Kimber barrels rusting easily


August 10, 2012, 01:28 PM
I was at my LGS yesterday and two guys mentioned that because of the high carbon content in the steel Kimber uses for their barrels, they tend to rust before other barrels do. Anybody run into this before?

Is there a benefit to these higher carbon steel barrels?

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August 10, 2012, 02:00 PM
steel or sst for that matter will rust if you don't take care of it. it really doesn't take much care at all to prevent rust

August 10, 2012, 02:28 PM
What he said.
Kimber doesn't use "higher carbon content" steel.

They use carbon steel, probably 4140, just like lots of other manufactures use for barrels.
Some of the best aftermarket match 1911 barrels are made by Kart, and they use only carbon steel too.

If you don't take care of it, it will rust just like any other carbon steel gun from other manufactures.


Lex Luthier
August 10, 2012, 04:38 PM
Just counter babble.

August 10, 2012, 06:18 PM
If I hear it in a gun shop, my tendency is not to believe it.

August 10, 2012, 10:04 PM
In my experience Kimber barrels do indeed rust faster than other barrels. The problem with Kimber barrels is that they are bare steel. Even on a stainless gun, the barrel is bare steel (with only a couple exceptions).

I have experienced this firsthand. Of course ANYTHING will rust given the conditions, but Kimber barrels take a bit more care than other 1911 models. Take a look at the Kimber forums it's not an uncommon issue. It's kind of like the uneven recoil spring tunnels in Colts or the loose triggers in S&W 1911s. Maybe you won't see one like that but don't be surprised if you do.

Chevelle SS
August 10, 2012, 10:07 PM
The barrel on my Custom Target II got freckles pretty quick

August 10, 2012, 10:09 PM
I seem to recall all GI Issue 1911's had carbon steel barrels too.

And I seem to remember they would rust too if you neglected to clean them every once and a while.

Course, the penelty was stiffer in the military for letting your weapon rust then it is in civilian life for most kids with rusty Kimber barrels!


August 10, 2012, 10:21 PM
I had a pro carry II for about a year and went through two barrels. Ive had a trp operator for 4 years and still have the original barrel.

August 10, 2012, 10:24 PM
I have a few 1911's and take care of them all the same and the Kimber barrel is the only one that has developed rust spots.

August 10, 2012, 10:25 PM
My frame came pre rusted on my kimber eclipse I removed the grips on it after I bought it. Though the dam gun was made from a 1956 Ford all the rust.

Last Kimber I ever buy Never got a Colt or a CW rusted from factory.

August 11, 2012, 12:37 AM
I have a Kimber Custom TLE/RL and a Ultra CDP. Niether of them has ever shown any rust what so ever. Probably because I clean them after use and keep them lightly oiled. The barrels are carbon steel in the white. No finish other then polished. Knowing this I have always kept an I on them and kept them clean. If they happen to rust it would be my own fault.


August 11, 2012, 07:10 AM
A friend at the gun club had a new Kimber's barrel rust on him. He sent it back to Kimber and they replaced the barrel for him.

August 11, 2012, 07:44 AM
" Even on a stainless gun, the barrel is bare steel "

My 1999 Stainless Gold Match has a bare steel barrel. Bare stainless. The frame and slide are bare stainless, too.

You need to keep metal lubed. The oxygen atmosphere we live in is highly corrosive.


August 11, 2012, 10:07 AM
I haven't heard this but I have seen it.

I was at a Scheels sporting goods store and was looking at a NIB $1300 Kimber. The muzzle had rust on it. I showed it to the clerk and said, "I think I'll pass." He was surprised to see it too.

If I'm paying $1300 for a NIB gun, it better not have any :cuss:'ing rust on it! That soured me to Kimber guns in general, along with the price.

I doubt I'll ever buy a Kimber. JMO

August 11, 2012, 10:28 AM
JohnBT you forgot the rest of the quote! "...with only a couple exceptions." You are absolutely right, the Gold Match does have a stainless steel barrel. By contrast, the Kimber Stainless II does not. It has a bare steel barrel.

August 11, 2012, 10:51 AM
Oil, on a rag, sitting on the safe, seems to prevent these things from happening for me. Also not handling the gun much after it has been put away.I keep a little box full of dessicant, like 10 bucks on ebay, that seems to do the trick.

August 11, 2012, 11:34 AM
Get some Breakfree Collector. A coat of this oil will protect from rust in outside storage for 5 years. CLP works really good also but the Collector is better. Just a thin coat applied with an artist's brush will protect it. The brush can get into and under safety levers and crevices. Every time anyone handles it brush some oil on it.

October 6, 2012, 07:35 AM
just use a little flitz polish, then oil it up and you will be fine:)

October 6, 2012, 08:00 AM
I have a kimber classic stainless target (pre II series) Iv had it since about 1998, the barrel has no rust. but I also keep my guns well oiled/greased/waxed.

October 6, 2012, 06:23 PM
4140 isn't really a carbon steel. It's a chrome moly alloy with about .4% carbon.
The major alloying elements are chromium, manganese, and molybdenum.
That said, yes, it rusts more easily than stainless steel. I wipe my barrels with a thin film of Break Free LP. The only barrel I've had rust is on my Kel Tec P3AT. I'd been pocket carrying it in the summer and the denim of my jeans had rubbed off the oil. I got a tiny bit of browning starting on the barrel hood. I cleaned it off and made sure it was wiped down everytime I carried it.

October 6, 2012, 08:29 PM
Some products are less tolerant to abuse than others.

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