Gunner’s Journal

The 1911 Worlds Finest Handgun!

Kimber Raptor II

Posted by Gunner on 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.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

13 Responses to “Kimber Raptor II”

  1. Bill said

    That Raptor is a SMOKING hot gun. I had and sold a Kimber Tactical a few years ago and I regret selling it. I might need to look into a Raptor.

  2. Gunner said


    I guarantee you will love it if you get one!!!!


  3. Bill Smith said

    Gunners Journal is Great , Thank you.
    I just purchased my Raptor ll. Good advice.Bill Smith

  4. Gunner said


    Thanks very much I appreciate it!

  5. marc said

    to all the kimber owners i have an important question for all. im a kimber ultra 2 carry owner and love this firearm. now my question is im getting ready to go get a custom 1911 made for myself. i have looked at ed brown,nighthawk,wilson and kimber. basically i have it narrowed down to brown and kimber. now the problem is ed brown will not do exaclty what i want on the other hand kimber will make they exact custom raptor 2 i want. i just want to know do you guys feel as though kimber is as precise and as fine of a weapon that the ed brown is? please help me i really want to know if the kimber is as good as the ed brown products. not tomention ed brown gets about $1000-$1500 more for his firearms. am igetting that much more with ed borwn as opposed to the raptor?

  6. marc said

    its me again i forgot to say that for a base raptor they are about $1250. for a base ed brown equivalant called the kobra he gets $2270. is the ed brown worth that much more even though i will not get scaling on top and i will not get the grip i want which on the kimber the zebra grip comes standard which i love. they told me at ed brown that i will have to change it myself. plus at no extra charge you get ambidexstrous safety. so should i sacrifice some detail and the safety for the ed brown or get everything i want plus around $1000 less expensive????

  7. Gunner said


    Not to knock Kimbers but you really can’t compare a Kimber with an Ed Brown or some of the other custom guns you mentioned. Until you’ve handled an Ed Brown for instance you can’t appreciate the work that goes into one of his creations. The last one I shot was last week and it was the Kobra Carry in blue finish. like this one. The trigger is beyond smooth and crisp compared to a Kimber. He puts a lot of time into fitting each critical part to perfection. I’ve shot several of them over the last few years. His shop is in Perry,Mo. which is only about an hour away from where I am so so I have seen many examples up close. Accuracy is a given that at 25 yards you get a one inch group. Now few of us can shoot that well to obtain that kind of accuracy but it’s there. They are $1000 more but having owned a bunch of Kimbers it would be a no brainer for me to pick the Brown if I could afford one on a retired police officers income.
    I’ve seen to many custom Kimbers with QC problems and have experienced problems with them myself. To be honest I’m glad you got a good Kimber because there are some out there that need some help. I have owned two Raptors and the first one was a good example but the second had feeding problems that I had a lot of problem fixing.
    Is the Brown worth the extra $1000 yes if you can afford it I’d sure go that route there really is no comparison.

    Good luck!

  8. Gunner said

    The one above is number 3 and it’s been reliable so one out of three was a bad one in the Raptor line.

  9. Andrew S said

    Hello, Im an active duty US Marine looking to buy a Raptor for CCW, and advice or reccommendations for holsters? I would prefer an inside the waistband, but any advice would be appreciated.
    Semper Fi
    CPL Sokol, USMC

  10. Gunner said


    Thanks for your service! I have a son who’s in Iraq for the second tour in three years. He’s an Army Captain and I have to proudly say he was awarded the Bronze Star last week. I can’t help it I had to share that.
    Well for an outside the waistband holster Erik Little makes the best holster made. Here’s my review on mine and a link to his website.
    The best IWB holster is made by Milt Sparks If Lightening Arms has any in stock this is a good place to get them. If you contact Sparks directly being in the Marine Corp they will rush order for you but it can still take a couple of months.
    If they don’t have any available within a reasonable time this Galco is a very good choice and can be had immediately. called the Summer Special.

    Take care,

  11. Mike Misey said

    Love the looks! Love the accuracy!! Love the reliability! My ultra-carry II stainless Raptor is the epitomy of a carry-conceal. I also own a Crimson ultra-carry II which mirrors the above, with the advantage of the crimson trace. HOO-RAA!!! Mike Missey**

  12. Gunner said


    Oh yea I couldn’t agree more. I just tested a Kimber Super Carry Ultra+ and while I don’t keep many guns I review this one I kept and I love it! Accurate even with a 3 inch barrel, fast into action, just a super pistol! I also got a great IWB holster for it from Erik Little in Wyoming. Erik is a real artist in leather. You might want to check this holster out.

    Take care,

  13. I checked Erik Little but still prefer Kimber 1911. Its really give me best shot. I was using HK and its quite satisfying considering the performance but my recent buy Kimber Pistol is worth i spent too. Cool

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