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View Full Version : Kimbers, advice please.


InGrAM
08-26-2012, 2:24 PM
Well, I have never owned a Kimber and I haven't even shot one before but I figure they are about the same as the Spingers, SIGs, Colt's, etc.. I have shot. I have heard mix reviews on Kimbers but it is the internet after all and I figure I'll work my magic if anything goes wrong.

I have narrowed it down to a few models, The custom TLE II is the "safe choice" the Tactical Pro is what I would like to get but I am worried about the aluminum frame and the Pro Carry II is cheap.

I want a Hard Range use + reload friendly + semi-carry firearm

1. Custom TLE II
http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/custom-ii/custom-tle-ii
2. Tactical Pro II
http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/tactical-ii/tactical-pro-ii
3. Pro Carry II (mostly due to cost)
http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/compact-ii-pro-carry-ii/pro-carry-ii

I am not really a big fan of aluminum frames, I have a Colt LW-Commander and the frame is really weak and all banged up from CC, which is why I quit carrying it. I understand that aluminum has come a long way since the late 60's but I am still apprehensive about hard Range duty and winter CCing an aluminum framed 1911. (I don't want to destroy it like I have my Commander and 6906, I am very rough on CC guns).

From internet research I have read that Kimber's aluminum frames will run about 20,000 rounds before they have noticeable wear, that isn't bad, IMO. But I am still worried about it.

Anyone who owns a Kimber and even better a Kimber with an aluminum frame chime in, please. I am looking for your input on how you like your Kimber's, problems, pros, cons, etc... Anything to help me choose or not choose a certain model would be great.

Thanks.

INFAMOUS762X39
08-26-2012, 3:03 PM
Your overdue for a Kimber! They are fantastic, bang for your buck, great shooters.

I have a Kimber TLE II, since it's a full size steel 1911 it's fantastic for the Range, a tad bit heavy for CCing depending on the person.

Sorry I don't know much on Aluminum frames. Since your frames take a rigorious beating, I would stick to a Steel Frame just so that you won't have that worry in the future.

Also look at a Pro TLE II, that's what I am staring at on kimbers site at the moment. The extra 200$+ is worth it for the steel frame/Meprolight NS/front strap Checkering "Comparing it to Pro Carry II".

Can't buy anything here
08-26-2012, 3:10 PM
I had the TLE 11.....if I were to do it again, I'd go with the plainer Custom 11. I didn't need night sights since it wasn't a carry/house gun and the cheese grater stippling was a bit much for range use...

A-J
08-26-2012, 3:45 PM
The wife has a Custom II. As anticipated, during breeak in there were some issues with FTF becuase the tolerances were very tight. Now we've put about 600 rounds down it, we have had none of the "common" issues others claim to experience. The gun is very solid IMO, and the custom II, as I understand it, is one of their "lower end" guns.

Stormtrooper
08-26-2012, 3:51 PM
Had a Kimber Custom Eclipse. Beautiful gun and with target sights extremely accurate. Sold it to a good friend.

jkody
08-26-2012, 4:10 PM
I have a TLE II Stainless. It's a great shooter. A little on the heavy side for a CCW use but I carry it while hunting.

stormvet
08-26-2012, 5:52 PM
I have three Aluminum framed kimbers. Two are carry guns a CDP pro & ultra. The pro has been my main carry gun for 11 years. The finish on the older pro seems more durable then the newer ultra. I have 5 to 6 thousand rounds fired from the pro with no visable wear to the frame.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z207/2814V/8-14-0945010.jpg

InGrAM
08-26-2012, 5:56 PM
Your overdue for a Kimber! They are fantastic, bang for your buck, great shooters.

I have a Kimber TLE II, since it's a full size steel 1911 it's fantastic for the Range, a tad bit heavy for CCing depending on the person.

Sorry I don't know much on Aluminum frames. Since your frames take a rigorious beating, I would stick to a Steel Frame just so that you won't have that worry in the future.

Also look at a Pro TLE II, that's what I am staring at on kimbers site at the moment. The extra 200$+ is worth it for the steel frame/Meprolight NS/front strap Checkering "Comparing it to Pro Carry II".

Thanks for the reply, I have actually been looking at the Pro TLE II as well. It is everything that I want but I have no idea how someone would SSE a bull barreled 1911. I'll have to look more into it.

InGrAM
08-26-2012, 5:59 PM
I have three Aluminum framed kimbers. Two are carry guns a CDP pro & ultra. The pro has been my main carry gun for 11 years. The finish on the older pro seems more durable then the newer ultra. I have 5 to 6 thousand rounds fired from the pro with no visable wear to the frame.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z207/2814V/8-14-0945010.jpg

Thanks this is what I was looking for. People to reassure me that I won't be making a mistake by buying an aluminum Kimber. :D

scglock
08-26-2012, 6:03 PM
I have a kimber tle/rl ii. It's been fantastic. GET IT!!

stormvet
08-26-2012, 6:18 PM
The first thing I do with a new aluminum framed 1911 is toss the stock mag. I only use Tripp and Wilson mags. Any mag with a pointed steel follower will dig into the soft metal below the feed ramp, fine for a steel gun but will really dig into an alloy frame.
My Tactical custom II after using Chip Mc. 10 round power mags. You can see the damage to the frame from the follower.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z207/2814V/DSCN1309-1.jpg

Synergy
08-26-2012, 7:11 PM
Find a Series I. :p

InGrAM
08-26-2012, 11:10 PM
The first thing I do with a new aluminum framed 1911 is toss the stock mag. I only use Tripp and Wilson mags. Any mag with a pointed steel follower will dig into the soft metal below the feed ramp, fine for a steel gun but will really dig into an alloy frame.
My Tactical custom II after using Chip Mc. 10 round power mags. You can see the damage to the frame from the follower.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z207/2814V/DSCN1309-1.jpg

Thank you for the response. You posted exactly what I was looking for.

Those are exactly the types of problems I would hate to have to deal with. Seems like it wouldn't be a problem though, if I just took the time to care for firearm a little more than my others.

Have you had any other problems with damaging the frame? What about the checkering, is it easily damaged? I am curious how well the checkers would hold up to hard use.

fullspeed1
08-26-2012, 11:16 PM
Had a Custom II, Loved it and truly miss it.

jeffrice6
08-27-2012, 1:36 AM
The Custom II & TLE are the best bang 1911's for the buck! In my opinion, once you pass this point in the Kimber lineup the costs well outweigh the returns.....

BTW~ I Have owned 4 Kimbers, 3 Custom II's & a TLE/RL. Love them Kimbers!!!

fullspeed1
08-27-2012, 6:48 AM
The Custom II & TLE are the best bang 1911's for the buck! In my opinion, once you pass this point in the Kimber lineup the costs well outweigh the returns.....

BTW~ I Have owned 4 Kimbers, 3 Custom II's & a TLE/RL. Love them Kimbers!!!

I agree with jeff 100%. The baseline Custom II's are a great deal, both functionally and asthetically(sp)...

theneko
08-27-2012, 6:59 AM
I have a Pro CDP II and a Tactical Ultra - no problems with either one. Great guns.

DArBad
08-27-2012, 11:13 AM
I have a Kimber Custom II and Gold Match II. Love both of them and I heartily recommend Kimbers.

drkphibr
08-27-2012, 11:41 AM
I want a Hard Range use + reload friendly + semi-carry firearm

Buddy of mine was looking at Kimber for the exact same reason. Originally he was looking at the Custom II, but at the LGS, he decided to go with the Warrior II (significantly more $$).

I'm a Kimber fan (and have seen a fair amount of pro/con perspectives on the boards here), but at the end of the day, I make my own decisions. My buddy shot my Custom II and that helped validate his initial decision to go with Kimber.

During the 10 day waiting period, he shot the gun (at the LGS' indoor range, which is a pretty cool option I'd never heard before - that's an LGS "game changer" as some reality TV gun show would say). 100 rounds no issues. He also bought the Kimber .22LR kit.

Finally took it to the range this weekend and towards the end of the day (after about ~150 .45 rounds and ~300 .22 rounds) he walked over to my bench and said something fell off the Kimber. First thing through my mind was a grip screw or possibly the front sight. I was AMAZED when he showed me what fell off. the plunger tube, completely in tact (with plungers and spring still in it) and it looked like it had just been taken out of a parts bin, meaning the neither end was flared AT ALL so whomever staked it was not really paying attention...but IMO it wasn't staked at all. Needless to say, considering the full retail price paid for the gun, that shouldn't have happened. Each post looked pristine!

I've been lucky enough not to ever have a "Kimber issue" and I realize that ALL guns have issues, production or semi/full custom. So I take it with a grain of salt, it's just a bummer it happened.

OMGofWar
08-27-2012, 11:44 AM
I agree with jeff 100%. The baseline Custom II's are a great deal, both functionally and asthetically(sp)...

x2. the Custom II is great at that price point. the only reason i sold mine is because i'd always wanted a TLE/RL, and once i found one, the Custom II felt somewhat redundant.

there's a lot of hate on this board for Kimbers, but i've never had a problem with either of mine.

pinoy916
08-27-2012, 11:54 AM
All guns have issues...
Its a 100yr old design.

I love my Kimbers and they all shoot well.
Check my Raptor For Trade thread and check my groupings.
But now i may keep it. Hahaha

CANNONLYNN
08-27-2012, 12:24 PM
Kimbers are pretty guns but that's about it..... They are over priced and have more issues than any 1911 I know of.. I have a Springfield TRP that's about the same the price as some kimbers and is far better in every way including looks. If you want a carry gun that's a 1911 go with a Springfield or a Colt. They are far better and don't have the quality control issues kimbers do. Here are a few examples http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2010/07/kimber-warrior.html http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235781
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/06/971004/ales-pricey-guns-prove-unreliable.html#

DArBad
08-27-2012, 12:49 PM
Kimbers are pretty guns but that's about it..... They are over priced and have more issues than any 1911 I know of.. I have a Springfield TRP that's about the same the price as some kimbers and is far better in every way including looks. If you want a carry gun that's a 1911 go with a Springfield or a Colt. They are far better and don't have the quality control issues kimbers do. Here are a few examples http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2010/07/kimber-warrior.html http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235781
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/06/971004/ales-pricey-guns-prove-unreliable.html#

And talking from experience, I had Colts and Springfields with " issues " but the Kimbers I have are both 100 % perfect in fit, finish, and reliability.

skosh69
08-27-2012, 1:29 PM
Kimbers are pretty guns but that's about it..... They are over priced and have more issues than any 1911 I know of.. I have a Springfield TRP that's about the same the price as some kimbers and is far better in every way including looks. If you want a carry gun that's a 1911 go with a Springfield or a Colt. They are far better and don't have the quality control issues kimbers do. Here are a few examples http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2010/07/kimber-warrior.html http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235781
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/06/971004/ales-pricey-guns-prove-unreliable.html#

Wow, spoken like a true Kimber Hater....Who'd a thunk it!

Considering Kimber manufacture's and sells more 1911's than anyone else, around 70k 1911's per year, there's bound to to be a few bad ones.

I dare you to show me a company that has ZERO manufacturing errors. Please...if you can find one...I'll eat my words. Everything mechanical is prone to failure, EVERYTHING!

I have friends that have had issues with their Dan Wessons, Ed Browns and even Wilson Combats.

At least Kimber's are made in America unlike your Springfield, which is assembled here but started life in Brazil!

Bottom line, Kimber has a lot of models to offer from basic to premium. While I wouldn't pay $1800 for a Kimber, you're into Les Baer money now, I would spend up to $1500 for another Kimber. My first 1911 was a CDP II, which I'll never part with and the only issue it's had was with the finish, which Kimber took care of 100% without any cost to me..shipping including!

So, to each his own. O/P...get whatever feels good to you and is in your price range!

InGrAM
08-27-2012, 1:31 PM
Kimbers are pretty guns but that's about it..... They are over priced and have more issues than any 1911 I know of.. I have a Springfield TRP that's about the same the price as some kimbers and is far better in every way including looks. If you want a carry gun that's a 1911 go with a Springfield or a Colt. They are far better and don't have the quality control issues kimbers do. Here are a few examples http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2010/07/kimber-warrior.html http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235781
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/06/971004/ales-pricey-guns-prove-unreliable.html#

Have you ever owned a Kimber or are you just going by what you have read on the internet?

Also, we are not talking about a $1600+ Kimber we are talking about a $1000+, there is a huge difference. If I am going to spend that much on a 1911 I would want a Dan Wesson and not a Springfield. Nothing wrong with Springfield but they are not on my list.

skosh69
08-27-2012, 1:41 PM
Kimbers are pretty guns but that's about it..... They are over priced and have more issues than any 1911 I know of.. I have a Springfield TRP that's about the same the price as some kimbers and is far better in every way including looks. If you want a carry gun that's a 1911 go with a Springfield or a Colt. They are far better and don't have the quality control issues kimbers do. Here are a few examples http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2010/07/kimber-warrior.html http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235781
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/06/971004/ales-pricey-guns-prove-unreliable.html#

Hey...did you see this thread???

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=613192

Open mouth, insert foot.....So much for S/A's exceptional quality control that you spoke of....buwahahahahahahahaha

GunSleenger
08-27-2012, 1:45 PM
Well, I own a Kimber Stainless II (my first gun) that I bought last year and have been very happy with it. My cop buddy loves shooting it and is jealous of it! As far as reloads, 80% of what I've shot is reload and never a misfire/ failure of any kind. Quality and fit is great. The only gripe I have is the finish can rust easily but, my hands sweat frequently. I've shot older Colts and compared to mine, had a lot more movement/ play to them but I honestly can only speak for my Kimber in that I've been very pleased by owning it.

jeffrice6
08-27-2012, 2:28 PM
we are talking about a $1000+

Stainless TLE (no rail) & be done!
No worries of finish wear (scratches can be buffed or bead blasted) Front strap is checkered & Night sights! And while its a personal thing, I'll a big fan of the Kimber/Heinie sight picture as opposed to the "standard" Novaks most manufacturers supply.

stormvet
08-27-2012, 2:31 PM
Thank you for the response. You posted exactly what I was looking for.

Those are exactly the types of problems I would hate to have to deal with. Seems like it wouldn't be a problem though, if I just took the time to care for firearm a little more than my others.

Have you had any other problems with damaging the frame? What about the checkering, is it easily damaged? I am curious how well the checkers would hold up to hard use.

Only takes one, I don't like it so I am going tell you what a pile of crap it is, turn a positive thread into a cluster you know what.

I have not had any problems with my checkering, all three still look and feel good. I don't baby my guns but I try not to needlessly beat on them. All three have been shot a bunch and still look good.
I picked up my newest kimber a couple weeks ago, so far only 400 rounds fired but its been good to go, although it is a steel gun so really not revalent to this thread.

POLICESTATE
08-27-2012, 2:36 PM
I have a TLE II and I love it! Over 1,000 rounds through it so far. I ditched the FLGR and got a GI plug for it, only modification I made to it.

Make sure whatever you choose has an internal extractor though. Seems external extractors on Kimbers were causing some problems for them, not sure about other 1911's but IMO 1911's should have internal extractors anyway, as designed by Mr. Browning himself!

InGrAM
08-27-2012, 2:45 PM
Only takes one, I don't like it so I am going tell you what a pile of crap it is, turn a positive thread into a cluster you know what.

I have not had any problems with my checkering, all three still look and feel good. I don't baby my guns but I try not to needlessly beat on them. All three have been shot a bunch and still look good.
I picked up my newest kimber a couple weeks ago, so far only 400 rounds fired but its been good to go, although it is a steel gun so really not revalent to this thread.

People always have to rain all over everyone else's parade. But from all of the positive responses I have received he isn't getting anywhere in this thread with a post like that.

InGrAM
08-27-2012, 2:52 PM
Thank you all for all of the reply's. I wasn't expecting as meany responses, TBH. Your responses have eased a lot of the apprehensive thoughts I was having about buying a Kimber and even an aluminum framed Kimber.

Now to get the GF's opinion and then make the purchase sometime this week. :D

I am very excited to add a 5th 1911 to the collection.

BlackDrop50
08-27-2012, 4:16 PM
I'm up to around 9200 rounds on my Kimber with stock parts excluding MSH and grips added at around 7000 rnds. Only parts replaced were regular springs. If you are really going to run it hard get a steel frame, personally weight isn't too much different to me.

It still runs better than my fullsize glock and shoots one hole groups all day. All I do for cleaning is wipe it down, oil it and run a boresnake through it when the slide stops feeling like butter.

negolien
08-28-2012, 9:02 AM
http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/super-carry/super-carry-pro-hd is my fav if you can afford one.

InGrAM
08-28-2012, 3:09 PM
Well, I went to the local gun stores today to buy a Custom TLE II with no luck. No store with in 20 miles or so of me had one, oddly. A bunch of Pro carrys, Custom II's, TLE rails etc... but no Custom TLE II, sadly. A clerk at River City told me It would be around a 6 month wait for a TLE II :eek:. I will not wait that long for a gun that costs $1000 dollars that is just insane to me. I ended up stopping at Wild Bills in Elk Grove and saw a Dan Wesson V-Bob... Lets just say that I spent way to much money but I figure why buy many when you could buy few quality tools... Lol.

I bought the V-Bob because it was on sale :D couldn't pass it up.

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/3860/65627317.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/89/65627317.jpg/)

Sorry about the crappy cell phone picture.

keenkeen
08-28-2012, 4:55 PM
I think I am going to post my Stainless Custom TLE II in the for sale section later tonight. Great gun, but I have far to many 1911s in my collection and I am detrmined to whittle it down to a more resonable level...

You where not able to find any new ones in the Sacramento area and they really indicated a 6-month lead time to get one from kimber?

InGrAM
08-28-2012, 5:07 PM
I think I am going to post my Stainless Custom TLE II in the for sale section later tonight. Great gun, but I have far to many 1911s in my collection and I am detrmined to whittle it down to a more resonable level...

You where not able to find any new ones in the Sacramento area and they really indicated a 6-month lead time to get one from kimber?

I couldn't find a Custom TLE II in Elk Grove/Sac. A clerk at River City stated that it would take up to 6 months to get one in. He said they were back ordered 3 months and that people had been waiting since the beginning of summer.

jdogg2000
08-28-2012, 5:15 PM
I couldn't find a Custom TLE II in Elk Grove/Sac. A clerk at River City stated that it would take up to 6 months to get one in. He said they were back ordered 3 months and that people had been waiting since the beginning of summer.


Excellent choice, you will not be disappointed with the Valor... Here's my fullsize:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lB0cGTj52rI/UA4TPaGv72I/AAAAAAAAA3M/wvzTu8shDOw/s800/Stainless%2520%25281280x850%2529.jpg

InGrAM
08-28-2012, 5:32 PM
Excellent choice, you will not be disappointed with the Valor... Here's my fullsize:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lB0cGTj52rI/UA4TPaGv72I/AAAAAAAAA3M/wvzTu8shDOw/s800/Stainless%2520%25281280x850%2529.jpg

That is very nice. I almost bought the same one today but then I saw the V-Bob and it "fit" the features that I wanted (Semi-carry with a steel frame).

I really wanted a "blue" / Black finished one but I couldn't justify paying the extra $400+ for the finish.

negolien
08-29-2012, 5:01 AM
I' am sure you'll be happy with your choice. Surprised the wait time was that long but /shrug it's a popular weapon so wouldn't surprise me. I wouldhave tried contacting Kimber USA if you were really that interested but meh it is what it is now :<)...

skosh69
08-29-2012, 7:09 AM
Excellent choice Ingram....You are going to love that Vbob! Mind if I ask what you gave for it?

Here's a pic of my Cbob with wearing Esmeralda Amboyna Burl grips

http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l538/skosh1/IMG_0675.jpg

InGrAM
08-29-2012, 7:13 AM
I' am sure you'll be happy with your choice. Surprised the wait time was that long but /shrug it's a popular weapon so wouldn't surprise me. I wouldhave tried contacting Kimber USA if you were really that interested but meh it is what it is now :<)...


Yeah, I was a little taken back by the wait time but I go to River City quite a bit and trust them for the most part. I know I could have ordered one online and had it shipped but I didn't want to go through the hassle I guess or else I would have ended up with the TLE II instead of the V-Bob.

redcliff
08-29-2012, 7:17 AM
Nice choice on the V-bob, I have an older CBOB and its a really nice shooter. Be sure to lube it and hand-cycle it about 500 times before shooting, sometimes the tight tolerances on DW pistols cause them to lock-up after getting hot due to burrs that the hand cycling will help smooth down.

For those bashing the Kimber detractors, I'll only say that Kimber has quality control issues too; of the 6 Kimbers owned by my friends and I, 4 have had to go back to the factory for warranty repair. However, they were all fixed and shoot good now.

Common problems I see on Kimbers are mis-tensioned extractors (too loose or too tight), mis-fit slide stops (pre-mature lock-back), too weak and too short recoil springs on the Pro versions, and external barrel rust from the factory.

My experiences seem to closely reflect the problems seen on 1911forums.com in the Kimber section. All are relatively minor problems easily corrected by the factory and in some cases the user. The worst problem I've personall seen is a thumb safety that would auto disengage if you pulled the trigger.

We recently had a SA owner post they sent their pistol in on the 15 th of August and had it back already. I have a Kimber out for warranty repair which they received July 12th and haven't heard a word.

Sometimes where there is smoke there really is a fire. I think Kimber builds a nice pistol for the price but they have initial QC issues too.

InGrAM
08-29-2012, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the advice Redcliff.

FLAWLS1
08-30-2012, 7:01 AM
I have a Kimber TLE/RL II that I bought new 2 years ago and it has ran 100% since day one! It even shoots hollow points with no problems. Congrats on the Dan Wesson too.:D