With a 13+1 capacity and the option of an optics-ready slide, the very concealable Kimber R7 Mako is competitive in the micro-compact field.
Introduced in August, the R7 Mako is a striker-fired 9mm with a polymer frame. When it comes to specs, it runs just 6.2 inches long overall, 4.3 inches high, and 1 inch wide. Weight, in its most basic form, is 19.5 ounces.
This puts the new double-stack ultra-compact Kimber in the same category as guns like the Sig Sauer P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat series.
Kimber says the R7 is specifically designed to be dependable, with a rear-mounted barrel-locking lug to reduce the unlock angle of the barrel, therefore creating a consistent round presentation and low-felt recoil.
We have fed our test Mako just slightly over 500 rounds of factory-loaded 9mm ammo over the past month. The bulk of this was Winchester bulk pack (USA Valor) 124-grain NATO FMJ, mixed with some 115- and 147-grain loads. A handful of lacquered steel stuff from parts east of Warsaw were thrown in as were a few 20-round boxes of Browning (147-grain X-Point) and Winchester (USA Ready Defense 124-grain +P) defensive ammo. The total number of gun-related malfunctions were two, both FTEs in the first mag with grungy old Tula steel case.
Fitted with what Kimber terms a "Performance Carry Trigger," set to between 5- and 6.75-pounds right out of the box, we found it had a smooth, consistent pull with a clean break at about 5.2 pounds in testing. Using a safety insert lever in an aluminum shoe that breaks flat, it has a short and audible reset that the user can feel.
Check out this video of the trigger in action:
Using a 3.37-inch stainless-steel barrel with a 1:10 LH twist, and equipped with excellent TruGlo Tritium Pro Nights with an orange front ring and white rear dots that co-witness with an optic if installed, we found the R7 to be exceptionally accurate, especially for its size.
How does it carry?
There are few rocks that can be thrown in the R7's direction. While the grip texture and ergonomics are great, the slide serrations are very shallow, getting worse when wet or muddy. In profile, you would think the red dot would be awkward in carry but in actuality, I found that the leading edge of the very high TruGlo rear sight gave the most "side-burn" while carrying.
Another gripe is that the red dot, when carrying concealed under a garment, rapidly got cloudy and was a magnet for grit and dust even though Kimber's ejection port construction keeps it less dirty on the range than some other designs.
The R7 Mako O.I. has an MSRP of $799 – but comes with a red dot – while the standard model that ships sans the Crimson Trace is $599. When stacked up against some other makers' micro-compact 9mms, that falls towards the higher end of the competition. Still, it is American-made rather than an import from Brazil or Croatia, so that takes a little sting out of it.
Finally, and this is nitpicking considering it is on a polymer-framed gun, but the red dot cover plate that slips into place on the top of the slide when the CT1500 is removed is polymer.
The pluses far outweigh the minuses on the R7 Mako at the end of a 500-round eval and the gun proved dependable, accurate, easy to use, and carried well during everyday activities. It takes down easy for maintenance and requires little in the way of such work.
Stay tuned as we aim to stretch the Kimber R7 Mako out to 1K and beyond.