Kimber Ultra RCP II .45 ACP

The Ultra RCP II, shown equipped with a set of…

The Ultra RCP II, shown equipped with a set of Crimson Trace LG-404 P4 LaserGrips, offers shooters a compact yet fully capable .45 ACP carry gun.

With so many states now allowing concealed carry, there seems to be an increasing number of folks opting into the fraternity of the Second Amendment. There is one near constant making itself evident with relation to these folks—new concealed carriers normally choose a large handgun. As the real world necessity of carrying and concealing a large, heavy, bulky object sets in, only the most dedicated will press on. Most new concealed carriers will then go with a smaller handgun. At least it means they are still armed, but it can potentially bring with it a set of problems.

In some instances, smaller will mean less effective because of caliber and/or increased difficulty to shoot. The truly dedicated carriers choose the most effective handgun they can carry/conceal and practice to master it. The deeper concealment one desires, the more critical the design of the handgun. Sharp edges or snag points need not apply. Thankfully, there are companies that understand these nuances and know how to design firearms that negate or minimize these issues.

Gun Details
kimber-ultra-rcp-ii-45-acp-bNote the that the 3˝ barrel of the pistol is bushingless, and a full-length guide rod system helps prevent binding of the recoil spring.

For 2010, Kimber has added a few new touches to their enduring Ultra RCP II (Refined Carry Pistol), a pistol designed for 1911 fans who need to downsize as much as possible while retaining the .45 ACP cartridge. The RCP II, like all Kimber Ultras, has a bobbed steel slide, compact frame machined from a solid brick of 7075-T7 aluminum with a high cut under the  triggerguard, lowered and flared ejection port, burr hammer, 3-inch match grade bull barrel over a full-length guide rod, nicely beveled magazine well, and incorporates the Schwartz safety system. And like all Kimber Ultras, in a nod to how finicky some small 1911s can be, the barrel is ramped and the spring is a stout 18 pounder. The first virtually eliminates failures to feed, while the second increases the slide cycle time to allow time for cartridges to rise in the magazine for feeding.

However, that’s where the “like all Kimber Ultras” comparisons end. The RCP is a product of the Custom Shop, where all of its building occurs. Lifting it from the polymer Kimber box, one is immediately struck by all the concealed carry-oriented touches that have been added to the RCP.

Perhaps the first to be noticed is the absence of traditional sights. In their place is a long “sighting trough” that is somewhat reminiscent of the sight used on the ASP pistol originally produced five decades ago. Unlike the ASP, whose Guttersnipe sight used a square trough in a rear sight block extending less than half the length of the slide, the RCP uses a U-shaped trough covering the slide’s full length. At the trough’s rear, just above the firing pin stop, is a small block of metal with the trough continuing through it. It allows the “II” safety system to be used on the RCP.

The next thing noticed would probably be how smooth the RCP’s exterior feels to the hand. Edges are gently broken almost everywhere, in Kimber’s Carry Melt form. The only sharp spot left is the right, top edge of the ejection port. I don’t know if this was intentional, but in the absence of any sights, this point can, with practice, be used to rack the slide with one hand.

The aforementioned burr hammer is smaller, not the typical elongated hammer I have seen on Kimbers in the past. Cocked, the hammer nestles nicely in the abbreviated and rounded high ride beavertail grip safety. The thumb safety is bobbed and rounded, giving it a GI (circa WWII) profile. The magazine release is smooth and beveled at the front. These ministrations are to keep the RCP svelte.

A black, solid aluminum trigger with overtravel adjustment drops the hammer when 4.5 pounds of pressure is applied. The flat mainspring housing is smooth, unadorned in any way, and rounded slightly to mate with Kimber’s Round Heel frame. The RCP’s Round Heel effect is less pronounced than that found on larger models. Vertical ball-milled serrations about 1/8 of an inch wide are found on the frontstrap and the thin rosewood grips, which are also new for this year. These vertical serrations certainly look good and should preclude any pesky clothing snagging from checkering. Finally, black KimPro II premium finish is applied to the RCP’s slide and charcoal gray KimPro II to the frame. The result is a good-looking combination with self-lubricating properties that protects as well.

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