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NY – INDUSTRY INSIDER – Kimber: The World’s Best Manufacturer of the Classic 1911 Pistol?

While it was Colt Firearms that produced the first of the John Moses Browning-designed M1911 .45 pistols, today the market leader in the category is Kimber. And it isn’t hard to see why, as the company has become known for building fine sporting firearms that are better than even the classics from the golden age of American firearms. Its firearms have been used by the USA Shooting Team, the LAPD SWAT and the United States Marines assigned to Central Command. This has allowed Kimber to become the world’s largest producer of 1911 pistols, while hunters have used the company’s rifles around the globe. While Kimber today dominates the 1911 market like no other, the company wasn’t an immediate success after its founding in 1979 by Australian Jack Warne after he moved to Clackamas, Oregon. Warne had previously owned and operated the Australian firearms manufacturing company Sporting Arms of Adelaide, South Australia. After selling that firm and moving to America he opened Kimber of Oregon, where the company produced .22 long rifle caliber rifles. An attempt to attract investors in a private stock offering fell short, Kimber of Oregon was sold, and by the 1990s its assets were sold off. Jack Warne founded a new company that produced rifle scope mounts, while son Greg Warne worked with Les Edelman and founded the new Kimber of America, which soon grew in size while offering quality products such as its line of 1911 pistols. Greg Warne left the company within a decade and passed away in 2006, but today the privately owned firm—which is based in Yonkers, New York—has more than four hundred employees and has announced plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Ridgefield, New Jersey.  [full article]

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