Whats the deal with Kimber?


PDA






matai
January 9, 2010, 04:49 AM
It seems like everybody is always trash talking Kimber, but supposedly they are the largest manufacturer of 1911's. If that's true, they must be selling a ton of em.

I understand there was a time where they had a some issues, but is this still the case?

Is there any reason not to buy a current production Kimber?

If you enjoyed reading about "Whats the deal with Kimber?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Sapper771
January 9, 2010, 05:51 AM
I have noticed that kimbers are sometimes hit and miss. Either they are loved , hated, or tolerated. I have owned only one custom shop Kimber, and I will never own another one again. Poor customer service was the major issue, not to mention a so called "custom shop" pistol that couldnt get through a whole magazine without several malfunctions. It went back twice, and still didnt get fixed. I sold it to a shop that had in house gunsmithing and got a glock.
I have only owned one, so my experience is limited. I have a friend that has a series I kimber and it shoots great. I also have another friend that has a Series I kimber that doesnt run at all.

If I could recomend one 1911 manufacturer it would be Springfield Armory. If your SA pistol doesnt work, they will pay for shipping both ways, kimber will not.

Full Metal Jacket
January 9, 2010, 05:52 AM
google.

benderx4
January 9, 2010, 09:43 AM
All show, no go. Google it.

The Bushmaster
January 9, 2010, 09:55 AM
I don't have to "google it"...I carry a Kimber UCC II daily. Out of the box it shot 3/4" groups at 7 yards and 1 1/2" groups at 25 yards. And still does. Over 3,000 rounds through it without failure.

EddieNFL
January 9, 2010, 10:11 AM
but supposedly they are the largest manufacturer of 1911's. If that's true, they must be selling a ton of em.

Some years ago the Ford Taurus was the best selling car in the country, but it wasn't the best car in the country.

Over 3,000 rounds through it without failure.

I have a flawless, uber accurate Kimber with more than 10 times that number down range. I also have one that is "okay," and had a third that, although accurate, required the services of an accomplished smith before it would run properly.

IMO Kimber's shortcomings are lack of quality control and hit or miss customer service.

ttheel
January 9, 2010, 11:44 AM
I will tell you my honest opinion. I believe the reason you seem to hear alot of negative is because they are the worlds largest manufacturer of 1911's. It is simple math. They make more so more is on the market so naturally you are going to hear more negative about a company that puts say 50000 guns on the market annually than a company that puts 2000 out. Just think about it. If 5% of Kimbers have problems out of the gate for one year then that means 2500 people just this year have had problems. Now lets say your High priced "custom" manufacturer puts out 2000 and they have a 5% problem rate, that is only 125 people. With today's internet, you are going to really here from people when they are unhappy with something. Naturally it is going to seem that Kimbers are worse because of the high production numbers(more people to complain). It is just the way it is. I will guarantee you that if say Les Baer was producing 50000 pistols per year then you would be hearing alot more negative about them especially if they still cost $2500.

I am not scared of Kimber. I dont own one put I probably will some day. I spoke with a local gunshop owner and friend about Kimber's about 2 months ago. I mentioned to him myself that I heard alot of negative about them on some of these message boards and he said that all he could do was speak from his own experience. Selling virtually every major manufacturer of handguns today he said that as far as he was concerned Kimber was the best of the best. That he could not keep them in because folks wanted them so much and that he virtually never got a complaint about them and this was not the case in regards to many other gun makers.

9teenEleven
January 9, 2010, 11:46 AM
I bought a new stainless ii last spring. It has some issues at first. Customer service was outstanding. The gun has now gone through over 3k rounds without a single hiccup. It is the one gun I wouldn't trade or sell.

76shuvlinoff
January 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
My fullsize Raptor II (yep a series II ) is trusted enough to be my go-to middle-of-the-night, stuff goes bump, groggy-eyed *** bedside guardian. Just like the 870 and an 1894c over in the closet.

Like those it had to eat up a pile factory rounds with a thorough mixing of cheap reloads to gain that spot.

Can't speak for anyone else's misfortune real or imagined... but mine sure works.

mljdeckard
January 9, 2010, 12:50 PM
(I just wrote this in a different thread, I don't feel like typing it again, so I'll post it here.)

The only Kimber MIM parts I have seen break are the pictures that have been posted on this board. Neither mine, nor any of the dozen or so owned by friends I shoot with regularly has ever had a problem. Same with the plastic MSH. Now I actually intend to replace mine with an arched housing with the lanyard loop when I happen across one, but I have never heard of a plastic one breaking.

My personal extensive experience is as follows.

In the army we had 87 WWII frankenguns of various manufacture and origins. I only shot them once, I don't recall any malfunctions of any kind. In the spring of 1992 we traded them out for new-in-cosmoline Berettas and I wept. I stole a handful of the G.I. magazines and I had all kinds of trouble with them.

I traded a guitar to a friend of mine for a Auto Ordnance 1911 which would have been manufactured around the early 90s. It was a nightmare. Everything about it was terrible. The sights, the slide, the trigger, and to top it off, the front sight popped out two days after the front sight on my new Sigma did the same thing. I got rid of both of them.

I bought a new Colt 1991 A1 in about 1995. Very vanilla and spartan. I liked it just fine, but I don't recall anything special about how well it functioned. It was much like the G.I. ones I had used in the army. I left the country for a while and wound up selling it.

I bought a used Para Ordnance P-12. Again, not bad, but pretty unremarkable. I went through a phase where I carried a Beretta, a Sig, a Glock, etc, and I came back to a Kimber 1911. I shot it, and all of the function was so fluid and perfect, I suddenly felt like it was what I had been looking for all this time. It was how I WISHED all of those other 1911s had worked. I let all of my friends shoot it, even those who weren't fans of the 1911 or .45s in general. They ALL loved it, several bought them, and most of my friends who carry now carry Kimber 1911s.

My dad asked me for suggestions for a 1911 and wound up buying a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec, and he will need to get the slide machined if he was a selection of sights. A good friend of mine went in on a group buy from Para Ordnance for some wide-frame 1911s with custom colors and graphics dedicated to a particular military unit. When he got his, the cavity under the bushing, where the plug sits was squeezed so out-of-spec that the plug wouldn't come out. He had to send it back to the factory to get it re-shaped. Both of them said they really wish they had just bought a Kimber.

Here's the thing. Kimber sells several TIMES more units than the next 1911 manufacturer. (BATFE posts these statistics if you want to check.) When you sell many more TIMES the number as your competitors, there may well be a higher percieved number of malfunctions. Added to this, on boards like this, NEGATIVE experiences with a particular gun get much more bandwidth than POSITIVE experiences. ("I bought a new gun this weekend, I took it to the range, I shot it, cleaned it, and took it home." is pretty boring.) Even if there is a higher NUMBER of problems, it doesn't mean there is a higher RATE or likelihood of problems than another manufacturer.

In all fairness, I try to look at all options in a given price range when I buy a gun. If I had to replace my Kimber tomorrow, I might look at a STI Spartan, a Dan Wesson, or some similar ones. But I have never had any more success between me or my friends with any brand or model than with Kimber 1911s. If the MIM parts REALLY give you the willies that much, they are all easily and cheaply replaced. (I haven't bother or worried about it in over 10,000 rounds.)

MachIVshooter
January 9, 2010, 01:32 PM
Some years ago the Ford Taurus was the best selling car in the country, but it wasn't the best car in the country.

Not a good analogy. The Taurus was at a lower price point than the competition. Kimbers are not.

To the OP, Kimbers are semi-custom guns, offering alot of the features people pay big money to get done to a stock 1911 in a complete package that is much less than the cost of modifying a stocker.

Kimber has had lemons, but as with most anything, the people who have problems with something are those who scream the loudest. Part of it is that folks are less tolerant of problems in a $1,000 gun than in a $400 gun. Part of it is that it just seems to be en vogue to bash kimber. I know several people who have bought much more expensive 1911's with tons of problems, but they are embarrassed to admit that their $3,000 nighthawk won't run.

Lastly, there are alot more Kimbers out there. That means that the same percentage of problematic guns equals a larger number.

I love my Kimber, and would buy another in a heartbeat if I were in the Market for a new 1911.

Walkalong
January 9, 2010, 01:34 PM
My experience with Kimber has been very good. That is all I have to go on.

gc70
January 9, 2010, 01:39 PM
Whats the deal with Kimber?

Kimber is a long-term, major manufacturer of mid-range 1911s.

Long-term: Kimber has been making 1911s for a decade and a half. Like any sizeable company, the quality of its product has varied over time. Whenever the quality of a company's product goes down, some people latch onto that and will never admit that the company later restored the quality of the product.

Major manufacturer: Kimber makes a lot of 1911s. Like any major manufacturer, some percentage of its products inevitably have problems. The greater a company's sales volume, the more people encounter the inevitable percentage of problems - and the more often we hear about those problems on the internet.

Mid-range 1911s: Kimber does not make the cheapest 1911s available in the market, nor does it make total custom guns. People who buy the cheapest guns available seem willing to tolerate a degree of problems. People who pay more (in Kimber's price range) expect more and are less tolerant of problems. People who pay huge sums for custom guns rarely talk about problems.

Since Kimber has a high sales volume in a competitive segment of the 1911 market and the internet is not flooded with Kimber horror stories, the company must be putting out a pretty good product.

rellascout
January 9, 2010, 01:41 PM
I think Kimbers problems come directly from the fact they sell more 1911 than anyone else. When production numbers and moving metal become king quality suffers. This is a direct result of Mr. Cohens marketing approach. MOVE THE METAL.

I agree with what other people are saying. They move more guns than anyone else so by pure volume they will have more reported problems than anyone else. The problem is that does not tell the whole story. Kimber was once a small company. Similar to say Dan Wesson of today. They turned out 3000 to 5000 "production" 1911s a year. Clackamas Kimbers where some of the best production 1911s ever made.

They however unlike Dan Wesson choose to increase that volume. Mr Cohen wanted to move more metal. He created all sorts of models. New finishes. Cool checkering and SS cocking serrations and grips of all kinds. Each one of these cosmetic changes was renamed as a new pistol. Something for everyone. Bling Bling Bling.

The problem was that whenever you ramp up production you run the risk of lowering quality. There are two things you never want to happen when you run a production business. No one buying your product and on the other end of the spectrum too many people buying your product.

MIMber IMHO is a victim of their own making of the 2nd pitfall. They overproduce to meet an inflated demand. As a result they went to MIM parts. Cheaper and faster to produce. They do not have hands on the gun as much as they used to. You can't on the production line because you only have so many minutes you can put into the gun because another one is coming down the line. This is really true in the test firing part of the process. They fire a few rounds declare it good and move it out. For many types of pistols this is okay. In the 1911 world it is not. Remember Move the Metal!!!!

All of these short cuts have taken their toll. Now back to what others have stated. Yes Kimbers defect rate might only be around 5%. The problem is that compared to other manufactures who are not MOIVING as MUCH METAL that is still high. I would bet Dan Wesson sees less than 2.5% of their 3500 guns come back to them with a factory origin issue. I know 2.5% does not seem like a lot but look at is closely. That is a 100% increase in the defect rate. (these numbers are purely for demonstration purposes as no manufacturer is going to give you this data.)

This is exactly what has happened to Kimber. It does not mean you are going to get a bad gun. The reality is that with almost any manufacturer the odds are heavily in your favor but it does tell you a little about the company its goals and what they think of you as a consumer.

The most troubling thing that has occurred with Kimber is that as the defect rate went up their customer service went down. The number of calls to the service center went up. The number of pistols in service at any one time went up. It is a snowball effect of ramping up production even if you kept your defect rate the same. Most companies do not compensate for this. So bad pistol becomes bad customer service, which become slower repairs which becomes pissed off customer.

Now having said all this Kimber seems to have turned the corner. They are better than they used to be. I personally think you can point to a single change that has helped this turnaround. That is the departure of Mr. Move that metal, Cohen. Unfortunately for Kimber for many the damage done to their rep is too great to overcome.

P.S. Again because of Mr Cohen you can take this story and replace Kimber with Sig Sauer and the story will ready with the exact same accuracy and truth. How many MIM parts where in a P220 in 2000. How many are there today? Unfortunately for Sig and their fans they have promoted Mr. Cohen.

possum
January 9, 2010, 04:20 PM
the more of a product that you make, the more chance there is for issues. if you have issues with say for example 10% of your guns that you make and you make a 100, then that means you are gonna have 10 bad, of course kimber produces more than that by far, and more than any other comapny so of course they are gonna have a few more lemons than most compaines.

i have shot alot and i mean alot of kimbers, and ran several of thier models through the ringer and then some, and i have never had an issue with a kimber that the malfunction was related to the gun.

EddieNFL
January 9, 2010, 04:26 PM
Not a good analogy. The Taurus was at a lower price point than the competition. Kimbers are not.

My analogy had nothing to with price and everything to do with quality. I agree, the Kimbers are over priced considering the quality.

EddieNFL
January 9, 2010, 04:28 PM
I seem to have a problem with duplicate posts today.

rellascout
January 9, 2010, 04:29 PM
EddieNFL was so on point he said it twice. :) LOL

76shuvlinoff
January 9, 2010, 04:36 PM
I think guys that are tired of the bashing of their Glock, XD, SIG, Ruger, Smith, Taurus, fillintheblank bottom feeder just lay in wait for Kimber thread to pop up to turn the tables.

:neener:

The Bushmaster
January 9, 2010, 04:46 PM
Me too EddieNFL. Except I posted one and it seemed to disappear.

I did forget to state that I have only had my Kimber 3" for a year. But it will catch up to yours someday. I really enjoy shooting the UCC II. Even over my Colt 1911.

gglass
January 9, 2010, 04:53 PM
The blame for Kimber's overall public perception is not due to their volume. The number of shipped units is not much higher than Springfield Armory, yet they are at both ends of the public perception scale.

Why such an imbalance? Quite simply, the difference comes down to the customer service experience. Most Springfield owners who have needed service on their pistols come away as raving fans. Most Kimber owners who have needed service on their pistol come away raving mad... I know because I have owned both.

If you own a Kimber and have never needed CS, you will just love your pistol and the manufacturer... I did until I had an issue.

mljdeckard
January 9, 2010, 06:42 PM
My google-fu is failing me right now, but the BATFE manufacturing and export numbers have been posted in here before, Kimber sells several times more .45 caliber pistols than their nearest competitor.

EddieNFL
January 9, 2010, 07:11 PM
I think guys that are tired of the bashing of their Glock, XD, SIG, Ruger, Smith, Taurus, fillintheblank bottom feeder just lay in wait for Kimber thread to pop up to turn the tables.

I don't own any Glocks, XDs, SIGs, Rugers (auto), Smiths (auto) or Taurus', but I do have a number of bottom feeder 1911s that put Kimbers in the backseat.

mljdeckard
January 9, 2010, 08:07 PM
I ALSO THINK,

that there is a bit of a movement by the fans of custom guns to belittle semi-customs.

For years, there wasn't much middle ground between G.I.-type guns and high end custom guns. Then Kimber crashed the scene with high-performance guns that could be had for less than $700, and guys who had been paying $1500 or more couldn't stand the idea that they could have had a whole lot of gun for a whole lot less, so they have been looking for ways to belittle them the whole time.

76shuvlinoff
January 9, 2010, 08:41 PM
^^
:evil:

Lv4snobrdg
January 9, 2010, 08:43 PM
car analogies, I love them.

Kimber owners, like me, will tell you Kimber is the best. DW owners will say DW is the best. Ford Taurus owners will tell you the truth.

At the 5% defect rate 1 in 20 has problems, I have done allot of reading here and I see that the smaller the frame the more common the issues.

Also:
If a person has a problem with a Kimber they post it and post it often. If they have no problems with their Kimber they rarely post it. Thus the rate of complaint versus compliment can't be measured or managed.

I have 2 both in the full size/custom variety. Never had an issue with prolly 6-7K rounds fired through them combined. I have used all types of ammo, Wolf, reloads and new. Reloads have given me problems but it was deformed cases or cocked projectiles causing the chambering issues.

None of the MIM parts on my piece have every caused a problem. Thats why I love the Ford analogy. You either hate them or love them.

gglass
January 9, 2010, 09:49 PM
My google-fu is failing me right now, but the BATFE manufacturing and export numbers have been posted in here before, Kimber sells several times more .45 caliber pistols than their nearest competitor.

The numbers for Springfield are highly skewed because they bring in Imbel finished units from Brazil by a 5 to 1 margin over what they finish in the states. The BATF only shows the numbers made (finished) in the U.S.

In total sales of handguns (Not just 1911's), Kimber does not even make it into the top three U.S. manufacturers.

The top handgun manufacturers:
• Smith & Wesson: 310,202 (+31.71%)
• Ruger: 184,008 (-2.8%)
• Springfield: 126,188 (+10.07%).

Now explain the high percentage of complaints against Kimber using the simple math as described earlier.

kamagong
January 9, 2010, 10:30 PM
Long-term: Kimber has been making 1911s for several decades. Like any sizeable company, the quality of its product has varied over time. Whenever the quality of a company's product goes down, some people latch onto that and will never admit that the company later restored the quality of the product.

Not true. Kimber has only been making 1911s since the mid-1990s.

gc70
January 9, 2010, 11:11 PM
Not true. Kimber has only been making 1911s since the mid-1990s.

Correct; Kimber has been around since 1979, but has only been making 1911s since the mid-1990s.

And corrected...

Long-term: Kimber has been making 1911s for a decade and a half.

mljdeckard
January 9, 2010, 11:21 PM
gglass, there is a chart that breaks it down by CALIBER. MUCH DIFFERENT. I can't find it now.

Shaner
January 9, 2010, 11:52 PM
As statements are made regarding Kimber's numbers versus others, human tendencies on being quick to gripe yet slow to praise, the embezzlement debacle, etc. should be taken into consideration to some degree, I have formed my opinion from a different angle. (Please pardon the run-on sentence).

Kimber's Clackamas/Series I 1911s are IMO some very well made pistols. If I were offered one today, I'd jump on it like flies on stink.

After purchasing a Kimber and going through the problems with the gun itself, the all around terrible dealings with their CS, money spent on "breaking in" the gun, shipping costs etc., only to STILL have an unreliable firearm, I have a sour taste in my mouth for the company. It doesn't stop there. When I looked at trading it in, four of my area gunshops wouldn't even give me a trade-in value. I was absolutely stunned. I was told to sell the thing privately. The advertisements in magazines and on their firearms screaming "custom shop" when, in fact, they don't have one really grates my nerves. Recently, I was at Cabela's at Hoffman Estates, Illinios. They had several under the glass. Performing a cursory inspection of three different models, two of them IMO shouldn't have even left the factory. The third was nearly flawless.

With many other companies out there that have provided 1911 style models that suit my taste and are backed by reliable CS, I found no reason whatsoever to give Kimber another chance. Does this mean that all Kimbers are garbage? Absolutely not. This only has been my long-term experience with Kimber and should only be viewed by others as that. Nothing more.

EddieNFL
January 9, 2010, 11:58 PM
Kimber owners, like me, will tell you Kimber is the best. DW owners will say DW is the best. Ford Taurus owners will tell you the truth.

What does that say about you and the DW guy?

If a person has a problem with a Kimber they post it and post it often. If they have no problems with their Kimber they rarely post it. Thus the rate of complaint versus compliment can't be measured or managed.

I'm not sure that's always the case. Head over to the 1911 forum and post a problem with a Kimber. You'll get a flood of folks telling you, "I have X Kimbers and all have been flawless." I've even seen a few, "I find that hard to believe," type comments.

I agree, it can't be measured.

EddieNFL
January 10, 2010, 12:00 AM
Kimber's Clackamas/Series I 1911s are IMO some very well made pistols. If I were offered one today, I'd jump on it like flies on stink.

So would I.

nwilliams
January 10, 2010, 01:19 AM
A buddy of mine has had a Kimber for years and loves it.

IMO Kimber get's bashed too often by people who have no personal experience with them. I think if you talk to most people who actually own Kimbers the general consensus is that they very decent guns.

I've considered many times buying a Kimber but when it comes to 1911's I prefer Colt, to each his own.

12131
January 10, 2010, 01:28 AM
Kimber is a long-term, major manufacturer of mid-range 1911s.

Long-term: Kimber has been making 1911s for a decade and a half.
You call that "long-term"?:p:evil:

wilkersk
January 10, 2010, 01:34 AM
I bought a Stainless II from a "don't want-er" last year. Got a good deal on it. The overall quality is very good. Its not as tight as my National Match. But, its barrel lock up and slide to frame fit is much better than several new pistols I've looked at at the dealer. I haven't had any FTF with this pistol.

M2 Carbine
January 10, 2010, 03:33 AM
I've got five and they are my carry choice.
It's simple, if they weren't the best I've found I would be buying something else.

gc70
January 10, 2010, 01:03 PM
You call that "long-term"?:p:evil:

Compared to Colt, everyone else is a newbie. Not counting Colt, Kimber is a long-term player relative to other participants in the 1911 market.

MachIVshooter
January 10, 2010, 01:16 PM
• Smith & Wesson: 310,202 (+31.71%)
• Ruger: 184,008 (-2.8%)
• Springfield: 126,188 (+10.07%).

Aside form this being 2005 figures:

For S&W, revolvers, the Sigma and the M&P make up the vast majority of that.

Ruger? They don't even have a 1911, but since we're trying to compare problem guns vs. production, let's remember that of late Ruger can't seem to put out a new (or plagiarized) design that doesn't require a recall.

And though I don't know where to find the numbers, I would bet XD's are outselling Springer 1911's 20 to 1 or more.

Kimber, OTOH, makes only 1911's and long guns. per the information you used, 1911's account for 5 of every 6 guns they sell.

But if we're gonna start citing this stuff, let's provide the source:

http://www.shootingindustry.com/Pages/SpecRep1.html

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 01:48 PM
47,820 Kimbers.... By far the most produced which again IMHO is the origin for their problems. They are all about pushing metal. They sacrifice quality of parts, quality control, hands on the gun in production time (finishing) and testing.

It also attributes directly to their problems with customer service. They are understaffed when you take into account their volume.

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 05:58 PM
read this to understand why kimber's have the reputation that they do:

http://full-auto.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 06:02 PM
found this quote:


Larry Vickers

I agree with what is being said here - Ken Hackathorn and I have seen the same exact issues that Tim is mentioning - the Warrior has fleas straight from the box

The worst one I have seen to date was a gun that Ned Christiansen and I both worked on at different times and was still a jamamatic - when that happens to you that gun needs to go away

In addition I always felt the Warrior was way overpriced for what it is; combine that with some obvious problems and it screams stay away

Cheers

Larry Vickers

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 06:11 PM
What does Vickers or Christiansen know. That is just their opinion they need to back it up with facts.......

:what:

LOL

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 06:12 PM
lol :)

EddieNFL
January 10, 2010, 06:48 PM
read this to understand why kimber's have the reputation that they do:

http://full-auto.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54
I remember following that thread. There was a similar one on another board, but I lost track of it. I think Yam may have been involved in that one.

nearlynormalmike
January 10, 2010, 07:43 PM
If Kimber quality is hit or miss, then I reckon I missed, at least initially.

That said, I think I may have it straightened out now. It had a very easily corrected problem but took a gunsmith to identify and fix.

Wouldn't buy a new one again but might (actually did) buy a used if a really good deal.

EddieNFL
January 10, 2010, 08:10 PM
It had a very easily corrected problem but took a gunsmith to identify and fix.

That's a common remark on the 1911 forum. Ya gotta wonder why Kimber let's 'em leave with simple problems.

Joshua M.
January 10, 2010, 08:18 PM
I just picked up a NIB Ultra CDPII yesterday, and the I shot 50 through it flawlessly. Kinda like it so far. Dad has an Ultra CarryII, and he was saying about how the night sights seem like they have a battery, cause they just seem to always last, well I found the answer to that one on a legal disclaimer in my case about disposal of radioactive material...ohh well, just don't eat the sights.:D

earlthegoat2
January 10, 2010, 08:21 PM
Kimber is the company everybody loves to hate.

I think they are overrated but I have never owned one.

I respectfully dont buy them. I never bash them though.

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 08:48 PM
People may love to hate them but they sure love to buy them. In my opinion the proofs in the pudding. If they were all that bad there would not be a demand for 50000 of them per year. I dont own one but would have no problem buying one as I said earlier.

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 08:50 PM
they're bought by many people that don't know any better, and think they look cool.

76shuvlinoff
January 10, 2010, 08:59 PM
yeah.... that must be it. :rolleyes:

edit to add:
This link below posted in message 41 has popped up on more than one Kimber thread here on THR... but it leads to a thread that is over 2 years old and 10 pages long. Seems to be some pro Kimber postings in those 10 pages... just like here.

http://full-auto.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54

EddieNFL
January 10, 2010, 09:28 PM
If numbers indicate quality, I hope everyone here is driving a Toyota Camry.

76shuvlinoff
January 10, 2010, 09:32 PM
If numbers indicate quality, I hope everyone here is driving a Toyota Camry.

If it works for them and makes em happy I hope they are too.

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 09:35 PM
This link below posted in message 41 has popped up on more than one Kimber thread here on THR... but it leads to a thread that is over 2 years old and 10 pages long. Seems to be some pro Kimber postings in those 10 pages... just like here.

Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day. LOL

EddieNFL
January 10, 2010, 09:39 PM
Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day. LOL

Unless it's a military clock. ;)

The Bushmaster
January 10, 2010, 10:07 PM
I drive a Chevy Pickup...

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 10:11 PM
they're bought by many people that don't know any better, and think they look cool.

Well all I can say is what I said earlier. I have a friend that is a gunshop owner and he sells every major brand and has no dog in the fight either way. He said that as far as he was concerned they are the best of the best and that he gets virtually no complaints from customers who choose them. So I guess from what you are saying folks around my parts are just stupid and their guns really dont work even though they dont seem to be having problems. Strange.

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 10:13 PM
Well all I can say is what I said earlier. I have a friend that is a gunshop owner and he sells every major brand and has no dog in the fight either way. He said that as far as he was concerned they are the best of the best and that he gets virtually no complaints from customers who choose them. So I guess from what you are saying folks around my parts are stupid.

Sure he has a Dog in the fight. The profit margin on Kimbers are very good compared to other guns sell in the same price range. At least that is what my friends who are dealers tell me.

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 10:16 PM
Maybe, but this guy is a good friend and I understand how he does business. He does not want mad customers because most of his customers are repeat customers. He has been in the business for many years and has earned a first rate rep. He sells a large amount of firearms.

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 10:21 PM
I do not doubt you or your friends business practices. Even with Kimbers problems the majority are still going to be good guns I just hate it when I am the one that does not beat the odds no matter what brand it is. :uhoh:

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 10:27 PM
It can be a pain when you are the "unlucky" one. Anytime you lay down several hundred dollars or more on anything you expect it to work. The bad thing is it happens with everything......from lemon cars to crappy tv's.

Ky Larry
January 10, 2010, 10:31 PM
Personally, I don't give a rats backside what any one thinks of Kimber.Love 'em, hate 'em, it's just your opinion. Buy one or avoid like the plague, I couldn't care less. My Custom Defender II has worked like a dream since I bought it and I trust it for everyday carry. Please feel free to do whatever you like.:neener:

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 10:32 PM
Well all I can say is what I said earlier. I have a friend that is a gunshop owner and he sells every major brand and has no dog in the fight either way. He said that as far as he was concerned they are the best of the best and that he gets virtually no complaints from customers who choose them. So I guess from what you are saying folks around my parts are just stupid and their guns really dont work even though they dont seem to be having problems. Strange.

you can take my statement anyway your heart desires. ;)

coincidentally, i have a friends that own a gunshop and stopped selling kimber because of all the customers coming back with problems. unhappy customers aren't good for business, my friend :)

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 10:42 PM
unhappy customers aren't good for business

Pretty much what I said in a later post. I dont know anyone that would push a gun that has a large amount of problems. At least anyone that wants to stay in business for a long time. So I guess the 50000 Kimbers that are going out annually are only going to the short time business owners. Lol.

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 10:44 PM
So I guess the 50000 Kimbers that are going out annually are only going to the short time business owners. Lol.

50,000? i don't think i want to know where you pulled that number out of...

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 10:51 PM
50,000? i don't think i want to know where you pulled that number out of...

They produced 47,820 in 2005. 55,722 in 2007. Just to name a couple of recent years.

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 10:54 PM
prove it.

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 11:08 PM
http://www.shootingindustry.com/Pages/SpecRep1.html

http://www.shootingindustry.com/Pages/07FAReport.pdf

Proven!!!

ttheel
January 10, 2010, 11:11 PM
Here is one article mentioning the 05 production numbers.
http://mouseguns.com/kimrev/kimrev.htm

Here is another one listing all manufactures. Rembember Kimber builds nothing but 1911's.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_3_52/ai_n27322065/pg_4/

Here is an article giving 2007 production numbers
http://shootingindustry.com/Pages/09FAReport.pdf

They produce more 1911's than any other company in the world.

I dont know what else you need to see.

rellascout
January 10, 2010, 11:13 PM
I dont know what else you need to see.

My guess is next he is going to ask for copy of receipts.... :D LOL

Full Metal Jacket
January 11, 2010, 12:06 AM
i stand corrected about the numbers. :)

Joshua M.
January 11, 2010, 07:49 AM
Kinda strange that Kimbers are so bad and yet the dealer that I just bought one off of highly recommended it, and has been in business since 1940's. They deal in way more quality guns than Kimber. Yet there was people there waiting to buy other guns there, and I overheard them saying that this is probably the fiftieth gun I have bought here...But hey maybe Kimber is bad for their business...:banghead:

D Boone
January 11, 2010, 08:41 AM
I have a Kimber... and I love it! I have never had any malfunctions, but I almost always shoot ball ammo. It will shortly need a re-finish job as the bluing has worn thin or off in spots, but otherwise it is one of the guns my kids will inherit.

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 10:16 AM
Kinda strange that Kimbers are so bad and yet the dealer that I just bought one off of highly recommended it, and has been in business since 1940's.
Kimber has a very good profit margin and really good incentives to be and stay a master dealer. That's why gun shop workers pimp them so hard.

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 10:21 AM
They produce more 1911's than any other company in the world.
That's why they've become so crappy. Kimber's motto is "Move the steel!"

smoothdraw
January 11, 2010, 11:13 AM
I have a couple of Kimber and like them

I think they are being trashed a lot because when they are new they are ultra tight so a lot of problems in the beginning of your kimber experience. They use MIM parts more than any other 1911 manufacturers. MIM parts are not necessarily bad but inferior quality parts compared to cast or forged. Kimbers are relative expensive for the parts that they use. I'll keep my tuned kimbers but will not buy one anymore. There's a lot more better handguns for the price you'll be paying for a Kimber. But if you get the Kimbers in discounted prices then they are good guns. Look at the Colt and Dan Wesson 1st as these 2 weapons are at the pricepoint of Kimbers and for me they are better guns for the money. But if you already have a Kimber then keep them because they are accurate and reliable. They are not anymore the best value gun like before though. I will give that best value title to a Dan Wesson, RIA GI and Taurus.

smoothdraw
January 11, 2010, 11:17 AM
If numbers indicate quality, I hope everyone here is driving a Toyota Camry.
Toyota makes Camry with good parts relative to the industry. Kimber makes Kimber 1911's with parts relatively poor compared to its industry. A lot of people buy Camry because it is a value car. A lot of people buy Kimber because it is nice to the eye and your gunstore have a lot of them.

gglass
January 11, 2010, 11:19 AM
Here is an article giving 2007 production numbers
http://shootingindustry.com/Pages/09FAReport.pdf

They produce more 1911's than any other company in the world.

I dont know what else you need to see.

Why does everyone seem to miss the point here? Kimber's reputation is not built on whether they make 1911's and in what quantities. It is based on one thing only... Customer Service. They generally regarded as having poor customer service by a large percentage of people who have needed that customer service.

The numbers being shown are still drastically skewed by how many firearms a company has produced outside the U.S. Those numbers do NOT show up in the provided figures. Does anyone believe that a company like Springfield is not in the top 5 or 10 manufacturers in total shipments in 2007? I personally hate the fact that Springfield imports a vast majority of what it sells, but they are a company known for outstanding customer service. Smith & Wesson is a company that outsells them all, and they too are also known for outstanding customer service. Ruger has even had a couple of new product hiccups of late, yet they are known for outstanding customer service.

The question of who produces the most of anything is NOT the issue. The issue is how the company handles the customer when service is needed. Kimber is generally regarded poorly in this category and thus that is how people perceive them.


Smith & Wesson
Sturm, Ruger & Co.
SIG SAUER
Kel-Tec CNC
Beretta
Beemiller
Glock
Kimber Mfg.
Heritage Mfg.
Cobra Ent.


Where is Springfield in the above list of the top handgun manufacturers? Don't they ship boatloads of XD's and 1911's? Sure they do, but a vast majority those firearms are imported and thus not counted. It is also a number that Springfield does not want to emphasize because it could damage their reputation as a top U.S. handgun manufacturer.

EddieNFL
January 11, 2010, 12:10 PM
I drive a Chevy Pickup...
According to the logic some use, it was a poor choice as Ford sells more trucks. I was as shocked as you.

I think they are being trashed a lot because when they are new they are ultra tight so a lot of problems in the beginning of your kimber experience.

I've handled a lot of Kimbers and never found one that was "ultra tight." Compared to a few others, Kimber fitting sits somewhere in the middle.

Regardless, most of the problems I've experienced or read of should have been resolved BEFORE leaving the shop.

SSN Vet
January 11, 2010, 02:59 PM
When you drop a bill on a new firearm you (rightfully so) have a higher expectation of satisfaction with your purchase?

My limited experience is that the customer wants to feel good about their purchase and the brand that they have selected. So if they have a problem and the manufacturers Customer Service turns a back flip to make good on it, the customer will be happy. As far as brand loyalty goes... it may be even higher than if there was no defect in the first place, because now the customer knows "they have great CS" and feels as if they've entered into a kind of relation ship with the manufacturer.

But if the CS is lame, makes excuses, charges return shipping, takes forever, is dishonest, fails to correct the problem, etc.... The manufacturer has blown it big time. And the resentment felt by the customer will be magnified greatly because of the premium price they paid.

That's my take on it....

I'm the Engineering Manager at a med. sized manufacturing company and Quality Manager is a collateral duty for me. By modern standards, we have a pretty week quality program. We don't do any statistical process control and the owners have zero interest in going ISO 9001. In fact, the owner/president once told me "it's cheaper to pick it up and rework it, than it is to get it right the first time". :eek:

But, surprisingly, our defect rates are pretty low... but it's all a subjective analysis, as we don't measure them well. But when I go six months without cutting a single RMA, and we run hundreds of orders a week in a fast paced job shop environment, I feel like I can say we're doing a pretty good job.

But here's the trick..


1. Our pricing is very competitive. Not the lowest in our marketplace, but far from the highest.

and

2. We have awesome customer service! If we screw up, we will turn back flips, eat shipping cost, and repair or replace product ASAP, at no cost.

The result....

Our customers love us and are very loyal. The company is doing very well and is very profitable.

We just hired 15 new full time employees (about a 12% increase in our head count).

How many of you can tell me your company just did that?

Full Metal Jacket
January 11, 2010, 03:08 PM
That's why they've become so crappy. Kimber's motto is "Move the steel!"

yep, that and they offer WAY too many models with too many options. they should make a few quality models, and focus on those, like springfield armory does...

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 03:19 PM
yep, that and they offer WAY too many models with too many options. they should make a few quality models,Kimber, like SIG has become a fashion company instead of a small arms company.

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 03:22 PM
like IMBEL does...
:neener:

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-11/892154/Loaded_brazil.jpg

JohnBT
January 11, 2010, 04:45 PM
"Where is Springfield in the above list of the top handgun manufacturers?"

Those are the U.S. totals for guns made in the U.S. No more, no less. They didn't make the list. Don't take it personally.

The one time I needed a nut for the adjustable sight on my Stainless Gold Match, well, Kimber sent me an entire new rear sight. So I had to install it instead of just staking a new nut on a windage screw. Boo-hoo, it's no fair, they made me work. ;) But that was many years ago, so things may have changed.

John

JohnBT
January 11, 2010, 04:48 PM
"SIG has become a fashion company instead of a small arms company"

Shot one of the X-5 guns yet? They still make ultra high quality guns. I don't know about their everyday guns, but the one X-5 I own is about as good as anything I've ever shot and better than most. There was this one P210 I borrowed once, but that's why the 210 is famous.

John

Full Metal Jacket
January 11, 2010, 04:48 PM
springfield armory doesn't produce nearly as many 1911's as kimber each year. they prefer to focus properly on each one, instead of spitting them out on a conveyer belt lol

Kingofthehill
January 11, 2010, 04:50 PM
Kimber has a very good profit margin and really good incentives to be and stay a master dealer. That's why gun shop workers pimp them so hard.

YUP... just because dealers Pimp them doesn't mean they are great guns... they just make more off them

I have Springfields, Dan Wessons, Kimbers, a Charles daily, 1 Ed brown and a Nighthawk.

Kimbers IMO look very cool, they have a good "Bling" factor... Like the Raptor. But how are you going to charge $1000+ for a gun with a Plastic main spring housing?... what idiot made that choice... way to save $15 and leave yourself open for mocking with your hit it and quit it sales pitch.

JOe

gglass
January 11, 2010, 05:17 PM
"Where is Springfield in the above list of the top handgun manufacturers?"

Those are the U.S. totals for guns made in the U.S. No more, no less. They didn't make the list. Don't take it personally.

The one time I needed a nut for the adjustable sight on my Stainless Gold Match, well, Kimber sent me an entire new rear sight. So I had to install it instead of just staking a new nut on a windage screw. Boo-hoo, it's no fair, they made me work. But that was many years ago, so things may have changed.

John

I should type a little slower so that you can understand. Springfield is not on the list because they are importing their firearms into the U.S. and not manufacturing them here. Is that simple enough? The numbers do NOT show Springfield's sales totals in comparison to the others because they are produced outside of the U.S. by other manufacturers.

You also seem to think that I have a dog in this fight... I don't. I am simply putting things into perspective on the claim that Kimber pumps out soooo many handguns that they will have a higher total number of dissatisfied customers compared to the low sales numbers of other manufacturers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Could you or anyone else produce a sales number for Springfield branded pistols in the U.S.? Not unless Springfield themselves gave it to you. Without that figure, you cannot claim that Kimber sells many times more units.

I do not like Kimber because they had poor customer service when I needed them. I do not like Springfield Armory for importing so many handguns and not putting more Americans to work. (I currently own 3 SA 1911's, but I bought two of them used so as not to reward SA for using foreign labor. The other was finished her in the states)

Give me a company that builds their product here in the states and also has great customer service... That is the dog I want in this fight.

JohnBT
January 11, 2010, 05:22 PM
"I should type a little slower for you it seems."

Okay, you could use the extra time to think things through. Or read what I wrote.

"I do not like Kimber because they had poor customer service when I needed them. I do not like Springfield Armory for importing so many handguns and not putting more Americans to work."

Dang, you don't like Kimber, you don't like Springfield and you don't like me. Time for an attitude adjustment?

"You also seem to think that I have a dog in this fight"

You mean other than that time Kimber mistreated you and you're still trying to get even with them? Other than that dog?

John

EddieNFL
January 11, 2010, 05:29 PM
SIG has become a fashion company instead of a small arms company. Until recently, they offered a decent line of clothing. Never cared for their guns.

matai
January 11, 2010, 08:50 PM
Do you guys think the Kimbers customer service is still bad?

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 09:20 PM
Shot one of the X-5 guns yet? They still make ultra high quality guns.
They damn well better for $2,925.00
http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=38&productid=88
There was this one P210 I borrowed once, but that's why the 210 is famous.

The P210 is not representative of current SIGs.

http://www.sigsauer.com/upFiles/catalog/product/P238-Rbow-detail-L.jpg

kwelz
January 11, 2010, 11:37 PM
It seems like everybody is always trash talking Kimber, but supposedly they are the largest manufacturer of 1911's. If that's true, they must be selling a ton of em.

I understand there was a time where they had a some issues, but is this still the case?

Is there any reason not to buy a current production Kimber?

Bad finish, MIM parts, bad tolerances, bad machining, I could go on.

Just because they have a great marketing team doesn't mean the guns are that great. I have had good Kimbers. I have also seen some real crap from them. And even the good ones were not near as nice as the equivalent SA or STI guns.

I used to be a distributor for Kimber. Was one very good terms with them. I had a problem with a gun I personally purchased. My main point of contact was great as always. But when I got to CS, even with them knowing who I was they were complete jerks. Rude on the phone, told me to put 500 or so rounds through it before I complained. Of course the problem was that the throat on the barrel was cut at about the 3:30 - 4o'clock point, the finish was rubbing off in my hand and the slide acted like it had sand in it.

I was told CLP was not good lube and I should only use Rem Oil and the gun just needed to be broken in.

Yeah. If this is how they treat a distributor I hate to think of how they were going to treat normal customers that had a problem.

Full Metal Jacket
January 12, 2010, 12:03 AM
Do you guys think the Kimbers customer service is still bad?



http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=74945

MachIVshooter
January 12, 2010, 12:26 AM
springfield armory doesn't produce nearly as many 1911's as kimber each year. they prefer to focus properly on each one, instead of spitting them out on a conveyer belt lol

Springfield doesn't produce ANY 1911's each year. They IMPORT a bunch, though. And they have their problems, too.

On that note, having read your other posts here, I wonder if you're even old enough to own a firearm. You come across as being 18-ish.

Full Metal Jacket
January 12, 2010, 12:42 AM
Springfield doesn't produce ANY 1911's each year. They IMPORT a bunch, though.



lets not rehash this old argument.

some are completed in brazil, but most are finished in IL.

MachIVshooter
January 12, 2010, 01:07 AM
lets not rehash this old argument.

some are completed in brazil, but most are finished in IL.

That's like saying Chevrolet "produced" a car when they slap a couple of badges on a Suzuki or Isuzu after it rolls of the ocean freighter and then do dealer prep before final sale.

You think Cimarron guns are produced in America because they engrave their name on them after they get them from Uberti, Pedersoli or Polytech?

Springfield 1911's are made in Brazil, period. I don't care if the two-percent-of-total TGO's have extensive fitting and finishing done in Geneseo. Still imports.

If you enjoyed reading about "Whats the deal with Kimber?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!