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Kimber Custom Target II .45 ACP – Range Report

Kimber Custom Target II

A few months ago, I started look for something I could carry and use in IDPA matches. The final decision was between the STI Trojan 5.0 and Kimber’s Custom II Target and I was considering this purchase for several months. Ultimately, price and availability won out as both weapons shot well – the Kimber Custom Target II got purchased.

I took the Kimber to the range for the first time on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised at the reliability out-of-the-box – especially after reading the manual’s break-in statement saying that I should expect a 400-500 round break in period.

Before I took it to the range, I field stripped it and put oil everywhere the manual said to. It broke down fairly easily for a full-length guide-rod weapon and went back together just as easily.

Fearing all sorts of misadventures during the break-in, I bought a few boxes of 150 round el-cheapo 230 grain lead round-nose reloads and 100 230 gr FMJ round nose. I figured that if I was going to be hand cycling, constantly clearing, and otherwise practicing disaster drills .. why do it with the good stuff – and as an added bonus.. extra brass is extra brass.

My one and only objection: the stock magazine is flimsy. I cannot imagine what Kimber was thinking in including this low-cost POS in a package with a quality gun. The clip is a sheet-metal formed model like those commonly found in bargain basement bins. In retrospect, I may have been too harsh, only time will tell.

My range time was spent putting 100 rounds through the Kimber, first at 15 yards, then at 25. I didn’t take it to 50 as this is a new gun with adjustable sites and would need to do a concentrated sighting session before wasting ammo at that distance

Out of the 100 rounds, I experienced zero issues. No failure to fire, no bad feeds, not one failure to go to battery then go bang – the gun performed very, very well – even with the craptastic stock mag.

Releasing the slide stop was a bit stiff as one might expect on a new gun, but not to an annoying level – just pull the slide back to release the lock with a full mag. The stock 7-round clip went into and out of the gun as expected and every round chambered, fired and ejected – reliability: check!

The trigger is crisp, zero slop in it and the pull isn’t overly long like I’ve found in some of the Glocks and S&Ws nor is it too short. The 4.5lbs of pull might be a little heavy for bullseye shooters, but for IDPA and carry it seemed just fine. I did have a shot occasionally go low which was probably from jerking the trigger, but that’s not the guns fault (until I find a way to blame it).

Kimber Custom Target II Accuracy

5-shots 15 yds: Adjusted sights to the right and up, still a little low

From an accuracy perspective the gun exceeded my expectations. I emptied the first clip in slow-fire and got a nice tight group at 15 yards. The sights are adjustable and came out of the box set 2″ to low and 2″ left. A few turns later and she was centered left-to-right, but still a bit low (image left) – after those 5 shots I adjusted the elevation and she was dialed in. I did find the front sight a little harder to pickup than I would have liked, but I’ll be switching that out anyway. Once dialed-in, I moved to a 25 yard target and sped up the shot time. Basically just letting a shot go each time the sight fell back onto the center of the target after each shot. Pie plate at 25 yards? Check! (image below-right)

READ:   Long-Term Report: Desert Eagle 44 Magnum

The muzzle jump was slightly less than I was expecting out of a 1911 .45, but not so much so that I would call it noticeably lighter than the typically-comfortable recoil that all 1911 framed .45 autos offer. The 1911-A1 is a beaut when it comes to that, a flat shooting trajectory and immense stopping power.

Kimber Custom II 25 yard accuracy

6 shots - 25 yards - no bench rest

I will be repeating this exercise after a bench rest session to make sure the sights are dead-on. I’ll post target pictures so you can see how well this gun shoots while being limited by my ability. I have no doubt this gun could put up some tight groups – it’s only current limitation is me.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Height (inches) 90° to barrel: 5.25
  • Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 38
  • Length (inches): 8.7
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Recoil spring (pounds): 16.0
  • Full-length guide rod

FRAME

  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Width (inches): 1.28

SLIDE

  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Front serrations

BARREL

  • Length (inches): 5
  • Material: Steel, match grade
  • Stainless steel match grade bushing
  • Twist rate (left hand): 16

SIGHTS

  • Kimber adjustable
  • Radius (inches): 6.8

GRIPS

  • Black synthetic
  • Double diamond

TRIGGER

  • Aluminum, match grade
  • Factory setting (appx. pounds): 4.0 – 5.0

MSRP: $942.00

About Rich

Rich Mitchell is the President and CEO of RAM Arms inc. Rich is also a competitor in Skeet, sporting clays, 3-gun, Steel Challenge and USPSA.

8 comments

  1. I own a couple of Kimbers and they all came with magazines (AKA mags). Have you been reading to many anti-gun pieces????

    • I’ll admit you have me confused. My Kimber also came with a magazine (aka mag) but it was a cheap sheet metal thing. It works okay, but no way I would count on it for much more than practice.

      As far as the anti-gun comment.. do ya even understand what the article or site is about?

      • I believe nightowl was irritated by your use of the word “clip”. Many in our community believe that a clip is something that holds a woman’s hair. The device that holds ammo is strictly refered to as a magazine or mag.

        He also meant “too many” not “to many”.

  2. Thanks for the report on the Kimber, Rich. I currently have a Springfield (which I love), but have been looking at Kimber for my next purchase (not in the immediate future) as I’d like an American-made pistol. Glad to know yours shot so well out of the box, I’ll definitely give it hard consideration next time.

  3. Thanks for this article – been looking for a 1911 for my “collection” – this pistol looks great and your article has been helpful in my decision.

    So many pistols – so little cash.

    Appreciated.

    • I’m glad the post helped you. I still shoot the Kimber every chance I get and haven’t found a load it doesn’t like. I’ve run FMJ’s, JHPs, wad cutters, reloads up and down the velocity curve, you name it. Just get the better magazines. I still have the one that came with the gun, but it sits in a box safely away from my favorite sidearm.

  4. Ignore the idiot. Everyone knows what you mean by clip. Nobody worth anything will waste their time busting your balls about it. And people being ass-hats about it won’t change anything. Thanks for the review.

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