Gun Review: Kimber Super Carry Ultra+

NOTE: This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com.  To get up-to-date information on where to find 1911 handguns for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.

Kimber has a large line of 1911’s that expands by several new products each year. When you go through the catalog it seems there is a model or caliber for just about every shooter in the market for a new 1911. Kimber is certainly challenged to keep up with the demand.

When we go to the beginning of Kimber’s relationship with the 1911 we start in the early 90’s with the Jericho company a manufacturer of various hand tools as well as projects for the defense industry.

The second company to become involved was owned by Larry Edelmen of Nationwide Sports. Edelmen was also a minority shareholder in Kimber at the time. The idea was to connect the manufacturing ability of Jericho with the established dealer network of Kimber.

The last ingredient needed in this combination was someone who knew the 1911 very well. That person was Chip McCormick. With this last choice made the prototypes of Kimber 1911’s were revealed at the 1995 Shot Show.

There was some controversy with these prototypes when it was found Caspian made them. The serial number and manufactures name were hidden under the grip panels.

In 1996 Edelmen purchased Jericho, closed down the Kimber plant in Oregon and moved it to Yonkers, NY. The name was also changed to Kimber Manufacturing. The business is still located there. By the end of 1997 production started at the Yonkers facility that also included Kimbers established rifle line.

An interesting sideline is prior to the changeover Jericho made slides for Wilson Combat. When the change was completed Kimber continued to make slides for Wilson for approximately six to seven years. Surely an interesting fact many people aren’t aware of.

One question that always comes up in almost any gun review concerns MIM parts. Well yes Kimber does use MIM parts in non-critical areas. This is just a fact that no longer indicates bad quality since MIM parts have progressed greatly in quality and durability the last few years. There are very few companies in the firearms industry who don’t use MIM parts. As far as non custom made guns the only company I’m aware of not using MIM parts is Sig. That information came directly from the company. The MIM debate will go on for some time I’m sure. This is a matter of choice and opinion on the part of the buyer.

My review pistol is the fairly new Kimber Super Carry Ultra+ chambered in .45 ACP. As with almost all Kimber pistols it is indeed a beauty. Fit and finish is very good. This is pretty obvious from the pictures below.

The Ultra has a full size grip with a round butt. This modification makes it an easier gun to conceal as well as more comfortable to shoot since it lacks the sharp rear corner of the grip frame. Also, you just have more to hang onto☺ This model comes with Meprolight night sights which seem to me to be brighter than most other brands. The recoil system certainly is effective. It uses a dual captured spring setup with full-length guiderod. The full guiderod is needed to hold the dual springs in place. Both springs are rather strong at 18 pounds total. The barrel is 3 inches long in the bull barrel (bushingless) configuration. An ambidextrous safety is also standard. The two included magazines are the higher quality Kim-Pro brand, which have very strong springs. Stronger springs on a pistol with a short barrel tend to contribute to reliability. Witness holes are also present on each magazine marked one through eight.

The slide of the Ultra as well as the frame has a Snakeskin type treatment. The top of the slide as well as the front and rear of the grip have this design. The side of the slide also has this treatment making it very easy to grip the slide. The slide is stainless steel with an alloy frame.

Specifications

Specifications
• Caliber: .45 ACP
• Height (inches) 90° to barrel: 5.25
• Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 27
• Length (inches): 6.8
• Magazine capacity: 8 rounds
• Recoil spring (pounds): 18
• Full-length guide rod
Frame
• Material: Aluminum
• Finish: KimPro II
• Width (inches): 1.28
Slide
• Material: Stainless steel
• Finish: KimPro II
• Flat top Super Carry pattern serrations
Barrel
• Length (inches): 3
• Material: Steel
• Match grade bushingless, bull
• Twist rate (left hand): 16
Sights
• Night sights with cocking shoulder
• Radius (inches): 4.8
Grips
• Micarta/laminated wood
• Checkered with border
Trigger
• Aluminum, match grade
• Factory setting (approximate pounds): 4-5
• MSRP $1530.00

Range Time

This turned out to be a great day for the range with mild temps and very little wind. As usual my shooting was done primarily from ten yards. The ammunition used was Federal 230 grain ball, Remington 230 grain ball, Tul Ammo 230 grain ball. The hollowpoints used were Hornady Custom 200 grain +P and Hornady TAP CQ 230 grain +P.

I fired a total of 200 rounds of ball and 60 rounds of hollowpoints. My first rounds were loaded in Wilson 47D magazines. The Ultra did not like these mags. Granted the Wilson mags are a bit old and I probably should replace the springs. The first mag used had three malfunctions with the rounds nosediving. When I yanked the slide back and released it the increased velocity of the slide chambered these rounds and firing continued. I switched to the second Wilson mag and experienced three of the same malfunctions. These malfunctions were with the TulAmmo, which of course is not the best ammunition around.

After experiencing these malfunctions I switched over to the included KimPro mags for the rest of the session. I also buffed the feedramp to a mirror shine. Buffing the feedramp and switching to the Kimber mags was the right thing to do since I had no further malfunctions. The extractor was well tuned with most brass ejected in a circle of about three feet in circumference slightly right rear. That sure makes picking up your expended brass easier☺

Something that really did surprise me was how little recoil I felt. I can only attribute this to the recoil spring setup and the full size grip. The shape of the grip I’m sure helped as well. I fully expected the recoil from a three-inch barrel using 230 grain +P to be pretty unpleasant. As it turns out it wasn’t bad at all and that helped me get back on target quickly in rapid fire. Accuracy was also much better than I was used to firing a pistol with such a short barrel.

I fired both aimed slow fire and rapid fire from the ten-yard line. With the three-inch barrel I felt no need to shoot from a greater distance. The target below is an indicator of an average group size. The group sizes varied very little between the assorted brands and types of rounds.

Conclusion

Overall I enjoyed this little pistol. The accuracy was better than expected as I stated earlier. Recoil did not interfere with my followup shots nor leave me with a sore hand even after firing 260 rounds through the Ultra in one session. I’ve certainly experienced that before after firing small pistols with a large caliber round. Trigger pull was slightly over four pounds with a crisp break. The trigger is adjustable for takeup. This example needed no adjustment.

Since this first range session I’ve taken the Ultra out a couple of times firing an additional 100 rounds of Federal ball and 20 rounds of the Hornady Custom XTP this time in 185 grain. It’s remains trouble free

Something I’ve talked about before is the lack of need, in most cases, for a very short barrel for concealment purposes. The grip has more to do with the ability to conceal any pistol than barrel length. The Ultra is just the opposite. The round butt on the Ultra makes it about as easy to conceal as an officers model frame however. I still prefer a four-inch barrel even for concealment purposes. With the right holster even a five inch 1911 isn’t that hard to conceal.

Each potential buyer has his or her own preconceived ideas of which gun will be best for his or her intended need. Whether it’s a 1911 full size or a small pistol like the Ultra the best gun is the one the owner has confidence in and trains regularly with.





Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Dave

    Phil,

    I’ve been reading your reviews for a while and just want to express my appreciation. They seem to be fair and accurate. You don’t try to justify faults in the gun nor do you unfairly beat them down.

    I also really like how you include a little piece of history at the very beginning.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Phil White

      Dave,

      I sure appreciate your comment Dave. It’s always good to hear I’m writing the kind of review that readers like yourself feel is fair, accurate and hopefully enjoyable! I’m glad you like the history part as much as I like sharing it:-)

      Many Thanks!

    • Fritz

      shill

      • Phil White

        Fritz,

        Oh man he’s just saying how he feels about what he reads and gets out of it. What’s wrong with that? Besides we covered this shill thing before and the definition doesn’t fit. I don’t know Dave if that’s what you mean. I’m not ripping on you Fritz but I hate to see readers insult each other over a persons opinion. That’s not what TFB is about at least in my view. We’re all fellow shooters and we should show each other some respect as such. If we disagree or question a comment why not do it in a civil manner.

  • Beefalo

    I think it would be a better gun if they called it the Kimber Super Duper Ultra Plus Mega Fancy Carry.

    • Phil White

      Beefalo,

      Kinda long name huh. I don’t think all of yours would fit on the slide though:-)

    • Komrad

      I’m with Beefalo. The name is overlong. If Kimber is replacing an older design, adding needless adverbs and adjectives is obnoxious. A simple numbering would be better, ie Kimber Carry IV or something.

      • Phil White

        Komrad,

        LOL–agreed it’s a mouthful! I’d prefer a number system as well. At least the print is small:-)

  • Crystal

    Not a big fan of the sides of the slide. I actually think it looks horrendous. That being said, if it performs well and it’s comfortable to shoot, there’s nothing wrong with the gun.

    • Phil White

      Crystal,

      It is comfortable to shoot that’s for sure. It seems everyone has jumped on the bandwagon using the Snakeskin and Chainlink treatments at least in one model of 1911. Then there are all the aftermarket parts with the same design. I believe Ed Brown started that design. Kimber uses the same Snakeskin treatment on the Raptor as well. It is effective in providing a secure hold to manipulate the slide. As far as aesthetics we all have our preferences:-)

  • drewogatory

    Phil, I agree with you on the configuration. In my mind the perfect carry 1911 is a bobtail Officer with a Government top end in .40 Super. I’m not sure what you save with the short barrel unless ankle carry is your thing.

    • Phil White

      drewogatory,

      I agree with you except the government slide.I kinda like the Commander slide. Kimber makes one with the bob tail in full size. The grip is full size as well though. As far as ankle carry don’t even get me started on that!!! No way, those things are way to slow to get your pistol in play. How about 38 Super?

      • drewogatory

        Well, I love .38 Super as well, it’s just my current project is a .40 Super. I just ordered a slide and frame and hope to have it done early in the new year. Then of course I’ll need to work out some loadings. From what I read you can get some very serious velocity from bullets in both the 155-160 grain range as well as the 180-200. I’ve heard tales of 200 gr. at 1350 fps and still being well inside max pressure.

        • Phil White

          drewogatory,

          Now that is fast! I’m pretty fond of the 38 Super as well. There are some good loads out there for it these days. Geez though a 200 grain at 1350! That’s a real stopper:-)

      • drewogatory

        Well, tales need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I still can’t wait to get some chrono numbers!

        • Phil White

          drewogatory,

          Understood, I need a new chrono or get this one repaired. Now that it’s gotten cold/snowing etc. it’s acting screwy. The thing just dies.

  • Lance

    Looks good solid design and heavy enough for the .45 recoil. However still think a 4 inch barrel is the minimum small length barrel you want to a 1911, you lose alot of velocity with just a 3 inch barrel.

    • 18D

      You will lose about 60 fps (give or take 20 fps) going from 5in to 3in. Luckily there is a huge section of short barrel loads for the .45. I would say the TRUE minimum barrel length for a 1911 is 5in. For the .45 ACP it’s probably more like 4in. I personally wouldn’t run anything less than a true 4.25in barrel with standard bushing and GI guide rod in a 1911.

      With all that said, the 3in barrel 1911’s are a novelty to me.

      • Phil White

        18D,

        Thank you! I don’t like full length guiderods. They really don’t add anything and make the gun a bit slower to take down for cleaning. In this case it’s needed since the two springs are captured. I much prefer a GI setup with a bushing. if the design allows. There are some good loads for short barrel guns of all types revolver and pistol.

    • Phil White

      Lance,

      When you break it down for cleaning you really see how short a three inch barrel is! You better load up with +P to compensate for the barrel length.

  • Lance

    Another fun review Mr. White

    • Phil White

      Lance,

      Thank you very much Lance! Geez call me Phil you make me feel old:-)

  • Alex-mac

    For subcompact/pocket pistols like this you really should make it a habit to include it’s various widths. (the ambidextrous safety looks very wide.)

    • 18D

      Width on this gun is pretty much the same as on any 1911 with ambi-safety. The extra width of the ambi isn’t going to make or break the concealment characteristics of this gun anyway. Just sayin’.

      I do agree with you though.

      • Phil White

        18D,

        I can take a closer pic from the top if you guys would like one? It’s simple enough to add at the bottom of the review.

    • Phil White

      Alex-mac,

      I do add the width if it varies from standard. This one is as usual 1.02 I believe. I’ll measure it a little later and let you know for sure. The ambi is actually a bit narrower in width. The trend is toward smaller thumb safeties. The Sig I reviewed was smaller as are several others I’ve seen lately. I have to say I’m glad I don’t need a half inch wide safety!

  • Komrad

    This is, at the very least, your third 1911 review in recent months, Phil. I thought we were going to see some weird stuff, not yet another 1911 that doesn’t even introduce anything innovative.

    How about some surplus arms reviews for the budget shooter, or .45 ACP alternatives to a 1911 (Ruger P345, SIG 220, etc), or how about some reviews of other similar designs like FN’s take on the old Hi-Power? I have stopped reading these reviews diligently because they offer no new information. You don’t have to stop reviewing 1911s, but throwing some other stuff into the mix would be nice.

    • Phil White

      Komrad,

      I understand and I have one in hand I think you’ll like. It should be out in a couple of weeks or less. The way this works is I request guns and they send them. Some companies are faster than others in shipping so it’s a who sends it first in some cases. In fact some guns are hard to get and of course that comes into play as well.
      Be assured I hear ya and have others ordered that are certainly different.

  • rog

    My Oh MY what a great looking gun. Love all the features. Please Santa …put one under my Christmas tree!!!

    • Phil White

      rog,

      They do make beautiful pistols don’t they:-) I really do like the round butt frame. The more I shoot it the more impressed I am with the comfort and nice feel it contributes to my shooting experience.

  • Dogman

    I believe SIG does in fact use MIM parts. Maybe not in its 1911s but the hammers in all three of my P-series SIGs look like they came from a mold. Maybe other parts too. It’s not an issue IMO.

    • 18D

      It really becomes an issue when MIM components are used on hard use parts. Look at the GEN 4 Glocks. They switched to MIM and those guns are having huge problems with the extractors. Kimber has really done a great job with their MIM process and tolerances. Their guns tend to run pretty darn well for a long time with the MIM components. However, for serious duty use, it would be wise to change out the MIM parts for higher quality steel parts. I have changed out a number of parts for my Kimber Custom II for that very reason. Something like the hammer, hammer strut, extractor, or plunger tube are just a few places where MIM is not the greatest decision.

      • Phil White

        18D,

        You really nailed it and honestly that does sum things up very well. The gen 4 Glocks are having some serious issues that will have to be addressed fast. I know one gun shop that has a brand new gen 4 Glock marked down to $449 and it won’t sell. The word is getting around and folks are buying gen 3 Glocks. It’s a real shame to cut corners on such a successful design. I mean really how much is that saving in production cost per gun—not much. Most of the parts don’t interchange between gen 3 and 4 so that’s out as a solution.

      • W

        i honestly think the MIM parts scare is a bunch of BS. I have only heard of one issue with generation 4 glocks, and that is with the recoil spring (which wasn’t a issue to begin with, given it was optimized to use heavier ammunition). Of course, if misapplied, like everything else, MIM parts are prone to fail. Dogman, you are correct, for a overwhelming majority of the time, it is a non issue.

        • Phil White

          W,

          What information I’ve been able to confirm is there is more than just the MIM. I agree with 18D the newer MIM parts are much improved. The other problems have been unreliable ejection because of a faulty extractor design change. We’ll just have to wait and see what Glock does as far as recalls etc.

      • W

        perhaps its a case of trying to reinvent the wheel. some of the finest gun manufacturers are mostly notorious for doing this. i thinking MIM has come a long way since its first use, though i suppose if it is a issue with somebody, there is a buttload of machined, aftermarket glock components available cheap.

        • Phil White

          W,

          In fact with all the parts out there you can almost build your own Glock!

    • Phil White

      Dogman,

      I did call Sig about two months ago and asked that question. They advised me that none of the pistols use MIM parts. With reasonable and I suppose average use it’s not a big issue. If I was a pro shooter then it would be an issue. Of course they shoot maybe a 1000 rounds per week or more prior to a competition.

      • W

        i honestly cannot say i buy into the MIM scare. The FNP 45 (a weapon built to specifications in order to compete in the Joint Pistol Program) utilizes MIM components (warning PDF http://www.phillipsplastics.com/case-studies/pistol-manufacturing-mim-high-performance-rugged-results?s=markets&t=Defense) and these handguns seem to be held in high esteem by their owners. only time will tell, as these are unproven handguns, which explains my reluctance to buy one.

        I’m not sure what company manufactures these supposed MIM glock extractors, or what percentage of glock pistols utilize these MIM parts…I’ll leave the hysteria up to the guessing gurus (and make a phone call to a metallurgist).

        • Phil White

          W,

          The metallurgist can give you a general idea but the key is the company making the parts. Do they heat and cure the parts correctly and all the other steps it takes. It really does vary a good deal from company to company. I got an interest in these parts and contacted everyone I could think of to help me understand the process and the pitfalls. In general the major gun companies are very particular about getting it right whereas some cut corners to save cost. It’s all in the process and materials.
          I do know it’s causing enough doubts to hurt Glock sales. That will change once enough guns in gen 4 get out there and people see these may be more isolated instances rather than a general problem. Eventually we’ll see most gun using these parts. They are here to stay. The longer they are used the more they will be perfected.
          Hey I’ll delete that double post for you:-)

      • W

        yeah, ill definitely agree that its up to the manufacturer. I’m sure there are some machined parts out there that are of inferior quality than some MIM that’s available now. I believe the non-MIM parts feature many advertise their pistols as having is just a marketing gimmick.

        and thanks for taking care of that double post of mine.

        • Phil White

          W,

          Oh no doubt there are machined parts that are junk. I’ve certainly seen a few. For instance my brand was out of stock so I grabbed what was available locally. I spent a good amount of time filing it to remove rough spots. Then I had to fit the thing more than I should have.
          No problem I’ve hit the key twice myself:-)

  • 18D

    Phil, another great review! I always enjoy your reviews. Keep em’ coming.

    Something I found interesting in the review was that this gun had a full size grip. Kimber Ultra Series guns traditionally have an officers size grip frame. No doubt, this decision was probably due to the fact that this model has a cropped grip. Something I hate about this grip is that Kimber chose to go with a proprietary cropping instead of using the standard Ed Brown Bobtail. Using the Bobtail would have been a smarter move IMO, since it allows users more options in making changes to the gun. It’s also well known to 1911 shooters. Something we need for the 1911 is good standardization. The MSH for this model is proprietary to this gun, making possible buyers reconsider purchasing such a gun.

    I also believe that 3in barrel 1911’s are very limited in their use and are more of a collectors item than a serious defensive pistol. Thes guns are well known for being finicky, unreliable, and very sensitive to changes in ammo and magazines. For me, the Ultra Series 1911’s are not even a consideration for anything but plinking. They are of limited use even in that role. A 5in barrel is really the minimum barrel length for a serious defensive 1911.

    • Kimber’s round-butt treatment is hardly proprietary. Both S&W and SIG are offering similar models. The shape of the Ed Brown Bobtail was dictated by the need to completely remove the original mainspring housing pin hole in existing Government and Commander frames. There is no reason for manufacturers using a virgin Govt./Comm. frame to follow Brown’s pattern as they can start with a hole drilled at the OACP position.

      Frankly, I prefer the appearance of the Kimber/S&W/SIG round-butt, and fully expect more manufacturers to adopt it. Most Brown bobtail installations look like someone took an bandsaw to the frame and lopped the corner off.

    • Phil White

      18D,

      It’s great to hear you enjoy my reviews! Many thanks!
      It is a departure from the standard Ultra. I asked about this change and the reason was to accomodate those with large hands who want a short barrel. Bill Wilson and Chip McCormick have both said a 1911 under 4 inches is hard to make run reliably. Most parts are interchangeable but then there a good number of innovative 1911’s that aren’t standardized in some areas of the design.
      I agree that with an Officers grip a Bobtail would be a bit short to provide a good grip. I did sell a 1911 to fund keeping the Sig I reviewed. That Officers grip and 4 inch barrel was just too appealing for carry in Summer. Of course the other carry 1911 is a five inch Kimber.
      One thing about the three inch barrel is how quickly it clears the holster. That is a positive especially with a high rise IWB holster.

      • A “bobtail” OACP frame is feasible. Cylinder & Slide effectively created one with their M2008 Pocket Model, a CCO-sized pistol patterned after the classic Colt M1903 Pocket Hammerless. If you look at the photos of the prototype in the American Handgunner article featured at the C&S webpage, you can see that they relocated mainspring housing pin hole in the OACP frame. Beside a custom mainspring housing, they probably used the shorter mainspring, and possibly the sear spring, from their micro-compact Adventurer model.

        • Phil White

          Daniel,

          if anybody can do it Bill can.That is one gorgeous pistol. A lot of work and talent went into that project! I don’t want to see the price though:-)

  • fw226

    So, I have no intention of buying a 1911 right now, but I enjoyed reading the review – and those pictures!

    • Phil White

      fw226,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it:-) I finally got a decent Nikon DSLR and editing software.

  • Phil: I just noticed that you buffed the feed ramp. This is generally a bad idea with aluminum frames. If you break through the anodization, the ramp can get beat up in short time. When that happens, the only way to save the frame is to install an EGW steel feed ramp insert or a ramped barrel.

    • Phil White

      Daniel,

      Hi Daniel–it is a ramped barrel. I didn’t touch the small portion of the frame cut. I’m sure the ramped barrel is a method to make it more reliable with the short barrel. In general I’ll polish most ramped barrels a small amount. Most companies leave them pretty dull. I only use a small clean buffing wheel at the lowest speed.Total buffing time less than one minute with minimum or no pressure. That’s usually all it takes to shine it up and get the max amount of reduced friction when a round feeds. I sure don’t want to change the feed angle by using rouge or whatever.

      • mosinman

        i agree the more firearms the better

        • Phil White

          mosinman,

          You can never have to many guns:-) You can never have to many to review either!

    • mosinman

      speaking of .45s when will you do a hi point review phil? haha just kidding.

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        LOL– I hear ya:-) Not in a million years but you knew that!

      • mosinman

        awww shucks i guess those big clunky pistols wont get their moment in the limelight 🙁

        • Phil White

          mosinman,

          Nope they would break the camera lens:-)

      • Alex-mac

        Hi Points are like the opposite of the 1911. Ridiculously cheap and ugly but reliable.

        • Phil White

          Alex-mac,

          Reliable? Hum I don’t know Alex they may be now. The early ones sure weren’t. A reliable 1911 with a very good price tag is the Rock Island Armory.

      • mosinman

        beauty is in the eye of the beholder phil lol!

        • Phil White

          mosinman,

          I am so sorry you have that vision problem. I’ll go half on glasses for ya:-)

      • mosinman

        all joking aside they are ugly haha, but they are reliable and it seems he quality has improved they arnt a kimber but for around $180 you cant go wrong

        • Phil White

          mosinman,

          That and for many people in this economy that’s all they can afford so we should be glad they are out there.

  • Marc

    What’s with the lower right side grip screw?

    • Phil White

      Marc,

      The previous writer or somebody stripped the screw:-( I’m going to fix it before it goes back even though I didn’t do it.

  • Brad

    Phil,

    I have been looking at their new round butt ultra and to say I have lusted for their Ultra HD ever since I first saw a picture on the back of an NRA magazine is an understatement. Thing just looks so damn good, and with a 4″ barrel. Whats not to like? Now where did I leave that $1300……

    • Phil White

      Brad,

      They are beauties. Hey I’m sure you can find one for less than the $1300 MSRP. It will take a bit of searching but there are better prices out there:-) I hope you find one!

  • Matt G.

    Nice review Phil. Kimber sure does make some pretty guns, though I agree with you the barrel here is too short for no reason. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Kimber Super Duper Ultra Awesome Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter Extra Heavy Duty Slim Carry 5000!

    Did you notice any fit/finish issues? I’ve heard Kimber has had trouble keeping up with demand and is letting some QC stuff slip by.

    • Phil White

      Matt,

      Thanks Matt, I’m glad you liked it:-) I’m not sure when that model will come out but the description will go all the way around the slide–LOL! As far as fit and finish I didn’t notice anything at all. It looks as good as all the others I’ve had hands on in the last couple of years. My Aegis is almost six months old now and the finish looks as good as when I bought it so it’s holding up very well.
      Now they are almost 8 months behind in production on the most popular models. The next thing my contact said was there won’t be any shortcuts because of it. They are trying to expand the facilities to cut that delay down. That’s certainly the way to go about it. None of this is confidential information so no big deal passing it along. Heck they’re growing and that’s a good thing! The more the production increases the more room to lower prices a little if they wanted to increase volume after expansion. That’s a huge guess on my part though.

    • B.W.

      Kimber certainly uses MIM in the most critical parts which would be the fire control group (FCG). I’m not as concerned about the grip safety or mag catch but the FCG should not be MIM in any way. The fact that they’re also using plastic mainspring housings just like current Colts just shows that these gun companies are trying to cut corners to keep the prices down. IMO, I’d rather have quality parts in the gun already at a slight increase in cost instead of changing them out myself.

      • Phil White

        B.W.,

        That I haven’t seen and I’ve taken a few down to the last pin. This particular one doesn’t have the plastic MSH but I know some do and that is a bit irritating considering the price. I have to say I’ve never had any problems with them though.

  • Nicks87

    “Kimber Super Duper Ultra Awesome Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter Extra Heavy Duty Slim Carry 5000”

    Whatever it takes to sell a 100 year-old unreliable design for way more money than it’s worth to people who live in the past and enjoy nostalgia.

    “After experiencing these malfunctions I switched over to the included KimPro mags for the rest of the session. I also buffed the feedramp to a mirror shine.”

    ^^^IMO not something you should have to do to a $1500+ pistol.

    Other than that, Great write-up, Phil, honest as always.

    • Phil White

      Nicks87,

      They do sell a bunch! It is what it is ya know—— Thanks for the comment about the write-up:-)

    • mosinman

      they must be doing something right if its one of the more popular designs out there

  • Just picked up my ultra+, waited 9 months, it was worth it. Very happy with it and it will replace my 9mm EMP as a cc weapon.

    • Phil White

      mike,

      Great news Mike! I’m glad it’s working out well for you:-) I’m buying my test gun—I just like it to much to send back!

  • Frank

    I got one in December and I love this gun. The grip screw came loose and I need to tighten or loctite it, (blue).

    The grip color although beautiful is not to my liking.

    I was wondering if there is a carbon fiber grip panel for it already.

    The kimber website does not appear to have any yet as they are square bottom by looking at the pictures and not round.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Ps I did not get to shoot that much, maybe 100 rounds as my plane to take me to afghanistan was leaving in a few days.

    Thanks \\

    Frank

  • Matt

    I just bought the Super Carry Ultra +, today.

    No range time, yet. The range is flooded. Welcome to Louisiana.

    I’ve been wearing it around the house and I see no problems with wearing it from imprinting, weight, sitting or anything else.

    Part of the reason is that little 3″ barrel some people have issues with.

    I’m going to sell a Para Carry C6.45 SS and a Kimber Ultra Carry .45 SS, both with 3″ barrels, that could take down steel plates at 25 yards damn near as well as my 5″ 1911s to pay for this new Carry option.

    I picked it up at a gun show and I was dead meat. It fit my hand like a glove and was close to being as light as my Glock 27.

    One question though. It came with one 8 round flush Kimber mag that will not lock into place with 8 rounds. Is that normal. God knows I’m not.

    Mr. White,

    Please consider doing your initial testing using the mags that came with the gun. Then, throw some others at it. All that did was make me want to buy the same mags that came with it ….. and I have no problem with that.

    Different mags can be just as just an issue as different brand, bullet type, bullet weight ammo in a particular firearm.

    Great review, overall.

    Thanks,

    Matt

    • Phil White

      Matt,

      I would ask Kimber to send a new magazine. Mine had no problems. I can suire use other mags in the furture as a way of comparison.

  • Czkodt

    Tell you what guys, I grew up with a grandfather and father as gunsmiths, so grew up around guns like the Colt 45 1911. I’m 48, now but have not even shot a gun since in my twenties and consider myself a novice anymore, so I sure appreciate being able to read a blog like this one that is so on task. I am looking at all sorts of choices these days and leaning heavily towards a Kimber. I have option paralysis with soo many choices, and this is just the place to help guide me to logical choice based off of contemporary, existential facts. Thanks a bunch!
    Czkodt

    PS Beefalo, I had a grand laugh at your comment!

    • Matt G.

      Czkodt,

      I would steer you clear of Kimber products. Their quality control has gone down the tubes. Kimber has become a bit of a joke among the guys who run 1911s hard. They often refer to newbies or mall ninjas as “people who think Kimber still makes the best 1911s”.

      I would steer you towards Springfield for a mid-high level 1911. Or nighthawk for a super high level.

  • Garry Clawson

    Phil:
    Thanks for the great review, I have held this pistol. I have large hands and want a concealable 45, it fits the physical l billl. I just wanted to know how it shoots and reliability. factors. You covered those well.

    Just one question are there lastersgrip sipsips and how well do they work with this weapon?

    I do see one onLimberimber web site (http://store.kimberamerica.com/Products/tabid/67/CategoryID/4/ProductID/2333/Default.aspx) just casting a penny for your thoughts.

  • JOE SANCHEZ

    Mr. White, just purchased the Kimber Super Carry Plus for my wife and very much enjoyed reading your great review (Dec 7, 2011) on it. She loves shooting it and is her most accurate pistol, even with the 3″ barrel. My question: I’m looking for a great looking, fitted holster like the one you have pictured in the article. What is the brand/model? Thanks!

    • JOE SANCHEZ

      Oops, should have said Super Carry ULTRA Plus (exactly like the one you reviewed). Would like to find (the make/model) the great looking holster you have pictured.

    • MountainGillie

      I have an ultra CDPII and my milt sparks IWB holster for 3″ 1911s fits like a glove.

  • vcgoddess

    Just took my new Kimber Custom Carry Ultra Plus to the range for the first time. . . AMAZING! Beats the heck out of my Glocks, Sigs, other 1911. Very accurate, fantastic grouping out of the 1st 50, didn’t beat up my hand, and recoil is very manageable. Will definitely be my carry piece. Spent a lot and worth every penny. Couldn’t be happier!

  • Sulaco

    Pretty, but I have not had good luck with Kimber products recently. QC problems seem to be on the increase as the number of models goes up….