A review of the Kimber Royal Carry

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Combat Controller
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A review of the Kimber Royal Carry

Postby Combat Controller » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:50 am

I have decided to retroactively review guns that I own or have owned to see how they stack up to use and carry.

I do this because for too long we have been pretty much limited to reviews of guns right out of the box. Well that's all well and fine for a first impression, but how well is it holding up after 6000 rounds? I have had just about everything happen to my guns, especially my 1911's as I shoot them a tremendous amount. So I want to review those guns that I have thoroughly wrung out.

Pics are behind the title links.

This is a review of the Kimber Royal Carry CCO.

Caliber: .45 ACP
Time owned prior to review: 3 years
Round count: approx 2200 rounds
Condition at purchase: Used
Carry Gun: Yes
Stock: mostly

I bought this 1911 for carry a number of years ago when my doctor recommended a lighter weapon for carry due to a back problem. I semi retired my Colt Commander and bought a Kimber Royal Carry CCO and a S&W 1911 PD.

Technical note; a CCO is a 1911 with an Officers frame and a Commanders slide. In this case the slide is 1/4 of an inch shorter and I believe the common vernacular for these shorter slides is "Compact". CCO originally stood for Colt Commander Officer to describe the hybrid. I don't know who first came up with this Frankengun but it found a definite niche. The 3 1/2 inch long officers was know to have timing issues and the addition of the commander slide to the compact frame was supposed to solve this. I have had a Colt Officers as well as a Springfield Micro Compact with the 3" barrel and I can attest to this problem first hand.

When I first saw this little gem behind the glass of the used gun section at my local pushers I zeroed in one it. I had always wanted a CCO and this was a lightweight one to boot! Just what the doctor ordered. The price was right so I went to the cash register and filled my prescription.

I took it home and stripped it and noticed a wee problem. The chip mac mags were peening the feed ramp. This is a common problem with aluminum framed guns. I figured if I was going to shoot this gun I would need Wilson mags at the very least, they have plastic followers (which I am not thrilled with but oh well). I was luckily saved by Kimber themselves a bit later as they have a nice Pro Mag that has a metal solid face under the tongue of the follower in a stainless 7 round mag.

This gun was the first production run out of the Kimber Custom Shop, and they paid a lot of attention to it. It feeds any ammo I choose to feed it, and is extremely accurate with it's bull barrel. I have run it in IDPA and had zero problems. It has always run like a champ and never complained and still does to this day. It is a primary carry piece as it's lightweight makes me forget it there most of the time. I carry it in a IWB Crossbreed.

I made only a few changes to this excellent little gun, I put a piece of grip tape in the front strap as I like a good grip, swapped out the ambi safety for a Wilson single extended (as I wipe off the ambi when carrying all the time) and swapped out the FLGR with a Springco recoil reducing guide rod. The last was for two reasons, the primary being that I don't like using a paperclip to take down my gun, and the second being that the guide rod reduces flip and prolongs the life of my frame. Now it field strips almost as easy as a stock Colt. The ebony grips topped off the transformation. Recently I had to put new Tritium sights in the gun as the old ones had faded to the point of no return.

Overall I rate this gun very highly and have tested it hard, as befits a carry gun. The peening problem stopped as soon as I made a mag change and the gun handles hot ammo as easily as the lead plinking ammo I use. If you can find one of the 600 they made this is a peerless example of Kimbers work. It has the series one internal extractor, natch. It has some honest wear after all this time but it is still holding up strong. The bluing is deep and very beautiful, I wish my camera had done it more justice. The purple color of the frame really causes this gun to stand out, and this is a gun that stands out in more ways than one.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

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