Kimber opinions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JCSC, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. JCSC

    JCSC Member

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    Any good or bad thoughts on kimbers line of 1911 custom II 45s? They are cheap by kimber standards and I really want my first 1911.
     
  2. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Can't find the can of worms emoji.

    There's a lot of love and hate for Kimber 1911s. I am unfamiliar with the Custom II model except by online visual and it looks very nice indeed. My limited experience of Kimber consists of a secondhand Team Match II in 38 Super. Flawless, accurate, fun, handsome. Based on my limited experience, I would spin the Kimber wheel again.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    OP, look, it's de rigueur on some forums to routinely bash Kimber's 1911s.

    This is the internet. When discussing certain manufacturers, best to understand signal to noise ratio.

    I like my Kimber series II pistols. So do many of us here in this forum. I've owned the Eclipse, CDP Pro, Tactical Pro, Custom TLE ii and they've all been great 1911s, both in terms of reliability, accuracy and good looks.

    As one's first 1911, not a bad choice at all. Frankly, a Kimber at the same price point of a comparable Colt will give you a checkered front-strap, ambi-safety and nice MeproLight night sights -- the Colt won't have those features. The Kimber may be tighter and have smoother edges.

    Your call.
     
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  4. HiDive

    HiDive Member

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    I used to own two Kimber 1911, a CDPII and a Raptor. They were OK for series 80 pistols but nothing exceptional and maybe a bit pricey. Since then I have gone to a Wilson Combat CQB Elite and a Springfield Armory TRP Tactical Operator and either of them shoot quite a bit better than the Kimbers. On an unrelated point, if you can get hands on a Kimber 22LR bolt action silhouette hunter rifle, it is a keeper.
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    The value in the Kimber line-up is at the Custom II and the TLE II models. All Kimber's are assembled with the same level of parts quality and care. The only thing separating the $800 Kimber and the $1,500 Kimber is usually "bling". If choosing a Kimber, the Custom II or TLE II would be good choices.

    For clarity, Kimber doesn't use a Colt style Series 80 firing pin safety in their guns. They use a variation of the Swartz firing pin safety. Both are firing pin safeties, but they are different designs.

    If I were to pick a Kimber concern area, it is their use of the Swartz system. They are the only maker using this design while the more common Series 80 firing pin safety is used by Colt, SIG, Auto Ordnance, and Taurus.
     
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  6. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    The Kimbers I shoot have never been a problem after at least 1000 rounds. They are accurate and built well imo for their price point. The only issue I had was with a TLE II officer 3". The problem was which defensive ammo was reliable. Of course 1911 style pistols are not big fans of hollow points in the first place. Make it a 3" and it gets trickier. Golden sabres fixed that issue because of their design. Some will bash Kimbers because of problems in the past and they read it on the net. They are not Wilson's but you are not paying for a Wilson...
     
  7. RobClarkeRVA

    RobClarkeRVA Member

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    TLE Custom II here love it new the springs are pretty stout! Got Wilson Mags right away
     
  8. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    They are all the same inside.
     
  9. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    The four that were brought out to our farm range for initial firing had multiple failures to feed & lock back after final round. This was with factory FMJ and HP ammunition.

    Kimber's answer was to shoot them 200-300 rounds for break-in, then call if there are further problems. If buying one for carry, you'd be wise to add that to the sales price to get a reliable gun. Unacceptable customer service in my opinion. They are not custom guns by any means. This was 5-7 years ago so things might have changed. They are pretty guns, with prices to match that support their extensive advertising campaign.

    If I were looking for a good out of the box 1911 with all of the features necessary for a carry piece (and none of the mall-ninja bling), I'd go find a Ruger SR1911 or CMD, or one of the Springfields with comparable features. YMMv Rod
     
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  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I love/hate my Kimber 9mm.
    I love what it is now, my most accurate and easy shooting pistol.
    I hate that they didn't pay much attention to the details like a properly fitted extractor and firing pin stop.
    But I fixed that and now it's a fine shooting target pistol.
    All my hand loads seem to work well, that's my favorite part.
     
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  11. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    That, and that.

    I have 2 Kimber II's (that is, 4" barreled) and they are 100%. I did have problems when one of them was a teenager... started having feeding issues, but I switched to CMC magazines and haven't had that problem since. They are not 'Custom,' but they are fitted pretty well, and generally have some nice parts on them... but they are a production pistol.

    Kimber had some bad QC problems for a while (mid-2000's...) but from the pistols I've handled lately, they seem to have fixed that, with the caveat that what really matters is how the pistol works launching bullets.
     
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  12. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Kimber makes a fine (to me) 1911. Most of their issues are a result of their magazines. I use Wilson 47’s in my Kimbers.
     
  13. JCSC

    JCSC Member

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    Thank you for the info. I want to read a bit more about the safety differences. I guess I was under the perception that 1911’s are almost like ARs, in that many items are interchangeable.

    after a bunch of web surfing it def appears that there is a lot of love hate for them.

    This would not be a daily carry and I would be wasting money on a custom Wilson. This would likely be a gun that sees 500 rds of service in my lifetime, but I feel like everyone should have a 1911.
     
  14. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Kimbers shoot fine, pretty darn accurate too it's just that the basic custom shoots just as good as the up model.
    It's the marketing hype that spoils the soup for me.
     
  15. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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  16. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    I have 14 1911's! 5 are Kimbers, three for EDC, two for pistol games. A 9mm CII 5" that has a zillion rounds down range shooting matches for the last 15 years! The only issues have been ammo, magazine or spring issues which is typical of all 1911's! I'm on the third set of hammers and sears due to wearing the sears out!

    The last one I bought was a CII Two Tone 5", 45 which I just can't say enough good things about. Fit and finish are perfect, function is flawless and shoots to POA! Probably the last 1911 I'll ever buy or sell!

    I'm in the process of down sizing due to age and health issues. I've sold my Colt's and Springfields!
    My most frequent carry piece is a Kimber 9mm, PCII !

    For value and performance you can't go wrong!

    Smiles,
     
  17. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    While most parts are interchangeable, unlike a Glock or an AR, the 1911 is not like a Lego set. The parts don't typically snap into place.

    The old 1911 saying of "there are no drop in parts on a 1911" is usually pretty accurate. Many modifications are better done by a professional gunsmith.
     
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  18. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I really like their Micro 9 pistol, which is the only Kimber I own. I know it’s not one of their 1911’s, but if they put as much into the design, fit and finish of the custom TLE pistols you’re looking at I think you’ll be happy with one. :thumbup:

    2BD2E3E4-0E5E-4CEB-AD55-3B041C722F10.jpeg

    Good luck with your search. If you pick one up, let us know your impressions and how it shoots for you :)

    Stay safe.
     
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  19. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    I have the Kimber .45 ACP UCC II. Had a failure to go to battery a few times in the first 100 rounds. After that it runs flawlessly. I have carried it daily for the last 8 years and practice with it at least twice a week. Absolutely not one hic-up in those 8 years.
     
  20. LoneGoose

    LoneGoose Member

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    I had a Kimber .45. It was well made and functioned flawlessly, except - The thumb safety's detent felt weak to me. In fact, it took very little pressure to take off the safety (more than it took to engage it). After the second time I found it in my holster with the safety bumped off, I sent it to Kimber and explained carefully what my concern was. They sent it back saying nothing was wrong with it. So I sold it.
     
  21. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    My Pro Carry is my primary 1911 carry over the full size.
     
  22. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    The Custom II, Springfield or commensurate Ruger would probably be my new, buy-in gun for a full sized .45.

    I've had very good luck directly and indirectly with all three platforms.

    Sadly, Kimber will never get past lingering dissatisfaction - eternally repeated - with early hot-house-flower guns when they were at the cusp of the *factory custom* trend with a couple other makers back in the day. Most of them were not ready for prime time and some have gotten past it while others continue to be forced to pay for past mistakes.

    Form my experience, though I've dealt with ZERO failures, Kimber has been the easiest to get a guy on the other end of the line to answer questions. For whatever that's worth to you. A lot to me.

    I'm a firm believer in the NASCAR race engine theory of breaking a 1911 in. I buy a can of Wholesale Ammo's cheapest re-loads. Load every 1911 magazine I can find and either I or pals commence to wring that sucker out.

    Kimbers and S.A.s have yet to glitch for me.

    Todd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  23. md7

    md7 Member

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    You could fill a book with what I don’t know about 1911’s. But my limited knowledge and research has led me to SA and Ruger being solid options for production 1911 pistols.

    The signal to noise ratio on Kimber has made it difficult for me to gauge them. Glad to hear your first hand, objective outlook here.

    Good post
     
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  24. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I'm generally not a fan of the looks of "mother-of-pearl" grips but yours are indeed handsome.
     
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  25. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I picked up a Custom LW a while back in 9mm. It's been converted to 38 Super and I was (still am, a little) concerned whether the aluminum frame would take the beating I've been giving it. Somewhere around 2500-3000 rounds of near max and max loads later it's been super reliable. The fit and finish on mine isn't as good as the Sigs I have, but it is the cheapest line Kimber offers AFAIK. I'm not ashamed of it though.
     
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