There may be no room in business for sentiment, but you’d never know it by studying the success of a certain John Browning auto pistol design. It’s one that has, fortunately, not become lost in the tangle of several differing generations.  Rather, it is one of the few designs I can think of that remains much the same as it was at its inception, going on one hundred years ago.

Kimber Mfg. Inc. is on the same page with me when it comes to tastes in an American classic. The engineers at Kimber’s custom shop intended the Gold Combat II to be a no-nonsense, premier carry gun with many of the features found on their top-of-the-line pistol. This is one of the best-looking firearms I’ve ever handled, right out of the box.

The GCII sports a 5-inch match-grade steel, bull barrel with a 1:16-inch left-hand twist. Obviously, the bull barrel eliminates the need for a bushing, and adds weight to the end of the barrel, reducing felt recoil. Some say that the thicker walls of the bull barrel improve accuracy, since it causes the barrel to be more rigid. The barrel is matched to the slide, and features a deep crown, which protects rifling at the muzzle.

The KimPro II finish is a phenolic resin. This proprietary finish is thin, doesn’t interfere with function, and is self-lubricating. It has withstood the thousand-hour saltwater immersion test, functioning flawlessly.

Many shooters might complain that other high-end pistols have a finer checkering, but Kimber checkered this one differently on purpose. The coarser 24 lpi checkering allows for a surer purchase on the grip, and since the Gold Combat was designed as the essence of a carry pistol, good grip trumps finer checkering. Cocking grooves are found front and rear on the flattop slide, which bears lengthwise serrations.

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