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Posted: 3/20/2011 6:56:45 PM EDT
I won a Kimber Custom II from the local Friends of the NRA raffle. Wasn't expecting to win, I bought a ticket to kick some cash to the local charity more than anything.

I have not had a chance to shoot it yet. The weapon handles and feels much like the other 1911 I own, a Springfield GI. I admit that I may not be enough of a 1911 guru to really feel and see the little differences. Its essentially a free gun, so I'm keeping positive.

One thing I do notice is that for a gun priced where this is (both MSRP and the actual sale price), the Custom II has really piss poor sights. Its basically a very large black front blade and a very large black rear blade. I pointed the sights a piece of dark furniture in a well lit room and completely lost them. Is this an operator problem or are these sights really in dire need of some white dots? I've handled weapons with half of the MSRP and been happier with the sights.

I'm holding final judgement until I shoot the thing, but I wanted to lob a "first impression" out there. The Kimber Custom II feels like a nice entry level 1911, but it does not have the sights I expect on even the most basic pistol. At this time I feel more confident with my really basic GI sights than with the sights on the Custom II.

Also support your local Friends of the NRA, supporting a good cause and winning a gun that you aren't 100% in love with is a great problem to have! :D
Link Posted: 3/20/2011 7:07:04 PM EDT


I have meprolight sights on my Tactical Custom II. They work quite well. I would switch yours out if you are dissatisfied with them.


Link Posted: 3/20/2011 7:43:17 PM EDT
It is going to depend on your personal preference and intended use.   I have several target pistols with just black front and rear.  I find them to be more accurate for daylight precision shooting.    For duty and HD I have night sights because the dots have a function in low light.  
Congrats on winning the pistol.
Link Posted: 3/21/2011 6:34:20 AM EDT
Planning on using it at the local pistol club, basically IPSC-light. So we do shoot steel and paper, targets are spraypainted many colors, targets are regularly hiding in dark corners, and we do a few night shoots every year. Definitely thinking new sights. Are the sights for this pretty much drop in? Do they require fiddling and tweaking?

I certainly hope I don't sound whiny or ungrateful, I'm thrilled that I won a gun. Its interesting being able to just review a gun without the pressure of having hundreds of dollars of my own money invested in it.

I think I would characterize the Kimber Custom II as a good 1911 platform. It is not a GI clone like the Springfield. It is not a 'tactical' gun with the factory sights and no rail. However, it is very well put together and anything it lacks can be replaced with fairly standard and common parts for less money than Kimber wants for the next model up.
Link Posted: 3/21/2011 1:21:54 PM EDT
I had the same problem.  I also went with meprolight sights and they are plenty bright.  Word to the wise, I pounded my sights out and back in with a brass punch, but I would recommend finding someone with a sight drifter.  I ended up being dead nuts on when I was done but it was mostly luck.  It at up a brass punch like no other (I was going in the right direction for those wondering how much of an idiot I am).
Link Posted: 3/22/2011 6:20:13 AM EDT
I myslef much prefer plain black sights. nearly all my shooting is done in daylight against the tan paper idpa type target and they show up well. in low light I use a flashlight for target ID which accentuates palin black sights fine and also on the guns I do have with night sights tends to subdue the night sight dots to the point you really can't se them anyway. other than night sights  please give me just palin black sights I hate white dots.
Link Posted: 3/24/2011 8:59:44 AM EDT
The sights on my Custom II were okay, the gun was plenty accurate.  I did send mine to Kimber and they put on some mepro's for me.
Made the gun even sweeter imo.  Much easier for target aquistion with the 3 dot sights.  The custom II is a good gun for the price.
Link Posted: 3/27/2011 2:56:41 PM EDT
Finally got to shoot this weekend. Fed 400 rounds through the Custom II. The sights are fine. Shootable against IPSC targets and steel poppers. Far better than the notch-and-bump sights on my GI 1911.

The all black sights are perfectly passable and usable, but still not my favorite.
Link Posted: 4/6/2011 5:27:39 AM EDT
black on black is a verry common (if not the most common) target sight.
Link Posted: 4/9/2011 7:09:17 AM EDT
I have the same gun and it is awesome. Like OP, I hate the sights for anything but bright daylight. Other than that I can't think of anything that needs to be changed out on it. It will do anything any other .45 will do, just might not look as "cool". Past the price point of a Custom II, you're just pissing your money away anyhow on shit that won't make you any better a shooter..
Link Posted: 4/13/2011 2:32:51 PM EDT
Why would you think any less of Kimber just because the sights on this model of pistol are black? Black sights are found on various models from almost all manufactures, if not all of them. Target sights are usually black on black and you can "lose them" on dark targets no matter who makes the gun, whether its a bottom feeder or high end custom. Just sayin.
Link Posted: 4/14/2011 3:52:04 PM EDT
Black on black is the standard for target work.  I've always liked the stock Kimber sights.
Link Posted: 4/16/2011 4:36:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By patio87:
I have the same gun and it is awesome. Like OP, I hate the sights for anything but bright daylight. Other than that I can't think of anything that needs to be changed out on it. It will do anything any other .45 will do, just might not look as "cool". Past the price point of a Custom II, you're just pissing your money away anyhow on shit that won't make you any better a shooter..


Really? There are alot of features that the custom II lacks. Don't get me wrong i think it's a good starter 1911 but there are better options out there if you spend more.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:06:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lowonair:
Originally Posted By patio87:
I have the same gun and it is awesome. Like OP, I hate the sights for anything but bright daylight. Other than that I can't think of anything that needs to be changed out on it. It will do anything any other .45 will do, just might not look as "cool". Past the price point of a Custom II, you're just pissing your money away anyhow on shit that won't make you any better a shooter..


Really? There are alot of features that the custom II lacks. Don't get me wrong i think it's a good starter 1911 but there are better options out there if you spend more.
I think its just a difference in point of view.  In terms of a quality barrel, trigger and general build (as well as good fixed sights for general daytime or target shooting) the Custom II is not lacking anything needed to be an excellent shooter, or to reward an excellent pistol shooter with commensurate performance.

However it is a basic model and Kimber's "families" are then for the most part the base models with different sights, finishes, grips, add ons like mag wells, ambi safeties, etc and in many cases barrels, slides or frames borrowed from other families for hybrid models.

So to an extent both points of view are valid - you can add lots of options but the base gun is still excellent in terms of accuracy and reliability.

The thing that buying a base model offers is the ability to add exactly the accessories you prefer, without paying for an upgrade you later replace.

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 9:52:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
Originally Posted By lowonair:
Originally Posted By patio87:
I have the same gun and it is awesome. Like OP, I hate the sights for anything but bright daylight. Other than that I can't think of anything that needs to be changed out on it. It will do anything any other .45 will do, just might not look as "cool". Past the price point of a Custom II, you're just pissing your money away anyhow on shit that won't make you any better a shooter..


Really? There are alot of features that the custom II lacks. Don't get me wrong i think it's a good starter 1911 but there are better options out there if you spend more.
I think its just a difference in point of view.  In terms of a quality barrel, trigger and general build (as well as good fixed sights for general daytime or target shooting) the Custom II is not lacking anything needed to be an excellent shooter, or to reward an excellent pistol shooter with commensurate performance.

However it is a basic model and Kimber's "families" are then for the most part the base models with different sights, finishes, grips, add ons like mag wells, ambi safeties, etc and in many cases barrels, slides or frames borrowed from other families for hybrid models.

So to an extent both points of view are valid - you can add lots of options but the base gun is still excellent in terms of accuracy and reliability.

The thing that buying a base model offers is the ability to add exactly the accessories you prefer, without paying for an upgrade you later replace.



I guess i read your post wrong. I agree with you. In fact i just ordered one to get back into the 1911 world. I had a custom II a few years back but never got it to run right but now i have the ability to find out what is wrong if i have problems. Hopefully i don't. I just need to figure out how to replace all the stuff i want to change out.
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