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kimber vs other 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 2t2 crash, Dec 26, 2004.

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  1. 2t2 crash

    2t2 crash Member

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    okay, so i want a 1911 and honestly, after firing a kimber custom II in .45 (i think that was the one... about a 3lb trigger pull, smooth works and nice shootin) I am really considering it. but the Price is whats got me :what:

    i know i want certain features for mine mainly
    look like original style 1911 (as much as possible)
    i want it parked, rather than in the white.
    nice soft trigger pull.
    and i like sights on my XD (three white circles, two on rear, one on front)

    what do you guys own/recommend?

    (i know its a bit of an off question, sorry)
     
  2. dsk

    dsk Member

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    Unfortunately a lot of folks have been having problems with their Series II Kimbers. Previously it was with the FPS, now it seems to be the new external extractor that is causing problems. Until Kimber irons out the latest batch of problems I suggest a Springfield Loaded.
     
  3. Kruzr

    Kruzr Member

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    Kimber is having some problems trying to decide on the design of their external extractor. However, in the real world outside of the internet, I don't see that many problems with the new Kimbers. Of the 25 or so that we sold in the past 6 months, I've seen one (an Ultra model) that had a problem with the external extractor. It went back to Kimber, had the extractor replaced with one that looked a little different, and was back in the owner's hand the same week. It solved his problem.
    From what I see, I wouldn't expect a Springfield loaded to be problem free either. They just take longer to fix.
     
  4. GreenFurniture

    GreenFurniture Member

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    I am with Kruzr. Of the many Kimbers we have sold to customer we haven't had a single (crossing fingers) one come back for any work. I personally own several Kimbers and they work out of the box. We had one very minor problem with a barrel when we recieved it and Kimber took it back and sent us a new one in less than 72 hours. It then sold less than thirty minutes after being placed in the case and I haven't seen it since.

    We have had some problems with Springfields that we have sold, but the Springfield repair department is top notch and gets on the problem right away.

    I also have several Springfields, and of those only one has ever worked from the start without a hitch, all the others have required major service and tinkering to get them to run 100% every time.
     
  5. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    I don't own a Springfield 1911 so I can't comment on them, though I've always heard good things about them.

    I do own a Series II Kimber, however, and it has run flawless since the day it came out of the box. It has had zero malfunctions not attributable to user error.

    Really? What folks?
     
  6. moorerwc

    moorerwc Member

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    After owning four and having out of the box problems with all of them (2 Colts and 2 Kimbers) I don't expect any 1911 to go without tweaking. The problems with the last two ended up being my fault for assuming that Wilson 7rd. mags were the end all be all of reliability. I am now using CMC power mags upgraded with Metalform dimpled, flat followers and having very good luck; I also would recommend Metalform's FBI spec magazine--bad mags are a big part of 1911 unreliability. Also try reading just about everything by 1911tuner on this site.

    I too, like the "retro" custom look and tried it with a new roll mark SS Colt 1991. The major deficiency I find with the standard style guns (Colt 1991, Colt series 70 repro, Springfield Armory milspec and GI) are that they need a good dehorn, esp. at the grip safety--some people also need the hammer bobbed to prevent hammer bite, but I found that it was the squared corners of the grip safety that were drawing blood from my hand. I had also added a short trigger, arched MSH, and extended safety but these were just for preference. Most of these models come from the factory with "hi-viz" sights, except for the SA GI.
    I have since bought a series I Kimber custom classic (no firing pin safety or external extractor) and it is just about everything that I need in a carry gun--except the full length guide rod has been replaced with a standard set up and the plastic trigger and MSH housing have been replaced with AL and steel respectively. I have since sold my Colt b/c I was just shooting the Kimber more and decided that Stainless wasn't my thing--this is not saying it wasn't a quality gun, I just couldn't spend the money to get it customized right now.

    You can get a 5", carbon steel, series 70 1911 (series I Kimber or SA Loaded parkerized or blued), plus an identical backup, holster, and ammo for the price of a customized Colt--then build your skills so you justify the expense of a full custom and/or add machined small parts as your budget allows). If you are really interested in the original 1911 setup you could get a Colt 1991 or SA milspec and have it dehorned and reparkerized to taste for about the same amount of money. The SA GI would allow you to decide whether you wanted the lowered ejection port, beveled magwell, and hi-viz sights. You could then add machined small parts (trigger group,etc.), thumb safety, trigger(esp. Aluminum for safety), MSH, and grips to meet your tastes. While the Colt has the series 80 Firing pin safety, it is the only one of these that I trust, as it has been around long enough for most all of the bugs to be worked out and to be supported by the aftermarket industry. Also the Colt guns have more high quality small parts, I would be most concerned about the ejector, extractor and slide stop on the SAs--in particular I would be sure to get a SA that had it's frame drilled for the ejector pin instead of just having this part glued in. Out of personal preference I would also get rid of the SA's Ti FP and internal locking MSH.

    Try looking for some articles by Chuck Taylor as he is a heavy proponent of the "retro" styled guns. Also the Yost-Bonitz shop has put out some nice examples of the breed.

    Hope I helped,
    Chad
     
  7. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Those requirements kinda narrow things down to the Springer Mil-Spec and the Colt 1991A1 (although it will be blued rather than parkerized.)
     
  8. 2t2 crash

    2t2 crash Member

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    great input everyone, i really appreciate it. i was originally looking at the mil-spec by SA, then the Kimber had caught my eye. Now i see i will need to do a lot of homework on these before i make a real decision.
    thankyou.
     
  9. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    Either I lucked out, or perhaps the minority is just more vocal, but I've got a Kimber CDP Compact (series II) that ran perfectly out of the box. Over 1100 rounds without a hitch. If anything, the external extractor does the most, um, enthusiastic, job of ejecting brass that I've ever seen :)
     
  10. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    There's often a disconnect between reliability and durability. If I was looking for a gun that was going to run right with a wide variety of ammo right out of the box, then I'd go with the Kimber, as Springfield seems to suffer bouts of Gimpy Extractoritus every so often over the last several years. It's an easy problem to check for, and easy to fix if it's there, but it does exist. If I was looking for a gun that I'd want to replace a minimum of small parts on in its as-delivered condition, then I'd pick the Springer over the Kimber. Freakish small parts breakages on the Kimbers are rare, but they definitely happen more frequently than on Springers or Colts.
     
  11. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    My experience out of two Colt 1991A1's and three Kimbers, Pro Carry II, CDP II and Custom Classic I, the Colts have been drop dead reliable. The three Kimbers are/were my brothers. The two Series II guns, both suffered numerous failures to feed, even after the required "breakin", and return trips to Kimber. The Custom Classic had some failures to feed, just not as many as the Series II. In terms of accuracy and feel, I actually prefer the GI setup of the Colts.
     
  12. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    The trigger pull on the Gold Match II is what sold me. I just couldn't quit thinking about it after the first time I fired it and eventually went back and picked it up. I've NEVER regretted it. I had a few FTF (is that failure to feed? . . that's what I had) in the first 200 rounds and it hadn't missed a beat ever since. I can't really blame the pistol as they said to break it in with 230 grain hardball and I was shooting some 15 year old 200 SWC stuff I had loaded up relatively light for when I used to shoot bowling pin matches.

    Anyway . . . .gotta say that I love my Kimber!! (purchased in November 2003)

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  13. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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  14. Kruzr

    Kruzr Member

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    Considering how many guns Kimber makes a year, very few people are having problems.

    You can find threads discussing problems with every maker on the 1911 forum.
     
  15. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    if it was me looking for another 1911, i'd be inclined to go with Kimber again, but i'd try to find one that has the internal extractor.

    i've compared my kimber tle side by side with an eclipse and its like apples to oranges. while my tle is great, i love it, blah blah blah, if i had the extra money, i'd go with an eclipse. theres a lot more TLC that goes into the eclipse, at least thats how it appeared to my eyes.

    if you go with a lower end kimber, i'd immediately swap out a few of the parts with some ed brown stuff. things like the slide stop, firing pin stop, and put a ss MSH, the plastic ones just irk me.

    but out of the bakers dozen of other 1911 manufacturers out there, i'm intrigued by a lot of them. the sig and s&w look like they'd be fun. i'd even like to try a colt (if only to get the 1911 snobs off my back).
    :D
     
  16. Pointman1776

    Pointman1776 Member

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    I've been a Kimber convert ever since the first time I shot the x-ring out with all 7 shots at 10yds with a bone-stock Kimber Custom II. The base entry model. Nothing custom. No special features. Not even a trigger job.

    Wow. Can't really beat that for $600 NIB, imho.

    It would take several hundreds of dollars to customize a Colt or a number of other 1911's to get it to be as fitted/tight, reliable, durable, and accurate as that Kimber is out of the box. And I get a factory warranty. :)

    I now own that Kimber Custom II (stock), and Stainless TLE II, and a Team Match II. (Yes, they are habit forming).

    I bought all three mostly to prove a point. I shoot equally well with all of them. And at my local range here in Los Angeles, we get all kinds of shooters (1st timers to bullseyes). Most non-gunnuts can't tell the difference between my Kimbers just by looking at the results on the target paper they just shot. And even the Colt-Or-Die cultists at my range have given me their blessings after handling, stripping, inspecting, and shooting my Kimbers...especially when they consider since that my Kimbers are all bone-stock expect for a light trigger polish on my TMII ($50) and a light feed-ramp buff to better feed semi-wadcutters.

    The biggest difference, imo, is not the performance, but just the features: stainless vs. steel, ambidextrous safeties, target vs. night vs. regular sights, beveled mag well, slightly lighter trigger, etc. etc.

    Yes, I've shot just about every 1911 on the market and so many customs that I've lost count, and while there are several excellent 1911's available today, I cannot overlook the price I get for the out-of-the-box reliability, durability, and performance of a Kimber: $600-$1000 vs. couple hundred (or thousand) dollars more for the comparable models from SA, Para, Colt, S&W, and Sig, let alone the semi-customs from Les Baer, Charles Daly, Dan Wesson, Wilson, Ed Brown, STI, Novak, et. al.

    Well, I've rambled long enough. Talk to your local gun shops and gunsmiths and ask them about their experiences regarding reliability/durability (returned products, weak parts, etc.) and price-for-performance valuations based on their experience.

    Buy what YOU shoot best. Good luck!
     
  17. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    My first 1911s were Colt's; I still love 'em ... but now I've become a huge Springfield Armory fan. My new favorite 1911 has become my SA Mil-Spec in stainless (just plain clean, classic looks) due to its flawless performance and above-average accuracy. I occasionally carry a Loaded LW Micro-Compact, which I also really like -- but for regular carry, prefer the Kimber Tactical Pro and am currently debating purchase of a CDP Pro (can't beat the 4" barrels for carry).

    There had been rumor up here that Tacoma PD had more than a few issues with their Kimbers (TLEs), but I've not ever heard that confirmed by anyone from that department (only a couple local dealers) ...

    Kimber or SA? I think it's personal preference and comes down to what you appreciate about the cosmetic differences (and how you feel about that damned external and Series II firing pin safety). Me -- I like both company's products, but I (and several buddies) have had better experiences with SA's Customer Service Department than Kimber's.
     
  18. halvey

    halvey Member

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    I have an older Kimber Gold Match and honestly, it has spolied me. Nothing I've had since has been near as good. I planned on building a custom gun out of a Caspian frame and when I was done putting all my options on paper, I noticed I built myself the exact same gun I own!

    As far as the Series II, I think I read on the 1911 forum that by changing the firing pin, you override the series II safety and "poof, you have a series I".

    BTW, isn't it funny that Kimber and Para are having problems with their new and improved extractors? Just leave it alone! ;)
     
  19. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    That is done by simply installing a standard series-70 firing pin. It doesn't have the cut-out around the back end for the Kimber plunger to fit into. Put it and an your FP safety is gone. :D
     
  20. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Thats a more exclusive club than you probably are entitled to join...if ya want I can help ya, but first, chuck that...that....that....CLONE.....away!

    WildcoltcoltcoltAlaska
     
  21. bratch

    bratch Member

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    Bought a TLE II in Oct. It had a couple ealry hiccups but they were few and worked themselves out quickly. I had to replace the recoil spring pretty early on though. I would probably buy another.

    I have put in a EB Hardcore Firing pin so its no longer a full II. Also thinking about having a little more work done but it isn't necessary just me.
     
  22. DHart

    DHart Member

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    If I had to stake my life on any new in the box 1911, right out of the box... I'd pick a new Colt. But they're not so easy to find and usually when they appear, they disappear quickly.

    Colt Series 70 - new production/re-issue (Esmeralda Grips)
    [​IMG]

    If I had to choose another brand, it would be Springfield.

    Kimber wouldn't even enter my consideration.. why? first for the Series II design, second for the external extractor, and third, for MIM parts throughout the gun. Their slide to frame fit and triggers do feel good, though, gotta give them that! And their marketing is convincing a heck of a lot of people that they're the cat's meow. Kimber marketers are masters at marketing, that's for sure!

    In any event, whatever brand or model, there would be a few (or more) mods to be made and reliability testing is in order, just to be sure... after all, these ain't Smith & Wesson Model 13's! ;)
     
  23. halvey

    halvey Member

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    I just found about about switching out the FP safety. From all the :cuss: we hear about it, it's such a simple fix.

    DHart - WOW! Those are some nice grips!

    WildAlaska: The thing I think appeals to a lot of people with Kimbers, is they get the add ons right out of the box. We can argue about what is needed or not, but the fact is people want certain sights, hammers, triggers etc. without having to deal with a gunsmith.
     
  24. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    I don't own a Kimber. I have several Springers that I am completely satisfied with, but my preference comes with a pony on the side.

    elite-leaves.jpg

    Need something smaller?

    IM003228.jpg
     
  25. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Given the fact you like Kimbers, I would buy their "Anniversary" model which is a series I and internal extractor with a 'parked' type finish I believe.

    It costs more but you'll soon forget the extra money. 5 years from now, the series III's or IV's with external extractors, key locks, mag disconnects, electric shocks, decoding ring, etc will cost the same. ;)
     
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