Almost casually, we have had the chance to lay our hands on a beautifully refined creation of the Kimber Custom Shop: the Classic Carry Elite .45 ACP pistol, one of the most elegant 1911 pistol variants ever!
Kimber Manufacturing is a Yonkers (NY)-based gunmaker, well known for its fine line of 1911 pistol derivatives sold and appreciated by shooters, collectors and professional operators worldwide. The model you see portrayed on these pages – photographed by our Editor in Chief, Mr. Bruno Circi – is the Kimber Classic Carry Elite.
The Kimber 1911 Classic Carry Elite is a most elegant creation of the Company's own Custom Shop: definitely something made to astonish, with a perfect blend of technical features, aesthetics, and top-class performance.
We stumbled upon this sample at the Armeria Red Point gun shop in Ostia Lido, at the outskirts of the Italian capital city of Rome. Red Point is one of Italy's best known points of interest for collectors and shooters, particularly when it comes to one-of-a-kind guns.
We just could not miss the chance!
The Kimber Classic Carry Elite is a beautiful 1911-type, single-action semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the quintessentially American .45 ACP round and feeding through any 1911-A1 type single-stack 7-shots or 8-shots detachable steel magazine. But the caliber and the magazine are basically all that's left "standard" in this gun.
The Kimber Classic Carry Elite is built around a 3,25 cm (1.2") thick precision-machined stainless steel frame that features highly polished flats and a most unique blueing, shimmering towards grey-brown shades. The round heel grip comes standard with 24-lines-per-inch front and rear serrations, a classic grip safety, a high cut under the trigger guard and a rounded mainspring housing and frame.
Grip panels are manufactured out of French walnut and feature elegant, dark black checkered Micarta inlays for a solid gripping in all conditions. An ambidextrous frame-mounted 1911-type safety is also there to be found, much to the joy of left-handed shooters.
The Kimber Classic Carry Elite pistol is 22 cm (8.7") long overall and comes with a cold-hammer forged, Match Grade 5" stainless steel barrel offering six left-handed grooves and a 1:16" twist rate.
The barrel bushing is a matching, machined stainless steel Match Grade model, while the return spring rod is a full-length military-grade model and mounts a 7,25 kilograms (15.9 oz) return spring.
The slide of the Kimber Classic Carry Elite is likewise precision-machined out of stainless steel and offers prime features such as Classic Carry serrations and a striking bi-tone gun metal and rose gold finish obtained through physical vapour deposition treatment (PVD), with fine line cut through engraving.
A set of Meprolight Tactical Wedge sights with tritium inserts are dovetailed on the slide; the sights are a special modification of the standard Tactical Wedge, purpose-modified for Kimber, and offer a 17,27 centimeters (6.8") sight radius.
Other small parts – such as the slide stop, the magazine release and the skeletonized hammer and trigger – are manufactured out of high-strenght, airspace-grade aluminum.
The 1911 Classic Carry Elite is one of the top-level entries in Kimber's catalogue. This makes its price definitely steep – and the gun itself not something for the "average joe" – but taking a closer look at it and seriously considering its purchase should be a moral imperative for every self-respecting 1911 enthusiast and discerning collector.
Kimber Classic Carry Elite
For Europe: Paganini S.r.l.
Classic Carry Elite
Ambidextrous frame-mounted manual safety, grip safety
Eight rounds in single-stack detachable magazine
12,7 cm / 5"
6 grooves, LH, 1 turn in 16"
Meprolight Tactical Wedge tritium sights
22 cm / 8.7"
1.077 g / 33.2 oz
See your dealer for local availability and pricing