Oh, how I love the Kimber brand of 1911s. I hear a lot of flack directed their way via the inter web and mostly voiced by people who have never shot one and a few who put a couple of rounds through a friend's pistol. I have never had a problem with Kimber 1911s and have owned more than I can remember.
Kimber's lower priced models begin around $800 and those prices escalate to around $2,000 for their pistols with greater handcrafted customization. The Sapphire is about $1600.00 therefore it is a very Un-Average Joe type pistol, but everyone deserves a BBQ, Sunday go-to-meeting pistol.
I apologize for not having photos that are up to my expectation but the finish on this pistol is so reflective that every photo I took had a reflection of me, my camera, or the lights in my light box lights in them. The ones chosen have the least amount reflected items in them.
So let's delve into the specifications of the Sapphire pistol. The Sapphire is basically a special edition of the Kimber Aegis pistol. It's 6.8 inches in length with a 3 inch barrel. It's 4.75 inches in height with a width of 1.15 inches and a weight of 25 ounces. There's checkering on the front strap of the aluminum frame, tactical wedge night sights on top and blue/black G-10 thin grips.
The stainless steel slide, safety levers, hammer, and beavertail grip safety all sport a high polish blue Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating with scroll engraved boarders. Wikipedia tells us that "Physical Vapor Deposition describes a variety of vacuum deposition methods used to deposit thin fils by the condensation of a vaporized form of the desired film material on various workpiece surfaces. The coating method involves purely physical processes such has high-temperature vacuum evaporate with subsequent condensation, or plasma sputter bombardment rather than involving a chemical reaction at the surface to be coated as in chemical vapor deposition. PVD coatings are sometimes harder and more corrosion resistant than coatings applied by the electroplating process. Most coatings have high temperature and good impact strength, excellent abrasion resistance and are so durable that protective topcoats are almost never necessary."
The PVD process is used on semiconductors, precision cutting tools, precision watches, automobile bumpers, surgical equipment and firearms.
The other thing the coating does is round off edges. This is no problem on the magazine release button but your thumb can slip off the the slide release, safety and the slide serrations. But let's face it, this pistol is a safe queen, not an everyday carry piece.
However, it does shoot. Here are two targets at 21 feet from two different shooting sessions"
The ammunition used in all of the shooting was MagTech 115 grain full-metal jacket.
Here's 10 rounds fired from 30 feet.
24 rounds fired at 35 feet.
And 50 rounds fired at 50 feet.
This is a good pistol but has limited appeal. Some will not like the finish and it is difficult to keep it fingerprint free. Some don't like 3 inch 1911's which is a category I usually fall into. Some will feel that a 1911 chambered in anything other than .45 ACP is sacrilege which is a category I don't fall into. And for most the price tag is out of budgetary range. But there will be some, like me, who see this pistol as a work of art.