thoughts on Kimber


March 1, 2008, 02:44 PM
have a friend who has a Kimber Desert Warrior with all the bells and whistles.big $$$ pistol.when he first got it ,it wouldn't feed hard ball,or anything consistently.messed with it,called Kimber twice that I know of.was told both times not to worry till he had 500 rounds thru it.well,it did finally settle down at bout round 520 or I'm an old school John M. Browning mod 1911 Colt person and having to shoot 500 rounds to get a pistol to settle in just doesn't seem right.I own several autos,Colt,S&W,CZ,FI,Ruger,High Standard,Beretta,Walther and I've never had to do a 500 round "breakin".is this normal for 21st. century Semi-Autos? thanks jwr

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March 1, 2008, 02:52 PM
I would not waist my money on a kimber cz much better gun.

Rob G
March 1, 2008, 03:03 PM
It's not uncommon for most modern 1911s. However I would state that I own 2 kimbers and they both shot just fine out of box. One of them jammed a couple times because of an old mag I put in it with a bad spring. Otherwise they've worked fine. There's nothing wrong with a Kimber, or Colt, or any other 1911 design as a whole. Just sometimes you get a bad one.

March 1, 2008, 03:10 PM
No offense to the above poster, but the CZ fans on this board are insane.

Seriously, there are topics like "Which Sig to buy, 229 or 226?" and it won't take 4 responses before someone goes-- "Clearly get a 75, everything else is crap."

Old Dog
March 1, 2008, 03:23 PM
I would not waist my money on a kimber cz much better gun.
Gee, I've wasted my money on several Kimbers, and they're all terrific pistols.

How can one compare a CZ to a 1911, anyway? (I do like many of CZ's offerings, but really, now ...)

Why do the Glocksters and CZers all chime in with claims of superiority when folks ask about 1911s, anyway? Am I just a curmudgeon, or is anyone else getting tired of this as well?

March 1, 2008, 03:37 PM
I have a Kimber CDP 5 inch. It is as reliable as any mechanical device can be. Maybe I just got lucky.

March 1, 2008, 03:39 PM
I do not suggest a Kimber newer than Series I

Before Kimber moved to where they are now , they made a very nice 1911 made to specs, with quality metallurgy and quality control.
They were honestly giving Colt a run for the money on a 1911.

Line Extension will kill a do not fall into the line extension trap... [Trout & Reys], and Kimber fell into the line extension by jumping into the Great Equipment Race [Part Umpteenth time] via the Great Clone Contest.

In the beginning Kimber offered a heck of a lot of gun for the money for those that wanted duck-butts, FLGRs, curb feelers and fuzzy dice.

For those in the Great Equipment Race, attempting to buy skill and targets, and "had to have" duck-butts and all the other stuff, Kimber had all this stuff on a gun and for a good price as compared to buying a bone stock 1911 and having these "accessories" added.

Series I were doing fine and then the line had to be extended even more, as Kimber wanted "some of that pie over there and some of that pie over yonder and".

It was not about customers getting a nice gun for the money, it was about Mfgs "racing" to get as much of the Clone dollars.
Heck, creative marketing - make something and folks had to it as one of the other mfg did not offer...yet.

Kimber is not the only one that forgot customers that made them what they became.
Line extension means cutting corners, getting stuff out fast, saving 2 cents and there...

1911s are not the only platform. It is not a platform, it is the Gun Mfg more interested in themselves and not the consumer problem across the board.

I will not carry a Kimber after a Series I.I refuse to.
I was offered for Free to carry a Series 2 CDP, and Officers, and a few others.
I refused, either let me get what I know or trust, with the offer or no.
Yep turned down free guns... extra mags, holsters and ammo - ego and pride will get one killed.

I have never and will not ever carry for serious defensive use a 1911 smaller than a Commander.
I have and will only carry a full size, or Commander, that takes a USGI/Colt 7 rd mag. I prefer bone stock.

Exceptions for me:
Colt .38 Super and a certain custom in 9x23.

March 1, 2008, 03:41 PM
have both 1911's and czs

both have merits and both have issues.

I have seen some real crapo kimbers and some others that really did work.

my personal experience is about 3 to 1.
That is 3 crap to 1 good one.

my smith 1911 ran great out of the box. Trigger has some slop in it S&W won't fix but the gun does function.

If you want a great looking gun that is great to hold and look at... by all means buy a kimber. I think I am going to buy one now based on my experience with S&W customer service. I have never seen a kimber with a sloppy trigger.

good luck whatever you decide as luck has more to do with it than brand loyalty.


March 1, 2008, 03:44 PM
Curmudgeon!!! Well, maybe me, too.

I had a CZ 75B and thought it a great pistol. I traded it on a Colt officer's model, however, because the CZ did not do anything my BHP does not do and the BHP is more asthetically pleasing to me. That left the CZ sitting in the safe. My 3 commander-size Kimbers are reliable and shoot inside the spaces I left with the CZ. Some 1911s need a break-in and I have to change the springs more often than other designs, but for accuracy, concealibility and a great trigger, 1911s can't be beaten, in my opinion.

March 1, 2008, 03:56 PM
I wonder why, when folks buy a new tight gun that fails to function because it's new and tight, they don't do a small amount of lapping. Ammo, gas, and range time co$t.

March 1, 2008, 03:59 PM
Kimbers are fine. They are probably my pick of the mass produced 1911's. My TLE/RL II....yes I said series 2. Is almost as accurate as some of my guns that cost twice as much. So far the only Kimber I have that I have had problems with is the Rimfire model.

M2 Carbine
March 1, 2008, 04:54 PM
My 5th Kimber, right out of the box. Totally reliable and very accurate.
Typical of the other four, except the Ultra Eclipse which did require a couple hundred round break in. From what I've seen the Eclipse line does need a break in.

Ultra Covert II.

I have a Kimber CDP 5 inch. It is as reliable as any mechanical device can be. Maybe I just got lucky.

I don't think so. Between my friends and I we have about 18 Kimbers, most are Ultras.
In a serious defense shooting I wouldn't think twice about picking up and using any one of those 18 guns.

March 1, 2008, 05:13 PM
My current generation Kimber ST II - 10mm couldn't be much better, I think. It took about 500 rounds of FMJ for complete break in--early on, the tight fit caused real heatup; by round 350 it was running smoothly, and by round 500 it was very smooth with no unusual heating.

With the right reloads (5.2 gr 231, Hornady 180 TMJFN, 1.256 LOA) it shoots in 2" at fifty yards.

There are things I do NOT like, like the plastic mainspring housing, but overall, I'm more than satisfied.

Jim H.

March 1, 2008, 05:13 PM
Why do the Glocksters and CZers all chime in with claims of superiority when folks ask about 1911s, anyway? Am I just a curmudgeon, or is anyone else getting tired of this as well?

I am very tired of this also. I look at it this way if you can not afford a Hummer a Yugo is always the best thing Made. :neener:

March 1, 2008, 07:38 PM
I have a Kimber Classic Custom Target that I got 9 years ago. When I bought it, it had a plastic mainspring housing which I immediately replaced with a steel mainspring housing. I also replaced the stock full length recoil spring guide with a GI style recoil spring guide and plug. It shot great right out of the box and has performed since without a hiccup.

March 1, 2008, 10:54 PM
I've got a late model Kimber, a wonderful gun! I've got a CZ too, a Dan Wesson! That is of course a 1911. Another great gun, beautiful.

Tom Servo
March 1, 2008, 11:20 PM
Umm...the CZ and Kimber are two completely different platforms.

I've had both. I only got rid of the Kimber because the 1911 doesn't fit my hands, not because of any mechanical issues.

It was a CDP Compact, Series II, external extractor...all the no-no's, basically. In ~3500rds, I had one stovepipe. That's it. It had a good, if slightly mushy, trigger and was easy to shoot well.

I've seen too many Kimbers to count, and most owners echo my experience. I also have one very knowledgeable friend who could not get his to work. Actual ratio was overwhelmingly positive, though.

I think the issue is that 1911 fans look for craftsmanship and perfection, and when it doesn't come through, they're very vocal. For $1000 bucks, it's understandable. Every company churns out a lemon once in awhile (I've seen bad Sigs, Glocks and CZs), but from what I've seen, Kimber's odds are just as good as any manufacturer.

March 2, 2008, 08:12 AM
Fanboyz be hanged. A full size Kimber Raptor II is my bedside weapon of choice. The only time it hiccuped was when the first .22 round out of the conversion kit failed to fire.

Can we go back to picking on Glocks? :neener:

March 2, 2008, 12:17 PM
I have had 4 Kimbers. One Series 1 that somebody had screwed up "improving" and it made me greyer, but I finally figured it out and fixed it. One 3" Tactical that was a little finicky for at least 500 rounds, but then settled down and runs fine, for my nephew, to this day. A 4" CDP that ran great from round one. Sold it in favor of my 4th Kimber.(A 3" CDP) I still have the 3" CDP that ran great from round one and continues to do so. Only changes are the Wilson modified thumb safety, Wilson slide stop, Kimber Tactical mainspring housing, and black finish on grip safety.

Ala Dan
March 2, 2008, 12:25 PM
My only ones have been with the 5" Raptor, and the 3" Stainless Ultra Carry.
In both cases, they proved to be 100% reliable; with very little "break in"
period. I still have the UC .45 ACP; but I traded in the Raptor on my Les
Baer Thunder Ranch Special, and have NEVER looked back~! :scrutiny: ;) :D

March 4, 2008, 01:53 AM
I have a Kimber Classic with an Oregon Stamped frame, apparently made before Kimbers' move to Yonkers. Anybody have any idea of how many of them are about?

March 4, 2008, 02:15 AM
I guess, from all the above, you either love them or you hate them.
I don't fall into either category, but I don't and won't own one of them.
I much prefer Colts (the real thing), Springfields, and S&W 1911's.
I've just had too many friends who have had unpleasant experiences with Kimbers and with their customer service. They are always told on the 1st call to " sure and put 500 rounds through it, and then call us back." I just don't think that should be necessary. For those who like them, I am happy for you.

The Lone Haranguer
March 4, 2008, 02:25 AM
I am sure what was meant by CZ in this case is the Dan Wesson brand, owned by CZ-USA.

And that should be "get a Glock" instead. :uhoh: ;)

March 4, 2008, 02:33 AM
Heya sm, you (or if anyone else knows I'm all ears) seem to have a great deal of knowledge about the pre II-series Kimbers. Can you give me a ball park of the era my Classic Gold Match fell in to? It has Yonkers, NY markings and I purchased it new on 4-20-2000.

I've just had too many friends who have had unpleasant experiences with Kimbers and with their customer service. :uhoh: Don't say that I just mailed in mine to them with a FULL (I mean 10 font 1/2" margins) page of work I need/want done to my Gold Match.


P.S. Except for some wear and tear issues my kimber has never had an operational failure or fail to feed or fire, but like some people have pointed out to me its a Gold should be fine all the time in a non combat target environment. Now if its a weapon that my life HAS to depend on and because of the aforementioned "laundry list" of several little problems I sent in with my Kimber, then I'm selling my car and buying a Wilson, SIG, or H&K. :evil:

March 4, 2008, 02:35 AM
never had any problems with my break-in, anything. Great pistols!!

March 4, 2008, 02:36 AM

(sorry, continue)

March 4, 2008, 03:23 AM
I have a Kimber Classic with an Oregon Stamped frame, apparently made before Kimbers' move to Yonkers. Anybody have any idea of how many of them are about?

I think there are around 5000 or so of these Clackamas Kimbers. Great 1911 but they weren't made in Clackamas Oregon. They were made in the Yonkers plant and shipped to Clackamas because Kimber didn't have the FFL for the NY facility. The plant in NY which used to be Jerico Precision was putting out some top notch 1911 parts including slides and frames for Wilson Combat.

March 4, 2008, 04:57 AM
I've owned my Kimber Custom Target II for about 10 months now. I put 2000+ rounds through it and it has yet to fail. I can't comment on the customer service cause I haven't needed it yet. I go shooting probably once every 2 weeks so I have to get the cheapest ammo possible to keep it a bit economical. It has shot CCI Blazer, Remington UMC, WWB, Aguila, even one box of Wolf and not one single issue.
This was 50 rounds at 30 ft, that just shows how well I shoot, the gun is better.

March 4, 2008, 09:01 AM
I just shot a Kimber Custom 2 tonight. Great gun. It was a range rental, but I'll be buying one of my own in time.

I've shot a few other Kimbers too. There wasn't one I wouldn't have loved to own.

March 4, 2008, 03:25 PM
After I figured out I had a bad magazine and fixed it my Kimber Pro Carry Ten II shoots big ragged holes at 10-15yds. Before I solved the problem I had a total of 4 FTF's. Keep a Kimber well lubricated and it'll run like a sewing machine, don't and you'll have issues with it.

March 4, 2008, 03:40 PM
I am shooting a Kimber Custom II, and have never had any problem with the Shwartz (sp) safety. Replaced the plastic MSH with an Ed Brown and running Wilson springs. Other than that, the usual pickyness of a 1911 with magazines has been the only issue through about 4.5k rounds.

March 4, 2008, 03:56 PM
I own a CDPII and an Ultra Carry II LG. The CDP had a couple of failures to return to battery in the first couple hundred rounds, but nothing since and it's over 1,000 now. The Ultra Carry was flawless right out of the box, but only has a little over 300 rounds through it so far.

March 5, 2008, 05:55 AM
brand names aside i am with the bellow
How can one compare a CZ to a 1911, anyway? (I do like many of CZ's offerings, but really, now ...)

i think that kimber has some great guns out there, the tle, the warrior, the det 1 etc. but the biggets problem for them is the fact that they get a good thing going and it seems that they start selling lots if guns and the qc starts slipping bad. they make great stuff and when the gun is right it is right but when the gun ain't right it really isn't right. they do make and sell more 1911's than any other company out there, i am gonna stay away form them basically because i am a sa loyalist but if i find a good deal on one than i would jump all over it.

March 5, 2008, 08:21 AM
I have four Kimbers and my wife has three.

I have two first series classics, one is a Clackamas and one is a Yonkers. Both are flawless. I also have a Gold Gaurdian and an Anniversary that are unfired.

My wife has an Eclipse series II bought used with no problems. A Custom II with the external extactor that was bought new. At first we could only fire Blazer aluminum through it, it would jamb on all brass. Now it fires anything. She also has a series I Stainless compact aluminum frame that she carries, it is light wieght and does have a little snap to it, but it has never had a problem either.

P.S. I have a CZ75b and I like the Kimbers better.

March 5, 2008, 06:03 PM
I've never really been able to figure out the animosity some have toward Kimbers... I can understand the feelings of the individual who pays 1000 dollars for a lemon, but there are really very few lemons around. I haven't seen one personally. I shoot a series 2 Kimber Gold Match that has never had a failure to function of any kind, from the time I took it out of the box.

March 5, 2008, 06:51 PM
I have 4 Kimbers and they all have tight tollerances. Only issues I had was with a 4" Pro Carry II. I sent it back and it came back just as reliable as the other three. All have internal extractor and two are custom shop guns.

March 5, 2008, 06:54 PM
I've never really been able to figure out the animosity some have toward Kimbers...

Bad news travels fast on the errornet. The first things I did when I first got my Custom II was to check the extractor to make sure it tensioned properly and throw the Kimber mag in the junk drawer. I used only Wilson 47Ds and had zero malfunctions. I've heard some Kimbers have a chamber that is too tight and this will cause big problems. I think the main reason they have such a bad reputation with some is because they don't make sure the pistols that come in for service are 100% when they go back out.

March 5, 2008, 07:18 PM
I own a Classic Custom, first series. It shoots real tight groups, but it shoots them a little to the left. My Glocks all shoot dead on, so I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. The fixed sights are HARD to move (as should be expected), the thumb safety broke off, so I sent it in to Kimber for repair, and I am not really satisfied. The thumb safety used to have that positive "snap" to it, and when I got the gun back, it wasn't the same. The finish on it wasn't very good either. The pistol has had a few double-feeds, but no stovepipes. I use wilson combat mags, so i doubt that it's the mags causing the trouble. I have decided that this 1911 is for fun shooting, keeping clean, and showing to friends. My glocks are hard to beat, so I'm going to be a Glock toting man until I find a pistol that is superior, and by the looks of things, I won't find it soon.

March 5, 2008, 11:39 PM
I now have 3 Kimbers. A Tactical Custom II, A Desert Warrior, and a Custom Eclipse II in 10mm. All have worked well for me. I use only Wilson Combat 47D's in all my 1911's and don't have much in the way of feeding problems.
In fact my most used carry gun is my Tactical Custom II. It has digested most all ammo that I have fed it. I currently use Winchester Ranger SXT ammo as my carry and it will feed them without issues. I have read all the threads about problems and issues but I have yet to experiance any of these with my Kimber's.

March 6, 2008, 12:02 AM
These are some of the most accurate and fantastic guns ever - and I personally am not a 1911 fan. The only issues I've seen is if they are over oiled or excessively dirty (like 1000 rounds no cleaning).

March 6, 2008, 01:19 AM
they do make and sell more 1911's than any other company out there
Wow really? Seems like when I bought mine in early 2000 they were like a little secret or something.

March 6, 2008, 01:41 AM
I will say right up front and with great honesty that I just flat don't like Kimber. It's irrational on my part, but they bear the brunt of my intense hatred of the 1911 fad. Realistically, they probably aren't bad guns, but I just flatly don't think a 1911, any 1911, is worth what they charge (on average) and thus I refuse on principal to even consider one. Flame me all you want, but thats the most honest answer you will ever get when it comes to brand hatred, lol. For what it's worth, I also won't pay that much for any 1911 regardless of manufacturer, although for a true custom gun, I might. My Taurus 1911 was sold at a price that is about as much as I am willing to spend on a 1911 ($550.00, more or less), and after a year and a half worth of ownership and many rounds downrange, I feel vindicated in my beliefs. I am completely and totally satisfied with that pistol, and I bought it at a price that is more in line with reality as I see it.

March 6, 2008, 09:34 AM
Wow really? Seems like when I bought mine in early 2000 they were like a little secret or something.

Im still trying to find the actual article but I read somewhere that Kimber sold over 60,000 1911 pattern pistols in 2006. More than Springfield and Colt combined. Springfield sold around 20,000 or so, Colt around 10,000...

Now you know why there are more people on the internet with Kimber "Problems". Well, if Springfield Armory produced 60,000 pistols a year they would have more problems too...
This isn't the same article I was reading but it goes to show you that Kimber has a bigger piece of the pie than most people assume. Maybe it is that most Kimber owners can't have just one?

March 6, 2008, 09:59 AM
Im still trying to find the actual article but I read somewhere that Kimber sold over 60,000 1911 pattern pistols in 2006. More than Springfield and Colt combined. Springfield sold around 20,000 or so, Colt around 10,000...

The last numbers I seen SA out sold Kimber by 10,000 units or so. I'm not sure if that included the XD series or not though and that would make a big difference.

March 6, 2008, 10:18 AM
I found this but I'm not sure about the numbers.

March 6, 2008, 10:45 AM
How can one compare a CZ to a 1911, anyway? (I do like many of CZ's offerings, but really, now ...)

Well there are the Dan Wesson 1911s and Dan Wesson is now part of CZ. So you don't have to compare CZ to a 1911, you can compare the CZ 1911 to other 1911s.

I have owned a Kimber Classic Custom Target for 9 years, it has had many rounds through it and it is an accurate and dependable pistol. I have been very satisfied with it. In fact, it is the 1911 my son prefers to shoot when we go out to the range.

If I were to buy a new 1911, it would be the Dan Wesson PM7. No knock on Kimber, I just think the DW is now a better gun for the money. As a matter of fact, I did just that. Here is my CZ 1911 (Kimber on top, new DW below).

Big Boomer
March 6, 2008, 05:35 PM
Well to each his own. If you want to spend you hard earned dollars there go ahead, it's not my money.

I'll spend mine elsewhere thanks. I've seen plenty of kimbers and all the new production stuff seems the same. Even the SIS. It does not impress me in the least.

There are pistols that do impress me, I've purchased a few, and no not a single kimber.

March 6, 2008, 08:18 PM
Kimber Custom II here....awesome gun, great finish, never fails, and is very accurate.

Id buy another anyday.

March 6, 2008, 08:26 PM
"1911 fad" ????

March 7, 2008, 12:24 AM
My recent Kimber story:

March 7, 2008, 08:14 AM
My recent Kimber story:

Great customer service there. I very much liked the letter you sent with it.

March 7, 2008, 12:51 PM
"1911 fad" ????

Yup. 1911's are fine pistols and all, but the fact is that they have been publicized so much as to be a fad. It doesn't detract from the pistols themselves, but the fact is that 10 years ago, the 1911 wasn't hailed by every magazine on the planet as the best pistol around, nor were there 4 or 5 articles about the 1911 per issue. Remember the "wondernine wars"? Same thing. Regular gunnies are familiar with the pistol and have been for years, but new shooters are assaulted with constant articles declaring the 1911's superiority, thus making it "faddish". I mean, look at THR. How many new shooters get on and ask what 1911 they should buy, and then through the course of the post start considering other platforms? More than one, for sure. The 1911 is great and all, but it isn't the only, or best, pistol for everyone.

March 7, 2008, 01:03 PM
thank you for the reasonable response (sincerely). I was expecting more of the 1911/Glock trash talk I've seen so much of lately.

Thanks again for taking the High Road.


May 29, 2008, 11:03 PM
I purchase my first 1911. A kimber eclipse pro carry II. I went to the range to shoot it. Again ther first 1911 that I have ever shot. I loved it! 100 rounds without a hitch. Its way more accurate than most of my plastic autos, probably due to the smooth and light trigger pull. I am so glad I picked the kimber over the Colt XSE commander that I started to get. The kimber has nicer features (30 lpi checkering, night sights, better grips) for only slightly more money. I was somewhat scared after reading some negative threads on the kimber. Its still early in the game, but so far I am a Kimber fan.

May 30, 2008, 12:04 AM
I suggest the Series I Kimbers. If not, check the a Warrior or SIS.

If you get a Series II, check the Custom Classics. My experience, based on owning literally 2 dozen+ Kimbers, more money spent, is not always more quality.


May 30, 2008, 07:29 AM
My Kimber SIS is a great gun.
Racking it sounded a bit strange before I had 300 rounds through it (it's an alloy thing, I guess)
Also, be sure to use a quality lubricant on it during the break-in period, and clean it well between range visits.

I used the Militec-1 "Synthetic Metal Conditioner" too.
It is cycling great, very smooth.

The only real trouble I can recall resulted from using crap magtech ammo.

Be patient, use quality ammo, and keep it lubed for the first 500 or so and it'll run like a champ.

May 30, 2008, 08:42 AM
I've had several, including a Clackamas rollmarked. They've all been good to me.

Lot's of errors and falsehoods in this thread, there was some poor leadership there for awhile, but things appear to have been righted.

Kimber was founded as "Kimber of Oregon" in 1979 by Greg and Jack Warne in the small town of Colton, Oregon. The company quickly built a reputation for accurate .22 caliber rifles, began to expand its product line and eventually build a manufacturing plant in the nearby city of Clackamas. In the early 1990s, the company fell on hard times. Over the course of several years, Leslie Edelman acquired a majority interest in the company. Kimber of Oregon's financial situation did not improve significantly, ultimately leading to the closure of its facilities in Oregon in 1997.

In 1990 several Kimber employees left to found Cooper Firearms of Montana. [1]

At the same time, Yonkers-based "Jerico Precision Manufacturing", a manufacturer of hand tools and mechanical components for the defense industry, was adjusting to cuts in defense spending. Edelman decided to connect Jerico Precision's existing infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities and Kimber's reputation and extensive network of dealers to build a line of 1911-style handguns. He eventually purchased Jerico Precision and renamed the business "Kimber of America".

A federal grand jury indicted former CFO Denis Shusterman for embezzling a total of $10 million from Kimber Manufacturing on December 9, 2004.[2] He was later convicted after pleading guilty, ordered to pay damages and back taxes and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

Kimber is planning to expand its manufacturing capacity. Presently, it owns a 31,500 ft² manufacturing facility in Ridgefield, NJ. A proposal to add more space to its Yonkers site had been approved as a "regionally significant project"[3] but Kimber appears to have withdrawn its application following concerns raised by worried neighbors.

Big Boomer
May 30, 2008, 09:46 AM
:barf: Run, run away fast!

Many other fine manufactures that are cheaper and better quality that Kimbers. Period.

May 30, 2008, 01:23 PM
my raptor II works .. period

May 30, 2008, 01:27 PM
my cdp ii custom and a friends rcp are both great and never have any probs

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