Up, Down and Still Going Forward

A Father and Son Team

For such a young company, Kimber has been through extensive ownership and changes. Greg and Jack Warne, a father and son team from Australia, opened Kimber in Clackamas, Oregon in 1979, where Jack moved after the sale of the Australian firearms manufacturing company, Sporting Arms, which he founded after World War 11. Kimber of Oregon quickly established a solid reputation for building accurate .22 caliber rifles and began to expand their product line, eventually acquiring a second manufacturing plant.

Financial Troubles, Liquidation and the Rebirth of a Dream

After the late 1980s failing of a private stock offering, made in order to cover the costs of developing the M89 Big Game Rifle, the company fell on hard times. In 1989 Kimber of Oregon was sold to Oregon timber baron, Bruce Engel who discovered that the firearms industry was much more difficult manage than it initially appeared. As a result, Kimber ended up seeking bankruptcy protection. All of the assets were liquidated. That actually turned out to be a good thing for Greg Warne, who wanted to try one more time to make the vision he and his father had, a reality.

The liquidation of assets from the manufacturing plant saw the tooling for the guns go to a junkyard in Portland. Greg Warne found a backer in Les Edelman, who owned nationwide Sports Distributors, and the two men purchased the tooling equipment and founded Kimber of America, which grew very quickly. Edelman forced Warne out after he gained majority interest in the company. Edelman connected with Jerico Precision Manufacturing, a manufacturer of hand tools and mechanical components for the defence industry. A marriage of Jerico Precision's infrastructure and manufacturing capability and Kimber's reputation and wide network of dealers enabled the building of a line of 1911 style handguns.

The 1911 Handgun

The 1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol that is chambered for the .45ACP cartridge. Designed by John M. Browning, it was the standard-issue side arm for the US armed forces from 1911 until 1985 and is still carried by some US forces. This most famous of Browning's designs uses the short recoil principle in its basic design and has risen to pre-eminence as the type of nearly all modern center fire pistols.

Kimber's Version of the 1911

Kimber is well-known for its production of one of the finest 1911 pistols in the world. Used by the LAPD SWAT teams, the US Marines Special Operations Command and the U.S.A. Shooting Team for use in the Olympics, Kimber 1911 stands out in excellence and performance. The Kimber 1911 line includes 100 models in a huge selection of sizes and calibers. Some are very specialized and others are multi-taskers; some are traditional in design and function and some are custom loaded.

With the extensive variety available in Kimber firearms, there is almost no limit to what you can find.