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  #1  
Old 11-22-2020, 2:04 AM
jcruzin562 jcruzin562 is online now
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Default Kimber 1911 Stainless in .45 ACP or 9mm

Hello Calguns community, I'm planning on purchasing a Kimber Stainless II or Stainless Target II in .45 ACP or 9mm primarily to use as a range gun. I would prefer the 9mm since I already have several handguns in that caliber and I believe it would be more cost efficient (in more normal times) however I've only shot the .45.

Understandably, I would prefer to try a gun before buying, especially one that costs around $1,000, but haven't seen one at any of the local ranges to try out.

I would really appreciate any thoughts, from those who might have shot one or both, on whether I should purchase the .45 or the 9mm, even without trying one beforehand.

In an attempt to better frame the thread, I kindly ask if we could try not to rehash the age old .45 vs 9mm debate or discuss more the Kimber rust and QC concerns. There are countless threads covering those topics. There are also several threads comparing the 1911 .45 vs 9mm but none specific to the Kimbers. I've tried the Colt and SA .45 1911s but prefer the Kimber.

I'm kindly asking for opinions on whether purchasing the 9mm Kimber Stainless II or Target II would be advisable without trying one first. I've shot the .45 version and hands down love and enjoy it. I'm fairly certain I would be happy with .45 but would probably wonder if I should have got the 9mm.

Thank you in advance to anyone who shares their thoughts or is even just taking the time to read this post. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2020, 3:01 AM
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Get both.

No but seriously, you will be very happy either way. Have you found the Kimber Stainless Target II 9mm in stock? I haven’t seen it in stock in over a year. Either at local shops or online. I say get the 45ACP if you don’t already have a 1911.

These are the two I got. 45ACP


9mm



Last edited by Mr. Blue; 11-22-2020 at 3:51 AM..
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2020, 6:50 AM
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Thanks for sharing Mr. Blue. It's nice to meet another gunner up late with the mind on firearms. I've seen some in stock at Turners once in a while but right now I see them on gunbroker. This would be my 1st 1911.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2020, 7:29 AM
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As a person who loves 1911s in both calibers, has owned many of each, and always keeps one of each caliber...get the 9mm if you are leaning that way.

I love shooting both, but I tend to shoot the 9 more for a couple reasons. Cheap to feed and easy/fun to shoot mostly. I still need to shoot a .45 when I go...just tend to shoot more 9mm.

And where, exactly, are you even finding them, or finding them for 1k....?
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2020, 7:39 AM
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Here's another option...

I have 2 different Kimbers , both in .45
Then I came across a .22 Kimber upper here on the forum
Bought it and it's been a Hoot
No problems , can go on either .45
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2020, 7:40 AM
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Doesn't matter what caliber you get if you don't have ammo to shoot out of it.

I'm picking up a 1911 in 9mm tomorrow simply because I have a bunch of 9mm ammo (FMJ and HP's) and no .45ACP. As much as I'd like a 1911 in .45ACP it would basically be a paperweight right now for me.

Go with the caliber you have the most ammo of. If you have plenty of ammo in both calibers get the one you like the most for whatever reason(s) are most important to you.
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Old 11-22-2020, 7:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcruzin562 View Post
Hello Calguns community, I'm planning on purchasing a Kimber Stainless II or Stainless Target II in .45 ACP or 9mm primarily to use as a range gun. I would prefer the 9mm since I already have several handguns in that caliber and I believe it would be more cost efficient (in more normal times) however I've only shot the .45.

Understandably, I would prefer to try a gun before buying, especially one that costs around $1,000, but haven't seen one at any of the local ranges to try out.

I would really appreciate any thoughts, from those who might have shot one or both, on whether I should purchase the .45 or the 9mm, even without trying one beforehand.

In an attempt to better frame the thread, I kindly ask if we could try not to rehash the age old .45 vs 9mm debate or discuss more the Kimber rust and QC concerns. There are countless threads covering those topics. There are also several threads comparing the 1911 .45 vs 9mm but none specific to the Kimbers. I've tried the Colt and SA .45 1911s but prefer the Kimber.

I'm kindly asking for opinions on whether purchasing the 9mm Kimber Stainless II or Target II would be advisable without trying one first. I've shot the .45 version and hands down love and enjoy it. I'm fairly certain I would be happy with .45 but would probably wonder if I should have got the 9mm.

Thank you in advance to anyone who shares their thoughts or is even just taking the time to read this post. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.

You don't say where you are located but one option is try and find a like minded individual who would let you shoot his pistol.

I have the 9mm version and love it. Love it so much I also bought the Kimber Pro Carry II in 45.......and then I noticed that I own more 1911's than I ever realized.....several of them Kimbers.

Either way, you will be happy!
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2020, 9:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcruzin562 View Post
Hello Calguns community, I'm planning on purchasing a Kimber Stainless II or Stainless Target II in .45 ACP or 9mm primarily to use as a range gun. I would prefer the 9mm since I already have several handguns in that caliber and I believe it would be more cost efficient (in more normal times) however I've only shot the .45.

Understandably, I would prefer to try a gun before buying, especially one that costs around $1,000....

I'm kindly asking for opinions on whether purchasing the 9mm Kimber Stainless II or Target II would be advisable without trying one first. I've shot the .45 version and hands down love and enjoy it. I'm fairly certain I would be happy with .45 but would probably wonder if I should have got the 9mm.

.........
If YOU like the 9 mm 1911s, by all means, get it. I am partial to Kimbers as I had been very satisfied with them (had 3).

The Kimbers are one of the few production level 1911 that I would be willing to buy sight unseen as the fitting, blending, out of the box trigger pull, smoothness, are very consistent. I am comparing them to my other production level 1911s, the Colts and Springfields.

I prefer 1911s in .45 acp. But that's me, its what I like.

Good luck, OP.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2020, 10:02 AM
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I really appreciate all the great input. To answer Vinnie's question, I'm located in Cerritos, LA/OC area.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2020, 10:05 AM
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I have been a 1911 fan since 1981. Started out a purist, but finally bought a 9mm just to give it a try. I liked it a lot, and encouraged the wife to shoot it one day. So I had to buy another, and since we have three sons a third to make things even when we're gone. They are, by far, our favorite range guns - and the reason we have ten or so cases of 9mm range fodder on hand.

Given your anticipated use and preference, the 9mm is the clear choice.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2020, 10:17 AM
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Kimber is one of the most notorious 1911 manufacturers with regards to quality.

Here is a video of former Army Delta soldier Paul Howe, who the character of Sanderson was based on in the movie Black Hawk Down says that if you take one of his classes and you want to shoot a Kimber, bring 3.

https://www.facebook.com/10589234429...33095337200075

If you want to spend time sending your gun back to Kimber, looking for a local gunsmith, asking why your gun isn't working on forums, then buy the Kimber. If you want to spend 50% more on ammo when/if things ever get back to normal, buy it in 45 auto.

But if you want to spend more time shooting, buy a modern design duty firearm chambered in 9mm.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:46 AM
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+1 vote for 9mm

Good luck

Last edited by naz; 11-22-2020 at 10:54 AM..
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2020, 11:54 AM
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. It looks like 9mm or both wins!
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2020, 12:18 PM
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If you're limited by mag capacity, you want the BIGGEST bullet you can get!

Kimbers can handle +P ammo - .45 for the win.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The War Wagon View Post
If you're limited by mag capacity, you want the BIGGEST bullet you can get!

Kimbers can handle +P ammo - .45 for the win.
I'd argue that we're more limited right now by ammo availability, and would base my decision on what ammo is easier to get your hands on these days, or what you happen to have on hand, unless it's just a pure vanity purchase/collector's purchase, etc.

I'd rather have a 1911 loaded with 9mm hollow points than a .45ACP I couldn't get ammo for, and vice versa.
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Old 11-22-2020, 1:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The War Wagon View Post
If you're limited by mag capacity, you want the BIGGEST bullet you can get!

Kimbers can handle +P ammo - .45 for the win.
For SD/HD, this has some validity. For strictly range use, none at all.
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2020, 9:07 AM
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My Kimber 9mm is one of my favorite pistols. For 9mm 1911s, I'd trade it only for a Baer, and that's going to be near impossible in this state.

Replace the cheesy plastic backstrap and do a trigger job and it's awesome. 10 round all metal Dawson mags run flawlesly.
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2020, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The War Wagon View Post
If you're limited by mag capacity, you want the BIGGEST bullet you can get!

Kimbers can handle +P ammo - .45 for the win.
Not true. Bigger bullets are harder to shoot fast and accurately, they cost more to train with, and modern bullet technology has narrowed the gap between calibers to the point where the larger bullet does not give enough of an advantage to make it better. This is fact echoed by ballistic engineers and doctors.
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Old 11-23-2020, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcruzin562
I'm kindly asking for opinions on whether purchasing the 9mm Kimber Stainless II or Target II would be advisable without trying one first. I've shot the .45 version and hands down love and enjoy it. I'm fairly certain I would be happy with .45 but would probably wonder if I should have got the 9mm.

Thank you in advance to anyone who shares their thoughts or is even just taking the time to read this post. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.
I own both. They are great firearms. If you liked the 45, you will like the 9 as well.

The rational choice is obviously to buy the 9, given ammo pricing and availability. But, at least to me, there is something satisfying about shooting 45 that cannot be matched by 9. You may end up with both, if you are not careful...

If you buy sight unseen, inspect it very thoroughly at your FFL before taking possession. Some Kimbers do unfortunately have an issue with surface oxidation of the stainless...
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:04 PM
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It is the Law in 13 States that an five inch all steel 1911 has to be in .45acp.
A 1911 9mm pistol requires the frame & slide to made of a certain amount of plastic.

It's on the inner-webb so you know it has to be true.

Last edited by hambam105; 11-23-2020 at 10:09 PM..
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  #21  
Old 11-24-2020, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcruzin562 View Post
.....
Understandably, I would prefer to try a gun before buying, especially one that costs around $1,000, but haven't seen one at any of the local ranges to try out.
...........
. I've tried the Colt and SA .45 1911s but prefer the Kimber.
..............
- You live in CA and due to the limitation of the Roster I think you should get the 9mm version. There are only two 1911 9mm on Roster, one is Kimber and one is Springfield (SA) and these are come and go. There are lot of 1911 45ACP on Roster you always can find on the CA LGS but the 9mm came in wave they just available for about 6 months then disappear.
- I think both SA and Kimber 1911 Target model are same weight, same sight, same color SS, they are shoot the same, the Kimber is about $100 more than SA.
- I have a SA 1911 Target 9mm CA version. I polished the internal parts, swap main spring, adjust the sear spring, the trigger single action weight is 4# exactly, I think my pistol is better than the NIB Kimber.
- I shoot at Firing Line, Huntington Beach, I can let you shoot my SA, due to the price of ammo you have to bring you own ammo.


Last edited by newbie1234; 11-24-2020 at 5:14 PM..
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  #22  
Old 11-28-2020, 10:43 AM
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What an offer from Newbie! Very kind. OP I’d hop on that.
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessegpresley View Post
Not true. Bigger bullets are harder to shoot fast and accurately, they cost more to train with, and modern bullet technology has narrowed the gap between calibers to the point where the larger bullet does not give enough of an advantage to make it better. This is fact echoed by ballistic engineers and doctors.
This is subjective. 45 ACP recoils differently than 9mm, not necessarily more but different.
As to modern cartridges bridging the gap. That is true to an extent, but take this into consideration.
If modern 9mm is almost on par with 45 hardball, doesn’t that make modern 45 ammo even that much more superior than modern 9mm?
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:17 AM
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I like to shoot .45's but either is better than none
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  #25  
Old 11-28-2020, 11:32 AM
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Definitely buy the Kimber 9mm. It will become your favorite pistol.
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  #26  
Old 11-28-2020, 2:24 PM
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If you're going to buy anything in 9 mm buy a Glock 17. You will never regret it. It will never let you down. It will never break down. It will give you many, many years of loyal service.
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Old 11-28-2020, 5:17 PM
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9mm is fun in a 5" 1911 I had a springfield that was so great to shoot! I still prefer 45 of course but like has been said either is going to be rewarding.
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  #28  
Old 11-30-2020, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon94520 View Post
This is subjective. 45 ACP recoils differently than 9mm, not necessarily more but different.
No, it's objective. In USPSA competition there is a mathematical equation called power factor, and 9mm has a lower power factor than 45. Also, to make 45 and 40 more competitive against 9mm, they allow more misses than they allow for 9mm to achieve the same score.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon94520 View Post
If modern 9mm is almost on par with 45 hardball, doesn’t that make modern 45 ammo even that much more superior than modern 9mm?
"There is no incremental gain you get moving up to a higher caliber that is going to overshadow your ability to shoot the smaller caliber better".

"...gun people have been in never ending discussions and forums and reading hundreds of articles about how much better this caliber is vs that caliber and how the venerable this over the not so venerable that, and ya know i just wish that we could get the message out a little bit better that handguns are handguns, ya know, if it's a 44 and a 357 or a 41, it really doesn't matter; they're all somewhat feeble".

-The guys who work for Federal designing and making your ammo

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Old 11-30-2020, 11:02 AM
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I can only go on what we saw with our stainless Kimber 1911 in .45 ACP at the shop. The gun was and remains a popular rental. We didn't see any oxidation issues with ours.

I'd assume that the 9mm version would be of similar quality.

Remember, folks, that the OP specified that this is a range toy, so he can shoot FMJ with no problem. However, I *ALWAYS* consider that even a "range toy" may be called for defense duty. After all, it is a gun, and that's its true purpose. I say that because of the ongoing 9mm vs. .45 Holy War. It is true that a .45 ACP hollow point will hit harder than a 9mm hollow point. That's just physics. The question is, is the 9mm hollow point sufficient to stop an assailant? The cops think so, which is one reason why so many precincts issue 9mm's (yes, there are others, but it is one reason). So, I think the OP would be fine with a 9mm.

Regarding ammo availability, this is why handloading is so important. Doesn't matter to me if it's 9mm or .45, I can make as much ammo as I need, any time I want. However, for those just starting, small pistol primers seem to be harder to get than large pistol primers. What does .45 ACP take? LPP's. What does 9mm take? SPP's. The same powders are generally good for both cartridges.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmy View Post
As a person who loves 1911s in both calibers, has owned many of each, and always keeps one of each caliber...get the 9mm if you are leaning that way.

I love shooting both, but I tend to shoot the 9 more for a couple reasons. Cheap to feed and easy/fun to shoot mostly. I still need to shoot a .45 when I go...just tend to shoot more 9mm.

And where, exactly, are you even finding them, or finding them for 1k....?
What he said...
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  #31  
Old 11-30-2020, 12:34 PM
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Buy the one you find in stock first. You will end up wanting the other caliber soon after, not because one is bad, just because you want both.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:51 PM
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I own 6 different Kimbers. 9 SS included never had a problem.

I’m lazy only clean lube them when they are really dirty.

Mine work. Can’t speak for others.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:58 PM
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5" 9mm 1911 is very smooth cycling ....... got this one for the wife as she had trouble racking a slide on a .45


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Old 11-30-2020, 1:59 PM
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Great video.

I prefer a diversified approach. Find a few pistols in each caliber and learn to shoot them well.

Quote:
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-The guys who work for Federal designing and making your ammo

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Old 11-30-2020, 3:24 PM
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Those Raptors are really beautiful pieces!
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Old 11-30-2020, 8:08 PM
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Glad to see this thread is still kickin. Thank you all and thank you Newbie for offering to let me shoot your 9mm.

My mind told me to get the 9mm but my gut and my best fried said get the .45 since this is my first 1911.

I do think I will get the 9mm eventually. I also have the G17 for the poster his suggested that as well.

For those who are curious, I ordered on gunbroker today. I picked up the target II NOS for $949. Not too bad. Probably $1150 out the door once all is said and done.

I will post a pic when I get it later in December.

Happy Holidays everyone!
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Old 11-30-2020, 9:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcruzin562 View Post
Glad to see this thread is still kickin. Thank you all and thank you Newbie for offering to let me shoot your 9mm.

My mind told me to get the 9mm but my gut and my best fried said get the .45 since this is my first 1911.

I do think I will get the 9mm eventually. I also have the G17 for the poster his suggested that as well.

For those who are curious, I ordered on gunbroker today. I picked up the target II NOS for $949. Not too bad. Probably $1150 out the door once all is said and done.

I will post a pic when I get it later in December.

Happy Holidays everyone!
That is fantastic! Since its old stock, be sure to take the thing apart and properly clean/lube it before shooting it. Also, if you take the recoil spring out and just cycle the slide a few hundred times with proper lube, it will smooth out any rough edges left by machining. I did this on my Target 9 and racking the slide went from pretty good to ball bearings.

Merry Christmas to you as well!
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:58 AM
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Yes, first 1911 should be .45acp.
Just like, first Ferrari should be Marlboro Red.
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  #39  
Old 12-01-2020, 5:20 PM
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Cowboy T Cowboy T is offline
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Good choice, OP. You'll probably end up with the 9mm later on as well.
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  #40  
Old 12-02-2020, 3:59 PM
jcruzin562 jcruzin562 is online now
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Just in case anyone sees this in time. One Kimber Stainless in stock at Riflegear. There was 2 but guess who got the other one: https://www.riflegear.com/p-5482-kim...-45acp-ca.aspx
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