Kimber Custom Stainless II
|Place of origin||United States|
|In service||1997 – present|
|Used by||LAPD SWAT
USMC Force Recon
|Barrel length||5 inches|
|Action||semi-automatic, single action|
|Feed system||7-, 8- or 10-round magazine|
The Custom is made in a variety of styles with different features and finishes. As a model 1911 pistol, it is usually chambered in .45 ACP. It also has been produced in other calibers, including .40 S&W, 10 mm Auto, 9 mm Luger, and .38 Super. The individual gun's caliber is stamped on top of the barrel and is visible with the slide in battery (fully forward).
The Custom is a full-sized model 1911, with a five-inch barrel. The frame and slide are made of steel. The Custom utilizes a single full-length guide rod, necessitating the serrations on the front of the slide for press checks. Although the Custom is considered Kimber's base model, it has a number of features that were formerly found only on customized model 1911s, such as a lowered ejection port, custom trigger, beveled magazine well, extended thumb safety, and beavertail grip safety.
The original Custom model has been superseded by the Custom II. The Custom II has an internal firing pin safety. This feature is designed to provide additional assurance that the gun will not fire if dropped, as the firing pin is blocked from striking the chambered cartridge unless the grip safety is depressed.
Custom TLE II
The Kimber Custom TLE II is a model of Kimber Custom. The designation "TLE" stands for "Tactical Law Enforcement". The TLE is identical, except for the markings, to a special model that was designed for use by the LAPD SWAT team. Unlike the standard Custom, it comes with tritium bar-dot night sights and 30 lines per inch frontstrap checkering.
The TLE has been manufactured in the following variations:
- Custom TLE II, the standard variation and the same as the LAPD SWAT model.
- Custom TLE II (LG), with laser grip sights.
- Custom TLE/RL II, with an accessory mounting rail.
- Stainless TLE II, with a stainless steel finish.
- Stainless TLE/RL II, with a stainless steel finish and an accessory mounting rail.
ICQB, Warrior, and Desert Warrior
The Kimber Warrior and Desert Warrior are models that are based on a special version of the Custom that was built for the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. The MARSOC pistol, known as the Kimber ICQB (Interim Close Quarter Battle) pistol, does not have an internal firing pin block as seen on the rest of the current Kimber Custom models, hence a "II" does not follow the Warrior or Desert Warrior's names. These pistols have an ambidextrous thumb safety, a lanyard loop, an internal extractor, and, in contrast to other Custom models, a standard length recoil spring guide rod to allow easier field stripping without tools.
The ICQB pistol is fitted with a screw-on Dawson Precision light rail, Novak LoMount tritium night sights, and brown Simonich Gunner grips. The guns were delivered to MARSOC equipped with SureFire integrated military pistol lights, Gemtech TRL tactical retention lanyards, and Wilson Combat 7- or 8-round magazines.
The Warrior and Desert Warrior have a frame-integrated M1913 light rail, Kimber Meprolight tritium night sights, and Kimber's own special grips that are very similar to the Gunner grips in coyote brown. They are delivered with Kimber factory magazines. They are otherwise the same as the ICQB pistols.
The Warrior has a matte black KimPro finish and a standard Custom trigger. The Desert Warrior comes in a green-tan KimPro finish that would blend in with desert camouflage, and has a solid trigger.
Other Custom models
Other models of Kimber Custom include the following:
- Stainless II, with a frame and slide made of stainless steel, and therefore silver in color instead of matte black.
- Custom Target II, with adjustable target sights.
- Stainless Target II, with adjustable target sights and a stainless steel frame and slide.
- Royal II, with a polished blue finish and rosewood grips.
Kimber has also produced several higher-end full-sized model 1911 pistols that are closely based on the Custom, but are not considered part of the Custom line due to their additional features and higher price. These include the following:
- Eclipse Custom II, with bi-tone stainless and black finish and night sights.
- Tactical Custom II, with gray aluminum frame, black steel slide, night sights, ambidextrous thumb safety, and extended magazine well.
- Custom CDP II, with black aluminum frame, stainless steel slide, night sights, ambidextrous thumb safety, and "carry melt" rounded edges.
- Custom Covert II, with desert camouflage aluminum frame, black steel slide, laser light grips, standard length guide rod, night sights, lanyard loop, and "carry melt" rounded edges.
- SIS Custom, with gray finish, flat top slide, standard length guide rod, night sights with cocking shoulder, ambidextrous thumb safety, and "carry melt" rounded edges, and without a firing pin safety.
- Custom Crimson Carry II, with aluminum frame, matte black steel slide, and rosewood finish laser grips.
- Super Carry Custom, with aluminum frame, matte black steel slide, night sights with cocking shoulder, round heel frame, "carry melt" rounded edges, and without a firing pin safety.
- Johnston, Gary Paul. Shooting Times review of the Kimber Custom LAPD SWAT model
- Holton, Christopher. "The .45 makes a comeback during the war on terrorism", WorldTechTribune, April 5, 2004
- Arnold, David W. Handguns review of the Kimber Custom LAPD SWAT model
- Johnston, Gary Paul. "One Good Pistol: The Kimber MCSOCOM ICQB", Military.com
- "Desert Warrior, Kimber's Newest .45 ACP", Kimber press release, May 17, 2005
- Johnston, Gary Paul. "Kimber's Warriors", Soldier of Fortune, September 5, 2006
- Johnston, Gary Paul. "Kimber's Custom Covert", Soldier of Fortune, December 3, 2007
- Wilson, Jim. "Kimber Stainless Target II .38 Super", Shooting Times
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