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New Kimber 10mm Target LS - jam-o-matic, but I fixed it. Just bad luck I guess?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Viper1357, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Good news is I fixed it, (so you don't have to read all this to find out) but I'm bummed nearly every (big name) new gun I've purchased in the last couple years has had factory produced (slipping by QC or?) functional issues with the exception of believe it or not a Taurus revolver. It is as functionally and cosmetically perfect as I could ever want, and the least expensive new pistol of any I'm griping about here. Anyway I've dealt with (or am dealing with) and corrected or accepted most of the issues, but man it gets old and frustrating. Okay, rant over.

    So on my brand new Kimber Stainless Target LS 10mm, I mentioned in another thread this was my first Kimber and I had not had any interest in them until I saw this particular model with a more 'basic' look and also being a long slide version. I had read the good and bad web stories on Kimber pistols and figured even if something went wrong out of the gate, (my continuing bad luck..lol) it's a 1911 so it couldn't be impossible to fix after all (right?).
    It came with only one factory magazine, and I had a new in the package Colt 10mm mag from previous 10mm pistols (I'd had and regrettably sold), but I also just received a brand new Tripp Cobramag as well. I also had ordered and received an assortment of different 10mm ammo like Blazer Brass, Underwood, S&B in many different configurations figuring some combination would have to work great or hopefully well enough anyway. I also have some really nice dummy ammo sized correctly from back in the days of original Norma ammo when no snap caps were available in 10mm, but we still needed to tweak/test out older pistols in those days.


    Kimber10mm_ammo_994.jpg


    So with all that said, and having stripped, cleaned and properly lubed my new Kimber 10mm I made note that the feed ramp had some lame azz tool marks on the left side, and the ramp top and chamber mouth sides were crazy sharp and not broken or smoothed at all, but hey the factory makes these all the time, right? Anyway, I decided to start right up with the new Tripp Cobramag and my dummy rounds for test cycling it. Only loaded a few in the mag and inserted it in the magwell with the slide closed/in battery. Racked the slide properly for loading as I've done thousands of times over the decades and .. oops.. 3 point jam? seriously? Okay just a nudge to the rear of the slide should go into battery, but no she's locked up tight. So, hoping I had messed up somehow I cleared it and tried again but this time from slide lock position, and same thing. Well, I was not terribly surprised (you know that bad luck I keep having) but I did get that quick sinking/frustrating feeling that accompanies such things.


    Bbl_issue020.jpg


    Still hoping it was the mag, my dummy rounds, etc. I switched to the factory Kimber mag and my dummy rounds and I fully loaded the mag. Same thing times 8 rounds jammed. Well now this is fun. It had to be the dummy rounds so I went to live ammo (yeah I know..) and FMJ Blazer with all 3 new mags, and same thing with all. Not one round could I get to chamber from any ammo/mag combination, oh my this sucks now. While I'd noticed the rims didn't seem to be much in contact with the extractor, I still checked the tension, shape etc., to my minimal skill level and it seemed fine. I still removed it and tried the same loading/cycling exercise as before, with exactly the same jamming results. I'm also seeing now that all these testing ammo cases look like they've been in a sharp food processor, and the bullet tip edges dinged and flattened. Time to focus my attention to the ramp and chamber mouth edges etc. I love to modify my pistols cosmetically, but I am not one to go messing with the internals polishing this and that unless I have to. While I've been lucky many times altering internals on many different guns through the years, I really don't like (probably fear of messing it up) doing it. I know about now, many of you are thinking I should send it back to Kimber, and yeah I could but I haven't had a great deal of luck with that option over the years either, but ymmv of course.


    Bbl_issue022.jpg

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    What I ended up doing was just taking the barrel and trying to manually recreate the jam by hand just pushing the rounds in the barrel at the approximate angle the mags do, and oh my it was really easy to jam the rounds by hand in the same 3 point type position. No doubt in my mind at this point the sharp ramp top and outer chamber edges are really an issue to some degree here. I decided to just go really slow and test frequently breaking the edges, rounding and smoothing in tiny increments just enough to get anything to load for three reasons.

    1.) I believe this type of modifying the gun (may/does) voids the warranty.
    2.) If I take away too much material, I cannot put it back on.
    3.) I know the gun will break in more over the first several hundred rounds, so I want any extra internal clearances/tolerances to come as natural as possible buy just firing the pistol. Problem in this case was I couldn't load even one round to shoot it!

    I found a short piece of 3/8" round poly rod and wrapped the top with #400-2500 grit, and broke and rounded, and polished the edges at as much of a 45 degree (radius) as I could judge it to be without proper measuring tools..lol. So, as mentioned I did this in small increments and tested often, which ended up taking me at least a couple hours, but I ended up with about a .010" rad on the side mouth edges, and about a .020" rad on the ramp top edge as best as I could measure it. I also tried to lightly polish the ramp itself, but there were tool marks left over from the factory on the left hand side only I just didn't want to go any surface deeper and remove. Lastly I also lightly polished the inside upper chamber just past the hood where the bullet nose was stopping in the jam.


    Bbl_issue028.jpg

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    I cleaned and lubed the barrel for the 10th or so time now at this point, lol, reassembled the gun, and went through the same exercise manually loading/cycling the exact same ammo (dings and all) in the same 3 new different manufactured mags and what a difference. No jams, and barely a 'ka-chunk' if I went too slow purposely riding the slide to watch what was happening. I'm hopeful the jamming issue is now permanently resolved, and I know I'll only really find out at the range after shooting it. But at least now I can get the first round (actually all rounds) to feed/load to even be able to shoot it!

    In any case I'm way happier with my new Kimber now than I was when I first tried to load it several hours ago!

    Sorry if this was a too long read, but I'm still dealing with my neck herniated disk/pinched arm nerve so I have a bit more time on my hands until I have surgery. Thanks for reading it!

    "
     
  2. BC17A

    BC17A Member

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    Unfortunately that's not uncommon with many brands of firearms. I'd guess that Kimber subs out the barrels along with other parts to unknown sources and obviously doesn't perform a quality check before using them. Or it's possible they don't want to pay for additional cost of their subs doing quality work, who knows. The kicker is that the cost of returns, repair work, and customer service is all built into the cost of the firearm, whether we believe it or not, so if we don't hold the manufacturer's feet to the fire and let them eat the cost of shotty workmanship, they profit even more. Seems to be the American way lately.
     
  3. Dan-O

    Dan-O Member

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    Manually hand cycling the slide is much different than actually shooting it.
     
  4. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Great job.
    I had a lot of trouble with my Kimber Target 9mm, turned out to be an untuned extractor. Fitted a new one and it's been perfect since.
    QC across the board seems to be slipping.
     
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  5. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Uhm thanks... Did you read my post or just look at the pics? Not sure on your point to me? I basically mentioned that (in other words) a couple times near the end of the post. I was just trying to get anything to chamber and then stopped. So are you suggesting I should have done more?, less?

    I realize I'll find out for sure if the gun will cycle correctly when I actually get to the range, but at least it works better now than it did out of the box.
     
  6. Dan-O

    Dan-O Member

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    I’d have been pissed. Don’t think you should have done any less. But I would have shot it, or at least attempt to shoot it before I did much else.
     
  7. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Oh okay got it. The real actual problem was I couldn't fire it as I could not get a round to feed into the chamber no matter how/any proper method I tried. The only way I could have chambered to fire a round would have been to drop it in the barrel and jump the extractor over it. I didn't want to do that, and I wasn't at the range anyway. I was just trying out function after cleaning and also the new Cobramag.
    I'm fairly confident it will work but yeah, you never know til you shoot it...
     
  8. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    I always check feeding manually before taking a new pistol to the range for its first live fire test.

    I remove the recoil spring, plug, and guide rod. I fully load a magazine with factory FMJ. Pull the slide all the way to the rear, seat the magazine, and begin chambering rounds from the magazine. I use both thumbs on the back of the slide, one on each side, and use just enough force to strip the rounds from the mag and move the slide/barrel into battery. Doing this allows me to feel every bump and hesitation of each cartridge as it feeds. I'll take corrective action as needed. This technique also allows me to evaluate the feeding characteristics of different magazines and different ammo.
     
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  9. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Man, that SUCKS having such issues with a new gun. Having to send a new gun back to the Mothership without even firing it would tick me off to no end. I will also do my own shadetree gunsmiffin', Viper1357, but I don't think I'd be as ballsy as you were! :eek: Good for you, well done.
     
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  10. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    I've done similar in the past to other new guns, but even with that technique there's no way any rounds would have loaded into the chamber. The mag angle and the ramp top (near knife sharp) and chamber mouth side edges (near knife sharp) immediately grabbed (cut into) the case and stopped it dead in a solid 3 point jam every time, no matter how it was manipulated.
     
  11. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    In the past (quite a while ago now) I had built a couple 1911's from the ground up and have had to work on the chambers/throats/ramps before, but yeah this one ticked me off a bit, but mostly because I've had so many problems on new in the box gun purchases lately. As far as ballsy, I was actually more nervous and conservative compared to the old days when we used to really reshape angles and polish to the max. This is by far the least I've ever removed, which is actually good, as you can't put material back on those areas.

    Quick related story. As my luck (bad and good in this case) would have it many moons ago I bought a brand new Kahr CW45 .45 ACP, like their budget compact model. The chamber had no freebore or was a tad short, as when a round was chambered the bullet tip would hit the rifling early and just enough to stop full battery lock up. Ugh.. yeah another problem even way back then..lol Anyway, I had a close friend who was a master pistol smith who properly re-chambered it for me, but it still had issues with some hollow points. It was my first ramp and throat job I did before I left my pistol smith buddy's place, and did he give me a lecture on overdoing it. He said to me that I went as far as possible without ruining the case support in that particular barrel, and much farther than he would have. He said I got lucky that time, and had better learn from that. I did and now always do just the bare minimum necessary just to correct the immediate need. If you look on the web, you'll see a lot of folks way over due ramp/mouth/throat polish jobs.
    Oh yeah, about that crazy Kahr .45 acp. not only did it feed any hollow points, but also empty cases if they were straight. No lie. It's survived many thousands of rounds and another friend of mine ended up with it years ago, and I believe he still carries from time to time.
     
  12. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    Viper1357, Small world, My 10MM Kimber Eclipse some years ago had the sharp edge at the cartridge break over point at the top of the ramp causing the same type of stoppages. But it can happen with any manufactuer's gun. I had a very expensive custom Springfield with with the same issue. Just slightly softening/breaking that sharp edge as you did was the cure. I've owned a half dozen Kimbers and the 10MM Eclipse was the only one that gave any issues at all, small as the issue was.

    I saw one of the Kimber longslide 10s in a shop some time ago. I've owned a bunch of 10MMs, and was highly tempted with this one.
     
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  13. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    I was just addressing Dan-O's comment about live firing not being the same as manually manipulating the slide.

    FWIW, I learned to use a half round ruby stone to get rid of the sharp juncture between the ramp and the chamber. The trick with it is to listen to how it sounds as it's rubbed across the steel. You'll know it's done doing its job when the sound goes from scratchy to smooth.
     
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