September 24, 2014
By Stan Trzoniec
My love affair with high-end rimfire pistols goes back a long way, and I recently came across one of the best--one that's the spittin' image of another favorite gun, the 1911. Kimber's Rimfire Super fits in all my holsters made for the larger caliber gun, is nearly weightless, reloads in micro-seconds if I do my part, is fun to shoot and is ideal for practice sessions where full house .45 ammunition might be burden to one's budget.
The Rimfire Super comes from the firm's custom shop and is one of three rimfire models Kimber offers, the other two being production guns chambered for either the .17 Mach 2 or the .22 LR. (In addition, if you just want the convenience of shooting rimfire ammunition, Kimber makes a neat Target Conversion kit in .17 and .22 caliber that will fit most 1911 guns on the market today.)
Kimber obviously put a lot of effort into the gun--paying close attention to all the details and little nuances that make it a pleasure to shoot. The sights are target grade, with a Patridge front blade and a rugged rear sight assembly. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation and has a wide notch that is easy to pick up whether indoors or out. The rear is serrated and tipped back to eliminate glare, and all sharp edges are rounded off. Sighting radius is just under seven inches.
The top of the slide is serrated along its length, and it has front and rear cocking serrations; the rear set goes all the way up to the rear sight. The aluminum slide is finished in a handsome black anodized coating that contrasts nicely with the silver satin anodized aluminum frame. The grips are checkered rosewood with a double-diamond pattern and boast the Kimber logo.
The five-inch steel barrel is match grade, as is the stainless steel bushing. The extractor is pinned to the slide, and an internal ejector moves to the rear upon firing to toss cases with precision.
To remove the barrel for cleaning, after checking to see that the gun's unloaded all you need to do is to push in on the recoil spring plug, turn the barrel bushing to the left, and push the slide stop up and into the notch before removing the slide forward and off the gun.
The mainspring housing is flat, and while I prefer an arched one, it still felt good in my hands. The frame features 30 lpi checking on the frontstrap, and the checkering continues under the trigger guard, which I don't care for because I place my weak-hand index finger in this position when shooting.
This Rimfire Super comes with a rounded and comfortable beavertail safety, and it sports ambidextrous thumb safeties. There is a half-cock position on the skeletonized Commander-type hammer. The aluminum match-grade trigger broke at 41â'„2 pounds with just a hint of slack that gave it the feel of a two-stage trigger.
On the left side, the slide stop is neatly checkered and easy to use. The magazine release is also checkered, but on this gun I would opt for a slightly larger diameter release especially if one shoots in colder weather with gloves on. The Rimfire Super's magazine well is beveled, and the 10-round magazine has a bumper pad.
Accuracy Results : KIMBER RIMFIRE SUPER
|.22 LONG RIFLE||BULLET WEIGHT (gr.)||AVG. VELOCITY (fps)||AVG. GROUP (in.)|
|NOTES: Five-shot groups were all shot at 25 yards indoors with a rest. Manufacturer's velocities were used as the indoor range restricted the use of a chronograph.|
Unlike its full-size counterpart, the slide of the Rimfire Super (and the other models in the Rimfire line) does not lock back after the last round is fired. Additionally, with the magazine removed, the gun will still fire if there is a round left in the chamber.
At 25 feet with a sandbag positioned on my shooting box, the gun performed admirably with both Remington and Winchester ammunition. The trigger obviously helped to obtain good groups, and I was pleased with the outcome, especially the groups I got with Remington Target ammunition.
However, Kimber notes that these guns are designed for high velocity ammo only; I fed it slower target fodder just as a test to see what kind of accuracy I would get. It's worth mentioning that this custom shop gun comes with a 11â'„2-inch accuracy guarantee, and Kimber sends along a target to prove it.
For the dedicated shooter who wants a gun worthy of both the expense and custom fitting, the Kimber Rimfire Super rates very highly in my book. I like the way it feels, the way it fits into my Model 1911 holsters and its light weight for extended days in the field. On a scale of 10, this rimfire rates a 10.
Kimber Rimfire Super Specs
- Type: blowback-operated rimfire semiauto
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
- Capacity: 10+1
- Barrel Length: 5 inches.
- Overall Length: 8 3/4 in.
- Weight: 28 oz.
- Sights: fully adjustable rear, Patridge front
- Finish: black anodized aluminum slide over satin silver anodized aluminum frame
- Trigger: premium aluminum match
- Grips: checkered rosewood
- Price: $1,102
- Manufacturer: Kimber, , kimberamerica.com , 800-880-2418