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).
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)
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.
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.
- 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
- Material: Steel
- Finish: Matte black
- Width (inches): 1.28
- Material: Steel
- Finish: Matte black
- Front serrations
- Length (inches): 5
- Material: Steel, match grade
- Stainless steel match grade bushing
- Twist rate (left hand): 16
- Kimber adjustable
- Radius (inches): 6.8
- Black synthetic
- Double diamond
- Aluminum, match grade
- Factory setting (appx. pounds): 4.0 – 5.0