Kimber R7 Mako Review
Kimber is known for its attention to detail. From performance to fit and finish, Kimber never cuts corners. Now the same function and eye-catching aesthetics can be found in their new, and first-ever polymer, striker-fired pistol, the Kimber R7 Mako. This is not Kimber’s first striker-fired gun, but it is their first-ever polymer design.
The R7 Mako is a 9mm micro-compact handgun that Kimber released in August 2021. This is a high-capacity pistol that offers an astonishing round count of 12 with the flush fit magazine, and 14 with the extended magazine. This gun is available in two versions, the OR which stands for Optics Ready, and the OI which stands for Optic Installed.
Creating and offering an optics-ready, or optic included pistol seems to be what every gun manufacturer is presently doing. Red dot optics have ushered in a new craze with gun owners that has created a sort of “demand”. While many reputable gun companies have come out with some amazing options in this arena, Kimber did something different. Prior to engineering the R7 Mako, Kimber went straight to gun owners and customers asking them what they wanted in a concealed carry pistol. The response included a micro-sized handgun that is easy to conceal, offers a higher round count, has an excellent trigger, and includes an optic. Kimber made all of this and more possible with the R7 Mako.
The pistol I received is the IO version which comes complete with the Crimson Trace CTS 1500 red-dot sight. This optic features a 3 MOA dot and automatically adjusts brightness to match ambient lighting conditions. It requires only a single CR2032 battery with a duration of up to 5,000 hours on the mid-brightness setting. This is a low-profile optic that is co-witnessed with TruGlo’s Tritium Pro night sights. What I found most impressive is that the optic cuts are machined very deep into the slide which allows the use of standard-height sights.
Kimber engineered the R7 Mako differently than other micro-compacts on the market – it is truly the only of its kind. One of the differences that immediately stood out to me is the shrouded slide design with a hooded ejection port on the side versus an open top design, which Kimber states is beneficial as it directs gasses and ejecting brass away from the optic. The next feature that stood out to me was the trigger. The specifications state that this gun has a trigger pull of 5-6.75 pounds, but it does not feel anywhere close to that due to the design. I found myself double-checking the trigger specifications as it literally felt almost half of the weight listed. This was not happenstance but instead an intentional design. The R7 Mako features Kimber’s all-new Performance Carry Trigger which offers a clean break with an even consistent pull. This is a flat-faced trigger with a blade-type safety and has been specifically engineered to feel smoother and lighter than what it actually is.
Kimber also nailed it in the ergonomics department. The Kimber R7 Mako is comfortable to shoot and offers ease of manipulation with an ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release. It boasts aggressive, yet comfortable grip texturing that is bordered by smooth, clean lines. While this gun is a micro-compact, it still gives you the feeling of having a good purchase on the gun. Aesthetically the R7 Mako is everything you would expect from Kimber. A beautiful fit and finish and clean lines that are very pleasing to the eye. The stainless-steel slide is finished with ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC) which gives it a nice matte black finish and offers elegant and useful serrations at the front and rear. This gun is also snag-free which makes it optimal for concealed carry.
Shooting the R7 Mako proved Kimber’s claim of minimal recoil. The perceived felt recoil of this new micro-compact was significantly less than others I have had time on the range with. Overall, I was able to consistently shoot groups less than one inch from about 10 yards utilizing Federal Syntec Training Match ammunition in 124 grain. While on the range I was looking for something I might change or desire to be different. In all honesty, there really wasn’t anything I disliked or would desire to be different with this gun. I typically do not lean towards micro-compact guns as it is just not a personal preference, but the R7 mako really made a good impression on me.
Kimber raised the bar in the micro-compact realm with the R7 Mako. This optics-ready gun is comfortable, accurate, consistent, easy to conceal, and offers a higher round capacity. This gun is a literal micro-tack driver wrapped up in a sexy package – something Kimber never fails to do. If you are looking for a micro-compact handgun that is reliable and designed with everyday concealed carry in mind, you should really try out the Kimber R7 Mako.
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