I pulled the trigger and bought my first 1911. I was undecided about whether to wait and take a chance on the CMP 1911 program or buy new. After weighing the pros and cons of both I went with new. Why the Kimber? The Kimber hero custom was on sale and with the donation that Kimber gives to the boot campaign I decided that was the gun to get. Also it is custom and you can see where they actually did some fine tuning at the factory. I could have went with a Rock Island arsenal but decided to spend a bit more for the Kimber.
It is of course chambered in .45 acp which in my opinion every 1911 should be. I have been staying away from /45 acp for two reasons, the cost to shoot and the recoil. .45 acp even when you reload is expensive to feed. The 230 grain bullets are the reason. The recoil from a .45 acp is heavier then the 9mm and as such limits the ability to shoot as fast and adds to the fatiguing of the hands. I was one who disliked the USA military stepping down to the 9mm from .45 acp. But over time and all these years later I have come to agree with the move. Having owned a m9a1 now for a few years and a couple thousands rounds I have come to respect that handgun and cherish it. The 9 mm can hold more ammo with less weight and the recoil is easier to shoot all day. At the range shooting this Kimber for the first time I enjoyed the feel of the 1911 in my hands but quickly wished for my m9a1.
The Kimber is all a guy could ask for in a handgun. Five inch barrel, full frame. The weight is about 38 oz without a load of 7+1 230 grain bullets. It functioned well and I did not clean it before range time, usually I would give a new gun a good cleaning and oiling. I had limited time to get out so bypassed the cleaning.
How did it shoot? mixed feeling on this gun. While the recoil was not bad at first, after fifty rounds I did start to feel the recoil. The sights are a bit large for distance shooting. At 25 yards the sight looks like a 4-5 moa red dot and completely covered my 2-3 inch circle, which made consistent aiming and shot placement difficult. I switched to the 7 yard target and did much better with shot groups. In a CCW use or combat I would be comfortable with the sights at greater ranges since the target will be bigger but I am a strong believer in aim small miss small. The sights were quite low at 25 yards and think that anything over that would be a luck shot. I forget the max effective range of the 1911 and .45 acp. The handgun had two no feeds, these both happened after fifty rounds and I will blame myself for holding the gun to loose and for not doing a full clean before shooting.
My conclusions? While the Kimber is a great addition to my firearms collection and the gun is to pretty for daily carry, I will take it to the range every time I shoot handguns and will open carry on special events and lazy days but it will not take the place of my daily carry bersa thunder .380 or my weekend carry m9a1.