Top Honors: Kimber Classic Carry Pro

Top Honors: Kimber Classic Carry Pro
The Kimber Classic Carry Pro is a 35 oz. 1911, with 4-inch barrel and available in .45 ACP. The grips are bone. Photo by Corey Graff
The Kimber Classic Carry Pro is a 35 oz. 1911, with 4-inch barrel and available in .45 ACP. The grips are bone. Photo by Corey Graff
The Kimber Classic Carry Pro is a 35 oz. 1911, with 4-inch barrel and available in .45 ACP. The grips are bone. Photo by Corey Graff

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.

The Kimber Classic Pro Carry 1911 unveiled at SHOT Show 2012. Photo by Corey Graff.
The Kimber Classic Pro Carry 1911 unveiled at SHOT Show 2012. Photo by Corey Graff.

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

Kimber Classic Carry ProCreated 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?

To learn more about Kimber USA Click Here

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.


Next Step: Get your FREE Printable Target Pack

Enhance your shooting precision with our 62 MOA Targets, perfect for rifles and handguns. Crafted in collaboration with Storm Tactical for accuracy and versatility.

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and get your downloadable target pack sent straight to your inbox. Stay updated with the latest firearms info in the industry.

Previous article Gun Digest the Magazine, February 13, 2012
Next article Bushnell Supports The Folds of Honor Program
Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.


  1. Hi Corey,

    It’s now just a few weeks until the 2013 SHOT show and I’ve still yet to see a Classic Carry Pro on a dealer’s shelf or online auction sites. Heck, I haven’t heard of anyone owning one of these things or anyone even having gotten to do a full hands-on review.

    Have you heard any updated info regarding the availability of these things? Attempts to contact Kimber have been unsuccessful and their web site lists the gun as if you can go right out and pick one up (“the most elegant Kimber pistol offered today”…must’ve been written from the future) . I’ve had a small pile of cash here that I was going to throw at them for a Classic Carry Pro but after a year of waiting I am getting close to going with another brand and throwing some similar grips on it.

    • I apologize for posting twice. When I hit submit the web site didn’t offer any confirmation that my message had been sent so I thought perhaps I hit cancel or something by mistake. After a couple of days I tried again and then realized that there just isn’t a confirmation that a post has been submitted.

    • I attended the 2013 SHOT Show and the Kimber rep didn’t know when these things would ship (it’s only been over a year now).

      A couple of weeks ago I asked Turnbull Restorations (via Facebook) if they knew what the hold up was and they said Kimber hasn’t even sent them the parts for the finish to be applied.

      I smell vaporware.

  2. Corey,

    Here we are with the 2013 SHOT show approaching in a few weeks and I’ve yet to see one of these beauties at a dealer or even hear of someone owning one. Have you heard any more about the Kimber Classic Carry Pro? I’ve tried to contact Kimber about these but have been unsuccessful.

  3. Corey, why would you ever doubt that I read every word you write? Now, about that $1,940 lunch entry on your SHOT Show expense report …

  4. That’s one beautiful 1911. The bone grips are a very nice touch and fit very well into the overall theme of this gun. The BIG question is: When will Kimber get these models into the dealer pupeline?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.