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Colt VS. Kimber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ohio58, Aug 28, 2010.

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  1. ohio58

    ohio58 Member

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    I have been thinking about a new 1911. I have been to the gun store 3 times now. I cant make up my mind on either a Colt Government series 80 or a Kimber Custom 2, both are brand new pistols. Your opinions on these 2 guns would be very helpful. Also, how does Colt & Kimber's service department compair? Thanks
     
  2. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    I have the Kimber and I would definitely recommend it... give it time and you will have someone pop up and talk about how Kimbers have a reputation for jamming and their customer service sucks... well, I do not disagree about their customer service, but i have never had to deal with them... BUT, they are made with tight tolerances and specify a break in period so dont give up on it if it jams a bit out of the box, it just has to break in...


    As to Colts, If you can find a used one... GO FOR IT.. but I would stay away from their new production anything as every example of their new guns(that i have seen) has been horrible in every way.
     
  3. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    I picked up a new Colt stainless Combat Commander (1991a1) last year and have been extremely happy with it. Can't speak to Colt's service since I've had no need to use it for anything.

    No breakin needed - it shot 100% reliably right out if the box.
     
  4. G27RR

    G27RR Member

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    In my experience, the two recent Colts I bought have been 100pct right out of the box. The Kimber Super Carry Pro still has issues chambering even after a 700 round break-in period. So, I would go with Colt. They both cost less than my Kimber, run much better and the Colt Combat Elite is quite nicely finished, too. My other Colt is the Defender.

    If you're not tied down to those two, I also highly recommend STI. I have a pair of Ranger IIs and my CCW is a Shadow.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I've had Kimbers that had fit problems and others where the parts were out of spec, but it looked very cool and had a lot of features. Their Warrior series seemed to have the least issues.

    I've had Colts and found that it was common for them to be more loosely fitted and to have non-uniform contours (the gunsmith who was building on it re-lined it for me). Mine also had a slide that had been bored, for the barrel/bushing, off center.

    If you are looking for a gun to retain it's value, I'd go with the Colt. For a gun with lots of features, I'd look at a Kimber.

    Neither would be high on my recommendation list
     
  6. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    What's a used modern Colt go for, anyway? LGS has a stainless Mark IV Series 80 tagged at $800. Very clean and pretty but with an idiot scratch. Keep in mind this is in Mass so it's from before 1998 and not normally available in this state.
     
  7. ohio58

    ohio58 Member

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    I read somewhere that LAPD S.W.A.T changed over to Kimber Custom 2 in 2002. Im wondering if they are still using it..today ?
     
  8. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    I believe the Colt has fewer MIM parts, so that would narrow that right down for me.
     
  9. Strahley

    Strahley Member

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    Colt, not even a contest for me
     
  10. ttheel

    ttheel Member

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    9mmepiphany....just curious, what 1911 manufacturer would you recommend for a standard production gun(not custom)?
     
  11. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    I have three .45's in the 1911 variety. My first was custom built using a Caspian frame and slide. I had it built specifically for bullseye competition. It is a complete work of art. It is more accurate and tighter fit than most anything you could ever buy commercially. It is not a defensive pistol, but is still my own benchmark by which I judge other 1911's.

    Eventually, I wanted another 1911 that I could use for shooting full power loads and home defense. I bought a pretty plain jane Kimber Royal II. After getting it home, I found I became dissatified with the frame to slide fit. I sent it back to Kimber and they did tighten the fit. The pistol performed flawlessly. Like alot of 1911's I decided to do some work on it. I switched out the full length guide rod for the traditional GI set, I added a wider safety, installed VZ slim grips, Heine slant pro straight eight night sights and a trigger job. The pistol continues to function flawlessly, is relatively accurate and pretty to look at. However, the workmanship is not in the same league as my Caspian. I don't expect it to be, but both pistols do perform their respective roles well.

    Next I wanted a commander sized 1911. I also wanted the "original" 1911. You know, the one with horsey on the side. I bought the Colt Combat Commander in stainless steel. I have not had any malfunctions with this pistol either. It too is reasonably accurate. Again, I customized this one with a trigger job, Heine night sights, Chip McCormick rosewood thin grips and a Greider extended mag release.

    I am very happy with all of my 1911's. They all serve different roles. They all make me happy.

    As long as you buy a pistol made with a decent frame and slide, just about anything else can be fixed if necessary. I know alot of people will say that you shouldn't have to work on a pistol to get it to perform reliably. Truth is, you will want to add custom features to your pistol (unless of course you start out buying a custum or semi-custom gun). If you gun needs "tuning" which some do, it can be done at this time. I didn't have any functional issues with my Kimber or my Colt. Maybe I was lucky. Granted I wasn't pleased with the Kimber slide to frame fit, but this was remedied by Kimber.

    So after my long winded response, buy the 1911 which suits your needs, your wallet and your eye. As long as the frame and slide are well made (most are from reputable manufacturers), most anything can be fixed and turned into whatever you want it to be, within reason of course!

    CB
     
  12. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Around here you can buy a new stainless 1991 government for $800. I bought one used LNIB a year ago for 5 bills. Got about two thousand rounds thru it without a hiccup. Colt has just updated their machinery and their quality is rumored to be as good as ever. Their customer service is still second to none. They've been around for a few years also.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I consider the Springfield Armory line an excellent value from a barebones GI to my minimum recommendation of a Mil-Spec. The TRP is good mid-level gun if you can't justify the handwork of the Professional (high end production/semi-custom)

    If you start at the mid-level and want a pretty much finished product, I'd highly recommend a Dan Wesson CBOB. With a little trigger work, the change of the slide stop to a tool steel one and some checkering, I think it stands up well to an Ed Brown Kobra Carry for fit and function.

    If you understand the FPS used in the S&W and know how to check it for fit, I have very few reservations in recommending them...and no reservation in recommending one from the Performance Center (but then you're into high end production/ semi-custom level we're trying to avoid)
     
  14. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    I prefere Kimber over Colt.

    Kimber gets their bad rep from MIM, perfectly defective mags, bad springs, and a rough finish on the outside of the barrel and recoil rod. They won't get reliable until you switch to Wilson or Tripp mags, Wolff Recoil spring (18Lb fo 5"), and the right ammo.

    Most give up on Kimbers before that rough finish is even smoothed out on the barrel. Aka: Break-in. My Kimber preferes Federal ammo. Not so much WWB, and hates Rem UMC. It feeds Winchester hollow points well.

    As for the MIM stuff. I cut my safety levers downto fit my hand. It was a pain cutting Kimbers safety with a dremel and a fibre cut off wheel. MIM isn't near as soft as I expected it to be.



    Colt seems even more hit and miss than Kimber. Crooked barrel bushings. A finish as good as a Kimber's, If that Kimber was thrown down the drive way a dozen times. Lame mags.



    I'll recommend you look towardss Dan Wesson, Fusion, or Wilson for 1911's. Wilson or Tripp for 1911 mags.
     
  15. duns

    duns Member

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    I would say Colt. But not the model 80 but the model 70 reissue. The model 80 has more complexity to make it "drop safe". The model 70 is probably drop safe too in most scenarios but they can't claim it to be so because there are some bizarre and rare scenarios where it could fire when dropped.
     
  16. NMPOPS

    NMPOPS Member

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    Neither, go with Springfield. It doesn't have all the series 80 crap.
     
  17. FastMover

    FastMover Member

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    I have had two Kimbers. A plain jane Custom II and a Custom Classic I. The
    1st series Custom Classic has been my go-to gun for all around fun. It eats FMJ,SWC,JHP, and lead without a single hitch. My Custom II would not though. After multiple sessions of trying to get it to realiably feed a JHP, I gave up and sold it.
    My opinion?? I would see if I could find an early Kimber. I paid around 600 for mine. It was gently used and I've done nothing but beat the snot out of it. It can stand a refinish job and a set of night sights but she sure keeps on ticking.


    FYI. I still have a hard on for a Colt XSE. I would snatch one up in a heart beat.
     
  18. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    this.




    :eek:
     
  19. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock Member

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    I would take an STI Spartan or Trojan over either in this price range.
     
  20. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    My custom II is the best handgun I have ever owned, and that includes a Colt 1991. It's is just the most shootable, reliable, and best functioning I have had.
     
  21. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I use 1911s exclusively for range guns. That being the case I prefer Kimbers. The have good features, are nicely fit, and tend to have good triggers. And they tend to be available so that I can inspect the gun before being obligated to buy.

    If I had to carry a 1911 for personal defense, I would prefer a more loosely built Colt.
     
  22. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    Isn't the 1991 a budget version of the Mark IV?
     
  23. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    I had an early Kimber Gold Match that puked at every turn. I sent it back twice and it still wouldn't run. Turned out the chamber was not concentric with the bore so I had the late Brian Bilby fix the gun. I also had a Pro Carry II that ran flawlessly. I sold it when I went to plastic and safe action systems.

    A week ago I picked up a new Pro Ageis. The early 9mm Kimbers had issues, but it seems Kimber has those problems resolved. Before I even shot the gun I removed the firing pin safety system, did a trigger job, and desensitized the grip safety. The pistol has digested about 400 rounds of mixed ammo without a hiccup. Some of the stuff that it has fed is pretty low quality reloads. The gun is also very accurate, as is the Kimber .22 conversion that I purchased.

    I see a lot of Kimbers in my travels to IDPA and USPSA matches. Like any brand, some run like the Energizer bunny, some barf on a regular basis.

    I can't speak to the newer Colts, but I had a 1970's era Gold Cup that wouldn't feed anything but ball ammo. I also had a lightweight Commander that ran flawlessly.
     
  24. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I say Colt They use much better parts than the MIM Kimber uses. . I owned a Kimber and traded it . Their fireing pin safety is a night mare. A good friend has broken twice Was 6 mo turn around on it last time. My pistol can pre rusted from factory I removed grips and rust city.
    Colt doesn't run they need 500 rounds to break in line either.

    Make mine Colt or Dan Wesson
     
  25. HappyHunting

    HappyHunting Member

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    My colt XSE commander has been flawless with all the crappy ammo I can feed it. The one thing I would do to it is get somebody who knows their way around a dremel to knock the sharpness off the front cocking serrations and the slide. The first time I took it apart I cut the fire out of myself and then got Hoppe's in the wound. Colt draws first blood.
     
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