Kimber Question.


May 15, 2011, 07:36 PM
I read or heard that over the last few years Kimber was putting out some lemons. I was told that they got their act together now and are building quality guns again. However two of my local gun shops won't carry them because they said their crap. All the other gun shops think their top notch. Anyone care to comment on this? I would like to buy one, if they are a good quality 1911. I like the Custom II model. I was also looking into the new SR1911 as well. I don't care for Colt 1911's. Nothing bad about Colt, I just really like the Kimber. Oh and before anyone says get a Smith and Wesson, I was told from gun review writer Chuck Hawks to stay away from S&W products.

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May 15, 2011, 08:11 PM
I love them, I will buy more in the future, and will recommend them to everyone. I'm sure that they have put out some with problems just based alone on their volume compared to other manufacturers. I'm also sure you'll hear plenty from people that don't like them.

May 15, 2011, 08:34 PM
Kimber Custom II. Flawless 600+ rounds. Super accurate.

May 15, 2011, 08:37 PM
Had an Ultra Carry II that never jammed in 1500rds, but would lock back on a partial full mag every 100rds or so. Kimber fixed it, and they picked up the shipping.(even though it was outside the 1yr free shipping time line) I'll get another someday:)

May 15, 2011, 09:18 PM
I've had two first hand Kimber experiences this month:

1911 "Super Carry" .45.
100-110 rounds= 1 fail to feed.(this gun hadn't been fired except by Kimber)
Found the magazine that didn't like that ONE red "rubbery" tipped Hornady & was able to tweek it to except even those.

New 84 in .257 Roberts put some good handloads into 15/ 16ths at 200yds.

Yeah. They're still making good stuff!

Old krow
May 15, 2011, 09:33 PM
I have a custom II with about 6k rounds through it. I haven't had any issues with it what-so-ever. I've been very happy with mine.

May 15, 2011, 09:35 PM
I have an Ultra Carry which gave me some issues mostly due to me being new and limp wristing a bit. Polished the feed ramp and tightened up my grip and it's all good now. A little picky on HP ammo but I found some that it likes and I stick with it.

May 15, 2011, 10:00 PM
I've got two, a Tactical Pro II and a SIS Custom. Neither of which have given me any issues. The only issue I would have with buying another one is my wife........... :)

May 15, 2011, 10:24 PM
friend of mine has a few of them and says you need 500rds break in before they start working flawlessly

May 15, 2011, 10:52 PM
However two of my local gun shops won't carry them because they said their crap.

I know how that goes. My LGS owner doesn't stock Kimber and won't even order me one. I've bought two Ed Browns, two Dan Wessons and two SIGs from him but he simply refuses to order a Kimber. I want a Stainless Pro Raptor II but I guess I'll have to look elsewhere.

As for Kimber, I like 'em. I think they're decent out of the box and they make a good platform to build on if you're looking for a reliable practical shooting pistol. My Kimber Tactical Entry II proved to be 100% reliable from day one with four types of factory 230gr FMJ ammunition with no issues in hundreds of rounds. The trigger was fairly heavy at around 5lb but not bad. I started to upgrade various parts of the pistol and began shooting 200gr LRNFP reloads in USPSA matches. 1,500+ trouble-free rounds later I'm very, very happy with that pistol and would buy another Kimber without any concerns. There are other options out there of course, but I choose a 1911 based on the features that I can't easily change such as the frame and slide. Everything else can be "upgraded" easily if so desired. If you like a Kimber you should buy a Kimber.

On a side note, all I ask of my 1911s is that they feed three types of ammunition with 100% reliability.

1. Any quality 230gr FMJ factory ammunition
2. 200gr LRNFP reload for USPSA matches
3. 230gr JHP reload using Hornady's XTP bullets or similar

That's it!! If they prove to be reliable with LSWC bullets or other loads then I consider it a bonus but not a requirement.

May 15, 2011, 10:53 PM
friend of mine has a few of them and says you need 500rds break in before they start working flawlessly

Mine worked flawlessly from day one ... with factory 230gr FMJ.

May 15, 2011, 11:55 PM
Chuck Hawks...really? That's the standard for what you will or won't buy? Kimber had problems with external extractors. Their customer service is, depending on who you talk to, top notch or worst in the industry. Everyone does make lemons. You'll have to decide if your money is well spent on a pistol the manufacturer may or may not back up with service.

You have a good chance in my opinion of getting a good one but if you do a lot of shooting and keep what you buy you may want to factor that in to the equation. Are they top notch? I don't think so. 3 of your first 6 responses admitted to problems of some sort and most would be minor unless they came at the wrong time.

I don't dislike Kimber there are simply too many other 1911s that speak to me at their price point.

Ace, if the OP didn't want the bad with the good there wouldn't be much point in discussion, would there?

The Ruger does have a cast frame if that bothers you. It also has an integral plunger tube if that bothers you. There isn't likely to be anyone who has a significant number of rounds through one yet to speak to longevity but Ruger is known for their customer service. Unfortunately their pistols of late have suffered from a large number of recalls.

FWIW I'm pretty sure Colt has the kinks worked out on their 1911s, not sure why you don't like them??? I'll add that my S&Ws have all been reliable as well. Flawless no, but they all eat whatever I feed them, go bang and spit brass every time. 3 new and 1 used in the past 2 years with 5k + rounds.

click clack
May 16, 2011, 12:12 AM
Anyone have info on the Solo Carrys?? Ive heard rumors that they were stopping production.. Can anyone clarify or does anyone have experience

May 16, 2011, 12:26 AM
Kimbers are good guns. You can't really compare them to custom guns costing twice as much though, which seems to happen with 1911's more so than any other gun.

I have roughly 800 rounds through my custom ll without any problems related to the gun. If you want to get into a 1911 for around 1000 bucks I'd say Kimber is an excellent choice.

Some Cons: non-supported carbon steel barrels and somewhat sketchy standard mags.

May 16, 2011, 02:55 AM
A bit off topic but the Solo has been recalled and will not be available for sale again until Kimber can figure out where they went wrong.

May 16, 2011, 08:15 AM
and thats a great endorsement for Kimber and the Solo. Pretty much answer's the OP's question doesn't it.

May 16, 2011, 10:59 AM
My LGS loves to hype Kimber, claiming the brand to be "most accurate out of the box". Ive heard enough horror storys to stay away. Users seem to be split 50/50 as far as good or bad.

May 16, 2011, 11:24 AM
Ultra crimson carry, one of my first 1911's, haven't had a problem yet, love it, eats whatever you feed it, super accurate, blew me away how accurate for a 3" barrel

May 16, 2011, 11:38 AM
I have two Ultra Carry's. One with ramped barrel and one without. I happen to like the one without best. It takes absolutely anything I feed it. The one with ramped barrel is so picky about ammo, I've only found one brand it likes. I'm hoping after a thousand or so rounds it will start eating anything. :what: Hey, I can hope can I.

May 16, 2011, 03:31 PM
For the money, I think there are better guns than Kimber. I have had several (still have a couple) and have had no problems with them. I do think that, thanks to massive advertising campaigns, they have an unearned reputation among the less experienced as the gold standard by which all others are judged.

S&W? I love mine and consider them to be outstanding firearms. Here is another opinion on the new E-series.

May 16, 2011, 06:47 PM
I have to go back on saying I won't buy a Colt. I did some more research on the 1991 models and I like what I see. Again only a couple of my local gun shops carry them because the rest said they are junk. I might add that the shops that won't carry Kimber or Colt and will only push the Springfield 1911s. They seem to think all the others don't compare to Springfield. I like SA 1911s but I've seen way to many that have rough fit and finishes.

May 16, 2011, 07:20 PM
Day one, no problems, factory magazines, didn't matter. Best handgun I have ever owned. I just ordered a commemorative Para Ordnance for my unit's deployment, I will be very surprised if it runs as well as my Kimber.

We ask the Kimber question in here all the time. Some people seethe at the mention of the name, some have had great experiences. I THINK, that they make a lot more 1911s than their competitors, and a higher number of reported problems neither means that there is a higher RATE of problems, nor that the vast majority of Kimber owners don't have something better to do than complain about things on the internet.

I have shot Nighthawks, Baers, Wilsons, etc. For the life of me, I have no idea what it is they are supposed to do for more than three times what I paid for my Kimber.

May 16, 2011, 07:32 PM
I'm not going to support a company that doesn't support its products.

only offering a 1 year warranty is ridiculous

May 16, 2011, 07:34 PM
Kimbers are indeed great guns, but I think they are over priced great guns.

Compare any kimber out there to a Springfield TRP, and you'll see a world of difference in the quality of fit and finish. The price of a TRP is on the high end of Kimber's line but when you're spending over 1k on a gun what's a difference of a few hundred dollars?

But Kimber has a history of marketing things and then letting us be the beta testers for them. The combination of that and the firing pin safety is why I won't be purchasing from them anytime soon.

Springfield's and S&W's customer service is beyond great. Don't like the way the frame on your Springer 1911 is blended in to the slide? Call SACS and they'll pay for shipping, address your issues, and send it back free of charge. I haven't dealt with S&W on any 1911 issues, but I have with a few revolvers I own and they are almost as good as Springfield.

May 16, 2011, 07:46 PM
I paid $630, NIB for my Custom II. What should I have paid for it?

May 16, 2011, 07:58 PM
I paid $630, NIB for my Custom II. What should I have paid for it?

Their Custom II is actually one of the only pistols of theirs that I feel priced correctly. The issue lies in the fact that other than some minor cosmetic differences, I don't really see enough to justify the additional cost for the higher prices models.

I will say this though, their Custom II is one of the better 1911's in the 500-700 dollar price point.

May 16, 2011, 08:04 PM
I have a Kimber Pro Carry 11 and have grown to love it. I actually shot it today. I have about 1200 plus rounds through it with no problems ever. I have used 230 grain ball ammo and 230 grain jhp ammo and never a problem. It is as reliable as a gun could be. As the manual suggests I have replaced the recoil spring after the first 800 rounds. I ordered it from was very affordable (they sent a package of 3), buy one , it shoots well, feels well, and looks great..................

May 16, 2011, 08:18 PM
I've bucked the internet advice on several different gun purchases and can honestly say that my Kimbers have been excellent pistols. I own an Eclipse Custom II and a Stainless Target II 9mm. Flawless function from the pistols. I believe that if you stick to the full sized models you will not be sorry. I can't speak for the smaller ones as I've never had any experience with them.

My older brother has a Stainless Target II 10mm that is an excellent gun. My younger brother has a Custom II that is an excellent gun. Notice any trend here? The only way to find out is try it yourself.

For $600-$700 the Custom II is a great value for an entry level 1911. Don't get me wrong, there are other good ones in that price range too, but my experience is with the Kimbers.

Might I add that every single person that has shot my Eclipse has said that it's probably the nicest gun they have ever shot. When they start blasting those steel plates at 25 yards the very first time they pick up this gun they are sold. And the fact that I picked it up for $650 slightly used makes it even more appealing.

May 16, 2011, 08:31 PM
A bit off topic but the Solo has been recalled and will not be available for sale again until Kimber can figure out where they went wrong.

Any proof on that?

From what I've been hearing the Solo recall is just another internet rumor.

May 16, 2011, 08:51 PM
I bought a Kimber Custom Classic at a gun show and have been very pleased with it. I have put several 1000 rounds through it and have not had a failure. Just for drill, I put 1000 rounds through it without cleaning. Never had a failure. I finally cleaned it (mostly because I like to keep my guns clean). Probably won't do the long period between cleaning again just because it was a bit of a pain to get it clean again. Used up a brass brush.

May 17, 2011, 06:02 AM
i run a kimber custom II. Bought it becuase i shot several kimbers and like it. Also the features on my gun, match barrel. match trigger. made it an even better vaule.

May 17, 2011, 11:57 AM
My Kimber is an Ultra CDP II. It has never jammed, failed to fire, fail to extract, fail to feed etc. Over 2,000 rds of all kinds of ammo including some reloads. As with some others here, my only roadblock to buying another is my lovely wife.
I train frequently at the Oregon Firearms Academy and see a lot of Glocks with all kinds of problems on the firing line. No wonder they're so cheap.

May 17, 2011, 12:27 PM
I don't dislike Kimber there are simply too many other 1911s that speak to me at their price point.

This is how I feel as well. Nothing against Kimber, but in the 700-1000 price point I was looking at, I got a Colt. If in a higher price point I would just thrown down the $1400 and gone with a Les Baer.

May 17, 2011, 12:38 PM
A bit off topic but the Solo has been recalled and will not be available for sale again until Kimber can figure out where they went wrong.
No... the Solo has NOT been recalled.

May 17, 2011, 01:22 PM
I own many Kimbers and have owned some since 1998, The only one I ever regretted purchasing had an external extractor. I have since relaced it. My favorite is the Custom Eclipse 10mm, I feel they are great and accurate shooters, reliable and not at all fussy with what is fed to them

May 17, 2011, 11:10 PM
The Solo wasn't recalled.

It deosn't work. Production ceased when the Beta testers (Solo Owners) found mag releases that didn't work and many FTRTB problems.

(I'm not sure how that's any better?)

My LGS won't stock Kimber anymore. Too many returns and warranty claims. They sell DW, STI, Colt and a few left over Sigs.

My Kimber CDP needed a little work to get reliable. Springs, mags, etc.

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