Taurus PT1911 vs Kimber Custom II Mini Review


March 30, 2007, 11:34 AM
I’ve always been interested in the new Taurus 1911 and was curious as to how it would compare to other 1911s. As luck would have it, a friend of mine purchased a new Taurus PT1911 and was kind enough to let me borrow it for a quick review. Unfortunately, the digital camera is not cooperating with me at this time, so no pictures for now. Hopefully I’ll have a couple up soon. The comparison pistol is my personal Kimber Custom II 1911, which is factory stock except for an added Novak light rail on the dustcover. I’ve broken this review down into several comparison categories and awarded a winner each particular category.

Initial Quality/ Impression. TIE

Taurus- The Taurus has a “Beefy” feel to it, functional and utilitarian. The corners and edges of the dustcover and the trigger guard are not smoothed or beveled, giving the appearance of a solid, more robust frame. The front strap as well as under the trigger guard is checkered while the front of the trigger guard is left smooth. The finish is a matte blue type, nothing special, but functional. A nice added touch is that all major parts, the barrel, frame and slide all have matching serial numbers.

Kimber- Edges and corners are slightly smoothed, however, no checkering is on the trigger guard or frontstrap. The hammer, trigger and recoil rod/ bushing are all “white” making for a nice appearance. In contrast, these items are blued on the Taurus. The finish is also nothing special, but functional.

Both the Taurus and the Kimber also have front slide serrations that are popular these days. I’ve never used one or done a “press check” besides, how can you with a 2 pc guide rod?

Trigger- Winner= Kimber

Taurus- The Taurus trigger had some fore and aft play as well as up and down play, enough to hear a slight rattle if you shake the weapon. However, there is an overtravel adjustment screw that may help matters. The trigger pull is acceptable, but has an initial “mushy” feel due to the type of firing pin safety – I’ll go more into that later.

Kimber- Excellent trigger. I can’t say much more.

Grips= TIE

Taurus- Hard plastic checkered with a diamond pattern.
Kimber- Softer rubber.

Personal preference prevails.

Mainspring Housing- Winner= Taurus

Taurus- Flat checkered metal (verified with magnet)
Kimber- Flat checkered plastic.

Manual Safety- Winner= Taurus

Taurus- Ambi safety with positive engagement. You can hear and feel and audible click when engaged.

Kimber- Standard safety. Also positive.

Sights- Winner= Taurus

Taurus- Heinie lower profile sights. White dot front, one white dot rear. Drift adjustable with allen screws locking them in place.

Kimber- High profile black sights. Suitable for target and good light shooting, but not so good for low light shooting.

Hammer- Winner= Kimber
I rate this for Kimber only because the Taurus has a built in key safety in the hammer. As for looks, the Taurus is a round spur vs the skeletonized in the Kimber.

Ejection Port- TIE

Both are the same, lowered and flared.

Recoil Spring/ Guide Rod Setup= Tie

Both use a 2 pc guide rod setup and single spring.

Grip Safety- Winner= Taurus
Taurus- The Taurus has a pronounced “bump” to help you feel for the right hand placement as well as a more positive engagement. The beavertail is also a bit longer.

Kimber- a slight swelling of the safety in the lower area ensures that it engages.

Barrel = TIE

Both are polished and throated for hollowpoint use. If the hollowpoint misses or hangs up on the gaping maw of either of these two pistols, then you have a serious problem.

Taurus- Slightly different in that there is an approx ľ” section that has an increased diameter to mate with the barrel bushing.

Kimber- has a loaded chamber indicator cut, but you really need good eyes to make use of it. Besides, I don’t trust one.

Ejector= TIE

Both are pinned.

Extractor= TIE

Both are internal type.

Firing Pin Safety- Winner=Kimber

The Kimber firing pin safety relies on the grip safety depressing the plunger while the Taurus uses a bar connected to the trigger mechanism. Although I’m not particularily fond of firing pin safeties in a 1911, I’d rate the Kimber better because it does not interfere with the trigger pull.

Unfortunately time did not permit a range session, and I’m sure that I’ve left something out, so feel free to add to this post. Would I buy a Taurus? After examining one, yes. I think it offers a great value- even when compared to a higher priced Kimber. In my area the Taurus goes for a bit over $600 vs $750 plus for the standard Kimber.

Again..hopefully I’ll have pics soon.

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March 30, 2007, 12:34 PM
...Unfortunately, the digital camera is not cooperating with me at this time, so no pictures for now.... Unfortunately time did not permit a range session, and Iím sure that Iíve left something out...

Nice review, but as you've already stated, there are some things you weren't able to add yet that could make it really count as a solid review/comparison.

Staying tuned for round 2 (range shoot off w/pics)! :)

March 30, 2007, 12:47 PM
Doesn't the Taurus have a cast frame and slide?

March 30, 2007, 12:49 PM
Shoot 'em at 25 yards and see which shoots better, the rest is cosmetics and add on features.

March 30, 2007, 01:55 PM
Um...lets also report on the $ Price for both...betcha Taurus wins by a loooooonnnnnnggggg shot...eh?

March 30, 2007, 02:00 PM
According to the Taurus web site, they use a forged frame and slide.

Average Guy
April 17, 2007, 08:10 PM
Iíve never used one or done a ďpress checkĒ besides, how can you with a 2 pc guide rod?

You grip the serrations and press the slide back?

April 17, 2007, 08:53 PM
thanks for the review i was waitng for something like this to come around and glad it did, you hit many great points. i am interested to see function, reliability and accuracy of the taurus, if it is as reliable as the kimber, and at the price point that it is i would have to lean toward the taurus. by talling up the winner's and ties it seems that the taurus wins.

though 1 major deal for me is the handguns trigger i love a great trigger and kimber has just that, also just personal preference for me is the fact that i like 3 dot sights and though the kimber you described dosen't have any i have been very accurate with them before, but i would have to step up and get the tle or a model with the 3 dot might sights, or at least the 3 dot whit sights at least.

you make a very good point that so far the taurus is a great competitor in the 1911 market and i am anxious to see pics and a range report like many others i am sure.
thanks again.

Mat, not doormat
April 17, 2007, 09:21 PM
Hammer- Winner= Kimber
I rate this for Kimber only because the Taurus has a built in key safety in the hammer. As for looks, the Taurus is a round spur vs the skeletonized in the Kimber.

+1 on that! I managed to break the lock on my Taurus. It now wears an ed brown skeletonized hammer. Since that little incident, its performance has been flawless. Still love the gun, though. It's my daily carry piece.


April 17, 2007, 09:26 PM
Taurus vs Kimber NO contest. Kimber is abetter firearm.

I have Kimbers. Won't even consider a Taurus. Any Taurus. In 1911 I'd rather have Colt, S&W, Springfield, Para, Ed Brown Wison, Dan Wesson, Les Baer, just about any other 1911 ither than a Taurus. Taurus would be the last on my list if it made it on at all.

April 17, 2007, 09:30 PM
I have Kimbers. Won't even consider a Taurus.

Then how do you know a Kimber is "better" ?

April 17, 2007, 09:35 PM
Kimber- Flat checkered plastic.
are you positive? it could be aluminum... god i dont want to say this, try to scrape just the tiniest bit of the corner :( i bet im going to get this :scrutiny:

April 17, 2007, 09:42 PM
I can hear the marching footsteps of the Taurus bashers. Hey, they have to do something to feel good about their purchase decisions. :evil:
Brian, I thought they had aluminum grips also. I just handled one the other day in my local gun shop.

April 17, 2007, 09:49 PM
Then how do you know a Kimber is "better" ?

I have shot them...Won't buy one. look a the members poll: What's your overall favorite brand of handgun?


Taurus ranks last by those who know guns. of 322 responses 1.86% or 6 picked Taurus. Twice as many picked Kimber. I love kimbers but i picked Smith & Wesson in the poll because of their product mix. Like I said in 1911's Taurus last if even on my list.

April 17, 2007, 10:49 PM
Yeah I guess all those Taurus owners don't know anything about guns. :rolleyes:

And that poll hardly proves anything. Just because Taurus isn't their FAVORITE doesn't mean they can't like other guns too.

April 17, 2007, 11:35 PM
It must be the truth if a poll on the internet says so...c'mon buddy, it's the internet. I wouldn't say that Taurus is the best firearm company out there, but their QC has improved. I would hope that a Kimber would be more refined, considering how much they cost compared to the PT1911. I've owned a Kimber and traded it to a friend. I don't have a problem recommending the PT1911 to people who cannot afford a high end 1911.

Mat, not doormat
April 17, 2007, 11:46 PM
I like my taurus. It's remarkably reliable, only that one failure, when the lock contraption died. Is taurus my favorite gunmaker? Probably not. Based on the number of guns in their lineup that I really like, that nod would have to go to Colt. Same company, SAA, Python, Detective Special, and Government Model? I can't say the same for anyone else. However, I don't presently own ANY colts. Sold the GM I had, all my SA's are clones or Rugers, and only drooled over Pythons. I can afford Taurus easily, though.


full metal
April 18, 2007, 01:02 PM
Hey Mat' not doormat when you replaced the round crappy safty lock hammer on that pt1911 with that skeletonized hammer did it fit the original beaver tail,or did you have to replace it?

My opinion on taurus,my first handgun is a taurus model 66 357 magnum and the last revolver i bought was a taurus m450 wich my wife loved so much that i told her if she can handle the recoil she could have it and she did.it's a 45 longcolt in a snub nose titanium steel 5 shot and ported.I keep it loaded with silver tips for her.well any way i'v had ruger's, smith and wesson,colts,and taurus is as good as any top revolver's out ther from my own personol experience.
I liked the PT1911 i went and checked it out at the local gun store and liked it a lot exept for the round safty crapy hammer.but for $545 it's a good deal
well happy shooting.

April 18, 2007, 05:24 PM
I want to hear an updated report after you've shot them. While the stuff you are saying is good, it is all very miniscule compared with how they shoot. I could care less about the plastic verse metal mainspring housing, etc if the gun with the metal one doesn't shoot as well as the one with the plastic. You can replace grips, mainspring housing, etc.

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