Gun Review – Kimber Super Carry Custom 1911 Review
Kimber is well known for some of the finest production 1911s on the market today. Along with the quality of their handiwork comes a hefty price tag. Bottom line, if you want a Kimber, you’ll have to shell out the cash for it. This piece is no different though I’ll say early on that the durability and finish of this pistol is not what we hoped it would be. I borrowed it from a good friend who has carried this daily since last summer. He was kind enough to let us shoot and review it and give us some background information on what his impression has been thus far, but more on that down the line.
Aesthetically it’s a beautiful gun. Like most all Kimbers, it’s trim and feels INCREDIBLE in the hand, and shooting it is a pleasure even though just being an aluminum framed pistol (weighing in at 31 ounces) it can be pretty snappy with Self Defense loads. Accuracy is to be expected with the full length match grade barrel and tritium night sights. The grip texture is one I would call a type of snake scale or rattlesnake pattern but Kimber is satisfied to refer to it as “Super Carry Serrations” which appear on the front strap, the mainspring housing backstrap, front and rear on the slide and even on the top of the slide. They aren’t abrasive at all but feel fantastic when drawing or gripping the pistol for firing. I would be completely off track if I spoke on how comfortable this gun is and what a pleasure it is to shoot without even mentioning the solid aluminum match grade trigger which comes preset in the 4-5 pound range. It’s quick, snappy with minimal takeup and allows the shooter to stay on target for fast follow shots. Definite +1 on the trigger.
Probably the most noticeable and notable change to this particular Kimber lineup is the “Rounded Mainspring Housing and Frame” as Kimber refers to it. They can’t get off using the trademarked term “Bobtail” as Ed Brown has already laid claim to this one and Dan Wesson was early on it too, but compared to these other two Kimber has done an outstanding job of making it a very, very, VERY comfortable gun in the hand. The rounded frame still allows for a full 8 round standard 1911 magazine and there are absolutely ZERO snag points on this 1911 with it’s standard “Carry Melt” from the Custom Shop. This essentially means that all possible snag points, corners, jagged edges, etc have been “melted” down to make a smooth drawing and comfortable carry piece. Trust me, it works.
Now for the down side. After carrying this gun for just a couple of months the owner noticed that the KimPro II finish on the slide was beginning to wear heavily around the muzzle and on the sides. He’s a very reasonable guy, understanding that a carry gun is often a workhorse and gets abused, but in turn he’s also smart enough to know that a $1400 Carry 1911 shouldn’t look like it’s been drug around behind a truck for the better part of a year. His initial experience with Kimber was smooth. They offered to re-finish it at no cost to him as the Customer Service agent saw it as a warranty item just as he did. However upon calling back to set up shipping and repair appointment, the previous representative was unreachable and all others he accounted were far less understanding and accepting of his plight. In the end and after several weeks of haggling back and forth, they agreed to re-apply the KimPro II finish to the slide but only after my friend was able to show documented email proof of his initial conversation with the first rep he had spoken with. A plus for Kimber, he did receive the gun back in a semi timely manner refinished as promised. Unfortunately, the second finish lasted barely longer than the first and the slide has begun to show obvious signs of wear once again which can be seen in my photos.
At Haus of Guns we’re not in the habit of trouncing on anyone’s good name or doing reviews with overly pessimistic or negative undertones. We’re fortunate enough to live in a “golden age of guns” and most firearms produced these days meet quality controls standards that would make our forefathers VERY proud. BUT, in the ever so often case of “you get what you pay for” we expect after dropping a cool $1500 on a carry piece such as this that the finish should either be much more durable or the fine folks at Kimber could easily do with a different finish altogether. Stainless anyone? We try our best to deliver the truth in an accurate way and if there are downsides to convey them with a graceful and “benefit of the doubt” type attitude. With that said, I want to clarify that this account has been relayed to me by a trusted friend, not some yayhoo spreading gossip and touting his experience and how awesome he is in a gun shop or at a gun counter. It’s all come first hand, and not through the rumor mill.
On the other side of that argument, if you’re not in the least worried about what your hard earned carry 1911 looks like at the end of everyday use, then by all means, this could very well be the one for you. If you feel the 5″ barrel is a bit too stout for your taste, you could go with the Super Carry Pro (4″) or even the Super Carry Ultra (3.25″) and the Super Carry Ultra+ with the full length grip and rounded frame and mainspring housing.