New KHX Ultra in the house! - Kimber Forum

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Old 08-22-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
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New KHX Ultra in the house!

Howdy everyone! Been a while since I posted something on this forum - too busy remodelling the house.

But I treated myself to a new Kimber yesterday, so I figure I ought to post a short review.

I've wanted an ultra sized pistol for some time now and just found out that a fresh shipment of new(ish) Kimber models arrived to a not so local gunshop. First I looked at Colt Defender, five of them to be precise, all brand new pistols. All were terribly loose, the fit of frame to the slide was just sloppy. I know it does not adversely affect function or anything, but still, I was far from impressed. Also non-ramped barrel on an aluminum frame is a deal breaker for me.

Then I browsed the new kimbers and the little KHX immediately caught my eye. It is a bit wild with the orange-green fiber optics, hex-shaped slide serrations and army green G10 Hogue laser grips and matching G10 MSH, but it appealed to me most for some reason so I took a closer look. The fit and finish is simply impeccable, no discernable play between the slide and frame, barrel lockup rock solid.
I got a few other 1911s (Springfield Loaded, Range Officer, Dan Wesson CBOB, STI Guardian) and neither of those is as tight as the Kimber. And it was no exception either, I fondled 2 or 3 other models and all were equally well assembled. So after about 20 or sominutes I left the shop with the KHX Ultra. Notice there is no "II" behind it? That's right, nor schwartz safety for me. No sir

To the range:

I was excited about shooting the little fella so I went to the range right after work, did not even bother to "clean and lube the gun", as it was greasy as hell right out of the box.

I shot about 150 of my handloads with 230 gr FMJ hardball because I figured its the easiest feeding round I can think of.
I was not disappointed, the ammo went through the gun like sh*t through a goose, not one hint of a hiccup, no failures of any kind.

Then I went over to my cast lead bullets, 225 grain dead soft flat points. I fired about 50 of those I got left in my range bag, to my surprise again no stoppages of any kind. These particular rounds gave my Dan Wesson CBOB the chokes big time no matter the magazines, but the KHX ate them like candy.

Accuracy wise I was also in for a big surprise, I started off at about 12 yards, firing three full mags semi-rapidly (like 2 rounds per second) at the center of the target. I got about 2" ragged hole. Not bad.

Then I sighted in the laser and did the same thing, semi-rapid follow up shots, all went through the same ragged hole.

After that I moved to 25 yards to see what the little bugger can do at distance. Well, my target was not so impressive, but still, all rounds at the 10 circle + about 5 in the nine. I can do a little better with a government size gun, but not by too much. At first I thought the sights are a bit too funky, the red front and green rear, but they are real easy to pick up in both direct sunlight and in the shade. When it gets darker, not so much, but that's what the laser is for.

The trigger is crisp, with no creep at all, and breaks clean at 4 1/4 pound. After I got home, I adjusted the middle leaf of the sear spring just a hair to bring the trigger pull right under 4 pounds, just the way I like it on a carry gun which I actually plan to shoot.

The biggest surprise about the little Kimber was the recoil, or the lack thereof. Sadly I didn't bring a full size all steel gun with me today, but I could swer the little Ultra does not recoil any more than a fullsize gun does (I know, impossible, you can't cheat physics, blah blah ).
Seriously though, the recoil impulse is definitely faster, but I would not say any more sharp than the fullsize gun. Next time I'll take both and compare them side by side to be sure I'm not imagining things.

On a side note, albeit the gun comes with only one magazine, its not that cheap piece of crap Kimber ships with some of the basic models, it's the 7 round Kim Pro Tac Mag with teflon coated skirted follower. Wow, a magazine you can actually use, how about that? The other mags I used were 8 round Wilson ETMs, all performed equally well.

Holster wise there are good and bad news. The good news is that the Ultra fits all my remora holsters I bought for Kimber Micro 9, which is kind of strange because Micro IS considerably smaller, but it fits non the less.

The bad news is that the Hogue Laser Grip does have the laser housing sticking out forward of the grip, probably to make room for the ambidexterous safety which the gun does not have, but the protruding part of the laser diode housing makes it impossible to use any hard shell hoster without modification. The soft remora holsters give way enough to holster the gun effortlessly, but to use my Bianchi 135 suppression, I would have to dremel the sh*t out of it to make it work. All the Crimson Trace models got it right, the laser sticks out to the side of the grip, but not forward. Why Hogue had to do it any different simply eludes me.

And a little woe for the end...the Kimpro II finish. The short story is it is complete rubbish and has about as much durability as fart in a whirlwind. After today's 200 rounds it already starts to chip at the edge of the ejection port where the brass hits it. It is also almost completely gone from the frame rails where the slide rides - this however did not surprise me. Also scratch marks at the bottomof the magwell and I was real gentle with my reloads today.

Needless to say, I see a black TiN coating in the pistol's very near future.

However, the pistol seems well built and functions properly, so if it keeps it up, I am willing to call it a keeper and shell out some 150 bucks for a TiN coating, which out of previous experience should outlast the gun (or the aluminum frame at least).

And since I know you guys (and gals) like to see some pictures, here it goes.
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Last edited by Law_man; 08-22-2018 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the new Kimber KHX Ultra Law_Man, great range report.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:16 PM   #3
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Congrats! I guess I had not looked at the KHX models close enough to notice it has Hogue laser grips instead of what I thought would be standard Crimson Trace laser grips.
Very detailed report.

Preaching to the choir here about how good Ultra's are!
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Good stuff. Nice looking Ultra.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:02 PM   #5
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Congratulations on new KHX Ultra.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:59 PM   #6
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Great review of great pistol. FWIW, my Micro 9 slide finish is wearing in the same places your KHX is after about 250 rounds, but that's my only issue.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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Looks good.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:30 AM   #8
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Couple of observations:

I carry a Wilson 8 rounder as a spare, but did not care for the mag sticking out of the gun like that and also was a bit worried about over-insertion, either damaging the extractor, or jamming the gun. Easy solution: take a Chip Mc Cormick basepad from power 10 mag, sand it down to proper size and voila - a conversion of fullsize magazine to officer size for like 7 bucks.

The rounded heel. It did not seem as much of a difference, but I have to say I like how it feels in the hand compared to a standard squared off officer frame. Also every tiny bit that does not stick out from under my cover garment is much appreciated - even if the difference is marginal, round shapes print less than sharp edges.

The read sight ledge. One of the tacticool things about the sights is the rear sight has a ledge that allows racking the slide on your belt in case of emergency. Tried it a couple of times and it is a functional, albeit a little painful concept.

The hex serrations on the side and also the top of the slide really start to grow on me. They are very well executed, not too sharp to cut the skin but sharp enough to provide solid grip even with sweaty hands - since the recoil spring is really stiff (the total pull should be around 20 lbs), a secure purchase is a must when racking the slide.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:33 AM   #9
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And finally, the business end. I like the flush fitting barrel crown machined even with the slide. Makes the bore seem even bigger and looks mean as hell too

I slugged the barrel last night and got .4510", which is great since my other 45acp barrel is a whole .001 larger. Also, the chamber is quite loose and has properly reamed throat, which is excellet for reliable feeding especially when using cast bullet handloads. I had to ream an overly tight chamber on my Dan Wesson since it would not chamber my handloads no matter what. I did not have to touch the Kimber's barrel and I am very particular about this stuff.

So far so good
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:08 PM   #10
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Nice gun! I too took mine straight out the box to the range. Kimber’s all day!
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