By Scott Smith
Over the last five years, Kimber America has become a leader in the production of 1911s. They have led the field with formerly custom shop touches, i.e., melting the sharp edges, extended safeties, etc. To meet the demand of politicians, Kimber now has a firing pin block safety to allow “importation” into the People’s Republic of California and states that are following the “we need more safety” train of thought.
One of the shining examples of this is the Kimber ProCarry HDII. This is a “commander” sized 1911 with a bushing-less bull barrel lock-up system. The benefit of this design is more weight to the front of the handgun to help dampen recoil. This system is said to aid in more consistent function of the pistol. Without the bushing, there is little chance of the barrel getting galled, a common problem with stainless barrels and bushings.
With the development of the Series II safety system, Kimber has broken new ground. The ProCarry HDII, has been authorized as the duty weapon for the Tacoma, Washington PD. The choice was based on an evaluation of 37 models of handguns, from several major firearms makers of duty type handguns. Makers like Glock, Sig, and Beretta — leaders of the duty sidearm — went up against the Kimber ProCarry HDII, an up start in the police firearms community, and the HDII prevailed.
Several things were considered when the ProCarry HDII was chosen, and amazing as it may sound, the way it fit the officers was considered (which is rare). This was taken into account because many Tacoma officers found the current Berettas to be too large to shoot accurately and comfortably.
Slide and frame showing firing pin block plunger
When testing the Kimbers, 16 different ProCarry IIs were shot, firing 23,000 + rounds. So impressed was the test staff, that they went out and purchased an off-the-shelf Pro Carry II and ran 5K through it. No problems were encountered.
Now the Kimber ProCarry HDII (stainless frame) and the Kimber ProCarry II (alloy frame) are authorized for the Tacoma PD. They may also choose one of three Glocks. This is done to accommodate the individual officer’s preference.
Overall, the ProCarry HDII is an excellent pistol. Fit and finish are excellent. The barrel lock-up is smooth and solid. No surprises encountered. The Tacoma PD model comes with Meprolight night sights in Kimber sights, and provides a good low-light sight picture.
The external finish is matte stainless and is uniform. The Kimber/CMC sights are matte black save for the tritium vials. The grip safety fits well and the ambi-thumb safeties function smoothly and solidly. Since this is a duty piece black rubber grips — they appear to be Pearce — provide a secure grip surface. The mainspring housing is the flat polymer style Kimber uses. The pistol points like any other 1911, quite well.
After a review of the pistol and checking function, it was off to the range. I replaced the flat mainspring housing with an arched mainspring housing — personal preference — and put some skate board tape on the front strap for added grip. These parts dropped right in and we were ready to roll.
The test of how well this pistol ran out of the bow was to see if it would feed 155gr LSWC from LaserCast. Surprisingly, the Kimber ProCarry HDII not only fed them but it put them on target. The 155gr LSWC is a challenge for most non-race pistols to swallow and the ProCarry HDII did it flawlessly.
Our session included running 230gr FMJs from CCI/Blazer, 185gr JHPs from Blackhills, 165gr JHP from CorBon, and several handloads with profiles ranging from 185gr LSWC to 230gr FMJ. All cartridges performed well and were digested without a burp, not bad for a fresh from the box 1911. Our most accurate was Blackhill’s 185grJHP, placing 9 rounds off hand from a Weaver at under 2″ at 15 meters. All other rounds managed to yield 9 round groups that were 3.5″ or less.
So, is the ProCarry HDII a good pistol? Yes. I would feel well armed on duty or off to a local IDPA/IPSC match. The pistol performs to all expected standards. From the tests of the Tacoma PD, it had a less 0.10% failure rate. I would trust my life to it.
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