After over 1,000 rounds through a .40 caliber 3rd generation Glock 22 and a few hundred through an 8″ taurus .357 magnum I was ready for something with a different feel. On a shooting trip not so long ago a friend of mine let me shoot his Kimber 1911 and at that moment I knew I found the next style gun for my collection. After a visit to Kimber’s website I quickly realized I had some homework to do as they offer a wide variety of weapons ranging in price from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. Not only is the price range diverse but the options and configurations available are just as plentiful. While browsing through the models I knew I had found the one when I came upon the Kimber SIS.
The LAPD’s Selective Investigative Section contacted Kimber about making a 1911 specifically to their needs. For starters, Kimber offers the SIS in four different models, unfortunately this review is limited to the Kimber SIS Custom 5″ without the light rail. Perhaps the most innovative, and controversial, feature all of the models offer is found in the Meprolight rear night sight. The rear sight has been designed so the user can rack the slide with one hand by placing the front-facing edge on a solid corner surface. All models include an ambidextrous thumb safety in addition to a back-strap safety. In addition this Kimber boasts a lightweight hammer, solid trigger, rounded edges on the slide and comes in a self-lubricating KimPro II matte gray finish. The SIS has several unique and distinct features and honestly that is what attracted me to it in the first place. Once I knew this was the gun I wanted on paper I headed to my local gun store to see it felt as good as it looked. It felt better! The only thing that felt less than perfect was the price tag. With a $1400 suggested retail this 1911 is certainly not the cheapest one out there. Regardless of the steep price I became an SIS owner.
Since acquiring the SIS I have taken it to the range once and put 150 rounds through it. The gentlemen at the sun shop all told me to ignore the first 500 rounds as that was a standard break-in period for Kimber firearms. So I went to the range fully expecting to be annoyed, aggravated, and wondering why I spent nearly three times as much money than I did on my Glock when it has never had a single malfunction. I was pleasantly surprised! The SIS only had three hiccups and they were all within the first three magazines, or 24 rounds. The other 100+ rounds of Fiocchi 230gr. FMJ .45ACP flew downrange without incident and the grouping produced on the target left no question. This firearm is very capable of driving tacks even from longer distances. The trigger, safety, slide, and hammer are all very crisp and well defined. I found executing all functions simple and efficient. Since the trip to the range I have also been using this gun as my personal concealed carry weapon and even at 5″ have found it quite comfortable. The angle, devices, and finish all contribute to comfortable wear for concealed carry. The SIS is not for everyone, but for the target shooting enthusiast with an exotic taste it should prove to be well worth its heavy price tag.