was reading about the Kimber Solo over at The Firearm Blog the other day, and something struck me as odd. No, it wasn’t the anachronistic thumb safety (on a double action, striker-fired gun) nor the smooth front and back grip straps (which make it impossible to control in anything resembling realistic defensive fire.) It wasn’t even the incredibly specific ammo requirements (the likes of which we haven’t seen since the introduction of the Seecamp LWS 32.)
What I found odd was the rear sight. Now most people will probably look at it and think that there’s nothing at all odd about its vaguely Novak-like profile, but that’s exactly my point. That ‘low profile’ design has been around forever, but still makes no sense in terms of functionality. That something so superfluous is nearly ubiquitous is amazing.
The design is said to be less prone to snagging, one of its major selling points. The problem I have with this concept is that it is non-snag in the direction of holstering, not in the direction of drawing! It seems to me that snagging the rear sight while holstering isn’t really an issue, where snagging during the draw might (note I said ‘might’) be a problem. So why the huge ramp on the front side of the sight?
The design has no real function, but does present a problem where the shooter needs to operate the slide one-handed. The rear blade is now snag-free in the direction that we need it not to be – there is no hook or shelf on the slide which the shooter can catch on a belt (or the edge of a holster) to help manipulate the slide. Net result: a “feature” which actually has less than zero purpose.
Admittedly, the likelihood of needing to operate the slide one-handed is slim. Still, why design that possibility out of something when there is no compensating gain to be had?
(Hmmm…thumb safety. Low-profile “snag free” sights. Extremely picky about ammo. Hey – they’ve managed to recreate 1985!)
-=[ Grant ]=-