Knight KP1 Utility Rifle

By Randy Wakeman

Knight KP1
Knight KP1. Illustration courtesy of Knight Rifles.

In my impressions from this year's SHOT show article, I mentioned that Knight Rifles surprised me with their slickest single shot muzzleloader (and centerfire rifle) yet, the Knight KP1. The Knight KP1 obsoletes the T/C Encore as well as most every Knight Rifle ever made. It successfully addresses all of the Encore's shortcomings, trigger, recoil, and aesthetics in one fell swoop. The KP1 is superbly designed and built, and it is easily the most impressive muzzleloader (and single shot rifle) introduced in 2007--perhaps the best in years.

This is a single shot break action exposed hammer "utility gun" platform that gets Knight Rifles into the centerfire and rimfire rifle business as well, and in a big way. Wait till you see and shoot one; this is the Knight for which we have been waiting for a very long time. It is a "wow."

Several things are notable about the KP1, which stands for "Knight Phase One." The triggers broke crisply in the 3 to 3-1/2 pound area, with no creep, sand, or drag. Less than enjoyable triggers have plagued many break action rifles, and long guns in general. It was a pleasure to see that Knight has adroitly addressed this problem area.

The stock design on most break action muzzleloaders and rifles has been lacking; they too often have been sway-back designs that are hard on the shoulder and the eyes alike, and invariably tend to be fairly hard kickers. Knight has always had very good solid composite stocks on their inline muzzleloaders and the KP1 is no exception. The stock design brings recoil straight back, where it can be effectively attenuated, and the footprint of the butt is comparatively generous. The shooters I spoke with found the gun very manageable and enjoyable to shoot, even in .300 Winchester Magnum caliber. The gently raised comb is part of what makes this gun comfortable to shoulder and shoot.

The KP1 is offered in several combination packages right from the factory. There is a Varmint package of 17 HMR and .223 Remington, and several Whitetail packages of .50 cal. muzzleloader and your choice of .243, .270 Win, or .30-06 centerfire rifle barrels to complete the picture.

The KP1 action is adaptable to centerfire, muzzleloader, and rimfire configurations with equal aplomb. Your choice of solid composite synthetic stocks or laminated wood stocks will be available, as well as your choice of stainless steel or carbon steel barrel and action configurations. As you might expect, they are all offered with premium Green Mountain barrels as standard equipment. It is also the most streamlined, attractive break action rifle I've seen in a long while.

Knight KP1
Photo by Randy Wakeman.

"Slick" really is the appropriate word for this action. The forearm comes off in a flash, and the entire trigger assembly drops out in a moment. It is an ambidextrous design and superbly executed.

Note: A complete review of the Knight KP1 rifle can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.