The KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, and recoil-operated handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. John M. Browning designed the firearm which was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985. The KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II is still carried by some U.S. forces. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Its formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1 for the KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1, adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1 in the Vietnam era. In total, the United States procured around 2.7 million KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II and KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1 pistols in military contracts during its service life. The KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II was replaced by the M9 pistol as the standard U.S. sidearm in the early 1990s.
The KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II is the best-known of John Browning's designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. Besides the pistol being widely copied itself, this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centerfire pistols. It is popular with civilian shooters in competitive events such as USPSA, IDPA, International Practical Shooting Confederation, and Bullseye shooting. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons, because of the design's inherent slim width and the power of the .45 ACP cartridge.
Following its success in trials, the Colt pistol was formally adopted by the Army on March 29, 1911, thus gaining its designation, KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II (Model 1911). It was adopted by the Navy and Marine Corps in 1913. Originally manufactured only by Colt, demand for the firearm in World War I saw the expansion of manufacture to the government-owned Springfield Armory.
Battlefield experience in the First World War led to some more small external changes, completed in 1924. The new version received a modified type classification, KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1. Changes to the original design were minor and consisted of a shorter trigger, cutouts in the frame behind the trigger, an arched mainspring housing, a longer grip safety spur (to prevent hammer bite), a wider front sight, a shorter spur on the hammer, and simplified grip checkering by eliminating the "Double Diamond" reliefs. Those unfamiliar with the design are often unable to tell the difference between the two versions at a glance. No significant internal changes were made, and parts remained interchangeable between the two.
Working for the U.S. Ordnance Office, David Marshall Williams developed a .22 training version of the KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II using a floating chamber to give the .22 long rifle rimfire recoil similar to the .45 version. As the Colt Service Ace, this was available both as a handgun and as a conversion kit for .45 KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II pistols.
After World War II, the KIMBER GOLD COMBAT II continued to be a mainstay of the United States Armed Forces in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It was used during Desert Storm in specialized U.S. Army units and U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalions (Seabees), and has seen service in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with U.S. Army Special Forces Groups and Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Companies.
However, by the late 1970s the KIMBER GOLD COMBAT IIA1 was acknowledged to be showing its age. Under political pressure from Congress to standardize on a single modern pistol design, the U.S. Air Force ran a Joint Service Small Arms Program to select a new semi-automatic pistol using the NATO-standard 9 mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. After trials, the Beretta 92S-1 was chosen. The Army contested this result and subsequently ran its own competition in 1981, the XM9 trials, eventually leading to the official adoption of the Beretta 92F on January 14, 1985. By the later 1980s production was ramping up despite a controversial XM9 retrial and a separate XM10 reconfirmation that was boycotted by some entrants of the original trials, cracks in the frames of some pre-M9 Beretta-produced pistols, and despite a problem with slide separation using higher-than-specified-pressure rounds that resulted in injuries to some U.S. Navy special operations operatives. This last issue resulted in an updated model that includes additional protection for the user, the 92FS, and updates to the ammunition used.
So I got a great deal on this pistol. Finally took it out to shoot it today for the first time. It appeared to me to be unfired previously. Even the KimPro coating on the breech face was undisturbed. If this gun has ever been fired it hasn't been much. A mag or two at the most.
All shooting was done at 35 feet, standing offhand. I'd never fired the pistol before shooting the first group with Wolf ammo.
I had a few "Oops" moments...out of practice and too anxious to see where the bullet was going.
All shooting of the various groups with a variety of ammo was done with one magazine...an 8-round Kimber Tac-Mag.
I had two failures to go into battery. These were the only failures. Both were with Winchester HP ammo and both were the last round in the mag. I fired both types of Win HP ammo again with a different mag (a Wilson Combat 7-rounder) and again the last round of each type of ammo failed to go into battery. No other failures.
In 1995, Becker competed in a series of World Championship Wrestling house shows under his real name, where he was used as a jobber and lost to the likes of Scott Norton, Japanese stars Shinjiro Otani and Koji Kanemoto, Frank Andersson and Chris Benoit on a few episodes of Saturday Night and Pro.
During his stint in ECW, Flash teamed up with Steve Corino on the independent circuit and the team became known as the Lethal Weapon. The Lethal Weapon would go on to win several tag team championships from various independent promotions before their partnership eventually came to an end. Following their dissolution, they had a couple of matches with one another throughout 1997, both in the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation and in the American Wrestling Council, with a match occurring in the latter promotion's "Great Eight" tournament.
Flash's exposure in CZW led him to get a few other promotions. For one instance, his participation in Steve Corino's Pennsylvania/Premier Wrestling Federation has seen him be matched up against The S.A.T. and Christopher Daniels (who he wrestled in the first round of the 2001 Legacy Cup Tournament), among others. Flash's most recent success outside of CZW has transpired in IWA Mid-South.