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  #1  
Old 01-24-2011, 9:08 PM
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Default kimber: pros and cons

Sold my first.. and I miss it! getting another soon..Night and day with the feel, kick, and accuracy against my Glock 23c.. don't get me wrong, I love my Glock as it sleeps with me in my night stand drawer.. but let's hear the peps and cons on the kimbers
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2011, 9:10 PM
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*meant to say pros and cons
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Old 01-24-2011, 9:17 PM
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My Ultra Carry II has a great trigger and has never had a failure to feed, fire or eject. Only complaint I have is that for the price, the front strap should be checkered.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:59 PM
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Pros: great way to spend more money than needed and lighten your wallet. Cons: quality control, trigger...
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:23 PM
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Kimber has been riding a wave of hype for a good number of years... they know how to create guns with bling and they are masters of hyping it to the hilt. The coolaid has been deeply fermented and poured lavishly throughout the land.

Back in the Clackamas days, they built a fine pistol. Not long after the move to Yonkers, things changed significantly... when you started seeing the "II" designation after the name of the gun... yep, Schwarz safety mechanism and, for a time, external extractors. And an huge emphasis on bling and marketing hype, to the detriment of quality control and reliability. Kimber did a masterful job of creating an allure that is hard (for many) to pass up. They did smashingly well with the weekend recreational shooter with money who wanted something fancy looking and resonated with the fervor of the coolaid crowd.

Sure, plenty of guys have Kimbers that do run well. But I would guess that most of them never put the guns to much hard use. And plenty of Kimbers do not run with solid defense reliability. In fact, 1911's in general, when not tested rigorously under stressful conditions of training and tuned to a fine point, tend to suffer when compared to the best modern defense gun designs.

If you're going to buy a 1911 for fun and weekend kicks at the range, Kimbers are as good as any. Go for it and have fun. They are wonderful pistols for that.

But if you're going to buy a 1911 for a serious defense pistol, first, consider something other than a 1911, OR, buy a more trusted brand, get it totally dialed in by a professional, and learn the detailed ins and outs of tweaking 1911s for utmost reliability.

The 1911 can be a good defense pistol if you have the time and plenty of money to do it right. I think they're best as a range gun, considering some of the other more modern options that are now available for serious defense use. They are truly an enthusiast's gun and have a hard time competing with guns such as Glocks, M&Ps, etc when it comes to utter reliability and certainly in terms of firepower/capacity. I've certainly got more than my share of 1911's, including a number of fine customs. I sure do like them and enjoy shooting them. But they are not what I carry and they are not sitting on my nightstand when I sleep.

For your next 1911, consider perhaps a lightly used Ed Brown or Wilson, perhaps a Nighthawk, a Springfield Pro, or even a basic production Colt.

And keep a few Glocks close at hand, for serious social purposes!
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2011, 6:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
Kimber has been riding a wave of hype for a good number of years... they know how to create guns with bling and they are masters of hyping it to the hilt. The coolaid has been deeply fermented and poured lavishly throughout the land.

Back in the Clackamas days, they built a fine pistol. Not long after the move to Yonkers, things changed significantly... when you started seeing the "II" designation after the name of the gun... yep, Schwarz safety mechanism and, for a time, external extractors. And an huge emphasis on bling and marketing hype, to the detriment of quality control and reliability. Kimber did a masterful job of creating an allure that is hard (for many) to pass up. They did smashingly well with the weekend recreational shooter with money who wanted something fancy looking and resonated with the fervor of the coolaid crowd.

Sure, plenty of guys have Kimbers that do run well. But I would guess that most of them never put the guns to much hard use. And plenty of Kimbers do not run with solid defense reliability. In fact, 1911's in general, when not tested rigorously under stressful conditions of training and tuned to a fine point, tend to suffer when compared to the best modern defense gun designs.

If you're going to buy a 1911 for fun and weekend kicks at the range, Kimbers are as good as any. Go for it and have fun. They are wonderful pistols for that.

But if you're going to buy a 1911 for a serious defense pistol, first, consider something other than a 1911, OR, buy a more trusted brand, get it totally dialed in by a professional, and learn the detailed ins and outs of tweaking 1911s for utmost reliability.

The 1911 can be a good defense pistol if you have the time and plenty of money to do it right. I think they're best as a range gun, considering some of the other more modern options that are now available for serious defense use. They are truly an enthusiast's gun and have a hard time competing with guns such as Glocks, M&Ps, etc when it comes to utter reliability and certainly in terms of firepower/capacity. I've certainly got more than my share of 1911's, including a number of fine customs. I sure do like them and enjoy shooting them. But they are not what I carry and they are not sitting on my nightstand when I sleep.

For your next 1911, consider perhaps a lightly used Ed Brown or Wilson, perhaps a Nighthawk, a Springfield Pro, or even a basic production Colt.

And keep a few Glocks close at hand, for serious social purposes!
Can't argue with anything you posted. I own a whole raft full of 1911 types from G.I. to full house, including a couple of Kimbers, but my edc is a Glock 35.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2011, 8:38 AM
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I have carried a CDP-PRO for 10 years, sometimes I will change up and carry a Glock 27. But for the majority of the past 10 years that Kimber has been on my hip. It runs as well as my Glocks but is a better shooter.
I bought it before the ill advised switch to the external extractor and all the negative internet posting started. I have since add two more Kimbers and have been just as happy with them. Allot of the Colt fans really took a dislike to Kimber because they were new to the 1911 world but became the number 1 seller buy a large margin very quickly.
I shoot allot and run my guns hard, most likely allot harder then most people who claim that Kimbers are only good for bench shooting at the range.
I guess my Kimbers did not get the message that they are just glorified range toys, anyways mine work great, thats why one is on my hip and the Glocks, XDm, CZ, FNP etc are in the safe.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2011, 8:58 AM
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There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Kimber pistols. Because they produce more 1911's than any other company there are sure to be more negative stories.

I have had 5 Kimbers...all performed flawlessly except one, that after sending back now resides in my nightstand.

I agree that the external extractor was a complete failure but I have no issues with Swarts Safety and mim parts.

The reason I bought and will continue to buy Kimbers is because they are a great value for what you get.

In a .45ACP I prefer 1911's over Glocks. I prefer Glocks in 9mm and consider both to be "best of breed" in the respective calibers.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2011, 9:59 AM
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My Kimber had several out of spec parts. After a bit of work it runs fine now, but I still feel like I can't trust it with my life. Once I have a higher round count (post fixes) I might start to trust it.

All I can say is based on my experience I won't be buying a Kimber again.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:04 AM
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Between my friends and I we own 5 Kimber 1911's. 3 have had to go back to the factory for warranty repair. I no longer buy Kimber pistols. YMMV.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:07 AM
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PROS : Kimbers are pretty, nicely fitted and finished, quality pieces, loaded with features, and offered at prices the average person can afford.

CONS: They captured a big percentage of the 1911 market that is why you hear a disproportionate complaint about them in the internet.

SUGGESTION (to OP): For all the negativity ascribed to the Kimbers, try finding out if the LAPD SWAT, the TACOMA PD - who shoots their pistols in the hundreds if not thousands of rounds have complained about their Kimbers not properly performing, or breaking down due to the MIM components which the naysayers enjoy bringing up.

My Own Experience: I had 4 Colts, and 4 Springfields and compared to those pieces, the Kimber Custom II that I just recently bought from a fellow Calgunner, straight out of the box --- is much better in fit, finish, and function. I've since sold off my 4 Colts, the SAs Ive narrowed down to just 2, and I will buy more Kimbers in the future----money availability permitting.

Last edited by DArBad; 01-25-2011 at 10:18 AM..
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:31 AM
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External extractors are superior. Which is why John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years. It's also why all the other "super reliable" pistols mentioned above (glocks, M&P, etc.) use external extractors.

It may not be a 1911 purist to have an EE, but it sure makes sense from a functional standpoiint.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-Hero View Post
External extractors are superior. Which is why John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years. It's also why all the other "super reliable" pistols mentioned above (glocks, M&P, etc.) use external extractors.

It may not be a 1911 purist to have an EE, but it sure makes sense from a functional standpoiint.
I agree. On any gun (Hi-Power included) except a 1911 style pistol.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:51 AM
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I just picked up a gently used Kimber Custom II for at a much lower price than I should have paid for the quality and condition of the gun. So far so good. My only complaint, and this is true of any steel framed 1911, is that it is too heavy to be comfortable during concealed carry. Feels like I am on the verge of being pantsed all day long. If you plan on wearing it on your hip, pony up for the aluminum framed models.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:00 AM
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I am not a Kimber fan for the very simple reason of it's firing pin safety design. Aside from that, the rest of the design is like any other 1911 and is fine by me. Of course that is assuming the quality of the build is excellent and to be honest, that is something that has been hit or miss on the different Kimbers I've handled. I pretty much take every 1911 straight to my gunsmith because I like things a certain way. That said if someone gave me a Kimber, I'm sure it'd be a fine shooter after Will had his way with it.
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I beg to differ. The full length dust cover rail makes a world of difference in the "when I run out of bullets I'm going to beat you to death with the pistol" look that causes bad guys to run in fear, and lesser men to feel inadequate. It looks just plain beastly and the extra heft up front does help manage recoil a bit better. Plus, an angel told me that when God called JMB to heaven it was to build him a full rail 1911!
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:12 AM
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I've owned a lot of 1911's and a few Kimber 1st gen guns. I have a Springer 9mm target 1911. Not a carry gun... Range only.

I'm Not a fan of heavy weighted 1911s nor the swartz system. for a carry gun.

My basic 1st Gen Kimber Procarry is all I need in a 45. I'ts proven itself worthy of carry and I fully trust it and myself with it.

It's Light Weight for carry with the alloy frame and it's Accurate & It goes bang every time I pull the trigger. In 45acp goodness. My other 1st Gen Kimbers have all been as good.

If you can find a 1st gen Kimber grab it if it's not been abused.

Kimber. .had a big influence in the 1911 market... and prob contributed to the other 1911 MFGs. having to raise the bar... back when all you could get was a Norinco or Colt that both usually needed work to get them to run right. Just cause it says COLT and has a pony on it doesnt' mean its quality... I've owned a lot of colts.. most needed tweaking to get them to run....

Last edited by Ranger20; 01-25-2011 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-Hero View Post
External extractors are superior. Which is why John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years. It's also why all the other "super reliable" pistols mentioned above (glocks, M&P, etc.) use external extractors.

It may not be a 1911 purist to have an EE, but it sure makes sense from a functional standpoiint.
A properly set up internal extractor is actually quite reliable. The problem is not a lot of companies take the time to set them up correctly. Only S&W and Sig seem to be able to make an external extractor that works on 1911's.

Now, as for JMB going to external extractors, I think you need a history lesson. Please point out the external extractor on my 1940 Belgian Browning HP with Nazi proofmarks:


Original HP's did not have external extractors, they had internal extractors.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:25 AM
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Cons: Only 1 year warranty.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by redcliff View Post
A properly set up internal extractor is actually quite reliable. The problem is not a lot of companies take the time to set them up correctly. Only S&W and Sig seem to be able to make an external extractor that works on 1911's.

Now, as for JMB going to external extractors, I think you need a history lesson. Please point out the external extractor on my 1940 Belgian Browning HP with Nazi proofmarks:


Original HP's did not have external extractors, they had internal extractors.

So are you claiming all hi-powers don't have an EE?
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:53 AM
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So are you claiming all hi-powers don't have an EE?
No, I'm claiming that the early High Powers which were the last pistols JMB helped design did have an internal extractor and therefore your assertion that "John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years" is incorrect.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:04 PM
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Cons: Only 1 year warranty.
and Customer Service $ucks big time!!! stick with a springfield or even RIA if you are on a budget. buy a RIA for $500 and spend $200-$300 on upgrades, magwell, reliability package, etc... and you will have a better 1911 than any out of the box 1911 in $1k range... guaranteed!
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Old 01-25-2011, 2:21 PM
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No, I'm claiming that the early High Powers which were the last pistols JMB helped design did have an internal extractor and therefore your assertion that "John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years" is incorrect.
Right... And as technology moves forward, the better design always wins in the end. And yes, I should have said "John Brownings designs" not JMB himself.

Regardless... Internal extractors are a dying breed.
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Old 01-25-2011, 5:03 PM
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Sold my Kimber and bought another the same day!
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Old 01-25-2011, 5:28 PM
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1-500 shot reliablity with a couple ive owned, oddly enough the cheaper ones were better :/
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Old 01-26-2011, 7:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-Hero View Post
External extractors are superior. Which is why John M Browning himself went to the external extractor design in later years. It's also why all the other "super reliable" pistols mentioned above (glocks, M&P, etc.) use external extractors.

It may not be a 1911 purist to have an EE, but it sure makes sense from a functional standpoiint.
JMB went to the external extractor because it was less expensive to manufacture, not a superior design.
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Old 01-26-2011, 7:58 AM
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JMB went to the external extractor because it was less expensive to manufacture, not a superior design.
Once again, JMB's last pistol he worked on, the Browning Hi-Power DID NOT have an external extractor when originally produced.

JMB died in 1926 and Hi-powers didn't get external extractors until 1962.

Now, if there are other pistols he designed after the 1911 and before his death which featured an external extractor I'm willing to learn.
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although I suppose there are a few tanks which I owe an apology to for that remark"


Last edited by redcliff; 01-26-2011 at 8:03 AM..
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Old 01-26-2011, 9:44 AM
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All of this bashing over the warranty is ridiculous: one guy complains about only having a one year warranty and that is a problem, another complains about having to send guns in for warranty work and that is a problem, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? What's the point of having a warranty if using it is an indicator of poor workmanship? I sent my Kimber back after 3 years for warranty repair and not only did they repair all of the issues but they took the time to polish the internals as well simply because I said they weren't as shiny as they used to be. They have top notch customer services and are absolutely better in fit and finish than most other 1911s out of the box. For the price you're not going to get much better, and I run my 1911 as hard as I can.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
Sure, plenty of guys have Kimbers that do run well. But I would guess that most of them never put the guns to much hard use. And plenty of Kimbers do not run with solid defense reliability. In fact, 1911's in general, when not tested rigorously under stressful conditions of training and tuned to a fine point, tend to suffer when compared to the best modern defense gun designs.

If you're going to buy a 1911 for fun and weekend kicks at the range, Kimbers are as good as any. Go for it and have fun. They are wonderful pistols for that.
This maybe true. Most guys will not put their 1911/Kimbers to hard use but they prob don't put their other guns through hard use either.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:13 AM
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All of this bashing over the warranty is ridiculous: one guy complains about only having a one year warranty and that is a problem, ...
Has the warranty period been changed/extended? I am just reading it off of my packet. No bashing here.
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Old 01-26-2011, 3:36 PM
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sorry but your comparing the sucky 40 cal glock to a 45 1911. Try a 45 glock instead they are extremely accurate and are a glock.

btw if you need another reason to heres like 50

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php...ask=view&id=90

I like Kimbers and they are a good version of a 1000 year old pistol design but we've moved on since dirt was born.
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Old 01-26-2011, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Swoop View Post
1-500 shot reliablity with a couple ive owned, oddly enough the cheaper ones were better :/
Not odd at all. It makes perfect sense. The mid- to high-end Kimbers are manufactured with tighter tolerances to achieve "match" accuracy. 1911s were designed to run a little loose to improve reliability. Now you have companies like Kimber making them tighter but failing to put in the hand fitting necessary to make them reliable as well.

This is why you hear of problems with $900 Kimbers and Springfields, but not so much with the GI and Milspec guns that run a little looser, like the original 1911.

And you don't hear about problems with Ed Browns, which are match guns with many hours of hand fitting to make them as reliable as a Glock.

This is why for me, I either get a milspec and build on it or get an Ed Brown or Wilson that is match built and properly hand fitted for reliability.
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Old 01-26-2011, 6:46 PM
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redcliff redcliff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormy_clothing View Post
sorry but your comparing the sucky 40 cal glock to a 45 1911. Try a 45 glock instead they are extremely accurate and are a glock.

btw if you need another reason to heres like 50

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php...ask=view&id=90

I like Kimbers and they are a good version of a 1000 year old pistol design but we've moved on since dirt was born.
Nothing against Glocks, but I really don't care if my 1911 can sit for 12 years underwater or go 2000 rounds without a malfunction from lack of cleaning or lubrication (although my Springfield Pro is built to do just that).

I'll stick with the 1911's ergonomics, accuracy, vastly superior trigger and safeties. And I'll be sure to lube them at least every few hundred rounds and clean them every 1000 and maintain their utter reliability.
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