5.56 Timeline

Custom Smith 745 IPSC

Custom Smith 745 IPSC — Believed to be Bill Jarvis’s work — Custom machined magwell, Custom Cone Comp, Clark Front sight, Bomar rear, top shelf trigger job. . . .Shame the gent that had it done apparently never competed with it, like new inside!– Karl Beining

Brass Knuckle CCW Legality

I posted this picture on the LooseRounds facebook page the other night and got talking with a couple of friends when they mentioned my “belt buckle” or “paper weight.” They were surprised when I told them that brass knuckles are legal to own and carry concealed with the CCW permit in Kentucky. The knuckles, knives, saps, blackjacks, rifles, multiple pistols ,etc. All legal to carry here with the CCWD.

By happenstance the same subject came up on arfcom a bit ago and some one posted up this handy chart to tell you the legality of brass ‘nucks in your state. No info on saps and blackjacks and such in the chart though.

Kimber’s .40 S&W Polymer Framed Striker Fired that never was released.

by Luis Valdes

Kimber was once looking to jump into the Striker Fired Polymer Duty Size Pistol market with the KPD series. KPD stood for Kimber Pro Defense. This was around the 2005-2006.

This was during the era when police department across the country were starting to drop their DA/SA and DAO Hammer Fired Metal Framed Duty Guns. You could say it was the start of the second pistol revolution in American law enforcement. These police departments wanted something lightweight, polymer framed, and chambered in .40 S&W. GLOCK was still leading the market with close to holding 60% of the market.

Smith & Wesson was starting to regain market share with the M&P series after the screw up that was the Sigma. Ruger, FN, SIG SAUER, and HK were nowhere to be seen as far as striker-fired goes. While Springfield Armory wasn’t in the LE market. They were doing very well on the civilian side with their acquisition of sole importation rights of the Croatian HS2000 (XD Series) and marketing it as the X-treme Duty Pistol.

So Kimber seeing a new possible market; decided to jump into the LE Duty Gun game since they were already doing fairly well as an established manufacturer with their 1911s and they had some specialty sells to some SWAT teams across the country.

The gun was to be the hot new thing from Kimber. Interchangeable back straps, twelve-round capacity in .40 S&W and 16 rounds in 9mm, and it was all to be in an affordable striker-fired, and made in America.

The 2006 SHOT Show press release from Kimber said:

The KPD will be offered in .40 S&W caliber initially and has all the bells and whistles currently popular in pistols of this design including an integral light rail, ambidextrous magazine release, ample magazine capacity (12 rounds), large dovetailed three-dot combat sights with night sights available as an option, and interchangeable backstraps that allow the user to fit the gun to their hand. It is a handsome gun and made in the U.S.A.

It would also come with an internal lock and a magazine disconnect as an option.

Here are screen captures from their website back in 2006.

They put ads in every gun rag in the rack and built anticipation.

It was even listed in the 2006 price guides.

I remember this gun was being talked about heavily here on Arfcom. Folks were really excited to see such an offer from Kimber. Then out of nowhere, the gun disappeared. By 2008, Kimber pulled all ads from their magazines and removed the gun from their website.

I remember visiting their booth at the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando and there was no sigh of it. At the various trade shows like NRA Annual meetings and other SHOT Shows, I’ve asked Kimber reps whatever happened to it. The floor reps at the Kimber booth had a clue as to what I was talking about.

The most common theory that I’ve heard is that Kimber didn’t want to produce the gun so they sold the design to Ruger and Ruger released it as the SR9.

The Ruger SR9 really does look like the Kimber KPD. But if you look at the Ruger versus the Kimber. The slide stop pin location is different as are a number of other features.

In my talks with Kimber, what really happened is that they decided not to go into the LE striker-fired market and instead sat on the design, reworked it, and released it as the Solo.

Their Senior Marketing Director told me “I have only been with Kimber for about 4 months so I had to ask around about the KPD .40  Evidently we had issues with this design and decided not to move forward with it.” He further confimred that they basically reworked it into the Solo and later the EVO SP.

When you look at the Solo and the KPD. The slide stop pin, extractor, trigger pivot pin, magazine release button, and general layout match up. Same with the EVO SP

In the end, it is a gun that never saw the light of day. I’m curious how many KPDs are currently sitting at Kimber and if any will ever see the light of day.

SOG 1-0 Franklin D. Miller

This is a pretty rare photo of Franklin D. Miller a SOG 0-1 and recipient of the Medal Of Honor for actions while serving in SOG. He is speaking with the indigenous members of his recon team. Miller on the far left.

Citation below. As with all awards to men who served in SOG, the action did not take place in Vietnam, it actually happened in Laos but because of SOG’s highly classified cross border missions, locations where always changed along with other details. Facts of where these actions took place and the true amount of danger was not reveled until years later.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces
Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam
Entered service at: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Born: 27 January 1945

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Miller, 5th Special Forces Group, distinguished himself while serving as team leader of an American-Vietnamese operating deep within enemy controlled territory. Leaving the helicopter insertion point, the patrol moved forward on its mission. Suddenly, 1 of the team members tripped a hostile booby trap which wounded 4 soldiers. S/Sgt. Miller, knowing that the explosion would alert the enemy, quickly administered first aid to the wounded and directed the team into positions across a small stream bed at the base of a steep hill. Within a few minutes, S/Sgt. Miller saw the lead element of what he estimated to be -size enemy force moving toward his location. Concerned for the safety of his men, he directed the small team to move up the hill to a more secure position. He remained alone, separated from the patrol, to meet the attack. S/Sgt. Miller single-handedly repulsed 2 determined attacks by the numerically superior enemy force and caused them to withdraw in disorder. He rejoined his team, established contact with a forward air controller and arranged the evacuation of his patrol. However, the only suitable extraction location in the heavy jungle was a bomb crater some 150 meters from the team location. S/Sgt. Miller reconnoitered the route to the crater and led his men through the enemy controlled jungle to the extraction site. As the evacuation helicopter hovered over the crater to pick up the patrol, the enemy launched a savage automatic weapon and rocket-propelled grenade attack against the beleaguered team, driving off the rescue helicopter. S/Sgt. Miller led the team in a valiant defense which drove back the enemy in its attempt to overrun the small patrol. Although seriously wounded and with every man in his patrol a casualty, S/Sgt. Miller moved forward to again single-handedly meet the hostile attackers. From his forward exposed position, S/Sgt. Miller gallantly repelled 2 attacks by the enemy before a friendly relief force reached the patrol location. S/Sgt. Miller’s gallantry, intrepidity in action, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”[6]

January 5, 1970: On the day of this particular mission, Miller was part of a seven-man long-range reconnaissance patrol of American Special Forces and Montagnard tribesmen. After inserting in Laos, one of the Montagnards tripped a booby trap, which wounded five men in the patrol and brought down a much larger force of North Vietnamese troops.

“It was like a religious experience. I knew something had happened. I was actually falling and thinking, “Why am I falling? When you see that much blood, and you know that it is yours, it has a tendency to scare you.”

Miller said, “I then calmed down and tried to figure out what I had to do.”

Miller single-handedly repelled two attacks by a platoon-sized enemy element, crawling to an exposed position and engaging the enemy, after rescue helicopters were driven off by heavy ground fire. During the heavy fighting, four of the members of his patrol were killed.

Miller was the only man in the patrol that could continue to fight and by nightfall, was nearly out of ammunition. Finally, a relief patrol was able to reach him and the other two survivors and they were able to get out safely.