For many years now, Kimber has been producing
high quality, American made 1911
style pistols. They currently offer a wide variety of
standard models, in addition to their custom shop upgrades.
Kimber has a good reputation for the reliability of their .45
ACP pistols. Some of the most popular are their compact carry
guns. Some manufacturers have a hard time making a
short-barreled 1911 run properly, but the Kimber compact weapons
seem to be very reliable, and in a defensive weapon, reliability
is paramount. The Ultra Crimson Carry II model reviewed here is
a top-of-the heap carry gun. Chambered for the .45 ACP
cartridge, it is lightweight, compact, reliable, and powerful.
Called the Crimson Carry because it comes from the factory
wearing the excellent Crimson Trace Lasergrips, it is ready to
go right out of the box, for most shooters. The only thing that
I find lacking, being a left-handed shooter, is an ambidextrous
safety, and that is easy enough to add. For the eighty-five
percent of shooters whom are right-handed, the Ultra Crimson
Carry II is pretty much ready to slide into a good holster and
start earning its keep.
I once was of the opinion that lasers on
handguns were frivolous, and just a gimmick to relieve rubes of
their cash. Early handgun lasers were bulky, and unreliable.
Crimson Trace Corporation changed all that for me. They build
laser sights that are integrated into the grip of the handgun.
No more bulky lasers that interfere with the holster. No more
wires taped to the side of the pistol. No more reliability
problems. The Crimson Trace Lasergrips give me, and everyone
else, the ability to place my shots accurately, even in the
dark. Nighttime is when most thugs
come out to play, and the chances are, if you ever need your
handgun to defend your life, it will not be at high-noon. In a
gunfight, the one who places the first shot in a vital area is
usually the winner. As the legendary Bill Jordan used to state,
“There ain’t no second place winner”, and Mr. Jordan had
seen his share of gunfights. In the dark, or even in poor
lighting such as a parking garage, even if you can clearly see
your attacker, seeing the sights can be difficult. I like
tritium night sights also, but in some situations, there is no
room to elevate the handgun to properly align the sights with
your eyes. With a Lasergrip, from any angle or position, placing
the laser on the target and pulling the trigger results in a
hit. The Ultra Crimson Carry II comes from the factory with the
best laser on the market already installed on the weapon. It
came from the factory already adjusted for windage, and can be
corrected for elevation by the user, depending upon the chosen
carry ammo. With lighter, faster bullets, it will shoot lower,
and with heavier bullets higher, but the unit is easy to adjust,
and comes supplied with a small Allen wrench to do so. For me, a
Crimson Trace Lasergrip rides on every one of my carry guns. The
one on my .38 Special S&W Centennial
has been on there for over five years, and still has the same
batteries installed. I test the laser twice everyday; once
before I place it in my pocket in the morning, and once when I
put it away every night. It has always worked, every time, and I
would not choose to carry a fighting handgun that did not have a
The Ultra Crimson Carry II has a three inch
barrel, and also wears an excellent set of open sights atop the
slide. They are relatively low profile, and very smooth in
design. You will not cut your hand on this rear sight. The rear
surfaces of both the front and rear sights are serrated to
reduce glare, and are drift-adjustable for windage correction.
The thumb safety is of the extended type, as is the magazine
release. The Kimber comes from the factory supplied with three
seven-shot magazines, two of which have extended base pads to
facilitate a positive reload. The magazine well is beveled also
to assist in a quick reload under stress. The frame is
lightweight aluminum, clear anodized, which contrasts nicely
with the blued steel slide. The grip frame is slightly shortened
compared to a full-size 1911, but fits my large hand very well,
offering a secure, positive grip. The Kimber has a full length
guide rod, and a bushingless slide design. Weighing in at just a
shade over 25 ounces empty, the Ultra Crimson Carry II is
compact, lightweight, and very handy to carry concealed.
My favorite carry holster for a lightweight
1911 is the Mernickle PS2 inside the pants holster. This holster
is offered with either a spring steel belt clip, or with leather
belt loops, and with or without a thumb break retaining strap.
The best thing about this holster is that it has a spring steel
insert at the mouth, inside the leather. This keeps the holster
open so that the weapon can be inserted one-handed, without the
need to loosen the belt. Perfect.
I fired the Kimber using every type of .45
ACP ammo available to me, from target handloads to Plus P combat
loads. The trigger pull measured a very clean, crisp five
pounds. Just about right for a fighting pistol.
Velocities were checked using a Chrony Master
Beta chronograph set at a distance of twelve feet from the
muzzle. Velocities from the Kimber’s three inch barrel are
listed in feet-per-second (fps). Air temperature was just over
the ninety degree Fahrenheit mark during velocity testing. JHP
is jacketed hollowpoint ammunition. EPR and AF are specialty
bullets as loaded by Extreme Shock
Ammunition. DPX is a homogenous copper hollowpoint Barnes
XPB bullet as loaded by Cor-Bon. PB is PowRBall,
a specialty hollowpoint bullet with a nylon ball in the hollow
nose. LWSC is a lead semi-wadcutter bullet of the Hensley &
Gibbs Number 68 style.
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Extreme Shock 185
|Extreme Shock AF
Accuracy was very good. It was easy to keep
every shot in the kill zone of a standard silhouette target at
25 yards, shooting rapid fire offhand. From a rested position,
ammo grouped from as large as three inches to as tight as one
and one-half inches at the same distance. This Kimber Ultra
Crimson Carry II pistol is an excellent choice for concealed
carry. It is lightweight, powerful, reliable, and easy to
control, even using Plus P ammunition.
Check out the extensive line of Kimber
products online at www.kimberamerica.com.
The Kimber carries comfortably and discreetly in
Mernickle PS-2 holster.
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