September 2010

Full-Size 1911s with Accessory Rails: Kimber vs. Double Star

Double Starís $1350 Parkerized black Combat Pistol and the desert tan $1441 Kimber Desert Warrior are two winners, but we found a few differences that made one of them our choice.

When it comes to producing a Gun Tests evaluation, the process can be complicated by differences in operation. For example, a tight protocol, such as 9mm polymer pistols with 4-inch barrels and identical capacity, can challenge our test staff to master a different trigger for each gun. That wonít be the case here, because the operational differences in these two guns are subtle, despite their vastly different cosmetics.

Our 45 ACP test guns were the Kimber Desert Warrior, $1441, and the Double Star DSC Combat Pistol, $1350. Despite having so much in common with the Kimber, the appearance of the DSC Combat Pistol could not have been further from that of the Desert Warrior. If you love the way your AR-15 "black gun" looks, the Double Star Combat Pistol provides a matching sidearm. Only the stainless-steel barrel hood and aluminum trigger broke up the understated color scheme. In contrast, the choice of color and the unusual grips found on the Desert Warrior set the gun apart from other 1911s. Officially, the color of the frame and slide were Desert Tan, but it could also be called khaki. The appearance of a lanyard loop at the bottom of the mainspring housing was also a distinctive touch.

To get started with the test, we first made sure each gun was lubricated. These are steel guns with a lot of metal-to-metal contact. We lubricated the slide and frame rails, the disconnector, the swinging link, each side of the hammer and along the outer surface of the barrel. The barrel lugs were lubricated by filling the matching wells beneath the slide with BreakFree CLP oil.

We began our tests by cleaning out the ammo closet, shooting each gun with a variety of rounds, including 200-grain lead semiwadcutters from Black Hills Ammunition. We then settled in at [IMGCAP(2)]our bench along the 25-yard line. Here we fired 10 round groups from a sandbag rest. Our test ammunition was Wolf 230-grain Copper FMJ with steel cases and non-corrosive primers, 200-grain JHP/XTP +P Hornady rounds, and Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok JHP ammunition.

Our big question: Since the guns were essentially the same mechanically, would the statistical results be a dead heat? Or would our guns exhibit distinctly different personalities? Letís find out.

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