Kimber SIS 1911 pistols discontinued

The controversial Kimber SIS Custom .45 1911 line of pistols will be discontinued in the New Year. From

Note: the SIS family is discontinued as of January 1, 2010. Kimber will ship outstanding orders but they will not take orders on the SIS line after 1/1. If you want one, don’t wait too long or they will be unavailable!

Kimber S.I.S Custom featuring the distinctive “SIS” slide serrations.

The pistol was designed by the LAPD’s elite Special Investigation Section who adopted it as their duty weapon. Kimber donated a portion of each sale to the LAPD Memorial Fund.

Massad Ayoob wrote about the SIS pistols in Guns Magazine

… News that a weapon is being marketed with an ‘SIS’ serration–a clear reference to the LAPD–was met with criticism from city and civil rights leaders. ‘It is very disturbing,’ said Councilman Jack Weiss. ‘If any member of the public is shot with one of these guns or, heaven forbid, a cop is shot with one of these arts, what would be the explanation?’

You see, the guns weren’t just named after SIS, LAPD’s Special Investigation Section, they were designed by SIS members. Staffed by creme de la creme street-proven detectives with extra-intense training in armed police combat …

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Matt Groom

    Why would it be worse for a cop to be shot vs. anyone else? Is it more of a tragedy when the victim of a crime works for the government? Why does it matter what the name of the gun which was used to shoot someone is? How is that anymore of a tragedy? “Civil Rights Leaders”? Don’t they realize that the right to bear arms is a civil right? This was nothing but manufactured conroversy, and if it did anything, it helped sell what I fell is a rather unattractive version of a standard Kimber pistol.

  • SpudGun

    It’s time for me to put on my dunce hat once again and ask for someone to explain the reasoning behind this decision.

    So are they saying that if a criminal shoots a cop with a SIS pistol, the cop will die extra quick because it fires magic LAPD bullets? Or are they worried about headlines like ‘Cop killed by criminal using cop gun designed to kill criminals’?

    Just to throw in some rather tasteless circular logic, if I were an LAPD cop, surely I’d want all the bad guys to be carrying SIS pistols, that way if I did get shot, I’d know that the criminals had payed some money into the Memorial Fund.

  • Bandito762

    …and they were butt ugly. Seriously, does anyone else think that the lettering serrations are super tacky?

  • ‘If any member of the public is shot with one of these guns or, heaven forbid, a cop is shot with one of these arts, what would be the explanation?’

    How about “A dirt bag who illegally obtained a gun committed a felony. We need to work on enforcing current laws to keep career criminals off the street.”

  • subase

    Why would the sis design a gun, if they are an investigative unit, surely their combat training can’t be all that advanced? Waste of taxpayers dollars if it is.

    In anycase its the same old ‘magic bullets, magic gun’ talk we often hear from the ignorant hysterical anti-gun crowd.

  • Sean

    I thought they were kinda cool. But the “SIS” serrations were hard to grasp. I would imagine that in wet, muddy, or bloody conditions they would be hard to deal with. I really like the grips, and actually have a set I traded for. I just took them off for some VZ grips tho.

  • John K.

    So… LAPD detectives designed a 1911 then? I guess they really did solve their little crime problem in CA since their cops seem to have so much time on their hands. And apparently being a law enforcement professional in CA also means that you’re an expert engineer/armorer. Good to know.

    Maybe they’d be kind enough to share the revolutionary changes that make this firearm so incredibly effective, that a “civil rights leader” feels the need to get involved, with the rest of us. You know, only in case we in the lesser 49 states can be trusted with those details. 😉

    And, even after re-reading that excerpt, I still don’t get what the controversy is all about. Why again is getting shot with a “custom” gun worse than getting shot with a “regular” firearm? I guess it’s a good thing that these people are in charge because, clearly, they know what they’re doing.

  • subby

    People higher up had probably just watched ‘Street Kings’, ‘Training Day’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and as such realised investigative officers needed even a better gun, similiar to the gun Keanu Reeves had in ‘Street Kings’.

    Personally I’m glad because when the ‘hostage shot’ is taken we can be confident they won’t miss.

  • So why are they being discontinued?

  • Peter

    I’d like to think that Kimber finally woke up and realized that marketing a pistol ‘designed’ by folks who want the population disarmed was a little over the top.

  • Don

    I bet the discontinuation of this model has less to do with criticism from professional bullshitters and more to do with the fact that people generally won’t buy expensive items with the names of organizations they don’t belong to machined into said items.

    Also, curvy serrations on slides look kind of lame to me. Manufacturers keep trying to invent new slide serrations and argue that one or another is “better”. This to me is like the advanced engineering of toothbrushes, the same plain jane thing already works fine but cosmetics are endlessly tweaked to get a marketing edge.

  • DaveP

    I always thought it was a little creepy, myself. “We’re so super-special elite that not just ANY customized high-end 1911 is good enough for US…”

  • Carl

    Government acronyms as slide serrations….a perfect storm of failure.

  • David

    This is a beautiful pistol !!!!

  • Kurgen99

    Wow, nobody here bothered to do any research about SIS. Why am I not surprised?

  • Again it just goes to show that it is a matter of preference to the shooter. This gun may have been designed by experts in their field to what they felt would be the best application, but it is not for everyone.

    Guns are not a one size fits all. This is a nice gun. It is small and compact for detectives, but again not for everyone.

    I do not know the reason for Kimber to discontinue this model, but price and lack of demand may have something to do with it.

    You have to give it to a company that will work with law enforcement personnel to come up with a gun for their needs and feel. They are the ones who depend on this guns for everyones lives, including their own.

  • G.L. Mattern

    It’s amazing. The computer and the internet have become the CB radio of the 70’s. It used to be that you put a CB microphone in someone’s had and they became an expert on everything. Now we have the computer keyboard and anyone with internet access can post a half-wit response to anything….. Where in their imagination do some of the posters get some of the ideas that they suddenly expound upon? I saw nothing anywhere that said anything about it being worse for a police officer to be shot than anyone else or that being shot with the SIS weapon would kill you faster than being shot with a different weapon….. However, that fact that police officers are tasked with keeping us safe and enforcing the laws that our duly elected representatives have given us (no – I don’t want to get into a political debate) would make it a larger crime against society as a whole. And, after all that…….. the saying is: “There’s nothing wrong with a little shooting, as long as the right people get shot.” Now who said that?

  • I have a SIS Pro Carry. I Love the gun. Shoots great. No probkems.

  • I own a SIS Pro Carry. I love the gun,absolutely perfect. No problems.Shoots great.

  • Karl

    I own a SIS 1911, purchased in 2009, this is the best hand gun, I have every fired! As mentioned before, this pistol is not for everyone. Do your home work prior to speaking. Simply put, “Profection”….

  • Tokmo

    I bought all 4 in the series. I only shoot the Ultra as thats my choice for CCW. After the intial break in it runs like a champ. My duty weapon is a M & P 40. I trust my life with either. I’ll be storing the others for a rainy day.

  • Tim

    There are a few of these at a local gun shop. Wondering if I grab one… will they be worth anything in the future or am I buying a discontinued product that won’t get any support.

  • Ray

    I own a sis it is a fine weapon, also on colt 1911. Have no problems. Sis feels and handles well. Looks good. I think the city leaders in LA have forgotten something. The gun itself will not harm anyone unless someone picks it up, too protect or harm another person. You can lay a full loaded SIS or anyother firearm on the table and it will not jump up and shoot anyone.

  • 2ndamendmentbuff

    i have an SIS custom i bought in 2008. have put about 4,000 rds through it and its a nail driver at 10yds. everyone who has shot it has loved it. too bad its discontinued but kimber will always stay up with good models of 1911.

  • HankDog

    I don’t give 2 sh#ts about all the political talk surrounding this pistol, it flat out runs and delivers hits. I own two of them, both full size, one with a rail and the other without. Both have more than 3500k rds through them. The one without the rail just hit 5150 rounds today. Only thing I have replaced on either of them are recoil springs. Both have proven dead nuts reliable. For fun, I decided not to clean the one without the rail until It failed. After 551 rds I got a double feed. Add in another 124 rds after the double feed without a failure.

    The people who designed these pistols have obviously been under fire before. Having been there and done that, i trust my life to these pistols daily.

    And yes, the slide in it’s stock form is too slippery. I did have trouble with malfunction drills until crammed some skateboard grip tape into the serrations.

    Its funny to see all the comments about these pistols from those that have never held one, much less used one in the field.

  • Dan

    This is the first of have heard of the SIS being discontinued. (Our Loss)

    I own the SIS with rail and with a sure fire 300 mounted you will get no better weapon.

    it ws nice to read the statement of the arm chair quarterbacks above talking about guns that they dont own or have never shot.

    the finish on this gun is one of the reasons that I purchased it because I want something with the most protection possible as I am in the woods alot and I carry this in a thigh rig which is easy access but no protection to the elemts.

    On the bright side I can tell my wife that this is now a collecters item and I need to purchase another Kimber 1911 to take its place.

  • Tom

    I own and depend on my KImber RL custom in 45acp. I did research Kimber in 2009 before making an educated decision on which 1911 to purchase and have never regretted it one minute. I have shot thousands of rounds out of all my 1911’s. My SIS 5 inch was the best grouping of any custom 1911 I own from the get go…Losing the SIS brand is not a comfortable feeling I enjoy. I did put some high quality skate board tape (laser cut) in the SIS cutouts on the slide for a better grip. Looks great too. Thank you

  • Robert

    which is the best cc holster for the Kimber SIS. Any info or sites to go look at would be a great help. Thanx

  • jay j

    i just got my first kimber today i have many 1911s … its a 4 inch and i traded a old timer a super crusty pitted up rem rand 45 he just loved it as i did the kimber its a sis pro in blue with super pretty kimber grips it has nite sites and feels way better than my rock river carry so whats up with the sis pro….. i have just read lots of stuff what is the truth….abot it thanks

  • Tom

    My son bought his first Kimber Custom II, the stainless II. He is just out of the military and preferred a quality 1911 over an M9 Beretta. He is an expert marksman. He enjoyed my SIS custom RL 5 inch but he didn’t want to spend that much. I raised a smart young man. My Kimber SIS is and will always be resting comfortably within reach should the need arise. Made in the USA with pride. Thank you. Sleep Well.

  • sione

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. A gun with SIS on the slide isn’t going to jump up and shoot people just like my XD .40 isn’t going to jump out of my holster and blast the guy sitting next to me on the bus. These council members that are crying about what’s written on the slide of a pistol obviously have the safest town in the country if they have time to worry about that and not what is causing these police officers to carry guns to protect themselves and others. Where is this town so I can move there and not have to worry about my family being safe?

  • dan

    i own this gun in the four inch model and i have to tell u it is very well made and id a “tackdriver” i hav put bullets in the same hole many times w this gun.its a def.pistol that shoot like a target for the sis slide serations i subjected thm to the water,mud,and yes even some blood and thy were not any more slippery than any other 1911 pistol i own.i have a colt goldcup series 70 national match target pistol and i have to say from a ranson rest they r pretty close in accuracy with the goldcup slighty better i believe its because its 5 inch barrel.butoverallits my fav.gun and i carry it the grips and frontline checkering at 30lpi makes this gun hard to drop especially with glove on

  • Letty

    I have a question.. I’m trying to sell my sis pro 1911 any body has an idea where I can list the pistol?

  • Ray

    Letty, you can list it on you will have togo thru a FFL dealer to ship it to ever buys it. Also you can run a add in shootgun News. I may be interested, let me know how to contact you other than this blog.

  • Ray, you may want to look into the laws regarding firearms. A private party may ship directly to a FFL holder, it is not required to use a FFL on both ends. Check the ATF website for yourself.

  • Letty, you can list it for free on

  • Ray

    Hello heath, thanks . I have always used my buddy here in texas to ship things out for me. He is a FFL dealer.

  • Scott Penn

    I have just sent my SIS ultra back to Kimber for the second time. I has never fed properly. The first time it came back as if it was never worked on. Jams 8 to 10 percent of the time. Accuracy was the best of any short barreled pistol I have ever owned. It has been three weeks now and I have not heard. I tried every kind of bullet I could find…..upward of 800 rounds including the breakin period. No luck. Wilson combat clips did not work either. I love the all steel body of the gun and really hope they can fix it. If not it is the most expensive paperweight I have ever owned. If anyone reads this and has similiar experiences, please post. I am the only one of my friends to ever have problems with their Kimber. It will be interesting to see if Kimber lives up to their name.

    • Ryan

      I have an SIS Pro Carry 4″ and I have around 4000 rounds through the gun. I just sent the gun back to Kimber because no matter what I shot through the gun the slide locks back 3 of 7 times. I have changed the springs within the last 200 rounds. Kimber has sent out several free slide stop’s and that does not fix the problem. Kimber better fix the gun the first time.

  • Tokmo

    Scott you may need to lighten your grip just a smidge. I had the same issue. With mine or I should say “me” An older fellow at the Ikes noticed my dilemma and told me I was squeezing to hard???? Yeah I know….I did the same thing with my Officers acp at first. That was in 1986 so now Im dated. lol anyway I changed my grip ever so slightly and all is a-ok good luck. If it really remains an issue contact me maybe we can work out a sale I need a new paper wieght. You’ll be ok don’t worry.

  • Scott Penn


    Thanks for the direction. I was told that the short barreled Kimbers were light in weight on the slide due to their size and that to make them work properly it was necessary to hold on very firmly when you squeezed the trigger. Maybe that is what I am doing wrong. You can bet I will try your method as soon as I get my gun back. Thanks very much for your input. I may contact you for that sale if I can’t make friends with the gun… sense having it if for whatever reason you can’t trust it whether operator error or mechanical failure. I will find one I am comfortable with.


  • Mark

    I have the SIS with the rail and do not seem to have a problem with the slide being so slick. All of this was already thought out when they designed the SIS serations that is the reason for the nightsights having the 1/8 lip on the front vs. the smooth ramp style. I don’t even grab the slide when I practice clearing a jam just let my finger catch that lip and the slide cycles with ease, especially with gloves on. Out of curiosity I tried with a little gun oil on my hand to see how well it worked who’s my hands as slippery as possible and still it was no problem.
    Just my 2c

  • Scott Penn

    Just to clear the air….I got my Kimber back. They said all they did was adjust the slide and ejector. I loaded four clips with three different kinds of bullets. Shot one slowly to assure the accuracy was not effected, then ran the others through as quickly as I could in an effort to make the gun jam if it would. I AM SO HAPPY to report there was not any jaming at all. Before they did whatever they did, it was an extremely rare occurance to run one clip through without a jam. Kimber is way back in my good graces. The Kimber SIS Ultra is by far the best pistol I have ever owned in my life and is well worth the large amount of money it takes to own one.

    • Ryan

      How long did it take Kimber to fix your gun? They have had mine for over a week. I had the same issues you have had. Just be nice to get it fixed!

      • Scott Penn

        If memory serves correctly, it took six to eight weeks to get mine back. Calling them will get you nowhere, I tried. Looking back, getting agravated does not help, nor get your gun back quicker. Being a gun lover, it is hard to wait. I know. Hope it all works out for you.


  • Dale

    So if a cop gets killed in a ford, then I guess we need to stop making fords. Makes sence to me.

  • Mason

    I just got a SIS Pro Carry 4″ and I must say that although it’s a nice looking gun it’s not a functional gun…

    First off, wth is up with having to use a little stick to break it down? How is that easy? Oh my gun is dirty, let me get my little stick to clean it…stupidest, design, ever.

    Second, the 4″ barrel is not amazing. The gun feels off. I own a full size 1911 and that feels just right. The 4″ barrel on the SIS feels weird just like a midget cat looks weird, or a smart car just doesn’t belong on the road in America.

    Lastly, I will say the trigger pull is astounding. Maybe someone altered mine but that’s the only praise I have for this gun. Other than that, I don’t see how Kimbers are praiseworthy in any way…little STICK!!!! WHY!!! USELESS GUN.

  • Tony

    Cop getting killed in a ford would b rare ,how did he get out of the donut shop. Lol

  • 1PondDweller

    I owned one and just sold it
    First draw back – the SIS engrave makes drawing slide back difficult compared to standard serations
    Second (and third) It had to be returned once for the special baked on coating falling off and once for faulty machining of safety lever.
    Fourth – extractor had to be replaced (warranty) for faulty machining
    Yes, it was covered by warranty but if this had been a carry weapon rather than a competion one and I had needed it I would likely have only survived if I managed to beat a perp with the gun butt. It was unreliable as a weapon otherwise
    Likely will not purchase a Kimber again – for the money it was a disapointment