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ATI FX45 Thunderbolt Enhanced

While looking over ATI’s new offerings I came upon the new FX45 Thunderbolt Enhanced. This is one 1911 that doesn’t lack good number of included options.

This model is an upgrade to the stainless steel FX45. They gave this one a matte blue finish with adjustable sights, ambi dexterous thumb safety, rail for any light or laser the user wished to use. ATI also added a magwell, which is well done and fits very nicely with the grip.

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As with the previous model the Enhanced has a ported barrel with five ports per side. These ports are well executed and uniform in appearance and size. The trigger has a flat face that is smooth and a bit wider than the trigger body. Of course the trigger is fully adjustable.

One new addition that immediately catches your eye are the new grip panels. These grips are made by Timber Smith and developed through Tapco. Now we’ve all seen grips with large skulls carved into them but these are a bit classier with small skulls carved into the grips. There are also finely detailed background images around the skulls. The grips also help the shooter by adding three strips of a material not unlike a fine grit skateboard tape. These grips come in Rosewood and black. MSRP is $ 869.95. Of course your dealer price will be less.

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“Rock” or Kimber?

Over the years I’ve owned and reviewed many Kimbers and Rock Island Armory 1911’s. I was thinking the other day about the values of each brand and how they compare to each other. This may seem a bit one sided since the Kimber is much more expensive than the Rock Island Tactical. At least from my viewpoint price doesn’t always mean one pistol is better than another.
I wouldn’t presume to tell you which 1911 is better, rather I’ll present some observations and facts and let the reader decide. As far as price is concerned you can buy three Rock Island’s for the price of one Kimber. The question for the buyer is the Kimber’s price worth it compared to the value of the RIA?
From an aesthetic viewpoint the Kimber 1911’s are very desirable while the Rock Island 1911 is more utilitarian but certainly attractive in it’s own way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say.
In the last few months I’ve had a sample of each 1911 for review purposes. One is the Kimber Aegis II the other a RIA Tactical both in 9MM. Having fired well over 500 rounds from each pistol I surely have a basis for comparison.
The Kimber has a steel slide with an alloy frame. The entire pistol has a carry melt treatment with the frame front strap checkered at 30 LPI. The top of the slide is also milled flat. The Kimber also has Meprolight nightsights. The trigger, barrel and bushing are all advertised as match quality. This model is from the Kimber Custom Shop. Even so there are MIM parts.Trigger pull is between 4 and 5 pounds. The Kimber is a series 80. Retail is $1159.00.
The Rock Island Armory Tactical is almost universally respected. This is not my opinion necessarily rather information taken from many of the gun forums and feedback from friends. The pistol is forged steel and made in the Philippines. It has ambi thumb safeties, beavertail grip safety, full length guiderod and Novak type sights. I’ve spoken with a friend, who is a plant manager, who told me that the slides are hand fitted. Some hand fitting is also performed on the internals so that they all have a trigger pull between 4 and 5 pounds. The Tactical is a series 70. Pretty impressive for a pistol that retails for $450.00.
Most models have a parkerized finish. In recent months the number of models has increased. Some of these new models are two tone with a parked slide and stainless color frame. Rock Island pays attention to customer feedback with several models on the market as a direct result of this feedback.
What about accuracy and reliability? Well you be the judge. The first 165 rounds fired from the Kimber resulted in eight assorted malfunctions. After the initial problems a total of 900 rounds have been fired with no additional problems. The Rock Island Tactical was reliable out of the box with only one malfunction which was a faulty alloy cased round with a ding on the lip of the case.
The picture below shows a target fired with the Kimber and Rock Island Tactical.

I believe the photo is self explanatory. The “R” stands for Rock Island and the “K” of course stands for Kimber. The rounds fired are an equal number from both pistols. Distance was 10 yards. You be the judge:-)
The Kimber has a one year warranty. Rock Island LIFETIME warranty. Repairs on the Rock Island are seldom needed. Turnaround time for warranty repair is one week to ten days. Kimber warranty work has a turnaround time of one month from what I’ve read in the 1911 forums. Rock Island normally adds an extra magazine when returning a warranty repair gun to the owner.
Would I carry the Kimber while going in harms way? Yes after breaking it in and it having shown itself reliable after the initial problems. Would I carry the Rock Island? Yes without a second thought.
I believe this provides enough information for anyone in the market for a 1911 to make an informed decision to choose between the two brands. I welcome your comments, experiences and opinions.

I usually don’t post news items but this is just too good to leave behind!!

Utah Declares Browning Automatic Pistol M1911 the Official State Firearm!
by Bentley Gates
04/12/2011

While President Obama pondered his March Madness brackets instead of keeping eye on world problems, Utah beat Arizona. No, not in college basketball, but in the race to become the first US state to declare an official state firearm.

Yes, joining the Rocky Mountain Elk (official state animal) and copper (official state mineral) as official state designees, Utah has recognized the Browning Automatic Pistol M1911 as the official state firearm. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the act honoring the pistol. Utah is the first state to legislate such a designation.

Arizona’s bill to designate the Colt Single Action Army .45 caliber revolver as their official state firearm is still pending legislative action. Endorsed by over forty state legislators, the act would recognize the revolver’s role in the history of Arizona and the Old West.

Alaska, not to be outdone, also introduced legislation to designate a state firearm. State Senator Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla, AK) together with Sen. Kathy Geissel (R-Anchorage, AK) introduced the legislation. It was referred to committee per senate rules.

Utah chose the M1911 as their official state firearm in recognition that John Moses Browning was born in Utah in 1855 and in 1879 while working in his father’s gun shop Browning received the first of over 128 gun patents he would be awarded. Browning’s inventions changed forever the design of automatic weapons. His revolutionary gas blowback design has influenced gun designers worldwide, essentially ending mechanical recoil systems.

Former police officer and Utah state legislator, Rep. Carl Wimmer (R-Harriman, UT), the bill’s author, indicates the M1911 was selected as it served for so long as a personal protection weapon, both in military and civilian roles. Wimmer believes it is fitting that the act was passed in March 2011, marking the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the pistol by the US Army. Wimmer also notes that the Browning Arms Company is headquartered in Utah, although owned since 1977 by FN of Belgium. John Moses Browning was born in Utah after his gunsmith father moved from Illinois to Utah.

Critics of the legislation cite the recent tragedy in Arizona as reasons the state should not adopt an official state firearm at this time, but Wimmer replies we should learn our lessons from the Tucson event and move forward. Another supporter, Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem, UT) noted a firearm never jumped from the floor and started shooting someone; it requires a person to pull the trigger. He contends the bill honors both the firearm and the inventor.

Utah has won the race to be first to designate an official state firearm. Arizona and Alaska vie for the recognition as the second. Is it possible that other states could join these in recognizing the role guns have had in the history of their states?

I just finished a review on the American Classic Commander from Metro Arms. It’s some 1911.
The link will take you to the review. One of the employees at GFS changed the link to his website. When I move this review to “The Firearm Blog” I’ll post the new link. Thanks!

You can also comment there———

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.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Selecting a CCW Gun

May 31, 2008

Selecting a concealed carry gun is a very challenging task especially during the summer months. I offer this insight from Syd at “The Sight 1911”.

Selecting a Pistol for Concealed Carry
By Syd

If you are reading this, perhaps you haven’t made up your mind or have questions about your selection of a personal defense handgun. There have been many articles written on this subject, most of which boil down to a discussion of calibers and actions. While the caliber and action discussion is important, I find it incomplete and lacking in some important considerations for a person who carries a concealed handgun for self defense. Hence, my point of departure is what it means to live with a pistol every day.

Conceptual Basis

The paradox of the concealed personal defense weapon is that it is something you hope you will never have to use for its intended purpose, but with which you must achieve a level of mastery and familiarity comparable to the other tools you use to survive and get through your day. You wouldn’t drive to work in a car that you didn’t know how to operate. You wouldn’t wear a coat that was three sizes too small or use a carpenter’s saw to slice up a pot roast. No, you use the tools appropriate to the job and you learn how to work with them competently. The same holds true with a self defense pistol. You should know how to operate it and have the level of skill necessary to use it safely and effectively. It should fit your hand and your lifestyle because you will be spending a lot of time with it. It should be comfortable to shoot and hopefully to carry, although when asked if a carry gun should be comfortable to wear, master trainer Clint Smith said, “Your carry gun should be comforting, not comfortable.” Your pistol should be powerful enough to do the job and accurate enough to hit the target. It should be completely reliable, and its operation should be as familiar to you as riding a bicycle or brushing your teeth. You must also have a clear understanding of the legal issues surrounding the use of deadly force — when you can and when you can’t — and the methods and techniques of using a gun in a self defense situation. Sounds like a lot? You’re right; it is, and if you are unwilling to master the skills and concepts of lethal force, do yourself a favor and just don’t carry a gun. (See also The Psychology of Self Defense and the Force Continuum)

Skill and Familiarity

Handguns are not easy to shoot well. The ability to consistently put bullets into a target quickly and in the places which will stop an attacker is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Too many people have the notion that a pistol is a kind of magical talisman and the user need only take it out and wave it around and the problem will magically disappear. Nothing could be further from the truth. A gun brandished at the wrong time and without the fighting skills necessary to employ it effectively will make a whole bunch of new problems, including getting you killed or arrested and charged with some very serious crimes. Hence, making the decision to carry a gun should be made only with the commitment to practice and learn. This may take the shape of attending classes or participating in a practical shooting sport like IDPA. At the very least, a regular practice schedule should be part of the package. This means that you will be spending a lot of time with your pistol. The gun should be comfortable in your hand, have manageable recoil, and be sturdy enough to stand up to heavy use in practice sessions, matches, and classes. The gun should also have reasonable accuracy. You should be able to consistently put all of your shots in an area the size of a saucer at ten yards quickly.

Types and Sizes: Pros and Cons

Pocket Guns

When many folks think of a concealed carry gun, they think of little-bitty pocket pistols that will easily disappear into a pocket or purse. While these may be light and convenient, that’s all they are. Aside from that, they’re pretty useless. They lack the power to put down a determined attacker and they lack the accuracy to hit anything at more than spitting distance. But even more importantly, most little guns are unpleasant to shoot. Being very light and having small handles, their muzzle flip is very bad. After a few rounds your hand may begin to hurt. Shoot a match or take a class at Gunsite with one of these pocket guns? Forget it. If you don’t learn to use it, how much good is it going to do you when the chips are down? In this group, I would include the small Berettas, Airweight snubnose revolvers, Seecamp .32’s, Kel-Tek .32’s and derringers. There may be a place for these pistols, but they all suffer from serious inadequacies. (I am particularly fond of the Airweight snubnose .38 Special revolver, but it can be an unpleasant gun to fire.)

Medium Frame Revolvers

Even though they have been around for 165 years, revolvers remain an excellent solution. These pistols are simple to use and accurate. They can handle hot loads and larger bullets making them effective personal defense weapons. Examples of this class of pistol are the Ruger GP Series and the S&W Model 66. The ideal revolver would have a 3″ to 4″ barrel, a six-round cylinder, and a grip that fills your hand. The biggest drawback of these pistols is the speed of reloading, but with practice, a revolver can be reloaded as quickly as an autoloader.

Medium Frame Auto Pistols

The overwhelming majority of professional trainers, operators, law enforcement and military people prefer medium to large framed autoloading pistols. These pistols have the best combination of speed, firepower, accuracy, and power. These pistols will generally load 8-10 rounds in their magazines (or more if you can find the magazines), have full-length grips, and 3.5″ or longer barrels. These guns tend to have adequate accuracy and power, and large enough grips to be comfortable. Examples of this type of pistol would be the Glock 17, 19, 21 and 22, the S&W 39xx, 59xx, and 69xx series, the SIG 22x series, the H&K USP and P7, the Kimber ProCarry and Compact, the Springfield Champion, Para-Ordnance P12, and many others.

Large Frame Pistols and Revolvers

I like big pistols. They shoot more accurately, absorb more recoil, and develop greater muzzle velocity due to their longer barrels. I would include in this group the Beretta 92, the Colt Government Model M1911 (and clones), The N Frame S&W revolvers, Colt Python, Anaconda and their copies. Characteristically, these guns have 5″ barrels and weigh 36 oz. or more. The biggest drawback of these pistols is their weight. They get heavy and small framed people may have difficulty concealing them.

Autoloader Action Types

There are four types of actions around which semi-auto pistols are built. It’s important to understand the differences:

Single Action – M1911 Colt .45 ACP and Browning Hi-Power 9mm

This is the oldest autoloader design still in service, designed by John Browning (with the help of the Army Ordnance Board) during the period between 1905 and 1911. The hammer must be cocked, generally by racking the slide, for the gun to fire. This design in .45 ACP, .40 S&W and .38 Super is favored by competitive shooters, FBI SWAT, FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and many special forces units because it has the best trigger, outstanding accuracy and is very fast. For the gun to be carried in a state of readiness, the hammer must be cocked and the manual safety applied, “cocked and locked” (see “The Conditions of Readiness”). This looks scary and is not recommended for novices or those suffering from attention deficit disorder.

Double Action/Single Action – Beretta 92F (Armed Forces M9), most Smith & Wesson autos, SIG, Walther, and some Rugers.

This has been the standard design for most autos for the last 50 years. These pistols are cocked by the first trigger pull, but subsequent shots are cocked by the action of the slide cycling back. Consequently, the first trigger pull is long and harder (Double Action) since it is also cocking the hammer. Subsequent trigger pulls are easy (Single Action) since the hammer is already cocked. These guns have an external safety lever which puts the gun on safe and de-cocks the hammer. This is generally thought to be the safest design since the long, heavy first trigger pull and the external safety which blocks the firing pin tend to prevent the gun from going off by accident. The criticism of this design is that it forces the shooter to learn two different trigger pulls and accuracy often suffers on the first double action shot. Most accidental discharges with these sorts of pistols are the result of the shooter forgetting to de-cock the hammer.

Double Action/Single Action with De-Cocker Only – Ruger and SIG

This is a variant of the DA/SA which is used by Ruger and SIG. It functions just like a DA/SA except the “safety” lever is not a safety. It only de-cocks the hammer, but the gun will still fire when the de-cocker is applied and the trigger is pulled. I personally do not like this design since the de-cocker looks just like a safety lever but does not put the gun on safe.

Double Action Only – Glock, Smith & Wesson Sigma, some Berettas, some Rugers, Kahr, Kel-Tec, and others.

This is the newest action design made popular by Glock. With these pistols every trigger pull is the same and they have no external safety or decocking levers. The hammers are not cocked by the cycling of the slide (except for the Glocks which are pre-cocked by the slide cycle, and are not true double action). DAO pistols depend on the long double action trigger pull to prevent accidental discharges. In a sense these are autoloaders which fire like revolvers. Triggers vary from model to model. Some, like the Glocks, have very light triggers. Other DAO triggers can be quite heavy and long, and can be very unpleasant to shoot. The advantage of this action is its simplicity and the fact that every trigger pull is the same.

Calibers and Power

Here we get into mysticism and voodoo, and I will just give you my personal opinion and you can take it for what it’s worth. I like the .45 ACP and the .357 Magnum the best. Just under them in effectiveness are the .40 S&W, the .44 Special and the 9mm. Below them are the .38 Special and the .380 ACP. There are other cartridges, but these are the most common for personal defense weapons and the ammunition is readily available.

I wouldn’t be comfortable with anything smaller than a .380 (actually, I wouldn�t be comfortable with anything smaller than a .45 ACP, but that�s a different argument. See also Jim Higginbotham’s “Case for the .45 ACP”). My personal favorite handgun cartridge is the .45 ACP because of its power and accuracy, but smaller cartridges will do the job if you do your part. Like the selection of the gun, the selection of a cartridge should be based on your ability to shoot it well. A good hit with a .380 is better than a miss with a .45. So, as a general rule, your self defense cartridge should be the largest and most powerful load that you shoot well.

The Selection Process

Don’t be in a rush to buy the first gun you see. Give it a lot of thought. Ideally, shoot as many pistols as you can before you make a decision. Most gun ranges have pistols you can rent to see how they feel. If you have friends who own pistols, go shooting with them. Most will be happy to let you shoot their guns and share with you their experiences with them.

Be careful about the advice of clerks at gun stores. Some are very knowledgeable but many others are total idiots. Just because someone works at a gun store doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is an expert on personal defense pistols. They will all offer an opinion, whether they actually know anything about the matter or not.

I would also maintain a healthy degree of skepticism toward articles in popular gun magazines. They don�t make money by trashing the offerings of their advertisers.

Consider how you dress and your lifestyle. How will you carry the pistol? Can you adjust your wardrobe to accommodate your pistol? Particular body shapes may present special problems. Your physical strength and conditioning may also be a factor, i.e., powerful auto pistols tend to function better for people with strong arms and hands. How much time do you have to devote to practice? As a rule of thumb, autos require more training than revolvers, so don’t pick a single-action .45 auto if you’re not willing to learn to use it.

As important as any other single factor is the size and geometry of your hand. Hand size varies greatly between people and it is very important to handle a gun and note carefully the comfort of the grip and the position of the controls on the pistol. If you can’t easily manipulate every control on the gun with either hand, then find a different gun. People with short thumbs may have trouble with the safety of an M1911. People with short palms may have difficulty with the thick handles of the double-stack 9mm and .40 pistols. People with meaty hands may be “bitten” by the slide of a small auto when it cycles.

Does the gun feel good in your hand? Is the trigger smooth or is it rough and heavy? Is the frame fairly narrow so that it will conceal well? Does the gun have the right balance of power, weight and size? (Remember, bigger is better for shooting and power, but can you carry it for 8 hours if you have to?)

You will notice that I have said nothing about price. I really hate to hear people making a decision on a handgun based on price. No one wants to pay more than we have to or what is fair, but price should be the last consideration. You won�t remember a hundred or so dollars extra you paid for the right pistol, but you will remember the ill-fitting bargain pistol that doesn�t shoot right or feel good.

To summarize, hold it, feel it, fire it if you can, and recognize that you’re going to spend a lot of time with the pistol. Remember also, that it may be called upon someday to defend your life. No, it isn’t easy, and you may end up buying two or three pistols before you find the one with just the right balance of weight, power and comfort.

Holsters

The selection of a holster which fits the gun you intend to carry is critically important. For a detailed discussion on this matter, click here.

Reloads

Most of the tactical gurus recommend the carry of at least one reload. If you observe police officers, they often carry 2-4 extra magazines or speed-loaders. If your gun is an autoloader, the second magazine is a good idea for two reasons: (1) you may need the extra rounds (and it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them), and (2) magazines sometimes fail and having a backup will ensure that you won’t get caught with a non-functioning gun. Hopefully, very few of us will ever need twenty one or more rounds, but the carry of a spare magazine or speed-loader is just a wise practice. One of the reasons I prefer an autoloader to a wheel gun in this role is that the flat shape of a magazine is easier to carry on your belt than the rounded and somewhat bulky shape of the speed-loader used for revolvers.

Summary of Selection Criteria

1. Your personal defense weapon should be as large and as powerful as you can shoot accurately and carry with a reasonable degree of comfort and concealment.
2. Your personal defense weapon should fit your hand perfectly.
3. You should be able to manipulate the controls of your weapon with either hand alone.
4. Your personal defense weapon should be of sturdy construction and be able to withstand heavy use and rough handling.
5. Your personal defense weapon should be accurate enough to consistently hit a target the size of a saucer at 10 yards quickly.
6. Select the largest caliber you can shoot well, and a caliber for which ammunition is readily available.
7. A good quality holster must be available for the model of pistol you intend to carry.

Kimber Eclipse

December 8, 2006

I used to have a Kimber Eclipse when they first came out. As usual I decided I had to have something else and traded it. I regretted it ever since. The other day I was checking the local gun shops and spied this slightly used Eclipse in the case. After the usual haggling over price I gave in and bought this one. It’s as accurate as the first one was and has the internal extractor which I prefer over the recent trend of putting the extractor on the exterior of the slide. This time I think I’ll keep it:-)
The two tone finish is very classy as well as very functional. When you present the gun all you see is matte black. None of the silver finish is visible. The black part of the finish is also very durable. I’m not sure what they use but it does holdup very, very well. The Kimber sights are also extremely useable. They provide a very clear sight picture with just enough daylight on either side of the front sight to pick the target up pretty fast. They are also perfect in height. They use lateral serrations on both front and rear sights which cuts down on glare.
As with all Kimbers they are as accurate as most any factory guns. My Kimbers still don’t beat my Rock Island Armory in the accuracy department. In short Kimber makes a fine 1911 and I can certainly recommend them to anyone looking for quality and a beautifully made 1911.