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View Full Version : Seriously, Kimber? WTF?


sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 4:01 PM
Yesterday I headed up to Angeles Range with a buddy of mine to run some rounds through my Kimber Eclipse Pro II. Man, does this thing have issues.

Here's the background on it:

http://web.me.com/sfwdiy/xd/kimber.jpg

I inherited this pistol from my Mom's husband when he died late last year. He had previously shown it to me and told me that when he bought it new it didn't run right at all. He sent it back to Kimber and they did some work on it. That was the last discussion I had with him regarding the pistol.

Yesterday was the first chance I've had to go shoot it, and here's what I found:

Multiple failures to extract. It did this three or four times in a hundred rounds. The slide would lock back and the empty casing would be hanging halfway out of the chamber.

http://web.me.com/sfwdiy/xd/kimberfte.jpg

Also, when it does extract properly it flings the focking brass straight back into your face.

I wasn't using funky reloads or JHPs or anything, either. Just green-box Remington UMC ball ammo.

It would also occasionally lock back when there were still rounds in the magazine. Happened with a couple different mags, 2 Kimbers and one Wilson Combat.

More bothersome though is the next problem: You can't drop the slide by racking it. The notch in the slide that catches the slide-stop is cut too long and won't drop the slide-stop when you rack it backward. Here's a picture, and a video demonstrating this:

http://web.me.com/sfwdiy/xd/kimberslide.jpg

pabpe0BmNJY

Also note my awesome Misfits Fiend Club shirt.

This slide-stop issue is not something my Mom's husband would have ignored, and the only possible explanation I can think of is that he just never noticed it. Perhaps he was in the habit of dropping the slide by pressing on the stop, I'm not sure. He was an avid firearm collector, and this is definitely not something that he would have let slide, so to speak. :p

Seeing as how the pistol is definitely not new, do I have any chance of getting Kimber to fix these things? The slide-stop thing especially is unacceptable on a $1000 firearm. How could it possibly leave the factory this way?

--B

Taildraggerdave
08-14-2010, 4:05 PM
Have a look here
http://forums.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27
It's a dedicated 1911 forum and the link is right to the Kimber forum.
Take care,
Dave

Your gun has the External Extractor and has some known issues. I believe Kimber even had a program where they will replace your slide with an Internal
Extractor slide. Kimber has a lifetime warranty policy but I bet you can figure it out for yourself using the above link and learn more
about your 1911 in the process.
Otherwise, give em a call.

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 4:16 PM
Have a look here
http://forums.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27
It's a dedicated 1911 forum and the link is right to the Kimber forum.
Take care,
Dave

Your gun has the External Extractor and has some known issues. I believe Kimber even had a program where they will replace your slide with an Internal
Extractor slide. Kimber has a lifetime warranty policy but I bet you can figure it out for yourself using the above link and learn more
about your 1911 in the process.
Otherwise, give em a call.

Interesting. Kimber's website says their warranty is only good for one year.
http://www.kimberamerica.com/resources/service_and_warranty.php

I'm a member at 1911 forum and this isn't my first 1911. Calguns is more fun.

--B

SNEAKS
08-14-2010, 4:41 PM
Kimber never perfected the external extractor on their 1911s. A majority of them had issues which Kimber decided to change to an internal extractor. Good luck with having them fix it and make it right. There numerous horror stories of Kimbers customer service out there to be read. If it were mine I would take it to a good gunsmith and see what they can do and forget Kimber working on it.

Taildraggerdave
08-14-2010, 4:49 PM
Interesting. Kimber's website says their warranty is only good for one year.
http://www.kimberamerica.com/resources/service_and_warranty.php

I'm a member at 1911 forum and this isn't my first 1911. Calguns is more fun.

--B

Ok. I must be wrong. Good luck with your Kimber then and Calguns is more fun.

Dave

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 4:58 PM
Ok. I must be wrong. Good luck with your Kimber then and Calguns is more fun.

Dave

What's with the attitude? You're perfectly correct about the extractor. It's an issue I wasn't aware of on a firearm I didn't purchase and hadn't even fired until yesterday.

I asked the question about whether or not I had a chance of getting Kimber to fix it because they clearly state on their website that their warranty is only good for a year.

When I read your first response I thought I detected a bit of "lrn2google, RTFM, N00b" snarky-ness in there, but I wasn't sure and didn't mention it. Now this. What gives?

--B

Silverlake223
08-14-2010, 5:07 PM
Hum... I think LAPD Swat went with the Kimber 45... :confused:

POLICESTATE
08-14-2010, 5:12 PM
Hum... I think LAPD Swat went with the Kimber 45... :confused:

They don't have the fail external extractors.

My Custom II TLE doesn't either. It eats reloads for breakfast! 550 round count so far, after tomorrow will be 700 :43:

As for the OP's problem, I would suggest going to a gunsmith if it's out of warranty. I remember reading about these before I got my Kimber, which is why I made sure there was no external extractor on it, I did see complaints about the problem but I didn't really note the solutions. I think there are some, I would suggest a google search with "kimber external extractor problems" and see what comes up.

Maybe it's something you can fix, let's hope so.

jim293
08-14-2010, 5:12 PM
Kimber never perfected the external extractor on their 1911s. A majority of them had issues which Kimber decided to change to an internal extractor. Good luck with having them fix it and make it right. There numerous horror stories of Kimbers customer service out there to be read. If it were mine I would take it to a good gunsmith and see what they can do and forget Kimber working on it.

I had some problems with my gun after I purchased it. I called them and explained my problems with the gun. They sent me a call ticket and I sent it back. I had the gun back within a week. They did a great job on it. I have had excellent luck with there service and am extremely happy with my pistol.

trob
08-14-2010, 5:12 PM
out of any 1911 in the 800-$1k+ range, ive heard of the most problems with kimbers....weird.

they look nice, but ive never really considered owning one.

POLICESTATE
08-14-2010, 5:14 PM
out of any 1911 in the 800-$1k+ range, ive heard of the most problems with kimbers....weird.

they look nice, but ive never really considered owning one.

I did a lot of research before I got mine. Most of the problems are either with the external extractors or people using reloads on a brand new gun and/or not cleaning the factory goo off of it first.

asgalindez
08-14-2010, 5:20 PM
With regards to the slide-stop not disengaging, when you pull the slide back slowly (with no mag inserted) does the slide-stop drop out of the notch or does it stay up in the notch? If it stays, something is hanging up the slide-stop and not allowing it to disengage freely. I don't think the slide is the issue in this case.

For the fail to extracts...maybe an extra power extractor spring is needed? Not sure about this...my Kimber has an internal extractor.

ke6guj
08-14-2010, 5:26 PM
More bothersome though is the next problem: You can't drop the slide by racking it. The notch in the slide that catches the slide-stop is cut too long and won't drop the slide-stop when you rack it backward. Here's a picture, and a video demonstrating this:


This slide-stop issue is not something my Mom's husband would have ignored, and the only possible explanation I can think of is that he just never noticed it. Perhaps he was in the habit of dropping the slide by pressing on the stop, I'm not sure. He was an avid firearm collector, and this is definitely not something that he would have let slide, so to speak. :p

Seeing as how the pistol is definitely not new, do I have any chance of getting Kimber to fix these things? The slide-stop thing especially is unacceptable on a $1000 firearm. How could it possibly leave the factory this way?

--B

It almost appears as if the slide is being prevented from fully cycling. Perhaps by something in the recoil spring/guide rod area. I don't have my SA 1911 handy to see the how much rearward travel is available past the slide stop notch, but on my Llama 1911 I'm getting much more slide travel than your video shows. Perhaps that is the issue, that the slide isn't going back far enough to move the slide stop, not that the slide stop cutout is too long.

Yes, the slide stop might be in the wrong spot or be too large, I'd compare it against another 1911, but I'd suggest pulling the recoil spring and guide rod and see if you get enough slide travel then.

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 5:26 PM
With regards to the slide-stop not disengaging, when you pull the slide back slowly (with no mag inserted) does the slide-stop drop out of the notch or does it stay up in the notch? If it stays, something is hanging up the slide-stop and not allowing it to disengage freely.

That's what I thought at first too, but the slide-stop doesn't just drop out of the way when the slide is no longer exerting pressure on it. When the slide is pulled back all the way it should ride up over the slide-stop, pushing it back down. Then, barring the presence of an empty mag forcing it up, the stop should stay down and allow the slide to travel all the way forward.

The notch on this particular slide has been cut out so far forward that it cannot ride up over the stop to push it back down.

--B

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 5:28 PM
It almost appears as if the slide is being prevented from fully cycling. Perhaps by something in the recoil spring/guide rod area. I don't have my SA 1911 handy to see the how much rearward travel is available past the slide stop notch, but on my Llama 1911 I'm getting much more slide travel than your video shows. Perhaps that is the issue, that the slide isn't going back far enough to move the slide stop, not that the slide stop cutout is too long.

Yes, the slide stop might be in the wrong spot or be too large, I'd compare it against another 1911, but I'd suggest pulling the recoil spring and guide rod and see if you get enough slide travel then.

There's a possibility. I'll have to check this. I was comparing it to my Springfield, and the Springfield didn't have a noticeably larger amount of travel. I'll have to pull the slide apart later and see what I find.

--B

MrPlutonium
08-14-2010, 5:37 PM
They had some manufacturing issues with the slide stops before: they were out of spec so every once in a while a round would engage the slide stop and lock open the pistol.

Doheny
08-14-2010, 5:39 PM
I took a defensive handgun class with two guys who had Kimbers. Both had issues during the class; one wouldn't cycle unless it was real wet and I don't remember what the issue was with the other one. Those of us w/ Glocks and M&Ps didn't have any problems at all.

asgalindez
08-14-2010, 5:44 PM
That's what I thought at first too, but the slide-stop doesn't just drop out of the way when the slide is no longer exerting pressure on it. When the slide is pulled back all the way it should ride up over the slide-stop, pushing it back down. Then, barring the presence of an empty mag forcing it up, the stop should stay down and allow the slide to travel all the way forward.

The notch on this particular slide has been cut out so far forward that it cannot ride up over the stop to push it back down.

--B

I just whipped out my Kimber Eclipse Custom II and the slide-stop in fact does not drop free. That was my mistake. Sorry buddy.

Comparing the slide-stop location on my full size 1911 to yours, it seems like your slide has less travel to the notch (i.e. mine is farther forward). I would agree with ke6guj and check to see if something is hindering your slide from fully cycling.

G-forceJunkie
08-14-2010, 5:55 PM
Dumb question, but is there a shock buffer in there? I had a guy bring me a Colt that would not work. Had two buffer in it...he figured if one was good, two would be better :)

Taildraggerdave
08-14-2010, 6:14 PM
What's with the attitude? You're perfectly correct about the extractor. It's an issue I wasn't aware of on a firearm I didn't purchase and hadn't even fired until yesterday.

I asked the question about whether or not I had a chance of getting Kimber to fix it because they clearly state on their website that their warranty is only good for a year.

When I read your first response I thought I detected a bit of "lrn2google, RTFM, N00b" snarky-ness in there, but I wasn't sure and didn't mention it. Now this. What gives?

--B

No, not even. I thought Kimber had a lifetime warranty (like Springfield, etc.) You replied that they only had a year -- I guess I was wrong.
Then, you said you were already a member of 1911 Forum, as am I, and this was not your first 1911, so it seemed to me you were already versed on them.
When I read your first post, the first time, I thought you were new to 1911's and was trying to steer you in the right direction. No attitude just trying to help. If I came across badly, then I apologize as that was not my intention.
Dave

CSACANNONEER
08-14-2010, 6:34 PM
Call Kimber and ask them. I sent them my Custom PRO CDPII after 25K rounds of reloads and several years of hard service. They fixed everything that I wanted them to and even repalced the night sites because, they thought the sites were dim. It cost me shipping to them and that was it. They have GREAT CS!

glockman19
08-14-2010, 6:58 PM
Have a look here
http://forums.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27
It's a dedicated 1911 forum and the link is right to the Kimber forum.
Take care,
Dave

Your gun has the External Extractor and has some known issues. I believe Kimber even had a program where they will replace your slide with an Internal
Extractor slide. Kimber has a lifetime warranty policy but I bet you can figure it out for yourself using the above link and learn more
about your 1911 in the process.
Otherwise, give em a call.

Yes check out the 1911 forum.

Theonly issue I've had wiht a kimber also came with the Pro model. FTF, FTE FTRTB, you name it. After 500 rounds I sent it back to Kimber and they returned it with a laundry list or repairs and modifications. After that it has run flawlessly. Of the four other Kimbers I own, I have had NO issurs at all.

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 7:08 PM
No, not even. I thought Kimber had a lifetime warranty (like Springfield, etc.) You replied that they only had a year -- I guess I was wrong.
Then, you said you were already a member of 1911 Forum, as am I, and this was not your first 1911, so it seemed to me you were already versed on them.
When I read your first post, the first time, I thought you were new to 1911's and was trying to steer you in the right direction. No attitude just trying to help. If I came across badly, then I apologize as that was not my intention.
Dave

Cool, no hard feelings. Tone can easily be misinterpreted when you only have written text to go by. :)

Thanks for the info on the extractors! :thumbsup:

--B

sfwdiy
08-14-2010, 7:50 PM
It almost appears as if the slide is being prevented from fully cycling. Perhaps by something in the recoil spring/guide rod area. I don't have my SA 1911 handy to see the how much rearward travel is available past the slide stop notch, but on my Llama 1911 I'm getting much more slide travel than your video shows. Perhaps that is the issue, that the slide isn't going back far enough to move the slide stop, not that the slide stop cutout is too long.

Yes, the slide stop might be in the wrong spot or be too large, I'd compare it against another 1911, but I'd suggest pulling the recoil spring and guide rod and see if you get enough slide travel then.

ke6guj is the winner.

I took the spring and barrel out and checked the action. Sure enough, it did go back far enough to disengage the stop. There weren't any visible obstructions, and I couldn't figure out what was causing it.

Turns out, someone was retarded and for once it wasn't me. I remembered that when I was gathering up all the 1911 stuff lying around the garage at my Mom's place, I had picked up an extra recoil spring. I went digging through my box of assorted gun parts and found it at the bottom.

I pulled the spring that was in there off the guide rod and compared it to the one I had found. The one installed in the pistol was about 3/8 of an inch longer than the loose one. It was also a heavier spring. It was hitting full compression before the slide reached the full extent of it's rearward travel.

I put the other spring back in and it disengages properly now. That's one problem solved. Hopefully Kimber will help me out with the extractor.

--B

ke6guj
08-15-2010, 2:28 AM
glad you got that part figured out. sounds like it might have had a "full-size" recoil spring for a 5" 1911 installed, and with your gun being a 4" model, as you mentioned, it was coil-binding before the slide completed it normal travel.

One thing that did concern me is the potential that even the new spring that you found may not be the correct one. Wolff lists the recoil spring for your gun to be a 22lb spring, whereas a full-size spring is usually around 16#, meaning that the spring you found should have been a heaver spring, not a lighter one. http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=1&mID=32

For piece of mind, it may be worth getting a new recoil spring that you know is correct for your model. They run <10$.

sammy
08-15-2010, 8:34 AM
Kimber had lots of problems with the external extractor. I have read in previous forums that after mutiple trips back to the factory they replaced the slides with the internal extractor version. The problem is compounded with a barrel length less than 5". I personally have never seen a smaller Kimber run right but that is just a hand full of shooters I have run into at the range. At my local club I shoot with a few guys that have high round count Kimbers with external extractors that run great. Not sure if they had problems in the begining but they run great now.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I would send it back and make a fuss or if you don't want the headache just sell it as project. Sammy

glbtrottr
08-15-2010, 8:44 AM
they had similar problems even with the new models.

I paid a little extra for them to do a trigger job on mine...if their slide is defective, they will fix it for you or get you a new one.

Call them.

G-forceJunkie
08-15-2010, 9:51 AM
I would test fire it again. The extraction problem may be related to the incorrect recoil spring. If you did have a much too light spring in there, the action may have been unlocking too early when there was too much pressure stillinthe case holding it to the chamber wall. A temporarly "stuck" case, the extractor overrides the rim and you get the failure in your picture. Just a theory.

bruceflinch
08-15-2010, 3:25 PM
The video looked weird to me..The slide lock & ejection port were on the opposite of normal sides..???

ke6guj
08-15-2010, 3:28 PM
I think he was filming it "through" a mirror.

note that all the print on the gun and his shirt were mirror-imaged as well.

Cobrafreak
08-15-2010, 9:08 PM
I feel I'm an expert on the subject. Kimber had four revisions of the external extractor. I own the first gen. It was not extracting properly. The problem is they severely under sprung the extractor arm from the factory. What is happening is the mass of the arm is too heavy for the extractor spring as is and it is not snapping back in time. Wolf makes an extra power extractor spring for external extractor models. It's 25% stronger. It fixed the problem. I had a different problem on top of that. Kimber has in stock Gen II through Gen IV spare ejector parts. They offer no replacements of Gen I external extractors. They do have a deal that for $250 they will give you a new kimber slide with a regular 1911 extractor and fit it to your gun. They also put new night sights on my model as they were dimming which was nice of them. If you don't like your Kimber there are lots of people that will buy it from you. If you do like it, put a stiffer extractor spring in it or upgrade the slide to the new style (old) 1911 extractor. The slide stop problem you have is the slide stop itself and not the slide. There is either a burr or something else that is keeping the slide stop arm up. I've seen this often on all makes of 1911's. A small piece of sand paper or jewelers file on the rear facing surface of the slide stop arm will fix this.

tankerman
08-15-2010, 9:19 PM
Hum... I think LAPD Swat went with the Kimber 45... :confused:Come on.
This is an external extractor gun and not every gun or model. You know that right?

Big Jake
08-16-2010, 7:29 AM
What type of ammo are you using? My Kimber does not like reloads, but does fine with factory fresh ammo!

t001
08-16-2010, 6:41 PM
Even their earlier internal extractor Gen II models had FTE problems. When those problems first started popping up, many people were suggesting that the magazines were the problem and that switching to better aftermarket ones would help. However, turned out it was more likely that the tension in the internal extractor had to be finely tuned. Then they went to the external extractors and all heck broke loose. Kimber was really getting beat on for a while there, and deservedly so.