Handgun Spotlight: The New Kimber Rapide Black Ice 1911

Of all the beautiful guns to look at, the Kimber Rapide Black Ice 1911 rises to the top for its performance and aesthetics.

It's become tough to find a better-looking handgun than one made by Kimber America. They've pushed the aesthetics envelope without neglecting the required features that have helped them become a top-tier quality gun maker.

There's no better way to prove that point than to show someone the Kimber Rapide Black Ice 1911, a truly unique handgun that looks as good as it performs.

We'll run through some of the finer points that make the Kimber Rapide Black Ice so great, but showing is often better than telling. It's a matter of getting this gun in your hand and really witnessing the stunning looks, and then shooting it yourself to see that it isn't all appearance, but also effectiveness, ease of operation, and ergonomic feel that combine to make a standard-setting gun.

The Rapide Black Ice comes in .45 ACP, 9mm, and 10mm calibers, and is made with a two-tone, silver/gray-finished stainless steel frame and slide. There are stepped serrations on the slide along with weight-reducing cuts to make it lighter and faster to cock. The five-inch, match grade steel barrel has a black DLC coating and stainless steel match grade bushing.

The black grips contrast with the silver frame and slide, but it's the aggressive accent shape that helps create an uber-confident grip. There's also the Kimber-exclusive Stiplex front strap stippling at work, making this the sort of gun that feels so good in your hand you won't want to put it down.

The magazine holds eight rounds and the entire gun weighs only 38 ounces before you load it, so this could easily be included in your carry rotation alongside its role as your new range favorite.

The V-cut, aluminum trigger has a factory-set 4- to 5-pound weight (and material cutouts similar to the slide), plus the gun is topped with Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights.

Really, it's the little things, like the high cut under the trigger guard (a higher grip equals better recoil management) and the extended magazine well (to help reloading efforts), that push this gun to the top of the mountain.

When Kimber America sets out to make a gun, they seem to pay closer attention to detail than just about any other. When you imagine this Rapide Black Ice offered alongside the basic, unexciting look of your typical 1911, which one is going to catch your eye?

But, like they always say, looks aren't everything. That's why the difference-maker for Kimber is the dedication to not just creating firearms that are pleasing to the eye, but that are pleasing to shoot as well.

When the time comes to consider a new 1911, the Kimber Rapide Black Ice should be on every gun owner's radar.