The Kimber Custom pistols – Custom, TLE II and ICQB – are all based on the 1911 pistol. The Custom line officially entered into the military service in 1997. Kimber Mfg., Inc., a manufacturing company located in Yonkers, NY, not only designed this model but also manufactured and distributed it. The Kimber Custom has a number of different styles – each with its own unique characteristics and finishes. This model is generally, like all 1911 pistols, chambered in .45 ACP, but others are available.
Step back in time as you step into the Firearms and Ordnance Gallery at the Armed Forces History Museum. Authentic pistols from throughout the world, spanning several eras, are on display as part of this extensive collection of weapons. The oldest piece on display is a very rare bayonet from the Revolutionary War.
The Kimber Custom has a number of different styles – each with its own unique characteristics and finishes. This model is generally, like all 1911 pistols, chambered in .45 ACP, but others are available. The Kimber Custom’s full-sized (5 inch) barrel qualifies it as a full-sized pistol. The frame and slide on this 1911 model is constructed of steel. Serrations can be found on the front of the slide for press checks, which is necessitated by the single full-length guide rod. Other features of the Custom include:
- A lower ejection port
- A custom trigger
- A beveled magazine well
- A thumb safety which is extended
- A beaver tail grip safety
A Custom II design has since become available featuring an internal firing pin safety, a design feature which blocks the firing pin from striking the chambered cartridge and prevents accidental discharge should the pistol be dropped. The firing pin can only strike the chambered cartridge when the grip safety is depressed.
Specifications for the Custom II
Type: Semi-automatic rifle
Service History: 1997 to present day
Used by the following:
- LAPD SWAT
- OCSD SWAT (Orange County Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics)
- USMC Force Recon
Weight: 38 oz
Length: 8.7 inches
Barrel length: 5 inches
- .45 ACP
- .40 S&W
- 10mm Auto
- 9mm Luger
- .38 Super
Custom TLE II
Though based on the Custom, this model was specifically designed to be used by the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team. TLE, or ‘Tactical Law Enforcement’ designates this as a specially designed weapon whose variations feature tritium bar-dot night sights as well as 30-lines per inch front-strap checkering. The ‘II’ designates the weapon as also having the internal firing pin safety. Several variations of the TLE II have been designed and manufactured with additional features:
- laser grip sight
- accessory mounting rail
- stainless steel finish
ICQB / Warrior / Desert Warrior
The design for the both Warrior and Desert Warrior pistols were based on the Kimber Custom ICQB, which was specifically designed for the USMC Force Recon (or) MARSOC. All three of these models have a thumb safety which can be used be either a left handed or a right handed shooter. Also featured is a recoil spring guide rod – of standard length – which makes field stripping possible without the use of additional tools.
The ICQB model has a number of additional features:
- Tactical retention lanyards
- Military Pistol Lights
- Internal Extractor
- Precision light rail
- LoMount tritium night sights
- Gunner grips (brown)
- Magazines – either 7 or 8 rounds
The Warrior features a matte black Kim Pro finish as well as a standard Kimber Custom trigger. The Desert Warrior differs with a green-tan Kim Pro finish so it is able to blend better in the desert environment. It comes with a solid trigger.
All these pistols – the Kimber Custom, TLE II, ICQB – are well designed variations of the 1911 semi-automatic pistol.