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

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.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

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.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet. Ammo

Danger Tamed: Hornady DGX Bonded Hunting Ammo

Joseph von Benedikt - May 23, 2019

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet.

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice. Reloading

Share the Handloading Experience

Lane Pearce - May 19, 2019

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice.

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.” Optics

Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and hammering hogs, deer, and coyotes. Rifles

Remington Model 700 PCR Review

Sam Wolfenberger - April 15, 2019

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

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...

The FX 1911 Military DDEF G10 produced by American Tactical Imports (ATI) exclusively for Davidson's has a bunch of nice features, including a Davidson's Dark Earth Cerakote-finished frame and textured Pachmayr G10 grip panels. Handguns

ATI 1911 FX Military DDEF G10 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - June 08, 2020

The FX 1911 Military DDEF G10 produced by American Tactical Imports (ATI) exclusively for...

The new Walther CCP M2 has many fine features, and it performed admirably. It is ergonomic. It is easy to disassemble for regular cleaning and periodic maintenance. And it is quite accurate. Handguns

Walther CCP M2 .380 ACP Review

Jake Edmondson - July 06, 2020

The new Walther CCP M2 has many fine features, and it performed admirably. It is ergonomic. It...

The painful part about Brian Lohman Manufacturing's new YMIR Model 1911 is that it carries a retail price of $6,999. Not many of us can afford to pay that much for a pistol, but if you think of this gun as being a piece of art, one that you can actually use and then pass down to an heir, then maybe the sting of its price is tolerable. Handguns

Lohman YMIR 1911 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - June 16, 2020

The painful part about Brian Lohman Manufacturing's new YMIR Model 1911 is that it carries a...

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