California – -(AmmoLand.com)- There’s a lot of crap you hear about guns and a lot of people who are loyal to one brand and trash all others. So when looking to add the newest addition to my gun collection, I talked directly to Kimber and got the straight scoop from them on their guns and their production.
Convinced by their pitch, I now have a brand new Kimber Raptor 1911 pistol.
Kimber Raptor 1911
The Raptor “feels right” in your hand, and the simple fact is out of the box and at 10 meters it leaves bullet holes EXACTLY where is it supposed to. Just align the sites and squeeze the trigger and the hole appears right where it should, Just what I expected from a custom gun shop pistol.
So a few things to know about Kimber manufacturing, they DO NOT and never have used pressed metal parts. Some are metal injection, and all are hand polished and hand fit. Their custom shop guns will produce a 2inch group at 25 meters. Their Super Match will do under 2 inches at 50 meters. The difference is the bushing and degree of gunsmith hand fitting of the barrel.
They have a one-year warranty, but that needs some explanation. That warranty depends on what broke on the gun, and how you treated it. One person bought a Kimber Warrior, and tossed it under the seat of his car, along with screwdrivers and jumper cables..etc. Combine that with bumpy country roads and Kimber will not be fixing that gun for free. You should want to keep that tight group that the gun is built with, so take care of your guns. With the Kimber Raptor, you’re getting the gun will hold that group for about 30,000 rounds then Kimber recommends the gun be sent in for a tune-up.
One of my older Kimber carry guns was well past the one-year limit and was stove-piping. Kimber paid for the shipping and replaced everything except the frame and slide, fit a new barrel and had it back to me in 10 days at no cost. Hard to complain.
The last thing to discuss is Bambi-Wrist. It’s a fact for shooters and an insult to many. So let me explain. 1911’s are built for a purpose, and they operate on the energy from the recoil of the bullet leaving the gun. A gun that shoots a 1” group at 50 will be tighter and also unforgiving with lousy ammo. Meaning it will not feed poorly made ammunition, without the right power, seating and bullet the gun will not go bang. The tighter tolerances that give the gun its accuracy makes it finicky about what it eats. The weight of the bullet you intend to use and uses of the gun also affect the recoil spring you put in the guns. Some gun makers build their 1911’s for lighter weight bullets or use lighter recoil springs. Kimber builds their guns for 200gr or 230gr rounds. The recoil spring is 18lb and robust. So yes you have to hold a Kimber firmly. In a world where a LOT of shooters come to 1911 late in life and come from the land of plastic 9mm guns the concept of holding the gun correctly is not something they are taught or seem to care about. They then blame the new gun rather than their lack of training.
The right ammo is probably a whole other article, but I prefer a 230gr hollow-point. It leaves the barrel at 860fps. You can compare that to the box of ammunition on the shelf in my reloading table that weighs 86gr and leaves a 5-inch barrel at 1,400 FPS. That said the felt recoil of the 86gr is almost nonexistent.
The specifications are below for the Kimber Raptor 1911.
- Kimber Raptor II Specifications
- Caliber: .45 ACP
- Barrel: 5 inches
- Height: 5.25 inches
- Weight( with empty magazine): 38 ounces
- Length: 8.7 inches
- Width: 1.28 inches
- Magazine capacity: 8 rounds
- Safety: Ambidextrous thumb
- Material: Steel
- Twist Rate(left hand): 16
- Sights: Tactical Wedge Tritium night sights
- Grips: Zebrawood
- Trigger: Aluminum, match grade (4-5 pounds)
I rate the Kimber’s’ a tad better than the Springfield and Sig 1911’s. Kimber’s top-end custom guns are as good as the Wilson and other target match guns. I’d be hard-pressed to say one is markedly better than another. They’re all top of the line.
Simply put accuracy a relative thing. Out to 25 meters, two inches does me fine for a carry gun, and spending 2X as much for a gun that I cannot use for personal use seemed extravagant. Not that another one may not find it’s was next to the Raptor in my safe at some point.
If some of you are not fans of 1911 or Kimber and are going to write me a response longer than this article, good. DO IT! If one brand of firearms met everyone’s need, there would be only one brand standing. No name calling, but feel free to express your opinion and thought. I’ll be honest one of the best parts of AmmoLand News is the rough and tumble comments. I often learn more from reading the comments from other gun owners than I do the original author. You can not be an author here and be easily butt-hurt. Gentlemen and Ladies, I await your responses. 😊
p.s.: Oh and just for reference I own SIGs, Colts and Springfield’s, and a selection of Glocks and a few you may never have heard of, so think before you write. I know that may be hard for some of the Glock fanboy
About Don McDougall
Don McDougall is an NRA instructor and member of the Los Padres “Friends of the NRA” committee. If he’s not at the range you will find him setting the record straight with on gun issues and gun safety on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.