Before we get started with the actual article, we’re giving away both of these custom Kimber KHX Pro 1911 pistols. You can enter here at

For readers not familiar with the work of Boyd Lemons at Hillbilly 223 Urban Finishes, and David Teves at MAD Custom Coating, you should be. For two reasons, actually: First, they have both been profiled in previous issues of Ballistic. And secondly, they are two of the best Cerakote applicators in the business.

So, once again, we reached out for a little Ballistic-themed “Custom Challenge,” this time with a pair of brand-spanking-new Kimber KHX Pro 1911s.

Each KHX pistol from Kimber features “stiplex” frontstrap texturing, slick Ballistic-esque hexagonal slide serrations at the rear that match those on top, a round-heel frame and Hogue Enhanced G10 grip panels.

Boyd at Hillbilly 223 received a KHX Pro in .45 ACP. It features a red laser grip, as well as green and red fiber-optic sights.

Just to keep things interesting, we sent David at MAD a KHX Pro (OR) in 9mm, which loses the laser. It instead boasts a milled Optics Ready slide that will readily accept a Vortex, Trijicon or Leupold miniature reflex sight.

As you can plainly see, these masters did their thing, and did it well.

Ready to Go

Hillbilly 223’s custom-coated Kimber KHX Pro is a carry-ready 1911 if I have ever seen one. Utilizing one of the most popular Cerakote colors ever produced, burnt bronze, Boyd and the boys created what they are awesomely calling “Ballistic Bronze” camo, which is a combination of the same bronze color mixed down multiple times to show the versatility and potential of working with only one color.

Boyd is always on the hunt for ways to set his company apart from other custom coating shops. As the “battle-worn” style of coating fades from popularity, he said they are working to offer the most unique camouflage patterns and colors available.

“The masses will eventually have to move away from the same old thing. We want to set the pace on new and unique,” Boyd said.

The subtle and super-slick Ballistic Bronze pattern, combined with the grip laser and fiber-optic sights, definitely puts this gun squarely in the EDC category. And the round-heel frame is great for those of us who like to eat tacos and carry in an appendix position, if you catch my drift.

More for Show

If someone had told me they were paying to have their pretty new Kimber Cerakoted gray, black and orange, I might have told them that we couldn’t be friends any longer. That is until I saw what came in the mail from the mad scientists at MAD Custom Coating. This Kimber KHX Pro has attitude.

Teves, who I gathered feels similar to me regarding orange, explained in an email that he had a request from a 3-Gun guy to coat his AR in black and gray MAD Dragon camo, but he wanted all the small parts orange. Teves explained that he wasn’t a big fan of orange and warned against it, but the client insisted. While Teves might not have completely changed his mind regarding the color, he had to admit that the rifle turned out well, and it definitely turns heads at matches.

So when we explained the theme, Teves, being the astute gentleman that he is — and knowing that one of the popular colors we at Ballistic like to throw around is, in fact, orange — he knew that this was the color theme he needed.

The folks at MAD went with their War Torn Flag pattern, but blended like a camo pattern instead of the usual distressing. The color palette includes MAD Black, sniper gray and hunter orange.

Teves also went the extra mile and coated some of the internals, as well as the barrel and hammer, in the company’s ultra-hard and thin MAD Black Plus. Is the end result a head turner? You better believe it.

Again, you can enter to win either pistol at

To see more of the work done by Hillbilly 223 and MAD Custom Coating or start your own custom job, make sure you check out and

For more on the Kimber KHX Pro, please visit

Kimber KHX Pro Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm, .45 ACP
  • Barrel: 4 inches
  • OA Length: 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 38 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Hogue Laser Enhanced G10 (OR: Hogue G10)
  • Sights: Fiber-optic (OR: raised three-dot)
  • Action: SA
  • Finish: Matte black KimPro II
  • Capacity: 9+1 (9mm), 7+1 (.45)
  • MSRP: $1,108-$1,279

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