|Headquarters||Yonkers, New York|
|Key people||Leslie Edelman,
President and owner
|Products||Firearms, Knives, Weapons, Accessories|
Kimber Manufacturing is an American company that designs, manufactures, and distributes small arms such as M1911 pistols, Solo pistols and rifles. The USA Shooting Team, Marines assigned to Special Operations Command, and the LAPD SWAT team use Kimber pistols.
Kimber was founded as "Kimber of Oregon" in 1979 by Greg and Jack Warne in the small town of Clackamas, Oregon. Jack Warne moved to Oregon in 1968 after Portland-based Omark Industries purchased the Australian firearms manufacturer, Sporting Arms (or SportCo), he founded in Adelaide, South Australia, following World War II.
Following its founding, Kimber of Oregon, which quickly built a reputation for accurate .22 long rifle caliber rifles, began to expand its product line and eventually acquired a second manufacturing plant in the nearby Colton.
In the late 1980s, the company began to struggle after a private stock offering fell short of covering the costs of developing the M89 Big Game Rifle. In 1989, Kimber of Oregon was sold to Oregon timber baron Bruce Engel, who founded WTD Industries, Inc. Engel had difficulty running Kimber and soon the company sought bankruptcy protection. However, Kimber of Oregon's assets were liquidated.
In the mid-1990s, Greg Warne tried to revive Kimber, but much of Kimber of Oregon's original tooling had ended up in a junkyard north of Portland. Greg soon found a financial backer in Les Edelman, who owned Nationwide Sports Distributors. The two purchased the original tooling and partnered to found Kimber of America. The company grew quickly, but Edelman forced Warne out after acquiring a majority interest in the company.
While Edelman was partnering with Greg Warne, he had also invested in Yonkers-based Jerico Precision Manufacturing, which manufactured hand tools and mechanical components for the defense industry, which was adjusting to cuts in defense spending. Edelman decided to connect Jerico Precision's existing infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities and Kimber's reputation and extensive network of dealers to build a line of M1911-style handguns. He eventually moved Kimber's production line to Jerico's facilities in New York, ending Kimber's presence in Oregon.
On 9 December 2004, a federal grand jury indicted former CFO Denis Shusterman for embezzling $10 million from Kimber Manufacturing and Nationwide Sports Distributors. He was later convicted after pleading guilty, ordered to pay damages and back taxes, and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.
Kimber is planning to expand manufacturing capacity from its 31,500-square-foot (2,930 m2) manufacturing facility in Ridgefield, NJ(Aero Molding). A proposal to add more space to its Yonkers site had been approved as a "regionally significant project" but Kimber appears to have withdrawn its application following concerns raised by worried neighbors.
Kimber is known for its highly accurate M1911-style pistols, as well as for offering a variety of customization options. Early on, the company introduced the use of metal injection molding for some parts, such as the thumb safety, which makes them more cost-effective to produce. The adoption of CAD and CAM technology were a priority due to the tight dimensions and low tolerances involved in producing firearms that are designed to be both accurate and reliable. In relative comparison, a Kimber is a better performing firearm than another pistol such as Hi-Point, but lesser than Wilson, STI or Les Baer.
Models available include:
- Kimber Custom series
- Kimber Custom II
- Kimber Custom Target II
- Kimber Custom TLE II
- Kimber Custom TLE II (LG)
- Kimber Custom TLE/RL II
- Kimber Stainless TLE II
- Kimber Stainless TLE/RL II
- Kimber Warrior
- Kimber Desert Warrior
- Kimber Royal II
- Kimber Stainless II
- Kimber Stainless Target II
- Kimber Gold Match II series
- Kimber Team Match II
- Kimber Gold Match II
- Kimber Stainless Gold Match II
- Kimber Target Match
- Kimber Compact and Kimber Pro Carry II series
- Kimber Eclipse series
- Kimber Eclipse II
- Kimber Eclipse Target II
- Kimber Ultra Carry II
- Kimber Tactical II
- Kimber CDP II
- Kimber Covert II
- Kimber Aegis
- Kimber Ten II series
- Kimber Rimfire series
- Kimber Solo micro-compact 9mm pistol
- Kimber Crimson Carry series
- Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II
- Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II
- Kimber Custom Crimson Carry II
- Kimber Ultra RCP II subcompact 1911 featuring a sighting trough instead of conventional signts
- other custom models
Their basic models are:
- Kimber 17 Mach 2 (discontinued)
- Kimber model 82(discontinued)
- Model 84S - Short (unreleased)
- Model 84M - Medium
- Model 84L - Long
- Model 8400 - Magnum
Non-lethal self-defense tools are also being sold under Kimber's PepperBlaster trademark. Kimber PepperBlasters are highly concentrated irritant high velocity incapacitating non-lethal chemical weapons. Since these non-lethal weapons are effective at ranges where most handgun and knife encounters occur, they could be used to defend against such attacks. They are also useful for hikers in the wild to discourage aggressive animals. These products are also a suitable self-defense weapon for college students and commuters, especially on campuses that prohibit the concealed carry of firearms. Recently, Kimber introduced the PepperBlaster II, a modification of the original designed with an ergonomic grip and sights to enhance aiming.
Kimber firearms in use
A modified version of the "Team Match II" .45 ACP caliber pistol is used by the US Shooting Rapid Fire Pistol Team. In 2002, the LAPD chose a slightly modified and specially marked (marked in "LAPD SWAT CUSTOM II") version of the Custom TLE II as the standard issue for its SWAT unit. Several other law enforcement agencies have approved Kimber firearms for on-duty carry by their patrol and SWAT officers. In 2007 a new pistol designed by the LAPD Special Investigation Section was added to the Kimber's line of M1911-pattern pistols. A modified Kimber 1911 was also chosen as the sidearm for Marine Corps forces assigned to Special Operations Command.
- Johnston, Gary Paul "LAPD SWAT - This elite group of lawmen adopts its own version of Kimber's Custom II .45 ACP pistol." shootingtimes.com. Accessed June 27, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-06-27.
- Cooper Firearms History
- "Former CFO indicted by grand jury" in BizJournal
- Kimber 8400 Rifle Wins “Golden Bullseye Award” from NRA’s American Hunter Magazine as 2004 Rifle of the Year.
- "Kimber's Model 8400 Goes Long" by Joel Hutchcroft in Shooting Times
- "Kimber's Delightful Little Varminter: Trim, elegant, accurate and beautifully crafted — the Kimber 84M just may be America's classiest production rifle" by Holt Bodinson in Guns Magazine March 2002
- Omsted, J. Scott. American Rifleman Review of the Kimber 8400 Standard
- "Departments currently issuing Kimber as official firearms" at the Kimber web site
- Kimber SIS
- Rogers, Patrick A.(2003)"Marines New SOCOM Pistol", SWAT Magazine, December 2003, 52-57
- "Who’s Financing the ‘Super PACs’". New York Times. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "nside the super PACs money deluge". CBS News. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013.