Competition. Carry. Is it possible to buy a pistol which satisfies the IDPA-driven need for speed and accuracy with self-defense safety and concealability? Over the last few months I narrowed my search for one handgun to rule them both. I set my heart on a high quality an-all steel 1911 with a four inch barrel. And there she was, lingering inside the gun show loophole: a month-old Kimber Super Carry Pro HD. Kimber’s first all steel 4″ carry model. All it took was two checks, my background and my money . . .
Size & Weight
Carrying the all-steel Kimber Super Carry Pro HD requires commitment. The 35-ounce handgun weighs slightly more than a box of Aunt Jemima’s Original Pancake & Waffle Mix, a 32-ounce product that seems carefully designed to encourage shoppers to swap their handbasket for a cart. Although the Pro HD’s barrel is 1″ shorter than my Custom II, the smaller gun weighs just three ounces less. With a full magazine, the two guns feel equally heavy.
The Super Carry Pro HD is an ergonomically sound firearm, as is. Which makes it a perfect starting point for people who can’t leave well enough alone—or need to raise their game. The Pro HD’s grip-safety is Kimber’s no-bump standard; I’ll change it out for the memory bump version. While I’m at it, I’ll replace Kimber’s ambi-thumb-safety with a smaller, smoother Wilson Combat tactical thumb-safety.
The bobtail on the Super Carry Pro HD requires a slightly different cut grip that a normal bobtail. Luckily, the folks at VZ Grips will contour their grips to fit the Super Carry Pro HD at no additional cost. My favorite grip is the Elite Tactical Carry in Black Cherry. As you can see above, it looks great on this firearm, and fits perfectly.
Fit & Finish
Super Carry Pro HD’s curved bobtail makes this gun special. The parkerized steel mainspring housing is equally appreciated. The good news: we finally have a Kimber with a metal mainspring housing. The bad news: the serrations are practically non-existant.
The deep black KimPro II finish over the Pro HD’s slide and frame is gorgeous. The finish gives the 1911 the sort of elegantly bad-ass look that you’d expect from a gun carried by James Bond’s CIA counterpart (Felix Leiter). Caution! Slippery when wet! I suspect the Pro HD’s “self-lubricating” coating has some Teflon in it.
Like all coatings, it’s not very thick. Touch ups are easy enough using a Birchwood Casey Presto Gun Blue Touch Up Pen. The stainless steel under the coating blues very nicely to a deep dark black.
The Super Carry Pro HD’s Carry Melt treatment removes all the guns sharp edges, especially around the muzzle. While gunmakers sell “de-horned” guns on their ability to minimize clothing snags—a reassuring advantage for life’s big uh-oh moments—smoothing out the rough bits also makes holstering a weapon predictable and easy. That’s a huge plus for competition.
Sights & Controls
The Super Carry Pro HD wears tritium night sights atop a well-designed cocking shoulder. (The set-up’s similar to my Custom II’s 10-8 Performance sights.)
While I applaud Kimber’s decision to offer night sights with a cocking shoulder on the Super Carry Pro HD, the white paint job leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not the most visibility-enhancing choice.
That said, if you’ve ever practiced racking your slide one-handed on your holster, shoe or blue jeans—an important self-defense skill to compensate for an injured arm—you know that a handgun’s rear site design is mission critical. The Pro HD’s will git ‘er done.
The Super Carry Pro HD comes with a solid black aluminum trigger. It feels exactly like the triggers on my Tactical II Ultra and Custom II models. If you want to know why 1911s are the first choice for IDPA competitors, the Pro HD is a case in point. It’s as crisp as a freshly chilled head of Iceberg lettuce and cleaner than an OCD toilet seat, with a reset firm enough to shame a Sleep Number Bed showing 100 on the clock.
The Pro HD’s recoil spring felt a little “mushy” during both initial range outings. As this example was a “floor model” from a gun show, I suspect the gun had spent much of its short life locked open (i.e. with a fully compressed recoil spring). In theory, this contributed to the felt recoil and, yes, out of battery issues.
This is my third Kimber. Each has had its own break-in issues—which smoothed out after 500 rounds of ball ammo. The Super Carry Pro HD with factory magazines proved to be no exception; I experienced a few failures to feed (FTF) shooting Winchester White Box 230gr FMJ ammo.
Specifically, an FTF on round seven in my third string, another on round eight of my sixth string and one more on seven on my tenth string. Note: in almost every “out of battery” instance I was able to hit the slide and fire the round.
Like my Custom II and Tactical II Ultra, the new Super Carry Pro HD is much more accurate than its operator—as you might expect from a Kimber with a bushingless match grade bull barrel. For an OFWG with a bad back, my groups at seven, 10 and 15 yards were more than acceptable. Thanks to the Kimber’s heft and balance, re-acquiring the sight picture is a near-instantaneous process. For self-defense, minute-of-bad guy is a done deal. For competition, confidence is high. [Report to follow.]
Super Carry Pro HD Reliability Modifications
I believe that all the failures to feed that experienced in my first two outings can be traced back to one simple design flaw: the Super Carry Pro HD simple operates too fast with the factory recoil spring, using standard magazine springs. Once I fitted Wolff’s Improved XP Recoil Spring and started using the Wilson Combat 7-Round, Heavy Duty Magazine (47C-HV) my FTF issues cleared up instantly. And completely.
After several IDPA BFFs demonstrated how one pound of additional spring force could affect the “felt recoil” of any 1911, I now use Wolff’s recoil springs in all my 1911s . Once I installed the extra power recoil spring in my Super Carry Pro HD, I immediately noticed the difference. I wish Kimber would pay attention to little details like this.
At $1625 msrp, you might expect the Kimber Super Carry Pro HD to be perfect straight out of the box. For some, it may be. But for 1911 aficionados, the people who have the coin for these firearms, little things are a big deal. With the Pro HD there are a few nits to pick. For example, Wilson Combat’s 47D magazines’ nylon follower is simply a better design than Kimber’s stock mags.
But then high-end 1911 buyers tend to view any pistol as a starting point. And with a few minor tweaks (recoil spring, new magazines), I wouldn’t hesitate to call this weapon Kimber’s finest dual-role 1911.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Height 90° to barrel: 5.25 inches
Weight with empty magazine: 35 ounces
Length: 7.7 inches
Width: 1.28 inches
Magazine Capacity: 8 + 1 in the chamber
Recoil Spring: 22 pounds
Full-Length Guide Rod
Frame: Stainless Steel; Matte Black / KimPro II Coated;
Slide: Stainless Steel; Matte Black / KimPro II Coated;
Barrel: Steel, match grade bull barrel; Length: 4 inches; Twist Rate: 16 (Left Hand)
Sights: Fixed low profile night sights, 3-dot with cocking shoulder, Radius: 5.7 inches
Grips: G10 / Checkered with Smooth Border
Trigger: Aluminum, Match Grade; Factory setting: 4 – 5 pounds
RATINGS (Out of Five Stars)
Accuracy: * * * * *
Shooting .45 ACP ball ammo this gun is deadly accurate.
Ergonomics: * * * *
It’s a 4″ 1911 with a curved bobtail and “Carry Melt” treatment. What more could you ask for in a carry gun—other than capacity?
Ergonomics Firing: * * * *
Crisp trigger and reasonable recoil. All the controls are right where they should be. A joy to shoot.
Reliability: * * *
Like any 1911, you’ll need to break-in the Super Carry Pro HD. After 500 rounds it’s nearly perfect.
Customization: * * * * *
It’s a 1911 so (almost) everything is customizable from the grips to the barrel.
Overall Rating: * * * *
The Super Carry Pro HD is Kimber’s top of the line in 4″ 1911s. You could spend over $2800 for a “Bill Wilson Carry” or save $1200 for a few mods, a good holster and lots of ammo.
Nice writeup, Jeffrey. Unfortunately for me and other inmates of the Bay State, this is yet another fine pistol that’s illegal for a dealer to sell in Massachusetts.
Nice review. However, I must not be the target market, cause I can’t see spending $1600 for a pistol that requires new magazines and a different spring, plus $250 or more worth of ammo run through it before it can be considered “broke-in”, ready, and reliable enough for carry. High-end purchasers may see this so-called basic pistol as a starting point for their customization, but I see a lazy manufacturer who can’t seem to make a pistol that works 100% out of the box.
Agreed. Kimber needs to watch the details a bit closer but every gun needs a little break in period.
“every gun needs a little break in period”
Bear in mind I’m an engineer and fully cognizant of wear surfaces and machining capabilities. I understand a trigger may be a bit smoother after a thousand rounds or so, and that there will be some minor wear on contact surfaces, but at $1600 don’t they have the capabilities to get it right out of the box? Can’t they get the critical dimensions such that it works?
To me, the so-called “break-in” should be nothing more than my personal quality check that nothing is grossly wrong with the firearm. Several mags should do the trick. I shouldn’t have to fire 500 / 1000 / “insert number here” rounds to get a pistol up to snuff. That’s laziness on the part of manufacturers.
Here’s a question. Assume I have CCL. My current pistol becomes unusable for whatever reason. I need to buy a pistol today to start carrying tomorrow. I might get an hour of range time later this week to test fire it, but no chance for any extended “break-in” work, perhaps for months to come. What should I get? I presume that any and all Kimbers are completely off the list at this point.
I too was an engineer before taking up photography full time and I’ve been a shooter for the past 35 years.
Q: Why does a new car have a “break-in period”?
As I’m sure you know, when two metal parts rub together they “abrade” until the small imperfections in the mating surfaces wear away. The piston rings and bearings in a car engine do this in much the same way as the slide and frame do on a 1911. The same way the barrel, barrel bushing, feed ramp, etc. “wears” and becomes smoother and less prone to friction.
The difference between the break-in period of a car and your primary carry firearm is the amount of risk you accept during the break-in period. ALL 1911 pistols require a break-in period to become 100% reliable and most folks that carry a 1911 wouldn’t dream of carrying it until it is 100% reliable. Putting 500 rounds of ball ammo and 100 rounds of JHP through your primary carry weapon to break it in properly is cheap insurance compared to it not working when it’s needed. You may be willing to take that risk for yourself and your loved ones but I’m certainly not. I consider my life and the lives of my family to be priceless.
Q: Why does a new car have a “break-in period”?
A: Manufacturers’ weasel warranty claims.
Jeff, the difference is that a car is not a gun is not a car. Aside from being way more complex, a car works from day one, even while you break it in. And with new cars, new machining, your break-in is basically normal light driving with an early oil change. You don’t say that the car stalled, failed to start, and backfires until the first 3000 miles, and then it runs fine. We expect it to run right straight off the showroom floor. We’re very upset when it doesn’t.
A gun has very few wear parts. VERY few compared to a typical car engine. For $1600, why don’t they machine it smoother such that it’ll work right out of the box. They have that capability. They EASILY have that capability.
I bring this up as a technical discussion. I’ve been shooting for over 35 years myself. And I value my family, which is why I think a $1600 gun should work fresh without break-in. Maybe I’ll just bypass Kimber and stick with a real Colt. Python.
I agree with you Don, I just bought a new Subaru and I won’t take it on the Interstate or go over 30mph till it has at least 500 miles on it; It might not be safe to do so, the gas pedal might stick, the brakes might fail, steering wheel might come off . . . who knows what else could happen ; ) Back to guns . . . I have an SCHDPRO coming up on 3 years early next year; ZERO issues. Use nothing but Kimber Tac Mags, but I have also tried mags from other manufacturers and have had ZERO problems with any of them. When I buy a New or Slightly Used firearm, I do as most, clean it, dry run it and then take it to the range. I generally run about 1 or 2 boxes (100 rounds total). If there are no issues, then it is fine to take on the road. First off, how often is the average carrier in a situation where they use the weapon? 2nd, how many rounds are generally fired? 3rd, how many of those situations could you have successfully lived through popping off the additional 400 – 450 rounds that many suggest? More instances than you would likely experience (where you fired your weapon) even if you were a police officer in most average locales. I wonder how many rounds the average Chicago LEO fires in any given year in line of duty (not at the range). So, do you need to fire 500 rounds, no. If a box or two runs fine, it probably is. If you experience issues, typically they appear in the first 50 rounds from my experiences: two Sigs P232 & P290RS and a Ruger MKIII 22. Yes, I have a Kimber that has sporadic issues, it’s an SIS Ultra model. The Ultra (3inch barrel) is the one many have issues with and it is usually stated as a result of the feed ramp angle. To this date I cannot totally blame the gun as I often have flawless outings. My personal thought is, it’s related to my grip on the weapon and failure to maintain the grip after a few rounds. Last time I took it out, it was flawless through 5 mags (30rounds) and I paid closer attention to my grip. The Grips on the SCHDPRO are very grippy G10’s and they may be the reason for my having no failures with my PRO size Kimber vs my Ultra with the much smoother Grips. Hope everyone has a Marvelous Thanksgiving !
I had a full size Kimber for a few years now. It is currently on its way back for repairs. The second time BTW. When spending $1200 to $1500 for a pistol my expectations are fairly high. Kimber has not lived up to those expectations.
My Dan Wesson V-bob functioned flawlessly out of the box and has done so for over 1K rounds. All steel (forged not cast) and no MIM parts. I’d buy a Kimber rifle, but not one of their pistols. Every one I know who has one has had to send them back at least once.
That’s a good looking gun but $1600 is a lot of money.
$1600 for “mushy” and failures to feed. Awesome. Awesome junk, that is. And if anyone wants to speak against that, I will direct you to the North Carolina Division of Alcohol and Law Enforcement.
Mr. Lynch, enjoyed your review if the Kimber Super Carry Pro HD. I just received mine today. Fire 50 rds of Winchester White Box 230gr FMJ with no failures of any kind. I bought this gun for the same reason you did. IDPA and carry. I have carried the Ultra Carry for the last year and my wife has the 9mm Ultra CDP. Again, no problems. Love the HD
Way way out of my price range! And that’s not counting the cost for upgrades or bullets. Lets try a decent $500.00 or less that can do the job. No? Well that leaves me out of IDPA.
That also leaves you out of http://www.wilsoncombat.com, http://www.lesbaer.com, http://www.nighthawkcustom.com, etc.
$1600.00 for a name. My CZ-97 .45ACP cost me a little less than$550.00 when new in the box back in 2007 and it ran flawlessly from day one and still does. It has a capacity of 10+1 in the chamber, it points instinctly and is scary accurate even in my old disabled veteran hands. Thanks Kimber but, no thanks.
That’s also why you buy a Chevy and not a Porsche, Ferrari, etc. When formulating your reply, keep in mind that these cars break down frequently and are expensive to repair. You’re not comparing apples to oranges. Take your $500 gun and start adding the things to it that this particular Kimber has: night sights, ambi-safety, but expecially the bobtail that it has. Go find someone to put that exact bobtail on your $500 base gun. Good luck. If you take this $1450 (street price) gun and add $1000 of whatever, you now have a Wilson Combat (2013).
Don I think you may have something. I am still waiting for my SCP HD to return from the shop. Multiple FTF’s and faulty slide release issues. ??????? However if Kimber gets it right they own the mkt in this price range for this style of 1911. At least for a while IMHO.
I’ve got around 4 or 5 hundo rounds thru my SCP. Never a prob with WWB ammo but a very picky eater with any hollow point, roughly one FTF with every mag. I have a 5in. custom also, with never a problem. Im not gonna lie, I love the Kimber name and its a fav with my buddies, but it’s embarassing at the range. Very accurate but the feeding issues are quite infurriating. After saving long enough, (1500 for a break-in gun) and finally getting the gun, Im honestly unsatisfied! I’ll keep shooting it and may even try a new spring and hope it breaks in, but thats horseshit! When it comes to my “go to gun” I’ll stick to my Glock 27.
Nice Kimber, but I’ll hang on to my Compact Aluminum with CTC grips
I have all kinds of guns Glocks, Sigs, Colts, ect, and of course Kimbers,six to be exact.
I think that every time, Ive encounterd A FTF it’s either the magazine or ammo. Each time I purcashed A kimber I throw the mags to the side and get Chip McCormicks, no problem. I use mag teck ball ammo, and most of all no limp wristing,you can bitch to the high heavens, but the gun can’t make up for your mistakes, or bad mags, there has to be A parity between all parts on the gun in order for the end results to go bang.I know that nothing in this world is perfect,I’ve had gunsmithing done to my guns because I wanted my gun to work in the way that I desired,so in closing when I holster any of my guns I know that if I have to use it to defend myself or my family, the moment I press the trigger there will be pure harmony in my hand, and A life changing situation for who ever is in front of the muzzel.
After reading this thread I’ve determined that you’re the only person posting who knows about weapons. Every new semi-auto pistol (I own a Sig P226, P239,P250, 1911TTT,Colt 1911 GC,CE, SXE, 1991A1. Beretta M9, 92FS, Remington R1 Enhanced and now a Kimber Super Carry Pro HD and many more) has been fine out of the box..Except the Colt’s who have poor magazines. To the author of this thread, my favorite magazine to use across all of my 1911’s is the KIMBER TAC-MAG. Your complaints about the Super Carry Pro are unfounded as I perceive you as one of those who thinks add-ons are ‘Cool’. Now, your endorsement of Wilson Combat (do you work for them?) is rediculous as the ONLY magazines I’ve had problems with have been Colt and Wilson Combat. If you thought the Super Carry was so marginal (I found it to be fantastic-out of the box, why did you buy one? A rational person ‘As knowledgeable as you’ should have walked the other way.. Speaking of walking away, had my Super Carry had botched white around the nitesights, I wouldn’t have bought it. In fact, I showed it to a friend who works at Kimber who said those aren’t our circles… The look home made! Which brings me to the point.. Almost everybody on these blogs write because they ‘don’t’ have the money to buy these toys and are compensating. It’s also obvious you never had any military training or you would have known what to do with weak mag.. But most importantly. your blog and you are full of BS. EVERYBODY ON THESE BLOGS JUST WRITE BECAUSE THEY ‘WISH’ THEY HAD THE MONEY AND JUSTI
Did somebody’s opinion get to you that much? I seriously doubt you have any idea what any of these fine folks do for a living. I come here for opinions, not to have the gospel read to me. I take what I can use and leave the rest. I also watch my manners, although I have yet to be upset by reading someone else’s opinion. Do you know what manners are? I think you might need a little help and sometime away from your firearms.
Wow… I’ve seen these for around $1300 – $1400 in local stores and I love the look and feel of them. However, I must agree with the questions posed here regarding “break in”.
For example… I just bought a RIA 5″ 1911 in 9mm for $410 OTD and a Taurus (yes I took the chance) 5″ 1911 in .38 super for $524 OTD. I took both these guns out of the box, wiped off the excess oil, ran a brush through the bores and took them out for their first run. After 150 rounds from a mixed bag 9mm through the RIA and about 70 rounds of 38 Super through the Taurus I experienced 0 (that’s ZERO) malfunctions of any type from either gun.
Sooo… for a total of $934 including tax I got two running guns, (truly not as pretty as the Kimber, but pretty doesn’t put rounds down range), and I’m left with $300 – $400 for ammo, customization, new gear etc. What’s wrong with this picture?
All guns do NOT need a break in period, period. As a cop, if I have to put ANY amount of rounds through a gun to “break it in” I consider it useless junk. I’ve had Colt 1911’s that didn’t work out of the box…they went back or got sold. Others of the same ilk worked fine and I carried them daily at work. Glocks, Sigs, Brownings all worked perfectly out of the box, with a prior cleaning of course. Just bought a Ruger LC9 that has 300 assorted ball and hollowpoint rounds thru it without a bobble of any kind.
I’m not an engineer, I just count on my gun to save my virgin butt on a daily basis. If it has to be broken in, it’s broken. I’d NEVER trust a gun that didn’t work fine right ‘out of the box’. Did I mention Sig???
If one cannot accept that 1911s require a break in period, then one should not carry a 1911. All 1911s need a break in period. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter…it’s the reality.
If one wants to carrry a single action-only, .45 ACP firearm, you had better run 500 to 1000 rounds through it before carrying it. Additionally, I would think that it would be beneficial for any newbie to 1911s to get some range time with a firearm that is capable of being carried in condition 1.
Hey Matt… I really have to strongly disagree. I carry a SA Micro Compact 1911 .45 every day. I have seven 1911s in various calibers and barrel lengths and I can not accept that 1911s require a break in period. None of the 1911s I own are Kimbers and none cost more than $750 brand new out the door. (the aforementioned Springer would be an exception had I bought it new) Every one of them has worked right out of the box. I can’t even imagine paying money for a brand new gun that doesn’t run.
You gotta love the gun-loving world. It’s no different than religion and politics–nobody can agree on anything and everyone’s an expert.
I was in the market for another 1911 when I bought the 5″ version of this gun. It is a nice gun, well made and does not have a firing pin safety system. The gun is very accurate and shoots to POA.
Would I buy this model again if I didn’t own this one? Most likely not…….
As a cop I carry a Glock, three of them. When the first one started malfunctioning after several thousand rounds, I traded it in, because it has to be totally reliable to carry. As good and reliable as the Glock is, none are as accurate as a good 1911. IMHO, the Glock doesn’t feel as good in my hand as a 1911. This gun has been very reliable for over 100 years and after switching away from it, the military, at least elite units, are returning to the 1911. I agree that the ‘engineering’ proper spring rates is a real problem. The reliability of magazines is a problem. But truly, the break in period is a cost question. If you want everything polished and hand fit to perfection, you buy Wilson Combat. Then there’s a guy bragging that he bought two Kimbers for the same price. U.S. employees with time and skill to make every surface perfect for this 100 year design, that still out performs everything else, are artists. That kind of perfection isn’t cheap. Much more expensive than 500 rounds of ball ammo. Why? You ask, so more of us can afford a great firearm. Go practice, break in your new gun, get your malfunction drills down cold. Then smile when your new gun is ready to carry as a self defense weapon, because your skills are much better to boot. If this is unacceptable to you, it’s okay, go buy something that is, or better yet, buy the Kimber I want, then sell it as worthless junk for half price, so I can buy another!
I couldn’t agree more!!!
As a matter of interest… the only mags that I own that don’t function reliably in any of my .45s have a Kimber brand stamped on them… just sayin…
I carried a TZ-75 for 28 years and shot contests with it when I could. In those day’s you could stop by any National Guard Armory and find a NRA match going on in some towns. Yes, I’m older than some of your Grand Dads. I sold the TZ for a little more than I paid for it and called Italy for an update. They recommended the witness elite. I like it but it is a little too big for me to carry so I have been thinking about the HD. I have been thinking of purchasing a Kimber Pro HD 4in barrel. But now after reading some of those comments I am not too sure. Do I really want to spend $1600? Or even $1400 hard earned dollars just to try out this handgun? Maybe its not too late to become a writer so I can try out this handgun for a month then write about it. Now let me see, where did I put that typewriter?
There has been a lot of discussion about the break in period of 1911’s. Remember, the 1911 was designed as a combat pistol, not a target pistol. They were designed to shoot 3-5″ groups at 25 yards. In order to produce sub 1″ groups at 25 yards consistently, you have to really tighten up the tolerances. Kimber’s tolerances are match grade, so you need to work the parts in together in order for them function flawlessly. Sigs are designed very well (I’ve owned three) and have fairly tight tolerances, but they were also designed for accuracy. They’re also very complicated to work on. The 1911 is a simple, service design that served a different purpose than IDPA competitions. Kimber does supply a lousy magazine and the recoil spring does need to be a tad stronger, but other than that, they’re great out-of-the-box pistols. I carry a Kimber Pro Carry II every day. I trust it completely, and it took me only 300 rounds to break it in. I do used a Wilson Combat 8-rd mag, and that has made a big difference.
Well said. The haters are 1911 haters. For example, I own a Springfield (awesome for the money) but the first thing I did when I bought mine was throw out the mags and bring in the Wilsons. That’s just life. Wow, spend a couple bucks on a new recoil spring? Happy to. Get a gun this good looking with that specific bobtail? Now that’s not easy. Forget the haters. Haters will always be with us.
Hi Guys, great review of the Super Carry HD. I just bought one last Saturday and finally got to the range today. No doubt, the gun is more accurate than this shooter…in that what you point at, it hits. Regarding some of the feed issues described. I ran 100 rounds of PMC 230 grain FMJs through my HD in two different KimPro Tac-Mags without a single misfire or failure to feed (FTF). Perfect out of the box shooting. Highly recommended weapon.
The only shortfall in this firearm is I would have liked Kimber to have been more aggressive with their scales that they use for the frontstrap and slide. They seem to be lacking depth which makes them a little to slippery for my likings. The use of the G10 grips help this matter somewhat, but i would like to see a more aggressive frontstrap and slide. Otherwise, a great looking and excellent performing Kimber.
If I am not mistaken, the SIS was also an all steel gun and came in all 3 sizes as offered in the Super Carry HD. I have an SIS Ultra, no problems with the KimPro finish scuffing or wearing, and I have it going on 3 years now. I find personally the only time I seem to have feed issues, is if I do not hold the weapon tight enough aka limp wrist. I personally like the Kim Pro Tac magazines; I have about 5 of them and they seem to work just fine. Even in my SIS Ultra I really haven’t experienced any ammo feed issues that were not rectified through a more solid grip, when using HP ammo. I ‘ve read numerous reviews about feed issues in the Ultra size using HP ammo. Recently picked up an SuperCarryHD Pro, so far out of 200 rounds I have had one failure to feed and one extraction issue. My grip screws have come loose though, so it might be the cause of those. My first time out there were no issues and the grips were tight. The grip screws loosened up during the second outing and the issue popped up late in the outing as did the loose screws. I had the same loose grip screw experience with a Springfield EMP 40 a year ago. Tightened them up about a half turn and no problems since then. I hope that solves the problem with the Kimber as well. Shop around and you can find a Kimber for $200 – $250 off MSRP. Took me about 9 months of looking before I found my Super Carry Pro HD; traded in the Pro Raptor II I had bought prior to the Super Carry Pro HD being announced (that was over a year ago).
Daniel, nice review and comments. I’d be interested in hearing why you traded in your Raptor, as that was initially the pistol I liked but instead chose the Super Carry (likely because of the bobtail grip). What say you?
Why I traded the Pro Raptor II; mostly because I really wanted an SIS Pro and they quit selling them. The SCHD Pro is the closest thing there is being made by Kimber today to an SIS model. The SIS serrations leave something to be desired, but the cocking shoulder sight is actually better in my opinion and I like the KimPro somewhat metallic looking gray finish on the SIS, as well as the grips. One of the reasons I bought the Raptor was the super deal I got at Cabela’s. It was one of those employee pricing to customer sales for 10% off, which still gave me 1.5% off after sales tax. I also liked the grip feel, the serrations and I am a fan of black matte finish guns. But the SCHD Pro just said buy me all over it when I first saw it. Wasn’t really considering selling the Raptor, until the day came when I saw the SCHD Pro in the case. There are not a whole lot of these out there. Mostly I see SCHD Ultras in stores. I asked the dealer what I would get for a trade on my Pro Raptor and that pretty much sealed the deal. I researched on line and found he was giving me a fair shake in the trade and the SCHD Pro price was also good. I’ve held many Dan Wessons and Wilsons, not feeling as comfortable as the SCHD Pro or my SIS Ultra to me. The Kimbers just fit my hand nicely. Colt, Springfield and Rock Island 1911’s are nice too, as are the new S&W E Series in Scandium. If I want a higher end 1911, then I’ll invest into my Kimber being tuned further. After all, a Wilson Combat runs between $2.7 & $5 very big bills! I could make a lot of improvements for another $1000 and be at the bottom end of a Wilson. One of the reviews of the SCHD Pro mentioned the Meprolight night sights and the white ring around them. I like the Meprolight sights way better than Trijicon night sights; the white ring is part of the difference, they are also somewhat larger and brighter every time I’ve compared the two brands. Bottom line, quicker site picture.
SCHDproUpdate: 500 rounds + and no additional issues to report since the 2 reported in early March (1 FTF & 1 FTE, grip screw related possibly). I use Kimber TAC Mags; I’ve even used them in my SA TRP and my Rock Island Officer without issue. Out of all the firearms I have had and shot regularly, I’ve had more issues with a Sig Sauer P232 and Ruger MKIII (multiple issues with both). Zero Issues with S&W M&P of any size or caliber (9, 40 or 45). Next time out with the SCHDpro I will begin shooting various Hollow Point rounds and see how they feed.
I use the same set-up with Wolf Spring and the Wilson Combat 7-Round, Heavy Duty Magazine (47C-HV). This cleared up my FTF and FTE. However, I still found that on occation I had a FTL. I now use a Tripp follower which is similar to Wilson’s but a metal insert for the slide lock and filed the small bump on the top of the follower. Getting good reliability in my Kimber Stainless Steel Pro which was manufactured in 1999. Previous to the additions I put this on the shelf as the way it is shipped from Kimber did not give me confidence for a carry gun.
There is no excuse for this pistol to have these problems. I am sending 1 in now for a customer I sold to. This flaw needs to be fixed. These guns need to shoot and function right before they leave the factory PERIOD.
I thought my SIS Ultra had problems with feeding too. It was only once in a while and mostly with one brand of ammo. I also read that the Ultra size Kimbers are notorious for feed issues; esp. with hollow points, due to the feed ramp angle. All I can say is, more often than not, the feed issues seemed to be cured by a better grip in the pistol. My SCPROHD has had no problems since the two initially reported when my grip screws were loose. Still using Kimber TacMags and have not changed out any parts at all.
This is my 2nd Kimber and fired it brand spanking new right out the box without any issues along with getting it for a great price. Accuracy is great with this firearm and overall it fits like a glove. By far this is my favorite piece and yes some people may customise theirs some but it does fire straight out the box fine , I put about 600 rounds through it at the shops range 5 minutes after purchase and enjoyed every minute of it had one FTF the whole time. I guve it 5 stars
This is my 2nd Kimber and fired it brand spanking new right out the box without any issues along with getting it for a great price. Accuracy is great with this firearm and overall it fits like a glove. By far this is my favorite piece and yes some people may customise theirs some but it does fire straight out the box fine , I put about 600 rounds through it at the shops range 5 minutes after purchase and enjoyed every minute of it had one FTF the whole time. I give it 5 stars
I own several Kimbers’s (including the 5″ version of the model reviewed) as well as Taurus’s, Colt’s, and Springfield’s. I think everyone is missing the point on the break in period. It just say’s in the owners manual you should run good premium ammunition with 230 grain FMJ’s for the first few hundred rounds. I also don’t think that anyone here is foolish enough to take a gun right out of the box and carry it without going to the range and firing a few rounds through it. I think this is also known as a break in period. I own an Ultra Carry, Super Carry HD, and 2 Solo’s and I can tell you that I have had no problems with feeding, ejecting or the magazines. I have put over 3000 rounds through my Ultra. Yes the Kimber’s are expensive and I think I get the value I expect from them or I wouldn’t own one! Only time will tell for the Super Carry as I just bought it and have only put 100 rounds through it but so far it have proved extremely accurate and without any issues at all
Hey Jeff, how about a one year followup review/range report with some more of your awesome pictures.
Thanks for the great reviews and pictures.
Stay on target,
Like many commenters I own a variety of hand-guns: Kimber, Springfield (1911 & XD), Beretta, Glock, Sig…. I own 4 other Kimbers and they all have run PERFECTLY
sorry…..comment got cut off earlier…..my other 4 Kimbers ran PERFECTLY right out of the box….my new Super Carry Pro HD, however, is another so-far sad story…I use Wilson Combat magazines in all my 1911s without a problem. My new SCPHD had 5 FTFs out of the first 50 rounds!!!!—-using the supplied Kimber mag and Wilson 47D magazines. I’ll see how it does after a few more boxes of FMJ….then it goes back to Kimber. Considering the cost I’m more than a little disappointed.
Too bad about that, never saw this with my SCPHD.
Bought my 1st 45 cal pistol – Kimber Super carry Pro HD – a few weeks ago and have finally been able to fire a box or two through it. Using Sellier & Bellot ammo I had two (2) fail-to-load issues in the first 20 rounds but that was easily fixed – bump the slide and all was good. I attribute these to learning a new handgun. All has been great since. Spring might be a bit weak as the spent cases fly over two lanes at the range (I’ve been asked to use the wall lane 😉 ). Using Chip McCormick mags. Shopped around and found this gun to “fit” into my hand as good as any gun I have now. Real pleasure to shoot and hold. Great gun.
Well, here is my follow up after having the Kimber SCProHD for several months and having fired well over 700 rounds. It is still one of the best handguns I’ve shot. I’ve fired Federal, Remington, PMC, Speer Gold Dot HP (my personal protection favorite), Hornady 185gr HP, S&B and the least reliable – Independence – cartridges and have been hit in the face once (of all the brands) though shooting in the windy desert may have had something to do with it. FTF happened exclusively with the Independence ammo though not very often (won’t get that ammo again). Using a WC 47C-HV clip mostly. Range instructor figured out my low and to-the-left issues and now I’m shooting 2″-3″ groups at 50 feet or better. Gun is better than its owner will ever be! Great gun!
Well, I’ve put over 725 rounds through my brand new Kimber SCPHD and have had too many FTFeeds and cases hitting me in the head and face. I followed the break-in instructions to a T. I guess, I just got unlucky with this one. So it is going back to Kimber.
I tried several different magazines including the Kimber that came with, 6 – WC 47Ds, 3 – other WCs, and a Novak, all with similar results. I used several types of ammo, all 230gr. fmj and all had FTFeed issues. The FTFeeds were of the, “slide needed a little push or partial rack to go into battery,” variety. The ejected cases varied from very strong to 3 o’clock to soft liners to the head and face.
Another thing I noticed is a lot of carbon discoloration on the spent cases. It looks like I’m getting blow-back. I don’t think it should be that noticeable from a new 1911 of this quality. Has anyone else seen this? Do you have any ideas as to cause and cure? I’m going to mention it to Kimber in the letter that accompanies the weapon when it goes back.
My Kimber SCPHD is very accurate, but is 1” low and 1” left with me behind the trigger. The groups are very tight, 2 to 3 in. at 50′ from both a rest and offhand. It is capable of better, it needs a more able shooter.
I am disappointed that a weapon at this price point isn’t 100% out of the box. A friend and fellow shooter told me that it may be a blessing in disguise to have the Kimber shop go through the gun. I hope so and I hope they are thorough in their inspection, diagnosis and repair. I expect to get a perfect Kimber Super Carry Pro HD back after they do their magic. We will see.
Stay on target,
My apologies for not updating sooner.
After about 10 weeks, I got my SCPHD back from Kimber, They said they enlarged the ejection port and then fired a box each of two different cartridges through it without incident.
After getting it back, I put a little more than a box of ammo through it without incident. I have since sold it to an experienced shooter who knew what he was purchasing.
I admit, my experience with this handgun left me reluctant about using it for it’s intended purpose, carry for personal defense. I didn’t feel confident enough to bet my life on it.
Yes, it is a beautiful 1911. It makes a wonderful safe and range gun. I just can’t recommend it for any purpose beyond that.
With the proceeds I purchased a SA Loaded, Lightweight, Champion Operator and lots of ammo. I couldn’t be happier or more confident with this one. It isn’t as pretty but it is reliable, accurate, lighter, and the rail allows me to add a light when I feel the need.
My bottom line is, if you want to pay a lot for a gun that looks good and feels good, is accurate, and costs an arm and a leg to break-in and, has a history of feeding, cycling, and ejection issues, the Kimber SCPHD is for you.
If you want a moderately priced, out-of-the-box, plain looking, accurate, and reliable 1911 that works with every type of ammo I’ve fed mine the SA LLCO is a can’t miss.
Been about 6 months since my last report. I’ve had the Kimber out 4 times since, added another 200 rounds and cleaned only once in-between. No failures of any kind and I am using the 8 round TacMag. Used the TacMag in my S&W E-Series as well and they function wonderfully. The Kimber SCHDPRO is quite possibly my favorite handgun. I’ve been carrying it a lot lately, even while on 12 miles hikes in the mountains. My last outing this past Monday was wonderful. Doesn’t feel much different than shooting my CZ75B. I’d much rather shoot the Kimber than the S&W E-Series SC (Scandium Frame), the S&W is a bit on the feisty side, not a lot, but it is noticeable. What’s the actual difference, the Kimber weighs 3 1/2 ounces more. I’ll be back with an update sometime around the New Year 2013! Till then, happy shooting . . .
Did the wolf spring require any fitting for you?
I purchased Kimbers SPCHD in Nov 12, had very bad issues with FTF and failure to return to battery right from the start. Put 250 rounds of ball ammo through it, cleaned it, put another 250 rounds through it. Same issues as before I tried Wilison combat clips and purchased wolfs recoil spring and shot another 100 rounds through this weapon. I called Kimber explained everything I did, they asked me to put there spring back in and send it back. That’s was” FOUR “months ago…that’s right 4 months. I have repeatly called every two weeks and I keept getting the same answer it’s in back being looked at. Last week I asked to talk to a manager, he told me that they tried to fix it but at no fault of mine (no joke, I had the weapon three weeks) that the frame was bad (how does a custom gun leave the factory with a warped frame???)and they would have to make another one and he couldn’t give me a date when that would be. I explained that for 1500 I expected better from Kimber, especialy when the gun has custom shop in the side of it. Well just got a new update thus week, they say they have moved me to the front of the line and I SHOULD have it in 2 more weeks. I will have to do another background check because it’s going to have a new serial number…that I’ll have to pay for. But he assured me they would put 8 clips through it to make sure it works fine (right)and there going to send me 4 of there awesome clips to make up for the delay in getting me back my weapon. Everytime I called they acted like they were doing me a favor by fixing there mistake in the first place. Some folks may get lucky with out of the box operation, and I understand a break in period, but I don’t understand how you let a weapon out of you warehouse that can’t even make it through one full clip without a FTF or won’t even return to battery that has Kimber Custom Shop on the side. Bad business all the way around, so good job Kimber…for representing American production lines. Oh and yes it will be for sale when I do get it back.
Sad to hear about your bad luck with your Kimber. I have not had any further issue with my SCHDPro since my first report back when I first shot it. It’s been disassembled by me & cleaned multiple times and is running all stock parts. On the other hand, my SIS Ultra still has sporadic issues, but it seems to be leaning toward ammo issues more than a firearm problem. Need to clean er up and head back out with the ammo that works well and see if it acts up. I’ve read many stories about 3″ barreled 1911’s of many brands having issues at times. When it runs without issues, the SIS is an absolute pleasure to shoot.
Well I still don’t have my gun back, according to kimber they can’t find anywhere in there database where a staff member told me I’d have it back in those two weeks, instead they told me they still don’t know when they will have a frame to give me…they won’t give a refund or even pay the 10$ for the background check I’ll have to pay when and IF I ever get it back. So, going on 5 months and counting…
Me personally, I would document all the information I have on the weapon and my contacts to Kimber. Then I would send a copy of all this to the Better Business Bureau and State Attorneys Office. If I had a friend who was an attorney I might drop his name in a letter to Kimber. Tell them you’re tired of waiting (be cordial) and that you are going to begin your legal avenue into their inability to rectify the situation. I was able to get a major gun manufacturer to buyback a firearm I bought. I sent it in twice and they sent me parts once. It was not a Kimber. In addition, if Kimber does repair the weapon and return it; I would demand in writing an extended warranty period, since they’ve had it for 5 months and the warranty is only for a year! Good luck : )
Maybe your Kimber would function the way it should if you stopped trying to load it with clips and used the supplied mags or other quality mags! (ie Wilson, Chip McCormick)
I know my SCPHD functions 100%…
From what I’ve been told and experienced, when you buy a high end handgun built for accuracy, with tight tolerances, there is a break in period so the surfaces can mate properly, thus giving you a very exact fit. This is true of Kimber, Bauer, and Wilson. Shake the gun and there are no rattles… try that with your glock, or whatever Combat handgun you like. The reason Glock does not require a break in period is because they are all built to take the exact same parts without any of the hand fitting that a quality 1911 has. Shake that Glock, now you see the difference in build and in accuracy.
The people who complain about any handgun that has a break in period, probably don’t need that type of gun to begin with!
I was going to buy a new Kimber SPCHD this weekend at Cabela’s for $ 1595.00 plus tax. I sold three older rifles to save up the cash to buy the Kimber. I will not buy the Kimber SPCHD now after reading every Kimber SPCHD owners experiences with this firearm. The CONS definitey outnumber the PROS and the the most startling problems are FTF, FTE and blow back. I do not want to risk Buyers Remorse on such an expensive pistol. Apparently the QC at Kimber is questionable on this model firearm. I want to thank every owner for their comments which definitely changed my mind about buying this fiream. Every potential fiream buyer should visit sites like this one and read what the owners have to say besides the advertisers.
Well Frank, I love my Super Carry Pro HD. All stock and in my opinion, it is a great handling, shooting, comfortable and darn sharp looking too. I have a S&W 1911SC E Series with 4.25″ barrel. It is very similar to the Kimber in size and also has the bobtail grip. The Kimber is Steel, the S&W Scandium. Reasonable difference in weight (6oz.) and felt recoil is certainly more noticeable on the S&W. Personally, I like the Kimber better. You might want to look at a Dan Wesson 1911/CZ-USA if you like the bobtail grip. Good luck whatever you choose to purchase.
I am not sure why you say this is Kimbers first all steel 4 inch carry gun. I have a Kimber Compact stainless that I bought in 2000. The first time out with it I shot 500 rounds of just about every type of ammo Ball,lead round nose, lead swc,hollow points both reloaded and factory I had NO Failures of any kind. This was with the Kimber magazines which I agree are junk. I use Wilson Combat mags in both of my Kimbers now. The above compact now has over 10,000 rounds thru it and it never fails. I have shot it after rolling around in the mud with it. I have shot it in the snow and after rolling over it in sand. It just always works. I have had a similar experience with my Eclipse Target II although it has not been thru the hard use as my compact. I actually followed Kimber’s 500 round break in and I had no issues with it either. I trust either gun with mine or my families lives under any conditions. I need to add that I replace the recoil spring in both guns every 3000 rounds.
I agree. Thanks for the great review!
Which grip safety did you use, Ed Brown or?
I recently bought a Pro Carry and save for the mags I am very pleased. It is without doubt the most attractive STOCK pistol I’ve ever seen. Zero complaints except for the mags fail to feed once in a while. That said I feel my SR1911 was a better deal and it has never hung up on me, the Kimber is eye candy but the Ruger isn’t bad looking either. And side by side I’d take either to a gun fight.
Thanks for the review! What was the pound rating of the Wolff XP spring you used?
I would like to apologize to other readers for not updating after the issue I had when I initially purchased my SCPHD in 2012. As I spelled out I had multiple issues when I first purchased it……at least one FTE and at least one failure to return to battery per magazine even after multiple cleanings, several different magazines (Wilson and Kimber). After speaking to Kimber they sent me a shipping label, I sent the gun (along with a letter explaining the issues and what I had done to try to remedy them. Less than two weeks later my gun was back in my hands. I immediately loaded a dozen magazines and went to the range……zero issues! I have since run approx 600 rounds through it with absolutely zero issues (I know, 600 rounds is not much in 3 years but I have a tendency to swap out “carry guns” every few months—-again, I know, you’re ‘supposed to’ carry the same gun you practice with……). Point being…….yes I was VERY disappointed at having to send a brand new $1600 pistol to the mfr for repair but their turn-around was very quick and the pistol has worked flawlessly since.
Anyway……I currently own 6 Kimbers and 10 other “1911s”……..they all run like sewing machines as long as I do my part (proper cleaning/lube, proper grip and Wilson Combat mags).
Bought a Super Carry Custom a year or so ago, because it fits my hand perfectly, and with the aluminum frame, it’s lighter than a steel full size 1911. Unfortunately, it had a trigger problem right off the bat – a subtle ‘catch’ that I didn’t really notice in the LGS. Having that in a $1,500 gun was a real bummer. I’d read about Kimber’s declining QC, but for some reason thought it wouldn’t happen to me. Oh well. So the LGS sent it back to Kimber, and a couple of weeks later it was back and now works fine. No FTF, trigger is smooth, and as others here have suggested, it’s more accurate than I am.
Would I buy another Kimber? Possibly. Now that the trigger’s right I really like the gun. And the rounded bobtail (together with the carry melt) is really nice since I do, well, carry it.
Tengo muy buenos comentarios de la firma Kimber.podria recibir sus boletines y comentario
Unbelievable the number of whining crybabies commenting. ANY machine worth it’s salt and expected to last (btw, cars are built TO wear out, dummies!) is going to have a break in period. If you want perfection in the human world out of the box you’re simply fooling yourselves-though the Kimber I’ve used for years was. The only mods I did were to my liking, not to it’s function.
Quit your whining, save up, or buy a Rock Island and be happy with your junk instead of tearing down one of the best 1911’s made thus far in history. Must be the new gen snowflake babies we’re hearing from, or folks that truly never have managed to make enough scratch to spend on a Kimber and want to cry as if they had and were disappointed to make up for their shortcomings.
I own many 1911`s from various makers,including Kimber. My next malfunction will be my first one.I wonder if people bother to lubricate them before taking them to the range?
There’s a lot of hating on a gun that shoots flawlessly and consistently. If you’ve ever owned a Kimber you know that almost every one of their 1911’s needs a break in period to shoot to its full potential.
That said, it’s not just Kimber. I’ve had SIG X5’s, HK’s, and other 1911’s that have this exact same situation. Also thats not to say that it wont work extremely well just that its a break in period for the springs/ barrel, and other parts so its a universal things thats pretty normal.
I will subscribe to that author and his future publications.
The post is well organized, reminded me about https://cpeap.org/outline-for-narrative-essay/. I see the author has
a real knack for this subject. I like that theme, and I am in constant search of new bits and
the latest news. I truly enjoyed that one, because it is full
of interesting facts and it’s a sort of easygoing article.
I spent only a couple of minutes reading and because of well-structured text, I know
it completely. Thanks!