Well, after all the commotion about the piece, I decided to pick one up. My favorite gun store usually can't keep them on the shelf for more than five minutes assuming they even make it to the shelf. So while shooting the breeze there one day, they got a shipment, and my fiance' had been talking about wanting a 1911, so I couldn't help myself (and I wanted to play with it too). So here are a few of my thoughts and experiences with it.
First the bad:
1. The finish leaves a lot to be desired. When they came into the shop, they had obviously been fired at the factory, but never cleaned or lubed afterwards. They were bone dry, so their were a few surface rust spots. So I had to clean and lube before I went to the range. Also the finish isn't very resilient, and showed some gentle wear already just from the factory test firing.
2. The front strap checkering is there but just isn't very "grippy". Also, in some places it just doesn't look that great. However, its nothing I can't fix with some time.
Overall: It looks like a $500 gun, but with a few dollars, I can make it look better if I chose to. Not really sure if it's worth it for two reasons: first, I bought it for my fiance' and she likes it the way it is, and two its more a works horse than anything else. Its probably going to end up as a IPSC gun for her and it doesn't have to look great to perform that function.
1. This thing is a SHOOTER! I've owned a few Kimbers (no Custom Shop Kimbers, so I can't speak for these), and it shoots as well if not better than all of them. At 21' they were all going through the same hole. I wish I had to capability to bench rest it, but unfortunately I don't.
2. Its reliable. I shot about 300 rounds of various FMJ (WWB, Remington, Blazer, etc.), and a few 185 gr Golden Saber I had left over from when I was carrying a Kimber Stainless Ultra II, and not a single FTE or FTF. It ran like a champ.
3. The trigger. The biggest complaint I had heard from most owners or people who had handled it was the gritty trigger. Mine was smooth as silk, and broke around 3.5 - 4 lbs.
4. Fit. It was fit together pretty well. No barrel wiggle, and very little slide to frame wiggle (although a little more than I'd like).
5. Came with two 8 round magazines, and they both worked well. I also had her fire with an old Kimber mag, and a Wilson I had bought for her, and they all worked equally as well.
6. Heinie sights. Although they don't look like genuine Heinie's, they line up pretty well and sight pic it pretty good to.
7. Ambi safety. Gives you somewhere to put your thumb for weak hand shooting.
Overall: Not a bad deal for 515 + tax. It is easily worth about 650 in quality, and would be worth even more if it looked better. If you have the opportunity to pick one up and can afford it, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Also, don't expect anymore range reports as my fiance' has already told me that its her gun, and i cannot shoot it anymore. any questions shoot me a PM.