My First Handgun -- Kimber - Is it worth the money?


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ripcurlksm
October 8, 2006, 08:29 PM
I am looking for a good .45 handgun and I've found a great Kimber that I like for $1019.00. Is it worth the money for a Kimber?

Kimber Tactical Custom II
http://www.kimberamerica.com/images/pistols/tactical/large_custom2.jpg

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Autolycus
October 8, 2006, 08:34 PM
That was the exact model I had. However I paid about $925 + tax for it. I would say it was a great gun. However if your not very familiar with 1911s and handguns I would recomend something else. I would suggest a revolver of some sort. I also had trouble taking the Kimber apart (I was new to 1911s and I was used to Glock simplicity) for cleaning and maintenance.

My suggestion is to get a revolver or a Glock in 9mm. Its cheaper to practice with and I assume your concerned about money as you are asking if the price is worth it.

Thats my $0.02

S&Wfan
October 8, 2006, 09:03 PM
Do a search on Kimbers. They were introduced about ten years ago and were great. Then they went to the Series II models with external extractors that gave problems. The Series II pistols also incorporated an additional internal firing pin safety.

They are now back to making the Series II pistols with the internal extractors like John Browning intended and things are improving again.

Their customer service also tanked for a while. Lately it seems to be getting good again, from what I've been reading.

Mine is the original series, and is the 3" allow frame Ultra CDP that I use for CCW. Mine has functioned flawlessly and shoots very accurately. However, I don't recommend a 1911-type auto for a first defensive handgun.



FOR YOUR FIRST DEFENSIVE HANDGUN . . .

Get a good, used S&W revolver. They always go bang, they are very accurate, they don't require remembering to do anything more than aim and pull the trigger under stress and they give great bang for the buck!

Also, invest in a pair of hearing muffs! They will allow you to learn NOT to flinch, and thus develop fine handgun shooting accuracy and skills.

You won't go wrong having a Smith, ever . . . and you'd get around to getting several later anyway!;)

As you master it at the range, you'll meet lots of enthusiasts who'll let you try various handguns. At that time you'll be able to make a much better informed decision about your first auto. They are expensive, and the wrong "fit" for your hand will cause you to be a poor shot.

Additionally, many autos are pretty crappy (unreliable), and you need to know which ones to avoid. Other autos go bang every time . . . the kind of gun you can stake your life on.


I don't recommend an automatic to any new shooter. Too much to go wrong . . . too much to remember . . . less inherently safe for a beginner . . . much more expensive generally too.

Srigs
October 8, 2006, 09:20 PM
Buy a cheaper gun and use the money saved to buy ammo and training.

Lots of good 9mms out there. Also you can't beat a S&W K-frame in 38 or 357 for a good accurate gun to learn with.
I aways recommend you touch, feel and shoot as many guns as you can to try them out. Rentals and friends are well worth the time.

MachIVshooter
October 8, 2006, 09:56 PM
Do a search on Kimbers. They were introduced about ten years ago and were great. Then they went to the Series II models with external extractors that gave problems.

1975 was a little more than 10 years ago. Also, the external extractors are only on certin models and, IIRC, are being phased out slowly.

That said, Kimbers are great production-custom pistols. Awesome fit & finish, and just generally very classy guns. I love my 10mm Stainless target.
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/Kimber.jpg

Also, the 10mm models have ramped barrels with fully supported chambers.

fredfellini
October 8, 2006, 10:08 PM
Perhaps you should pose a similar question on the Kimber forum. I'm sure that there are quite a few poeeple there who have started training with a similar model 1911.

My first pistol was a Kimber Pro Carry II. Much of what was said above is true. However you can do alot of training as I have, and develop the skill and confidence to use a 1911 semi-auto for CCW, etc. It can be challenging, but once you have mastered the 1911, any other semi auto is elementary.

Although Kimber has been around mofe more than 25 years, they began producing their 1911 models in 1996. I have one each of the first and second years pistols plus a few more.

Josh Aston
October 8, 2006, 10:17 PM
1975 was a little more than 10 years ago

The company may have been around in 1975, but they didn't introduce their 1911's until the '90s.

I've got a Series I Pro Carry, love it. My first handgun was a Smith Model 10 that I quickly grew bored with and traded for a Glock 19. For some the revolver may be a good first gun, but for me I was bored with it by the second outing.

ripcurlksm
October 8, 2006, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys, I dont know about the 9mm as a first gun. I am not going to get a big collection of guns like most of you do, with that said, I want to get a powerful gun the first time. I am purchasing it for home defense mainly, and sport shooting from time to time. It also makes me feel a little bit better when I am camping outdoors, there are lots of large cats in california.

I desire the stopping power of the 45, which is why I am shying away from the 9mm. My next weapon I will be looking into will be a 12 gauge shot gun +slugs for the bears when camping in CA ;)

Is it possible to regret buying this Kimber 45? I dont think anyone has sold me on purchasing otherwise yet :p

plexreticle
October 8, 2006, 10:49 PM
Buy a glock for half the price an $500 worth of ammo.

Nothing against Kimber but this as first gun is like buying a BMW M3 as you first car.

Is it worth the money? Yes

Will it make you a better shooter? No

david_the_greek
October 8, 2006, 10:52 PM
I've been in your situation before, and if you are anything like me, youre looking for some positive reinforcement on the choice you've already made in your head. I have to say that my fathers old kimber goldmatch was flawless IMO. I just bought myself a Kimber TLE custom II this week. BEAUTIFULL. everything on it is wonderful. The night sights are awsome, i've never had experience with them before, but they are sweet. Shooting a .45 is not bad either. Its a subsonic round (in general, I'm sure someone makes/reloads some +p stuff) so its less snappy than say a .40. if you got some strength to your hand you'll be fine. BUY THE KIMBER!!!

Soybomb
October 8, 2006, 10:54 PM
The magic is in the shooter and not the gun. Buying a $1k gun won't make you a good shot. Having a .45 won't make you a good shot. .45 won't stop someone when you miss or have bad shot placement. 9mm has quite acceptable performance and is cheap enough that you can practice alot more and you can learn to hit what you're aiming at. To me thats really the most important of having a gun, not the caliber or purchase price.

ripcurlksm
October 8, 2006, 11:16 PM
Also, why is it called the '1911'?

ripcurlksm
October 8, 2006, 11:17 PM
Much respect for all of your thoughts!

10-Ring
October 8, 2006, 11:20 PM
Kimber - like any good manufacturer - can produce a nice product. The one you have pictured is a beaut...If it's the one you want & you're willing to commit to it...get it! Just understand you might be faced w/ a pretty steep & long learning curve ;) Good luck

cslinger
October 8, 2006, 11:21 PM
1911s can be hit and miss and are more likely to be effected by periods of lower quality control due to them requiring more hand fitting then newer designs.

The 1911 first came into service in 1911.

Kimber makes a good gun. They have gone through some quality issues over the last couple of years but I have heard they are back on the upswing.

If it were me, I would suggest getting a SIG P220 in .45 instead but I am a SIG guy not a 1911 guy. I think I would also be more inclined to buy one of the newer Colts then I would a Kimber at the moment as I think they are building just about the best 1911 for the dollar at this particular moment.

Chris

S&Wfan
October 8, 2006, 11:51 PM
David the Greek is right, the Kimbers are fine handguns and . . . if the prospective buyer has his heart set on it, he'll have a very fine first gun. He'll also learn to shoot and handle it safely too, I'm sure.


I've really enjoyed my original series Kimber ULTRA CDP. Like the Kimber that the original poster is interested in, it too is a "high dollar" 1911 . . . but a real bargain compared to what we used to have to spend to get a great 1911 a couple of decades ago!


Heck, I don't want to even think about how much it cost to turn a fine, fine Colt Combat Elite into a serious limited 1911 pistol for competitions. Gunsmith work, custom beavertail, match barrel, great trigger job, etc.

My little 3" Kimber Ultra CDP shucks everything I run through it (rare on a 3" 1911) and is very accurate. Freehand, at 10 yards, it typically will produce a single ragged hole for five rounds! $1,000 1911 handguns can be made to be accurate!

I have no regrets "wasting" all that money on a gun that may one day be called upon to save my life or someone I love.

It WILL go bang, and I WILL be able to part the hair on a gnat's head with it.

It will roll coke cans all day long at 50 yards, and it is nice to have a gun that you know exactly where the bullet will hit.

It is one my person as I write this, for I just walked the dog. It was on me this afternoon in the deep woods as I checked on my deer stands for the upcoming season. It is on me when I travel within a five-state area (with a CCW of course).

Here's my Ultra CDP, along with a couple of my BUG and favorite defensive/match revolver:

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/246/246167/folders/189270/1421122IMG0498.JPG

Enjoy your purchase! I love mine!!!

.45&TKD
October 8, 2006, 11:56 PM
I have a Kimber TLE that's been great and is my main carry gun.
Aside from tuning the extractor when I first got it, it has not needed a thing.

Personally I would not buy one with an aluminum frame nor a Kimber with the external extractor.

ripcurlksm
October 9, 2006, 12:00 AM
I just found this interesting quote about Colt .45's

Kimber is the company who changed the way people looked at M-1911 pistols. As Dick Metcalf wrote in SHOOTING TIMES, "...Kimber has rewritten the book on the 1911 and raised the bar so high for Model 1911 price/features packaging that Colt itself has acknowledged it's a major reason why that company's premium-priced basic 1911 line has essentially disappeared from the marketplace."

ripcurlksm
October 9, 2006, 12:04 AM
For the nail in the coffin, I also just read that the frame and slide was developed by Chip McCormick, who shares the same last name as me. I think I have to get this weapon now. :what:


Does this model have EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR?

MachIVshooter
October 9, 2006, 12:32 AM
Also, why is it called the '1911'?

If you have to ask, you need to do a lot more learning before you buy anything.

Abby
October 9, 2006, 12:40 AM
Hey - Kimber makes good guns. I have their Warrior. It rocks. I've heard great things about the Tactical Custom.

However, it wouldn't be my recommendation for a first handgun. Of course, if you want one, they're not going to get any cheaper if you buy an appropriate "starter gun" now and wait five years for a big ol' .45.

If you want one, buy one. BUT - if you're going to put in the practice to become proficient with it, buy a .22 conversion to go along with it. It'll save you a bunch of money and help you learn proper technique with the platform you have.

Snake Eyes
October 9, 2006, 12:59 AM
Is it worth the money

Sure. If you want a thousand-dollar-cheese-grater.

(http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=226474)

Wesker
October 9, 2006, 01:05 AM
A first gun for over a grand? Heavens no. Take that thousand and get two or three equally nice guns.

anotherinkling
October 9, 2006, 01:40 AM
Rent the Kimber. Then, if you like it, go buy one of the new Taurus 1911s for $600. Get good with that, then trade up.

On the other hand, you don't really say how much experience you have with handgun, just that this would be your first handgun purchase. (I don't/can't own a handgun but have quite a bit of experience shooting them). If you've been shooting for a few years and have the money, go for it. I've had experience with a couple Kimbers and really liked them both.

Socrates
October 9, 2006, 02:20 AM
Kimber's strength is in their frame, slide, and barrel. You can get this for about 650 dollars by buying a Kimber Custom II. They use MIM parts in their guns, and, they break. This SUCKS.

I bought a custom II kimber, used it till the slide stop broke, then called Ed Brown, and ordered every forged Ed Brown part I could fit in the gun, and, thanks to a fantastic pistolsmith, I have them all in the gun, it drives tacks, and cost a little more then the gun you are going to start with.

Detonics makes a 1911 that is MUCH easier to break down for cleaning, a better design, and more accurate, for about the same price.

http://www.detonicsusa.com/model91101.html
http://www.detonicsusa.com/firearms/911011_lg.gif

Dan Wesson CZ also makes some great 45's, the bobtail in particular.

But, the best of bunch, as far as I'm concerned is S&W, or Sig, 1911's.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=14725&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/108289_large.jpg
The S&W, with the scandium frame, is super strong, and light, plus, they use
all forged parts, IIRC. Likewise Sig makes a 1911 that is all forged parts, and, if it's like any of the other sigs, will be an incredible shooter, in the same price area.

http://www.sigarms.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=25&productid=55

http://www.sigarms.com/images/catalog/product/GSR-blk-left.jpg


So, no, I would NOT spend a grand on a custom II, that has all MIM parts.
I would spend that same grand on a S&W, Detonics, or Sig, 1911 with forged parts.

You've made a poor choice.

S

yongxingfreesty
October 9, 2006, 02:25 AM
i had a 4" custom cdp ii and it shot great. i didnt shoot it enough to enjoy and i did a last minute purchase at the gunshow later realizing it was not the 5" model i was looking for.

ripcurlksm
October 9, 2006, 02:39 AM
Thanks Socrates, I like that S&W

Socrates
October 9, 2006, 03:14 AM
"Thanks Socrates, I like that S&W"
YOUR WELCOME.:)

I would REALLY like to have the Detonics design, with the S&W Scandium frame.

One other thought. You mentioned camping, and, the 45 ACP is ok, but, you can easily set your gun up to shoot 45 Super, and 45 ACP.

www.buffalobore.com currently loads 230 grain bullets, at 1100 fps, a nice bit of a jump for more power in 45ACP. Do a websearch for 45 Super, read up on it a bit, and, I think you'll find it's worth going to, for defense, and cats.

I know a gunsmith that can convert your gun for under 100 dollars to shoot 45 Super. You shoot that a little, and, practice with 45 ACP, 230 grain, super cheap, ball ammo.

If I was camping, or for home defense, the extra penetration created by the higher velocity gives me the warm and fuzzies over the 45 ACP.

S

ripcurlksm
October 9, 2006, 03:52 AM
Thanks Socrates, I think you just swayed me towards the SW1911 - it just seems like Kimber has occasional problems with their external extractor and isnt worth the risk to me.

This one is a beaut
http://sportschutters.kicks-ass.net/albums/userpics/Smith2006a.JPG

I am going to the range tomorrow to shoot both the S&W and Kimber and feel it for myself. http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/images/graemlins/batman.gif

Thanks for your time Socrates and all others - I will look into the 45 super, although I do have plans for a Browning 12 gauge for the kitty cats

Looking forward to the purchase! http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/images/graemlins/rockin.gif

Frandy
October 9, 2006, 09:36 AM
The S&W, with the scandium frame, is super strong, and light, plus, they use all forged parts, IIRC.

Can others in the know confirm that SW 1911s have no MIM parts?

.45&TKD
October 9, 2006, 12:14 PM
Kimber has occasional problems with their external extractor

The SW1911 has an external extractor also. While it may work fine, I would not buy it for that reason alone. Difficult to adjust yourself and no aftermarket extractors for it.

Essex County
October 9, 2006, 02:07 PM
Ive got around 700.00 tied up in my Kimber and it has no faults. But, neither does my 275.00 used Norinco. If I had stumbled on the Nork first I doubt I would have sprang for the Kimber. There sure is a diffrence, but not that much............Essex

ugaarguy
October 9, 2006, 02:14 PM
I can't confirm that S&W uses no MIM parts. I can confirm that SIG uses no MIM parts.
SIGARMS uses only premium internal parts which means no plastic and no MIM parts.
http://www.sigarms.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=25&productid=132
That, among other reasons, is why I'm getting a SIG GSR soon.

cedjunior
October 9, 2006, 03:58 PM
it just seems like Kimber has occasional problems with their external extractor and isnt worth the risk to me.

The Kimber you posted does not have an external extractor.

TimboKhan
October 9, 2006, 04:49 PM
The 1911 is referred to as such because 1911 was the year that it entered military service, which is also the genesis of it's service designation, M1911. In modern usage, 1911 refers to any pistol based upon or a reproduction of the original M1911. In my opinion, the name has been bastardized a little bit (calling a Kimber a 1911 is like calling a BMW a Model T), but thats just me being crotchety.

mljdeckard
October 9, 2006, 04:50 PM
I bought a Kimber Custom II a few years ago for $612, and I use it for everything. I carry it, I put it in a leg holster whenever I'm outdoors, if I wouldn't get into serious trouble, I would carry it to war. I have never had a part failure of any kind. I replaced the sights with Trijicon, I put Hogue wrap-around grips on it, I dropped the full-length guide rod. (It has the conventional extractor.)

The big difference between A Kimber and cheaper 1911s is the hand-fitted slide-to-frame fit. This means the action is much tighter ans smoother than your grandfather's WWII issue 1911. What this means to you is, 2" at 25 yards accuracy, where a lesser 1911 will probably give you 3 or 4. If that kind of accuracy is what you need, this is where is starts. (Most shooters really don't.) For many years, the high-end shops like Wilson and Les Baer, etc, had most of us convinced that to get a 1911 with a hand fitted silde, you had to spend north of $1500. Last weekend at Impact, I shot a Nighthawk Custom 1911 with a $2700 price tag, (I will admit, the machined aluminum grips felt GREAT,) and the bottom line was, it can't do anything my Kimber can't do. MAYBE 1" accuracy, IF you are really that good of a shot.

ChCx91
October 9, 2006, 05:24 PM
If you want a good first gun thats chambered in .45, you should buy a Taurus PT145 Millenium Pro. It holds 10+1 shots of .45 and is less than 6 inches long and wieghs in at about 2 pounds. Great conceal carry, subcompact, powerful gun. That is what i plan to get when i turn 21.

plexreticle
October 9, 2006, 05:33 PM
If you have the money and want the gun go for it.

There are some nice pieces out there for almost half the price that are great shooters. You could get a really nice handgun for $600 and spend the balance on kick ass shotgun, decent rifle or a ton of ammo.

ripcurlksm
October 9, 2006, 06:54 PM
Kimber has occasional problems with their external extractor
----
The SW1911 has an external extractor also. While it may work fine, I would not buy it for that reason alone.


.45&TKD - from what I read no one is having problems with the S&W external extractor. Have you heard otherwise?


The Kimber you posted does not have an external extractor.

cedjunior, thanks for telling me that, but where did you find that info? I cant find it on the website anywhere? Also, Isn't it bad that the Kimber Tactical Custom II is made using MIM parts? Has anyone had their parts break?

http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/images/graemlins/bowdown1.gifBIG THANKS and much RESPECT to all those taking the time to put their thoughts into my first purchase.

cedjunior
October 9, 2006, 07:42 PM
cedjunior, thanks for telling me that, but where did you find that info? I cant find it on the website anywhere? Also, Isn't it bad that the Kimber Tactical Custom II is made using MIM parts? Has anyone had their parts break?

Here is a pic of a S&W WITH an external Extractor. You can tell just by looking at them.
http://www.gunshopfinder.com/smithandwesson/modelsw1911.jpg

EDIT: The debate about MIM parts is that they can be very poor quality if not manufactured right. Some people prefer to have zero MIM parts in their guns and will settle for nothing less, and some people give a quality manufacturer, like Kimber, SA, or S&W, the benefit of the doubt that they will manufacture quality MIM parts that wont fail.

ugaarguy
October 9, 2006, 08:07 PM
Ripcurlksm,
Look at this thread and pay special attention to the posts by 1911Tuner and Old Fuff. Draw your own conclusions on MIM, but there's some info from folks with far more expertise than me. If you want to know more do an advanced search for MIM and posts by either of those gentlemen. I hope that clarifies the MIM mystery for you.

Edit: Doh...forgot to paste in the link, http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=91285&highlight=MIM

Bazooka Joe71
October 9, 2006, 08:24 PM
I have an Eclipse Custom II and i love it, it took about 400 rds to break in, but now it is flawless. I did not read all of the above posts, so I'm sorry if you hear an echo in the room...If you read around, and do a search(like I did) you will see that all 1911's being made today have MIM parts in them. With that said, some people do not like having a newer1911 as their Carry/HD peice, because of the slight chance something could break. I am far from an expert, but i guess it just has something to do with the 1911 platform not accepting the MIM peices because they weren't made for them to be that way. With that said, there are plenty of pistols out there that have MIM parts in them, but were made to have them so they work just fine.

If you are wanting some positive reinforcement to back your decision, I'd say go for it, you won't be dissapointed. BUT, if you have to have a .45, and aren't planning on getting anymore handguns after this one, I personally wouldn't spend over a grand for a gun that is just going to sit in the sock drawer, when I could spend much less on a different gun that will work just as well.

Thats just my two cents, but ive been called an idiot at least once or twice before.:D

crunker
October 9, 2006, 08:42 PM
For a first handgun, I say go with a cheaper one. This is so that you'll know for sure whether or not you want to invest $1k into a handgun.

However, if you have enough experience with handguns and you know you will treasure the Kimber, then go for it.

I'd personally prefer an STI Eagle 6.0. 1911 doublestack longslide, need I say any more?

fredfellini
October 9, 2006, 09:07 PM
I have a safe full of various 1911 pattern pistols. IMO Kimber is the best value, and my various Kimbers have proven reliable. I've never had a mim related failure after thousands of rounds down the pipe. I shoot my Kimbers more that Colt or Ed Brown.

From my experience on the various forums, mim failures appear to happen early in the life of the equipment. There are also documented cases of quality forged parts breaking at an early age.

Regarding the external ext. on Kimbers, it's history. Don't worry about it, and don't buy an old Kimber with an ee. Regarding the S&W 1911, it seems to be a good pistol, but due to the external extractor I wouldn't buy one simply because it lacks the purity of the JMB original design.

However I would own one if I got a steal of a deal. The S&W external ext has been around for decades on their semi-autos, and has been reliable. I do own an older S&W 915, 9mm, pre-ban that holds 15 rounds in the magazine. Essentially the same extractor - never any problems.

If you do get the Kimber, you will be pleased. If you're hung up on the mim issue, break in the gun and after a couple 1000 rounds decide for yourself it you're still uncomfortable with the mim parts. That's what I did, and at this point, I'm not worried about mim. Niether is LAPD SWAT!:)

Hawk
October 9, 2006, 09:30 PM
I've got a half dozen or so 1911's, including a couple of Kimbers I've been happy with.

But if I had to pick one, it'd be an STI. If I was set on a 5" Kimber, I'd be looking at a single stack Trojan - under 1K from Dawson Precision (unless you spring for the enhancement package, which I would also recommend).

XavierBreath
October 9, 2006, 11:25 PM
For the record, I own two SW1911s. Both have been 100% reliable, and both are accurate guns. I bought both used for a very good price. I prefer Colts, but the price on these SW1911s was so good I could not pass them up.

Both of my SW1911s contain factory MIM parts, most likely made by Chip McCormick. These parts include: sear, disconnect, hammer, slide stop, mag release, thumb safety and grip safety. All these parts have sprue marks on them.

To be fair, both these pistols are early SW1911s that included different parts from different manufacturers, including barrels from Briley. I do not know if the more recent SW1911s have the same amount of MIM, or if they have the parts coming from the same sources.

SoCalShooter
October 9, 2006, 11:32 PM
For a first handgun I would suggest a revolver or something a little less expensive and easier to use. A 1911 is not the easiest weapon to clean for a new user. I suggest a glock or an HK if you do not like revolvers.

MarshallDodge
October 9, 2006, 11:47 PM
There is nothing wrong with a "1911" as your first handgun. I know quite a few people who went with something else for their first gun and came back to the 1911. Most beginners that I work with start out on a .22 and then I give them the .45 with lighter target loads and they enjoy it. My wife's favorite is our 1911's.

I own two of the original Kimbers and although they have been good to me if I were to buy another 1911 it would be an STI. You will be getting more gun for the same money:
http://www.stiguns.com/guns/Trojan5/Trojan5.html

Whatever you purchase, take it to the range and get plenty of practice. Find some friends that like to shoot and don't be afraid to ask.

Wesker
October 10, 2006, 12:18 AM
Don't be lulled into the notion that you need to 'work up' to being able to throw money away on a Kimber. It's a 1911 model .45 ACP, and saying a Springfield 1911 or Sig is different from a Kimber is like apples and oranges.

The only reason Kimber and Wilson Combat charge thousands is because dumb people will pay for something that has "CUSTOM SHOP" or "TACTICAL ELITE" laser etched into the slide. A rose is a rose, a $600 1911 is a $1,500 1911.

-OR-

Drop about $500 on a MILSPEC .45 and buy replacement parts for it. Ambi safety, full length guide rod and match springs, etc.. You can even have gunsmiths put serrations on the slide and checker the front and backstraps. Even with all these customizations calculated you still won't come NEAR the price of what Kimber wants for what you can have done at a fraction of the cost.

-OR-

Don't get a 3.5lb hammer and instead get a modern, more reliable H&K USPf .45 :D Shoots like a dream, is still less money and you won't have as many problems that are associated with 1911's.

.45&TKD
October 10, 2006, 01:00 AM
ripcurlksm,

I'm not aware of any problems with the S&W external extractor, but I have not investigated it either.

Learning how to tune the extractor on a 1911 was a real right of passage for me. My first handgun was a Springfield Loaded. Great gun except that the extractor was a limp noodle, and the source of malfunctions. Drove me nuts until I replaced it with a Wilson Bullet Proof Extractor and learned how to tune it. Works great now.

Now that I know how, I want to be able to tune my 1911's myself. I would lose that ability with an external extractor 1911, and there are no after market external extractor parts.

I think the Kimber TLE is the best value on a 1911 right now with night sights and front strap checkering on a steel frame.

ripcurlksm
October 10, 2006, 03:41 AM
nm

Socrates
October 10, 2006, 03:45 AM
ripcurlksm:

Keep in mind my prelim is looking at the Smith because I want a Scandium frame.

I also set my 45's up to shoot super, and, the Scandium frame is the only lightweight frame I know of that will stand up to it, or, for that matter, consistent full house 45 loads, that can be obtained in the P.R. of Kali.

I'm after a fairly concealable 1911, and, having a full size, tricked out Kimber, the grip is a bit big for CCW. 4" barrel would also work a bit better, but, I haven't tried it yet in my particular holster.

If the guys are right, and S&W is using MIM parts, which I would check on first, since NO ONE here seems to own the currently offered S&W 1911's, I might consider something else.

For your camping uses, I would NOT go with anything I couldnt' bump up to 45 Super, but, that's just me.

"The only reason Kimber and Wilson Combat charge thousands is because dumb people will pay for something that has "CUSTOM SHOP" or "TACTICAL ELITE" laser etched into the slide. A rose is a rose, a $600 1911 is a $1,500 1911.

-OR-

Drop about $500 on a MILSPEC .45 and buy replacement parts for it. Ambi safety, full length guide rod and match springs, etc.. You can even have gunsmiths put serrations on the slide and checker the front and backstraps. Even with all these customizations calculated you still won't come NEAR the price of what Kimber wants for what you can have done at a fraction of the cost."
Wesker gave you excellent advice here. My custom II Kimber is setup to fire 45 Super, and 45 ACP. It's also got all Ed Brown internals I could buy, plus Ed McCormack, super thin grips, drives tacks, and, it's under 1200 dollars; the original gun was about 650-680 new, plus all the ********** anti taxes, and, normal tax.

I think the above is an EXCELLENT summation of the situation with 1911's. However, you have to be able to either do the work yourself, or, have a competent smith that can. Shipping firearms is the new ripoff for USPS, UPS,
and FEDEX. Figure about 100 dollars to ship your gun, if you have to.

All that said, the Detonics is a REALLY easy gun to pull apart and clean, and,
I think I would have liked one of their guns over my current Kimber.

I'd certainly try and take apart first any gun you are considering buying.


My Kimber does shoot darts, and, it's flawless in function, so far.

S

ripcurlksm
October 10, 2006, 12:06 PM
Two Questions:

1) Can the Kimber Tactical Custom II be converted to 45 Super?

2) What exactly is modifyed on the gun to allow it to shoot 45 Super? Stronger barrel, pin, etc. I suppose?

.45&TKD
October 10, 2006, 12:38 PM
Doesn't the Kimber Tactical Custom II have an Aluminum frame?

VPJack
October 10, 2006, 12:49 PM
I have a Kimber Tactical Custom II with the external extractor and have had no problems what-so-ever. That is not to say that some folks have not had them, but it does seem blown out of proportion. I have found it to be very reliable and accurate, and appreciate the reduced weight of the alloy frame, as I use it quite frequently as a carry piece. In all, to me it was definately worth the money. As to a 1911 style pistol as a starter, works for me as long as you realize that the learning curve is a bit steeper, but nothing that can't be done. Remember this was the main US military side arm for over half a century, and as such was the first pistol a great many GI's ever handled, and they had no problems. If you like the look and feel, go for it. You will have a solid dependable pistol that will last a life time.

Jack(just my 2 cents and worth every penny)

Eyesac
October 10, 2006, 12:54 PM
Ya know, I bought a Kimber as my first handgun. It was a little overkill but I think it got all the: "buy a fancy handgun" out of the way so I could move on. It's a great gun, you'll have it for ever... However for the money, you could buy a glock and a S&W snubby, but if you're going to spend the money, make sure you get what you really want...

ripcurlksm
October 10, 2006, 02:03 PM
VBJack - Wait, i was just told by someone on here that the Kimber Tactical Custom II has an INTERNAL extractor...

.45&TKD - Yes the Tactical Custom II has an alumnum frame. Is that a no-go?


What is the deal with internal/external extractor, you say you can visually see the difference. is it this?
http://psylicyde.com/extractor.jpg

HELP! :cuss:

Black Majik
October 10, 2006, 02:12 PM
Yup, you got that right with the internal and external extractor.

S&W got the external extractor right, unlike Kimber's attempt at the EE. Kimber failed miserably to make the EE run correctly, thus they went back to the internal extractor.

The Kimber Tactical is a good gun. Keep in mind that the frame is aluminum, so it'll be lighter. Trade off is that the there would be slightly more recoil.

Lastly, DONT use magazines with metal followers in Kimber's aluminum framed guns. It'll chew up the feedramps. Therefore, I suggest magazines such as Wilson 47D's.

ugaarguy
October 10, 2006, 02:20 PM
Wait, i was just told by someone on here that the Kimber Tactical Custom II has an INTERNAL extractor...
All Kimbers had internal extractors. Then they had problems and went to an external extractor - on all their 1911s. Then the external extractor had problems so they have gone back to an internal extractor. If you send anexternal extractor equipped gun back to Kimber for any work I've been told they will put a new slide with internal extractor on it at no charge while it's there. So if you buy a new Kimber now it will have an internal extractor.

Yes the Tactical Custom II has an alumnum frame. Is that a no-go? Do you plan to convert it to 45 Super? If so the aluminium frame won't hold up like steel will. If not then I wouldn't worry about it.

ripcurlksm
October 10, 2006, 02:29 PM
Do you plan to convert it to 45 Super? If so the aluminium frame won't hold up like steel will. If not then I wouldn't worry about it.
I would consider it down the road. Is the danger just the frame cracking? Or could the gun explode or other causing bodily injury? Thoughts? Reservations?


So VPJack's gun is a slightly older model of the Tactical Custom II which had an external extractor?

shield20
October 10, 2006, 02:32 PM
That Kimber is a beaut, and from experience I know the SW1911 is a good choice too. If you are smart/co-ordinated enough to shoot a handgun, you can handle a 1911. I don't buy into this "starter" or beginner" crap - just wastes time and money. If you are limited in your purchasing power, buy what you want.

A 1911 takes about a minute to disassemble for cleaning. It is also easy enough to strip down further if desired, with no special tools, and with no roll pins or watch springs or other such parts to worry about. There are less parts then most DA autos, and tons of documentation on how to do it..

It will most likely feel great in your hands. It will most likely handle the recoil of .45 fine, though the Kimber Al frame will be light(er), and may lead to wearing & longevity issues (I would go steel). It will most likely be accurate. It should be reliable (a key feature!).

Enjoy it.

The only "drawback" will be if you decide to CC it, besides the size, is you should be comfortable with carrying cocked & locked - a real non-issue though when you are used to the gun.

Millions and millions of GIs Marines, Sailors, etc learned to handle the 1911 over 75+yrs., figures you can too.


Edit: saw your last post...re: aluminum frames - I had a Colt XSE with Al frame, it got gouged in the feed ramp area from the magazines (w/metal followers); also, some ammo like Golden Saber is not recommended as it too can wear on the ramp. I would not buy another light weight .45, as worrying about it holding up was not worth the weight savings.

.45&TKD
October 10, 2006, 02:48 PM
.45&TKD - Yes the Tactical Custom II has an alumnum frame. Is that a no-go?

It would be for me. Steel frames last longer. I'm not sure how much more a AL alloy frame would wear with 45 Super (if you could do it at all), but others here could probably tell you.

ugaarguy
October 10, 2006, 02:50 PM
I would consider it down the road. Is the danger just the frame cracking? Or could the gun explode or other causing bodily injury? Thoughts? Reservations?
The frame cracking is the major concern from hot ammo. Gun going kb (ka-boom) is usually caused by a double charged handload or otherwise defective ammo - at that point steel, aluminium, plastic, whatever ain't gonna matter - it's just bad luck, and injuries, surprisingly, are usually minor. It's rare - I mean your car engine could blow up and cause you injury, but do you worry about that either? If you like that Kimber then go for it and get the Wilson 47D magazines with plastic followers. Honestly I like the 47Ds anyway and use them in my steel framed Springfield Armory. Edit - I still would not convert an aluminium frame 1911 to 45 Super. If you still want to do a 45 Super down the road buy a steel or scandium frame gun then.

So VPJack's gun is a slightly older model of the Tactical Custom II which had an external extractor? Yes, exatly. One of my friends also has an EE Kimber that runs great and shoots better.

Hawk
October 10, 2006, 02:52 PM
All this talk of aluminum frames has me wondering...

Not applicable to ramped barrel, right? It dawns on me I don't know if the Nowlin-type ramp takes over all the frame ramp duties.

cedjunior
October 10, 2006, 03:05 PM
My next suggestion would be to get one of those new Taurus PT1911's, if you can find one. I have yet to read a bad review from anyone who actually shot one, although there are a lot of people out there who don't like the gu because its a Taurus. I'm really interested in this gun myself.

.45&TKD
October 10, 2006, 03:38 PM
If I was buying my first gun, knowing what I now know, it would be a Kimber TLE. Full size steel frame, with front strap checkering, and night sights (and the Kimber tight tolerances). Very practical and its what I carry.

I started with a 1911 and would not change that. Its like knowing how to drive a stick shift. You don't really know how to drive until you do.

VPJack
October 10, 2006, 04:08 PM
Yep my Tactical is a little older, the new ones have the internal extractors. I just havn't had any problems with mine. As to recoil I don't notice any diffrence between the Tactical and my all steel framed guns. It does carry lighter though.

Jack

ripcurlksm
October 10, 2006, 04:28 PM
If you are smart/co-ordinated enough to shoot a handgun, you can handle a 1911. I don't buy into this "starter" or beginner" crap - just wastes time and money.

Thank you! Finally..


Tactical Custom II

I dont think there is an option to get a steel frame with this model..

GungHo
October 11, 2006, 04:18 PM
The only issues a 1911 might pose to a "newbie" is disassembly... and doing it once usually teaches you what you need to know. 3"-ers are a little more of a conundrum but nothing dramatically hard.

chickenfried
October 11, 2006, 04:27 PM
I have a Kimber that I enjoy. But IMHO $1018 is too close to Les Baer, STI territory. I'd say $800 tops for a kimber, S&W, Sig, etc. before I just paid the little extra to move up to the next tier in quality.

.45&TKD
October 11, 2006, 06:19 PM
I have a Kimber that I enjoy. But IMHO $1018 is too close to Les Baer, STI territory. I'd say $800 tops for a kimber, S&W, Sig, etc. before I just paid the little extra to move up to the next tier in quality.

Agreed.

Bazooka Joe71
October 11, 2006, 06:28 PM
I don't mean to steal this thread, but how much would I be looking to spend if I wanted a conversion kit for a 1911.

BevrFevr
October 11, 2006, 07:32 PM
Kimber = record of problems
Smith = no record or problems

Smith used to, and may still, make Kimber Frames and Slides.

You should start with a .22 first.

I own a smith have shot kimbers, colts, and springfields. buy the Smith!

You are a silly person if you want to defend yourself against dangerous game animals with a 45 or even a shotgun. very silly.

don't "super size" it either. I'm of the firm belief that one should not use +P or +P+ or super or whatever. If you don't have enough power with std pressure move up a caliber till you do.

-bevr

ripcurlksm
October 11, 2006, 07:38 PM
You are a silly person if you want to defend yourself against dangerous game animals with a 45 or even a shotgun. very silly.

Maybe your right. Maybe I should go for a bow and arrow instead? :D

Edit: Maybe play dead?

BevrFevr
October 11, 2006, 07:50 PM
If you are gonna be camping with lions and tigers and bears (oh my), that would probably be the realistic bottom rung of the ladder.

Hopefully, your .45 and shotgun taste like salmon so that after the bear or lion have eaten you because you pissed em off shooting at them with .45s and shotguns, they can eat the guns for desert.

course you may want to go with a bow, it is tapered on both ends, for easy insertion.

bevr

Bazooka Joe71
October 11, 2006, 07:58 PM
Hopefully, your .45 and shotgun taste like salmon so that after the bear or lion have eaten you because you pissed em off shooting at them with .45s and shotguns, they can eat the guns for desert.

I know just about nothing when it comes to hunting lions, tigers, or bears....but a couple of 12 ga slugs would just piss a bear off?

Pardon my ignorance, but it seems like it would do enough damage to at least keep it from eating you?

BevrFevr
October 11, 2006, 11:53 PM
I would still worry about the slow speed of the slug and the infamous ability of bear hide, bones and fat to resist all types of weapons.

I have never heard of anyone shooting a bear with a shotgun slug.

You gotta give it too me though that it would be imprudent at best to think of a .45 as enough for two types of very fast very dangerous game.

bevr

Phil DeGraves
October 12, 2006, 10:14 AM
Shotgun slugs will go through both sides of a car. I don't think a bear is going to stand up to it.

Phil DeGraves
October 12, 2006, 10:20 AM
That being said, I don't think I'd opt for one over a good rifle so I could stay further away, but for emergency use, I wouldn't feel undergunned using the full powered slugs at close range.

ripcurlksm
October 12, 2006, 02:05 PM
BevrFevr, thanks for your thoughts :) I dont plan on shooting any bears anytime soon, but it may be a realisitic situation (always be prepared, no?). Nothing gets my blood pumping like seeing a big ol pile of bear sh1t on the trail :what: - What would be your weapon of choice then? You think shotgun slugs are a poor choice?

The .45 warning shots will certainly make a big enough bang to hopefully scare off any large carnivores. (BTW - This would be my primary goal as opposed to needlessly engaging them.)

Has anyone thought about bringing M80's to scare off bears? For the late night and early morning rustling & growls in camp - light the M80 in the tent, give it a short throw, Boom, watch 'em run, then sleeeep! ????

http://www.fireworksland.com/graphics/copyright1.jpg

GungHo
October 12, 2006, 05:19 PM
The problem with your idea ripcurlksm could be the Darwinian mistake of forgetting to open up the tent or missing the entrance/exit and bouncing it off the fabric, especially in your oh-so-coordinated "I just woke up and there's a bear here" state.

Of course, the bear might like his meals cooked.

boldkharma
October 12, 2006, 07:17 PM
I love my Kimbers, all IE's and not one malf so far.
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f102/Boldkharma/DSC00804.jpg
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f102/Boldkharma/DSC00796.jpg

I say go for it. A 1911 is an oustanding weapon and if I could go back in time, it would have been my first. Kimber makes some excellent 1911's now. I have as much faith in mine as my Colt's and Springfields.

BevrFevr
October 13, 2006, 03:03 AM
Well like I mentioned before a .44 mag (ruger or smith) and a 30-06 would be a good place to start. I here pepper spray is highly recommended and I believe it.

Phil, a bear is not a car.

Personally I love 12 gauge slugs. One of my very favorite things to shoot. I just never heard of anyone hunting or shooting bears or mountain lions with them.

and I say again, if buy a 1911 buy a smith.

Slvr Surfr
October 13, 2006, 07:06 PM
I bought a Springfield Armory Loaded for my first 1911. It runs great. Ive never had any issues with it, and it fed everything that I could put in. The only problem was that I found the full 5" to be a beating to CC. I bought the Scandium SW 4.25" for CC, and have never looked back. Both SA and SW have excellent customer service should you ever need to get the gun fixed they stand behind their products. SA and SW also pay for shipping. Kimber doesnt.
If youve ever had to ship a gun, it can be an expensive proposition. God forbid it goes more than once. Some members on here, and glock talk have been told by Kimber CS people that it was their fault the gun malfunctioned. They then told them to put 500 more rounds through the gun and see if that fixes the problem. To me making excuses like that can lose customers. Ive only shot one Kimber and I wasnt sure why it costed $1100.00. My loaded and Scandium were both under $800 and I have never regretted either purchase. I would suggest you dont get caught up in the MIM hype. If the parts didnt work then they wouldnt be in the gun to begin with. As for the extractor issue, if the gun has had good history then go with it. My SW has an EE, and the SA has a IE. Both have had 0 issues.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e341/helas_9/1911/DSCF0548.jpg
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e341/helas_9/1911/DSCF0704.jpg

Stevie-Ray
October 13, 2006, 07:45 PM
I have a Kimber Ultra CDP II and love it. I am more often than not trusting my life to it, so it is both accurate and reliable. I am also one of the Colt fans. Had Colt been selling a tiny 1911 with these features, I would surely have gone with them. Had the Springfield Micro been out at the time I bought the Kimber, I would have considered it also, especially at the reduced price. I feel, though, that I got a lot for the money. Only thing I've changed is the grips. Smooth gripper stocks work better for me with this one, as the flat mainspring housing makes the grip just a bit too small for my hand otherwise.

That full-size you're looking at is gorgeous.

boldkharma
October 13, 2006, 10:12 PM
I used too have a SW1911 SC as well, like a knucklehead I sold it. I think most of the Kimbers I have seen at least, have a better fit and finish. I think you pay a little more for that.:)

bumm
October 14, 2006, 01:37 PM
Lots of opinions here. For my two cents, I love 1911's. I have a Kimber Gold Match, series 2, with an internal extractor, and it's very accurate and performs flawlessly.
I don't get overly excited about MIM parts. If done well, they are reliable. If done poorly, the process probably lends itself to internal voids.
I also don't mind the built in firing pin safety on newer models. The hammer-sear notch is tiny, and all machines fail. I keep my guns clean, and have never had problems with the firing pin safety sticking.
I'm getting old, and I like STEEL. I shoot some guns that are 80 and 90+years old. Aluminum and composite are fine for carry guns, but I like to imagine my great grandchildren someday shooting my guns. I doubt if the newer materials will last in the long run like STEEL.
1911's are great guns. Just my thoughts.
Marty

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