Kimber Rapide 1911 Review

Kimber Rapide 1911 Review

Just by looking at the Rapide 1911, you can tell it is built for speed. It has all the bells and whistles that a hot-rod 1911 needs for fast function, and its fit and finish are superb.

The Rapide’s slide runs on its rails like grease on glass, and there’s little to no discernible movement in it or in the barrel bushing fit or when I press down on the barrel hood with the pistol locked into battery. The pistol’s joint blending is way above par for a production gun.

The magazine release is nicely fitted, functions smoothly, and is blended perfectly on the backside. The oversize beveled magwell mates perfectly with the bottom edge of the G10 WavZ grip panels. The mainspring housing sits ever so slightly proud of the rear of the frame, intentionally so, as part of the grippy texture provided by the geometric machining of the part.

With the exception of the barrel, the entire pistol is done in matte black KimPro II finish, and it is flawless. The stainless-steel match-grade barrel wears a racy gold titanium-nitride (TiN) coating, which is a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) application and creates an extremely hard film. In addition to providing corrosion and abrasion resistance, TiN is naturally lubricious and reduces barrel-slide-bushing friction, thus enhancing slide speed.


The cutouts in the slide also enable faster slide reciprocation by reducing weight, and a lighter slide absolutely does have an effect on how quickly the pistol chambers a fresh round. While the slide cutouts don’t reduce recoil or muzzle flip, they do make for a lighter carry weight.


Kimber Rapide
The Rapide’s match-grade barrel and bushing are tightly fitted, and lightening cuts to the slide reduce weight, which produces faster slide cycling.

Other nice touches include the skeletonized, lightweight aluminum trigger; the contrasting gray-and-black G10 WavZ grips; the bold geometric slide groove cuts; and the robust fiber-optic-endowed night sights.

Speaking of the sights, they are TRUGLO’s hermetically sealed TFX Pro Day/Night sights that feature contrasting fiber optics and tritium in the front sight for fast acquisition in all light situations. The generous fiber-optic-supported U-notch in the rear sight enables fast precision.

Kimber’s Stiplex TM frontstrap texture combined with the grabby texture of the grip panels and the mainspring housing provides a non-slip grip even when saturated with mud, gunk, or sweat. The radius of the beavertail grip safety is high and sleek, and the frontstrap is relieved at the juncture with the trigger guard. Together they enable the high grip to be incredibly effective at controlling muzzle jump.

The Rapide comes in two chamberings: .45 ACP and 10mm Auto. Hands down, those are my favorite chamberings for a Model 1911. My pistol is .45 ACP, and it came with one magazine.


Tested using my Lyman digital trigger gauge, the trigger pull averaged 5 pounds, 1 ounce over a series of five measurements, with less than 1 ounce of variation. And it was superbly crisp and clean with no creep or crunch and very little overtravel after release.

Fired from a sandbag benchrest at 25 yards, three, five-shot groups with each type of ammo I had on hand averaged 2.08 inches overall. Three of the five factory loads averaged less than 1.70 inches. No doubt the clean, crisp-breaking trigger and clearly defined sights contributed greatly to the excellent accuracy.

Conventional 1911 wisdom holds that a pistol is not properly broken in until about the 500-round mark and that malfunctions prior to that are often par for the course. The Rapide, however, hiccupped just once early on when a fresh cartridge popped up out of the magazine prematurely, not sliding up the breechface beneath the extractor as it’s supposed to. It hung up partway into the chamber.


Throughout the time I was researching, shooting, and photographing the Rapide for this article, I packed it in my Galco Gunleather custom alligator-hide concealable belt holster. The pistol carries beautifully, comes into the hand naturally, and points like an extension of my arm. It’s fast on target, fast to fire, and fast to reload.

Kimber Rapide
NOTES: Accuracy is the average of three, five-shot groups fired from a sandbag benchrest. Velocity is the average of 15 rounds measured 12 feet from the gun’s muzzle.

Kimber Rapide Specs

  • Type: Recoil-operated autoloader
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Barrel: 5.0 in.
  • Overall Length: 8.70 in.
  • Width: 1.28 in.
  • Height: 5.25 in.
  • Weight, Empty: 38 oz.
  • Grips: G10 WavZ
  • Finish: Black KimPro II
  • Sights: TRUGLO TFX Pro tritium
  • Trigger: 5.06-lb. pull (as tested)
  • Safety: Ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety
  • MSRP: $1,490
  • Manufacturer: Kimber, kimberamerica.com

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed? Let's find out. Handguns

SIG P320 9mm Review

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed?...

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver is back in production after being on ice for nearly two decades. Handguns

Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic Revolver Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 08, 2019

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver is back in production after being on ice for nearly two...

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm and 3-15X 50mm RFP (rear focal plane) models. Optics

Burris Veracity RFP Riflescopes

Jake Edmondson - June 04, 2019

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm...

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts. Accessories

Shooting Times Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being excellent, the Taurus TX22 .22 LR autoloader rates a 10. Handguns

Taurus TX22 Review

Layne Simpson - May 11, 2020

On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being excellent, the Taurus TX22 .22 LR autoloader rates a 10.

The new .22 LR Ruger Lite Rack LCP II is an ideal rimfire trainer to the popular .380 ACP LCP II pocket pistol. Handguns

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - June 01, 2020

The new .22 LR Ruger Lite Rack LCP II is an ideal rimfire trainer to the popular .380 ACP LCP...

We like the name of the new Taurus handgun-hunting revolver. It's called the Raging Hunter. We like the way the revolver handles and shoots, too. Handguns

Taurus Raging Hunter Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - April 08, 2020

We like the name of the new Taurus handgun-hunting revolver. It's called the Raging Hunter. We...

The Bond Arms Backup 9mm derringer is one of Bond's bestsellers, and it's an extremely well-built double-barreled self-defense pistol. Handguns

Bond Arms Backup Derringer 9mm Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 09, 2020

The Bond Arms Backup 9mm derringer is one of Bond's bestsellers, and it's an extremely...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now