A friend of mine was divesting himself of some firearms this year, and one of the weapons was a Kimber Stainless Pro Carry II .45ACP. I took the pistol out for a run this week, and while I didn’t put a lot of rounds through it, I did enough to get a good feel for the pistol.

First off — aesthetics: The pistol is lovely. The stainless steel slide and the aluminum frame give it a two-tone silver look. The rubber grips look all right, but I think I’d like to swap to the black and brown grips they use on the Eclipse. It had come with the Hogue rubber finger grips for the front of the handle. Hated them, even though they probably contributed a bit to the excellent performance of the gun. The pistol is a commander-sized 1911, so it’s a 4″ barrel and a normal grip size. Here it is now…

IMG_0146Next, let’s discuss the carry factor. The size is nice — about on par with the Walther PPQ I like to carry. Weight-wise, I was very surprised. The Walther PPQ tips the scales with a full magazine of 115 grain 9mm at about 24-25 oz., the FN FiveSeven with twenty 27 grain about 25-26 oz., and the Pro Carry with eight 230 grain rounds is 32 oz. About half a pound heavier than the other two guns, but still well inside the comfortable to carry all day range. It also fits in the chest pocket my motorcycle jacket — the main requirement for a concealment gun — well enough to be drawn quickly. In short, it’s an excellent choice for carry based on weight to power.

Function: The accuracy of the gun is astounding. For as light as it is, the recoil is very manageable; certainly no worse than any other 1911 .45 I’ve fired. The sights are minimalist — no dots, just black front post between two black back posts…the way I like it. At 10 yards and a steady but not slow pace, I put eight in a 2.5″ group. Most probably never touched paper. At fifteen, which seems to be where I start to see degradation on accuracy for most pistol, I was still getting 3-3.5″ groups. I didn’t try a 25 yard test as I was out of ammo quickly. It’s a blast to shoot.

(Side note — the new eyes [I had LASIK done last week] probably helped with my accuracy. I’m about 20/10 now and could actually make out the 5.7mm hits a friend was making at 10 yards with little difficulty!)

As to the mechanical function – here we run into one of my complaints on Kimber. I doubt the previous owner(s) had put more than 200-400 rounds through the pistol, and the function was still a bit rough. The whole “you need to break it in” thing that shooters put up with is stupid. If you buy a guy and actually need it that night, what bloody good is it if the thing malfunctions because the manufacturer couldn’t do a bit of polishing and testing? I have never had to break in a Tanfoglio Witness (as much as folks love to malign them), nor my CZ, nor the FN, nor the Kel-Tec .32s I’ve owned. They worked.

The Kimber loved to jam up on the first round or two. I swapped mags — not the issue. Once running, it was fine after the first shot or two. the spring, to me, felt weak. The Pro Carry’s supposed to have a 22 lb. recoil spring, but it was about the same strength as my colleague’s Witness .45 (also on the range at the time) — a 16 lb. spring. I had my Witness with a Wolff 20 lb spring. this was not a 22 pound spring. I think this was the issue with the function, which admittedly eased toward the end of the session.

So I ordered up a 23 lb. Wolff spring for it.

Outside of the break-in or weak spring nonsense, the gun ran like a top. Enough so, it is replacing the Kel-Tec .32 I’ve carried in my motorcycle jacket for a decade. It’s not as light, true, but it doesn’t print and doesn’t seem to weigh the jacket down. I’m calling it Wee Jock.

The MSRP on the Kimber is just shy of $1100. It’s not worth that. Find a used one for about $700, it’s definitely worth it. Find it for less than that — jump on it.

UPDATE: My second outing with the Kimber saw no malfunctions, using crappy Blazer ammo. Shot a few rounds of Critical Duty .45, and wow! do you feel the +P with that frame.