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View Full Version : 1911 Decision, Kimber vs. Springfield


sonico
01-13-2010, 10:19 AM
Hello Gents,

I've managed to decide several things. I want a 1911 model pistol in .45 ACP. I want the gun to be stainless steel. I want a factory "loaded" feature set and I want a "Full Size" pistol.

So I narrowed it down to two guns in the ~$1000 price range.

Kimber Stainless TLE II (http://www.kimberamerica.com/products/pistols/custom/stainless_tle_II/)

-or-

Springfield Loaded Stainless Steel Full Size (http://www.springfield-armory.com/assets/pdf/SPRINGFIELD_Book_armory_PX9151LP.pdf)

I would add Novak Three Dot Tritiums to the Springfield at a later date (pushing the price to around $1000).

Opinions from owners? My local range rent's Kimbers so I have shot the Kimber TLE II. It was nice but I have no comparison to the Springfield.

Black Majik
01-13-2010, 10:25 AM
Both are fantastic pistols. The biggest difference would be the frontstrap checkering and Swartz safety on the Kimber. Springfield's Loaded has a ILS on the MSH, but that can be easily swapped out. The Loaded has no internal firing pin safety.

A few things to note. Ditch the 2-piece FLGR in the Loaded. The one piece in the Kimber is better in my opinion, but ditch that one piece for a short GI rod and plug. Both will have comparable accuracy. Both will have similiar fit and finish, though I do find production Kimbers to be marginally tighter.

The main thing to ask yourself which separates these two pistols. Does the Swartz safety bother you? Some don't like them, to others it doesn't matter. be prepared too, you'll get a lot of Kimber haters in here, I happen to like them though.

Try a Loaded out if you can at a different range, they're good shooters. They handle a little different than Kimbers, also see whether or not you like the frontstrap checkering. If you don't, a Stainless Custom II is a Stainless TLE without frontstrap checkering and night sights.

Good luck.

Blood Ocean
01-13-2010, 10:27 AM
I have no experience with Springfield 1911s but I own a Kimber Grand Raptor II and it's amazing. I had one problem that made me send it back to Kimber and they corrected it (replaced broken external extractor) and also polished my feed ramps. Turn around was 2 weeks, only had to pay shipping to get it there. Other than the problem with the extractor (which I've heard is the weak link in the 1911) I've had no other problems. The gun shoots flawlessly, dead-on accurate, and it has a solid feel about it. I'd definitely buy a Kimber again.

new cal shooter
01-13-2010, 10:31 AM
Kimber, Works.

kamagong
01-13-2010, 10:38 AM
Guns are comparable as BM pointed out. Springfield has the superior warranty though, lifetime vs. 1-year for the Kimber.

Voo
01-13-2010, 10:49 AM
My vote goes for the Kimber TLE II. That's probably my favorite budget minded "loaded" style 1911.

chickenfried
01-13-2010, 10:54 AM
No springfield 1911 but own kimbers. I'm happy with my kimbers, I'd buy the Springfield. Not because you'd get a better gun I think they're about equal. But seems Springfield has better customer service and warranty if you do get a lemon. SA's ILS is simpler and easier to get rid of than kimber's schwartz safety.

lazs
01-13-2010, 10:58 AM
I have a Kimber custom eclipse. My son has a springfield. I never had any problems with the Kimber.. My son had some problems with the springfield.

One annoying one is that on his springfield the factory mag was no good and.. it is hard to get the slide stop back in because the detent sticks out too far and you have to use a knife blade or thick fingernail to push it in first.

Lots of guys swear by the springfield.. I didn't think it compared.

timmyb21
01-13-2010, 10:59 AM
Springfield. I own 2 SA 1911's and love them both, I'll buy another when I get my government loan back.

jeffrice6
01-13-2010, 11:01 AM
I own a Springer loaded and would suggest the TLE. Ya, Springfield has a lifetime warranty.....& there is a real good chance you're gunna have to use it! Just my .02, take it for what its worth

sonico
01-13-2010, 11:06 AM
Springfield. I own 2 SA 1911's and love them both, I'll buy another when I get my government loan back.

If you're referring to that extra 10% CA decided to take...I don't think we'll see that again.

Man, hard decision on these guns. I researched the safety on the Kimber's...makes me uncomfortable as this won't be just a range gun.

Seems like Kimber's quality/fit/finish may be higher though...but lifetime warranty on the Sprinfield!

Tough!

Black Majik
01-13-2010, 11:08 AM
If you're referring to that extra 10% CA decided to take...I don't think we'll see that again.

Man, hard decision on these guns. I researched the safety on the Kimber's...makes me uncomfortable as this won't be just a range gun.

Seems like Kimber's quality/fit/finish may be higher though...but lifetime warranty on the Sprinfield!

Tough!


How much are you willing to spend? ;)

n2k
01-13-2010, 11:15 AM
How much are you willing to spend? ;)

Last time you asked someone that question, they bought all the ones they were looking at.......;)

Steyrlp10
01-13-2010, 11:19 AM
Being a girl, I tend to like all shiney objects, and 1911s are on the top of my list. I have two Springfields and three Colts, but have admired the Kimbers from afar.

Guess a Colt is way out of your budget?

wildhawker
01-13-2010, 11:22 AM
Of the two, Springfield. We won't be buying any more Kimbers.

However, I suggest you strongly consider Dan Wesson in your search. Best value in 1911s, period.

sonico
01-13-2010, 11:24 AM
How much are you willing to spend? ;)

I'm scared of what you might suggest lol.

$1,200 is probably the most I can swing right now. I definitely want a shooter, not a collector's piece.

NavDoc
01-13-2010, 11:26 AM
I own both brands and like them equally. Based on my experience, I would expect superior accuracy from the Kimber over the Loaded SA, with similar reliability.

As previously stated, it comes down to which features YOU desire. IMO, swapping sights is an easier endeavor than having your frontstrap checkered. Good luck.

Blood Ocean
01-13-2010, 11:29 AM
Key point on the warranties Kimber took my gun and repaired it three years after purchase and didn't charge me a dime for the work. 1 year warranty on the card is not necessarily only 1 year in the real world.

retired
01-13-2010, 11:38 AM
Of the two, Springfield. We won't be buying any more Kimbers.

However, I suggest you strongly consider Dan Wesson in your search. Best value in 1911s, period.

I was going to suggest the DW also, specifically the P7, but the DW has an adjustable rear sight and not the combat sights the other two have. The OP says he want the gun for more than a range gun and isn't the DW more of a range/target gun than the other two. Of course, I guess the sight can be changed out for fixed combat type sight.:shrug:

Quality wise, the DW is right up there IMO.

xxdabroxx
01-13-2010, 11:41 AM
I like my Springfield. I have shot Kimbers, Colts, Springfields, a Wilson and an Essex Framed 1911. When i was looking for my first 1911 i bought a used Springfield TRP because it was on MY approved list (list i compiled and kept in my wallet to keep my decision straight) and it was what i found at a reasonable price.

I have sent it in for warranty work once to get the ambi safety swapped out for a single safety. There was really nothing wrong with the gun and i had no intention of sending it back at the time. (just called for some tech support on the ambi safety) I just wanted a tighter feel out of the safety. They said it would be no problem and that they would email me a shipping label. I included a letter stating i would prefer a standard safety over the ambi and that is what they replaced it with. This was done by Springfield at no cost to me and i believe the turn around time was about 2 weeks. (keep in mind i was not the original owner this pistol, and i pointed that out to the customer service rep.)

I love that i do not have the firing pin safety, Kimber's implementation of Colts series 80 safety is poor in my opinion as it is fragile. While I do not care for the ILS mainspring housing either, it is much less obtrusive to the overall design of the pistol and can be removed without any sign it was ever there.

I have since replaced the 2-piece guide rod with a GI rod and plug as i don't care for full length guide rods much.

Did i mention that i cannot stand the "Kimber" script writing on the slide?

liketoshoot
01-13-2010, 11:47 AM
Dan Wesson.



what? someone had to say it.

sonico
01-13-2010, 11:48 AM
I wasn't even aware of the existence of the Dan Wesson CZ pistols. They look great from what I can see, but I go to CZ's website and under 90% of the Dan Wesson's I see "Discontinued in 2010".

Valor looks sweet though.

ap3572001
01-13-2010, 11:59 AM
Springfield.

SevenFifty
01-13-2010, 12:12 PM
I made this decision myself about a month ago. Went with the Kimber Eclipse. I have put a few hundred rounds through it without a single problem.

Black Majik
01-13-2010, 12:20 PM
How much are you willing to spend? ;)

Last time you asked someone that question, they bought all the ones they were looking at.......;)

LOL. :D



I'm scared of what you might suggest lol.

$1,200 is probably the most I can swing right now. I definitely want a shooter, not a collector's piece.

$1200 is a good price budget. I was going to suggest a slightly used stainless TRP. It is a bit better built, rivals the TLE better than the Loaded model since it has frontstrap checkering and fixed night sights.

If the choice was between the Loaded and TLE, I would choose the TLE. However, if the choice was between the TRP and TLE, I would go with the Springfield TRP.

Dan Wesson would be a great choice, but it doesn't come with fixed sights. You can also try out Smith & Wesson's 1911, they're comparable to the Loaded and Custom II/TLE II.

dodge
01-13-2010, 12:22 PM
confused why no consideration of any of the colt stainless
also would give a good look as others suggested @ dan wesson stainless
my delta elite 10 was under 1000$ out the door & haven't had any ftf/fte or hiccups in over 1k rounds
& you can shoot 40s&w through them to save money.........
just kidding & yeah, i know it's possible but not recommended :p

i also don't care for the 'kimber script' on their slide
makes a really choice piece look kinda cheese biscuit

RedFord150
01-13-2010, 12:29 PM
...They look great from what I can see, but I go to CZ's website and under 90% of the Dan Wesson's I see "Discontinued in 2010". Valor looks sweet though.

The PM7 (Full Size) and CBOB (Commander size) will only ship to CA dealers in 2010. DW decided that since these are the only 2 models approved for CA, CA should get 100% of the production. This is why Dealers in other states claim they are 'discontinued'.
Also, only .45acp and Stainless finish are CA approved. Too my knowledge, Valor is not on the CA DOJ Roster.
My new PM7 is 'in jail' and will be released to me next Monday. I paid $1,030.00 shipped to my dealer plus $70 for the DROS. Total cost is $1,100.00 Out the door.
I considered Springfield and Kimber also for the 'Best 1911 under a grand' and decided the DW was my best choice. Also, DW will likely raise its prices very soon. I am told my new PM7 will soon cost $1,300.00 or more. Sounds like 'instant equity' to me ;-).
Good luck on your choices.

5150bronco
01-13-2010, 12:32 PM
i heard great things about kimber, but I would think the warranty would be an important factor. I too am trying to decide, but price is not so much an issue.

I would think springfield would be more reliable platform? thanks guys.

subin
01-13-2010, 12:36 PM
My Kimber TLE II has the short GI guide rod with 3.5lb trigger job and she a sweet shooter : )

Deadbolt
01-13-2010, 1:18 PM
How much are you willing to spend? ;)

this is kinda where im leaning as well.


I love the Kimbers, but for that price range, id go with the springfield.


then again whats 1.3k after tax vs..1.6k / 1.8k + .... not much imho then id want a kimber :43:

Exiledviking
01-13-2010, 3:10 PM
Sonico,

PM sent.

MrBrent
01-13-2010, 7:54 PM
I had one problem that made me send it back to Kimber and they corrected it (replaced broken external extractor) and also polished my feed ramps. Turn around was 2 weeks, only had to pay shipping to get it there. .

That right there about paying the shipping is a problem for me. I own an SA EMP and I needed some work on it and SA picked up the shipping bill, plus I like the life time warranty. I keep looking at Kimbers but don't own one. Like others have said I like the Dan Wessons!! I am looking for a good 45 myself.

sonico
01-13-2010, 10:25 PM
I think I'm going to end up waiting a little bit longer. If you look at CZ-USA's website they list all but a couple of the Dan Wesson's as discontinued. I dug around for Dan Wesson info on the 1911 forums and found they will be releasing a whole new group of pistols. Looks like I should be patient and see what they offer.

Thanks for all the information and opinions so far. I am still leaning towards Springfield but now I know to look towards the TRP for some of the features I want.

chickenfried
01-13-2010, 10:29 PM
Unless you have a way around the safe handgun roster. Don't bother you won't be able to buy the new Dan Wesson offerings.

Looks like I should be patient and see what they offer.

Capaholic
01-13-2010, 10:31 PM
Dan Wesson PM7.

retired
01-13-2010, 11:10 PM
Dan Wesson.



what? someone had to say it.



You are correct, that is why wildhawker mentioned it in post #15 and I elaborated on it in post #19.;)

Redford, I don't believe it will be instant equity because of why the DW is going up. It is going to be a forged frame rather than the cast frame it is now. That is what I read on the Dan Wesson forum by a rep. from DW. He gave the prices increases on all of the DW guns and the P7 is supposed to be $100. The CBOB is more but I don't recall how much.

wildhawker
01-13-2010, 11:24 PM
I really don't see an issue with the current cast frames but I do think that a forged frame offers some appeal to those who look for such things in a ~$1k 1911. It might cost a reasonable bit more but I'd expect that it opens up their sales to those forged frame purists.

dgey
01-14-2010, 5:01 PM
they are both good pistols. I am partial to kimbers though... I own 3

Sumo99
01-15-2010, 11:54 AM
I have both the TLE II and Loaded Stainless and both are excellent choices.

The Kimber has a better trigger, is slightly more accurate and has a better fit. On the flip side, the finish on the frame isn't that durable, you can actually see where my fingers grip the frame and it's not as reliable as the SA. I have to be diligent and replace the recoil spring every 500 or so rounds or I start having FTF's. I've only had to replace the spring in the SA once and it has more rounds thru it. My Kimber has more MIM parts and the external extractor, neither or which cause me any problems. The SA is easier to fully disassemble and put back together since it doesn't have the firing pin safety. For the Kimber, I wish I had 3 hands to get it back together. I like the grip safety better on the SA. Both had to be sent back for warranty work, the Kimber's front night sight turned pink and had to be replaced. The front sight on the SA was too tall so they had to install a shorter one. I replaced the mainspring housing on both because I didn't like the ILS on the Springfield and I didn't like the fact that the Kimber's was plastic, plus I wanted mag wells on both.

If I could only have one, it would be a real hard decision on which one to keep, but I think I would lean more towards keeping the Kimber mainly because of the trigger.

beemaze
01-15-2010, 4:27 PM
Here's my 2 cents... I own Colts and Springfields and recently a Norinco 1911 clone.

Kimbers are pretty, they come with all kinds of features and goodies. Awesome finish too! They manufacture more 1911 clones per year than anyone. That means lots of MIM parts. Some have good luck with theirs, others do not. Be prepared to send it back or take it to a gunsmith.

Springfields are not as pretty as the Kimbers. Sharp edges, finish on some of the basic models is so so. Some of the recently made frames are made in Brazil. Brazilian quality control is a mystery to me. At least the Springfields have Series 70 internals (the best design IMHO). They use MIM parts too. Ever try removing the grip bushings? Cheapo metal. They work OK, but the triggers on the Loaded models are very heavy. Be prepared to send it back or take it to a gunsmith.

That being said, I'd buy an old Colt. They don't make 'em like they used to anymore....

B Strong
01-15-2010, 4:36 PM
If it was me, knowing what I know about Kimbers, I'd go with the Springfield.

Don't get me wrong, Kimber does make great pistols - they just don't make sure that every pistol they sell is great.

My record to date is 2 - 1. Two keepers, one lemon.

vta
01-15-2010, 5:10 PM
I had a similar thread up here a couple of weeks ago. some good advice in there.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=252483

I went with a SA Stainless Loaded. Picking it up on Tuesday.