2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Range Review....Kimber Custom II vs. Regent R-100

A few weeks ago I got to satisfy a little curiosity of mine.  I had gotten rid of my Kimber II 1911 last Winter to a friend looking for his first gun, Harold. This past Summer I decided I wanted another 1911 and decided I wanted a more basic, "budget" 1911 and went with a Regent R100 1911 (which I just recently got rid of to finance another project).  The Regent was a fine gun, but I found myself desiring some more "bling" than the base model offered and ended up having a beavertail safety and commander style hammer installed along with a "competition' trigger and improved rear sight.  I was satisfied with the work, it made it almost look like my old Kimber.  I was interested to see how they would shoot side-by-side, and thanks to Harold I got a chance to find out!

Here are out two test subjects...the Kimber Custom II on the left, and the Regent R100 on the right.  And that is the exact Kimber I used to own too, cool.  Notice how they both look fairly similar.

Both are 5" full sized 1911 pistols with Hogue grips, plain notch and post sights (both with the front sight post pained orange by yours truly). The Kimber has a full length guide rod and Swartz style grip activated firing pin safety, while the Regent has a traditional "short" guide rod and a "series 80" trigger activated firing pin safety.  All other specs for these two pistols that would affect the results of a shooting comparison are similar in nature otherwise. 

The Kimber cost around $700 new and has nothing replaced on it.  The Regent was about $450 new and I had another $125 in parts and $50 in labor putting it to where it was at for the test, so comparative prices for both were real similar.   The test would be to see if the lower priced Regent could shoot with the more expensive Kimber (this is Kimber's "budget line" pistol BTW) and also if the extras I had done to the Regent worth it.  

Both pistol felt about the same in the hand, but upon closer inspection you could tell some obvious differences between the two, the Kimber was just nicer overall.  The Regent is a fine basic 1911 for sure, but the fit on the Kimber was just better, as you would expect from a more expensive build.  The biggest difference was the triggers.  The Regent had a "trigger job" done as part of the fitting of the parts by the gunsmith at the Powder Room that installed them...it greatly improved the formerly heavy pull on the traditional trigger on that gun.  It still couldn't touch the crisper break of the Kimber though.

I got there ahead of Harold and decided to shoot a bit and warm up...first mag I got the first ever FTF with the Regent...ammo was Federal 230gr FMJ, first time I had shot it in this gun....mag was one of the Kimber 8 round mags I have..notice the round started to feed but then stopped on the feed ramp before being chambered, first and only time this happened...

Later I would have another few issues, but upon closer inspection I discovered it was just me.. I had my grip  adjusted on the gun to where my "thumbs forward" approach was actually causing me to engage the slide stop..check out the following vid and notice how the rounds have NOT moved forward from the magazine and attempted to chamber...


Just goes to prove its not always the equipments fault!  So in reality that is ONE FTF in about 400 rounds through the gun at this point.   Not too shabby.  Anyway, this was the result of a couple of 5 round strings at about 7 - 8 yards with the Regent...

Not a thing wrong with that group...I would hate to be on the receiving end of those rounds.

After Harold showed up and we swapped war stories and fondled each other pistols we got down to shooting.  After Harold got warmed up we shot five rounds out of each pistol at targets and got the following results....

Far from scientific, but I do take something away from this "test"...its not the pistol but the shooter, and a better pistol will make a shooter better as well.  Obviously, I shoot more than Harold. His groups really did not change much from one gun to another, and actually if I had to pick a "tighter" group I would have to give the nod to the Regent in his case.  I should point out again that at 7 yards both of his groupings would be torso hits with .45 ACP rounds to his target...good enough!  I definitely could feel the better trigger and slightly better sights on the Kimber working for me...but again, those rounds from the Regent would of done the job just as well.   I should point out that I used both a "center hold" and "6 O'clock" hold on the Kimber...I adjusted my POA because I couldn't believe I was getting a group like that and had to see if the rounds still impacted in the same place if I changed my aiming point...they did!

Say Hi Harold..."Hi Harold"

So was it worth it? Spending the extra cash to improve upon the original Regent out-of-the-box versus the Kimber?  Hard to tell truthfully.  I guess I should have shot them side-by-side when I first go the Regent and then again once I got it upgraded.  I do remember the trigger that first range trip being a lot stiffer than it was when I got it back from the gun smith though.  I would say after mulling it over here at the keyboard for a few moments that the answer is....."NO".    If you are looking for a "budget" style 1911 and price is your major decision driver the Regent is as good an most and better than some of the other 1911's out there for the price.  If you are looking for a custom "race gun" platform to start with, it can be done, but for what I feel is the performance it was brought up to compared to the cost to obtain it against the purchase price of the unaltered Kimber...well, it seems like a waste of time to me to have to go through the trouble of obtaining the parts and paying a gun smith (and keep in mind that Brian at The Powder Room is very reasonable) for what basically seems to be 2nd fiddle to a gun at around the same price point right out of the box.

Again, either gun will puts rounds in a torso, but for a gun to be used for scoring type competitions that extra accuracy does make a difference.  Your mileage may differ of course.....

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