Any trouble with Kimber? vs SA

This is a discussion on Any trouble with Kimber? vs SA within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I currently carry a Springfield Armory Mil-spec full-time. I have a buddy who swears by his Kimber for a carry gun (not sure which model, ...

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Thread: Any trouble with Kimber? vs SA

  1. #1
    Member Array laeckcrov's Avatar
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    Any trouble with Kimber? vs SA

    I currently carry a Springfield Armory Mil-spec full-time. I have a buddy who swears by his Kimber for a carry gun (not sure which model, I've never used his). I've only ever used a Kimber for having a good time at the local range, and it is a an older Custom II that has only 2 or 3k full powered rounds fired through it, and i have had 2 feed problems from Speer Gold Dots (200gr JHP). I've cycled close to 6k rounds through the SA, everything from some 165gr to a very hot 230gr, and never had any malfunctions, hang ups, or anything as much as a bad feeling from it. This obviously lead me to trust it completely as my full time carry.

    I'm interested in a Kimber as a carry (although most of the holster time would still go to the SA) but with these two trouble issues i don't trust it with my life and the lives of those around me. Now the real question is, is this a problem you have all seen in various kimbers, or is mine a trouble child.

    **EDIT: the Custom II is not a rental, but my "play" gun i.e. i don't use it for any serious shooting**

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  3. #2
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    I wouldn't base my personal opinion on any used gun rented at the range...lemons come in all makes and models.
    I have had several Kimbers without ever having a problem. I've know individuals paying $3K for a quality firearm, only to be frustrated because of mechanical concerns...it's going to happen...no guarantees.

    You'll find pro's and con's on these threads of every firearm mentioned.

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    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    I have carried both a full size SA Mil-Spec and Champion for years
    (18). Have had 0 malfunctions with the full size with any ammo I fed it and carried it for 16 years till I found the Champ. My Champion had a few FTFs and occasional FTE with JHP's and was ejecting the last round straight in the middle of my forehead. Sent it back to SA and they replaced/tuned the ejector, throated the barrel and polished the feed ramp and barrel. After that she was good to go. Carried it for 2 years till the cost of .45 was too much to get in a weekly practice session. Am now carrying a BHP and am extremely pleased with it, and the ammo is much more affordable and holds an extra 6 rounds per mag. Now let's talk Kimbers. Do alot of IPSC and IDP matches. Saw 3 full size Kimbers which I cannot remember the models give their owners fit's. FTF's, FTE were the big problem. 2 of the three were sent back to Kimber for repair and still had the same problems. The other gent sold his and bought a SA. Can't say all Kimbers are bad as have heard great things about them, but from my experiences I would not buy one. My SA's are now my bedside and truck partners. JMO.

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  5. #4
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    I too have been very happy with my SA Champion. I like the looks and feel of the Kimbers but I don't like the feed ramp being part of the frame and not the barrel. It probably works just fine but it just bugs me. My next 1911 is probably going to be a Springfield unless I get rich and can buy an Ed Brown!
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    Ex Member Array Silver Wolf's Avatar
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    Kimber vs SA

    I have owned both for about 5 years.
    My Kimber TLE was purchased gently used and I have put a few thousand rounds with it without an issue. I had a smith friend give it a spring job and put in an Ed Brown Extractor and that is it. It was appropriated by my wife as her bedside/carry gun. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
    I also own a SA Loaded that is great. Reliable, nice to shoot and all of that.
    However, I have seen the bad sides of each. I purchased a really nice SS Loaded from a friend and come to find out, he over tuned it. It would train wreck, FTF and so on. I took it into my smith friend and he gutted it and put in new guts. I wore it for a while, shot it and sold it. I still had that stigma in my mind about all of the issues before repair.
    While I worked in a gun store, I have seen Kimbers with cracked frames (from standard loads, no Double Tap), FTF, FTE, terrible feed ramp jobs (one was vertical) and so on.
    Please don't base you opinion off of a rental gun that may not be maintained properly. Not to mention, I have a few very picky 1911's that will only feed certain rounds properly. My Colt is a bullseye gun and likes semi wadcutters but cannot feed a Gold Dot. I use Corbon or SXT's, if I decide to carry it. My Colt also HATES Wilson Mags and my Kimber HATES Kimber or McCormick mags... Go figure. .
    If you get to shoot your friends Kimber; my advice is to use various mags with various ammo. Shoot it clean and dirty... This will give you a better opinion. I am not endorsing Kimber, I like all 1911's... I just need more. LOL.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Kimber does seem to have a common problem with their 1911's in that the slide stop is out of spec or too large and causing premature slide lock. Kimber also, more times than not, really does require a 500 round break in period before they will feed right.

    Don't get me wrong. I own a Kimber Compact II and a Kimber Ultra Carrry II but I also own two Springfield Armory guns. I really think I prefer the Springfield Armory guns over the Kimbers for out of the box reliability. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    Kimbers, especially their more expensive custom or CDP guns, absolutely require break-in. They are TIGHT, and tight guns almost always need awhile to run smoothly. That said, I prefer Kimbers. Both Kimber Master Dealer's in my area, that each sell tens of thousands of dollars worth of Kimbers a year, cannot recall sending a Kimber back to the factory due to a problem. They HAVE sent back SA's and even Sig 1911's. One dealer told me when he hears of trouble with a Kimber, it's always been traced back to user error or misunderstanding (lack of proper break-in, limp wristing, crappy mags, etc.).

    I just took my brand new (got it Friday) Kimber Pro CDP II to the range for a few minutes yesterday. I only had time to shoot about 80 or so rounds through it, a mix of 230gr WWB and 230gr HydraShoks. Didn't have time to try any 230gr HST. I had maybe 4 failures to go completely into battery -- the slide was that tight. Mind you, I didn't clean or oil it before shooting it. I took it straight out of the box from the dealer, checked that it appeared sufficiently lubed (Kimber sends them out pretty wet), loaded it, and fired away. No doubt that with a proper cleaning and lube plus another few hundred rounds, it will be reliable and trustworthy enough for EDC. Until then, I still carry the Commander.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Wolf
    My Colt also HATES Wilson Mags and my Kimber HATES Kimber or McCormick mags... Go figure. .
    And that right there I think exemplifies the phrase "Your Mileage May Vary." Granted it was only 80 or so rounds, but my Kimber worked fine with the widely criticized stock Kimber mag, as well as two McCormick Shooting Star mags and one Wilson 47D mag I used with my Colt Commander. So neither my Colt nor Kimber has a problem so far with any of the mags you mention. I do have 3 KimPro mags ordered though so I don't have to share mags between the Colt and Kimber.
    David

    Kimber Pro CDP II Colt Combat Commander Glock 26 GNS Ruger Mark III 22/45 Kahr CW9 (sold)

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    Member Array FallenPhoenix's Avatar
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    I've been shooting a Kimber Pro Carry (external extractor) for almost 5 years now and have been extremely pleased with it. It doesn't have an extremely large number of rounds through it as I've used my XD9 for IDPA and most practice sessions. It does however, have enough failure free rounds through it that I trust it on my hip and to fire when I need it to. The only problems I've had were when it was very new, dirty, or with new ammunition. I'm hesitant to try any newer ammunition because it is so reliable with Golden Sabers. For what it's worth, I do use Wilson combat 8rd magazines almost exclusively.

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    Member Array laeckcrov's Avatar
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    I appreciate the insight, and what appears to be a relatively un-biased view. Being a nub here it's a big deal to me.

    So that leads to a follow-up question. My only concern about kimbers were the two mishaps i had, and other "stories" but i guess the only thing left for me to do is buy a new kimber and see for myself. Best case scenario, i end up with another 1911 as an alt for my Mil-Spec EDC. Worst case scenario i end up with another 1911.

    Sounds like a win-win to me.

    Any recommendations on where to start looking, i am biased towards 5", and minimal "shiny".
    The muzzle end of a .45 pretty much says, "Go Away" in every language.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array SCfromNY's Avatar
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    I bought a Kimber 5" Eclipse Target with the external extractor. First it ejects so far sometimes I can not find the brass. Not a bad thing. When breaking in after 500 rounds it went back twice for FTE. They did all the usual however I was approaching 1000 rds and still having the problem.

    I went on the 1911 forum and it was suggested something about "braking the shoulder" I had no idea but copied the suggestion and took it to the gunsmith. 5000rds+ and never a problem.

    It works best with Wilson mags. I do not like the metal follower in McCormicks and the 10rd mags do not always seat with my mag well.

    When I do everthing right the gun is unbelievably accurate. I use CCI, Remmington, and handloads. (230 or 200 Ranier Hollow points) The only problem I have ever had was with American Eagle.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    SCfromNY,

    It almost sounds like your recoil spring may need upgraded to a heavier spring if your brass is being thrown that far. Brass should end up about 6 feet to your right and slightly behind.

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