• Digital Magazine
        • Single Issues
        • Annual
  • Insider

Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Click to listen to the audio version of this article.

Add A Shiny Kimber In .38 Super To Your 1911 Collection

There is a common attitude among serious gun owners that firearms are simply tools. While there is an obvious sense of truth to this, I believe they are much more. They are highly valued pieces of our world and in many cases an extension of our personality. I believe this is why the looks of a gun matter. I mean, if it was truly a tool like a hammer, you would not care about the color or finish. But most people do care and that is why beautiful guns matter. One of the most beautiful guns to cross my desk recently was the new Kimber Stainless II chambered in .38 Super, which debuted at REEDS’ 32nd Annual Gun Fair held in Little Falls, Minnesota (reedsgunsandammo.com).

Kimber Stainless II .38 Super 1911
All of the controls were top-notch, but the trigger truly stood out to the author, a veteran to the 1911 platform.

Meet The Slick Kimber Stainless II .38 Super 1911

The new Kimber Stainless II .38 Super is a high-end 1911 with its slide, frame, and small parts all outfitted with a meticulously polished stainless-steel finish, giving the gun a very sophisticated appearance. Kimber has chosen a pair of G10 bonded smooth ivory grips for the gun which complement it nicely. The backstrap is checkered to give you a good purchase without being overly aggressive. The Stainless II uses an easy-to-aquire three-dot sight set in the dovetail. Where the gun really shines is in the trigger. Kimber has taken the time to fit the trigger which makes it smooth and clean. My trigger gauge showed a break at 4.5 pounds consistently.

Classic .38 Super Chambering

While the looks of the gun make it unique, Kimber has added an additional twist and chambered the gun in .38 Super. This round has been around since the 1920s and is impressive. With 500-foot pounds of muzzle energy, and muzzle velocity beyond 1,300 feet per second with an FMJ bullet, it easily works in the personal defense world. It also produces recoil that is comparable to a 9mm making it a perfect round for shooting on the range or carrying concealed.

Hands-On The Kimber Stainless II In .38 Super

Kimber was kind enough to send me a pistol to take out for a little test drive. When it arrived, I opened the box like a kid at Christmas. The fit and finish of the gun was spectacular. The pistol has an exceptionally high gloss finish that screams “bling.” The slide and frame were mated well with no slop or twist between the two. The trigger sits inside the channel perfectly which eliminates any horizontal wiggle. To me, this is a big deal because it affects accuracy. The less the trigger wiggles, the more accurate you can be. With the gun in hand, it was time to schedule a range session. My only apprehension was that I knew a range session would dirty the gun—especially shooting on my range in the Arizona desert. As you will see, however, I quickly got over that.

Kimber Stainless II In .38 Super
Mastison’s 300-plus round range session resulted in zero hiccups. He even connected on steel out to 75 yards.

Ammo & Test Results

Federal was kind enough to provide me with ammo. This range session would see me run Federal American Eagle .38 Super +P 115-grain JHP. This is solid ammo and comes in at the same bullet weight as most all 9mm. However, once I started shooting, it was clearly softer shooting than any 9mm. As with most guns, I looked at the trigger of the Stainless II very closely and watched its performance. It is an excellent trigger and once again, the lack of play makes it a big help in getting tight groups.

The gun weighs in the 2.3-pound range which gives it sufficient weight to help manage recoil and muzzle rise. This all combined made the gun a fast and flat shooter. My splits were speedy, and my groups were solid with the pistol ammo combination. While I ran a majority of my shooting in the 3- to 15-yard range, I did see a piece of steel calling me at 75 yards. On the buzzer, I drew the pistol and fired a round. Within a split second, the sound of the round hitting the steel rang out. Impressed with myself, I decided it was best to rest on my laurels and stick with the first-round hit. While it has only extremely rare real-world applications, the fact that the gun is accurate enough to do that is impressive.

I was able to shoot through all 300 rounds that Federal provided and I had no malfunctions at all. The magazines were made well and fed well. At the end of the day, I was pleased to find that the gun was not covered in carbon and dust. A tip of the hat to Federal and their clean powder.

Final Impressions

The Kimber Stainless II .38 Super 1911 is a two-fold exceptional gun. First, it is just drop-dead gorgeous and eye-catching. The second though is that it shoots as good as it looks. This is the perfect combination for any gun in my mind. While you may not think you need a high-gloss 1911 in .38 Super in your life, I would disagree. I believe that everyone needs a serious bling gun that shoots as good as it looks. The gun I would steer you toward is the Kimber Stainless II.

Federal American Eagle .38 Super +P 115-grain JHP fed the new Kimber 1911 for this Hook & Barrel INSIDER review.
Federal American Eagle .38 Super +P 115-grain JHP fed the new Kimber 1911 for this Hook & Barrel INSIDER review.

Specifications: Kimber Stainless II .38 Super 1911

Caliber: .38 Super

Action: Single-Action Semiautomatic

Barrel: 5 inches

OA Length: 8.7 inches

Weight: 2.375 pounds

Grips: G10 Bonded Smooth Ivory Grips

Sights: Front & Rear White Dot Sights

Finish: High-polished stainless steel

Capacity: 9+1

MSRP: $1,200

URL: kimberamerica.com

New Kimber KDS9c Rail 9mm Semi-Automatic Handgun Review
Did you enjoy this story? SUBSCRIBE today to get more like this!

Leave a Comment

Trending articles

Related articles

Shopping Cart

You’ll hear from us one time per week!

The Latest Content
Hook & Barrel INSIDER
Sneak Previews of  Upcoming Issues
Exclusive Discounts & Special Offers