Colt’s original 1911 pistols are world-renowned for their design and engineering, but Kimber quality 1911 pistols have become known in the industry as an even better company that can produce quality pistols and accessories. Kimber America has always been top of class sporting guns which will outlast any classic firearm from days gone by to the future of semi automatics.

Kimber America is one of the most popular firearms manufacturers in the United States. They have been making guns since 1985 and they are used all over the world. Kimber has a wide variety of products from handguns to rifles for all types of shooters, including novice shooter to expert marksmen. In this article we will dive into what makes Kimber America different from other gun companies, where their products are made, and what they have on deck for 2021.

The History of Kimber America: Who they are and what they do.

Starting off like many companies, Kimber has had their ups and downs. Kimber was founded in 1979 by Australian Jack Warne and his son Greg Warne who immigrated to the US seeking a better life and new business opportunities.

Starting in Clackamas, Oregon the company opened under the name Kimber of Oregon and started producing .22 long rifle caliber rifles.

kimber history

Important dates for Kimber

Kimber ran into some financial trouble due to their desire to produce the M89 Big Game Rifle (BGR). However the the company began to struggle after a private stock offering fell short of covering the costs of development of the 7mm BGR.

In 1989, Kimber of Oregon was sold to timber baron Bruce Engel who couldn’t run the company. (He should should have stuck to cutting wood) Under Engel’s direction the company quickly declined and ended up in bankruptcy.

By the 1990s Kimber’s assets were stripped away and most of its original tooling ended up in a junkyard rusting away north of Portland, Oregon.

In the late 1990s Greg Warne along with his new financial partner Leslie “Les” Edelman formed a new company Kimber of America. Edelman’s manufacturing experience with his contacts enabled the new Kimber company to start development of  more refined version of the original Colt 1911 platform we all know today.

In 2018, Kimber announced that it was moving from New York to Alabama for several reasons. Facing political opposition and pressure they chose Troy, Alabama because its proximity to top schools as well as being gun and business friendly. The move will help Kimber grow and expand their operations to be able to offer more products in the future.

Questions about Kimber Quality

Today, Kimber produces quality 1911 style pistols. This has been much debate over this subject from former owners Kimber products to current customers who can’t say enough good things about Kimber. Since Kimber completed it’s move to Alabama the company’s sales have improved and the demand for the 1911 pistol has grown too. In 2020, during the pandemic Ballistic Magazine reported the Kimber Stainless II was among the Top 10 Semi-Auto Pistols (Ages 50-99.)

It could be said that Kimber quality has gotten much better based on sales data from the NSSF to support this statement since their move to Alabama. Since Kimber is free of the constraints from being in New York they are allowed to spend more money on product development and to continually improve their manufacturing processes.

Kimber supports the 2nd Amendment

Kimber America, was based in a gun unfriendly State of New York, Kimber prides itself on the Second Amendment and its support for pro-gun politicians.

In 2012, CBS News reported Kimber as the only gun manufacturer who donated money to Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign – they gave $100K! There is some debate though on the ACTUAL number. The New York Times states the number was $200,000.

Kimber Product Lineup for 2021

For this year Kimber gave us 3 new semi-automatic pistols.

The New R7 MAKO – Kimber announced its entry into the polymer-framed pistol market in a big way with the R7 Mako. The micro compact and striker fired handgun will be chambered for 9mm ammunition and priced at under $800 dollars! It’s almost a shame this is made for concealed carry. ALMOST!

For years we have been asking Kimber to step up and get into polymer framed pistols. They listened and gave us two pistols. Kimber is entering the already competitive market of polymer-framed handguns with a new product. Their metal framed pistols have earned them fame and they’re looking to expand into this lucrative segment by introducing an all-polymer gun– will it succeed where others failed? It remains unclear at this point, but one thing’s certain: If Kimber has its way then these challengers are going up against some tough competition indeed!

Kimber addressed the trigger request with a unique flat-face Performance Carry Trigger™, which has made it possible for Kimber’s R7 Mako to have its factory set 5.0 – 6lbs feel much lighter than before! The 12 round magazine allows shooters who only want one gun in their arsenal while still being able to shoot 14 rounds without any issue at all by using an extended magazine.

Another distinctive feature is the R7’s stainless-steel slide, which wears an FNC finish, and covers the barrel hood to add rigidity, preventing debris from entering the pistol through the ejection port, and keeping the optic clean. The pistol also features ambidextrous controls for left and right-handed shooters, and the low-tilt, 3.37-inch, stainless-steel barrel mitigates recoil.

  • R7 MAKO O.R. (Optics Ready) – MSRP $599
  • R7 MAKO O.I. (Optics Installed) – MSRP $799

Kimber R7 Specifications:

CALIBER​:​ ​9mm

HEIGHT​:​ 4.3″ In

WEIGHT​:​ 19.5 oz

LENGTH:​ 6.2″ In


MAGAZINE CAPACITY​:11+1 Flush, 13+1 Extended

RECOIL SPRING​:​ ​Captured assembly

FRAME MATERIAL​:​Glass-filled nylon grip frame and stainless steel central block

SLIDE​:​Stainless with FNC finish

BARREL​:​​ ​3.37″ Stainless with a 1:10 LH twist

SIGHTS​:​ TruGlo® Tritium Pro Night Sights w/ orange front ring and white rear dots

TRIGGER​:​5.0 – 6.75 lb Factory setting


Kimber Micro 9 Rapide (Black Ice) – With a steep MSRP of just over $900, the Micro 9 Rapide is a serious contender when it comes to self defense. The performance enhancing features, such as stepped cocking serrations and slide lightening cuts for faster lock time will give you an edge in any situation that requires quick reactions from your firearm while the black KimPro finish on its titanium coated barrel ensures long lasting durability against wear-and tear from everyday use or abuse.

Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Specifications:

Caliber: 9mm

Height: 4.07″ In

Weight: 15.6 Oz

Length: 6.1″ In

Width: 1.08″ In

Magazine capacity: 7

Slide: Stainless steel with Black KimPro 11 Finish

Barrell: 3.15″ Match Grade

Sights: Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day Night Sights

Trigger: Premium aluminum 7.0 Lbs

Is Kimber Quality worth the Money – Final Thoughts

Kimber America is one of the leading firearms manufacturers in the world. They offer a variety of handguns and rifles for law enforcement, military, competitive shooting, and novice shooters. Kimber has invested heavily into R&D to make sure their products are top-notch Kimber quality while maintaining affordability– even at MSRP prices starting under $800!

We hope you enjoyed this article about who Kimber is and what they do as well as our take on questions surrounding Kimber quality. If you’re looking to add some new guns or accessories to your arsenal then give us a call today because we have all that you need right here at AIT Arms!