View Full Version : Opinions wanted, on Kimber.

12-24-2010, 7:32 AM
My Buddy is considering a Kimber Ultra CDP II w/ a laser grip.
Anyone shooting one? I know Kimber is supposed to be a Top of the Line.
Good Pistol?
Good Customer Service?
Apparently there is a 4-6 month wait for one.

What do you think?

12-24-2010, 8:33 AM
I have a Kimber Ultra Covert II, which has the laser grips standard...it's basically very similar to the Ultra CDP II, but with a different finish.

LOVE IT, and it's my EDC for CCW.
Super accurate, and very reliable. In truth, you do need a bit of a break-in period of a few hundred rounds to loosen everything up, and you'll need to find out what ammo it likes. The more you shoot it, the better it shoots.

It's small and light, so the felt recoil is a bit stiff, but after a few hundred rounds of practice you don't notice it anymore. Conceals like a dream.

Don't know where you're located, but in SoCal, you can find them at Turners in stock, and sometimes on sale.

12-24-2010, 8:42 AM
I'm personally not a fan of Kimber II's Swartz safety or MIM parts at its price point. Make sure you educate yourself on the potential problems of Kimber and you can start here:
Kimber Common Problems and Fixes...
Tuning the Kimber style Swartz Safety.

From well known gunsmith Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance:

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Kimber Warrior

Over on 10-8Forums.com, we'd had some threads which discussed issues with the Kimber Warrior, which I had once recommended as a viable service 1911. Our collective withdrawal of endorsement for the Kimber lineup has been met with great consternation throughout the internet, with folks arguing bitterly on both sides of the matter. I wanted to speak for myself this time around, and in a venue in which more folks would be able to ask questions if they desired. For starters, you can read the original threads HERE (http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=84156&Searchpage=1&Main=9612&Words=Kimber+Warrior&Search=true#Post84156) and HERE (http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=56097&Searchpage=1&Main=5844&Words=Kimber+Warrior&Search=true#Post56097).

Before we start with the discussion, please consider the sample size that I have used to reach my conclusions, then consider your sample size. This is meant strictly as an academic discussion that includes statistics, not an emotional mudslinging event. Let's look objectively at how I've come to my conclusions, starting with the photo below:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_BrhCi9WZCEk/TDu3aUMtZkI/AAAAAAAAABs/AOWQNCv-vso/s320/Frames3.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_BrhCi9WZCEk/TDu3aUMtZkI/AAAAAAAAABs/AOWQNCv-vso/s1600/Frames3.jpg)

Yup, that's part of a batch of Kimber Warriors that I worked on over the course of several days, with several assistants. The guns were all in street service, and all had over 3000 rounds each on them when I first met them, and about 5-6000 rounds when I got them in the photo above.
They exhibited the following symptoms during the first training class:
-Feedway malfunctions with OEM Kimber TacPro mags - rounds would nose down into the frame below the feedramp
-Feedway malfunctions with quality aftermarket magazines. The feedramps were improperly dimensioned and all the guns came with the Kimpro finish on the feedramp so they became sticky with extended firing.
-Extractor tension failures - some of the extractors fell right out of the slides upon disassembly
-Slide stop problems - premature lockbacks, failure to lock back, or improper lockback such that seating a magazine caused the slide to drop. Most of the guns had .38/9mm slide stops with lobes so long that they struck the top round in the magazine. These guns were .45's.
-Rear sights falling out

When I got to the pistols at around 5-6000 rounds, we had some more problems:
-at least 2/3 of the pistols had loose plunger tubes that were held in primarily by the grips. The factory plunger tubes were MIM units which did not hold a stake very well.
-grip screws had come out with the bushings, as they were not staked or Loctited at the factory
-several had their barrel bushings break. These bushings were machined, and I have no idea why they went south.

With the following fixes, the guns were born again hard, and have served with distinction and many have reached 15-20,000 rounds on them with only replacement extractors and springs.
-new bar stock plunger tubes, bushings, and extractors
-recut and polish feed ramps
-Replace and Loctite and/or stake grip screw bushings and sights
-Replace OEM magazines
-Adjust slide stop lobe, detent rear face

The issues that this batch of guns also reflected many of those which I had worked on, as well as those experiences of my peers in the industry. I each instance, with the requisite fixes, the guns were good to go. I personally ran one of the original Warriors with only the above tweaks for about a year, and a decent 5 digit round count (sorry, don't have the log book for that one any more).

In summary, if you like your gun and it works, have a good time and drive on. If you're looking for a new gun, then read over this list and compare stats with the other reviews and recommendations. Ultimately, it's on you to decide what you want. Decide with facts.

IMO, I'd rather pay a little more and get a well built Government size Series 70 Les Baer or even a Dan Wesson. If those are higher than your price point then maybe a Loaded Springfield Armory.

A good article from Yam on choosing a 1911 for duty use gives you some insight on what makes a 1911 reliable:


12-24-2010, 8:52 AM
Thanks for the link

12-24-2010, 9:13 AM
Kimber makes fine 1911s
By zdagon52 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/zdagon52) at 2010-11-28
By zdagon52 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/zdagon52) at 2010-11-28
Kings thick barrel bushing/ Videki solid medium trigger/Wilson bulletproof extractor/ Colt commander hammer/Colt serrated MSH/ EB slide stop/EB hardcore sear/ambi safety/Wilson 8rd mags/Wilson 70/80 seriesFP(wolf extra power FP spring)

Marlin Hunter
12-24-2010, 9:26 AM
My Buddy is considering a Kimber .... I know Kimber is supposed to be a Top of the Line.
Good Pistol?
Good Customer Service?
Apparently there is a 4-6 month wait for one.

What do you think?

I know a few people who own Kimber handguns. I do not know the model name or number. It seems like they need an excessive amount of oil when new, and require several hundred to several thousand rounds before they break in. They are very well made, and shoot smoothly, but I can't see a difference in accuracy between a Kimber and my cheapo GI Springfield 1911.

12-24-2010, 9:47 AM
I can't see a difference in accuracy between a Kimber and my cheapo GI Springfield 1911.

my SA GI shoots much more accurate with Kimber match barrel and a hand fitted Berryhill bushing.
By zdagon52 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/zdagon52) at 2010-11-28

12-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Kimber makes a great 1911, allot of the negative posts on the internet are from Colt and or S.A. fanboys who hate that Kimber came from nowhere and in less then 20 years has 40 to 50% of the 1911 market. That means that for every 2 to 3 1911s sold one is a Kimber. Kimbers firing pin safety also gets allot negative post, maybe when it was first released it had problems with timing and durability but not now, I prefer it over the series 80, it does not work of the trigger, one of the reasons Kimber is known for great triggers right out of the box. MIM parts, almost every gun under $1500 has some MIM parts. Its another issue that is worn out. When MIM first came on the scene there where some problems, just like anything else overtime it has been corrected and will last the life of they gun and then some.
While other 1911 manufactures rested on their laurels, Kimber put their nose to the grindstone and made 1911s that people wanted to buy at a affordable price. All the Kimber haters really should be thankful, the 1911 market was going nowhere until Kimber revived the market.

Back to your question, I dont recommend the 3" 1911s as a first or only 1911 and only as a deep concealment back up type gun. That said I do own a CDP-ULTRA, no laser but it has been a great little .45, very accurate for its size and no malfunctions right out of the box to now with over 1000 rounds fired.


12-24-2010, 10:57 AM
Kimber is NOT the top of the line by any means but it's the most cheapest way to get there. Excellent handgun. Prints half inch holes in paper tagrets ( 25 yards and then some ) and will perforate the scum with accuracy.
Buy with confidence!

12-24-2010, 11:05 AM
Stormvet, so if someone does not like Kimber they are automatically considered a fanboi of another brand? That's a huge assumption and not a very good one.

12-24-2010, 11:14 AM
The only problem I noted during my time as an armorer at a Kimber stocking dealer was the tendency of some (not all) Kimber barrels to surface rust if not kept well oiled. I wound up cleaning up a number of them.

Kimber rental guns stood up well - a testimony to durability.

12-24-2010, 11:18 AM
I love kimber eclipse ultra. I have zero problems with it and wouldn't even say I had a "break in" period. My next gun purchase will be a super carry pro. Ill order it next week.

12-24-2010, 11:29 AM
I have owned a couple of Kimbers and I still have an Eclipse Target II only because I paid a little too much for it.

For most shooters, with a Kimber you get a lot of gun for your money. Are they the top of the line? I don't think so. Will you notice the firing pin safety or the MIM parts? Probably not.

But if you are a competitive shooter or a professional who runs their guns hard, I think you are better off with a Springfield Armory 1911 if you can't find a Colt Series 70 or earlier.

I've only seen one firing pin safety plunger break (it was a Para) but I've never seen that failure in a Springfield or Series 70 because it doesn't have one!

12-24-2010, 11:42 AM
Sorry, I have been on all the 1911 forums. I have read the Kimber hate mail over and over and it just gets old. I really feel most people are just regurgitating what they heard in some chat room. The series 70 lovers are the old school. They see the radical deviation of the swartz safety to be unreliable and unnecessary.

Thant said my experience with Kimber has been awesome. I love it. I feel that for less than 1000.00 out the door inc, dros, and tax I made the right choice. I did go into it knowing that it was possible to have some issues during break in and was planning to upgrade parts here and there (tinker) all along.

Thanks for the 10-8 article. It looks like with those minor (as far as I'm concerned) modifications. You can expect excellent long term reliability. I will be taking those modifications into serious consideration as I plan it's long term build up.

12-24-2010, 11:54 AM
I have had my Kimber UC II since October and put 520 trouble free rounds down range. Hopefully soon i'll be picking up another Kimber.

12-24-2010, 12:21 PM
Sorry, I have been on all the 1911 forums. I have read the Kimber hate mail over and over and it just gets old. I really feel most people are just regurgitating what they heard in some chat room.


I've had two Kimbers, an Ultra Crimson Carry II and Grand Raptor II. Never any issues with either one.

The Ultra CDP II is similar to my Ultra Crimson Carry II. The recoil on that gun was stout and after about 100 rounds, I was usually ready to shoot something else. I ended up selling the gun because I needed some cash for other things, but I still really wish I had hung onto it. It was just about the perfect carry pistol. However, if I was to do it again, I'd probably go with one of Kimber's 4 inch "Pro" guns for the full-size grip which I believe would have made the gun much more comfortable/enjoyable to shoot for extended periods.

12-24-2010, 1:20 PM
I have read all of the bad press for a number of years about the Kimbers. Seems a fair amount of people have had a problem with them. Maybe that's in the past, I don't know.

I have several friends that have Kimbers, and they say only great things about them, so you will have to make up your own mind.

The only thing I have against Kimber, is their warranty. It is limited. There are several 1911 manufacturers out there with a lifetime warranty. I chose one of those (Dan Wesson).

12-24-2010, 1:43 PM
When I was getting pre-deployment training at the place formerly known as Blackwater, a couple of the instructors noted that the newer Kimbers were more suceptible to rust and other metalurgical issues. They were still fans of Kimber, they just suggested being extra liberal with the lube. I don't know if it was their personal experience or where they heard the reports from.

12-24-2010, 2:22 PM
I'm kinda with Stormvet and Sker13 on this one....
I'd say, if you actually OWN or have OWNED, and had a bad experience....that is good data. If you've "read about" something on the Internet, and are passing it along, please position it that way.

Don't hate just because you've read about someone else's hate.

12-24-2010, 2:24 PM
Kimber makes a midrange gun that is relatively reliable and accurate for the $1k street price they command. They would roughly be on par with Para, Sig or Springfield. They don't do anything for me personally. If you gave me one I'd sell it and get a used Springfield TRP, or save my money and buy a Wilson, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Guncrafter Industries or Springfield Pro.

12-24-2010, 2:42 PM
I have a Kimber Gold Match II. It's an excellent firearm... very accurate and reliable.
Break-in took about 300 rounds. If you're nearby you're welcome to fire it and formulate your own opinion and not be skewed by what other folks have to say about what they heard about Kimbers.

12-24-2010, 2:43 PM
This thread has too much estrogen and emotions in this thread.

12-24-2010, 2:55 PM
I don't own a Kimber (look at my user name), but have shot a few. First, I don't believe in any way they can be considered "top of the line." However, the ones I shot seemed pretty well made and functioned just fine.

I know people with Kimbers that a few years ago had some issues - I think Kimber had some problems in one distinct (short) time period - but they were all resolved. Kimber also lost they're mind for a while and went to external extractors, but they ended that miserable experiment relatively quickly.

My suggestion would be for your buddy to handle and shoot as many different 1911s as possible (friends, range rentals, etc.), even those out of his price range, to see what things you like and dislike. He'll learn a lot, and have a lot of fun.

B Strong
12-24-2010, 3:03 PM
My batting average with Kimber is two-for-three.

The TLR/RL in .45 and the Pro Carry HD in.38 Super have run 100%.

The Tactical Pro in .45 was a no-goer from round #2 on, andf a trip back to Kimber didn't solve the problem.


12-24-2010, 3:04 PM
I worked at an indoor range that had two kimber 45 ACP's for rent. With a quality magazine (Wilson) they ran great. These guns were running 7 days a week and on weekends they would work harder. Eventually a part would break but that would take a long time for that to happen. In fact all the rentals (even glocks)would have some problem at some point. Worn recoil springs, bad magazines, cracked frames. Dont want to even get into how many times a berreta 92 f would go down.

In my opinion a Kimber is great. I own a Springfield operator and when I could afford it I want to go old school Colt with some custom work done to it.

12-24-2010, 8:47 PM
I have had my Eclipse Pro II for 7 years and have fired thousands of rounds through it. I love shooting this gun and have not had any problems with it. Out of the many times I have taken it to the range I can only remember only 1 issue which was a stovepipe.

Kimber is not a top of the line 1911 however it is a great gun for the price. I will be buying another Kimber in the future (Custom TLE/RL II).

12-24-2010, 9:35 PM
I have nothing but good things to say about Kimbers. I have a Tactical Custom II, have put over 1000 rounds through it and have not had an issue.

12-25-2010, 1:05 AM
I have a Custom Eclipse in 10MM
I liked it enough to buy a Raptor II last week
Accurate & reliable and a good price point.
I'm happy to have them in my collection

12-25-2010, 7:12 AM
2 Kimbers in my lineup. Never an issue. I know some folks have had major problems as you'll read on the 1911 forum.

12-25-2010, 7:21 AM
I really enjoy my Ultra CDP II, and have been very happy. I have had no problems. My father also owns one with the Crimson Trace Grips and he has been happy with his as well. I don't see how you can go wrong, buy what you like and enjoy it.

12-25-2010, 7:32 AM
Kimber is pretty good, there are many different 1911's makers out there and what it comes down to is brand. Every one of the different makers out there will have their problems and what not. The only thing about the Kimber's are the ones with the external ejectors I would stay away from those...but you only can get them used Kimber fixed that issue. Over all I have shot a few Kimber's and there have been no problems.

12-25-2010, 12:29 PM
A friend of mine has a Kimber. He speaks highly of it...Almost got one before I got my M&P 45...I will own a Kimber one day.

12-25-2010, 8:21 PM
Thank You for the comments, People! I will send my Buddy this link.