Enough About Politics, Here’s an Article on My New Kimber Raptor 1911

Kimber Raptor 1911
Kimber Raptor 1911

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
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.

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Don McDougall: What does carrying cocked and locked have to do with if you’re ever in a situation where one arm or hand is disabled and you need to either reload or clear a malfunction? Have you taken a tactical class where they teach you these drills?

John Nicholson

I had a SIS model. Biggest mistake I ever made was selling it. Now I’m a Springfield armory man. Have shot some of the new kimbers just didn’t like them. Wish I stilll had the SIS.


When i first disassembled my new 45 kimber ultra cse for cleaning.
I had a hard time puting the slide clip back in too.
You have to good grip and slide the rail or slide to match
The small notch on the left side has match up with clip hole.
Make sure the clip is horizontal and push it through.
It may several tries, it gets easier each time.


We all own what we like. I would never criticize another gun owner for the choice he made, that’s up to him. My choices are based on price and what I’ve found to hold up and continue to shoot, round after round. I own a 1911 and consider it to be one of the most iconic firearms ever made, but it sits in the safe. I carry Glocks because of consistency and the fact that I can put hundreds of thousands of rounds through them and they keep on shooting. Some people simply hate them. That’s okay with me, they… Read more »

Sid Pits

My Ed Browns and my Republic Forge are even worse about this than my Kimbers.Customer service at Ed Brown told me don’t disassemble until at least 500 rounds are through it.Just Boresnakes,lube,and shoot it a lot.
I think that works,as long as I hold my tongue just right!

Bob G

I dont know why it is, but you live Kimber or you dont. In my case, I absolutely live them. Yes, I agree the warranty is week for a upper scale gun. Particularly, when so many other guns ( even the plastic ones) have lifetime warranties. It seams defeatist to me. Anyway, I purchase a .45 cal Super Cary Pro on a recommendation. Wow, what a gun! I was surprised at how accurate and smooth the gun is. Great trigger, reset and accuracy right out of the box. This gun made shooting seem easier, and fun again. Im sold forever.


One downside not mentioned is the angled rear sight. While also found on other guns I consider them a negative feature in that you are unable to rack the slide on your belt. Before any start criticizing this comment, when did you last take a tactical course and how, exactly would you reload and rack the slide if one hand or arm were incapacitated? How many have practiced this drill? For me it disqualifies this gun for carry.

Don McDougall

Vanns….then change the sights to what you want. Oh…weekly. 🙂


For that price I shouldn’t have to. They advertise it as a concealed carry gun and that’s one of the basic requirements. Not like we’re talking about an entry level gun here.

Don McDougall

No, but the low profile sites are a choice, and for a lot of people a choice for carry. Since I carry locked and cocked there is little chance I’ll need to use the sights to wrack the slide. You can make the same argument for a full length guide rod as well. Or carrying a 1911 Vs a Glock. Stay safe.

SJ Darland

Don,my friend.I have owned many Kimbers,approx six ,eight,nine,I lost track.I now own zero.I love Kimber Ultra series pistols.The reason I sold every one of them was because off reassembly after cleaning!I had so much frustration putting them back together after routine cleaning .I would be bleeding from the hand,useing foul language,and ticked off!I take all the blame,I own many brand of pistols,no problems putting them back together.I have watched many videos to no avail.The last step is the one that gets me every time,putting that pin through the frame.Hey I keep trying,sounds crazy but true maybe try again ?

David A Satterthwaite

Good article.
I like my Kimber’s to.


Throw their Kimber under the seat of their car with a bunch of tools?! Just so wrong. (~8{