Thinking about getting a kimber


April 16, 2008, 11:19 PM
I'm in the market for a 1911 style pistol. The one thats caught my eye is the Kimber stainless pro tle/rl 2. Before i sell out the 1300 dollars for it I want to know if kimber is a good 1911. Because all I've been hearing is mixed reviews. And can they chamber hollow points, because i've heard that some 1911 style pistols cant.

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April 16, 2008, 11:21 PM
I know nothing about Kimber. Except for the fact that they are beautiful.

I will be following this thread, thanks for starting it.

April 16, 2008, 11:27 PM
If you are here looking for opinions on the kimber you are going to get 35 posts preaching anti kimber garbage.

Most will respond here saying that it isn't worth the money, its junk... blah blah blah ...

If you like it, buy it. It is a good firearm and if you like it, get it.

April 16, 2008, 11:30 PM
I also read a lot of reviews, good and bad. Everyone needs a 1911 in their collection, I decided on a kimber eclipse custom and it's performed flawlessly with over 1500rd's through it.

The Wiry Irishman
April 16, 2008, 11:31 PM
I've got ~1700 through mine with no malfs. My friend has more through his, same result. Chambers everything I've fed to it so far, HP included.

April 16, 2008, 11:39 PM
I bought a custom TLE / RL II here recently and had some serious...issues imo.

The thing IS accurate, but she sure did have some teething problems due to the extractor being tighter than a walrus's rear end, and apparently due to some shoddy angles that required some fine tuning.

I bought the thing because my buddie has one, and it shoots extremely well, as does his target model, but both have had many, many rounds fired through them.

I had some trigger work done to her, and a new front sight, and while the smith was doing that, he looked at the extractor for me. When I went to pick her up he said: "Oh yea, now it should shoot too..." hehe. He told me he tuned up the angles a bit, removed a bur, and she has been running like a deer for the past 300 rounds or so, which she didn't before.

Prior to the return from the smith, she would hang up at LEAST every 100 rounds or so with a failure to fully return to battery, which usually required a slight push on the slide, or the round would get caught on the ramp. This was with WWB ball ammo too mind you.

At first I suspected the mags, because I had some older mags (mec gar sp) that seemed to work well, but not 100%. But after pulling the extractor and cycling rounds through every mag I owned, I found that it fed smooth as silk WITHOUT the extractor regardless of the mags.

Apparently the extractor was the culprit, and this is a fairly common issue with kimbers from what I have read.

While I have no doubt you could get yours up and running, if I had it to do over again I would go all out and sink a little more cash into a Les Baer or an Ed Brown. While ANY 1911 can have some growing pains, if you are already investing 1300 bucks in a gun, you might as well take that extra step.


April 16, 2008, 11:48 PM
I have Kimber full sized pistols, and they are accurate, reliable, well made and attractive. I think that Kimber makes a fine gun, while some other more expensive custom guns may be marginally better. I have heard some people talk about things such as MIM parts, FTF/FTE problems, but in my collection and among my stable of shooting buddies, our Kimbers suffer no problems.

I replaced some factory parts on one of mine a while back (slide stop, grips, main spring housing, and safety) for some aftermarket 'upgrade' parts. Then my buddy asks "Why did you ditch the old stuff, were you having trouble with the pistol?"... well, no, it never malfunctioned - ever. I wish I had my money back in my wallet, since the factory parts were just as good, no matter what you might read or hear otherwise.

Since Kimber has become the Big Boy of 1911s, they also make a very big target.


April 17, 2008, 12:40 AM
$1300 ? You need to look around on gunbroker a bit, they regularly go for aound $1000. Anyway. $1300 as has been mentioned gets you awfully close to a new Les Baer, and right on top of a good used one (, another $200 gets you into used Springfield Pros, Rock Rivers etc. If you must have a pistol with a light on it, then the kimber is fine, but shop around for a better deal

April 17, 2008, 12:46 AM
Agreed. For $1300, you can get a used Brown, Baer, or Wilson.

April 17, 2008, 01:11 AM
I have 4 Kimbers Love them all. Yes some will chime in and tell you of "lemmon" guns....Doc....but every company has produced a few.

That said I'll keep buying Kimbers because I think they are a good gun for the money and the Custom Shop models are as good as they get.

The stainless pro tle/rl 2 is a great gun have you shot it? I have a Pro Carry II and the best part is breaking it in the first few hundred rounds. The tollerances were so tight on mine it was so accurate.

Check out Jim's Shooting & Supplies in Texas he's on and has great prices as a master dealer. BTW I paid a little less than $1,300 OTD for my Raptor II, The nicest 1911 I own followed closely by the Ultra Raptor II, another Custom Shop Creation. I would personally buy the Pro Raptor II over the stainless pro tle/rl 2.

Whatever you decide see if you can shoot it first. There's nothing worse than spending $1,300 ona gun you're not going to love.

April 17, 2008, 03:31 AM
Please check out when you have some free time. The website, as aptly titled, is very informative, professional, and overwhelming when it comes to the 1911 platform, and I have learned quite a bit of what I know now about 1911's, particularly Kimbers, from that website.

Toward the lower part of the page you'll find a special section dedicated to Kimber pistols. If you use the search function, or just sniff around in there, you will find a plethora of knowledge and useful information as it pertains to Kimbers. I personally own two of the older Kimbers and find them very suitable.

There is much talk about Kimber's quality control being less than perfect over the past few years, but that's subjective and everyone has something to say about it. Read up, soak it all in, and make your decision based upon what you want afterward. Granted, it is the internet, but I think you'll see a low tolerance for BS there with the focus on educating and sharing knowledge about the 1911.

April 17, 2008, 03:42 AM
I carried my Kimber for 12 years for SD and shot it once a month in competition. When it all comes down to dust I'd still rather carry my Kimber than any other gun I own.

Shoots one-inch groups at 25 yards, never fails on me except with FMJ 200-grain semi-wadcutters, it is the standard by which I judge every other pistol.

Lot of critics.Near as I can tell they are people who expect more than the pistol can deliver - or just don't have the basic skills to take advantage of the platform.

April 17, 2008, 05:35 AM
They are fantastic 1911s. In the gunsmith biz they are known as the best production 1911 you can buy. I have one that has more than 1500 rounds down the tube and it is an excellent shooter.

My own is a Bul framed stainless polymer. 14+1 in .45. and got the meprolights and a couple extra mags with the gun.

Like any gun, there is a break in period of about 200 rounds. Once you get the pistols broken in, they are very close to 100% reliable. They shoot great right from the start (if you do your part).

April 17, 2008, 08:52 AM
I have a pro Carry II that I have have for several years. I bought it because I wasn't really happy with my Colt Commander. Took it to the range and ran about 200 rounds thru it just to break it in and then compared it with the Colt.

Sold the Colt

Since then I have run another 1000 ot 1200 rounds thru it and just recently it has started to lock open halfway thru a magazine. Not often but just enuf to be aggravating.

Other than the afore mentioned problem, I don't regret selling the Colt. This will feed any type ammo I shove in it and shoots to point of aim at 20 yards every time and pretty close at 25 and 30 yards.

$700 well spent, thank you very much!!!!!;)

April 17, 2008, 09:01 AM
is that an internal or external extractor?

Wayne G.
April 17, 2008, 09:02 AM
...tle/rl 2. ...1300 dollars...

Regarding the "2" in tle2. 2 designates the Swartz safety inherent in most modern Kimbers. I would encourage you to educate yourself about it to determine if it's something you want in your 1911. Some do, some don't.

Regarding the $1300. Dayummm! It's your money but for my dollar, I'd rather have a Baer.

April 17, 2008, 09:57 AM

I'm surprised the Kimber bashers have not appeared:rolleyes:

I have a Kimber and it is my best 1911, and yes, I own and have owned other brands. If that's what you want, get it. Like the others have said, look for a better price or negotiate with a dealer.

April 17, 2008, 11:39 AM
I only have one Kimber, a Stainless Target II 10mm. I love it, and it's been flawless except with Norma ammo. But on that note, out of the 4 10mm's pictured below, only the Witness Compact will feed Norma ammo without issues.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Kimber, but I'm after a polished blue no-frills series 70 right now. Since Kimber doesn't offer such a critter, It's gonna be a Colt or USFA.

April 17, 2008, 11:43 AM
I'd spend the money on a Baer.

The Ruckus
April 17, 2008, 11:52 AM
I cannot say Kimbers are terrible, I don't own one after all. However, half this community would agree there are better 1911's out there for less money. If I were to buy a 1911 in the 750-1200 range it would be a Springfield, or Colt.

April 17, 2008, 01:31 PM
I'm surprised the Kimber bashers have not appeared

I think I "Cut 'em off at the pass!" lol

April 17, 2008, 01:43 PM
i totally agree with some of the others that have responded. i would throw in alittle more cash to get a superb 1911 like a Baer, Brown, Wilson or RRA. i think Kimbers are good gun as i have owned many but i would never pay $1300 dollars for one. you can find used semi-customs for that kind of money. good luck in you decision and let us know what you end up with.

April 17, 2008, 01:43 PM
bottom line kimbers are great who ever makes their mags needs a lesson or two but your gonna want extra mags anyway since they only come with one so problem solved just make sure you dont get one with an external extractor and it should be gravy

Old Dog
April 17, 2008, 02:40 PM
I cannot say Kimbers are terrible, I don't own one after all.
However, half this community would agree there are better 1911's out there for less money.
Argh! Yet another victim of the "GunInternetitis Syndrome." Zero experience, but puts forth an opinion notwithstanding ...

Anyway, I totally disagree. For the money, Springfield Armory is the only competitor with Kimber. I absolutely love my Colts but when Colt sells their base models for a hundred bucks more than a SA Loaded or Kimber Custom and the Colts come out of the box with cosmetic issues and functioning problems, for the money, I'll buy a Springer or Kimber every time ...

And for those who say you can pick up a used Baer in good condition for 1300, goodonya, 'cause I sure don't see any in my region going for anywhere near that paltry sum.

Kimber makes solid pistols. I've had nothing but good experiences with mine; they're reliable, accurate and good-lookin' to boot. I have several buddies whose Kimber experiences have mirrored mine; in fact, I know of only one that's had to go back to the factory, and it was for minor issues that seem endemic to the production 1911 business.

April 17, 2008, 03:12 PM
I hvae 2 Kimbers SS Pro Carrry .45 and 9mm both have been 100% after 2500 rounds combined. I will buy more.

April 17, 2008, 04:38 PM
I swapped out a RH safety to replace the ambi on my Team Match II, the higher dollar Kimbers come with steel or stainless steel mainspring housings, so I didn't have to replace a plastic one. Got nice cocobolo full checker grips. The gun is beautiful except for the front serrations.

April 17, 2008, 04:39 PM
Do the math. The Dan Wesson Pointman 7 is the most 1911 for the money. Price out all of the Ed Brown parts on that sucker, just for a start. Additionally, it has the features almost all shooters want, without too many other bells and whistles.

Springfield and DW are by far the best values in the 1911 world. I don't think that is a matter of opinion. Again, do the math.

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