Kimber opinions

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

  1. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Well, I've only owned eight or nine Kimbers over the last 15 years or so, but...what do I know?

    I think I have owned 5 or so 3" (that are supposed to be the most troublesome). I currently have one and my wife has one.

    Of the 4", I can recall 2 or 3. One is a Kimber Eclipse Pro II, steel 1911 that is the highest round count pistol I own. Had it for almost 15 years, carried it for a number of years, shot it at multiple steel matches and a whole bunch of sessions at the range.
    Still one of the five pistols I will never let go of.

    For 5", in general those are my least favorite 1911s, but I owned an Eclipse that was just fine and a stainless pre-Series II a long time ago, sold it to a friend and wish I'd kept it, but he won't sell it back to me.

    That did not keep me from buying a new Target LW for my nephew in SC this Christmas as his first 1911. He had visited me in TX about 3 years ago and liked my 4" Eclipse. I couldn't find one just like it, but I am pretty sure the one I bought him will suit him well.

    I have owned more than 25 1911s over the years, from many manufacturers. Owned cheap ones, mid-range ones, higher-end ones. Currently 2 Kimbers, 2 S&Ws, one DW and one Les Baer.
     
  2. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Screenshot_20210226-194507.png This started life as a custom II but now has a Delta Elite ignition hand fit and polished including the ring hammer. No MIM
     
  3. Llew Taranau

    Llew Taranau Member

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    I had a Custom Classic II in stainless. Put literally 1000s of rounds through it with no problems once I threw away the Kimber mags and replaced them with Wilson 47Ds. Ate whatever I fed it: Blazer aluminum, cheapo FMJ, original Hydra Shoks... Carried it every day for a long time, despite the size and weight. When I sold it (long story), I missed it enough to buy a new Custom LW earlier this month. Will get to the range soon to break it in. I considered one of their small 9mm carry guns as well but went with a doublestack (P365) instead.

    Short answer: find one you like, it's almost sure that you'll be happy.
     
  4. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Someone say Pro Carry???

    L is my Pro Eclipse II, R is my Pro Carry II... the Eclipse has the Schwarz safety, the PCII does not. Can't tell the difference when I'm shooting them...

    RjHHcJwl.jpg
     
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  5. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I have owned a a Pro Carry II for about five years. The first 200 rounds were iffy but as it began to settle in things improved. By 200 rounds the pistol was behaving normally except it would sometimes fail to go to battery on the first round. At the time being new to 1911s some of that may have been my fault (and I am still new at them). I read on the www that it was recommended with the 4 inch models to go to a Wolf spring, which I did and since that time there have been no further issues. It just runs. I just bought another Kimber in a Stainless II full size and I have not shot it yet. But, I field stripped it for inspection and cleaning, it is perfect inside and out. It is a production gun, not a $3,000 dollar custom. I have since this photo reinstalled the rosewood grips to my Pro Carry II so they match, the G10 grips bit my hands unless I wore gloves. And, just saying, I was a professional mechanic at one time in my life, my hands are not soft, they can dull a knife blade ;) :

    IMG-2265.jpg

    I am a 1911 non-expert. But I like my Kimbers and my Kimber Hunter 6.5CM is one heck of a shooter BTW. The Pro Carry was very tight when new, the Stainless II may be tighter. As to finish wear I hear about, my Pro Carry is blued steel though the alloy frame is some sort of finish that seems decent enough, the Stainless II, well it is stainless steel, there is no finish.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  6. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I have three 1911's. A 45acp Kimber Tactical Pro, a 45acp Colt Wiley Clapp Government, and recently a Dan Wesson 9mm Vigil Commander. The Kimber is not a very good gun compared to the other two. It was my first 1911. It's stuffed in a drawer somewhere. The finish didn't hold up on it and I have had far more problems with the Kimber @ 15K rounds than I have had with the Colt @ 27K rounds. I will never buy another Kimber 1911.

    I am not a Kimber hater. I have a Clackamas Model 84 and Clackamas Model 82 that are worth their weight in gold to me.
     
  7. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    For clarity, and for those that may be doing research, it is a Swartz firing pin safety. It is named after the man that invented it.

    Unless you removed it, or there is a typo in your above post, all Kimber's with the "II" designation have a Swartz style firing pin safety. That is what the "II" designation indicates in the Kimber line-up, the presence of a firing pin safety.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    May the Swartz be with you...

    ...and you are right... my Pro Carry is not a II, and is simply rollmarked Pro Carry.

    Learn something new every day... ;)
     
  9. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    I had a very early Desert Warrior that would not run. FTF, FTE, failure to go into battery, you name it. I sent I back to Kimber three times and they said they could find nothing wrong with it. Having shot 1911s for almost 30 years now it couldn’t have been me. Sold it, moved on.

    I now have a TLE in their Commander version, 4” barrel and full rail. Shoots fine.
     
  10. Coyote3855
    • Contributing Member

    Coyote3855 Contributing Member

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    I have half a dozen 1911s including a couple with thousands of rounds in IPSC competition. About a year ago, I got my first Kimber, a stainless lightweight base model, when it was on sale at Sportsmans Warehouse for $599. It has been without a single malfunction with either factory 230 FMJ or my 200 SWC reloads. Can't say that for the custom Springfield or the Caspian 2011.

    No issues with the factory magazines although I prefer Wilson 47d for carry.
     
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  11. JDR

    JDR Member

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    Not my place to tell anyone how they should use or not use their 1911. If you buy a Kimber and it fulfills your needs and you’re happy with it then that’s all that’s important. The only person you have to please is yourself.
     
  12. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I just returned from the range with my new Kimber Stainless II and my Pro Carry II. Both went through 50 rounds each, all I could spare, without a hiccup. I remain impressed with the accuracy of my Pro Carry and my new Stainless II is right there also. It is super tight but did not miss a beat:

    IMG-2272.jpg

    I know guys with Kimbers with thousands upon thousands of rounds through them. In my thread (that I was not through with that got closed for some reason, I was going to add in a detail teardown and inspection) where I wanted to compare mid level production guns, that is what these are, they are not $3,000 custom guns. Certainly there are compromises in Ruger SR1911 and Rock Islands and Sigs and yes Kimbers as well or they would also cost $3,000 but I doubt longevity is one of them to any significant extent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  13. RobClarkeRVA

    RobClarkeRVA Member

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    TLE Custom II here working and feeding fine with Wilson 47D magazines
     
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  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Start a new one on the detail strip and evaluation of them, I’d certainly be interested in your impressions on how the Kimber stacks up with the others... and I’m sure I’m not alone :thumbup:.

    Stay safe.
     
  15. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I will try and get around to it but since my thread was closed because I mentioned coatings (?), well, I have already stripped, cleaned and put her away. Thus I did not photo document as a result as I had originally intended since my thread got closed. Maybe next time I dig into it :( .

    I did not find a single burr or cutting remnant. Everything, especially the rails and mating surfaces were well machined and very clean. The pistol did not really need to be field stripped before shooting nor detail stripped afterwards, I just always do that with a new gun because sometimes I never know what I can find hiding in them. I did not expect to find any substandard work or need for deburring and I was pleased to confirm that. I would expect mating/working surfaces to be smooth and clean but in lesser quality firearms I often find noncritical surfaces less than perfect, this is not the case here, everything is nicely finished off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  16. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    I bought a Custom II for my first 1911 which had blacked out front and rear sights. I didn't care for that, but the thing ran, and ran.

    A lot of people don't like Kimber, but to me their basic Custom II, Pro Carry, and Ultra models are good guns for the money. I detail stripped my Ultra Carry 9mm once, couldn't believe how nice the CNC machining is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  17. SRSTAdam21

    SRSTAdam21 Member

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    I haven't had any issues. I have over 20 1911's and several Kimbers. They are fine guns. Have shot well. Look good. I know what they are. Dan Wesson they are not. Wilson they are not.

    Y6MJ40l.jpg

    iJv8j4D.jpg
     
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  18. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Are not the Dan Wesson 1911s built on a cast frame or where? The Kimber is either forged stainless, forged steel or billet aluminum alloy with a forged slide of steel or stainless depending on model. I think the Ruger is cast frame (investment molded) and the Sig is cast frame as well if I am correct? Hard to ferret some of this out.

    Edit to add, I see that the DW are stated as forged now, not sure about in the pre CZ era. It is confusing. And to make it worse, MIM and investment casting can be superior to forging so even that is not without a need for better understanding of modern technology. Just because JMB did not foresee MIM does not mean he would disapprove of it where it fits.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  19. HiDive

    HiDive Member

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    Yeah I know it's the Schwartz and I don't like it. Avoid it at all costs.

    schwartz-M.jpg
     
  20. Jeff62

    Jeff62 Member

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    I have a Custom II that I shoot 400 Cor Bon with. It’s great. I removed the firing pin safety.
    I also removed the Swartz from my Gold Cup Trophy. I found a vendor on E Bay selling a spacer that installs beside the disconnector. A small washer would likely work too.
     
  21. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    A 200 round break in, is a deal breaker.
    I will stick to my CZ's
     
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  22. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    At one time Kimber offered their basic Custom II with the traditional internal extractor. That gun never gave any issues. Their higher end guns were designed with a modern external extractor. Those were the guns that had issues and are the cause of most of the Kimber hate. I've never heard of a single issue with the basic Custom II pistols, mine has been perfect.

    Done right there is nothing wrong with an external extractor. S&W 1911's use them as do most all other pistols. But for whatever reason Kimber didn't figure out how to make an external extractor work with their 1911's. They have since moved to the more traditional internal extractor on all of their guns and I've not heard of any issues since. But the reputation of unreliable and overpriced guns persists.

    Of the 1911's I've owned I like the Smith's the best even with the non-traditional extractor. But I'd not hesitate to buy a new Kimber. I would avoid an older Kimber with the external extractor
     
  23. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    You dont shoot any gun past 200 rounds? :neener:

    Or is it your assumption that there will be issues within the specic #?

    I have owned quite a few guns with "break-in periods" in the manual.. None of which required anything special.

    I do own 1 Kimber, it's not a 1911 style gun, and I have zero clue what the manual states regarding break-in.
     
  24. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I don't know if these are intentional errors for the sake of humor, but since knowledge is important and folks come to forums to learn...
    It is still Swartz

    A Colt Gold Cup Trophy would not have a Swartz firing pin safety, but it may have come with a Series 80 firing pin safety.
     
  25. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Last year, I was at Academy and there was a Shimano rod and reel combo on sale dirt cheap. I grabbed it. This was an excuse to go bank (casting) for bass at a borrow pond not too far from my home. This pond is stocked for public fishing. I was there alone save for my Kimber Pro Carry and I had it open carry, it was cool out so I had a light coat over. Oh, in a bit two odd fellers showed up (in a beat up, clapped out vehicle) and my sixth sense began red flagging them. They milled about, casting (pun) a look my way once in a while. I moved to another spot, they moved closer, they did not seem to be doing much fishing. Within another move they were close enough I asked them if they planned to fish with me and I purposely leaned over such that my Kimber was clearly visible. They sort of went on back where they came from, milled around some and then left. I never once asked myself if the 200 round break-in or the Swartz safety were a problem, the fellers did not seem to mind.

    Being a non-expert, I watched all of the "expert" videos and most seem to claim that all 1911s need a break-in and the Swartz safety seems transparent enough. It is operated from the grip safety so does not cause trigger pull increase or stack and it has been 100% invisible to operation. Seems like a non-issue made an issue only because JMB did not include it in the pistol revealed to him by God to ensure America's Manifest Destiny. If it bothers a soul, just take it out.
     
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