One of the more ingenious AR manufacturers made a bold announcement in 2019. It was going to cease manufacturing its AR rifles and set its sights on building custom 1911 pistols. I was able to secure one of its 1911 prototypes for test and evaluation. Named the Cobalt Kinetics Adeptus, it was supposed to be the pinnacle of 1911/2011 engineering. That’s a bold claim and worth evaluating.
The first prototypes included a carry model, a full-sized tactical model complete with a threaded barrel, and a competition-style version. The magazines were all double stacks and could be had in 9mm or .45 ACP. The pistols had a radical look.
Cobalt Kinetics Adeptus
I had the rare opportunity of being able to shoot all 6 prototypes at a private range event in January 2020. So private, it was just the Vice President of Cobalt Kinetics and me. I was offered my choice of one pistol for an extended review and chose the Adeptus.
This Adeptus is a 9mm built on a frame similar to the STI 2011. It runs STI magazines and due to the size of the magazine well funnel, a 15-round magazine will fit flush, the 20-rounder will sit with the base plate visible below the funnel.
From the pictures, you can tell that the funnel is HUGE. I have been in the world of custom and competitive 1911s for over 30 years and I can’t remember seeing one like this. Now, just because I can’t remember, does not mean it does not exist or I have never seen one. I was never really a fan of the funnel — until I laid my hands on this one.
The cocking serrations were extremely unique and reminiscent of crescent moons or the gill slits on the side of a shark’s body. The front serrations were set back a good 2 inches from the muzzle and aid in press checks while keeping the shooter’s hand in a safer position.
Turning to the slide, you get an impressive-looking chunk of steel with lightening divots and a sight rib. The front sight is a red fiber-optic tube that literally lights up when shooting outdoors in the sun. The rear sight is a micro-adjustable type, not unlike a BoMar or Gold Cup sight.
The trigger guard was squared off, and the grip frame had a pleasing and comfortable checkering pattern. The trigger was adjustable for overtravel and broke at a clean 3 pounds. The hammer was a double-slotted Commander-style. While there was a generous beavertail on the grip frame, there was no grip safety.
If you are a fan of a full-length dust cover, this pistol’s frame is perfect for you. It may not be that familiar profile most of us know and love, but it imparts a unique look and feel to the pistol.
As for controls, the Adeptus featured an ambidextrous frame-mounted safety and oversized magazine release button. A bull barrel and full-length guide rod rounded out the Adeptus for a truly unique handgun.
Construction and fit and finish were truly next level. There were no visible tooling or machining marks anywhere on this gun. It had been completely dehorned and had no sharp edges. It may not have had that “bar of soap” feel that a Clark’s Custom Gun Meltdown had, but it was close.
The grip contour and shape were well done. There was no visible or removable mainspring housing, so the old argument of arched vs. flat was settled on this piece. You get it the way it is, and that’s final.
Lastly, there is just enough of a splash of color (Cobalt Blue Cerakote) in the frame to make this one stand out from the crowd.
At the Range
As stated earlier, the Adeptus uses STI 2011 magazines — designed for 9mm and 38 Super. If you have never seen one, these magazines are works of art in their own right. While pricey, the juice is worth the squeeze. The magazines loaded easily, fed reliably, and were light years ahead of any single stack 1911 magazine made over the past 110 years or so.
My earliest range sessions with this pistol were incredible. I’ve shot a lot of accurate custom 1911s, mostly in .45 ACP, and had no idea of the accuracy potential of the 9mm parabellum in this platform. I had been hesitant about double-stack 1911s since the old Para Ordnance days, but this was like shooting a SIG or HK pistol. Group sizes were one ragged hole out to 75 feet. Beyond that, I could have likely done better with prescription shooting glasses or a red dot sight. This is SIG P210 or HK P7M8-type of accuracy for me.
This is one of those handguns where you should consistently hit the 10-ring with an occasional flyer to the 9-ring every time you put rounds downrange.
My only concern in the beginning, was getting used to the large magazine well funnel. However, it went perfectly with the extended STI 20-round magazines. Even the shorter 15-rounders showed no issues. However, if they were any shorter or more of a flush-mounted design, I could see possible headaches coming.
While this was a prototype pistol, there are a few changes that I would like to see. First of all, it is now 2022 by the time you are reading this. I love iron sights, but it’s getting to be the age of the red dot. An option to mount a micro-sized electronic sight is a must these days. Perhaps, we will see that option at a later date…
Second, I prefer threaded barrels on my pistols because I will always be a silencer guy. While this pistol may not need a compensator, it would be a blast to mount a 9mm silencer on it.
That said, as it comes from Cobalt — in essence— it is a perfect pistol for competition as an open gun or one that you can brag about your accuracy in front of others at the range. Cobalt really turned the 1911 on its head for this one. I realize the STI and others preceded Cobalt with the double-stack 9mm 1911/2011, but the little touches specked out by Cobalt, such as the distinctive cocking serrations, pinned grip safety, etc., really tie together everything in a competitive platform.
I’ve been shooting the Adeptus for over a year. It never failed to impress with its accuracy and how readily it digested any type of ammunition from subsonic to +P loads.
In the interim, a few things have changed at Cobalt Kinetics. The original owners sold the company in 2019 to a local gun builder in St. George, Utah. While the new owner did not shutter the AR operation, the 1911s were briefly put on the back burner. Because, low and behold, the political climate coupled with a global pandemic changed the firearms buying dynamic once again.
Cobalt’s new owner has assured me that we will be seeing 1911s such as the Adeptus within the next six months. Keep track of the company’s website and its social media accounts for when that time comes. The other offerings, such as the carry models and the tactical versions, have a lot to offer to shooters as well. I shot every one of them a time or two, and they were all superb.
Changes are in the offering for these pistols — beyond the initial prototypes. Cobalt Kinetics is keeping it close to the vest for now, but this is one of the few companies that has never let me down in the industry. They certainly won’t cut any corners in production and who knows, maybe some of the features I recommended will make it into the final designs.
Manufacturer: Cobalt Kinetics
Barrel length: 5 inches
Weight: 28 ounces
We can only hope as much, because while there always is room for improvement, these pistols seemed to have been at the pinnacle when they were specked out a few years ago I know that I thoroughly enjoy shooting this one.
That is interesting, as I have been shooting, building, and collecting 1911s for 35 years. I’ve tried them in all calibers but like most, swore by a single-stack .45 ACP. The Adeptus promptly cured me of that and with a 15- to 20-round magazine capacity, it opened my eyes as to how a great pistol could be made greater.