Kimber - are they still to be avoided?


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Newton
August 30, 2007, 02:00 AM
I have been looking hard at a Kimber Custom II as my first 1911, they seem reasonably priced and well equipped.

Thing is, most everything I have read over the last 6 months is telling me to avoid Kimber as their QC lately is terrible and the guns are little better than junk.

I also hear that they only offer a 1 year warranty which seems very poor compared to the competition.

So should I risk it, or try the new Taurus PT1911 instead.


Thanks

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MICHAEL T
August 30, 2007, 02:52 AM
I hear people say that Kel Tec are junk also. I have 3 and their perfect. If I found a Kimber I liked and at a good price I would buy one. I stopped beliving every thing I read on internet long ago. Are they perfect I doubt it but I sure a lot more work than don't. I know I would buy one over the T brand.

Old Dog
August 30, 2007, 02:53 AM
Kimber - are they still to be avoided?
I must really be out of the loop. I didn't know they were pistols "to be avoided." I've purchased a couple quite recently, a little spendy for production 1911s, but I like 'em.

most everything I have read over the last 6 months is telling me to avoid Kimber as their QC lately is terrible and the guns are little better than junk.Perhaps you need to spend more time away from the internet and hang out with some actual Kimber owners. Every one of my Kimbers is tight, well-fitted, well-finished and more than adequate in the accuracy department.

'Course, I still hate the plastic MSHs and the fact Kimber has the gall to sell pistols for more'n a grand and only give me one magazine with 'em.

finalcut
August 30, 2007, 03:14 AM
Just buy from a dealer that stands behind their guns if you can. My local dealer has a great return program.

JR719
August 30, 2007, 03:21 AM
I own a Custom TLE RL/II and love the pistol. I carry it for work and have no regrets. Ok, well, it's takes more time to clean than a Glock and I wipe it down after I get rained on. I shoot it better and is more comfortable to hang on too, it fits.

The malfunctions I've had were due to two reasons. The first, I had a bad mag, easy fix. The second... Still have problems with, seem to limp wrist when shooting weak hand, stovepipe. My fault, not the gun.

Works good except when I weak hand shoot. Heavier than a Glock (I like), less ammo blah blah. I shoot it better, more comfortable to shoot, and my scores went up. I wish Safariland could figure out a way to make a 295 holster that will work with a light.

Mine is the internal extractor, no problems with it. Heard the external can give you problems, I don't know, never had one.

Condition Plaid
August 30, 2007, 03:26 AM
I carry a CDP II Compact on a daily basis. No issues.

Texastbird
August 30, 2007, 09:13 AM
Kimber would be out of business by now if their 1911s were as bad as certain critics claim out on the "misinformation highway". I looks at some for my first 1911 but I fell in love with the factory ambi safety and lower price tag on the Taurus, and went in that direction. So far with about 500 rounds through the PT1911, I am very pleased with the performance and accuracy. I'm a little sceptical about the longevity of the finish, however, and that's probably where a lot of the extra money goes on a Kimber.

HorseSoldier
August 30, 2007, 09:39 AM
Thing is, most everything I have read over the last 6 months is telling me to avoid Kimber as their QC lately is terrible and the guns are little better than junk.


I'm sometimes surprised that any gun designed by man functions after reading comments concerning them on the internet. :rolleyes: Kimber's won't shoot, Glock .40 cals will inevitably blow your hand off, AR-15s can't shoot a whole magazine without six jams and AK-47s can't hit anything at longer than phone booth ranges.

My personal experience with Kimbers has been that both the two I own have run very, very well. No failures to function of any kind, and both ran fine like that right out of the box, without the usually suggested 500 round break in period, etc. Three of my coworkers also own them (two full size models and one 3" model), and none of them have any complaints either. I can't speak for the quality of Kimbers customer service, having never had any need to use it.

Consequently, I don't have any problem recommending Kimbers. (Don't have a problem recommending Springfields either, or Dan Wessons, which are the other makes of 1911s I have enough personal experience with to have an opinion.) Other peoples' mileage and experiences may vary, but I've found Kimber pistols to be solid performers.

CarpeInferi
August 30, 2007, 11:16 AM
Another Kimber owner with no problems here. Bought mine off a friend back around May and have easily put 5-600 rounds through it since with the only issue being stovepipes with Remington UMC ammo. Every other brand I've tried (S&B, WWB, Federal) have all worked as expected. If the opportunity came up again I'd have no hesitation to buy another one.

glockman19
August 30, 2007, 12:42 PM
Kimber - are they still to be avoided?
NO

Quality Copntrol has improved dramatically. in the last 8 months I have bought 3 Kimbers a Custom II, Ultra Raptor II, & Raptor II, all performed perfectly out of the box. Slight drift of rear sights on the Custom II that the local "Smith" corrected for $10 in 5 min.

Custom was bought for $619, Ultra Raptor II for $1,050 and Raptor II for $1,140. More than 1,000 rounds through each and cleaned after every range visit. 99.9% condition.

I would like to get a Kimber Pro model next. A Pro Raptor, Carry, CDP, TLE.

Walkalong
August 30, 2007, 01:11 PM
My two CDP's (Ultra & Pro) are great. One internal extractor and one external. :)

M2 Carbine
August 30, 2007, 01:42 PM
I've had four Kimbers, three Ultras (3 inch barrel) and one Compact (4 inch barrel) for years.
A couple weeks ago I bought a new Ultra Covert II. No doubt as fine a pistol as I've owned in fifty years.

Friends have about another dozen trouble free Kimbers.

I wouldn't hesitate to grab ANY of these Kimbers in a shooting situation.


The day I brought this new Ultra Covert home I checked the barrel for obstructions and started shooting it. It's exactly what I expected, fine quality, accurate and reliable.
Well, I did have to adjust the laser for 25 yards.:)

I do need to practice with it a bit though.:o
(BTW, the 10-02 on the target is the date I loaded that ammo)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/KimberUltraColvert.jpg

45shooter
August 30, 2007, 01:50 PM
Step away from the computer for a while and go shooting.
See what works in real life and not on the internet.
I have couple Kimbers along with Norinco, Colt, etc. and my Kimbers have been perfect. The biggest POS I have right now is the Colt New Series 70... a real dog. Fortunately the Colt was purchased to be used as a basis for a custom work so only the frame and the slide will be used.

don't believe everything you hear on the internet.

Kimber1911_06238
August 30, 2007, 01:51 PM
I love my kimbers....Haven't bought one in 2 years, so I dunno about recent production guns though

Hawk
August 30, 2007, 03:13 PM
I had one Kimber where the safety shattered and the type II parts developed issues. Another Kimber has been fine.

No manufacturer is immune from putting out occasional citrus. If you like it, the chances are on your side it'll be trouble-free.

The advice to go with a dealer that'll stand behind the product is good. Should it have to go back, you don't want it happening on your dime.

When Kimber puts out a good one, which I would guess is the overwhelming majority of the time, it's no more prone to "limp wristing", "ammo sensitivity" or "break-in requirements" than your average Glock, SIG or H&K. If you hear any of those phrases invoked to explain away a problem, don't put up with it. Anything and everything required to make it run 100% should be free from a reputable dealer. This specifically includes aftermarket magazines. I can forgive Kimber only including one magazine provided I don't have to immediately replace it with a Wilson.

CajunBass
August 30, 2007, 03:18 PM
Let me see if I got this straight.

You read on the internet that a particular brand of widget is junk, and should be avoided. So you come to that same internet to ask if that information is true?

Why would be believe one report over the other?

lance22
August 30, 2007, 03:24 PM
Everyone who has ever owned a Kimber has thrown it off a building in disgust.

Just kidding.

I bought a tac II about 15 months ago and I love it - it's every bit as reliable as my glocks, except WAY more good lookin'.

No matter what gun you buy, there are going to be people out there sayin' it's a piece of [deleted]. Find something you like and enjoy it :D

mljdeckard
August 30, 2007, 03:46 PM
I have owned one and recommended them to everyone I know for years, I have never been told it was bad advice. If you run a search in here, you will find a lot of brand snobs who won't believe anything other than their favorite custom/semi-custom (Les Baer, Wilson combat, Nighthawk, etc) is worth shooting at all. You will find threads with nothing but praise, and nothing but mudballs. MIM parts, poor QC, etc, all of which I have neither seen nor heard of in person.

I bought my Custom II NIB for $630. I added trij's, dropped the full-length guide rod and added Hogue wrap-around finger grips. This plus a Ciener .22 conversion kit, and I think I'm going to be buried with it. The only other thing I might tinker with would be a .400 Corbon barrel.

I shot a $2700 Nighthawk custom mostly for fun, and I know how Vincent Vega felt when he said: "That's the best milkshake I've ever tasted. But it ain't worth $5."

f4t9r
August 30, 2007, 03:52 PM
will warrenty as long as you have it and has always been one fine pistol.

MaterDei
August 30, 2007, 04:04 PM
I own 1 and a half Kimbers. :)

I have a Stainless II that I bought about 5 years ago and have several thousand rounds though it. It stovepiped once when my 9 year old daugter shot it (limp wristing) and it failed to feed once on a reload that I should have never loaded in the magazine. Other then those two incidents it has been 100% with every type of magazine and ammo I've feed it.

My half Kimber is the 22 conversion kit. It is new so I can't yet speak to its qualify and reliability.

Smithers
August 30, 2007, 04:17 PM
I bought my Kimber about a year ago, and it would FTF every 50-200 rounds. I even got a couple of stove-pipes and the occasional brass would fly back and hit me on the head. I sent it back twice to get it fixed (extremely long turn around times.) The first trip stopped the stove-piping and brass kisses, but it continued to FTF. I sold the gun to a co-worker at a loss.

It seems that everyone on this thread has had good experiences with Kimber. I wouldn't buy another one since the whole experience has left a bad taste. But I'm still looking to buy a 1911 (those Ed Browns look nice.) If you don't have one, you owe it to yourself to get one.

ID_shooting
August 30, 2007, 04:22 PM
Yup, talk to Kimber owners: Here is my story, http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=68470

Yes, sometimes things you read on the net are true, but hey, not every kimber is bad, but for as much as they want iether thier guns should be stellar or thier service, as of late, both have been off. And yes, the 1k for the gun but only 1 mag is an issue. 1911 mags are cheap, they are just greedy.

Newton
August 30, 2007, 07:14 PM
The above post is not atypical of what I have been seeing, but the good news appears to be that things have improved QC wise at Kimber.

I think that Internet threads questioning the quality of certain brands invariably serve to make the manufacturer sit up and take notice.

Kel-Tec and KTOG.org are prime examples.

FWIW I plan on trying out a Kimber at the range tomorrow (Bullseye in Pittsburgh as I'm away from home this week) - and I will post the results assuming they have one.

armed85
August 30, 2007, 08:21 PM
The Kimber I had (which I sold) had a slide to frame fit that was too tight. I had to clean it constantly or it would jam. When it was clean, it ran great.

The slide to frame fit on my Colt XSE and New Roll Mark 1991 is just right. I field strip my Colts every 500 rounds and only wipe the powder residue off the feed ramp, around the chamber, and anywhere I can reach without taking the slide off the frame. Both are reliable.

Colts are just as capable of the same practical accuracy and have less MIM parts. The only MIM parts are the sear, disconnector, and magazine release. The grip safety and thumb safeties are cast. The slide stop, hammer, and other parts are machined from tool steel.

Kimber uses MIM for the all the small parts. So too does most every mass produced "factory custom" 1911 maker. I suggest you look at the Taurus PT1911 or a Springfield Armory. The quality of the parts is the same and the Taurus is less expensive.

If you don't want MIM, buy a Colt, Les Baer, or Ed Brown.

gridman
August 30, 2007, 09:09 PM
I recently bought a Kimber Tactical Custom II. It was new, so it has the internal extractor. Put 200 rounds through it so far, and no malfunctions. I'm using Wilson mags with it.

So far it's great. I really like the ambidextrous safety.

jfh
August 30, 2007, 10:01 PM
and I am mightily impressed. The only FTFs I've had have been on the McCormick mags I bought for my Omega 15 years ago, basically.

I've run 400 rounds of reloads through it now, 180 TMJs to burnish the barrel. The break-in has been predictable. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

Jim H.

the pistolero
August 30, 2007, 10:14 PM
I got a stainless target II in 10 mm about 4 weeks ago--
I got one of those late last year and really like it, too...I think I put about 200-300 rounds of factory ammo through it before I started reloading for it. Would have been more, but factory 10mm is hideously expensive, at least around here in the brick-n-mortar stores. But it's eaten everything I've fed it. I would buy another, at least a 10mm. As far as the good ole .45 is concerned, though, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I don't know why the Springfield Loaded isn't just as good of a pistol as is the Kimber. As far as I can tell all you're getting with that extra cash is the name, and I would invite anyone who scoffed at my Springfield to pony up the dough for my next Kimber. :D But to answer the question posed by the title to this thread? Not at all. Buy one and shoot the snot out of it!

brashboy
August 30, 2007, 10:35 PM
My Kimber is a ss Classic (I) 5" and predates the changes to the II series. But I've never had a better handgun. First boat all the way.

Tom Servo
August 30, 2007, 11:20 PM
I've got a CDP Compact. It had one FTE on the eighth round fired, and has not had a malfunction in the >3000 rounds since.

It's one of the external-extractor/Series II ones. I've seen tons of folks who've had no problems with theirs.

Does Kimber occasionally turn out a lemon? Probably. I've seen bum Glocks and Sigs, too, and nothing in my experience indicates that Kimbers are particularly problematic.

http://lonelymachines.org/guns/thumbnails/kimber.png (http://lonelymachines.org/guns/kimber.jpg)

schmeky
August 30, 2007, 11:41 PM
I have a 20+ year old Kimber Classic Custom .45. Better than any 1911 I have ever owned. Fired thousands and thousands of rounds through this pistol. My pet light handload of 3.2 gns of Bullseye behind a 230 gn RN lead bullet taper crimped will shoot forever with no malfunctions. Ever. Factory pressure level reloaded jacketed rounds are just as reliable, i.e., 100%.

About 4 months ago I was confronted with my daughters drunk boyfriend. I have about 25 pistols, Colt, Glock, Sig, CZ, Ruger, Benelli, Star, Norinco, etc.
Grabbed my "old" Kimber .45 loaded with Hydra-Shocks when he drove up (he left politely, no problem). My instinct was to grab what has worked, over and over and over, . . . . .

I am probably going to get a 1911 based 9mm in the future.

It'll most likely be a Kimber.

Newton
August 31, 2007, 05:43 PM
Bullseye in Pittsburgh looks to be out of business, so I'll have to wait to try out a Kimber personally.

EdLaver
August 31, 2007, 05:47 PM
Jennings and Hi-Point are pistols that need to be avoided...not Kimbers. I have never heard anything bad about them personally. I have friends that live by Kimbers and own like 4 each and have never had a single problem with them. They are great to shoot IMO.

Serpico
August 31, 2007, 08:55 PM
Seems to be the shorter models have more problems...most Custom 2 owners, myself included, have had nothing but positve experiences with it, as with all their full size guns...

doubleg
September 1, 2007, 12:41 AM
I loves my Kimber. :) Proud owner of a Custom II EE, yeah thats right EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR! :what: And to the contrary to what people say on internet forums it hasn't jammed yet, and AR-15's don't jam every shot, and you can hit things with AK's..... (PS I became even more proud when I dumped that crappy plastic mainspring housing.)

Katana8869
September 1, 2007, 01:38 AM
I was nothing but disappointed with my Pro-Carry II. I consider it to be the single most pathetic and disappointing gun I have ever owned. Even after sending it back to the factory to be worked on by Dennis and his minions it still continued to have problems although not to the stunning frequency that it did out of the box.

The gun never was reliable enough to be carried for self defense. I ended up selling it back to the dealer that I bought it from and have since bought a SA Loaded 5" and a S&W 1911PD Commander. Not a single malfunction from either one to date.

I just brought them home, opened the box, cleaned them and then went to the range and shot the hell out of them.

That's kinda what I was expecting to do with that god forsaken POS from New York. It didn't work out that way though. Good riddance and never, ever, ever again. I learned my lesson.

Average Joe
September 1, 2007, 08:17 PM
I never heard they were to be avoided. Where did that come from ?

gunfighter48
September 2, 2007, 02:47 AM
Kimber had a problem with the external extractors that came on many of their guns. Not all guns had an issue but enough that Kimber got a black eye out of it. That's why people said "Don't buy a Kimber". About 1 1/2 years ago they went back to the internal extractor with the result of much increased reliability.

I bought a Pro Carry II about 3 years ago and it's been 100% reliable out of the box since day one!!!!!! I have fired 1500 rds thru it and it's my only carry piece. I highly recommend Kimbers, they make great guns.

1911RjB
September 2, 2007, 09:56 AM
i have a kimber custom II w/ night sights, i've been looking at changing out some of the MIM parts just for the long run, but out of the box the fun fired flawlessly! Extremely accurate, its a great gun for the money IMO.

get what you don't worry about anyone else.

JohnRov
September 2, 2007, 10:00 AM
Bullseye in Pittsburgh looks to be out of business, so I'll have to wait to try out a Kimber personally.

Newton,

Try Anthony Arms, they may have one to shoot.
http://www.anthonyarms.com/

target1911
September 2, 2007, 11:04 AM
Go to the Kimber thread at
www.forum.m1911.com

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