We spent six months and turned the corner of the recommend break-in round count on the striking Kimber Rapide Black Ice in 10mm Auto and have some things to report. 

What is the Rapide?


Without covering too much territory that we've already gone across, Kimber introduced the Rapide Black Ice late last year in 9mm, 10mm, and 45 ACP.  A downright aristocratic retelling of John Browning’s Government Issue, it is packed with features including an effective texturing on not only the WavZ G10 grip panels but also in front and rear stippling and "tactical bumps."

The slide carries front and rear serrations as well as slide lightening cuts for faster lock time and comes standard with Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights right out of the box. The V-Cut aluminum trigger is on point and the grip ends in an extended magwell.

The Kimber Rapide Black Ice, standard with a deep two-tone Kimpro finish and a DLC-coated barrel, is nice on the eyes and has a ton of features. (All photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
The Rapide takes down much like any M1911 and includes a 5-inch barrel which works out to an overall length of 8.7-inches. Weight unloaded is 38-ounces. Height is 5.25-inches. Frame width is 1.28-inches. It is a 70-series for better or worse.

On the range


Kimber recommends a "break-in" period in their manual of 500 rounds, which is something that surely sounds like a throwback to the pre-CNC guns of the 1980s. However, we found that in our test gun that the period wasn't needed. In the course of 550 range loads and 100 rounds of personal defense ammunition, we documented zero jams or malfunction in shooting on the range. Starting with a gun right out of the box without additional lube, we broke it down at the 300-round mark for a simple field-strip level cleaning and lube with Ballistol. 

We do have the caveat to roll with that of being limited in ammo selection due to the national ammo shortage. Normally we like to run a half-dozen or more brands and loads through a T&E gun but the only ammo we could lay hands on in bulk for the testing of the Rapide was Sig Sauer's 180-grain FMJ and Elite V-Crown 180-grain JHPs, which is by all accounts very high-quality ammo. 

We ran the Elite V-Crowns in a 16-inch block of Clear Ballistics 10 percent FBI gel with penetration running between 13.5 and 15 inches and expanding nicely while retaining weight. Recoil was manageable, with 18.5-pound recoil spring and a mil-spec guide rod.

Accuracy on the Rapide was exceptional, and the gun able to ring torso-sized plates at 50 yards in slow fire. The trigger remained consistent, breaking at a hair under 5-pounds, which is fine for a factory M1911 although some would desire closer to the 3-pound mark. The sights were easy to acquire. About the only thing we could complain about on the Tru-Glos was that they are bulky, especially for carry (yes, people still carry full-sized handguns), and the long set back on the front post whittles away at the sight radius. 

The Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights are effective, but they are also chunky and are high enough that they could be suppressor sights, an odd flex as the Rapide does not have a threaded barrel



In the course of our field evaluations, we found the Rapide easy to handle, even in the vaunted "centimeter" chambering, with the surface controls functional. Besides the author, we had a 12-year-old youth-- who was a seasoned shooter-- run a box of full-powered JHP loads through the gun without issue. Likewise, experienced female users were able to handle the big Kimber without a problem. 

One of our field testers, a 5' 3" female who wears sized XS gloves, was able to handle the Rapide and work all of the surface controls. Sure, it's a GI-sized handgun, but you don't have to be Captain America to use it. 



Besides range trips, we also carried the Rapide often, taking it along as a sidearm on a hog hunt, and putting probably 150 hours of both open and concealed carry on its frame in rural and urban settings, respectively.

Two things we noticed with this is that both the slide and frame picked up more wear marks, dings, and scratches than compared to a more basic polymer and Cerakoted gun, and at the same time found that the G10 grips faded and discolored after a bit of salt and solvent.

Fresh from the box, left and after six months, right. About the worst thing we can say about the Rapide, after a fair bit of honest use, is that the grips get kind of mottled and the finish will pick up some scars. It still runs fine, though. 

Neither of these is a deal-breaker or affect the function and can be corrected. In the end, if you want to keep a Rapide-- or any handgun for that matter-- pristine, then maybe you shouldn't shoot or carry them. 

While obviously not a "field" gun, the Rapide can still clock in when needed for sure. 

At the end of the day, the Rapide Black Ice is both nice to look at and nice to shoot, which is what you would expect from a firearm that has an MSRP of $1,500.  

The Kimber Rapide Black Ice 
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