Described as a “gentleman's gun,” the new Kimber Classic Pro Carry is an officer's size 1911 combining practical features for concealed carry with a touch of class. In fact, I liked it so much, I gave it an award.
One of the funnest things any blogger can do is try to sneak blog posts past his publisher. A fine sport in its own right — right up there with ordering expensive room service on corporate trips — this can tend to upset the powers that be if you get caught. Accordingly, just to push the limits and see if Jim is paying any attention, I've gone out on a limb here by inventing my own personal award. It is aptly dubbed the Gun Digest Military & Tactical Guns Blog Best Gun of SHOT Show 2012 Award.
Disclaimer: What follows is not an official contest or statement of Gun Digest in any way and wasn't arrived at by any quorum of the editors. This post represents my own personal views and no one else's.
However, if a blogger is entitled to any thing it's his opinions. And so what follows is my opinion and mine alone (Jim, are you reading this?)
Having said that, let's start with some background. At last year's 2011 SHOT Show, I came across a very sightly 1911 at the Kimber booth, new for that year, called the Kimber Royal II. The Royal II is a full-size charcoal blued 1911, available in .45 ACP or 9mm. It has white bone grips. I have a soft spot for white bone grips. It was just about the prettiest gun I'd seen all week at the show. It got my attention. And when you consider where the show takes place (Las Vegas) that's saying quite a lot.
I'd also caught the SHOT Show Plague that week and wasn't feeling too swell. But after getting a first look at the Royal, I'll admit I felt a wee bit more chipper.
Yet, as much as I liked that pistol, I couldn't help but think that with just a couple tweaks the Royal could be so much more. My thought process was influenced by one of the things Kimber also did that year with the introduction of the Super Carry Ultra HD line. These modernish-1911s had the distinctive round heel frame for a drag-free draw from concealment. “HD” stood for “Heavy Duty” and referred to their all-stainless steel construction. They weighed 35 ounces empty — that's a Ritz cracker or two over two pounds.
I reasoned at the time that a Royal, only offered in a “Pro Carry” 4-inch design, outfitted with night sights and a rounded heel frame, yet keeping the classy look of the white bone grips would be just about the most perfect combination of features and looks you could get. Kimber must've read my mind.
Fast forward to SHOT Show 2012. Like Ralphie gazing starry-eyed through the Higbee's department store window at the “Holy Grail of Christmas gifts,” there I was at the Kimber booth, and there it was: The Kimber Classic Carry Pro. It was classic alright, everything I'd dreamed it could be. No compass in the stock, and no thingy that tells time, but it instantly became my very own Red Ryder BB Gun. There was just no doubt in my mind that the Kimber Classic Carry Pro would win my own personal “Best of Show” award. I just had to concoct said award, first.
A Look at the Pistol
Created in the Kimber Custom Shop, the new Classic Carry Pro .45 ACP is a truly spectacular 1911. When you handle the thing, the craftsmanship is impeccable. With a deep charcoal blue finish from Turnbull Restoration over brush-polished ﬂats complemented by bone grips, it combines classic style with performance.
The steel frame and slide combine with a 4-inch bushingless match grade bull barrel for perfect balance. It has an ambidextrous thumb safety, thin slide serrations and a recessed slide stop pin as standard features, plus as mentioned the round heel frame that makes it more comfortable to carry. Heck, it's even built with a hefty all-steel design and, like the Ultra Pro Carry HD, weighs a stout 35 ounces. I like heavy guns because they counteract recoil, and Kimber got this part right.
A match grade chamber and trigger, lowered and ﬂared ejection port and beveled magazine well are also baked into the design. A serrated ﬂat top slide, night sights with cocking shoulder for single-hand cycling and 24 lines-per inch front strap checkering for a positive grip round out the package. The only thing it doesn't come with is room service. The suggested retail price is $1,940.
In a video interview we did with Kimber's Dwight Van Brunt, he described the pistol as a “gentleman's gun” and one that General Patton himself would have carried. I simply stood there speechless, and it was everything I could do to spit out something intelligible like, “May … I … touch … it? … Please?” I was later informed by colleagues that what I actually muttered came out sounding like some unknown ancient language, something akin to Ewok.
What can I say? Like nervously stammering up to ask a pretty lady her phone number, great guns of this caliber make me nervous. This one floored me. Check out the photos and see if you don't agree. Ain't she pretty?
Only my vote is in, and so it's unanimous: The Kimber Classic Carry Pro is the proud recipient of my Gun Digest Military & Tactical Guns Blog Best Gun of SHOT Show 2012 Award. That's just my opinion. There was no shortage of great guns at this year's SHOT Show, but for me this one leapfrogged the rest of the pack by a mile.
Having had my fun, there's only one thing I have to ask: Jim, if you're still reading this, may I please have my job back?
Editor's note: I've told you my opinions about this pistol. Now let's hear yours. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the Kimber Carry Pro.