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Hook & Barrel
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Kimber R7 MAKO Tactical Pistol

Out of the box, I wondered, how could the Kimber R7 MAKO Tactical Pistol be any different than its predecessors. After unboxing it, I found out. Here is my review of the latest iteration of the Kimber R7 MAKO Tactical Pistol.

Kimber’s R7 Mako arrived late to the polymer-striker semi-auto pistol game, and to stand out in this ultra-competitive market meant that Kimber and the R7 had to do everything correctly. Fortunately, the pistol was well-engineered and came with lots of modern features, allowing it to challenge long-established rivals in the game. 

Kimber built upon the initial success of the R7 Mako by offering several bundled versions with all the gear shooters wanted including extra magazines and OI (optics installed) versions.

Now, Kimber offers the R7 Mako Tactical, a threaded barrel version of the R7 Mako as a bundle with a Holosun 407K X2 red dot sight pre-installed. It also includes a zippered carry case and three 15-round extended magazines.

The R7 Design

Kimber R7 MAKO Tactical Pistol

Unlike most short recoil-operated semi-automatic carry pistols that come with an open-top slide, the Mako’s slide top is full length and without an open top. The full-length slide top offers enhanced structural rigidity. From an engineering standpoint, the more rigid slide top lessens the stress placed on the optic. 

Plus, the rigid slide allowed Kimber to change the traditional short-recoil design by adding a cutout in the top portion of the slide. The cutout corresponds with a lug machined into the top rear portion of the chamber, helping to anchor the barrel at one additional point.

The R7 Mako’s stainless-steel slide features a nitrocarburized finish and is beveled near the front, allowing the pistol to be more easily re-holstered. The bevel also adds a touch of class to the gun, making it look less blocky. Front and rear-angled slide serrations allow for improved control.

The polymer grip module with a serialized steel block features micro-texturing on the sides, rear, and front, and the micro-texturing extends beyond the chamber on both sides of the pistol. There’s a slight palm swell on both sides of the grip and a generous undercut on the trigger guard. The beavertail keeps the shooter’s hand well away from the slide. 

A recessed ambidextrous magazine release and ambidextrous slide stop are the primary external controls. R7s have built-in passive safeties, too, including a blade-style trigger safety. Speaking of the trigger, it’s a flat-face design that’s relatively smooth for a striker-fired gun. The test trigger broke at 5.5 pounds exactly.   

The pistol is equipped with tritium night sights that co-witness with the optic.

Keeping Pace

Double-digit capacity micro-compacts were all the rage when the Mako first arrived on the market, but recently other companies like Sig and Springfield have offered threaded barrel options, too. The new R7 Mako Tactical does the same. The threading gives the barrel an overall length of 3.8 inches with the included thread protector versus the 3.37-inch barrel in the standard R7. 

The 15-round magazines add 1.25 inches of grip length to the R7 Mako Tactical. The additional length makes the gun feel more like a full-sized pistol, providing better control and more enjoyable shooting. 

The magazines also increase pistol height but not drastically. The height from the top of the slide to the base of the magazine is 5.2 inches, and the overall length is 6.8 inches. Overall width is still around 1.1 inches at the widest point, and weight with the optic is a mere 24.5 ounces.

At The Range

The Kimber R7 Mako Tactical proved exceptionally accurate for a carry gun. Test groups averaged just over 2.3 inches at 25 yards, with my best groups hovering around 1.6 inches for five shots. At 25 feet on an NRA torso target, shots clustered in the 10 rings, and there was no problem making headshots during slow-fire drills.

Reliability was excellent with no failures to feed, extract, or eject. The slide also locked back every time the magazine ran empty. The controls stayed out of the way, and the slide stop is functional, but the position of the magazine release made it more difficult to access for me than competing guns. The grip angle was good, and the micro-texturing was excellent.  

Overall, the R7 Mako Tactical is a first-rate option as a carry gun. It’s light enough and compact enough to carry every day yet large enough to shoot comfortably. Plus, the inclusion of extra magazines and the optic make this pistol an excellent value. 

Specifications: Kimber R7 Mako Tactical Semi-Automatic Pistol

  • ACTION: Striker-Fired, Semi-auto
  • CHAMBERING: 9MM Luger
  • SLIDE: Stainless Steel, Nitrocarburized
  • FRAME: Polymer, Stainless Steel Serialized Chassis
  • BARREL: Stainless Steel, Nitroburized Finish, 1:10 LH Twist 
  • BARREL LENGTH: 3.8″
  • MAGAZINES: 3, 15-Round Metal Magazines
  • SIGHTS: TruGlo Tritium Night Sights, Holosun 407K XS Red Dot Installed
  • TRIGGER: 5 pounds, 8 ounces  
  • HEIGHT: 5.20″
  • WIDTH: 1.10″
  • LENGTH: 6.8″
  • WEIGHT: 24.5 oz. w/Optic
  • ACCESSORIES:  Zippered Range Bag, 3 Magazines (Total), Manual, Gun Lock
  • MSRP: $927

kimberamerica.com 

Peak Performance In One Tidy Package: Kimber R7 MAKO Bundle Review
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