Kimber or SW 1911? Can't decide...HELP!


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dougiefreshhh
January 9, 2010, 11:15 PM
Hi All:
I know this question ranks up there with mini-14 vs AR, and Mossy vs. 870, but I'm really on the fence here, and would appreciate your long term experience with either of these 1911's...

I have been struggling over the Compact ES and the CDP II Ultra...any advise/suggestions to include in the decision making process?

Many thanks in advance, and my apologies if there is an already existing thread on this..

D

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JDGray
January 10, 2010, 12:01 AM
Hard to beat a Smith 1911 for the price. My example was far superior to the SA loaded I had, and as good as my Kimber, but without all the bugs to work out;)

MICHAEL T
January 10, 2010, 01:06 AM
I would say of these two brands I would choose the S&W S&W has best warrebty abd they seem to be a lot less trouble than the Kimbers Bet S&W won't say call back after 500 rounds It ain't broken in yet.

Ala Dan
January 10, 2010, 01:15 AM
I too, would choose the S&W-solely on the account of price~!
I have a standard 5" stainless SW1911 (product code #108282)
bone stock, that shoots as good as my Les Baer Thunder Ranch
Special. I prefer to shoot it, over the Baer because of the Novak
three dot sights~! :uhoh: ;)

mbr
January 10, 2010, 08:18 AM
I have two S&W 1911's, and have had no trouble out of either one of them. Nicely finished, no sharp edges, 100% reliable so far. Some will decry the "Swartz safety," and MIM parts, but I have had no trouble with either. I haven't had to use it, but S&W has a good reputation for customer service, and their pistols are easy to find.

REAPER4206969
January 10, 2010, 09:07 AM
http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/SW1911-1.jpg

SC_1911Shooter
January 10, 2010, 09:07 AM
As a previous Kimber owner...I'd say get the S&W

Joshua M.
January 10, 2010, 09:29 AM
...Ouch, SC what was your prob with your Kimber, just wandering, cause I just baught a Ultra CDPII, and hope to not have problems. My Dad has an Ultra Carry II, and hasn't had any problems yet, but guessing he has less than 250 round through it ...

JDGray
January 10, 2010, 11:35 AM
Not to bash Kimber, but my UCII had an out of time firing pin safety, and out of spec slide stop. Both easily fixed, remove the unnessasary junk from under the rear sight, install a new slide stop. The Kimber FPB system, puts, extra spring tension on the grip safety(You can feel a second stage of pressure 1/2 way in its travel) If you don't compleately press it in, the hammer will fall on the blocked firing pin(BAD) Kimber will fix these problems for you, but what a PITA! If S&W would have had their compact when I was shopping for my UCII, I would have gone that route.(Knowing what I know now):)

The click no bang, only happened durring drawing exercises, when I didn't get an optimal grip on the weapon. But.....The two safetys should be timed together, giving me a no clicky if I don't get a perfect grip. Removing the FP plunger and spring, has lightened the otherwise heavy grip safety, to a nice light push.

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 12:08 PM
my vote goes for s&w.

read this kimber review to get an idea as to why:

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

REAPER4206969
January 10, 2010, 12:10 PM
Great success Comrade!

Full Metal Jacket
January 10, 2010, 12:13 PM
http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/SW1911-1.jpg

nice looking 1911 there reaper. i see all the wilson bulletproof parts on there. great setup there :)

REAPER4206969
January 10, 2010, 12:16 PM
Thank you! Here's the parts list.
Barrel bushing: EGW thick flange carry bevel.

Recoil spring plug: Ed Brown GI stainless.

Recoil spring guide rod: Ed Brown GI blue.

Recoil spring: ISMI chrome silicon 16#.

Slide stop: Wilson Combat Bulletproof stainless.

Thumb lock: Ed Brown tactical stainless.

Trigger: Cylinder & Slide long, solid and smooth.

Firing pin stop: Ed Brown Hardcore.

Firing pin spring: Wolf extra power.

Magwell/mainspring housing: Kimber with Kimber internals.

Grips: Alumagrips light weight tactical.

Grip screws: Hogue stainless hex.

Magcatch: Ed Brown standard stainless.

Magazine: Wilson Combat ETM.

Clarence
January 10, 2010, 01:24 PM
Until Kimber gets their quality act together they won't get another dime of my money. I would buy a used Kimber if I could shoot it and disassemble it before I bought it..........but no more new Kimbers for me at this time.

L-2
January 10, 2010, 01:34 PM
I'm a 3 Kimber owner and I'd also consider the S&W from your two choices. I believe the S&W uses a standard barrel bushing which I like for ease of assembly in the original way the 1911 was designed.

Caveat: I currently don't own a S&W 1911, but have heard very good things about them, IF you don't mind its external extractor (EE) and, I believe S&W also has its version of a firing pin safety. I've also heard no probs w/S&W's EE.

Of my three Kimbers, two needed work at excess break-in/test ammo cost and time; going without, while they were fixed. My main Kimber problems, while minor in the long run as the pistols are great now, were mis-fitted or out of spec slide stops; and one of the guns going full-auto within the second mag through the gun. My Series II safety which is on one of them was also re-timed to activate a bit sooner to ensure the firing pin safety was already deactivated before the hammer would drop. I never did get a click instead of a bang with that gun, however.

For me, I usually carry a full size, steel framed 1911, usually with the built-in Picatinny rail and models with no firing pin safeties. When I prefer to go lighter weight, I switch over to my Glocks.

CZ223
January 10, 2010, 02:20 PM
Two Tauri and, as of yesterday, a Spingfield Armory. I vote for the ES. If I had the money that is the gun I would have bought.

sigbear
January 10, 2010, 02:58 PM
I don't own nor have I ever fired a Kimber, however, I have read many negative post and reviews about them. I bought a new S&W 1911, SS, 5" brl. a month ago and only have 400 rounds through it without a hitch, so, I can only say that so far so good. This is by far the most accurate handgun I have ever owned.

I think this review says it all, good luck.

http://www.gunblast.com/SW1911.htm

Sigbear

nearlynormalmike
January 10, 2010, 07:53 PM
I own both. Issues unfortunately with both.

If could keep only one it would definitely be the Smith. I can't verbalize it, but Smith just feels better to me, Your mileage may vary.

My 0.02 cent worth, now however only worth 0.002 cents.

shootr
January 10, 2010, 08:44 PM
Here's another vote for the S&W. Never owned a Kimber - largely because their marketing has exceeded their value for a long time, IMO. Over-hyped and over-priced. That's based on the experience of a couple Kimber owners I knew.

After a lot of research, I bought a S&W 1911 PD. Accurate as all get-out. Well-made, great finish. Nothing not to like.

REAPER4206969
January 10, 2010, 08:46 PM
Unanimous thread is unanimous.

76shuvlinoff
January 10, 2010, 09:13 PM
my vote goes for s&w.

read this kimber review to get an idea as to why:

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

No doubt SW can crank out a great 1911 so buy what you buy and run what you brung but why is an almost 2.5 year old thread from another website the "end all" when it comes to opinions on Kimber? Has time stopped?

REAPER4206969
January 10, 2010, 09:19 PM
Has time stopped?
Unfortunately no, They have gotten worse.

Babalouie
January 10, 2010, 09:45 PM
Here's my Smith. She's a honey and has been flawless.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c255/Sven126/SW1911PDRight.jpg

I bobtailed her for carry and put some pretty controls on her.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c255/Sven126/PDLeft.jpg

NinjaFeint
January 10, 2010, 09:50 PM
S&W all the way. From the $800 version to the Performance Center models, I would go with the Smith over the same priced Kimber.

SC_1911Shooter
January 10, 2010, 10:06 PM
Joshua, To answer your question (somewhat) quickly...Let me preface by saying that my Kimber (Pro CDP II) was a very accurate pistol....But when I first got it, I experienced the slide locking back with rounds still in the magazine. This was my 1st 1911 and was JUST learning about them, etc...so I really didn't know how to diagnose issues, etc.

So I call them up and they ask me if I had put...I forget, maybe it was 300 or 500 rounds through the pistol first. I say "Uh...no, maybe 100-150...but..." They tell me that there's a "break-in" period and to first do that. I'm thinking jeez...so that's about $200 or so worth of ammo for "break-in"...now that brings me up into a different "tier" of 1911 which would probably be better built and run right out of the box, etc (read: Dan Wesson, which is what I originally placed the order for).

So, I run the suggested ammo through it...same issue over and over. I call them up, tell them it didn't go away...and they say "Oh yeah, it's a common issue, let us send you a 'revised' slide stop lever".....***?! KNOWN ISSUE? I JUST CALLED YOU 2 WEEKS AGO AND YOU GAVE ME THE CANNED RESPONSE OF "RUN MORE AMMO THROUGH IT". So they send me the revised slide stop which had a bit of filing/stoning on the profile...I install it and presto...everything runs like a top.

So then, as I'm learning more about 1911's...I get into the whole MIM parts thing. Now....did I have any MIM parts break? No...but I would rather NOT have them, than have them..period. That's just me. In addition, I come to find out that the mainspring housing on the CDP is made of plastic...***. So I order a new steel one from Kimber ($75...so now, with "break-in" ammo...and the cost of the pistol, we're now up to $1,350), which required a bit of stoning to get it fit properly...not an issue. The one that comes out is totally plastic junk, like a lego piece. Then, as I'm looking at the thing, I notice that my beavertail grip, also an MIM part...still has the little circle on it that was made when it was poured into the MIM mold. Just as though it was a piece from a model set I had as a kid...THIS for a 1911 that lists for $1,300? The slidestop lever....MIM....the hammer...MIM....the thumb safety....MIM....grip safety...MIM.

Then I decide to switch from a Glock 34, in IDPA....to a 1911. So I purchase a (cheaper) STI Trojan, just to use for IDPA, thinking it'll get banged up a bit, etc. I get it and the quality is SO much better than the Kimber (IMO)...the slide is like it's on ball bearings.....the general build quality is just better. Thousands of rounds later, it has never hiccuped a single time. (Granted, the MSH is also plastic on it...although I've replaced that with a oversized MSH/Magwell in its place).

Then, I decide to order a Fusion...built to my specs...This is when Fusion FIRST started building and their prices were just a bit cheaper than they are now and were only a couple/few hundred bucks more than what I initally paid for that Kimber. Well, once I got that thing...it became pretty evident what a POS the Kimber was for what I paid for it, which is why I sold it the same week of getting my 1st Fusion. It was embarassing. The Fusion is an absolute tack-driver accuracy-wise, and the build quality, is just in another universe. I have 2 now, hundreds of rounds through them...never a single failure of any kind whatsoever.

I guess something has to pay for all those Kimber magazine ads you see 3 examples of in every magazine. They just pass the cost along to the consumer, and the thanks you get are parts that are just a step down quality-wise, IMO.

That's been my experience w/them. Take it FWIW...

dougiefreshhh
January 10, 2010, 11:35 PM
Many thanks for all the feedback. Much appreciated! I'll be doing a bit more research before I decide...however at this point, the scales appear to be tipped towards S&W.

Cheers,
D

Full Metal Jacket
January 11, 2010, 12:09 AM
Unfortunately no, They have gotten worse.

yep.

tprice
January 11, 2010, 09:17 AM
Reading all the negative comments about Kimber, let me just say that my Custom Target II in stainless is the most accurate gun I own after my Ruger Mk II. It has proven reliable with all but the most square-nosed hollowpoints. I have detail stripped the gun and found the workmanship amazing for the price, and its fit and finish is easily worth the $900 asking price. It is the gun most of my friends ask me to let them know when I feel like selling it -- but I most likely never will.

Adding a Wilson Combat shock buff recoil system to it has only increased the accuracy to where it's a tack driver at 25 yards.

The only things I don't like about the gun is the forward cocking serrations -- I feel they are unnecessary and just ruin the looks, and the non-curved nylon mainspring housing.

I have not yet tried a SW 1911 but am thinking hard about adding one to my stable.

Paints
January 11, 2010, 01:28 PM
I haven't looked closely at the S&W 1911, but I would definitely lean that way.

I bought a Kimber Custom TLE II three weeks ago. This is a full sized 1911 but it came with a 7 round magazine. 8 rounders have not been fully reliable. My Kimber Compact (from the last century) has a 7 round magazine. The S&W apparently comes with an 8 round magazine.

Within a week and a half, I've noticed holster wear on the new Kimber. I did buy it as a carry gun, so I don't expect it to stay pristine forever, but I am disappointed that it's showing wear after ten days.

I'm disappointed at the reliability with 8 round magazines. My old Colt Gold Cup and my 2001 Kimber Gold Match both came with 8 round magazines.

Ken

MattTheHat
January 11, 2010, 02:41 PM
MUST RESIST EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR! :)

In the price range you mention, I'd serious consider saving a few bucks and getting a Tauri (or two). I've not shot one, but I have looked at them very closely and they appear to be very well made. From all accounts, they're very reliable out of the box, and I'm guessing they're more accurate than 95% of the guys who will ever shoot one.

I will admit the S&W's look very nice. But I've never shot one of them either. Plus, the whole external extractor thing really kills the deal for me. (Just doesn't look right.)

-Matt

MattTheHat
January 11, 2010, 02:43 PM
I'm disappointed at the reliability with 8 round magazines. My old Colt Gold Cup and my 2001 Kimber Gold Match both came with 8 round magazines.

Have you tried the Novak's version? I mainly use the Wilson 47D, which I have pretty good luck with. But I have a single Novak's 8-rounder that has put many, many hundreds of rounds down range without a single hiccup.

-Matt

JDGray
January 11, 2010, 03:24 PM
I have to admit, the only bad thing I can say about my S&W 1911, is the breechface has a slight step in it, and it makes my brass look like *****t. They did perfect the EE, unlike Kimber.

NinjaFeint
January 11, 2010, 03:28 PM
MUST RESIST EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR! :)

In the price range you mention, I'd serious consider saving a few bucks and getting a Tauri (or two). I've not shot one, but I have looked at them very closely and they appear to be very well made. From all accounts, they're very reliable out of the box, and I'm guessing they're more accurate than 95% of the guys who will ever shoot one.

I will admit the S&W's look very nice. But I've never shot one of them either. Plus, the whole external extractor thing really kills the deal for me. (Just doesn't look right.)

-Matt
Don't resist, it's ok to come to the dark side.:evil: JMB was a forward thinking man, he would appreciate someone making a change that works.

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 03:31 PM
JMB was a forward thinking man, he would appreciate someone making a change that works.
Browning M1909

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/M1909.jpg

NinjaFeint
January 11, 2010, 03:32 PM
Browning M1909

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/M1909.jpg
Yeah I know...Part of my point.

Full Metal Jacket
January 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
how much is one of these worth? :what:

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/M1909.jpg

REAPER4206969
January 11, 2010, 04:19 PM
how much is one of these worth?
I don't know about that one but here is a M1910.

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/M1910-1.jpg

gglass
January 11, 2010, 04:40 PM
don't know about that one but here is a M1910.

Wow! Just look at that slide to frame fit at the rear of John M. Browning's 1910. That is superb workmanship, especially for the era in which it was produced. And, no stinking thumb safety!

GojuBrian
January 12, 2010, 05:04 AM
Babalouie,

NICE work!!!!

tommyintx
January 12, 2010, 11:22 AM
s&w 1911.

Babalouie
January 12, 2010, 11:30 AM
Thanks Goju!

REAPER4206969
January 12, 2010, 11:33 AM
Wow! Just look at that slide to frame fit at the rear of John M. Browning's 1910. That is superb workmanship, especially for the era in which it was produced. And, no stinking thumb safety!
That pistol is also 100 years old as well.

smoothdraw
January 12, 2010, 01:50 PM
external extractors are ugly for my taste. John Browning 1911 in 45 ACP pure beauty and function.

Majority of my guns are Kimber. I've already detailed stripped my kimbers. I'll keep my kimbers but no more. I haven't detailed stripped a S&W yet but i love what i see detail stripping my colt 1911. Why can't kimber either lower their price or start using barstock, forged or cast metals i don't know. Kimbers mentality are like the american cars of the 90's. Beautiful outside, crap inside, and sell them with premium price like jap, german cars with better parts. And sell a lot of them. I predict if kimber don't change they will end up like GM or Ford.

Actually it will be very interesting to see how many % newbies buy Kimber vs % of experienced people buy kimber. A lot of people i think is like me, new to gun world, see so many glossy kimber ads, go to shops that have a lot of selection of Kimbers and being sales talked by gun shop people. Don't have a clue what other 1911 weapon vendors offer. And up getting kimbers.

Again Kimbers are not bad. They are just not like the kimbers of old. The plain vanilla kimbers maybe still be okay value but those $1000+ kimbers that still uses MIM parts are holdups. Go to AR15.com there are tons of kimbers that are being sold. People really need to price it low before people becomes interested with it.

I'm kicking myself right now for spending $1100 for a stainless kimber TLE/RL 2 where i can just add a bit I can already get a good Dan Wesson (No MIM 1911) or get even a cheaper colt that only has 3 MIM parts.

Again i haven't detailed strip a SW 1911 yet so until then get a kimber but just on the $800 or less range. Or better yet look at some Colt. You'll end up happier.

SC_1911Shooter
January 12, 2010, 02:26 PM
I agree with the sentiments above...I was a newbie...saw all the ads, LITERALLY was talked into it by the store owner, who of course, was a Kimber dealer...and CANCELLED my original order for a Dan Wesson (which the store owner scoffed at...haha). Looks like I was the idiot because I ended up buying the Kimber crap and it wasn't until I became much more knowledgeable on 1911s, that I was able to discern the differences between a "good" 1911...and a great 1911.

I don't own the Kimber anymore and based on my experience (detailed earlier in this thread), I never will.

Walkalong
January 12, 2010, 02:33 PM
the only bad thing I can say about my S&W 1911, is the breechface has a slight step in it, and it makes my brass look like *****tI had two Kimbers that way. Fixed them myself. Not uncommon with other makers.

I would not hesitate to buy a S&W, or a Kimber.

BlayGlock
January 12, 2010, 02:42 PM
I have been underwhelmed by Kimber. I owned one for a bit and have friends that own them. I traded mine off, the finish was not holding up and it was finicky.

blkbrd666
January 12, 2010, 02:52 PM
Wow!!! This is nice to see. Back when I bought my SW1911, all I heard was complaining about all the warnings and the giant text on the slide...none of which has hurt its performance. It's been perfect every shot for the last 2 years.

jcs271
January 12, 2010, 07:41 PM
I spent nearly $1100 on a new Pro CDP2, has worked poorly since the day I bought it. Failures to fully chamber a round and an occassional slide lock thrown in for fun have got me so upset with this gun I could scream. I bought it as a "High End" quality CCW gun and have completely wasted my money. I WILL NEVER TRUST THIS GUN FOR CCW!

It is absolutely beautiful and the fit/finish looks great but it WILL NOT SHOOT.

dondavis3
January 12, 2010, 07:48 PM
I own both and they are both great guns.

Here's my Kimber with Crimson Trace grips

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/Kimber45CrimsonTraceGrips2.jpg

Kimber with Meprolight Tru-Dot Tritium Night Sights and Crimson Trace is hard to beat.

:)

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