Kimber Solo Pros & Cons
Please excuse me if I have double posted. I really do want to see if anyone else has had the same issue as I have with the Kimber Solo.
I am new to this forum so I will try to NOT offend anyone. This comment is not meant to be negative. I own 4 Kimbers. I like Kimbers. They put bullets in the same hole. Sure they require a bit of break-in. Sure, If you want the later models to be RIGHT, you need to spend a couple of hundred on aftermarket parts to get the firing mechanism operating properly. (My opinion) After you do that then all is well, at least as well as any handgun you can purchase, custom or production.
I purchased a Solo in December, actually for my wife to carry. It was a tossup between the Solo and the Sig. She is not much of a hammer cocking person so I went with the Solo. I did this after putting a few hundred rounds through my buddy's Solo and waiting till the BUGS were worked out of the earlier models. Again I AM NOT BASHING KIMBER....YET The Solo functioned flawlessly with a box of Winchester white box (Not on Kimber's recommended list) After 50 rounds of Federal HST, no problem. However, on the next outing, after 3 rounds of HSTs no bang. No FTE, new round in the chamber. Pull the trigger and nothing happened. Upon disassembly it was quite evident what had happened. The sear spring tail had "Fallen of the shelf" and ended up down in the frame. Retrieval was easy, after a few more rounds, same thing. You can actually see spots where the spring tail had "walked"" off of its home position and fallen down into the frame recess again.
Needless to say, I was not happy. Not because of a part breakage. But because there is nothing to hold the sear spring in its home position, at least on my Solo there isnt. I looked at my buddys gun and the spring appears to be the same as on my gun. His has never fell into the hole, so to speak. Could this be a design issue? Should the spring have more bend? As of now the gun is at Kimber being repaired or redesigned. 4 to 6 weeks estimated turnaround.
My question is this. Is this a design problem? Is there supposed to be a groove or a pin there to hold the spring in place? Has anyone else had this problem? Kimber does not want to talk about it. Just said that They would take care of it. I have searched the net and have found one other instance of this exact problem and 1 instance of possibly the same. Does anyone know of an update on this issue?
I know that Kimber's QC had gone down. Then again so have the rest of the manufacturers. Any idea as to what's going on here?
BTW..I forgot tell you that the unfired, chambered round had a light dimple from the striker...I assume from the inertia of the slide and striker since there was no click when squeezing the trigger....This could have been a real surprise!!!
Not sure what these QC problems are that you speak of. I have well over 1,000 rounds through my Solo and have never had a single issue. This includes FMJ and hollow points in all bullet weights including my own 115gr. reloads. The only thing I did when I got the gun was polish the feed ramp and chamber. I also use Slide Glide on the rails as I do with all my pistols. I own three Kimbers and they have all been 100% reliable.
I do not own a kimber but I will not knock them. I would contact kimber as it sounds like a QC problem and the firearm is under warranty. Keep us posted on how you make out with this problem.
I was Googling around an apparently you are not the only one to have this issue. Actually what I read matches your discription exactally.
Google: kimber solo sear spring problem
As I said previously, I had NO problems with feeding or extraction. It eats any decent ammo, even round nosed lead reloads. As I said previously, It is a spring issue. If you will look inside the frame of your SOLO you will see exactly what I am referring to. If MY spring is supposed to be shaped differently. THEN IT IS A QC ISSUE. If there is supposed to be something to retain the spring on that small ledge and the retainer system is missing. THEN IT IS A QC ISSUE. If the gun made it out of final inspection without someone looking at the details of the assembly. THEN IT IS A QC ISSUE.
After reading a post on another site and finding out that Kimber told another person, having the same issue as I do, that they have not seen that problem before, Then guess what. THEY ARE HIDING A QC ISSUE.
I bought my first Kimber in the early 90's, used. It is an all steel 4". Blued. It's not just blue. Its downright BLACK. what model is it? OH Yeah, It's a Kimber Carry. How many different models did they produce back then? I am sure it was not 47 or so. I do like Kimbers. They are tight. They are accurate. With a little work they are dependable.
Kimber is no different than any other business. They are just trying to be competitive. When everyone else lowers the bar then there is no reason to jump as high. Why blue the guns when you can paint them. Its cheaper to build. Everyone else paints them, why cant we? Cut you quality and you are still better than the other guys.
As Mickey Mantle said in a 1986 interview when asked what kind of salary he would bring in today's market. His response was "I dont know, bout 400,000 a year" The reporter said "Mickey, your possibly the greatest outfielder that ever played the game. You only think that you would be worth 400,000 a year". Mickey said "Hell man, I'm 55 years old and you did say today's market".
Just curious, why would someone polish a feed ramp if there was no problem?
Just an update on the Kimber Solo sear spring "issue". I got the gun back from Kimber after 6 weeks. There was an repair invoice enclosed. They replaced the sear spring, fired 24 rounds through the gun with no malfunctions. The new sear spring is definitely shaped differently. The spring tail has a slight bend and rides over to the left side of the frame. I guess that answered the question of the spring issue. When I fired the gun, all went well for the first mag full of ammo, when I say full I mean 6 and jacking one of them into the chamber. Perfect operation even with 115 gr. Win. white box. I then tried to chamber a round and add one to the magazine for a total of 6 in the mag. I ASSUMED that this was ok since they are 6 round mags. Failure to eject and the mag fell out. Reseated the mag fired a shot. Mag fell out. I thought it may have been me. 3 other people tried it. Mag fell out each time. I also purchased 3 new mags from kimber. The follower is different from the original factory mag. When firing, all of these mags fall out too. The replacement mag followers go past the slide stop and so the slide will not remain open after the last round with all of the new mags.
I am going to contact Kimber again tomorrow. As I stated before, This is not a Kimber bash. Just accurate honest information. The glass was half full when I sent the gun in for repair the first time. The glass is now half empty. I am normally a 3 strikes and you are out guy. But with a company that proclaims to have "the finest production firearms made" I may call Kimber 'OUT' on strikes if the "issues" are not repaired this time.
to be continued
My Kimber SOLO: 1,050 consecutive rounds with no failures of any kind.
Originally Posted by Pontificator
I don't know how to post pics.
But I also have a Solo Crimson Trace CDP with over 500 through it and never a single issue.
I am beginning to get paranoid though.
Kimber for show, Kahr for go!
...and a dependable Glock for half the dough!:rofl:
Originally Posted by Rain
To the OP...
The Kimber Solo is a nice looking gun...I used to love my Kimbers, but they were such a PAIN to dismantle...hated those paperclips.
I had similar problem with my X Solo..
was great when it went bang .. it is just that it did not go bang evey time.
sent 1st Solo back, twice ... the second time a Ann called and informed me they could not find a problem with my original Solo , but they were going to send me a brand new Solo ... and she needed my FFL .. ok , second Solo , sent back twice, no go bang all the time
got the Solo back ( this is 5 chances to get it right ) at 9:30 am , had it at my LGS by 11 am.. traded it for a Spring EMP 9 ,, got about 500 cheap ball ammo thru it , sorry I could not get the Solo to run for me ,, glad I upgraded to the EMP ...
Have had mine for about 6 months....not a single misfire. It seems it is luck of the draw if you get a good one.
Fortunately for me, mine has been perfect.
With all respect to you and Kimber, read my signature . . . I've found it to be true.
I have a couple of Glocks also. You are correct..They are dependable. The only issues that I have ever had with a Glock is the "Pig nose" I'll call it a "Hawg Nose" since I am from the south. I carry a 1911 as they have shown to be inheirently reliable... The Solo was for my wife, as her personal gun was a Glock 22. She is not a hammer cocking person, therefore the Glock and the Solo. The Solo has a great trigger, even compared to my Glocks. I have several Kimbers. I just throw away the factory Kimber mags, get magazines, sear, hammer and disconnect from Wilson and call it a day. Even Kimber bashers have to admit that Kimbers shoot tight groups, as tight as a lot of custom built guns.
I will give Kimber one more chance on the Solo. I asked them to repair the problems that I was having and PLEASE, upgrade the gun to elimanate all other KNOWN issues. I even sent in the new magazines as the followers seem to slide past the slide stop and not engage. If I have any issues after this repair then my wife will just have to get used to a hammer, I think the Springfield EMP should do nicely as it is the dependable 1911 design. Personally, I think that the 9mm micro pistol "Pop Culture" will soon disappear. You just cant push the physics envelope too far when designing guns. If a company, back during the days of dependable guns, could have built a 9mm or .45 on a tiny platform, they would have done it then.
Maybe I am just getting old. In my 61 years I have NEVER had firearm that had a "design issue" but I believe that most of the micro 9's cannot be designed to function dependably. for an extended period. I honestly believe that in an effort to produce guns that look stylish, are designed to fit someone's personality or are desireable for this new generation, design quality had gone downhill.
I have an old 1911 produced back in the 60s. It looks like S--t, rust spots, dings dents, most of the blueing gone, but, this old Colt has never, NEVER, had a failure to go bang.
Thanks guys, I appreciate all of the info the I get on this site.