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Is Kimber having quality issues lately?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Duramaximum, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. Duramaximum

    Duramaximum Member

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    I was recently in a local gun store talking to the owner. I was considering putting my 10mm Witness up for consignment because I wanted to consolidate some guns into a Kimber Custom II, and so I asked if he could order one in.

    He told me Kimber has been having a lot of quality issues lately and their customer service department has told him to take a hike when a customer has an issue. That said, he no longer orders Kimbers.

    What have you guys heard?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  2. Kruzr

    Kruzr Member

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    Sounds like a dealer who isn't a Kimber Master Dealer and knows he can't compete in pricing with those who are.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I would be a bit uneasy. Kimber has won several polls on this forum on who makes the most toublesome gun and/or has the worst customer service afterwards. Suposedly the customer service may (or may not) have improved, but if I were you I'd use the search feature (center/right near top of page) and the key word "Kimber" and see what you find.

    I will say this: Whoever dreams up the names for their various models must have a teenage mentality and has been spending much too much time playing computer/video games... :D
     
  4. jocko

    jocko Member

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    Have to agree with Kruzr here. go ask a high dollar watch dealer who doesn't sell Rolex's why he doesn't and you will get answers that blow your mind...
     
  5. R12GS

    R12GS Member

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    I've been hearing this for the past 3 years, I don't think its really of all that recent. It seems that Kimber decided to skip the QC inpection part and just release items onto the buyer.
     
  6. bpl

    bpl Member

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    Some say yes, they are having QC issues lately. Others say, yeh, they put out some duds, but at no higher rate than anyone else and since they sell so many more pistols than anyone else you hear about the duds more often. I had some problems with my Tactical Pro II initially and they sent me some parts which seem to have corrected the problem, although I've only put 200-250rnds through it since. I bought a Colt XSE which I like better and I have been shooting that almost exclusively now.
     
  7. flyboy1788

    flyboy1788 Member

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    I have read plenty of **** this past year saying kimbers recent QC has been piss poor, and I have also talked to people who have kimbers with problems, so I will have to disagree about the dealer being tool. I think there is definately some legitimacy to this issue.
     
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Not having any problems with my 3 month old Kimber UCC II...With over a 1,000 rounds through it.

    And my Kimber authorized dealer takes good care of me...
     
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    The Kimber quality issues seemed to be a backlash of their insanely fast-growing popularity, some years back. They went from being Da Shiznit to being the paraiahs of the industry in a big way. Not all of it was undeserved; they clearly struggled to find a good MIM house with appropriate QA/QC. They were, as far as I can tell, among the earlier adopters of MIM parts for much of their pistol's insides, and that caused them much grief both in terms of silly amounts of small part breakages and in terms of market affinity/trust.

    But that was a number of years back and as far as I know, their current offerings are as solid as any other 1911 clone mass producer in their price range. I also have heard of no serious issues with their Customer Service/post-sale support.
     
  10. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    A good deal of what you may have heard might be coming out of this thread on the 10-8 forum from late in 2007 discussing the problems several well known 1911 'smiths have seen with Kimber Warriors.

    Personally, I've owned two Kimbers along the way (sold one, still have the other) and not had any problems with either that were not magazine related. However, both my pistols were purchased a few years ago (both '05 production, I think) and I never ran either of them through a high round count class or otherwise really demanding training. For range sessions up to around 150-200 rounds in one go, they both run well, though.

    So, I don't know if this is a problem that has cropped up since I bought mine, if it's something I might see if I ran my pistol harder, or if it's a QC issue and I got lucky while other people haven't (reading the link provided, I suspect some of all three is the case). Given that the link above involves reputable gunsmiths who are expressing opinions I would tend to put more weight in that thread than in most internet praise/criticism sort of threads.

    Don't get me wrong -- I'm quite happy with the two Kimbers I've owned. I don't know if I'd purchase another one at this point, however, if I were looking for an out-of-the-box street carry gun, in light of the criticism they've drawn.

    I think in some people's eyes they've yet to live down their debacle with their external extractor models, as well.

    If I remember right, my former local gun store owner was looking at losing his Master Dealer status because Kimber changed their rules on requirements. He sold a good number of their pistols, but their rifles did not move well at all in his store, and their revised requirements from a couple years back was that you had to order a bunch of their rifles to keep your status.
     
  11. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    There are a great many firms that have decided they are not going to worry about QC because of cost and just fix the lemons that make it through because in the end it will cost less.

    Kind of reminds me of Ford Pintos.

    Its happeining today with Remingtons. It was happening with Smith and Wesson for awhile but they are back on track now.
     
  12. mcwjr13

    mcwjr13 Member

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    I sold one of my kimber's because of "quality control".
     
  13. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    My Kimber stainless is the most accurate single shot, rusting POS I own. :cuss:
     
  14. varoadking

    varoadking Member

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    Please elaborate on the current Remington QC issues, and those Smith has experienced.
     
  15. outerlimit

    outerlimit Member

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    Lately? Kimber has for many years now.

    If you bought a NIB pre-series II and replaced most of the small parts you will have a pretty solid gun. Of course that would probably run you about the cost of a nice Wilson Combat, and you could have a Colt series 80 for less, so why bother?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  16. StorkPatrol

    StorkPatrol Member

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    My Kimber jams. I can't speak for every Kimber sold in the last 3 years, but I can speak for one.
    --Stork
     
  17. StorkPatrol

    StorkPatrol Member

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    sorry, double post.
     
  18. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

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    Imo, yes, they ARE having QC problems.

    Kimber extractors are the biggest cause for concern from most accounts I have read. The external extractors caused so many problems that the company will generally just replace the slide with an internal extractor, rather than "fix" the external.

    The internal extractors come out of the factory not QC'd for proper tension and are tooooo tight, causing feed and return to battery issues.

    My mag release was not properly QC'd out of the factory causing the mags to hang from time to time and required some final tuning with a file.

    Most of what I have read, and what I personally experienced, are a result of these minor issues that SHOULD be caught in a decent QC process. They seem to do O.K. with the large components, frame, barrel, slide, but the final fitting QC seems to be an issue.
     
  19. swwyo

    swwyo Member

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    Not saying anything good or bad, but when you talk about making a 1911, its a handgun that needs skilled hands to fit it. I can only wonder when Kimber's popularity went through the roof, and they increased production to keep up with demand, if maybe they had a labor shortage on skilled hands.
     
  20. Ken Rainey

    Ken Rainey Member

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    I think the main reason they got so much negative press was due to the series II pistols that came out with the external extractors. Since they went back to internal extractors there seems to be less complaints. There's an occassional complaint about the series II firing pin safety system and MIM parts, but even those complaints seem to be less than they were.

    Yep, I think that if they would have stuck with the pre series II configuration and quality that they would have saved themselves a lot of grief.

    I have three pre series II full size pistols that run fine, the first one of them I bought was back in '97 and it has ran like a top, but after owning it for several years and never having to fix anything, I got to thinking I needed to learn how to replace parts if I ever needed to, so, I used it to learn how to fit replacement parts and even got cousin 'Tuner to put the finishing touches on it = all parts don't drop in and work, some fitting is required! :uhoh: The other two are pure stock...well, one has been converted to .22 by way of Kimber's conversion kit for the ultimate in low cost practice, training, and varmit control. In Kimber's defense, when I found out that they had changed the barrel bushings from MIM to forged, a simple email to Dennis got me new ones for each of my pistols at no charge...:)

    I did acquire a series II Ultra Eclipse model a couple of years ago from a friend who bought it and less than a box of cartridges later decided he wanted to get into the .38 super caliber and sold it to me for a good price. It was a disappointment to see a pistol that came from the "Custom Shop" with so many ill fitted parts...I had to tune the extractor, smooth the frame's feed ramp, adjust the slide stop, fit a wider firing pin stop and smooth an edge on the side of the barrel's throat to get it to run..:cuss:

    I did email Dennis and let him know what had to be done and the serial number so that he could track down the one(s) who assembled it and hopefully improve the QC...:scrutiny:

    If I had not known what to look for as it presented it's malfunctions and was having to send it back to the factory to be fixed, I would have been even more disappointed...even the barrel had what appeared to be some type of corrosion on it in places, it mostly polished out but still, for a not so inexpensive pistol from a "Custom Shop" it was surprising to see...If I'd have been the one buying it for the first time and racked the slide back and saw that, I would have pointed it out to the dealer and moved on to the next one. I do believe that Dennis would have made it right if I had sent it to him to be fixed...I'm just glad that I've learned enough to have been able to do it myself...Yet, even after having to do the final fitting and smoothing of the parts just to get it to run...I guess, that like my full sized " 'Tunerized" pistol, I've sort of bonded with the little short stroker...dang thang is an amazingly accurate little fella...:D
     
  21. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I hope to have better results than some here have. I just picked up a Warrior in a trade deal. The gun appears to be in very good condition but I can see it has had a few rounds down the pipe. The overall fit and finish on the gun is very acceptable and I love the looks. I'll try to get out tomorrow and put a few rounds through it to see how she performs.
     
  22. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Only for the last 10 years or so. I am a slow learner, I suppose. I think I owned 4 Kimbers before I finally wised up and moved on. The only thing worse than the Kimber 1911's is the unbelievely shatty customer service they have. I mean this is the worst customer service for any product I have ever owned. If I won a Kimber in a free raffle, I would sell it just as soon as I could find someone who would buy it. I would rather defend myself with a board with a nail in the end of it than a Kimber.
     
  23. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I was going to say we were having this conversation 9 or 10 years ago about the time I bought a Stainless Gold Match in '99. Great gun.

    As far as Kimber customer service, I called them once about 3 years after buying the gun. The nut on the windage screw flew off one day and disappeared, so I called to see about buying a new one. The guy said no charge and when the package arrived I had me a brand new complete rear sight. :confused:

    John
     
  24. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    Kimber QC problems are nothing new. I got my one and only Kimber back in the late 90's. In the 5 months I owned it, the Kimber repair shop had it more than I did. Finally got my money back from the dealer and bought a Springfield. I still have it. Now I shoot Brileys. I have a friend who shoots a Kimber in competition. After 20,000 rounds his gun is totally worn out. When he shoots my Briley I have to wipe off the drool when he is through.
     
  25. mothergoose

    mothergoose Member

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    One of mine works great, one didn't. The one that didn't took a trip back to Kimber and they fixed it. It was quick and easy so no complaints about the CS.

    My dad owns two and both are flawless. Maybe we got lucky, but I love mine.
     
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