Kimber Raptor II
March 20, 2009
Kimber Raptor II
Ten Yard Victim–LOL!
I’ve had my issues with one Kimber I’ve owned as you can read about in the blog. With that said if you do get a “good” Kimber they are fantastic pistols. The chance of getting a problem pistol is much less with a pistol from the Kimber Custom Shop. The Kimber Raptor II is such a pistol. In fact I’ve kept track of Kimbers QC issues over the last year and a half and I’m happy to report they seem to have resolved whatever issues they had at one time. That’s certainly good for them but more importantly for those of us who actually were hoping Kimber would come back to the fine product that was.
A good friend of mine traded this slightly used Raptor to me last week and I couldn’t be more pleased with any 1911. I owned a generation I Raptor with the external extractor which I traded years ago. Ever since then I’ve wanted to get another Raptor with the traditional extractor and eventually hand it down to my son. The blue that Kimber puts on these custom shop pistols is very reminiscent of the deep shiny blue that S&W used way back when. This is a very attractive pistol. In fact it’s in the top two in my view. With the deep blue, scaled slide cuts and the same treatment on the grip frame it not only provides a wonderful grip but looks very classy. Yea I know a blued gun does wear but that just gives it character in my view and if it bothers you that much then you can always have it reblued down the road. The way I look at it is that the only truly beautiful finish is a deep shining blue!
Novak Type Low Profile Night Sights/Top Slide “Raptor”Cuts
This custom pistol is also equipped with a new style low profile night sights. I’m not sure if Kimber requested the change in the rear sight profile but I do like it better than the older Meprolight design. The pistol is also equipped with ambidextrous thumb safeties. They are not terribly wide to the point of being disingaged by accident. The “Raptor” cuts also cut down on light reflection. The top of the slide and the front grip strap as well as the rear of the slide have a slightly muted finish. With most 1911’s I normally will exchange some parts to suite my taste and the way I shoot. With the Kimber it’s basically take it home, clean it and go shoot—no changes needed. Also, the beavertail has a raised pad on the bottom for positive disengagement of the grip safety.This is the first feature I check on a 1911. So many of them I have difficulty depressing the grip safety reliably to ensure I can fire that shot first time every time. This one works very well. The trigger pull is 3 pounds 12 ounces and breaks clean and crisp. Trigger takeup is also short with very little slack. The Raptor is fitted with a full lenght guide rod which I live with or without. They really don’t contribute to accuracy in my view but some shooters swear by them and that’s fine.
Since all of the custom shop guns have the critical parts hand fitted it’s very much above average in the accuracy department. The target below was fired from 15 yards slow fire and is shown next to a loaded Wilson Combat 47D magazine for group size reference. This is 9 rounds fired.
I think this would make the suspect drop the gun:-)
The target seen below was fired from ten yards fairly fast at approx. one round per second. The target is a Birchwood Casey 5 inch.
The second target seen is the same target with two additional mags fired also at faster than one round per second.
Most of the rounds went into the area already shot
This is a standard qualification target. The circle on the face is 3 inches. Two magazines fired relatively fast.
A few pictures of this beautiful pistol even if it
s a little dirty at the time.
Even after 200 rounds the finish still shines through:-)
These grips are the Mil-Tac G-10 grips sold by Craig Sword. They are very durable and provide a positive grip. The factory wood grips are still the most attractive with the blue finish. I hate to do ant damage to the Kimber wood grips but they can always be replaced. Outside of the grip change if your so inclined I can’t think of a thing that needs to be changed on this pistol. It comes perfectly outfitted to my taste and preferences. There is one thing that I should mention for those who like light rails on a 1911. Novak makes an add on rail that can be fitted and has a very low profile unlike many that add a considerable amount of weight and bulk. They do require that two holes be drilled into the lower frame which is something I would never do to this pistol. As far as magazines are concerned this pistol is not magazine sensative. Some 1911’s are and will only work with a few types. I used the factory mag which I think is a McCormick. I also used Wilson 47D’s, Metalform, Novak, McCormick match and plain old GI mags that have had many a round run through them. It works with any mag which is a big plus.
Even though the price of all guns are skyrocketing, particularly 1911’s this is one that does give you value for your money. During all my shooting during this range trip I had no problems whatsoever. A total of 200 rounds of assorted types and brands were fired. That brings the total round count to 400 with many more to come! If I could only have three handguns it would be this 1911, my Sig P6 and S&W model 19. That provides a solid lineup of reliable defensive handguns.
With the current political climate one should buy all they can afford to and hang onto them. It may be a very bumpy road ahead for the 2nd amendment and our rights in general. One last word–if you don’t belong to the NRA join now! Your support and active support is needed now more than any other time in our history.