Kimber Clackamas Mystique???


August 26, 2009, 06:51 PM
can anyone tell me what is so special about the Clackamas marked Kimber pistols other than this was the pistol that made Kimber and re-ignited the 1911 market and that it won't have a Swartz safety system???...are they really that much better than a newer Kimber???...I have tried to do the searches and come up with many huzzahs about them and that they are desired pistols but can anyone give me some concrete information as to what the mystique is all about???

(I get the warm fuzzies over my old Colt 1911A1 so I get the fact that there is more care back then but...)

Is there any reason to seek a Clackamas (I know...made in Yonkers) Kimber over say something else or new from any other brand???

I really would 'preciate it...


If you enjoyed reading about "Kimber Clackamas Mystique???" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 26, 2009, 07:25 PM
Ah, Clack-my-ass. My old homeland. Those Kimbers are the only famous thing associated with that country apart from Tonya Harding.

I believe the real difference is when the original owners still had control and demanded the highest quality parts. The company went through reorganization and came out producing a larger volume but not as finely crafted.

August 26, 2009, 07:27 PM
I have a Custom Classic (not II) and it is absolutely fantastic. It is completely reliable and very accurate. Over on the 1911 forum, the general consensus is that Kimber got a bit crazy with the success of the early models and began mass producing many different models, and quality has suffered.

So, it is my understanding that when someone raves about their 'clackamas' it is similar to someone talking about a pre-64 Winchester, or a pre-Garcia Sako. It is something that is generally held up to be of higher quality than the current offering and is thus, more desirable.

One thing I do know for sure, I've only seen a handful of them for sale at gunshows in the past 5 years.

August 26, 2009, 08:04 PM
IMHO it really comes down to this... Any pre II Kimber is a good Kimber. Better QC, absolutely amazing fit and finish. No series 80 safety.

This being said, Clackamas has a very special place. They are the first few thousand guns made by Kimber and they are exceptional. I would say that they are on par with semi-custom guns being built today. I have two and will pass them to my kids (if i ever have any) on my deathbed and not a minute before. I actually have a fund in reserve in case I ever run across one...

Dont get me wrong, the new Kimbers are just fine. Yes, they do let a lemon go from time to time but they do have good customer service and will fix it right. If you cant find a Clackmas, get a pre series II pistol. You will not regret it...

August 26, 2009, 11:32 PM
Is there any reason to seek a Clackamas (I know...made in Yonkers) Kimber over say something else or new from any other brand???

Cosmoline said it short and sweet. I agree with all the posts. They are worth seeking out. The Trophy model I spent some time shooting was about equal to a Gold Cup - they aren't that way anymore. That was 10 years ago almost, and they weren't cheap then, either.

August 27, 2009, 12:55 AM
thanks everyone...the mystique is that they are fine 1911 pistols that got a bit more care as obviously Kimber wanted to be known (they were carving out their part of the niche market for better than "Government" 1911A1s...) for their 1911s...when you want someone to "lookit me!" you have to have something on the Custom II is fine (especially after Teddy Jacobson worked his magic) but I don't know I have to pay big bucks for a Clackamas Kimber when there might be something equally as nice elsewhere...if I find one in my wheelhouse pricewise...I may have to bite provided it hasn't been molested...thanks.

August 27, 2009, 02:36 AM
Yeah, but for 8 to 9 bills, what comes close? Seriously, I just dont know so if there is something out there in that price range of the same quality, please let me know since I am about to drop 2k on a fusion...


August 27, 2009, 04:54 AM
I'm not lucky enough to have a Clackamas, but I do have a 1st series Classic Gold Match built in 1997. The fit & finish is tremendous and it's extremely accurate and reliable. This is my main bowling pin gun and it's done very well in that regard. I've put thousands of rounds through it since I got it 2 years ago with zero problems.

I've also owned a Colt Gold Cup Trophy and a Dan Wesson Pointman and my Kimber was at least the equal of these. I only really needed one target grade 1911 and I sold the Colt & DW. Besides, I'm a sucker for guns with a real polished deep blue finish. I trade lots of guns and I've probably had 2 dozen different 1911s in the past couple of years but this Kimber will go to my son...

August 27, 2009, 07:41 AM
If Kimber would have kept up the level of fit and finish and been able to hold the price they wouldn't have anywhere near the competition they have now. The thing about the Clackamas marked guns is there are only 7000 of them so while not rare they are a bit special. I'm quite fond of mine. :)

August 27, 2009, 08:10 AM
They were all made in New York. The ATF required the use of the west coast address because that's where the paperwork said the company was located.

"Then in late 1996 Edelman purchased Jerico and changed the name to Kimber Manufacturing. In April, 1997, Edelman closed Kimber's riflemaking facility in Oregon and moved the entire operation to Yonkers.
That's the history of how the Kimber 1911 came to be...

~ American Handgunner Sept/Oct 1997"


August 27, 2009, 08:51 AM
So, that would mean Clakamas is more of a temporal identification than a location.

August 27, 2009, 09:04 AM
yes...kind of like the Corvettes still built in St. Louis when Chevrolet made the transition to Bowling Green, Kentucky...if the location is important...:D

August 27, 2009, 09:42 AM
I had no idea that Kimber never made 1911s in Clakamas.

August 27, 2009, 10:38 AM
they are marked Clackamas as Kimber was located there (prior company maker of fine rifles) but ALL (except for perhaps a few test guns) were made in Yonkers...

If you enjoyed reading about "Kimber Clackamas Mystique???" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!