What's happening to Kimber quality?


January 9, 2004, 12:06 AM
I've noticed a steady decline in the quality of Kimber 1911's on the market. I've owned several (Series 1 Custom Combat, Series 1 CDP, etc.) which were great, had no cosmetic flaws, and functioned fine out-of-the-box with any and all ammunition I fed them.

However, during the past year, I've handled and fired several of the Series II Kimbers, and been anything but impressed. The Kimber mark on the slide has been sloppily executed: the fit and finish overall has been less than stellar (reminded me of the bad years at Colt): and there were several units that choked on standard hollowpoint ammunition like Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, etc. Most recently (yesterday) I saw a new batch of Kimbers at a local store that looked like a frosted chocolate finish on the frame! Really fugly.

Also, I'm informed by more than one high-end gunsmith (most notably the guys at Clark Custom Guns) that they have a lot of work coming in to tune the Series II Kimbers, and particularly to fix problems with the grip-safety-activated firing pin disconnect.

Yesterday, I looked at a bunch of new 1911's: Kimbers, Colts, S&W's and Dan Wessons. The Dan Wesson was probably the value champion: good prices, excellent finish, and a good reputation for reliability. The Colts were also really nicely finished, much better quality than a few years ago. The Kimbers just weren't in the same class - even the S&W's were better fitted and finished.

Anyone else noticed anything about Kimber quality in recent months?

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January 9, 2004, 12:20 AM
i always catch hell on another board because i say kimbers are crap...
they have done nothing to prove me wrong as yet... no local shop will stock kimber ... (70 mile radius)
the return rate for people who insist on buying kimber has been between 60-70% consistantly ...(this includes people who realise they bought a real POS and resell it for some other po' bastich to get stuck with ...)
most defective guns get 2-3 trips to factory with little or no improvement...
new colts are actually better than kimbers ...(weird , huh ?)
nope , no kimbers for me ...
tho i might take one for .05 0n the dollar just so i could afford all the parts to try to make it work...:D

encl. photo of real 1911 colt for those who've forgotten...

January 9, 2004, 12:20 AM
I currently have 5 Kimbers. 3 of these are Series I pistols (Custom, Custom Target and Ultra Carry) which I had obtained when they first became available. They are all totally reliable (I did have to tune the extractor on the Ultra Carry) and well finished pistols.

Recently I purchased the TLE and TLE RL (both are same pistols except one has light rail) series II pistols. I have now shot just over 3,000 rounds in the TLE and abour 5,000 rounds in the TLF RL and I am very happy with both. I believe these series II pistols are just as reliable and accurate and series I pistols. Maybe the finish on the new pistols are not as good... but thats just maybe.

January 9, 2004, 12:30 AM
the return rate for people who insist on buying kimber has been between 60-70% consistantly ...

You know alot of people buy guns and don't necessarily shoot them or anything right away, maybe never.

That sounds pretty close to a 100% return rate to me.

Any relation to Kel-Tec? :D No that would be more like a 200% return rate. (two trips back to the factory).

For all you Kel-Tec owners, I'm just joking! :evil:

January 9, 2004, 12:38 AM
Heres my Kimber. She eats just about anything and yes the finish on these pistols are a little less to be desired. I had to send the pistol back in the first 6 months due to abnormal wear. Kimber refinished the entire pistol for me and its been perfect ever since.


January 9, 2004, 12:54 AM
We sell about 4 Kimbers a month and I know of over 20 in my "shooting circle." None have ever had a Series 2 issue and they are finished much nicer than any Springfield Loaded I have ever seen (or owned). I have 2 Series 2 Kimbers and have never had any problems. My Stainless Target II has over 20K rounds thru it and my Pro CDP has about 6K. The rate of return to the factory is very small, nowhere near 60% and probably less than 2%.

We also rent a Kimber Custom II at the range where I work and its been flawless through about 8K so far. Far more accurate than the Colt 1991A we also have.

January 9, 2004, 01:04 AM
"Far more accurate"?


January 9, 2004, 01:09 AM
Well I remember buying my first Kimber, at that time Colt was Crap and springfield wasn't much better.

I could inspect 10 colts in a row and it was shamefull how badly they were fit and I'm not talking about sissy inspections like markings and finish, I'm talking about how sloppy the gun was built.

The Kimber was a shooter a totally reliable, since then I've had close to a dozen over the years in all sizes but 3" and haven't had any problems other than Extractor tension from the factory.

I won't buy a "II" nore will I ever by a Colt, buying a Colt now would be like paying off a theif! :uhoh:

We sell lots of Kimbers and I don't see your return rate, not even close.

We sell Dann Wessons too and DW does NOT have a good track record for reliability, infact they started off with guns that fed only ball and moved up to over throating and better cheapo internals.

I'd say most returns on any 1911's are from people that don't know squat about how they work and the simplest things like an extractor tweak at the range would have stopped the whinning. Type II safeties can also deactivated easy

The only guns I've seen with major machining problems (the kind unfixable to the average Joe with average tools) >> WERE COLTS! :barf:

I'm not a big Kimber fan but in closing,,,, I have to call Bill*****. Bren

January 9, 2004, 01:13 AM
"Far more accurate"?

Yes, after 8K rounds, we could have used the Colt as a New Year's Eve Rattle.

Bren is right, the only problems I've ever seen with Kimbers are the extractors need adjusting.

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2004, 01:43 AM

Their popularity is catching up to them.

In order to meet the demand, quality is suffering.

I've been noticing this for a couple of years, especially in the area of finishing.

Kimber certainly isn't the first, and won't be the last, to suffer from their own popularity and success.

Harley-Davidson about 20 years ago is a fantastic example of that.

January 9, 2004, 01:59 AM
Yep, I've seen the Kimbers go downhill. I wouldn't even consider one, now (ESPECIALLY with that series II safety). Springfield Armory has also gone way down with QC in their standard lineup. (Now, the custom shop Professional Model is a whole 'nuther story. It's superb.)

The only factory 1911s I would consider anymore are Colts. Yes, they have had a lot of cosmetic problems that need attending to, but in general are better guns inside and out than the Kimber and SA.

Other than Colt, it's Wilson, Ed Brown, SA Professional and custom guns based on a Colt.


January 9, 2004, 02:02 AM
Agree with Mike.
Forgot what got them where they were, added too many choices as well IMO.

January 9, 2004, 03:15 AM
You know what I see in this thread? I see some Kimber dealers with an agenda. :scrutiny:

January 9, 2004, 05:48 AM
I've had good luck with the, admittedly small sample of, Series II Kimbers I own.

I have four Stainless Target IIs in didfferent calibers, and so far they have all proven to be the equal of my original series guns (once I rid them of those wholly worthless FPS :D ).

The Target II in .38 Super is a much better gun than the Colt I purchased last year in the same caliber. Ditto the 9mm version compared to my Springfield Loaded model of the same caliber.

The Kimbers are fit very well, with tight but smoooooth slide fitting, solid barrel lock-up front and rear, and excellent trigger pulls.

Colt is doing better than they have for a number of years, but they still have a ways to go to be the equal of Kimber, IMO.

I've not yet seen a singel Dan Wesson worthy of its asking price, and that includes the limted edition Razorback which I passed on.

January 9, 2004, 06:31 AM
What Kimber quality???? :what:

Marko Kloos
January 9, 2004, 07:12 AM
My local shop just got a large batch of brand new Kimbers, and I'm not really impressed with the stuff coming out of Yonkers lately. The finish on the stainless lightweight Pro Carry IIs looks like the old spray-on paint on the Gibbs Quest carbines. The Kimber logo on the slide has machining marks in the grooves that look like topographical maps.

Conversely, all the late-model Springfields I've seen lately have been well fitted. Springfield QC seems to have gone up during the last 12-24 months, while Kimber's QC has been in decline.

January 9, 2004, 07:21 AM
If they're still selling 40,000 guns a year I'd think we'd be seeing more, many more, posts containing complaints about new Kimbers. Let's see, a 70%(just to pick a number) return rate times 40,000 equals... wow, that's a lot.

The ones at the local Master Dealer look okay, but the last one I bought was in '99.

John...I don't have high expectations anymore anyway. Mediocrity rules. :)

January 9, 2004, 07:42 AM
Mike Irwin nailed it! When Kimber introduced their 1911, they set the 1911 world on fire. For the first time you could get a 1911 with forged receiver and slide, nicely fitted barrel, beaver tail grip safety, nice fixed or adjustable sights, nice trigger, and at a price that was just a little more than a box stock Colt and a lot less than the same 1911 from a custom shop. People could not get enough of them! They sold like hotcakes! With demand so high, production rates had to increase, so quality begins to suffer. Now, to keep the prices low, Kimber, as well as many other manufacturers, has turned to MIM to make many of the small parts. Unfortunately, MIM and cast parts are more prone to breaking than milled parts.

January 9, 2004, 07:57 AM
The last 1911 I owned was an early Kimber (made in Oregon) and it was a tack driver. One day I was at the range shooting it, and the plunger tube came off of the frame. I then took it to a local gunsmith, who charged me 50 DOLLARS to put another plunger tube on. I asked him, "Who do you think you are, Bill Wilson?". I then realized that day that Glocks don't have plunger tubes :). I have been shooting Glocks ever since.

My response is that you can worry about 1911s, and the reliability and quality control issues which just about every low to medium end 1911 builder has, or you can buy a Glock and not worry about a thing :).

Just my .02,

January 9, 2004, 08:13 AM
Frankly I do not see a decline in quality of Kimbers lately. I actually feel they are better. I agree that I have seen the Kimber markings on the slide with machining marks in them. But this is the only area that I feel is not as good as it used to be. In terms of fit, all the Kimbers that I have handled in the last year at my local shop have had better slide to frame fit than in the past.

January 9, 2004, 08:28 AM
Like with all makes/models of guns, the small percentage of complaints is often much louder than the many many people who are satisfied. Why? Well, the many satisfied folks do not have anything to write or complain about.

Its like this with everything. Cars, motorycyles, electronics, etc....

BTW, no problems with my new Pro Carry.

January 9, 2004, 08:53 AM
Considering how much the Series II guns are maligned, why is it that I cannot find a mint Series I or II Stainless Target or a Pro Carry HD at bargain-basement prices? From what I have seen, the bad publicity has not affected resale values, and the guns are not flooding the used gun market. The few that you do see in the used gun case are going for top dollar!

silent one
January 9, 2004, 09:59 AM
Have 5 kimbers, both series 1 and 2, they all work flawlessly. I just make sure I clean and lube them after each range session.
Maybe the reason we hear more about problems from some owners is because they sell so many of them. The percentage of shooters at my range who shoot kimbers has gone up dramatically in the past couple of years. That tells me Kimber must be doing something right. The accuracy and dependability of my guns is nothing short of phenominal.
I also think that dollar for dollar you would be hard pressed to find a better 1911 style gun than a Kimber IMHO.
Good luck, and be safe


January 9, 2004, 10:15 AM
Notice how all the Kimber praise is coming from Kimber owners and the criticism from the non Kimber owners?

Envy rears its ugly head. :neener:

Master Blaster
January 9, 2004, 10:24 AM
Amazing if you post Kimber Sucks you get incredible response if you sa that yours is great compared to other 1911's you can hear the crickets chirp.

Here is my post on my new TLE II for a couple weeks ago:

New Kimber TLE II report after 400 rounds fired
Back in 1999 I purchased my first 1911 pistol. It was a kimber series one custom classic target. To date I have about 10,000 rounds through it all at the range. It still as tight accurate and reliable as the day I bought it.

I have added a few other 1911's since then 3 colts and one springfield.
One springfield that I sold after a year due to many issues does not count (ported ultracompact champion POS)

My colt gold cup series 80 That I bought last year is my other favorite besides the Kimber KKT I. I have read of the problems that others have had with Kimber guns here especially the series II with the schwarz safety.

I wanted another 1911 but was undecided wether to get a kimber or a colt or even a springfield ( my last a milspec has been flawless).
My gold cup has shown some durrability issues after only 3000 rounds.
The typical colt ones: slide to frame fit was tight when I bought the gun, now its as loose as my series 70 from 1977. The front sight came loose after a couple hundred rounds, the ejector is also loose, and the firing pin has made a noticable divot on the hammer (gold cup is august 1999 producttion bought by me NIB in July 2002 ) The gold cup still shoots very well and has the best trigger of any 1911 I own.

The kimber KKT has had no issues and I replaced the recoil spring 3 times.

So I wanted a combat 1911 with fixed sights and I decided based upon my actual experience that the Kimber was the most durrable accurate reliable choice. So I bought the TLE II.

After 400 rounds I am pleased to report that there are no issues with my new firearm. Its just as accurate and tighly made as the KKT I.

I was a little skeptical about the schwarz system so I did some naive testing. I tried to depress the grip safety just enough so that the hammer would fall and the safety would not release the firing pin. Tested this by putting a pencil eraser end first into the barrel and dryfiring.

If the hammer fell (grip safety released trigger) the pencil flew out the barrel. I found no difference in the amount of force needed to actuate the grip safety between the KKT I and the TLE II.

I am very pleased with this firearm so far.

BTW my round count is up to 700 rounds fired now.

50 Gold dot hollow points, 550 200 gr LSWCs, and 100 Speer lawman ball.
Not one single misfeed or bobble of any kind at all, even with the craqppy kimber magazine that came with the gun, or with Wilson, mecgar, or colt magazines.

BTW the tool steel hammers on my colts are showing much more wear than the mim hammers on my kimbers.

Sean Smith
January 9, 2004, 10:32 AM
I speak as an ex-Kimber owner who had a very nice Classic Stainless Target Model (pre-Series II). Uber-accurate and reliable with most (if not all) ammo I tried it with, and it looked NICE.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I go into the gun store and look at the latest batch of Series II Kimbers. Ug! The guns are visibly uglier, with a coarser matte finish, more poorly fitted, and just seem crappier all-around. Sympathetic reviews from gun rags full of Kimber ads put accuracy in the 3" @ 25 yard range, or about half as accurate as the Kimber I had a few years ago... not to mention notably worse than the basic Colt 01991 I picked up in 2002.

Starting with a pro-Kimber bias, I can't see myself getting a Series II gun now. :(

January 9, 2004, 10:48 AM
I have some experience with 1911s. Owned several Colts (Series 70, 80 Gold Cup), Para Ordnance, Springfield, and others over the last 2 years. I never had a Kimber before. Well I happened to buy a Stainless Target II recently. So far I have fired a total of about 550 rounds through it and I love that gun. I don't know where all this bad talk about Kimber is coming from suddenly, but I can honestly that this is the tightest fitted and nicest finished 1911 I have owned in a long time - if not ever. I admit I have never owned a Series I Kimber, so I can't compare.

Just my 2 Cents.

January 9, 2004, 11:30 AM
I'm right there with ya. I bought a Target II when the II's first came out. (there was no bad press regarding the additional safety or the MIM parts at the time. January 2002) I have over 1000 rounds through mine and its been perfect.
I know, only 1000 rounds or so isn't much over two years but I've made a New-Years resolution to put 2000 more rounds through it this year.;)

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2004, 12:30 PM
I also SERIOUSLY doubt the 70% return rate.

That would be 28,000 guns of every 40,000 going back to the company for reworking, and those kinds of reliability issues would kill the company on two fronts -- in public opinion and in warranty work costs.

January 9, 2004, 12:48 PM
Well, you can''t generalize from one example, and I've only owned one 1911-.45, a Kimber CPD Pro which I bought in February, 2003. So far I've put about 1500 rounds through it.

The ONLY reliability issues came with aftermarket 8-round magazines. The 7-round factory mag has functioned flawlessly with everything. I finally got some Metalform 8-round magazines which like the 185 gr HP's I carry in it, and haven't had any problems with them.

Break-in and practice were with Wolfe 230gn fmj. Some people have speculated that the steel cases will cause the ejector to break. So far I haven't had any problems and I figure that the cost of an ejector is more than made up for the $6.00 I pay per fox of 50. Even more to consider -- WWII GI ammo was all steel-cased, and look how long the WWII 1911's have lasted.

Accuracy has been far better than any other CF pistol I've owned. I think that is more due to the SA trigger and ergonomics, rather than due to any inherent difference. The only handgun I can consistently shoot with more accuracy is a Ruger BP Old Army.

As to the finish -- it's held up well EXCEPT where I have bumbled putting the slide release lever back through the hole in the link. I did have to reblacken that area.

Your mileage may vary. I have have been lucky. However, I am happy with the gun, both for shooting and carrying.

January 9, 2004, 02:42 PM
You know what I see in this thread? I see some Kimber dealers with an agenda

And you would be wrong again. :rolleyes:

Highland Ranger
January 9, 2004, 08:32 PM
Recently bought a Stainless Gold Series II pistol:

- more accurate than me

- 1000 rounds thru it and its still tight; no failures of any kind

- finish was good; work of art

No complaints other than when I pay $1200 for a gun, it damn well better be perfect!

January 9, 2004, 09:43 PM
I bought one of the first series 1 guns and its working great. So they did not always make crap. LAPD SWAT seems to be very happy as does Tacoma PD.

January 9, 2004, 11:04 PM
Now, to keep the prices low, Kimber, as well as many other manufacturers, has turned to MIM to make many of the small parts. Unfortunately, MIM and cast parts are more prone to breaking than milled parts.

Kimber has ALWAYS used MIM small parts from day one. They just didn't use to break all the time.

January 9, 2004, 11:22 PM
I had a Series I stainless Gold Match...still the most expensive gun I have ever bought. Very accurate, but needed a trigger job and jammed as soon as it got a little dirty. The sandblasting was carried over into areas that should have been left smoothly machined. Sold.

I bought a Colt Gold Cup - It also needed a trigger job, but shoots just as well as the Kimber, has never jammed, and cost me $500 less. No brainer.

My brother has bought 3 SII Kimbers - a Eclipse Target, a Pro Eclipse, and a Pro CDP. The first two are fine, the last one jams and the hammer follows through, doesn't stay cocked. That makes one out of three $1000 guns that is a reject. :mad:

If Kimber gets the 10mm certified in California, I will buy one, because I like the caliber & old Colts are hard to come by in this state. I will expect to work on it myself, however.

I have seven Colts, and consider all of them good guns, except for a .40 Double Eagle which I knew was a project from the start.

My .38 Super Springfield is an excellent gun, but a friend's TRP Operator chokes regularly, despite its $1300 price tag.

January 9, 2004, 11:25 PM
i should clarify the above post since it seems to cause confusion ...
the 'return' rate includes all the poor bastiches who realise they bought a marginal POS and resell it asap...
( Para-ho-de-dunce is even worse)...
i did not intend to say 70% of ALL kimbers were going back , more likely on the order of 20-22% are defective ...
i would never buy a kimber or para-ho when colt and SA are available...

January 9, 2004, 11:30 PM
For starters, I am a happy Kimber owner (Series I Custom Classic, S/N K007xxx.)

I also work at the shop that Marko ref'd in his post. We are a Kimber Master Dealer, so obviously I'd like to sell these guns. Still, though...

1) We've had a Gold Match II in for a while now. This is a $1k+ gun when all is said and done, and it has a plastic MSH and the matte rounds look like they were bead-blasted with railroad ballast. Considering that for a bit more you are in entry-level Wilson/Baer/Valtro territory, this is unsat.

2) We have a used Series II Custom Classic on the shelf on which the "dot matrix" serial number and maker's name on the frame looks like it was done by a drunk with a home electric pen kit. No two letters are the same size, nor are they on remotely parallel horizontal lines.

3) The two Al-framed Kimbers we just got in (Pro Carry and Ultra Carry) have frames that look like they were gnawed on by angry beavers. Maybe Kimber thought the sulfuric acid in the anodizing process would etch the toolmarks off the alloy? They could also maybe go with a better-looking finish on the frames than silver Krylon...

4) The engraved script "Kimber" logo on the slides of most of the guns looks wretched, and is the worst on our Ultra Ten II, where it is so full of chatter marks that the edges look as though they were deliberately scalloped. This is unsat.

5) The gap between the beavertail and tang on the new Custom Classic II is nearly .1". On a gun in this price range, this is unsat; it would be acceptable on, say, a Firestorm or Charles Daly.

On the positive side:

1) The guns still appear to be mechanically tight.

2) The TLE II is cosmetically adequate, with a decent fit to all parts.

3) On the few internal extractor guns we recieved, Kimber is apparently still taking the time to fit the extractors to the rear of the slide. When this is not done, it's a major pet peeve of mine, and Springfield is a frequent culprit.

Overall: The fit, finish, and attention to cosmetic detail that used to distinguish Kimber from Colt and Springfield doesn't seem to be there anymore. This doesn't make me happy, as I'd thought Kimber had pulled out of the fit'n'finish slump they were in three years ago, but they seem to have stumbled back into it. Folks seduced by a name may not notice this stuff, but discerning 1911 buffs with disposable income sure do, and with Kimbers being priced on the north side of most Springfields and many Colts, lapses like this aren't going to do wonders for the bottom line in Yonkers.

Denny Hansen
January 9, 2004, 11:52 PM
I'll echo Mike here, as to popularity/QC.

I have three Kimbers--one a Series II--and they all run like freight trains.

OTOH, I know of three, bought separately by three brothers in three different states, and none made it through a class a Gunsite. One wouldn't go bang out of the box due to the firing pin channel being drilled off center.

Today I saw a Wilson 1911, that cost twice what the Kimbers cost, being repaired at the Gunsmithy due to a magazine release drilled off-center--among other problems...

There were a lot of Ford Pintos sold, but only a fraction of them acutally blew up. Good and bad in all, but we usually only hear about the bad.


January 10, 2004, 01:29 AM
Early Kimber Pro Carry HDII. Great trigger, well fitted, reliable and accurate. But it needs a new recoil spring every 800 rounds!

January 10, 2004, 02:13 AM
I have only one Kimber, but it's the short one, the Ultra CDP II. It works flawlessly and I carry it all the time. It is also a beautiful gun, exactly what I wanted. I also have 2 Colts, a Delta Elite which I love, and a Mark IV which originally cost me $459 NIB, but had an additional $450 worth of add-ons to make it the reliable tack-driver my CDP is. Actually it was pretty reliable from the start, but inaccurate and uncomfortable as hell.

Strange, I hear all this bad news about Kimber on here, when it's Springfield's quality everybody is screaming about at work. 2 more just today.:mad: That's 1 in 5 so far that is happy with their purchase!

January 10, 2004, 03:48 AM
Notice how all the Kimber praise is coming from Kimber owners and the criticism from the non Kimber owners?

Envy rears its ugly head.

As most of you know, I bought my first 1911 this summer.
I did my homework and left the Kimber in the dealer's case.
My FFL is a master Kimber dealer and even they said to buy the Springfield!!! :what:

They would have made more money off the Kimber sale!!

Go figure!! :neener:

January 10, 2004, 03:56 AM
Clearly they were saving "the good stuff" for those 1911 afficionados who could appreciate it. :evil:

Though I'm sure they appreciate your helping them clear the slow movers out of their case!


January 10, 2004, 06:23 PM
Though I'm sure they appreciate your helping them clear the slow movers out of their case!

You know, funny thing is, I went thru the same thing this past June. Out of all of them I went with a NRM Colt. The Kimber TLE II's are still sitting there. I was steered from the more expensive Kimber to the Colt. Which is the slow mover?:confused:

January 10, 2004, 08:13 PM
And you would be wrong again.

Brilliant retort! :p

January 10, 2004, 09:02 PM
I can only speak from my personal experience, but I own a Kimber Pro Eclipse II and it's my overall favorite gun. I've probably shot 1500 to 2000 rounds so far and I haven't had any problems with the gun. I am really impressed with the quality of the gun - it's very solid and accurate. Before the Pro Eclipse, I owned a Colt XS Commander (that I also bought new). Although the XS was a nice pistol, I still prefer the Kimber. The Colt rattled when I shook it, but the Kimber is solid. The Colt ejected semi-eratically (probably needed a new extractor or existing extractor tuned), while the Kimber tosses the spent cases consistently.

My Kimber was built at least 2 years ago, so maybe their quality has degraded lately. However, I've seen some new Kimbers in some local shops and they look quite nice and well-finished.

Just recently, for instance, I handled a new Kimber tactical something Commander-length pistol (alloy frame, external extractor) in the store. It seemed very well built and well finished. I've also recently seen two brand new Colt series 70 reissue pistols. One looked nicely finished, but the other looked poorly finished and appeared to have marks along the slide (near the dust cover).

January 10, 2004, 09:28 PM
Speaking from owning a few Kimbers in the past few years, I have noticed some varying quality. I had a CDP full-size that would only work with Wilson mags, aside from that it fired and fed everything fine. I like the weapon and carried it alot. Decided to go with a smaller piece for summer carry and got the commander sized CDP. Again, worked great with wilson mags, but it also had the extractor break, and the ejector came off, leaving its legs stuck in the frame. I had it repaired and traded it for a Series One Classic custom. This weapon worked fine with ANY mag, however the only hollow-point it fed flawlessly was Hydrashok, it choked on every other style. I fired about 3,000rnds thru it and was very pleased. I wound up giving it to my father. More recently I picked up a TLE II, to say the least, I had poor results. The night sights went dead, the extractor had NO tension on it, and the plunger tube came off at 400rnds, and the gun would lock open with regularity with rounds still in the magazine. Topped it off with the fact it would have the whole spectrum of feed malfunctions with any brand of magazine. It went away and in came a TLE II with rails and external extractor. So far 1200rnds without any glitches at all, it feeds ball ammo fine with factory mags, and feeds everything with Wilson Mags. In looking over various Kimber models at my local shops, some seem very well done, while others make an Armscor look like a custom shop deal. They do make a nice product, they just need to get back to doing it consistantly.

January 10, 2004, 11:25 PM
OK, here is a newbie look at this. I have been wanting a 1911 for awhile and read all the forums trying to find one that had a reputation for doing what it is supposed to every time. Like what I get from my Ruger GP100, my Glock 19, my Sig 232. I have come to realize that this type of quality in a 1911 does not exist in any brand according to the reports on the forums.
I do not like the idea of spending $800. on a gun that does not work without being "fixed" by my smith. Would you by a car that must be reworked before it would run the way it is supposed to?
Rant off: I will probably break down and get a Dan Wesson Patriot just because I really want a 1911. Then I can swear at myself for doing so.

January 11, 2004, 12:03 AM
I recently bought my first 1911's last month. A Kimber Custom II Stainless and a Compact II Stainless. I have about 850 rds through the 5in gun and 550 through the Compact. The fit and finish on both guns are very good. They both shoot very accurately. During the first 250 rounds, the Custom II wouldn't return fully into battery a few times, but that problem disappeared. I've been one happy camper so far.

January 11, 2004, 12:03 AM
How can one tell when the kimber was made. I asume there is a code in the serial number. ( or I could look for the box that it came in) anyway, I'm just currious. I bought my Pro Cary HD II last February. I've put about 5,000 rounds through it. I've had about 5 or 6 FTE (due to the aftermarket mags). I've read the posts where folks say the etching is off or bad. I just don't se it. Anyway, to me that is all cosmetic. I guess I got one that was in the good batch. I'm completly satisfied. I've also shot a SA, and a Colt, both of wich are pretty comparable to my kimber. (size, weight, etc.) I would feel comfortable carring any one of them. I chose the kimber for carry simply because it fit the best.

Can anyone, or does anyone have any hard numbers on Kimber sales, returns, quality issues etc. I think it's realy silly to argue about such things without having real stats. Sorry for the goofy rant. I'm a former quality control guy.


January 11, 2004, 12:25 AM
Gee, and I thought I had two that were built on a Monday. The first one I owned, bought in '97, started choking on hardball but fed HPs and went back to the factory. Came back with a tuned extractor and choked on everything. Off if went.

Had a CDP in '00 that kept locking open while firing. For a more expensive model, I thought the bugs should have been worked out. Apparently not. And so off it went.

I don't love or hate Kimbers, just disappointed. The biggest selling point on the first one was a 1911 with everything that needed to be on it and not pay big bucks.

I figured that since they were new to the 1911 game, there were some bugs in the first series of guns, and should have been fixed a couple years into production.

That really turned me off to the 1911 for awhile- until chancing on a SA Loaded and an SW- both have been great to shoot. And a heck of a lot more reliable.

January 11, 2004, 01:57 AM
I think we can all agree on one thing. The first Kimbers were kick-@$$ guns, and were the reason why Colt (and to a lesser degree Springfield Armory) was sent running home with their tail between their legs. Nowadays however they've settled into the same lazy, can't-care-less form of manufacturing that the other 1911 makers are prone to. Colt, Kimber, SA, it doesn't matter anymore. You may find one that is cosmetically perfect and shoots great, looks great but doesn't shoot, looks and shoots like crap, or any combination therof. Some folks haven't had problems with the proprietary safety designs (Series 80, Series II, ILS), while others certainly have. I remember when Springfield first came on the scene in the late 1980's, everybody said they would bury Colt. Unfortunately Springfield ran into trouble by the early 1990's, and only in the past few years have they been "springing" back. Kimber arrived in 1996 and was ready to bury Colt as well, except Colt buried themselves nicely without any outside help. Then Kimber's QC started to slide only a few years after taking over the 1911 market. That left the custom makers, and from what I've read the number of folks complaining that Wilsons aren't as good as they used to be is increasing.

I think Jim Keenan said it best. Current 1911 manufacturers look at their products as toys, not as serious weapons like SIG and Glock do. I guess since there aren't too many LEO contracts out there for 1911 pistols there's no reason to give civilian consumers a product that always works 100% regardless of model or batch. I am so sick and tired of seeing promising new 1911 models introduced, then seeing the company become complacent or run into difficulties a few years later. Those of you who like the new S&W SW1911 or the upcoming SIG GSR probably should buy them really soon, before they too begin to get lazy and put out reduced-quality product like the others have done.

January 11, 2004, 05:36 AM
I've read the posts where folks say the etching is off or bad. I just don't se it. Anyway, to me that is all cosmetic.

Most of my complaints are about cosmetics, but I think when you're paying $700 to $1000 or more for a gun, there darn well better not be any cosmetic complaints. In regards to the logo on the slide: if Kimber doesn't want to keep a sharp tool on the cutter, they should go to rollmarking...

Highland Ranger
January 11, 2004, 08:08 AM
if Kimber doesn't want to keep a sharp tool on the cutter, they should go to rollmarking...

I don't think it's done with conventional tooling - looks like an etch or laser engraving to me . . . . . anybody know what they use?

January 11, 2004, 08:25 AM
Thats why i do not own any Kimbers anymore nor to I plan to buy any...:barf:

January 11, 2004, 08:26 AM
Whatever it is, it can simulate chatter from a dull tool flawlessly.

January 11, 2004, 10:37 AM
To be honest I have never owned a .45 ACP and am definately getting one very shortly and Kimber has been a strong contender.

I've read split ideas here and I'm not sure if the negative comments have swayed me yet. That remains to be seen.

But, I'm wondering if anyone has any feed-back on the 'new' Sig 1911 styled .45?

I can't find out much, if anything, about it.

January 11, 2004, 10:52 AM
Kimber still makes plenty of fine guns; I'm just nitpicking over a lot of cosmetic goofs and/or cheapy shortcuts I've seen lately. Yeah, four or five of the batch we just got in were unsat in some cosmetic details, but that still leaves four or five more that were fine.

Bear in mind that I get het up over stuff that may not bother other people. Most folks don't notice (or care about) sloppy markings, an extractor that's not flush with the rear of the slide, iffy fitting on the beavertail, plastic mainspring housings, et cetera, but this is stuff that I look at when a manufacturer positions itself as the maker of 'elite' production-line 1911s with commensurately elite price tags. :uhoh:

January 11, 2004, 11:58 AM
a friend has a new kimber series II. it is awesome. extremely accurate! it is one of the best looking out of the box 1911s i have ever laid eyes on. fit and finish are virtually perfect. never has failed with quality ammo. he has 'bout 2000 rounds in it in about 4 months. my only complaint is, that it is an adventure to take down. the folks at the factory failed to give him one of the little take down things for the recoil spring guide assembly. i had to make him one. i guess i am spoiled by more modern pistols and their ease of dissassembly.

Sean Smith
January 11, 2004, 12:15 PM
i guess i am spoiled by more modern pistols and their ease of dissassembly.

Actually, 1911s that need a bushing wrench to take down are a MODERN innovation. The original 1911 design could be detail stripped (not just field stripped) using only its own parts as tools. :)

January 11, 2004, 01:20 PM
The engraved script "Kimber" logo on the slides of most of the guns looks wretched
Maybe I'm just not picky enough but it looks fine to me.

January 11, 2004, 01:23 PM
We have a used Series II Custom Classic on the shelf on which the "dot matrix" serial number and maker's name on the frame looks like it was done by a drunk with a home electric pen kit. No two letters are the same size, nor are they on remotely parallel horizontal lines.http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=719559

Sean Smith
January 11, 2004, 01:55 PM
MaterDei seems to be maybe confusing the general with the specific. ;)

Parker Dean
January 11, 2004, 02:36 PM
MaterDei seems to be maybe confusing the general with the specific.

Whaddaya expect. He just got told his kid was ugly :)

FWIW, I can see a lot of what Tamara was speaking of in those pics.

January 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Having read all of the complaints, especially from Tamara, I just went to the safe to look at the Kimber Eclipse Target that I got new just a few weeks back. I compared it to the other, older series I Kimbers that have many more rounds through them.

Serial number seems straight enough. Extractor is flush with the end of the slide. No funky tool markings on the logo (although my close-up vision isn't the greatest).

But I did notice something that isn't present on my other two Kimbers: there's a few scratches on the frame above the thumb safety. Apparently there isn't enough clearance and it's making contact with the frame when moved up.

Now I won't be able to sleep, while I figure out how to get Kimber to fix that.

Thanks a lot. ;)

January 11, 2004, 08:46 PM
Thank you for the pictures to back me up. :)

If I can remember to drag my camera to work tomorrow, I'll snap pics of ones that look even worse! :eek:

January 11, 2004, 08:55 PM
Local smith has a cracked Kimber slide - Rockwell is off, mis heat-treated. THAT is disconcerting.

January 11, 2004, 08:59 PM
FWIW, I've seen cracked slides from Kimber, Colt, Springfield, Glock, SIG, HK, Beretta, et cetera... Beware the statistics of small numbers. ;)

January 11, 2004, 11:51 PM
My purpose for posting the pics was to give us a frame of reference. Clearly some feel that they show poor QC on Kimber's part. Others seem to disagree. Please feel free to speak your minds, I have real kids that I wouldn't appreciate you all calling ugly but I'm not that attached to my guns so speak freely.

Tamara, what is it you see in the pics that would indicate poor QC or workmanship? Inquiring minds want to know. When I look at them I don't see any problems. Your firearm tastes are clearly more discriminating than mine.

FWIW, and I know this is worth a lot to all of us, it has always gone 'bang' when I've pulled the trigger. Hopefully any lack of quality is related only to the gun's appearance.


January 12, 2004, 12:34 AM
Duly noted. Still waiting for that first report of a cracked Valtro slide. Lower numbers, lower chance, I guess, right?

January 12, 2004, 12:51 AM
Sven, I think he keeps those slides on display to rankle the Wilson Combat owners. :D

January 12, 2004, 03:48 AM
I just got my first Kimber last month, a stainless Gold Match II, and I gotta say I've had no problems with it. I really like the finish (polished on the sides, matte on the top and bottom..) and I've noticed no cosmetic or functional problems. The dot matrix serial number does bug me a bit, but not enough to matter.

The gun was extremely tight when I got it, but it has never had a FTF or anything of that sort; I've only put about 400 rounds through it, though. Accurate as heck. I'd shoot it more, but I can't have it here at school.. :(

January 12, 2004, 09:56 AM
Well folks, if we're down to nit-picking the markings... perhaps there's little enough else to really be concerned about?

Seems I remember Colt went thru the same thing, both with a different "series" and different methods sof applying markings.

Sean Smith
January 12, 2004, 10:22 AM
Hopefully any lack of quality is related only to the gun's appearance.


January 12, 2004, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the link, Sean. Looks like Clark Custom Guns wasn't exaggerating about the amount of work they get dealing with the problem with the Series II firing-pin safety...

January 12, 2004, 11:36 AM
Of course that thread runs from 1/10/02 to 10/19/03 and that's all they came up with (I know, I know, one problem is one too many.)

Long live the pre-series-II guns.


January 12, 2004, 04:35 PM
In my opinion I don't see a dang thing wrong with the Kimber slide or logo etching that I saw in the pictures posted.

Two things come to mind here:

1. There will always be a certain number of products within that same given group that are considered less than 'top shelf' whether it's home appliances, computers, home entertainment items, guns, etc.

That is the nature of our high tech 'hands off' and 'hit the market' manufacturing.

2. If you look for the finish of a Maseratti amongst Fords, Chevrolets, etc......it just won't be there.

January 12, 2004, 06:41 PM
Well, just as promised, I was laying awake thinking about those scratches from the safety on the frame of my Eclipse. How do I go about getting more clearance so they don't get worse?

Talk about a Pandora's box.

January 12, 2004, 08:03 PM
The logo side doesn't look too bad in the posted pic.

The right side however... (spacing exagerated)


K I MBER , YONKERS , NY U . S . A . <NY U.S.A. is on a downward slope>

The serial number is misaligned as well.

Is this nitpicking? Possibly. It's all a matter of taste.

Even the Colt critics out there should admit that no matter how gaudy or large they were the rollmarks and serial numbers were usually on straight.
S&W boycotters should admit that even if they don't like the laser engraving at least S&W did it straight, even on a radiused surface.

January 12, 2004, 11:07 PM
Okay, so I'm nitpicking about the markings. I guess it wouldn't bug you if all the badges on your car were hung crooked and/or upside down, either? If it had globs and runs and orange peel in the paint? After all, that's just cosmetic stuff...

Here's an older Kimber; still not perfect, but lots better:


January 12, 2004, 11:09 PM
...and a Colt...


January 12, 2004, 11:10 PM
...and a Springfield.


Notice any difference? If not, then never mind, as you aren't the target audience. ;)

January 13, 2004, 03:05 AM
Yep, Tamara - you hit it with those pictures.

Cosmetics are a BIG part of firearms to me. I have a Kimber Ultra Carry (?), marked "Custom Shop" on the other side of the slide. This gun was made in Q1 of 1998. The Kimber logo is crisp and the edges are clean. The lettering on the frame and serial number look crisp, as well. Granted, this gun is newer than Tamara's Clakamas Kimber, but the lettering is still better than the newer ones. (One thing about this one, though. Where it says "Ultra Carry" on the slide, the lower parts of the "Car" in "Carry" is not stamped/engraved/rolled as deeply as the rest. It's lighter. It bugs me.)

Now, I also have a couple of Kimbers made in Q3 of 1999. The Kimber logo on these are kind of rough around the edges of the lettering. The lettering and serial number on the frame is dot-matrix printing and just does not look as good.

Looks matter a lot to me.


January 13, 2004, 03:34 AM
I have a Stainless II as well and it looks similar to the one posted. The gun has been a great shooter so far (low round count). The logo looks fine to me but I agree the serial# and the Kimber Yonkers etching could look better. It really doesn't bother me that much and I can live with it but at the same time I agree that this is inexcusable considering the price that Kimbers go for.

Master Blaster
January 13, 2004, 09:55 AM
Even the Colt critics out there should admit that no matter how gaudy or large they were the rollmarks and serial numbers were usually on straight.

Thats great, now if colt could get the slide to frame fit tight and have it stay that way.

If colt could stake on a front sight so it would not shoot loose.

If they could install an ejector so that the front leg didnt come loose resulting in the brass hitting you in the head.

Colt would be better than Kimber.

Of course I am only basing this on my three colts a '78 govt model, a '95 officers enhanced acp, and a '99 Gold cup.


Tamara it would seem to me that if master dealers who buy a minimum of what $50,000 in guns from kimber (in an order IIRC), would complain and send all of the flawed guns back BEFORE they sell them to folks like me, then these problems would be corrected in short order ?????????????

So how many master dealers here have sent an order of guns back to kimber, or even complained?????????????

:) :uhoh:

January 13, 2004, 11:59 AM
My Kimber logos look fine to me too, and my Kimber is not a big buck model either.


Amazing how anti-Kimber threads get so big. Its almost as if those who don't own a Kimber wish they did so badly, that they fill the need to put down the entire company based on a couple nit picky issues. This could be done to justify lack of funds to purchase a Kimber, or to try to play-up there lesser guns.

BTW, I am not saying Kimbers are perfect. No guns are. If you find the perfect gun, post it here as I would love to see one.

January 13, 2004, 12:47 PM
Thats great, now if colt could get the slide to frame fit tight and have it stay that way.
The loosness of the Colt is what made hundreds of thousands of military one so danged reliable.
You make it too tight and the reliability drops. It was designed to be combat accurate to save your assets. It was not designed for target shooting.
If colt could stake on a front sight so it would not shoot loose.
I've nver had that happen.
If they could install an ejector so that the front leg didnt come loose resulting in the brass hitting you in the head.

I've never had that happen.

Of course I am just basing this on the doxen of so genuine Colt or USGI ones that I have personally owned since 1971.

Its almost as if those who don't own a Kimber wish they did so badly, that they fill the need to put down the entire company based on a couple nit picky issues. This could be done to justify lack of funds to purchase a Kimber, or to try to play-up there lesser guns.
It's almost as if those who bought an inferior product feel the need to put down all other products based on their poor choice. Maybe this is done to justify the excess money spent or the fact that they had to deal with Dennis over the lack of quality control.

I know people who love their Kimbers. I know people who hated the ones they had. No one will ever agree which is best. That's why there will always be more than one choice. What works for one may not work for another.

The 1911 pattern works great as it was designed for what it designed for. Anytime you modify something there is the possibility of disappointment.

Personally I can't understand people who get hammer bite. I have never gotten it with an as designed Government or Commander model. I have never seen it happen to anyone either. But there are those who do truely suffer from it. Those people are, however, in the minority. But because they are in the monority doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Neither does it make it the rule. Mil-Spec guns are as popular today as they have ever been.

If you were looking to buy a Mustang GT and if you found one at a dealer that had a cosmetic flaw that slipped past inspection you would negotiate a lower price from the dealer.
If you were buying a used gun with holster wear you'd expect to pay a lower price than if it was pristine.

If you want to pay too much money for a gun with poorly executed cosmetics so be it. It's your money. Spend it as you wish. I'll gladly spend my money on genuine Colts. Which should make you and Dennis happy since there will be plenty of Kimbers left on the shelves for you.

And if you ever need me to help you watch your six. Don't worry, I'll be the old bald guy with the $500 Colt that goes bang every dang time.

Sean Smith
January 13, 2004, 01:20 PM
Its almost as if those who don't own a Kimber wish they did so badly, that they fill the need to put down the entire company based on a couple nit picky issues.

Interesting theory, if you overlook the fact that the people complaining about Kimber quality on this topic are often current or former satisfied Kimber owners (e.g. Tamara and myself).


It must be my jealousy of Kimber owners that prompted me to write a positive review of the pre-Series II Kimber I owned... what else could explain it? ;)


Of course, prejudicial language and ad hominem attacks are the classic response of somebody who has nothing worthwhile to say.

January 13, 2004, 07:46 PM
Its almost as if those who don't own a Kimber wish they did so badly,

You caught me!

I'm so jealous of those who own new Series II Kimbers that I posted pics of my Clackamas-rollmarked Series I, my customized Delta Elite, and my Springfield Pro to assuage my inferiority complex over not being able to swing the bucks for a new Custom II... :uhoh:

George Hill
January 13, 2004, 08:30 PM
Tamara is now the fox who can't reach the grapes?


I don't know about you guys, but when I buy a car I always stipulate that there are no dealership decals on the car. If they refuse to remove them, then I insist upon a 100 dollar a month reduction in the note. I tell them it's for the rent on the billboard space that I'm driving around in. I often remove all the logos on a car. But that is just me.
Crooked names on my guns... that would bug the heck out of me.

January 14, 2004, 01:25 AM
Another excuse for missing the target: the letters on my gun weren't straight.

January 14, 2004, 06:43 AM
Thats great, now if colt could get the slide to frame fit tight and have it stay that way.

They are made to ordnance spec. Slide to frame tightness does not give you anymore than 5% of your accuracy, thats where barrel to slide fit comes in. My NRM Colt with its "loose" slide was more accuratre than the Kimber that my brother used to own.

January 14, 2004, 08:22 AM
In the beginning people complained about the "girly looking" Kimber on the slide, now they don't like the quality of her handwriting. What's a poor boy to do? :)


Master Blaster
January 14, 2004, 09:07 AM
They are made to ordnance spec. Slide to frame tightness does not give you anymore than 5% of your accuracy, thats where barrel to slide fit comes in. My NRM Colt with its "loose" slide was more accuratre than the Kimber that my brother used to own.

I understand ordinance spec and that a looser gun is more reliable in theory.

The Gold cup is supposed to be a target gun not a combat piece.
Some folks who shoot bullseye like to use a frame mounted dot sight (not I though), a loose fit between the slide and frame make this impossible.

When I bought the Gold cup there was almost no play between the slide and frame, 4,000 rounds later there is a 1/8" side to side and up and down play. The barrel to slide and bushing are still solid though. What that probably means is that the original fit was acheived through peening of a small area of the frame rails, when that area wore a small amount the fit went back to the "ordinance" standard.

Amazingly my Kimber CC target was tight with no play the day I bought it in 1999 and many thousands of rounds later its still just as tight, and the kimber is 100% reliable as well.

Accuracy wise the kimber and the gold cup are about the same with a slight edge to the kimber. I have never put either in a ransom rest so it might just be me.:) did you and your brother test the two guns using match grade ammo in a ransom rest?????? That would be an interesting test.

Please remember that I like colts as well so I'm not really bashing them, but when you spend $800 on a gold cup you expect that the front sight will stay tight for more than 300 rounds.;) The problem with the Gold cup front and the eliason rear sight is one that every long term gold cup owner knows about, that is if they actually shoot their gun.

Now colt is making the new gold cups with a dovetailed front sight, and a dovetailed rear as well I wonder why???????

January 14, 2004, 09:17 AM
Personally I can't understand people who get hammer bite. I have never gotten it with an as designed Government or Commander model. I have never seen it happen to anyone either. But there are those who do truely suffer from it. Those people are, however, in the minority.

A lot of that depends on how you shoot the gun. If you use a more traditional grip, you'd need to have some fairly meaty paws to get bit, but if you choke way up on the gun (like me), some type of beavertail is pretty much a necessity. :) (Additionally, I find it helps locate my hand properly on the pistol when drawing...)

January 14, 2004, 10:12 AM
MB, maybe you had a Monday gun. No we didn't use a rest, ammo used was Federal American Eagle, actually no slouch in the accuracy department. I understand what you are saying about spending $800 on a Colt. Consider this, my brother spent $1,000 on that Kimber and it wasn't totally reliable even after Kimbers required "breakin" and a trip back to the "Custom" shop and being returned with the problems "corrected". Maybe I would feel differently if Kimber treated their customers better when they need service, I would be willing to give them a chance.

Master Blaster
January 14, 2004, 10:28 AM
So I'm still waiting to hear if any of the master dealers out there have sent a whole batch of guns back to Kimber to have the poor workmanship corrected???????

Realize than when a Joe Schmoe customer like me complains about one gun it is not going to have the impact that a master dealer can have by sending back a batch of 20 or 50 guns.

So master dealers have you talked to kimber.?????????????

January 14, 2004, 12:57 PM
Wow, this thread was nothing like what I expected. I'm on my 2nd 1911, my first was one of the original springfield's with government issue everything. It was a great gun, but over 5-7 years I ended up replacing the sights, trigger, recoil spring, spring guide, etc. Loved that gun. Should have never sold it.

Fast forward 12 years . . .I've been saving for 2 years and finally bought a Stainless Gold Match II . . . . .after reading everything I could find I was scared to death that it was gonna be a POS . . . . . Never thought that while shooting it, or cleaning it, or even picking it up at the dealer.

Now I've been reading this whole thread with magnifying glass in one hand and the .45 in the other . . . . :) :) I can see the dot matrix issue in the pictures, but mine doesn't look at all like that. Possibly it's a different assembly line or ?? . . .and as far as shooting it, I get a big grin on my face just thinking about it. The damn thing just makes me look good . . .

Oh well, interesting to read different people's opinions. I know when I had my FFL, way back when, I sent back any guns that my customers thought had cosmetic flaws until they were happy. All of my distributors did it no questions asked, but that was a long time ago and things may have changed.

Have a good one,

January 14, 2004, 09:31 PM
So master dealers have you talked to kimber.?????????????

A) I am not a Kimber Master Dealer; I work for a shop that is a Kimber Master Dealer. There is a difference. ;)

B) Only four or five of the latest batch of ten had cosmetic flaws bad enough to get on my nerves, and they probably wouldn't bug me if the guns were $100 cheaper and/or if Kimber didn't vigorously position itself as an elite, top-drawer manufacturer of first-rate, almost-custom 1911's. Would it make you feel any better if I turned this into an equal opportunity slam-fest by bemoaning the fact that Springfield appears to be constitutionally unable to deliver a 1911 that doesn't have three feet of extractor hanging out the rear of the slide?

C) The cosmetic flaws obviously don't bug too many other people; folks buy a brand name and a brochure, not a product. (Actual Conversation: "Can I help you, sir?"
"Yes, I'm looking for a holster for my Kimber Custom Stainless II."
"Our 1911 holsters are right over here."
"No, I have a Kimber."
:rolleyes: )

As long as folks buy 'em, they'll keep selling. ;)
(I'm going to go in to work tomorrow and chuckle with my gunsmith over the lamentable cosmetic flaws on the Gunsite Commander that came in for a new ejector last week. For $2000+, you'd think they could at least get the frickin' toolmarks off the frame... :uhoh: )

January 20, 2004, 07:31 AM
Here is an example. Brand new gun. Never shot or holstered. Ipicked it up yesterday, Monday.

I get it home and found what looks like holster wear on just one side of the slide - muzzle end.

January 20, 2004, 09:46 AM
Is the accessory rail machined as part of the frame or is it added?

Master Blaster
January 20, 2004, 10:07 AM
Machined as part of the frame from a forged Billet.

January 20, 2004, 10:31 AM
Are the edges of the accessory rail/frame just above the trigger quard supposed to be that wavy?


January 21, 2004, 12:52 AM
Boy, that looks like very rough machining! I'd send that back to Kimber in a heartbeat, asking for them to fix it.

January 21, 2004, 11:14 PM
If colt could stake on a front sight so it would not shoot loose. If they could install an ejector so that the front leg didnt come loose resulting in the brass hitting you in the head.

YEAH! I've had those very things happen with my Mark IV. With the ejector problem, I had a Wilson ejector installed. IT STILL DOES IT SOMETIMES! The front sight still has the mark where somebody stepped on it after it flew off.:mad:

January 22, 2004, 09:15 AM
Admittedly, I havent read every word of this thread...I dont think I will.
I scanned it for a while.....Tamara and others have good points. If you have a 700$ + gun you want it to look good as well as function good.
If not....get a Mil Spec and hush up! Here come the mil spec guys!:cuss:

As far as 60% of the guns going back.......uh huh! Would you like a single or two lane road with that bridge? :scrutiny:

The day of 1911's needing to be rattle traps to be reliable is GONE GUYS!
Sorry...my Norinco Custom was the loosest gun Ive ever had and it ran like a top..not a hiccup. My Kimbers and STI's were both TIGHT..not a wiggle even just the slide/frame fit without the barrel and again NOT A HICCUP!
Todays materials/fitting methods/machining capabilities make this argument a very moot point. Unless you have inferior metallurgy and want the gun to run while the metal moves under stress. This would make the need for additional clearance a must.

Ive sampled new production guns from DW, SA, Kimber, Colt.....even an Armscorp new production that was a SS gun. ALL of them had hit and miss qualities I didnt like going from gun to gun. The Kimbers were the tightest consistantly in the frame/barrel/slide fit...along with the DW's. The SA's are nice but the fit/finish on the Loaded guns are not as consistant. Colts are getting nicer but still have way too much play in the fit for me.................

Ive spoken with Dennis at Kimbers Custom shop and he seemed very willing to help with anything I needed....
Anytime I send a gun back, which I havent done with a Kimber, I call and make them aware of the problem and ask them to watch for it. Whether this actually helps them do a better job is really unknown....but Ive yet to send a gun back anywhere more than once.........

Shoot well............................

Captain Bligh
January 22, 2004, 01:34 PM
My Kimber is about four years old now, and I abosolutely love the gun. If catastrophic finances forced me to sell a gun (which I haven't done in over 30 years), the Kimber would be the last to go.

That being said, at the last gun show I was looking over all the .45s again. My impression was that the fit and finish on those Kimbers weren't up to snuff with the one I am proud to own.

The other thing that I noticed was that Colt in particular, seemed to be a lot better than when I bought mine a few years ago. I thought Springfield was better too, but the difference was not as obvious as with Colt. I would have bought a Colt at that time if the fit, finish, and reputation had been what it once was. Standing there at the gun show, I found myself wondering if the quality of the Kimber had really slid that much or if it just looked like that because the other manufacturers had to step-up their quality if they wanted to compete with Kimber.

I suspect a little of both is true. Glad I bought when I did.


Mike Irwin
January 22, 2004, 03:02 PM
"If not....get a Mil Spec and hush up! Here come the mil spec guys!"

I've got a Mil Spec.

No way was I going to pass up a Springfield MS for only $265, used by never shot by the previous owner...

I like it. Shoots well.

I feel about it, though, how I feel about all of my semi-autos (with the possible exception of my High Power and my P7), they're just guns, blobs of steel that I hope work.

Now, my Smith & Wesson revolvers, on the other hand? :)

January 23, 2004, 02:34 AM
My Kimber is on the third trip to Yonkers. Each time Kimber assures me that the problem is not the gun, but rather the shooter. Never-the-less they have replaced the extractor twice, and the barrel once. I have been treated pretty rudely on the phone from them as well. I hope that they can fix it this time. I really wish they would give me a new gun. Well...maybe third time is the charm.

I have been shooting 1911's for fifteen years. I shoot in IDPA and do ok. I am no Todd Jarret, but I know how to shoot so that I am not causing the gun to malfunction. I suppose they will send me the gun back in a few days...probably with the same old problems...or maybe different problems. I know my confidence in their products and customer service is gone.

At no time have they even offered an apology...no "sorry your having trouble" or anything to that effect. I get the feeling that I am not a customer, but an annoyance, no matter how nice I am.

BTW the gun is a Tactical Pro II.


January 23, 2004, 02:58 AM
Am I correct in deducing that those people who spoke up and said they saw nothing wrong with the quality of the guns in Tamara photos are now remaining quiet because they did notice the ever so slight imperfections in the gun in the photo posted by tlhelmer?

January 23, 2004, 05:34 AM
I would like to see a better picture to be honest. After the shock of seeing that picture I went to the Kimber website and it looks like some of those odd lines might be there by design. The pictures aren't very detailed on the kimber site but you can barely see that strange groove where the rail meets frame. I did a few more searches on soem of the auction sites and most of them looked somewhat similar to thelmers gun. Don't know why it was designed that way but it may not be a QC issue. Either way I don't like it. Maybe thelmer can verify or another TLE RL owner?

January 23, 2004, 06:56 AM
Sorry guys, I didnt realize you were talking about my gun.

The lines are there by design and the lighting made it look like rough markings. It is a combination of lighting, different widths and shape. That part of the gun looks fine in person.

My problem was that the finish looks worn on the muzzle of a new never holstered gun.

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