Kimber Manufacturing

Kimber Manufacturing

Infobox Company
company_name = Kimber Manufacturing, Inc.
company_type = Private
foundation = 1979
location = Yonkers, NY
key_people = Leslie Edelman,
President and owner
industry = Defense
products = Firearms, weapon
revenue = unknown
num_employees = 100+ (2007)
homepage = []

Kimber is a manufacturer of M1911 pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The USA Shooting Team, Marines assigned to Special Operations Command, and the LAPD SWAT team use Kimber pistols.


Kimber was founded as "Kimber of Oregon" in 1979 by Greg and Jack Warne in the small town of Clackamas, Oregon. Jack Warne had moved to Oregon in 1968 after Portland-based Omark Industries purchased the Australian firearms manufacturer, Sporting Arms (or SportCo), he founded in Adelaide, South Australia following WWII. Even though Jack eventually became president of Omark, he always had a strong desire to return to his manufacturing roots. So, he drafted his son, Greg, and the two set out to found Kimber.

Following its founding, Kimber of Oregon quickly built a reputation for accurate .22 caliber rifles, began to expand its product line and eventually acquired a second manufacturing plant in the nearby city of Colton.

In the late 1980s, the company fell on hard times after a private stock offering fell short to cover the costs of developing the M89 Big Game Rifle. In 1989, Kimber of Oregon was sold to Oregon timber baron, Bruce Engel, who was the founder of WTD Industries, Inc. However, Engel quickly found that running a high end gun maker was not as easy as it seemed; Kimber soon found itself seeking bankruptcy protection. Unfortunately, Kimber of Oregon's assets were liquided. But, as it turned out, this boded well for Greg Warne.

Notably, in 1990 several Kimber employees - including Dan Cooper - left to found Cooper Firearms of Montana. [ [ Cooper Firearms History] ]

In the mid-1990s, Greg Warne started to get the bug to try his hand one more time to make Kimber into the vision that he and his father had when they started the firm in 1979. Luckily, much of Kimber of Oregon's original tooling had made its way to a junkyard north of Portland. Greg soon found a financial backer in Les Edelman, who owned Nationwide Sports Distributors. The two purchased the original tooling and partnered to found Kimber of America. Over the course of several years, the company grew quickly. But, Edelman forced Warne out after acquiring a majority interest in the company.

While Edelman was partnering with Greg Warne, he had also found himself investing in Yonkers-based "Jerico Precision Manufacturing", a manufacturer of hand tools and mechanical components for the defense industry, which was adjusting to cuts in defense spending. Edelman decided to connect Jerico Precision's existing infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities and Kimber's reputation and extensive network of dealers to build a line of 1911-style handguns. He eventually moved Kimber's production line to Jerico's facilities in New York thus ending Kimber's long history in Oregon.

A federal grand jury indicted former CFO Denis Shusterman for embezzling a total of $10 million from Kimber Manufacturing and Nationwide Sports Distributors on December 9, 2004. [" [ Former CFO indicted by grand jury] " in BizJournal] He was later convicted after pleading guilty, ordered to pay damages and back taxes and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Ironically, Shusterman had personally flown to Oregon to fire Greg Warne before Edelman moved the company to Yonkers in 1998.

Kimber is planning to expand its manufacturing capacity. Presently, it owns a 31,500 ft² manufacturing facility in Ridgefield, NJ. A proposal to add more space to its Yonkers site had been approved as a "regionally significant project" [" [ Minutes from Yonkers zoning meeting] " in Yonkers Insider] but Kimber appears to have withdrawn its application following concerns raised by worried neighbors.



Kimber is known for its highly accurate 1911-style pistols, as well as for offering a variety of customization options. Early on, the company introduced the use of metal injection molding for some parts, such as the thumb safety, which makes them more cost-effective to produce. The adoption of CAD and CAM technology were a priority due to the tight dimensions and low tolerances involved in producing firearms that are designed to be both accurate and reliable. [" [ Tacoma Police Force Chooses Kimber Pro Carry - Industry News - Bulletin Board] " by Russ Thurman in Shooting Industry December 2001] In 2005, Kimber manufactured a total of 47,820 production handguns. In 2006, Kimber added the KPD .40, a self-defense firearm chambered in .40 S&W, to its offerings.

Models available include:
* Kimber Custom II Family
** Custom II
** Custom Target II
** Custom TLE II
** Custom TLE II (LG)
** Custom TLE/RL II
** Stainless TLE II
** Stainless TLE/RL II
** Warrior
** Desert Warrior
** Royal II
** Stainless II
** Stainless Target II
* Kimber Gold Match II Family
**Team Match II
**Gold Match II
**Stainless Gold Match II
**Target Match
* Kimber Compact & Pro Carry II Family
* Kimber Eclipse
**Kimber Eclipse Target II
* Kimber Ultra Carry II
* Kimber Tactical II
* Kimber CDP II
* Kimber Covert II
* Kimber Aegis II
* Kimber Ten II Family
* Kimber Rimfire Family
*Kimber Crimson Carry Family
**Ultra Crimson Carry II
**Pro Crimson Carry II
**Custom Crimson Carry II

As well as various customized models, available for viewing on the official Kimber website.


Kimber also makes several long gun models, including shotguns, hunting and tactical rifles. Kimber rifles have a reputation for accuracy and quality. [ [ Kimber 8400 Rifle Wins “Golden Bullseye Award” from NRA’s American Hunter Magazine as 2004 Rifle of the Year.] ] [" [ Kimber's Model 8400 Goes Long] " by Joel Hutchcroft in Shooting Times] [" [ Kimber's Delightful Little Varminter: Trim, elegant, accurate and beautifully crafted — the Kimber 84M just may be America's classiest production rifle] " by Holt Bodinson in Guns Magazine March 2002]

Their basic models are
* Kimber 17 and Kimber 22
* Model 84M
* Model 8400 WSM
* Model 8400 Standard & Magnum
* Tactical


Kimber has recently started selling side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns as well.

Non-lethal self-defense products

Non-lethal self-defense tools are also being sold under Kimber's "LifeAct" trademark. LifeActs are highly concentrated irritant high velocity incapacitating non lethal chemical weapons. One is very economical, where the other costs as much as a quality pistol. The ranges and effectiveness of the two differ. Since these non lethal weapons are effective at ranges where most handgun and knife encounters occur, they could be used to defend against such attacks. They are also useful for hikers in the wild to discourage aggressive animals.

Kimber firearms in use

A modified version of the "Team Match II" .45 ACP caliber pistol is used by the US Shooting Rapid Fire Pistol Team. In 2003, the LAPD chose a slightly modified and specially marked version of the "Custom II", known as the "Custom TLE II" as the standard handgun for its SWAT unit. Several other law enforcement agencies have approved Kimber firearms for on-duty carry by their patrol and SWAT officers. [" [ Departments currently issuing Kimber as official firearms] " at the Kimber web site] In 2007 a new pistol was added to the Kimber's extensive line of 1911 pattern pistols. Designed and commissioned by LAPD's Special Investigation Section (SIS). The SIS is an elite undercover unit that specializes in working violent and dangerous criminals.

ee also

* List of modern armament manufacturers


External links

* [ Kimber America Official Website]

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