Kimber CDP Range Report w/pic (long) - 1911Forum
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Old 02-24-2001, 09:13 PM
Kevinch Kevinch is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NE Ohio
Age: 65
Posts: 421
Kimber CDP Range Report w/pic (long)

Some of you may remember back a few weeks ago, I posted that my wife (we were married in September) bought me a pistol I have drooled over since I first set eyes on one – a 1911 pattern Kimber Ultra CDP. This was my birthday present! Well, it took me a while to get to the range & try it out – actually, almost 3 weeks (talk about anxious!). I finally made it to the club about a week ago, & found some time to snap a few pics so thought I would post a range report. (The Jackass Rig in the pic is new & was a private sale initiated right here at the 1911 forum!)

Although I would guess that most of the “regulars” here already know something about this pistol, I’ll go through a general description for those who may not:

The CDP starts out as a Stainless Ultra Carry. As such, it is the familiar 1911 operating system, which is then wrapped in an aluminum frame and stainless steel slide. Barrel length is a short 3”, and the grip is the chopped “Officer’s ACP” length - .400” shorter than a typical Government model. Kimber advertises that all their 1911 pistols are equipped with match barrels, chambers, & trigger group. Sights are dovetail mounted fixed 3-dot units.

When the Custom Shop gets busy, that match trigger is swapped out for a premium aluminum match trigger, and the front strap is checkered at 30 LPI. A beveled mag well, Meprolight Tritium sights, heavy melt treatment on frame & slide, rosewood hand-checkered grips and black finishing on the frame are also added. The pistol is packaged in a plastic case and comes equipped with a gun lock.

Unfortunately, I sold off the only other 1911 in my possession just over 2 years ago and I don’t have another pistol to shoot side by side with this new addition to report on a meaningful comparison. But I can discuss how it handles and shoots.

ERGONOMICS First off, it is light of weight. Weighing 25 ounces empty and less than 2 lbs when loaded to capacity with Federal Hydra-Shok HP ammunition, it is very easy to point. Along with the shortened grip length, the frame has been relieved under the trigger guard & the beavertail is high enough that about half my pinky is unsupported when my hand is wrapped around the grips. The hand cut checkering on the grips, 20 LPI checkering on the mainspring housing & 30 LPI checkering on the front strap all provide for a secure grip on the pistol. Both of the sights are serrated on the trailing edges to reduce glare; the rear unit of the 3-dot set has the rear edge in an undercut slope to further aid visibility. Upon aiming, the front sight does fill more of the rear sight gap than I prefer. I haven’t done a comparison, but I would guess that these are the same units that are installed on the longer slide CDP pistols. A longer sight radius might improve the picture. However, they are large enough to afford comfortable aim. The slide release is of standard length; I am not able to operate it without changing my firing grip. The ambidextrous safety levers are extended and are easy to operate without shifting for reach. The high rise, extended beavertail grip safety affords reliable protection against painful bite from the Chip McCormick hammer.
In keeping my standard practice with any new semi auto pistol I yanked back the slide, allowing the slide stop to do its job & hold the slide back as it should with an empty mag. I then ejected the mag, and loaded 1 round of Winchester 230 grain FMJ ammo. Pointing the gun downrange, I slid the mag back into the well and after it was locked into position I activated the slide release. The round chambered without incident, and fired when the trigger was pulled with the empty case being sharply ejected and the slide locking back. I then loaded 2 rounds and repeated, then 3, then 4, etc. until I had a full mag load. I always shoot an unfamiliar semi this way as a caution against slam fires and unintentional full auto functioning.
Since all went well with those 28 rounds, I loaded the mag full until I had fired 75 rounds. There were no malfunctions of any kind. I then began shooting the Hyrda-Shoks, which is my intended carry round. Starting by loading 4 round in the clip and quickly proceeding to fully loaded mags, I fired three 20 round boxes. Again, there were no malfunctions of any kind to report. I then finished up with 15 rounds of the FMJ loads. All shooting was done indoors at a distance of 10 yards.
(As this is already a large posting, I didn’t want to horde more bandwidth by posting a target pic. Clicking Here will point your browser to a target pic, shot with the Federal load.)
OBSERVATIONS To be honest, I am grinning from ear to ear because this gun shoots as good as it looks – which it well should for what it cost. Take the unloaded gun and shake it hard – there is an absence of rattling. Checking the fit of the slide on the rails indicates a bare minimum of clearance. The gap around the grip safety is even; only by holding the slide up to a bright light can you detect any light under the bottom of the rear sight – and it is fixed in place by a set screw which pushes the sight up into the dovetail cut. While I assumed that recoil would have the gun pointing upward at better than 45 degrees after each shot, I was pleasantly surprised when that wasn’t the case. The gun rises a little, & seems to twist – but I found I was quickly back on target. Checkering on all the gripping surfaces allowed my grip to maintain position. Recoil was not punishing – in fact, after 150 rounds of 45 ACP, I pulled out my .380 ACP Mustang and sent a 50 round box of Dan’s Novosibirsk down range – I hadn’t practiced with my backup in a while! But – yanking on the plastic trigger of the little Colt after shooting with the crisp match unit on the Kimber was less than pleasant. The match trigger on the Kimber, although not broken in – still seemed to be more consistant of pull than a new trigger should. Now I need to get the Pocketlite to SM&A for some action & trigger work….
In summary, I found this gun to be the defense gun it is advertised to be – easy to carry, reliable with defensive ammunition and probably more accurate than the shooter. It’s expensive to be sure, but does include features that if added to a mil-spec gun by a competent pistol smith would be of considerable cost.
For those of you that live in Pennsylvania near the SW corner, my suggested “source of supply” is someone you may know. <A HREF="http://"" TARGET=_blank>Dan Tobin</A> of Dan’s is a Kimber Master Dealer. If your curious about them, give him a shout – at least after talking with him you’ll proabably know the best deal going on a Kimber.

[This message has been edited by Kevinch (edited 02-24-2001).]
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Old 02-24-2001, 11:18 PM
ArmySon ArmySon is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Hawaii
Age: 46
Posts: 3,078
I'm moving this excellent report to the new Range Reports Forum.
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Old 02-27-2001, 01:30 PM
bullseye bullseye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 60
wow. nice long detailed report. when does the paperback version come out. haha
the ultra cdp is a fine gun. my wife bought me one last month. i've put 400 rds thru it without a single malfunction. i tend to shoot dead center with it, but low. as the gun definately shoots straighter than i can, i'm sure the problem is with me.
didn't care for the +p stuff because of the extra blast and recoil, but it sure feels good throwin hydra-shocks down range.

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