Stainless steel full sized 1911’s are hard enough to find, let alone ones you can get in either 9mm or .45 ACP. This is why we were excited for the chance to do a Kimber Stainless II review, which is one of those rare guns. As one of the leading Kimber models currently available, the Stainless II is an exciting handgun suitable for carry or target shooting, or simply collecting.
Who is it for?
Full size 1911’s are popular with law enforcement, private security and concealed carriers, as well as being traditional home defense and backpacking guns. The .45 is famous for packing a hard punch, and the 1911 is the traditional platform for that round. By making an all stainless 1911, Kimber offers this powerhouse package to discerning shooters who require a more robust gun that is resistant to damage due to rain, humidity, or other contaminated environments. Our Kimber Stainless II review reveals that it is ideal for shooters in coastal areas, humid regions, or those who spend a lot of time outdoors and need a gun that will stand up to the elements.
You’ll want this gun if you need a reliable 1911 that you can take anywhere, or simply enjoy rare craftsmanship.
The Kimber Stainless II is feature rich. It comes with either a match grade steel barrel or a bushingless match grade stainless barrel. A low profile rear sight and fiber optic front sight make it a great choice for duty or concealed carry use.
No Kimber Stainless II review is complete without noting the flexibility of ordering one in 9mm or .45. The 9mm version holds nine rounds in the magazine, while the larger .45 holds seven. Modern ammunition has made the practical differences between 9mm and .45 largely moot, although imagined differences and cultural tradition fuels plenty of wild debate between the two cartridges. However, if you live in a magazine capacity restricted state, you’ll appreciate the flexibility of the Stainless II.
Kimber also ships this gun with custom hardwood grips, making it both practical and attractive. Add in a full length guide rod, and you have a gun that is both attractive and reliable.
The Kimber Stainless II breaks down like any standard 1911. After removing the magazine and ensuring the chamber is unloaded, lock back the slide and push out the takedown pin. In most cases, there is no need to take it down further. If you wish to remove the barrel, rotate the barrel bushing until it can be removed, disengage the guide rod and recoil spring, and slide the barrel out. Consult your owner’s manual for further takedown on bushingless models.
Kimber makes this gun incredibly easy to maintain. The stainless steel construction resists rust and corrosion, while the simple design is easy to take apart for general maintenance. Lube and clean your gun after each shooting session, or a couple times a year when stored.
Because Kimber builds high quality, semi-custom pistols, their guns are tightly fitted with very close tolerances. This requires a break in period for all moving parts to uniformly wear against each other and loosen up a bit. Kimber recommends a break in period of 400-500 rounds using standard ball ammo, with cleaning and lubrication after every hundred rounds.
During this time, you may experience malfunctions like feed failures, jams and other problems. These should clear up during the break in period, and leave you with a a well fitted and functioning gun.
Once broken in, you shouldn’t have to do more than clean, field strip and lubricate your gun to keep it operational and functional.
Safety and Reliability
Like any well made 1911, the Kimber Stainless II is extremely safe, and may be carried with a round in the chamber and the hammer back, when the thumb safety is engaged. Because it cannot be fired without both disengaging the grip and thumb safeties, 1911 style pistols are among the safest handguns made.
Once broken in, your gun will be very reliable. Because any handgun may be picky about what ammo it shoots and feeds well, experiment with different types of ammo to find what you and your gun like best. This ensures optimal accuracy and performance.
Comfort and Recoil
In 9mm, there will be negligible recoil. The heavy stainless steel frame and slide soak up recoil like a sponge. In .45 the recoil will be stouter, but very manageable. 1911 style handguns are usually pretty comfortable to shoot for most people, although some favor adding rubberized or finger groove grips.
The lightweight match quality trigger ensures the gun is very easy to shoot, and enhances accuracy when shooting.
What’s in the Starter Kit?
Kimber ships the Stainless II with two magazines, a cable lock, and owner’s manual. Consider adding an additional magazine, holster and cleaning kit.
Accessories and Upgrades?
The 1911 is almost infinitely upgradable. Literally every part for a 1911 is available in all manner of forms, from match custom, to common. Popular upgrades include custom or exotic grips, night sights, or caliber changes with different barrels and magazines. While the Kimber Stainless II is basically a custom match gun from the factory, you can perform tweaks on it to suit your particular needs or preferences.
By the Numbers
Once broken in, the Stainless II will be as reliable as any well made 1911. You can’t go wrong.
With a match grade barrel, this gun is probably more accurate than you are.
1911’s are very ergonomic, but not for everyone. With standard grips, some shooters may prefer finger grooves, or may just not like the design.
Kimber has built the Stainless II to be attractive as well as functional. Enjoy the stainless steel finish and fancy rosewood grips. Rarely can you pack a gun that is both functional and attractive.
There is almost no limit on how a 1911 style gun can be customized. Have at it!
Bang for the Buck
There is no more affordable semi-custom match quality stainless 1911 on the market. While a bit pricey compared to more common, but lesser guns, you can’t beat the value Kimber packs into this gun.
If you want a stainless 1911 better than this, you better find a custom gunsmith, because you can’t get a better one at retail.
There are a lot of 1911’s on the market, and very few all stainless ones. It is only fitting that Kimber lead the way with this high end, but affordable handgun. There is very little to dislike, and an awful lot to really like. The fact it is available in both 9mm and .45 makes it an even better choice for shooters everywhere. If you want a stainless 1911, this is the one for you!