Firearm: Kimber KHX Ultra (MSRP: $1,468)
For those that either don’t care for striker-fired pistols or simply prefer the lighter trigger of a single-action 1911, Kimber’s Ultra size 1911s might be something to consider. With a 6.8-inch overall length, 3-inch barrel, 4.75-inch height and 25-ounce weight, it’s not significantly larger than the current crop of striker-fired, micro-9 mm double-stack handguns. Capacity of the KHX Ultra is 8+1 rounds, only two or three less than the group, too (although most of the double-stack offerings have extended magazines available).
In the KHX model, there’s hexagonal cocking serrations, Hogue enhanced G10 MagGrip laser sights, and red and green fiber-optic pipes in the front and rear sights. Finish is Kimber’s proprietary KimPro II gray on the aluminum frame and the stainless steel slide. The match-grade barrel and pre-set 4- to 5-pound trigger combine to provide an accurate, easy-to-shoot pistol which is also assisted in rapid target acquisition by the fiber optic front and rear sights and laser grip system.
It’s that ease of shooting that might tip the scales in favor of the Ultra 1911, in fact. While there’s a slight tradeoff in the Ultra’s single-stack, eight-round capacity, the more solid feel on the range might be worth it. In general, micro-9 mm double-stack handguns tend to be more challenging to shoot, with the same light weight that makes them so easy to carry and conceal resulting in more felt recoil when practicing.
Whether you’re a 1911 fan looking for a smaller gun for concealed carry, prefer a metal pistol to one with a polymer frame or just simply like the styling, Kimber’s KHX Ultra offers plenty for the self-defense enthusiast. Excellent purchase, great sights, the assist of an instinctive laser sight and more are part of this pistol’s design, lending to a practical, beautiful option for concealed carry. And, again, more options are a good thing.
Holster: DeSantis Cozy Partner IWB (MSRP: $92.99)
When it comes to carrying a 1911, tradition dictates a leather holster. In this case, DeSantis Holster’s excellent Cozy Partner works perfectly for the KHX Ultra. Precision-molded and offering single-screw retention, the Cozy Partner is also reinforced at key areas including the mouth for durability and reliability. A solid inside-the-waistband holster for compact 1911s, it offers a slight butt-forward cant for quick acquisition.
DeSantis offers the Cozy Partner in black or tan finish and for both right- and left-handed shooters. This particular model is offered in conjunction with Kimber to be a perfect match for the KHX Ultra pistol, and includes Kimber branding on the holster. It can be ordered directly from the Kimber website for the KHX Ultra, and other models can be ordered directly from DeSantis.
Knife: Buck Knives Sprint Ops Pro (MSRP: $175.99)
Wrapping up our somewhat traditional kit today is the Buck Knives Sprint Ops Pro pocketknife. With a 3 1/8 inch, S30V steel reverse-tanto blade design and black micarta scales, the Sprint Ops Pro keeps a slim profile while offering a good mix of toughness, corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening. The scales have slight grooves along the sides and on the spine to position the hand during use, while the blade wears a sturdy Cerakote finish.
Opening via a simple flipper mechanism and held in place with a liner lock, the Sprint Pro Ops is quite easy to both open and close with one hand. It’s tough, built for hard use, made in the U.S.A. and comes with Buck’s lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Other blade and scale finishes are available in the Sprint Ops family of knives.