Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kimber Crimson Carry 1911s

I love Kimber 1911 pistols.  This is evidenced by the fact that I  have owned 9 of them in the past: 

1. Pro Carry CDP
2. Ultra Carry CDP
3. Custom Target II
4. Pro Carry Raptor
5. Diamond Grade
6. Aegis Ultra Carry in 9mm
7. Custom Pro Carry in 9mm
8. Custom Ultra Carry RCP II
9. Super Carry Pro

I have always found them to be very reliable and very accurate.  When I got the call asking if I would like to shoot one of their Crimson Carry models I was more than delighted but I did not expect any surprises.  I was wrong, and more on that later.

Let's review the specifications;

Custom Crimson Carry II
Pro Crimson Carry II
.45 ACP
.45 ACP
5.25 in.
5.25 in.
31 oz.
28 oz.
8.7 in.
7.7 in.
Magazine Capacity
8 rounds
8 rounds
Silver Satin Aluminum Alloy
Silver Satin Aluminum Alloy
1.28 in.
1.28 in.
Matte Black Kimpro Finish
Matte Black Kimpro Finish
Barrel Length
5 in.
4 in.
Black Low Profile
Black Low Profile
Rosewood Double Diamond CT Green Diode Laser Grips
Rosewood Double Diamond CT Green Diode Laser Grips
Trigger Pull
4.5 lbs.
4.8 lbs.

Obviously one of the big draws to these pistols is that they are chambered in the king of the defensive pistol calibers, the .45 ACP.
The .45 caliber round has been the go-to man-stopper since it's inception as the .45 Colt revolver cartridge back in 1872.  When the military wanted a self-loading pistol many of the European semi-automatic cartridges were tested including the 9mm and the 30 Luger calibers.  All were found wanting and when the military stated that their preference would be for a .45 Caliber round John M. Browning devised the .45 automatic cartridge and the rest, as they say, is history.  

The Kimber Crimson Carry Pistols

The first thing to notice is that these are handsome handguns.
They are completed in a striking reverse two-tone finish with the silver satin alloy frame and the matte black slide.  

Another handsome feature are the Crimson Trace Laser Grips.
They are checkered rosewood done up in the double diamond style with a black rubber insert that houses the ignition button right where your middle finger will land when you grip the pistol.

Let's Get to the Surprises

Surprise #1
One of the first things that surprised me was the CT laser grip.  It was very handsome and I did not expect it to have a green diode.  I mean their name is "Crimson" Trace so I expected it to be red.  

Surprise #2
The green diode is inherently brighter and easier to see than the red laser.
However I have never been a fan of lasers.  I have had them on a Ruger LCP, 2 Smith & Wesson "J" frame revolvers and one Taurus Model 85 revolver.  I did not find them to be all that helpful and provide any level of accuracy beyond what I could achieve with the standard fixed sights on these handguns.  My evaluation was that their only advantage was a faster sight picture.

The sights on the Crimson Carry pistols are fixed but drift adjustable for windage. 

The backside of the front and rear sights are serrated to break up glare.  The front sight is slightly slanted which picks up ambient light giving it a gray color contrasting against the surrounding black rear sight.  

Surprise #3
The last surprise was the accuracy.  Based upon my prior experience with Kimbers I expected a high level of accuracy from the Custom Crimson Carry II, which was the pistol I selected to shoot.  What I did not expect was the improved accuracy that the laser provided.

The target below was shot with 5 rounds of Magtech 230 ammo at 21 feet using only the open sights.
On a three inch target I thought this was a very good group and did not expect to see the laser improve upon this grouping...and I was wrong.
Using the laser I was rewarded with one massive hole.  At this point I stopped using the fixed sights to see what else the laser was capable of producing.

Backing the target out another 9 feet to 10 yards the laser yielded this fine grouping.

At 50 feet I did something I never do which was to use another 3 inch bullseye target.  At 50 feet I have a hard time aligning open sights on such a small target.
But it was no problem at 50 feet to consistently hold the laser on the smaller target and obtain a grouping that is normally unobtainable for me at such a distance.

At 75 feet my abilities to use the laser began to dampen but I was still able to keep all shots inside an 8 inch target.
Although not as tight as the 50 foot target it is still much better than I could accomplish using the pistol's open sights.

I finished off the last 8 rounds remaining in the box by shooting another 75 foot target a little faster.  I originally wrote "rapid fire" on the target but I don't want anyone to think that this produced by shooting the pistol as fast as I could.  This was "controlled speed" accomplished by pressing the trigger just as soon as the laser came back onto the black target after recovering from the recoil of the last shot.  Although two shots went wide it is still far better than I could have accomplished with the standard fixed sights.

One of the things that I really like about the Kimber "Commander Sized" pistols that are marketed under the moniker of "Pro Carry" is that their barrel length is a clean 4 inches rather than the 4.25 of the original Colt Commander, which is still used by most manufacturers making the mid-sized 1911.  The four inch barrel just makes more sense to me which is rather obvious since I have owned four of the Pro-Carry models.

The last noteworthy experience was the reliability of the pistol I shot.  Kimber pistols state in their manual that the buyer can expect a 700 round break-in period.  I have never needed a full 700 rounds to accomplish this with a new Kimber pistol.  Usually a break-in of 200 to 300 rounds is sufficient.  The Custom Crimson Carry II was 100% reliable right out of the box and required no break-in period.  This is especially noteworthy as, in my exuberance to shoot the pistol, I forgot to oil it.  However it is not completely unexpected as the Kimpro finish is self-lubricating.  

In summation: this pistol rocked my world and now I want one!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1000 rounds down the pipe and is my every day carry. Accurate, reliable, and good looking to boot. I could not ask for anything more in a .45 cal. carry weapon. Combined with a Galco cc holster it is perfect.