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Kimber or SW 1911? Can't decide...HELP!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by dougiefreshhh, Jan 9, 2010.

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  1. dougiefreshhh

    dougiefreshhh Member

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    Hi All:
    I know this question ranks up there with mini-14 vs AR, and Mossy vs. 870, but I'm really on the fence here, and would appreciate your long term experience with either of these 1911's...

    I have been struggling over the Compact ES and the CDP II Ultra...any advise/suggestions to include in the decision making process?

    Many thanks in advance, and my apologies if there is an already existing thread on this..

    D
     
  2. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Hard to beat a Smith 1911 for the price. My example was far superior to the SA loaded I had, and as good as my Kimber, but without all the bugs to work out;)
     
  3. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I would say of these two brands I would choose the S&W S&W has best warrebty abd they seem to be a lot less trouble than the Kimbers Bet S&W won't say call back after 500 rounds It ain't broken in yet.
     
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I too, would choose the S&W-solely on the account of price~!
    I have a standard 5" stainless SW1911 (product code #108282)
    bone stock, that shoots as good as my Les Baer Thunder Ranch
    Special. I prefer to shoot it, over the Baer because of the Novak
    three dot sights~! :uhoh: ;)
     
  5. mbr

    mbr Member

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    I have two S&W 1911's, and have had no trouble out of either one of them. Nicely finished, no sharp edges, 100% reliable so far. Some will decry the "Swartz safety," and MIM parts, but I have had no trouble with either. I haven't had to use it, but S&W has a good reputation for customer service, and their pistols are easy to find.
     
  6. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  7. SC_1911Shooter

    SC_1911Shooter Member

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    As a previous Kimber owner...I'd say get the S&W
     
  8. Joshua M.

    Joshua M. Member

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    ...Ouch, SC what was your prob with your Kimber, just wandering, cause I just baught a Ultra CDPII, and hope to not have problems. My Dad has an Ultra Carry II, and hasn't had any problems yet, but guessing he has less than 250 round through it ...
     
  9. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Not to bash Kimber, but my UCII had an out of time firing pin safety, and out of spec slide stop. Both easily fixed, remove the unnessasary junk from under the rear sight, install a new slide stop. The Kimber FPB system, puts, extra spring tension on the grip safety(You can feel a second stage of pressure 1/2 way in its travel) If you don't compleately press it in, the hammer will fall on the blocked firing pin(BAD) Kimber will fix these problems for you, but what a PITA! If S&W would have had their compact when I was shopping for my UCII, I would have gone that route.(Knowing what I know now):)

    The click no bang, only happened durring drawing exercises, when I didn't get an optimal grip on the weapon. But.....The two safetys should be timed together, giving me a no clicky if I don't get a perfect grip. Removing the FP plunger and spring, has lightened the otherwise heavy grip safety, to a nice light push.
     
  10. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    hiding in your bushes
  11. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Great success Comrade!
     
  12. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    [​IMG]

    nice looking 1911 there reaper. i see all the wilson bulletproof parts on there. great setup there :)
     
  13. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Thank you! Here's the parts list.
     
  14. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    Until Kimber gets their quality act together they won't get another dime of my money. I would buy a used Kimber if I could shoot it and disassemble it before I bought it..........but no more new Kimbers for me at this time.
     
  15. L-2

    L-2 Member

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    I'm a 3 Kimber owner and I'd also consider the S&W from your two choices. I believe the S&W uses a standard barrel bushing which I like for ease of assembly in the original way the 1911 was designed.

    Caveat: I currently don't own a S&W 1911, but have heard very good things about them, IF you don't mind its external extractor (EE) and, I believe S&W also has its version of a firing pin safety. I've also heard no probs w/S&W's EE.

    Of my three Kimbers, two needed work at excess break-in/test ammo cost and time; going without, while they were fixed. My main Kimber problems, while minor in the long run as the pistols are great now, were mis-fitted or out of spec slide stops; and one of the guns going full-auto within the second mag through the gun. My Series II safety which is on one of them was also re-timed to activate a bit sooner to ensure the firing pin safety was already deactivated before the hammer would drop. I never did get a click instead of a bang with that gun, however.

    For me, I usually carry a full size, steel framed 1911, usually with the built-in Picatinny rail and models with no firing pin safeties. When I prefer to go lighter weight, I switch over to my Glocks.
     
  16. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    I too own a Kimber

    Two Tauri and, as of yesterday, a Spingfield Armory. I vote for the ES. If I had the money that is the gun I would have bought.
     
  17. sigbear

    sigbear Member

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    I don't own nor have I ever fired a Kimber, however, I have read many negative post and reviews about them. I bought a new S&W 1911, SS, 5" brl. a month ago and only have 400 rounds through it without a hitch, so, I can only say that so far so good. This is by far the most accurate handgun I have ever owned.

    I think this review says it all, good luck.

    http://www.gunblast.com/SW1911.htm

    Sigbear
     
  18. nearlynormalmike

    nearlynormalmike Member

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    I own both. Issues unfortunately with both.

    If could keep only one it would definitely be the Smith. I can't verbalize it, but Smith just feels better to me, Your mileage may vary.

    My 0.02 cent worth, now however only worth 0.002 cents.
     
  19. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Here's another vote for the S&W. Never owned a Kimber - largely because their marketing has exceeded their value for a long time, IMO. Over-hyped and over-priced. That's based on the experience of a couple Kimber owners I knew.

    After a lot of research, I bought a S&W 1911 PD. Accurate as all get-out. Well-made, great finish. Nothing not to like.
     
  20. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Unanimous thread is unanimous.
     
  21. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    No doubt SW can crank out a great 1911 so buy what you buy and run what you brung but why is an almost 2.5 year old thread from another website the "end all" when it comes to opinions on Kimber? Has time stopped?
     
  22. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Unfortunately no, They have gotten worse.
     
  23. Babalouie

    Babalouie Member

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    Here's my Smith. She's a honey and has been flawless.
    [​IMG]

    I bobtailed her for carry and put some pretty controls on her.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    S&W all the way. From the $800 version to the Performance Center models, I would go with the Smith over the same priced Kimber.
     
  25. SC_1911Shooter

    SC_1911Shooter Member

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    Joshua, To answer your question (somewhat) quickly...Let me preface by saying that my Kimber (Pro CDP II) was a very accurate pistol....But when I first got it, I experienced the slide locking back with rounds still in the magazine. This was my 1st 1911 and was JUST learning about them, etc...so I really didn't know how to diagnose issues, etc.

    So I call them up and they ask me if I had put...I forget, maybe it was 300 or 500 rounds through the pistol first. I say "Uh...no, maybe 100-150...but..." They tell me that there's a "break-in" period and to first do that. I'm thinking jeez...so that's about $200 or so worth of ammo for "break-in"...now that brings me up into a different "tier" of 1911 which would probably be better built and run right out of the box, etc (read: Dan Wesson, which is what I originally placed the order for).

    So, I run the suggested ammo through it...same issue over and over. I call them up, tell them it didn't go away...and they say "Oh yeah, it's a common issue, let us send you a 'revised' slide stop lever".....***?! KNOWN ISSUE? I JUST CALLED YOU 2 WEEKS AGO AND YOU GAVE ME THE CANNED RESPONSE OF "RUN MORE AMMO THROUGH IT". So they send me the revised slide stop which had a bit of filing/stoning on the profile...I install it and presto...everything runs like a top.

    So then, as I'm learning more about 1911's...I get into the whole MIM parts thing. Now....did I have any MIM parts break? No...but I would rather NOT have them, than have them..period. That's just me. In addition, I come to find out that the mainspring housing on the CDP is made of plastic...***. So I order a new steel one from Kimber ($75...so now, with "break-in" ammo...and the cost of the pistol, we're now up to $1,350), which required a bit of stoning to get it fit properly...not an issue. The one that comes out is totally plastic junk, like a lego piece. Then, as I'm looking at the thing, I notice that my beavertail grip, also an MIM part...still has the little circle on it that was made when it was poured into the MIM mold. Just as though it was a piece from a model set I had as a kid...THIS for a 1911 that lists for $1,300? The slidestop lever....MIM....the hammer...MIM....the thumb safety....MIM....grip safety...MIM.

    Then I decide to switch from a Glock 34, in IDPA....to a 1911. So I purchase a (cheaper) STI Trojan, just to use for IDPA, thinking it'll get banged up a bit, etc. I get it and the quality is SO much better than the Kimber (IMO)...the slide is like it's on ball bearings.....the general build quality is just better. Thousands of rounds later, it has never hiccuped a single time. (Granted, the MSH is also plastic on it...although I've replaced that with a oversized MSH/Magwell in its place).

    Then, I decide to order a Fusion...built to my specs...This is when Fusion FIRST started building and their prices were just a bit cheaper than they are now and were only a couple/few hundred bucks more than what I initally paid for that Kimber. Well, once I got that thing...it became pretty evident what a POS the Kimber was for what I paid for it, which is why I sold it the same week of getting my 1st Fusion. It was embarassing. The Fusion is an absolute tack-driver accuracy-wise, and the build quality, is just in another universe. I have 2 now, hundreds of rounds through them...never a single failure of any kind whatsoever.

    I guess something has to pay for all those Kimber magazine ads you see 3 examples of in every magazine. They just pass the cost along to the consumer, and the thanks you get are parts that are just a step down quality-wise, IMO.

    That's been my experience w/them. Take it FWIW...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
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