Amethyst, a beautiful young virgin, became the strongest desire of Dionysus, the Greek god of drunkenness and revelry. Desiring to remain pure, she denied his affections. Angered, Dionysus released his white tigers to devour Amethyst. She cried out to the goddess Diana, who quickly intervened to spare her life and turned Amethyst into a statue of white shimmering quartz. The pure maiden was forever a statue. Realizing what he had caused, Dionysus began to weep. His tears of red wine poured over the crystalized maiden, changing her white crystalized quartz into beautiful hues of purple.

Amethyst is derived from the Greek word amethustos, meaning sober. Greek mythology has many variations of this story. But the legend led people throughout history to believe that if you had an amethyst or drank from an amethyst cup, it would prevent drunkenness, keep you sober and keep you watchful. So, essentially, many would drink to inebriation from amethyst cups, believing they were sober.

This story came to mind as I opened the hard case revealing the exquisite Kimber Amethyst Ultra II. I decided not to holster it and go on a bender in hopes that I’d remain sober. However, there’s something mystical and captivating when you’re in the presence of this handgun. Kimber is known for its ability to take power, strength and reliability and embody those qualities with luxurious beauty. Amethyst in hand, admiring the varying shades of purple and silver, my eyes wandering slowly over every intricate detail, I wasn’t sure if I should go to the range and fire it or display it in my home for everyone to admire. But my wonderment quickly passed after one dry-fire round. This amethyst goddess was taunting me to fire her.

On The Firing Line

My range day with the Amethyst Ultra II was memorable. Being the only woman in the group, I had prepared myself for the teasing I was certain would ensue from showing up with a purple gun. I’m the girl who goes against the grain—no pink holster, no pink gun, nothing girlie. Although I am feminine, it’s just not me. My personality goes beyond pink guns. So, I was pretty sure the guys would flip when they saw me with anything of color.

Surprisingly, there were no comments. Instead, they couldn’t wait to get their hands on the Amethyst Ultra II, even to the point of bartering and trading ammunition to hold and fire it. This gun taunts you, like a temptress begging to be touched. I took it into my hands, loving the feel of the cold, hearty steel. My fingers tracing over the round-heel frame, I exposed it to the snow and brisk 20-degree weather.

“All right, Amethyst,” I thought. “You’re definitely an exotic, alluring, beautiful work of art, but are you strong? Do you have what it takes to hold your own in the defensive handgun realm?” I was about to find out.

Instead of just holding its own, the Kimber Amethyst Ultra II set the pace. I ran three different types of 9mm Hornady ammo through the gun: 115-grain Critical Defense FTXs, 115-grain American Gunner XTPs and 147-grain Custom XTPs. I also tested it with some cheaper ammo to see how it would perform. The Amethyst didn’t waver. Its performance was flawless no matter what I fed it. And I tested the gun from a defensive perspective. I wanted to run it as I would any other gun I would use for defense. My groupings were tight and consistent. I also cannot say enough about the trigger. It was so easy and smooth, with a nice, short reset, breaking at just more than 4 pounds. And considering the gun has minimal recoil and boasts Tactical Wedge three-dot tritium night sights, it was easy to reacquire the sights for fast follow-up shots.

Worth The Price

Kimber offers this pistol in .45 ACP and 9mm. Beneath the amethyst PVD coating is a highly polished stainless steel slide. At only 4.75 inches tall, 6.8 inches long and weighing just 25 ounces unloaded, the gun is an easy choice for daily carry. The round-heel frame, along with the gun’s rounded and blended edges, prevents snags on clothing or holsters. The ambidextrous thumb safety, full-length guide rod and solid-aluminum trigger add to the list of positives, proving the defensive handgun capabilities of this gun. It’s standard Kimber, which means it’s worthy and ready to go out of the box.

As I said, my range day was memorable. My male counterparts did not view the Amethyst as a girlie gun. It doesn’t share the stereotype of pink guns. The Amethyst is a sleek, well-crafted work of art that is as solid and strong as it is beautiful. This is a gun you can trust to carry daily and protect you if needed. This is Kimber, folks. In a tactical world full of gun mods and OD green, Kimber has kept the art of craftsmanship and delicate detailing alive without losing durability or reliability. Its guns are as strong as they are visually captivating.

The Amethyst Ultra II is unique. There is something mesmerizing when it’s in your presence. If you get the chance, before you form an opinion, hold it in your hands. I guarantee you will feel the strength that underlies its beauty. Sound dramatic? Maybe a bit. But perhaps the mythology isn’t so far-fetched. It’s a beauty frozen in time, stained with purple tears, ever ready, ever vigilant, protecting those who keep it close.

Kimber Amethyst Ultra II Specs

Caliber: 9mm
Barrel: 3 inches
OA Length: 6.8 inches
Weight: 25 ounces (empty)
Grips: G10
Sights: Three-dot tritium
Action: SA
Finish: Satin silver, amethyst PVD
Capacity: 8+1
MSRP: $1,652

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This article was originally published in the winter/spring 2018 issue of “Personal Defense World.” To order a copy and subscribe, visit

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