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Honest Review: Kimber Mako R7 CCW Pistol



I confess to one of those people who is perpetually late to any given event. But that’s not always a bad thing.

Sometimes by showing up late, you miss a fight, or at the very least, you’re not the first person to do something stupid. Kimber America must feel the same way, as they were the last major company to release a micro-compact pistol, and as such, it got a few things right that the others got wrong. Meet the Mako R7 OI, a concealable protection piece that is not only optics-included but also optics-friendly.

At first glance, the R7 is another polymer-framed, striker-fired, micro-compact pistol … a term I ought to make a stamp for these days. However, if you look a little closer (yep, past the gratuitous stippling), you’ll see that it is one of the only guns on the market with a closed-top ejection port. Those of us running glass these past years have likely realized that opening up the slide also opens up the optic to direct blows from exiting brass or, at the very least, immense fouling … sometimes to the point of complete obstruction. This is certified no bueno if your life depends on that dot’s visibility. Taking it a step further, Kimber now offers a model with a pre-mounted Crimson Trace CT-1500 5 MOA red-dot, saving you the trouble of matching up plates or taking a flying optic to the head because you failed to torque the screws down properly.

Although I find the slide to be the Mako’s most defining feature, the frame also deserves some attention. As mentioned previously, Kimber wasn’t cheap on the stippling and applied what I like to call a static texture everywhere your hand would generally make contact. The grip is also designed with a mild palm swell that fills the hand but not so much that it induces printing when carried concealed. It takes magazines of the fashionable “stack-and-a-half” persuasion, albeit a touch wider than the others on the market as of late. The controls of this pistol are well thought out, particularly the magazine release, which is recessed and ambidextrous, making it ready for lefties right out of the box. The same can be said for the slide stop. Aside from the drop safety, the only other safety on this gun is located in the trigger bow, making it ready to fire the moment it clears the holster.

I selected Browning’s 147-gr. X-point Defense ammunition for my test ammo, as it has been nothing short of spectacular in the past. I’m also partial to the heavier pills in carry guns as they typically shoot much flatter and produce more of a push than a snap. Out of the box, the optic came cowitnessed with the 3-Dot TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights, and I saw no need for correction, especially after sending my first shots downrange. As this is a carry pistol, I decided on 7 yards as a test distance, as much more isn’t fair in most cases. This, however, proved not to be one of those cases as my first five-shot group produced one ragged hole that measured .56”. Subsequent groups were about the same, leaving me with a five-group average of just .92”. With consistency like that, I could have tested it at the ranges I use for full-sized pistols, and still produced exceptional groups.

After getting up from my shooting point, I decided to run the gun from a universal holster I kept in my range bag. I found that I could place it just about anywhere on my belt that I desired, and it was a great candidate for controversial (for men at least) appendix carry. When stripping the cover garment, there weren’t any notable snags, nor any when I snatched it from the holster. After each draw, I performed a series of double taps, which allowed me to get a better feel for the sub-6-pound trigger. It broke like glass and had a remarkably short reset, allowing for split times as quick as .22 of a second.

I saved enough ammunition to fill a magazine to carry the gun home with, making the usual stops along the way. I did find the stippling a little coarse against my waist when I bent over, but to be fair, I wasn’t wearing a holster that offered any barrier between that surface and my skin. However, it is important to note that in most cases, I didn’t know the gun was there at all, and that’s sort of the goal with a CCW pistol. Kimber’s late entry is undoubtedly a hit in my book, and with concealed-carry opening up in new states every day, it’s not a bad idea to check one out. For more information, visit


ACTION TYPE: Semi-Automatic

CAPACITY: 10+1, 11+1, or 13+1 rounds




HEIGHT: 4.3”

WIDTH: 1.0”

WEIGHT: 19.5 oz

FRONT SIGHT: Fiber Optic TruGlo® Tritium Pro Night Sights w/ orange front ring and white rear dots. Pre-mounted Crimson Trace® CTS-1500 (optional)



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