Gun Test: Kim­ber’s Su­per Ja­gare in 10mm Au­to­matic


Outdoor Life - - NEWS - BY JOHN B. SNOW

As with most semi-auto pis­tol car­tridges, the 10mm Au­to­matic was de­vel­oped for gun­fight­ing and per­sonal pro­tec­tion rather than hunt­ing or gen­eral recre­ational shoot­ing. The FBI adopted the round in the wake of the in­fa­mous Mi­ami shootout in 1986 that left two FBI agents dead and sev­eral oth­ers wounded. The in­abil­ity of the eight agents in the gun bat­tle to quickly stop two heav­ily armed crim­i­nals caused the FBI to reeval­u­ate how they armed and trained their agents.

But the 10mm Auto was a bit too much gun for the rank-and­file FBI per­son­nel, and the agency soon backed away from this po­tent round. How­ever, the un­der­ly­ing cri­te­ria that the FBI wanted from the 10mm Auto—the abil­ity to de­feat tough bar­ri­ers like cloth­ing, au­to­mo­bile glass, sheet metal, and dry­wall, yet still pen­e­trate deeply into a body with re­li­able bul­let ex­pan­sion—make the round at­trac­tive for hunt­ing big game.

Kim­ber’s Su­per Ja­gare is one of the new­est 10mms built specif­i­cally for pur­su­ing four-legged crit­ters. It comes con­fig­ured ready to take afield, and it has a num­ber of smart de­sign fea­tures that hand­gun hunters will ap­pre­ci­ate.

Tam­ing the Re­coil

The Su­per Ja­gare is a sin­gle-stack 1911 with an am­bidex­trous thumb safety and an over­size beaver­tail grip safety. It comes with a long, 6-inch ported bar­rel and a Leupold Delta­point Pro re­flex sight af­fixed to the rear of the slide.

Six-inch bar­rels are pretty stan­dard on hunt­ing semi-auto pis­tols. They gen­er­ate a bit more bul­let ve­loc­ity and help re­duce felt re­coil and muz­zle flip. The port­ing on the Su­per Ja­gare does even more to tame the 10mm’s re­coil, though at the cost of ad­di­tional muz­zle blast and noise.

Kim­ber rounded off the bot­tom of the grip, only par­tially check­ered the pis­tol’s Mi­carta stocks, and ma­chined a very mild check­er­ing pat­tern into the front and back of the stain­less-steel frame. These touches keep the gun from chewing up your hand un­der re­coil as well. Over­all, the Su­per Ja­gare is pleas­ant to shoot and not dif­fi­cult to con­trol.

The Leupold Delta­point is one of the best re­flex sights on the mar­ket. The aim­ing point is large (it sub­tends 7.5 MOA) and easy to see. The lens, gen­er­ally a weak point with re­flex sights, is sur­rounded by a tough steel hous­ing that makes it more durable and able to with­stand a beat­ing.

It only took me a few rounds to zero the pis­tol at the range. The sight comes with two ex­posed di­als to ad­just for el­e­va­tion and windage, and I soon had the Su­per Ja­gare dead-on at 25 yards, printing nice, small groups.

100-Yard Ac­cu­racy

I quickly got bored shoot­ing pa­per at that dis­tance and tran­si­tioned to steel at longer ranges. Shoot­ing off­hand from a kneel­ing po­si­tion, off shoot­ing sticks and us­ing var­i­ous sup­ports, I was able to con­sis­tently ring 8- and 10-inch steel plates—good prox­ies for a deer’s vitals—at dis­tances from 50 to

100 yards.

I shot five dif­fer­ent loads dur­ing the eval­u­a­tion—all of them us­ing 180-grain bul­lets. I had two full­metal-jacket loads, from Sig Sauer and Amer­i­can Ea­gle; one per­sonal de­fense load, from Sig Sauer; and two good hunt­ing loads, Fed­eral’s Tro­phy Bonded Jack­eted Soft Point and Hor­nady’s XTP.

The pis­tol shot all of them well, though the best ac­cu­racy came from the Fed­eral JSP, which turned in an aver­age 5-shot group size of 1.731 inches at 25 yards off sand­bags, with the small­est group mea­sur­ing 1.041 inches.

The Delta­point is very for­giv­ing, since it lets you keep your eyes on the tar­get in­stead of fo­cus­ing on a front sight. And, like other re­flex sights, it can be very quick too, though you need to do a lot of dry-fire prac­tice to de­velop that speed. With­out that prac­tice, you can find your­self hunt­ing for the red dot when you’re try­ing to get the pis­tol up quickly, and it is part of the rea­son I’d cau­tion against re­ly­ing on the Su­per Ja­gare for back­coun­try pro­tec­tion against bears.

An­other piece of ad­vice if you plan to hunt with a pis­tol sport­ing a re­flex sight is to take along a good sup­ply of lens clean­ers and wipes. Even though the Su­per Ja­gare comes with a rub­ber cap for the

Leupold, the lens still gets grungy quickly. Af­ter clean­ing and lu­bri­cat­ing the gun, for in­stance, the first cou­ple of shots through the pis­tol splat­tered the sight with oil, ren­der­ing it al­most use­less.

The trig­ger on the pis­tol was crisp, though a bit heavy at 5 pounds 3 ounces. My pref­er­ence would be to lighten it up by a pound or so for bet­ter pre­ci­sion.

Re­li­able Oper­a­tion

Me­chan­i­cally, the pis­tol worked great. The am­bidex­trous safety func­tioned very well, which isn’t al­ways the case for left-handed shoot­ers such as my­self us­ing 1911s. The pis­tol also ejected the emp­ties in a very con­sis­tent fash­ion, as I learned early on in the eval­u­a­tion. It would spit the brass di­rectly into the thumb of my left hand, which I nor­mally keep in a high neu­tral po­si­tion above the safety, with every pull of the trig­ger. By mod­i­fy­ing my grip and stack­ing my thumbs along the frame I was able to avoid get­ting stung, but it took me a few min­utes to fix the nice lit­tle flinch I had de­vel­oped.

The char­coal-gray fin­ish on the Su­per Ja­gare is as tough as nails, and the Mi­carta grips are nigh in­de­struc­tible. Com­bined with the re­li­a­bil­ity of a well-built 1911, which is an apt de­scrip­tion of this Kim­ber, the Su­per Ja­gare is a hunt­ing tool that can keep up with you no mat­ter how rough the go­ing gets.

Cal­iber Ca­pac­ity Weight Trig­ger Pull Ac­cu­racy Small­est Group Bar­rel Length Over­all Length Price Con­tact STATS 10mm Auto 8+1 2 lb. 11 oz. 5 lb. 3 oz. 2.112 in. 1.041 in. 6 in. 9 7/8 in. $2,688 kim­ber­amer­

FEA­TURES OF NOTE The Su­per Ja­gare is an ef­fec­tive hunt­ing tool, es­pe­cially in thick cover. The port­ing on the bar­rel con­sists of six holes, three on each side. The vents cut into the slide an­gle the gasses for­ward, away from the shooter’s face, to...

The rounded por­tion on the bot­tom of the grip al­lows the pis­tol to roll in the shooter’s hand, mak­ing it more com­fort­able to han­dle the re­coil of the 10mm Au­to­matic.

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