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To buy or not to buy...(Kimber questions)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The_Ferret, Feb 11, 2006.

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  1. The_Ferret

    The_Ferret Member

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    All,
    I never thought the day would come when I would be considering a 1911, but I find myself tonight in that exact position. Problem is, I need a little help here.

    I am NOT a semi- person; I favor wheelguns and long-guns. I am NOT well-versed in the ways of the 1911. But when you find a Kimber with a 4" barrel (the only length I really like the feel of) on consignment for $640, its time to ask what other things you might could do without.

    That being said, I could really use some advice. I know the price is good; I've looked at prices for previous Kimbers sold here. I know they're good guns, according to what has been said here and other places. What I do not know, and have had trouble finding out, is what to look for in them. I cannot find a page describing the "series 70" vs. "series 80" safety issue, I believe it was called. I cannot find a page about the MIM, I think, parts issue (Everyone on this one seems to be either attacking or defending a particular manufacturer...). I cannot find a page describing this "internal vs. external extractor", and the implications thereof.

    What I could use are links to some info if anyone has them. I don't really want someone to sit here and write out what someone else has already sat and written out and I'm just too dumb to find.

    Thanks for the help; sorry to be long winded. I just don't want to get slapped around for my ignorance on the issue.

    -The_Ferret-
     
  2. Rustler

    Rustler Member

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    Location:
    Twilight Zone - California
    I have three Kimbers and love them...

    What model were you looking at?
     
  3. Doctor Suarez

    Doctor Suarez Member

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    Location:
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    A lot of the Kimber defect stuff is net hype.

    That being said, they've had some trouble with their external extractors. Near as I can figure, the first run of EEs were indeed problematic. Apparently, they redesigned the hook, tweaked the system, and got them to function quite well. Mine is a later EE, and it chucks brass with annoying consistency. Cleaning up afterwards is easy. They're all in one place!

    They're fine guns, if a bit tight at first. My advice would be that, if you do purcase it, treat it with care (aside from setting off metal tubes full of fast-burning propellant and launching lead balls out of it) and keep it clean and lubed.

    As for the length, I know that the 3-inchers are where the real problems start. I know one guy who had a commander-length model, and he got rid of it due to a problematic extractor. (He may have had the original EE design.)

    You should check to see when it was made, and if it's that extractor. If it is, then you may wish to pass. Otherwise, they're good guns.
     
  4. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Its real simple for me. If there's a "II" stamped in the right side of the slide, I'd hand it back. If there's not, I'd buy it.
     
  5. Rubikees

    Rubikees Member

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    Location:
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    Kimber Ultra

    We have a Kimber Ultra II and the wife and I love. For a 3" .45 the felt kick was small (for a .45) and the groupings were tight at 10 yards out. It has an Internal Extractor which works great, no stove pipes. Trueth tell, I perfer External Extractors because they can give you an indication that there is a round in the chamber. However, the Ultra has a small notch in the barrel that provides that purpose. Anyway, in short, it has been a nice reliable weapon for us.:D
     
  6. Dale Taylor

    Dale Taylor Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    I have 4" Kimber Series I SS Compact purchased used. So reliable that it's boring. Doesn't like extra round magazines. Sights are good for my aging eyes. Have fired Series 2 borrowed at range. Again no problems. daleltaylor@att.net
     
  7. kbheiner7

    kbheiner7 Member

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    If the gun feels tight, I would not hesitate to buy any type of Kimber.

    I also think the Series II issue is way overblown. I have one and it is flawless.
     
  8. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I've had four, and (except for a break-in period with one of 'em) all have been equal or better in reliability as my Springers and Colts.
     
  9. 1911WB

    1911WB Member

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    Kimber 1911's

    I've had 3 Kimbers (two 4 inchers and one 5 inch)- all Series I. They have all been reliable pistols. However, I wouldn't want a Series II or any 1911 with an external extractor. With an internal extractor it's easy to "tweak" or even replace the extractor to solve problems- not so with an external. In today's market I favor Dan Wesson, Colt and SA 1911's unless you want to "up the ante" and go with a semi-custom pistol from Baer, Brwon or Wilson. Good luck making the choice. :)
     
  10. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    When there were reports of the series II safety not working properly, followed by reports of small parts breaking, followed by reports of the external extractor not working properly, and having witnessed all of this on Kimbers sold through the small store I frequent, it would seem to me that they started slipping on quality right about the time they introduced the series II safety. So I reccomend the series Is instead. As a matter of fact, they're at the top of my list. Otherwise, I reccomend Springfield or Colt.
     
  11. lawdogso

    lawdogso Member

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    I just got my first 1911, A Kimber Combat Gold and I am in love with it. I have a large and diverse bunch of toys and find me asking myself - Why didn't I get a 1911 sooner?

    If you get it, you will enjoy it!
    lawdogso
     
  12. solo17

    solo17 Member

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    i had problems with my series 2 safety after about 80 thousand rounds .so when i finally had it rebuilt i had it removed. thats the only problem i had with my tle since i bought it brand new . the safety would stick . and it only happened two times before i had my smith check it out.
     
  13. msb45

    msb45 Member

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    Not to hijack the thread

    but I'm looking at a Gold Combat. Would you mind letting me know what you paid?

    Thanks
     
  14. The_Ferret

    The_Ferret Member

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    So I went back....

    And very nearly paid for it. The more I look, the more I'm trying to come up with the cash. I'm still arguing with myself about whether to get this, or keep wating for that .357 smith...

    A few more details. This is a series I Kimber. I believe it was called a Compact or Ultra Compact, but I'm not 100% sure on that. It feels good and tight,and the trigger feels VERY good to me, when compared to the other 1911s I have looked at here. (A Springfield, a colt, and a few others).

    It is an internal extractor, I believe. Price = $670 all said and done, me walking out the door with it. Anyway, thanks for the info guys. I'm deciding monday about whether to buy it or not.

    Again, thanks.

    -The_Ferret-
     
  15. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Thats about what I paid for my Compact Stainless, and it has served me well.
     
  16. Dale Taylor

    Dale Taylor Member

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    I paid same for my Compact SS Series 1. Absolutly no buyers remorse. Prices arehigher in this area. daleltaylor@att.net
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006
  17. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Buy. And I'm not even a Kimber fan! I don't think you will find a better 1911 to introduce yourself to the platform with. Ask if you can test shoot it first.
     
  18. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Kimber's And Three Inch Barrels-

    Hello-

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I have a 3" Kimber Stainless
    Ultra Carry II that I now use as my daily CCW piece. It has been and
    continues too be 100% reliable, with NO problems from the external
    extractor. And, up until last Friday (02-10-06), I owned a Kimber
    Raptor II with an external extractor. Again, I had 0 problems with
    this firearm; I simply needed to trade it on a NIB Les Baer Thunder
    Ranch Special~!:D :uhoh:
     
  19. fedlaw

    fedlaw Member

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    I have a Kimber Stainless Target IIe. It has 20,000rds. through it and is almost, but not quite 100% reliable, accurate and finished beautifully both inside and out. The gun is not ammo sensitive and, as Pat Sweeney has shown in one of the 1911 magazines, it will run when filthy. That being said, I believe the external extractor, is a solution in search of a problem. The JMB internal extractor on my Springfield runs fine and is a heck of a lot easier to maintain than the EE.
    BTW, I cannot get my Kimber to 100%. Every so often, perhaps 1 in every 1,000-1,500rds, the gun will fail to extract. After I clear it, it runs fine again until the next FTE. I've never gotten 2 FTE's in the same range session or even a malf in 2 sessions in a row, but no matter how religiously I maintain the gun, I get those occasional FTE's. Because of the infrequency of the malf's they may be ammo related even though I only use factory ammo from Zero, Federal, CCI, Speer or Winchester. On the other hand I may be hard to please.
    Steve
     
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