Thursday, September 25, 2008

REVIEW: KIMBER Ultra Carry II with Crimson Trace Laser Grips


Not everyone carries a gun. More and more people are applying for and getting their carry permits but most of those people do it so that in the event they wanted to carry, they could. For many others, after trying it once, they just never actually feel comfortable walking around with a load gun. But for those that go through the legal process and get carry permit, one of the last pistol choices you might make for your hidden defense is a full sized model 1911.

The Kimber Ultra Carry II is a .45 cal. short barreled (3 inches vs. 5 inches in a full sized model) 1911 pistol designed specifically to be easily carried completely concealed. The model I bought came with Crimson Trace Laser Grips and Tritium night sights factory installed. Out of the box it is a perfect conceal carry defense weapon that will give you confidence in a wide variety of lighting conditions.

BTW, the II stands for generation 2. The new generation Kimber’s designated with a “II” have a safety feature that locks the firing pin in place until the palm safety is depressed. Some gun gurus in pistol forums complain about the feature and say it can cause misfires. After 1,500 rounds or more in my gun, I’ve never experienced a single problem with the added safety. Here’s a fact, with the new safety feature in place, if you ever accidentally drop your gun and it lands on the hammer it won’t fire. Period. What’s that worth to you? I like it.

Ok, why do I need a Laser Grip and glowing night sights? First off, cool factor! That's right I said it, how cool to have a pistol with those neat features. Show someone your pistol with a laser sighting system and you'll definitely hear, "Ooooh, aaaah, that's cool!" Second is function. Ok, I know function should be first on the list when purchasing a firearm but I'm a "Tim Allen" type American guy who grew in watching the ORIGINAL Star Trek and Star Wars and I like lasers and stuff.

Here's the function part. As I don’t mind admitting, I'm not a perfect shot. I want to be, but I'm far from it. Under the pressure and stress of small, local IDPA competitions (where I come in low on the scoring sheet) it gets even worse! So I can't imagine the stress of a life and death defense situation. The Crimson Trace Laser Grip is almost worthless on an open outdoor range but imagine fighting for your life in your own home or on a dark public parking garage. You may not have the luxury or the ability to get that perfect sight picture. In that case, squeeze the grip, the laser comes on, point the laser at your target and BANG! The laser wobbles around wildly from the recoil, center the red dot on your target again and BANG!! Breath. Blink. Asses your surroundings while keeping that bright red dot painted on your "ex"-attacker and your finger on the trigger until you're certain the threat is gone. Crimson Trace has an ad in American Handgunner Magazine that says, "The guy with the laser won." After using one, I believe it.

Remember though that lasers are battery operated mechanical/digital devises. Imagine you're in that dimly lit parking garage again and you’re aggressively approached by a masked figure that seems intent on causing you harm. You draw, bring the gun up, squeeze the grips...dead laser. Quickly focus your eyes onto the illuminated front sight and line up the bright Tritium dots and pull the trigger. We're talking about life-saving tools here. (NOTE: This is not legal advice or defense training. I’m only making a point and explaining the features on the handgun in review)

The last part of the function issue is the .45 cal. ammunition. You don't have to know much about guns to know that it's a big bullet that can quickly stop a life threatening situation. For defense, I keep Federal Hydra-Shok JHP (Jacketed Hollow Points) in the gun.

How does it feel in my hand? I have small hands so the compact grip (smaller than a full sized 1911) is nice. The magazine only holds 7 shots (vs. some full-sized models holding 8) but with .45 cal., that's enough. If I were to need more than 7+1 shots, since I'm not Mel Gibson, I figure I'm screwed anyway. The gun is isn't heavy but it's not light either. It's a very well balanced tool that achieves an almost perfect balance of size and weight.

To summarize the function: small gun, big bullet, point-and-shoot laser with backup night sights that constantly glow without needing to be charged with light first. What more could you want in a concealable defense pistol?

How does it shoot? Simply put, it kicks like mule. When I first bought the pistol, I couldn't wait to get out on the range and shoot the thing. The next day I drove to a local indoor range, carefully loaded the gun, leveled it off (laser on of course) and pulled the trigger. BOOOOM! Holy crap!! What had I done? That damn thing kicked so hard I was a bit afraid to pull the trigger again. I had to catch my breath, suck it up and do it again. This time I flinched so hard upon pulling the trigger the laser zig-zagged all over the place and I completely missed the target. Yea, it was that bad.

Not only did it kick, it jammed several times during that first range session. I was really feeling like I had wasted $1,000! That's a lot of freakin' money! Luckily I know people that are fantastic gun handlers. I learned that compact .45s need to help very firmly. "Limp wristing" will cause the gun to jam with regularity. Once I started gripping the gun tighter, the jamming disappeared (even before the end of the 500 round break-in period). Man, I felt much better about my gun!

So what good does a jamming, high tech, stealth .45 do you if you can't hit the broad side of a barn? Seriously, I was beginning to think that I would be better off defending myself with my $249 .22 cal. Beretta than with that stupid $1,000 hand-cannon. I had a bit of buyer's remorse. But read on...

I remember as a small boy shooting my dad's .22 revolver for the first time. No hearing protection, no Shoot N C targets. Dad just took me out to the desert and thought I'd enjoy shooting a gun. I didn't. That dang thing was loud and it almost kicked out of my hand. Now, a .22 feels like a Red Rider BB Gun. The reason? Perspective. As a kid I was accustomed to shooting toy guns so a .22 was a big deal. Now, I was accustomed to shooting a 9mm, a .22, a .38 special, etc so a .45 was a big deal. But after a few hundred rounds my perspective changed and now the .45 is easy for me to shoot. Yes, I said easy. No more flinching, no more fear of recoil, only a bit of inadvertent trigger push (that's another story).

Here are some questions I'll be asking people that let me test their guns:
1) Why did you buy the gun? - See above.
2) How long have you owned it? - 1 year.

3) How have your feelings for the gun changed in that time? - At first I thought I bought too much gun. Now after some practice, I shoot it well enough that I trust it could save my life and I shoot it well enough to have a lot of fun at the range.

4) If you were faced with the purchase again would you buy that gun? - No. I would buy the Kimber Ultra Carry CDP II and add Crimson Trace Laser Grips. The CDP has a few more custom features, like a checkered front strap (front of grip) and trigger guard that are beneficial for a hard kicking gun (learn from my experience here) and all the sharp edges are "rounded" off so the gun is super comfortable to carry. Check it out at www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/cdp/ultra_cdp_II/ .

5) Best and worst of the gun? – Best, the power to size ratio and cool factor. The worst is taking it apart to clean it for the first time. It sucks to disassemble at first but by your third cleaning, you’ll be able to do it with your eyes closed.

6) Would you recommend the gun to others? - Absolutely! It's a great shooting pistol with lots of built-in advantages. It comes ready to carry right out of the box without any modifications (and if held firmly it never jams or fails)! The Ultra CDP II with added Laser Grips would cost an extra $300+ (that’s over 1,000 rounds of Winchester target ammo).

Speaking of target ammo, does it hit targets? In short, yes. Remember this isn’t a "tack driving" target gun, it’s a defense gun. That being said, it has an amazing level of accuracy, for a short barreled pistol, that’s well beyond my ability. I did struggle with it at first but while at a training session I turned the gun over to a local firearms instructor and he put six shots into the center of a target 30 feet away in about three 2.5 seconds. So yes, it shoots. I can now consistently fill a 5" Shoot N-C target with holes at 10 yards without missing - with iron sights or laser.

The build quality of the gun is so good that I don't feel the need to elaborate too much on that topic. Rest assured that if you buy a Kimber (pistol, shotgun or rifle) you'll get a great firearm.
And when it comes to .45 caliber model 1911 pistols, Kimber has a fantastic reputation for quality, style and reliability.

Fun factor. I have gone from hating the recoil to loving to shoot the little beastie. Even after shooting 400 rounds in a ONE DAY defense class my hand felt fine (The next day my hand felt a bit stiff). I now consider the gun extremely fun to shoot and relish the days when I run 100 rounds through it. But that fun comes at a high price. As of today, September 2008, Wal-Mart has Winchester target ammo for $30 per box of 100. That's the best price anywhere. It gets expensive to shoot the gun on a regular basis but I manage to budget for a box a month or so. Fortunately I have a couple of .22s.

If you want to carry a .45, you won't be disappointed in the Kimber Ultra Carry II. If you can afford it, get the Kimber Ultra CDP and pay the $300 for the Crimson Trace Grips. If the thought of heavy recoil scares you, trust your instinct and get a compact 9mm. Kimber makes one of those too.


My wife says: "When I first saw the gun I thought it was small and cute. The laser was cool but I expected my gadget-loving husband to get something like that. After shooting the gun, I hate it. It's loud and it kicks way too hard for me. I'll stick with the .22."

Did you like this article? Check out the PAST REVIEWS at the top of the page for several more.

77 comments:

  1. Can you tell me how you would conceal carry a heavy .45 caliber like this one? How do I wear a normal shirt and pants and still conceal this thing?

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  2. Did you already have a conceal carry gun? Or did you later buy a different carry gun later as a preferred choice?

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  3. The Kimber Ultra Carry is my second carry pistol. I bought a Ultra Lite Taurus Model 85 .38 Special first. I'll review that gun soon.

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  4. Thanks for the information. I was decideing between the Ultra Crimson Carry II and Ultra CDP Carry II. I will get the CDP.

    First carry gun S&W 9mm compact, then it was a Sig 380, now a Beretta Tomcat 32.

    I have a Kimber Gold Match combat and love it. So I decided to get a compact 45

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  5. I have a Springfield 1911 with some trigger and spring work and a Colt Gold Cup with a lot of work that I shot IPSC with. I always thought that they were too big to carry so never did. After November 4th I made the same decision that a lot of people did and went gun shopping. I found the Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II to be too cool to pass up. I bought it and shot it the same day. I should have bought one sooner. WoW!
    Pennsylvania Not Bitter Gun Owner.

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  6. Thank you very much for the review. I really enjoyed the overall fun and easy-going tone of your review. While guns can be used in rather serious situations, I appreciate that you make it clear you are a person who enjoys firearms as a hobby like I do. Your review was not only fun and easy to relate to, but very informative (unlike some sites with very serious folk who seem to know and care about guns but are hard to connect with).

    Five stars, hands down. Thanks and keep it up!

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  7. I would not recommend this gun for a woman unless she has a very strong grip. Chambering the first round can be a nightmare as the tight tolerances require above average force. You would be better off with a Beretta with a tip-up barrel.

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  8. I find the kimber ultra carry II to be easy to concel with the right holster.. This is my 3rd carry gun and will not trade it for anything.. I too had trouble at the range the first time and thought I just lost $1100.. But after learning how to handle the gun its great.. I also bought the crimson laser grips I would not carry another gun with out the laser or night sights..

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  9. I have the kimber crimson carry II (classic) 5 inch barrel, and I love it. after learning to give a firm grip, I'm not afraid of it at all, I do conceal the 5 inch with a cofortable inside the waistband holster. You gotta LOVE Kimber, I would'nt consider any other 1911 out there.

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  10. I recently bought a kimber ultra carry II. I'm a thin guy, 6'1" 165lbs and I carry 7 days week morning till night. I have this gun on my at all times, and when I sleep its on my bed stand. I have it set up with hogue grips for a better hold. I have tried 3 holsters. An uncle mikes iwb, a galco inw, a camp tac paddle, and a cross breed holster. The cross breed was the final choice and thats what I use every day. I used to carry a pf9 in a uncle mikes but decided to go with a larger caliber. I highly recommend the cross breed holsters. If your going to carry concealed you need to carry religiously. criminals don't take a day off, why should you. bad situations don't happen when you want them to so its very important you have a holster you can use everyday.

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  11. I'm looking at getting the sis custom II for concealed carry.. Any thing i should know about this specific gun?

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  12. Only one thing, the grooves on the slide can be a little slick. When your hands get sweaty, the SIS shaped grooves feel slick and are not as "grippy" as other serration style grooves. Other than that, you will love owning a Kimber.

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  13. GREAT article....im goin to get the custom II after i get my check haha...you touched on a lot of points here that r great...especially with the laser/night site portion...after carrying my glock (all day every day) with crimson trace i wont carry a piece with out laser grips on it...not cause i cant form PERFECT groups lol but because "the guy with the laser won" and it =can only help in a serious situation...but ill be back and let u know how my new purchase goes!! thanks a lot and 10 out of 10 on the review...

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  14. whoops...i mean the ultra carry II lol THANKS!!!

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  15. Please take a look at the " M1911 Pistols Organization Forums Site - Field Stripping the Ultra or 3-inch barrel Kimber". It helped my neighbor and I, he got a Kimber Ultra Carry II after I showed him mine, a whole lot. I was able to strip it down rather easy after he found this info. Good luck!

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  16. I HAVE OWNWED THE ULTRA CDP FOR ABOUT A YEAR. WHAT A GREAT GUN!!! AFTER 800 ROUNDS IT FAILED ONLY ONCE. I REGULARLY SHOOT A SUPER REDHAWK .44 SO I HAVE A FIRM GRIP OUT OF HABIT. AS POINTED OUT IN THE REVIEW THE RECOIL IS NOTHING YOU CAN'T DEAL WITH BUT MY WIFE IS MORE THAN HAPPY TO STICK WITH HER .22

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  17. I just bought the ULTRA CDP .45. All the men in the gun shop laughed at me and told me I'd be sorry that it was too much of a gun for me (a female) to handle! Well, just shot my first 50 rounds with sights. WOW I Love it!!! I guess I must have a firm gripe the kicks not that bad! All 50 in the target, Target died LOL! My last gun was a S&W, model #59 w/double stack clip..
    just to big to carry! I love my Kimber, but I will look into C. Traser grips since reading your story. Thanks for the info... Sweet little old lady from PA

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  18. Well, this was an excellent review - first one listed on Google search and was everything I was looking for. I am in the market to purchase a concealed firearm and have been doing my homework. Wilson and Ed Browns are very nice and dependable, which to me is very key to a CCW, but not sure I want to spend $2k on one that I will carry daily. Kimber has been in this mix since the get-go and the I have it down to the Ultra Carry II or the CDP. I see the Ultra Crimson version but the "little things" matter to me. Such as, orginally stated, the front strap checkering and the Carry Melt treatment are very nice "little things". I will add CTC laser grips as well, but assume I will have to remove the ambi safety when I do? The Ultra Covert has everything I would want in a CCW, except... the ugly camo grips/scheme. I called Kimber today and they don't have a configuration like the covert out-of-the-box. The Custom Shop guy suggested I get the CDP, add the grips and ta-da I have the gun I am looking for. So... thats the plan. Thanks for a great review.

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  19. Thank you I couldn't decide between yours or a cdp. Now I know.

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  20. Can you put Hogue grips on a Kimber Ultra II and NOT obstruct the laser switch?

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  21. The laser switch is part of the grip. It's all one unit. You cannot use Hogue grips and retain the laser. I sometimes switch to Pachmayr grips in competition since I need the extra grip and can't use the laser.

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  22. Your review of the Ultra Carry II almost EXACTLY mirrors my experience. The only differece is that I would not trade this gun for a CDP only because I don't like the reflectivity of a Stainlesss Steel slide. I love the dark "blued" finish of the Ultra Carry. My every day holster is the Comp-Tac Minotaur MTAC IWB that is VERY comfortable, holds the gun securely(tightness is adjustable), adjustable for straight-up or forward or rearward cant, double belt hooks to prevent rotation/wobble, reasonable price. The only downside is a challanging reholstering. I love the gun and the holster.

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  23. I just bought my Ultra Carry II last weekend. A friend of mine alerted me to this site, warning me about "Limp wristing".

    I told him that I was sceptical that a firearm made by Kimber would have such a problem.

    But you know what?

    After reading the above, and looking at my new baby, kicking like a mule, I believe it.

    So this weekend I will hold on tight.

    With a 3" barrel, what else should I expect?

    Mine has the laser grips, and it should be fun to get use to that.

    The whole reason for the laser is in the event of an emergency, but somehow it seems to me that using that feature,like anything else needs practice.

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  24. Thanks for the reassurance! My 10 day wait is up a week from tomorrow and the Ultra CDP is finally mine! Can't wait

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  25. If you don't want to become an addict don't take the first hit... I started out with the Pro CDP II which I loved. Then picked up a Ultra Carry stainless. Yesterday found the Ultra Covert II with the CT, and can't wait to shoot it this weekend. And looking forward to paying off a layaway on the 20th of May that I set up this morning on the new Ultra Raptor. Like I said, addict... I guess that is the first step in getting help, admission. Anyone reading this review won't be sorry for owning one of these great guns, if your able to find one that is. I believe as of yesterday they're a year out now on orders. Snag one if you can get one, and let the love affair begin.

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  26. I bought the SIS Pro and I love it. The first day of shooting it. It started to rain so I had to quit after only 1 magazine through it. Can't wait to take it back out.

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  27. I have the Ultra Carry II without lazer. I love it, its light weight and with the right holster its as easy to carry as anything else out there in the 9mm, 40, 45 range.
    One thing to think about is price, the CDPII is around $500 more than the basic black ultra carry II, throw a set of Hoag grips or Kimber Rosewood grips and you got the same gun..
    Save the money.
    I love Kimbers and have 2 now.. I bouth the Eclipse Target II for the range, but both are very accurate.

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  28. I agree the CDP II is not worth the extra money.

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  29. Another thing to consider is using loads that are not as "hot", the normal 230 grain you find in the gun stores is (approx 850fps).. My brother loads 200 grain bullets for approx 700fps and the recoil is much less and makes the short 3" much nicer to shoot.
    Only problem is finding a supplier, usually can find at a good gun show and then think about buying in bulk like 500 rounds so you have plenty..

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  30. I just bought the ultra carry II. Have been shooting 9MM for years. After getting used to a bit.. about 20 rounds... I am grouping the 45 as well as my short barrel 9s. This is an amazing gun that I am now carrying. I trade off carry between my 9MM Kahr and now the Kimber!

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  31. I had a problem with the laser moving it's point of impact every time i shot. I called CT and they are sending me a new set. Keep an eye on this if you buy one.

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  32. Like your website very much. Lots of good information. I traded a used S&W 669 and a used Glock 26 for a used Kimber Ultra Carry II (excellent condition, plain vanilla model) at a local gunshow because I wanted a CCW pistol with a lot more punch. Own an AMT .45 Backup which I thought would be very difficult to shoot because of its small size. When I finally took it down to a CCW training range, I was able to hit the target just as well as with my "nines". The kick didn't bother me at all, and I am a small guy. I am hoping that I get the same results with the Kimber. Figure I have about $700 in it which seemed like a decent deal to me when I traded for it. What is the BEST CCW holster I can buy for the Kimber?

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  33. Love the Kimbers! I have 2 Colt .45s and 5 Kimbers, including a Crimson Carry Pro II. They're all fine pistols, but Kimber gives you the most gun right out of the box for your money. Long live the 1911!

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  34. For CCW I have a Ultra CDP II in a Mitch Rosen ARG Slim Line holster. The Mitch Rosen ARG is a high ride inside the waist belt holster and my Kimber dissapears under a baggy t-shirt with shorts.

    My carry ammo is 165 grain PowerBall that screams out of a 3" barrell or Speer Gold Dot (Short Barrell) 230 grain.

    This Kimber Ultra CDP II cost me an "arm and a leg" but it is my everyday "go to" carry gun that protects me and my girl... So, it was money well spent!

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  35. Thank you guys for all your comments. A local gunsmith told me not to waste the money on a Kimber that a Para or Springfield would be enough gun and less money. I like a gun with close tolerances and it sounds like the Kimber is my next purchase. The rounded edges on the Ultra CDP sounds good but like another contributor if I'm carrying concealed I think a dark gun would be less obvious than a stainless. A point to ponder before I buy.

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  36. Just bought my Kimber Crimson Ultra Carry ll. Very acurate for a short .45 and shoots fine with my reloaded 200gr Hollow points. I look foward to shooting it every chance I get. So far, an excellent piece.

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  37. I have a Kimber Crimson Ultra Carry II (going on a year) and cannot say enough good things about it. I would not trust my life to anything else after putting hundreds of rounds downrange. It must be said that the short sight radius of the 3 inch barrel necessitates practice for those not used to short barrels.....and this is true for any brand. But the gun (and the brand) simply instill confidence. I have 2 Kimbers and am lookig at getting more.....it's an addicion.

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  38. I have the Ultra Carry II with night sights and the crimson laser grips and I love it. I purchased this as a package so the pistol has the silly laser warnings on the right side of the barrell (should not be pointed at your face to begin with unless you are the bad guy then in that case the laser is the least of your worries). They do not look bad now but I am sure after a few years they will start to dull and take away from the beauty of this weapon. Does anyone know of any solvents that I can use to remove the residual glue and not damage the finish? Also for those of you who are having disassembly/assembly issues I would recommend looking into MILTECH lubricant. I use it on all of my weapons and it makes a big difference. All you do is rub in the lubricant and fire the weapon to impregnate the lubricant in to the metal, or you can also use a blow dryer (cheaper route)to impregnate the metal. I used it in Iraq and this stuff is great, it repels dust and gives the weapon that just cleaned look all the time. It makes the action VERY smooth thus removing those sticking points when breaking down the weapon.

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  39. Thanks for the review and aall of the great comments, that being said I just purchased the Kimber .45 Ultra CDP II and I want to put the Crimson Trace lasergrips on this gun. It states on the Kimber website that some modifications to right hand side of ambidextrous safety required. Should I attempt to install these myself or should I take it into a gunsmith to have them installed?

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  40. On my gun, the Crimson Trace only allows a right hand safety (on the left hand side).

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  41. I bought my Kimber Crimson Ultra Carry II about a year ago. I Agree that at first it was a pain in the wazoo to disassemble and clean. however the safety factor sold me on the Kimber. My first Pistol was a Glock 30 .45 ACP. I bought the Glock for the cool factor... No Safety was on the Glock which I didn't care cause it was a Glock. After carrying for a few months I decided I needed something safer. The Kimber was my choice and I would buy another without thought. I will always have a Kimber!

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  42. I just bought the Ultra Crimson Carry II at a Gun Show this afternoon, and it feels great! I was able to take off both laser warning stickers and just lightly "rubed" off the adhesive residue with my thumb causing absolutely no damage to the slide finish. Just wipe it down with a silicon cloth afterwards. I still don't understand why they would want you to keep those stickers on the gun since anyone around laser sights knows not to point it at someone's eye (unless they are the target). Can't wait to get my 500 round break-in period done and carry this beauty night and day. I also have a Baretta PX4 Storm 9MM compact, Glock 29 and Glock 30 for Concealed carry, but this beauty still feels the best in my hand. Even though it is a bit heavier, the quality and reliability pay off in the end. Don't think too long before getting the best 1911 Compact carry gun out there with the built in Crimson Trace laser system---Kimber!

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  43. RE: "BTW, the II stands for generation 2. The new generation Kimber’s designated with a “II” have a safety feature that locks the firing pin in place until the palm safety is depressed. Some gun gurus in pistol forums complain about the feature and say it can cause misfires. After 1,500 rounds or more in my gun, I’ve never experienced a single problem with the added safety. Here’s a fact, with the new safety feature in place, if you ever accidentally drop your gun and it lands on the hammer it won’t fire. Period. What’s that worth to you? I like it."

    I am a police officer with a town in the northwestern part of Washington State. I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II .45ACP as my back up weapon. I carry my Kimber in an Uncle Mike's body armor holster, attached to the side straps of my ballistic vest. One morning about a month ago, I was changing at the station, to go off duty. I removed my vest (my mistake, not removing my Kimber out of the holster first); my Kimber fell out of my holster. The fall was approximately 4 1/2 - 5 ft. My Kimber, safety on, hammer cocked, round in chamber, landed muzzle down, causing the weapon to discharge. The round went directly into the carpet and impacting into the concrete underneath. The round then fragmented and I suffered minor injuries to both of my legs from the fragments.

    After checking my two fellow officers that were present in the room and myself, to make sure that no one was shot, I picked the Kimber up and proceeded to clear the weapon. I removed the mag, and tried to lock the slide to the rear. I could not due to the thumb safety. The thumb safety was pushed or bent away from the frame (approximately 1/4"). After pushing the safety back in, I locked the slide to the rear and ejected the spent shell from the chamber (the slide did not fully cycle when the weapon discharged).

    At the request of my department, I took my Kimber to my local qualified gunsmith, who in turn sent it to Kimber at their request.

    Just yesterday, I received my Kimber back with a letter from Kimber stating "We have fully inspected your Stainless Ultra Carry II s/n KU****** for any defects in materials or workmanship, none were found. The gun successfully passed a drop test and was test fired with 50 rounds of mixed FMJ and JHP ammo without any malfunction. We also fully detail strip-cleaned the entire gun before test firing and performed a complete Custom Shop firearm check out at no cost to you."

    So with no answer as to why the weapon discharged, I called the given number to Customer Service, Ann Bruns. She stated to me that without knowing or being in the particular circumstances as I and the weapon were in at the time of the discharge, she could not give me a reason as to why the weapon discharged. She stated that Kimber performed several drop tests from different angles and could not get the weapon to discharge.

    I am kind of lost at what to do. I know the whole situation could have been avoided by removing the weapon from the holster prior to taking my vest off. But the weapon "as many state in different articles that I have read" should not have discharged after impacting with the ground.

    With Kimber not willing to replace the weapon and not replacing the "Firing Pin Safety Block", I don't know if I can trust the weapon.

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  44. Incredible story. Thank you for posting. I'm extremely glad no one was seriously hurt. I agree that the drop fire is a mystery and I understand your distrust.

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  45. My wife and I teach firearm safety and basic / advanced Pistol Marksmanship to WOMEN.

    I've owned a Kimber Desert Warrior since the first year they came out with it. and love it.

    At a class or two ago, one gal showed up with a Untra Carry II in .45 Cal. Wow was it ever hard to field strip. (Break Down) for anyone who isn't familiar with Military terms.

    I read one post that said the same thing about it. It is also Loud and trhe RECOIL is fairly hard esapecially on most women. However, once we got it field stripped and put it back together a few times, it became eaiser each time.

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  46. Am I correct in assuming that the Kimber Ultra Carry II can be safely carried with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked as long as the thumb safety is on?

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  47. I have an Ultra Carry II in 45 on lay away, I can't wait to get it to the range and start shooting. especialy after redaing these posts.

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  48. Great site! I am a regular guy too and am trying to launch my new website that will help keep our 2nd amendment rights in use! It is like craigslist for guns.. anywhere in the u.s. where legal.
    The site is www.cybergunshow.com

    check it out and feel free to give me feedback. Thanks -Mike

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  49. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  50. Just wanted to comment on your not being able to move the slide on your new Kimber. I have been researching this everywhere I can find and some of the experts say that if you depress the palm safety in any way the shcwarts safety inhibits the movement of the slide. Everywhere I have read they tell you not to depress the safety while trying to take down the weapon. I own a Crimson Pro Carry II and haven't had any problems what so ever if you take care in not depressing the safety.

    I hope this helps.

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  51. HOLY CRAP! Do NOT punch out your slide stop pin with a wooden dowl!!!!! You should firmly pull your slide back until the rear of the slide release(the part closest to your hand) aligns with the rear groove on your slide (left side). THEN push out the slide release pin with your finger.

    ack: rolleyes

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  52. A beautiful gun. I've been looking at getting a compact .45 for conceal carry since I sold my full size last year. (Just FYI, full-size anything is not all that simple to conceal, unless you wear a large coat all the time.) Upon seeing the Utra Carry, I HAD to get it. Concealment? No problem! Unless you wear skin-tight shirts, you could put the little beast on your belt and no one would ever suspect that it was there! The only things I have heard of this thing were good.

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  53. I have purchased a Kimber Ultra II Tactical. I had to send the gun back to Kimber to have the extractor reworked. I was disappointed that they worked on the gun and sent it back to me dirty. Just seemed like the wrong thing to do for a customer that had just spent 1000 on a gun. I have now had 2 FTE's in 200 rounds after the re-work. I am to go back to the range in a week or so and look forward to seeing what it'll do. I really dont think that I'm limp-wristing it.
    On to the positives: This is a VERY accurate short gun. I really love the fit and finish of the gun also. It is the best looking 1911 on the market!

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  54. I've owned my Ultra Carry II with laser grips for about 18 months and conceal carry every day. I have about 850 rounds through it, both defense and ball, with zero problems. I added the laser grips and would not have it any other way. Target acquisition is a no brainer. Practice!
    I carried a customized Colt Pony 380 for 7 years until about 3 years ago. In the back of my mind I always knew it was a minimal round at best. It is very easy to conceal in a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt while riding the motorcycle. Then went to an XD9 Subcompact, but it felt thick and bulky inside the waistband. I call it the brick. Love the gun, just too thick for inside the waistband. I saw that Kimber came out with the Ultra Carry II and it garnered my interest. After reading several articles, I bought one.
    The Ultra II solved every problem. Stopping power, conceal ability, comfort and peace of mind. By the way, the best inside the waistband holster is made by Crossbreed Holsters for your strong side. You can even tuck your shirt in without printing. I've tried them all and this is definitely the best of the best. Ugly but it works great and most of all very comfortable the way it distributes the weight.

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  55. I recently bought the Kimber Crimson Ultra Carry II.

    I'm a big guy and an IWB holster is out of the question comfort wise.

    I found a leather slide holster very much like the Bianchi 105 minimalist which I also bought.

    The less expensive holster is superior since it uses thinner more supple leather and molds to my body better.

    As for the gun....I couldn't be happier. It is a joy to shoot.

    It was a toss up between the Kimber and the Para Warthog (an excellent pistol by the way)

    I chose the Kimber for the following reasons:
    The Crimson Trace Grips.
    It is thinner (At the sacrifice of 3 rounds).
    It is lighter.
    It is easier to conceal.

    I found that I had difficulty shooting in the 7+1 configuration but after breaking the gun in, I learned the secret to 7+1 was to make certain the last round in the magazine "clicks" into place seated all the way into the magazine with the base touching the rear of the magazine.

    You can be sloppy with the last round into the magazine and the magazine will seat in the pistol but your second round will nearly always fail to feed.

    Over all this is the finest pistol I have ever shot.

    The factory setting for the laser is spot on.

    My only complaint is that the pistol is a bit hard to learn to take down easily.

    I therefore recommend taking the gun down and reassembling it until you are comfortable with it.
    Before you take it to the range.

    I also recommend you make a short straight tool to help line up the barrel link with the slide stop hole. A small straight piece of paper clip works great. The tooth pick of a Swiss Army Knife works super good as well.

    A straightened paper clip with a 90 on one end will do the job of the take down tool when you lose it (which you will!)

    I love this pistol. Compared to the Warthog and the Taurus Millennium PT145 PRO, I gained,
    1. Crimson trace grips,
    2. Less weight,
    3. Thinner,
    4. Greater comfort,
    4. Easier concealment.

    This cost several hundred dollars more and I sacrificed 3 rounds. 7+1 compared to 10+1 for the Taurus and the Warthog.
    Well worth it in my opinion.

    This pistol is such a joy to shoot
    It will be a good idea to locate some inexpensive FMJ Round Nose.
    Wal-Mart has excellent prices when they have any. I've bought 50 round boxes of Federal 230 grain FMJ RN for $15.00 per 50 round box.

    You are going to want to shoot this pistol a lot so best make it as affordable as possible.

    Safety 1st and enjoy.

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  56. I recently bought the Kimber Crimson Ultra Carry II.

    I'm a big guy and an IWB holster is out of the question comfort wise.

    I found a leather slide holster very much like the Bianchi 105 minimalist which I also bought.

    The less expensive holster is superior since it uses thinner more supple leather and molds to my body better.

    As for the gun....I couldn't be happier. It is a joy to shoot.

    It was a toss up between the Kimber and the Para Warthog (an excellent pistol by the way)

    I chose the Kimber for the following reasons:
    The Crimson Trace Grips.
    It is thinner (At the sacrifice of 3 rounds).
    It is lighter.
    It is easier to conceal.

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  57. I had trouble shooting the Crimson Ultra carry II in the 7+1 configuration until I had put about 300 rounds through it.

    The trick is to make sure the top (7th) round in the magazine "clicks" into place with the rear of the round touching the rear of the magazine.

    You can be sloppy with the magazine and the magazine will seat in the pistol but the 1st round will almost always fail to feed.

    Once I discovered what I was doing wrong I put 100 rounds in the 7+1 configuration through the pistol with no failures.

    Stay safe and happy shooting.

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  58. The Kimber Ultra Carry II w/Crimson Trace grips is my CCW pistol.

    I have around 2,000 rounds through mine now. It has been 100% reliable, and extremely accurate.
    It has replaced a Colt Commander as my CCW weapon.

    I carry all 9-10 hours a day. Carried in a Milt Sparks VMII, I forget the pistol is there.

    Your review was a good one. Thanks

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  59. A lot of nice reading in support of the Kimber but when you are purchasing an upper end weapon you expect the best of the best. I spent the weekend shooting three different weapons all 1911 frame and all 45 cal. Several had the same design features being single action and requiring the owner to carry cocked and locked. One had a double action trigger and a drop hammer safety. This was the cheaper of the three and made the most sense when it comes to a CCW. Why are the owners of the Kimber supporting the arcade design that is being manufactured yet today. For the money this weapon should have a double action feature allowing it to be carried with the hammer un cocked. I believe this would enhance safety and still give the owner the ability to acquire quick target accusation and fire on that target without time spent cocking the weapon. I own a kimber and love the way it shoots and the accuracy but I am disappointed in Kimber not taking this CCW to the next level and getting rid of the requirement of having the hammer cocked. If the auto industry worked this way we would be driving Chevy’s with two speed automatic transmissions and cruise control would be a stick.

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  60. Personally I prefer the lighter single action of my Ultra Carry and it is part of the reason I purchased the firearm.

    If I wanted double action I would have bought something besides a 1911. But then again, I am the type of fellow who likes carburetors and points also...

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  61. I purchased my first Kimber 45ACP, a Stainless Ultra Carry II w/Crimson Trace grips - 3 inch barrel. I can't wait to pick it up this week. I hope it maintains it's value, or at least part of it.

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  62. Getting my Kimber next week because of this review!! Will spend the extra $$ on the custom> Great review

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  63. I can only echo all of the above. Have owned my Tussey Custom Ultra Carry ll for 2 years and it is the most reliable weapon I have ever carried.
    20+ years in law enforcement carrying (all concealed) Wheel guns S&W 38 and 357's. Retiring when Agency swithed to Sig. When working undercover carried Walther PPK as it was not associated with police work by the general public.

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  64. to those of you considering the purchase of one of these ultra-carry kimbers i have a strong thumbs up recomendation as for recoil kennard mentioned it "kicked like a mule" well realizing that recoil felt is subjective i can state that shooting it one handed ,as i am forced to shoot now, it was a real pussycat and a joy to shoot i first test drove(shot ) one at a lcal range offering such an option it was so much fun and so easy shooting i decided on the spot to get my own!!!i felt that the recoil sensation was very light for a .45 and of course its vey loud being a short barreled pistol but only if you choose to forego hearing protection ,not a wise choice. i love my kimber.45s great balance of wght, power, and controlability plus value p.s. my girlfriend loves shooting it as much as i do and she has small hands leroy 4545.

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  65. My Kimber Stainless Ultra Raptor II arrives tomorrow. 8/19/2011. I chose the Raptor over the other Ultras due to the fact that it arrives from the Kimber Custom Shop ... ;-)
    Wilson Combat magazines will be used.

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  66. I have the ultra carryII. The first shot out the tube tore the 7 ring number out. My grouping was sprayed to 4 in. at 15yd. My godson who is a Marine instructer coached me on trigger reset. Concentrating on this delicate feel my groups tightened to 2 inches. No malfunctions in first 50 rounds. I will try mixed ammo next trip. Kimbers are amazing pistols.

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  67. I am sure the spirit of John Moses would approve of this 21st Century modification of one of his greatest inventions.I qualified expert 41 years ago as a Ranger with his original but have carried double actions for protection. This return to single action will require some retraining but so does my new bicycle. For those who want the confidence that should the situation arrise your assailant will be lifted out of his cheap sneakers and his amigos will be blinded by flash and suffer hearing loss, carry a .45acp. Kimber has developed a fantastic concealabel personal weapon with venerable power. Proud to be an American.

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  68. After the arrival of my godsons CDPII the Kimber Ultra's where back to the range. Federal,PMC,and Winchester Ball as well as Hornady Zombie, Critical Defense, Mag-Tech Copper HP, and Federal Guard Dog were on the menu.Fifteen yard targets with 1" to 4" groups were produced. My godsons remark was "That is CONFIDENCE" I replied with these weapons the call to 911 is "Don't send the ambulance, just notify the M.E." All persons with ILL INTENT should be notified that good American citizens are exercising their 2nd Amendment right to carry these great American weapons and are prepared to use them. Enemies both Foreign and Domestic will be delt with harshly. Proud to be and American.

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  69. Fagitaboutit!!!!!!!!! just purchased a stainless ultra carry II and I am overwhelmed. Recoil...nothing. Accuracy...perfect...handling...perfect. Those that say the recoil is great are probably not accustomed to a 45. Save you bucks and get a KIMBER...period end of sentence!

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  70. Kimber Ultra II is a GREAT shooting weapon. I carried Glocks while on Duty. I've retired and my glocks retired!

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  71. Not to be rude or anything, but your punctuation and grammer could seriously use some assistance. 2nd, if you really believe this gun kicks like a mule to the point where your only on your second shot and your actually afraid to let off another round, you should not be carrying this pistol. my 110lb, 5'4 girlfriend can handle my Kimber Covert Ultra ii like she's using a 22 with ease and has only shot mine at the range twice. If she can handle that, and you can't, I strongly advise you carry something you can actually handle confidently.

    Not a bad review though! Short of the incorrect, opinionated statements. It's truly an amazing pistol!

    -Teliko-
    -3 year Denver SWAT

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  72. big deal and yes that was rude.

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  73. I agree,,,all the positive comments, and then Debbie Downer steps in and advises he is the expert on grammar. Very rude,,,rude enough to deserve an apology. Great reviews all around, other than the rude comment.

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  74. Better not to take the shot than to cause injury to someone or friendly fire to your teammate.
    www.efkfiredragon.com

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  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  76. I purchased a kimber 9mm concealed carry. Shot it twice and it jammed 3 times. took it to my local gun shop, he took it home and it did the same thing to him. we sent it back to kimber, they had it for about a week, supposedly tested it and repaired it, they sent it back and I and my local gunsmith shot it again and it jammed again on us both. we send it back to kimber and told them that I did not want this gun and that I wanted a new gun, but they would not stand by there so called cadillac of guns and sent old one back and said there was nothing wrong with it! I bought a springfield xdm 9mm. I would never buy anything from Kimber ever again. There junk. Very disappointed. Make believe reputation is what they have.

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