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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

The Kimber R7 MAKO

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Is the Kimber R7 Mako bundle the perfect package for the beginning pistol shooter? We certainly think so.

For decades, Kimber America has been recognized for their high-quality 1911 pistols, upgraded versions of John Browning’s iconic semi-automatic. 

Kimber America still makes many fine steel-framed 1911s. But today’s pistol world has seen a huge shift to poly-framed, striker-fired models. Kimber joined this movement last year with the sub-compact R7 MAKO, a 9MM featuring a 3.3-inch barrel and magazine capacity of up to 13 rounds.

Introducing the Kimber Mako R7 Bundle

Recently, Kimber released the R7 Bundle, an all-in-one package featuring the pistol plus extra magazines, a holster, and a handsome range bag, which provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the R7 and the possible “Bundle” benefits.  

I received the Kimber R7 MAKO (OI) Bundle 10-Round. The (OI) denoted the Crimson Trace CT-1500 red dot already installed on the pistol. The R7 is also available with open sights only (for $200 less than suggested retail).

Shooting the Kimber Mako R7 Pistol

I ran over 150 rounds of 9MM through my R7 without a single failure to feed, eject, or return to battery. I shot at distances of five, seven, and 10 yards, all offhand. The  range rounds used were Browning Performance Target with a 147-grain full-metal jacket (FMJ) bullet and Remington UMC, 115-grain FMJ load. I also ran my R7 with a pair of self-defense options: Federal Premium’s Hydra-Shok DEEP and its 135-grain bullet, and Federal PUNCH and a 125-grain jacketed hollow point.

The Kimber R7 MAKO

For a sub-compact pistol, the R7’s accuracy was amazing. At seven yards and under, any five-shot group over 1.5-inches was clearly my fault, as was any group over 2.0-inches at 10 yards. Best five-shot groups were:

  • .80-inches, Remington UMC, 5 yards;
  • .80- and 1.0-inches, Browning, seven yards;
  • .90- and 1.2-inches Hydra-Shok DEEP, seven yards;
  • .70- and 1.0-inches, PUNCH, seven yards;
  • 1.7-inches for two groups, Remington UMC, ten yards.

Most smaller pistols today have a full or partial cut-out on top of the slide through which empty brass is ejected. Not so the R7. Instead, Kimber built this pistol with a solid slide top and an ejection port on the slide’s right side. So, instead of brass popping generally up and to the side, R7 brass is flung right out of the slide to the, well, right.

This slide design means an optic mounted on an R7 should experience fewer gases and gunpowder debris pushed up and into the face of that optic, for less potential visual distortion and a clearer sight picture.

At the conclusion of my shooting, the front of my CT-1500 was remarkably clean, with only a trace of dust and very little of the tell-tale sheen from gunpowder gas residue.

More on the Trigger

The R7 featured one of the tightest striker-fired triggers I’ve ever used. A very good thing! Many striker-fired triggers are spongy and are often slower to reset than other triggers. The R7’s trigger, though, engaged almost as soon as my index finger put pressure on the trigger, snapped off a fairly clean at a 3.0-pound average, and reset quickly. The trigger also had a bladed safety.

The Kimber R7 MAKO Bundle

About the Bundle: What’s In It?

The four 10-round magazines included with the Bundle include one flush mount and three with the pinky finger extension. The extension magazines provided me with a little extra purchase on what is admittedly a small handgun. No doubt, the R7 would be even more stable with the optional 13-round magazines.

The Bundle also included a Mission First Tactical Kydex holster, adjustable for inside or outside the waistband carry, and sported the Kimber logo. The holster worked well for me. However, I wear a very sturdy leather belt made specifically for concealed carry, and it is 1.5-inches wide. As the Mission First holster clip was 1.75 inches wide, a skinny dress belt would be a problem; the R7 and holster likely to hold up when the pistol was drawn.

The grey nylon range bag had black accents and Kimber stitched in black. Sturdy and roomy, it held the R7, the magazines, and the holster, plus two 50-round boxes of 9MM.

Final Thought: Kimber R7 Mako Package

Looking for a smaller pistol with substantial ammo capacity that can drill the target consistently? The Kimber R7 deserves a serious look. And the Bundle is the range-ready way to go.

The Kimber R7 MAKO

Specifications: Kimber R7 Mako Bundle

ACTION: Striker-Fired

CHAMBERING: 9MM

SLIDE: Stainless w/FNC Finish

FRAME: Polymer w/Molded Stippling

BARREL: Stainless, 1:10 Left Twist

BARREL LENGTH: 3.37”

MAGAZINES: Four 10-Rounders, One Flush, Three Extended (As Tested)

SIGHTS: 3-Dot TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights

OPTIC: CT-1500

TRIGGER: Bladed Safety, 3.0lbs Average Pull

HEIGHT: 4.3” 

LENGTH: 6.20”

WEIGHT: 19.5 oz. w/o Magazine

ACCESSORIES: Bundle Includes 4, 10-Round Mags, a Mission First Tactical Holster, and a Kimber Branded Range Bag.

MSRP: $799


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