February 28, 2019
No doubt about it, the new KHX Custom (OR) Model 1911 has style.
Kimber has a well-deserved reputation for putting out very distinctive pistols, and this new line has plenty of panache. The KHX line is separated into two categories: the standard KHX and the KHX (OR), which is the version I’ve been shooting. What sets the KHX Custom (OR) apart is that its slide is milled to accept optics-mounting plates for Leupold, Trijicon, and Vortex electronic sights. Obviously, (OR) stands for “optics ready.” More about that in a minute.
The pistol has stiplex stippling on the grip frame’s frontstrap. The cocking serrations on the slide are not serrations at all. They aren’t even the scale pattern that we’ve come to expect from Kimber. They’re hexagons. On each side of the slide up front are a dozen small hexagons, and on each side of the slide at the rear are 23 hexagons. The top of the slide is flat, and five larger hexagons are milled into the surface. It’s definitely a unique look.
The frame is stainless steel that’s finished in Kimber’s proprietary black KimPro II finish. The slide is also made of stainless steel, and it also is finished in black KimPro II. The stainless-steel, match-grade barrel is 5.0 inches long, and it uses a handfitted barrel bushing. The recoil spring guide assembly uses a full-length rod.
The black-and-green textured grips are distinctive, too. Made by Hogue, they are called “Magrip” and are made of G10 material. The panels extend below the pistol’s butt and form a beveled magazine well. The same color and textured G10 material is carried onto the flat mainspring housing.
The sights on my KHX Custom (OR) pistol are tall and have white dots inserted into them—two on the rear sight and one on the front sight. The front sight is dovetailed into the slide.
More importantly, as I stated earlier, the rear of the slide is milled to accept optics-mounting plates. To take advantage of that, simply remove four hex-head screws and lift the entire rear sight hood assembly off.
My KHX Custom (OR) came with one eight-round magazine, and according to my RCBS trigger pull scale, its trigger pull averaged a clean, crisp 4.5 pounds. There was the expected take-up but only 2 ounces of variation in pull weight over a series of five measurements, so it was very consistent.
As for its accuracy, the KHX (OR) averaged 2.66 inches for five, five-shot groups at 25 yards with five different .45 ACP factory loads. Firing from a bench, I put Hornady Critical Defense 185-grain FTX, SIG SAUER 185-grain JHP, Federal Gold Medal 230-grain FMJ, HSM 230-grain XTP, and Winchester 230-grain JHP ammunition through it without a single malfunction. The accuracy and velocity details are listed in the accompanying chart.
Then I installed my favorite Trijicon RMR reflex sight and shot the pistol on steel plates at a range of seven yards and on a Champion steel silhouette target at a distance of 15 yards. The RMR’s green dot was fast to acquire, and double-taps were easily made on the silhouette target.
The KHX Custom (OR) performed perfectly during my shooting session. Like I said, there were no failures to feed or eject. It felt good in my hand. And it was accurate.