Gun Review: Kimber Ultra Covert II

Manufacturer: Kimber Mfg. Inc.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Height (inches) 90° to barrel: 4.75
  • Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 25
  • Length (inches): 6.8
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Recoil spring (pounds): 18.0
  • Full-length guide rod
  • Barrel Length (inches): 3
  • Tactical Wedge Tritium night sights, fixed
  • Crimson Trace Laser grips
  • Aluminum, match grade trigger
  • Trigger factory setting (approximate pounds): 4.0 – 5.0

Thoughts: I’ve owned this Kimber Ultra Covert (KUC) II now for over five years, and while I use it as my daily Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW), I do so only after a little bit of a rocky road. Like many, I too was lost in the vision that Kimber was the name in quality and consistency. Their 1911’s are always highly promoted, and as leaders of industry their products are highly sought after.

So imagine my disappointment after purchasing the KUC that almost on clockwork, every 99th round I would have a failure to fire. The hammer would fall and strike the firing pin, however the bullet’s primer would not be struck with sufficient force to detonate the primer and fire the round. Perplexed, I took my KUC to my local gunsmith who confirmed the failure in the weapon, discovered the problem, and detailed to me the larger issue. In an effort to save costs due to rising competition, Kimber has been cutting corners in its quality control for the past ten years, specifically to the internal components. In my case, the safety block was slowly engaging as I would fire, and by the 99th round had sufficiently worked itself into place to block the firing pin and thus fail to fire the round. Not something you would want in a weapon as a CCW that you’d be entrusting your life to. So the simple solution was rather than spend the several months it would take to send the KUC back to Kimber and wait while they corrected the issue (if they even would), I paid the small fee to my gunsmith who fixed the issue and shaved down the safety block sufficiently that it now performs reliably. Since then, there have been no issues and I confidently carry the KUC without worry.

Pros: The night sights are excellent and provide sufficient illumination for target acquisition in low-level light situations. In addition, for its size, the KUC doesn’t profile greatly despite being a 1911. As a veteran, I really do like the digital desert camouflage patterned grips, and finding anything comparable is almost impossible. The recoil is manageable and depending on the ammunition type used, there can be varying levels of barrel rise. I have large hands, yet despite this the KUC fits comfortably in my hands and the grip fully supports my hands placement.

Cons: I did have to turn the Crimson Trace laser grips off however, as I often found myself aiming to steady the laser light, rather than aiming to engage the target. Furthermore, as a compact pistol with a barrel under 4” there is some loss in accuracy at larger distances, but that loss is offset in its CCW ability vice a full-sized 1911. Also, the KUC only came with a single factory 7-round magazine that I found irritating for its costs, as many other brands offer several magazines and paddle holsters with their firearms.

Overall I’m greatly pleased with the Kimber UCP (once the problem with the safety block was resolved), however one would think that if your paying premium price for a top-shelf 1911, then there would be better attention to quality control and accessories.

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