Kimber Custom CDP II- Practical carry gun?


New member
Hello- I just made my New Year resolution to get my permit. I was astonished when I talked with my wife about this, to find she is interested in attending classes with me and get hers as well! My main home defense gun is the Kimber Custom CDP II (Full size 1911) .45 acp. I've had it for about 3 years, enjoy shooting it and shoot it fairly well. I just dumped another $1,200.00 in a USFA Pre-War (Colt SAA replica), so my arsenal wad is spent for some time. The range where I plan to attend CCW class suggests bringing the gun and holster I intend to carry, to class with me. Is the Kimber a practical full time carry gun? If so, any recommendations on a holster type/brand? I'm 6'5" & 245 lbs. I've heard that carry guns can get to be like golf clubs......but I can tell ya, the wife ain't gonna let that happen. Any suggestions would be appreciated as well as a head's up on mistakes you may have made upon making the decision to carry. Could stand to save some headache, heart ache or cash by learning from those who've been there!

You've asked a lot of great questions. I'll answer a few and let others chime in as well.

First, let me say congrats on your decision to take self defense seriously. Having such a positive wife is a definite blessing as well.

My Kimber Stainless is one of my carry guns and it is very concealable but on the heavy side. As long as you are comfortable with the gun and it is reliable I'd say go for it. You might want a small gun as well for those hot days when you will be wearing shorts and a tee shirt. A good belt is just a important as a good holster (especially with a heavy CCW) so make sure you don't focus on one and neglect the other. Holsters are really something you have to buy and try. What works for some won't work well for others so keep that in mind when people make recommendations. I feel so strongly about this that I won't make a recommendation. Good luck!
Carrying a heavy gun takes some getting used to, but certainly can be done. I carry a Ruger p345. It's not huge, but not small either. I am quiet comfortable carrying it. I did not start with this gun though.I got used to a smaller gun (Taurus pt140pro). It was really not that big of a change. Just make up your mind you can do it and continue carrying it until you get used to it. You will need a carry belt and a good holster
Hiya, and welcome to the festivities!

A guy your size should have no trouble at all with a full-size 1911. I'm barely 6' tall, at about 115 lbs., and I can carry one comfortably. I find the most comfortable holster -I- have is a Galco "Concealable" . . . lays flat and close and keeps the weight close to the body where it doesn't "hang" and feel heavier than it really is.

Uhh... You got a Purple '71 FLH?
It's a little harder for those of us who are "dunlop challenged" to carry a heavy gun but that being said, I carry a Springfield Loaded Champion that's stainless steel so it can be done with the right holster and belt. If you don't already have one, do get a double thick belt, it makes a ton of difference. I also carry IWB and use a Milt Sparks VersaMax-II holster. I think it's the IWB all others are judged by.

I would think the Kimber is very doable and I wouldn't hesitate to carry it! :D

Welcome aboard too!

Wow! I can tell ya, I was hesitant to post but I'm pleased now to be acquainted with such a friendly and helpful group! Ya never know on these forums when someone will feel the need to show how "knowledgeable" they are by making you feel like an idiot for asking a question.

My first and foremost concern is to get trained in the law and safe carry. I have a newborn and a two year old, so finding the time to do that is a chore, but at the same time they are the driver behind my decision to carry, so I'll find the time.

Although the Custom CDP II is full size, it does have the factory "melt" treatment and an aluminum frame to lighten things up a bit. So it's not a total monster, but to me the Ultra would be ideal for full time carry. At least now I have some confidence to give it a go with the Kimber and know where to go if I have questions. I just didn't want to walk into to the CCW class and get the "what the heck was he thinking" look when I stroll in with a full size 1911!

I appreciate the good tips on belts and holsters as well. Thanks again!

To answer Ektarr's question......yes my member alias is from my 1971 Harley FLH and it was purple and white. Key word being "WAS". I rode it for ten years but sold it three years ago when I acquired a new wife and a new mortgage! I took it from rust and dust to "best in class" at a couple of local shows. I now have some great memories and some good photos. Oh yea....I also have a tattoo for sale if you're interested! Ha Ha! I decided to keep the"prplflh71" name since it's my email etc. "It takes a real man to ride a purple Harley". I'll try to attach a photo......see what happens.
Last edited:
I have to make a correction... I am NOT! "115 lbs." as I erroneously stated above. I'd look like a freakin' Tim Burton character!! Make that 215 lbs.

Also, and not to hijack the thread, both my Lovely Bride and I are on '05 FLSTC's. Here's mine, twice:

Link Removed

Link Removed
I'd have to check with Luke but I'm pretty sure there is a "hijack exemption" for pictures of Harleys! :rolleyes:

I mean, what's a cowboy without his gun and horse? :eek:

Nice bike bros!
Kimber is ALWAYS the RIGHT choice!

Hi there, I am a NRA instructor (in-case the log in didnt give that away!)for basic pistol, rifle, home firearms, personnal protection in the home and outside the home(PPH, PPO) and a few other programs. But as a instructor for almost 15 years and LEO for a number or those years I have carried most every type of sidearm out there and today the two "carry guns" I always have one of on my hip are both Kimbers one being a Ultra carry II (3" barrel) and a Custum Stainless LE (4" barrel) both are ideal carry guns and as for barrel length you have nothing to worry about because the one dimention that creates issue's is not the length of the barrel(with-in reason!) but width! The 1911 frame is a perfect carry frame because of its slim profile. I would highly recommend the Milt Sparks vera maxII holster (as did another person)because the belt loops (it use's 2 loops, one on each end of the holster for stability. And it make's a HUGE difference) on that IWB are replacable! If you have a 1.5" belt on one day and the next you have a suit on with a 1" belt then you just use a small allen wrench to remove the 1.5" loops and put on the 1" loops! It is those little things that make a great holster. I would recommend that you get on the web site NOW and start the order for that holster seeing that there is now a 6 month wait for a holster from milt sparks right now, but it is well worth the wait. QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY!!!!! The holster will run you just under $100 and each set of belt loops are $12 I think. You can also try for that holster, they may have one of the versa max II in-stock.
One thing DO NOT BRING YOUR FIREARM INTO CLASS WITH YOU!!! Most states use the NRA PPH course as the standard for the CCW class and rule #1 is no firearms and no live ammunition in class! The instructor will tell the class to bring in the firearm they plan to use for the range portion of the class but that is only the day before(so they can inspect and deem safe for use) the live fire portion, so wait until they tell you to bring it or they might tell you to just leave the class. As for a holster dont bring one because at no time will you ever be holstering your firearm. The protocal for the NRA class states that the instructor will be the one to load and hold the firearm between rounds fired while on the range(one instructor per student on that day). It is the NRA's way of avoiding any accidental discharge during loading and waiting. It may sound strange but once you are doing it it will make sence. Also I would recommend that in a few years you look to see if you can find a program that the NRA puts on called the "Eddie Eagle safety class/program" it will instruct children what to do in most every dangerous situation including coming accross a firearms at home, a friends house or anywhere. It is a great program!!! Having the experience I have in both Law Enforcement and in being a instructor I do need to say a few things about having a sidearm that accessible is to remove the taboo from the gun. Meaning when, not if but WHEN your kids have any questions (and they will, I know first hand!) answer all of there questions. NEVER try to hide it or keep iot a secret, EVER! Think back to your years as a child, what was the first thing you did after your parents told you not to touch something? What did you do? YOU TOUCHED IT!! Answer all of there questions, then let them touch and if they want to shoot like daddy does then go buy them a BB gun or a small 22 caliber rifle. But please teach you children the basic gun safety rules, please dont just say "you dont need to be asking about that and dont ever touch one EVER that is dangerous!! Instead tell them not to touch until you can show them only after you have taught them the basic safety rules you have been taught in you class. REMOVE THE TABOO AND ANSWER ALL THERE QUESTIONS!
Welcome from Texas. Glade to see you and your wife are on the same page. It is good to know that there is someone that "has your back" if somthing happens.
My piece of advice to new carriers starts with the holster. DON'T go out and drop $60 - $100 on something you've never worn. The chance is too great that you'll end up hating it, and end up with an expensive hunk of leather taking up drawer space. Before you even get your permit, go try a couple of cheapie holsters to wear around the house (as often as possible). These are often nylon and cost less than $25. Figure out which is most comfortable (inside the waistband: IWB, outside the waistband: OWB or hip carry, cross-draw, or small of back: SOB). Your tastes will likely change, so shift positions every couple of days with your cheapie holster. Once you figure out your preference, graduate to a more expensive (maybe $40) and more durable holster. This is the one you should carry with the first 6 months.

I've said all this because this is what was told to me when I started carrying a little over a year ago. I've spent $45 among 2 holsters and now know what I like and have been comfortable carrying. Christmas money will now be spent on a "real" holster made of leather. Good luck and welcome to the carrying community.
Prplflh71 welcome to the site and I hope you enjoy!

Just thought I would add my 2 pennies. I have carried a Kimber Ultra Carry II for over a year now and absolutely love it. At 5'6'' the Ultra carry was a little more comfortable, to me, then a full size 1911. My Dad also carries the Kimber Ultra CDP II and loves his. Both guns are great shooting and accurate for a 3in barrel.

Good luck with getting your permit!
Thanks for taking the time to cover the many unknowns that come with being new to the carry scene as well as the great advice on the issue with my children growing up around guns. Much appreciated!

I grew up in a gun household and Dad sent me and my two older brothers to the local NRA Hunter Safety Course all at the same time. Gosh, I must have been around nine or so? By this time I'd had a couple BB guns and was on my way to a .22 Marlin and Mossberg 20 gauge. That safety course went a long way on it's own, but Dad was ex-military and was very diligent on us handling them safely. You are right though.......I remember being mesmerized by his Ruger revolver and .32 pocket pistol when he was out of the house. Without the training....I might have put a hole in the wall, or worse yet myself or one of my brothers.

The website of the range where I plan to train for my permit does say, "Participants must bring with them to the class - a firearm, ammunition (200+ rounds) and a holster. We recommend that students bring the firearm that they intend to carry". That is cut and pasted directly from their site. I've not called to schedule the class yet. I'm sure they would clarify the gun being for the range portion only. But they do specify to bring a holster. They also mention that you must qualify at the range prior to the class. I'll make sure to get the specifics when I call. Thanks for the "head's up"!

Getting back to the children in the house issue; my oldest turned two September of last year. I keep my collection locked in a floor safe, but my house gun (a 1911) is kept in a drawer beside my bed, along with a flashlight. I know she doesn't have the strength to cycle the slide, (I keep a full mag but no round chambered for that reason). Is this "safe" and if not, what do you recommend? I want the gun "at the ready" but feel disadvantaged by the need to cycle a round to be ready for business. I don't want to create a safety issue with a round chambered if she gets a hold of it. It also is no good to me in a lock box or locked drawer. We know exactly where she is and what she is doing 99.9% of the time, but when a gun discharges, there is no "do over". I've taken steps to remove the "stigma" by reading American Hangunner to her (showing the pictures) and watching shows like Personal Defense TV and Shooting USA while she is in the room. I walked around the house all evening with my .45 holstered for the first time tonight. I was surprised, she never took a second glance at it or even asked about it. I'd like more insite from you on this when you have time.

Thanks again!
children in the house, GULP!

Hey there, I just wanted to let you know how I run my course's (per NRA regs) as for bringing your sidearm. We strickly abide by the NRA course outline and all of the rules and such. I know from a few other faciities in my area that do pick and choose what policies they use and that all well and good. The NRA PPH course has one instructor for every one student on the range portion of the course to load and help direct the student with the commands of the Chief Range officer (6 hours at the range and 22 in the class, for a total of 28 hours) but we cover Basic Pistol, Firearms in the Home and Personal Protection in the Home and a certificate for each upon completion. So they leave with a weath of knowledge and in alot of cases starting with little to NO IDEA of what to do with any gun if they where to come across one. But it sounds as though your class is focusing on concealed carry only which is great also.
Kid, hmmmmmm..... That is a tough one but to date the best program I have seen or been involved with is the "Eddie Eagle" program the the NRA does a great job with putting on. If you go to the NRA site ( or just call them they should be able to give you all the info you need and answer any questions you may have. The best thing about the Eddie Eagle program is that they cover EVERYTHING from firearms to strangers even our (as parents) worse nightmare pedifiles! So look into it and just use your best judgement, who better knows your kids then you! Every child is different and there for needs to taught differently. But from your small test of wearing your 45 it seems as though you have a good handle on what needs to happen.
The tricky part is safe's. I will tell you this right now DO NOT BUY A BIO-METRICS SAFE!!! I have had the chance to use the Bio that the NRA is pushing in there catalog for $250-$300 and they are a great idea, using your finger print and its better then any key but it takes about 10-25 seconds to open and that is no good if you need it now! The best pistol safe I have come across is a single pistol safe that has either a key (round one like a kryptonite lock) and then there is a pad the is contoured to you hand and at each of you finger tips is a push button that you program for any order of your finger tips depressing, once you depress the four digit code the door springs open and inside it it foam lined. The good quality models are going for $65-$95 depending on sthe size. Thaat way there if you used one of those cases you could bolt it to the underside of the bed or the back of the head board. If you look around you will also find bed side tables that have a hidden draw that opens to reveal your sidearm. But I do have to say USE A LOCK BOX! There are a dozen different locking systems out there and one of them will work for you, like I said about the finger tip lock it is fast and easy to open, and with little to no practice you can unlock it just upon feel alone! As for the holster subject again, you like EVERY other person that carries will end up with a dozen holsters in a drawer somewhere. But I have been through so many holsters in the years I have been carrying and on the job. The one holster I would tell anyone and everyone to buy is the Milt Sparks Versa Max II it is the best holster I have ever worn!! It will melt right into your hip and you will never feel that 45 there on your hip. I hope that I have helped you in some way. In closing just use your commen sence when it comes to gun safety with your kids, ask yourself what would a kid do in any situation that may present itself. Shoot straight and be safe. Jason
I do need to say a few things about having a sidearm that accessible is to remove the taboo from the gun. Meaning when, not if but WHEN your kids have any questions (and they will, I know first hand!) answer all of there questions. NEVER try to hide it or keep iot a secret, EVER! Think back to your years as a child, what was the first thing you did after your parents told you not to touch something? What did you do? YOU TOUCHED IT!! Answer all of there questions, then let them touch and if they want to shoot like daddy does then go buy them a BB gun or a small 22 caliber rifle. But please teach you children the basic gun safety rules, please dont just say "you dont need to be asking about that and dont ever touch one EVER that is dangerous!! Instead tell them not to touch until you can show them only after you have taught them the basic safety rules you have been taught in you class. REMOVE THE TABOO AND ANSWER ALL THERE QUESTIONS!

I strongly agree with teaching children about firearms and what they do. The more you try and hide something from a child, the harder they will try to learn (possibly from dangerous sources). I was "forbidden" from touching even a bb gun as a child. I joined the military and experienced "culture shock" when presented with my first M16A2. I took advantage of every opportunity presented to me and now serve as a firearms instructor in the military and in civilian life (NRA Pistol Instructor). I've got a little one of my own, he's 3 and asking a lot of questions. He's got his own toy pump action shot gun and semi-auto handgun. They're both handled and stored like "daddy's guns". He can play with his toy guns only with daddy's permission, and under daddy's supervision. When your 3 year old gives you heat for leaving an empty holster on the bed, you know you've done your job. ;)

Be safe, and good luck!


Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Latest member