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Old 09-15-2020, 11:13 AM   #1
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Kimber history on my department.

I just joined today and I already feel the need to post about the history of Kimber as it relates to my department. I'm sorry to be the "new" guy who rambles on but I'm close to retirement and I read a "Kimber History" post and thought someone might find this interesting or at least I could get it on record if anyone cared in the future. I am currently a detective on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department but before IMPD existed there was the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Department here in Indiana. (MCSD still exists but no longer have patrol duties) I was on the Sheriff's department. Back in the early 2000's I was a full time Instructor at our Academy, a Firearms Instructor, and drove the armored vehicles for our SWAT team. The SWAT Commander at the time was a Viet Nam Vet who loved 1911's and wanted them for the SWAT team but nothing really happened until we got a new Deputy Chief, maybe Major at the time, over the training Training Academy. He also loved 1911's so the training academy reached out to a few vendors who sent us guns to T&E (test and evaluate). The company that fought the hardest was Kimber. We had Kimber rep's bringing or sending us guns all the time.

One of the perks to working full-time at our Academy and being a firearms instructor was that I was the one they shipped them to so I got to play with them all first. They would even allow us on staff to buy any of the T&E guns we liked. My Chief bought a few but the one I remember most was a small light weight .45 with no sights but a trench you looked down. Kimber thought this would be a good "deep cover" gun for under cover detectives. Let me add that I must apologize because I don't remember all the model or names to these guns... Sorry! I liked a plane "beater" gun they sent us that was some mock up for the military. Because it was old and had been shot a lot, it was the cheapest and one I bought, if I could go back in time I would have bought them all but I digress.

It was decided the SWAT team would get 5" .45's with built in light rails. The order was placed for 25 guns and because I drove the armored vehicle I would get one as well. but it didn't stop there. My Chief was pushing for the whole department to get Kimber's and that would have been Kimber's largest department at the time. If I remember correctly LAPD Swat either had Kimber's already or got them shortly after. This is one of the reasons Kimber was so good to us, they really wanted the department to switch. The trouble came when the guns arrived. All the guns we tested had internal extractors but the 25 SWAT guns arrived with external extractors. Once we went to the range everything fell apart. The guns didn't function well and everyone was disappointed. Now let me say that Kimber was great about it! they took our guns right back and replaced the slides with ones that used the internal extractor. The guns came back working great! The only other modification we made was to remove the extended mag wells and replaced the main spring housing with standard ones. It was believed having the extended mag well hindered the mag locking in place and for a duty gun that was more important than the little extra time saved in reloading. I don't know it that's true but to this day I prefer my guns without the extended mag well. I did that work myself and the Kimber rep didn't want the mainspring housing w/extended mag wells back stating they were used so I could keep them.

At that time the department had Glock 22's as duty weapons and SWAT could choose what one they carried as there normal "working" weapon when not on a SWAT call-outs. Every one carried their Kimber. Ultimately My Deputy Chief could never convince the Sheriff to switch the whole department over to Kimber's so only SWAT got them and only SWAT was allowed to carry 1911's off-duty or as detective guns. Fast forward to the merge between the Sheriff's department and IPD. Because I had qualified a 1911 off-duty (a S&W Sc commander size) I was able to carry that for the first two years of the new department and shortly after the merge became a detective. I was not able to keep my department issued Kimber bit I was able to carry my personal 1911 as a Detective and preferred it to any other gun. After the first few years IMPD changed the rules and no longer allowed those of us from Marion County to be "grandfathered" so I went back to a Glock.

That's the story of Kimber and the Marion County Sheriff's Department to the best of my memory! But while I'm here I thought I could explain how I got my other 2 Kimber's. As I already explained my first Kimber was one of our T&E guns. Once I had that and my issued Kimber I always kept a lookout for others. One day in my favorite gun store just south of Marion County I came across a Kimber Custom Royal in mint condition. It seemed nicer then any of the new ones we tested and the price was right so I bought it.. I didn't know till later that "Clackamas" Kimber's were rare, but now I see why. I have a Wilson and the Clackamas seems like a nicer gun! At some point (in the same gun store) I bought a new 25th anniversary Kimber that I can't bring myself to shoot. It's still NIB unfired!

Sorry if I have rambled on too long, please don't kick me off my fist day! If you have made it this far thank you for your time! I will try and post a picture of my 3 Kimbers if I can figure out how?
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:58 AM   #2
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Interesting stories Indycop. The LAPD Swat pistols were SIS models.
The trench sight model is probably RCP Ultra, could have been different name way back when.
I need to make better pics of the RCP.
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File Type: jpg SIS Custom Pro Ultra.jpg (4.92 MB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg RCP Ultra OEM grips.jpg (4.64 MB, 7 views)
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:11 PM   #3
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2sharp2 I think you are right about the Ultra, sound failure. I do remember the hammer was a little different, it was more of a paddle. There was really no way to lower the hammer with your thumb, it was either cocked or you had to pull the trigger. Fun little gun to shoot and worked better then I thought it would! Wish I had bought more of those guns back then..
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:14 PM   #4
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The hammer can safely be lowered on mine if needed.
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The Kimber Family

CDP & RCP Ultra's
Classic Carry Pro (Factory Bone Grips)
Custom Two-Tone 45/.460Rowland
Gold Combat Limited Edition
Master Carry Pro
Sapphire Ultra 9mm
SIS Custom, Pro, Ultra
Stainless Ultra Carry 9mm
Stainless Raptor Custom, Pro, Ultra
Super Carry Ultra Plus
TLE Pro (TFS)

84M Longmaster Classic SS .308
SVT 22lr Stainless Fluted Bull Barrel
Kimber Of America 82 Stainless Fluted .22lr
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:19 PM   #5
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Welcome from northern Indiana enjoy the conversation. And no, you didn't ramble too much.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:33 PM   #6
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Hello again Indycop. Your post was interesting. Thanks. I do want to caution you about that 2sharp2 guy though, he’s one of the major “enablers” here on the Forum. If you’re not careful he will talk you into purchasing more Kimbers than you care to own. Remember, you’ve been warned.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:36 PM   #7
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Thanks Whit.

2sharp2 your looks like it has a smaller commander style that you can get you thumb on. The one we go was shaped like a flat stick, no knurls or even a place for your thump. The one we we tested had a hammer like no other 1911 hammer I've seen. Once I thought about it you wouldn't really need to lower it on a live round and it you pulled the trigger and got a click when you wanted a bang you would tap rack in a new round re-cocking the hammer so you wouldn't really need to thumb it back either... I did look at pictures on line just now and saw an Ultra RCP II with the flat hammer so I guess they are out there. They probably went to a more conventional hammer rather quickly? It was strange to look at. LOL
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
I do want to caution you about that 2sharp2 guy though, he’s one of the major “enablers” here on the Forum. If you’re not careful he will talk you into purchasing more Kimbers than you care to own. Remember, you’ve been warned.
Yes indeed! Consider Arland (2sharp) the primary forum "Purchasing Mentor", followed closely by another one you'll soon figure out just who that is.

Great post, not a ramble...no worries. Nice pistols, and like I said earlier, you'll fit in quite well here.

Late Edit: Upon seeing your post about the hammer issue with the RCP, a friend had one, and the clearing drill was simple....drop the mag, rack the slide to eject the chambered round, then press the trigger on the empty chamber.
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Last edited by Rick in Oregon; 09-15-2020 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:43 PM   #9
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I think 2sharp2 is getting in my head, I'm already trying to fine my old Deputy Chiefs number to ask if he still has the Ultra and would sell it? Oh God, I'm in trouble!
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:28 PM   #10
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3”- 5”... we’ll find something for you if your Deputy Chief doesn’t want to sell.

https://www.smga.com/kimber/ultra-ca...rd-twotone-541

https://www.smga.com/kimber/custom-tle-ii-45acp-6283
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