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-   -   Kimber and Swartz Safety (http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=276071)

Flfiremedic 06-17-2010 10:02 AM

Kimber and Swartz Safety
 
Guys I'm sure this has been hashed and rehashed. I've used Glocks for YEARs, but feel in love with the feel of a Kimber TLE II. Have some friends that are part of the Gloom and Doom club are warning me not to use it as a carry pistol due to the unreliability of the Swartz grip safety. I've done some research, and it seems some heavy hitters are carrying this exact weapon with no issues. Any recommendations here?

SRJim 06-17-2010 10:13 AM

It's horrible. As soon as they started using the Swartz, production and sales tanked. They can barely keep the doors open with the est. 50,000 sold per year. :biglaugh:

It's possible for one to cause an issue but it's very, very rare. And if it does, it's easily fixed or eliminated. But like you said, there are lot of them carried every day with no problems. Go for it!! :D

Horoscope Fish 06-17-2010 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flfiremedic (Post 2725170)
Guys I'm sure this has been hashed and rehashed. I've used Glocks for YEARs, but feel in love with the feel of a Kimber TLE II. Have some friends that are part of the Gloom and Doom club are warning me not to use it as a carry pistol due to the unreliability of the Swartz grip safety. I've done some research, and it seems some heavy hitters are carrying this exact weapon with no issues. Any recommendations here?

Ahhh... D&G is so FUN to spread around, isn't it? Especially when you have no real, first hand experience with what you're talking about!! I've been shooting my Kimber with the Swartz safety and, while it makes me wish I had a third hand to disassemble my slide with, it's given me zero issues. Spoke with my local gunsmith about it. His advice: leave it alone. Spoke with two independent indoor ranges about their rental Kimbers and problems reported with them and/or the Swartz in particular before I bought my Kimber. Zero problems reported. Tell your friends they need to move on to some other topic to rail on. The whole Swartz Safety thing is a non-issue.

How about we talk about Glock KA-BOOM issues instead!!??

Kruzr 06-17-2010 11:12 AM

Quote:

Any recommendations here?
They are Glock shooters, nothing they say about 1911's should be mistaken for factual.

THE_DUDE 06-17-2010 11:20 AM

I went through through the same dillema. I researched and rationalized and now I just don't care. There are many more important things we should be worried about. If they were that bad nobody would by them. Most every modern handgun has a FPS of some type. Folks just get nutted up because the 1911 didn't come with one originally. So there are a few that are totally opposed to series 80 or swartz, the rest just maintain and check function regularly (as you should with any gun) and don't lose any sleep over it.

mikeg1005 06-17-2010 11:35 AM

I have only heard one bad thing about the swartz safety after reading some guys long post who was a former swat member.. he said they got the "swartz safety guns" from kimber and they started having issue.. but he never stated that it was directly related to the safety.. now this is ONE guy out of the thousands I have seen online that have no issues and 1000s more than don't post/don't belong to forums.. like I said.. the guys issue was not directly related to the safety.. just the gun itself.

If you look at how it works.. theres really nothing that will fail on it.. its a pin that pushes up into the slide that is activated by the grip safety. If you aren't gripping it right then it won't work(and its physically impossible to not grip it right and still shoot the gun)

If you have that big of an issue w/ the swartz safety regardless of what people say and still want a kimber.. you can look at the warrior.. same gun as the Custom TLE II except it is a 70series style gun and has the kim pro finish which is nicer than the matte finish for cleaning purpose.. but ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW... the kimber warrior comes in series I and II... make sure you get the series I(70 style) if you don't want the safety.. the desert warrior(what I have) is only a 70 series style.

MIke.

jbar1tex 06-17-2010 12:01 PM

Hmmm learn something new everyday. MikeG, I didnt know the Warrior had the series 70 option, in fact I thought all current Kimbers were Series 80.

I like the series 70 models that I have, only due to that 3rd hand mention when breaking her down - it can be done and I feel so accomplished when I get her back together - thank god I have long toes :biglaugh:. But that's the only conern or "issue" that I have. None whatsoever on the mechanism itself, nor do I have any beef that its there. I also realize why it came to life too - plausible reasons, but perhaps not so realistic (think lawyer talk). Neither here nor there for me on that too.

No worries about the swartz safety, I do not feel more confident with it or without it, but I certainly wouldnt let it sway a purchase decision.

Kruzr 06-17-2010 01:42 PM

Quote:

I thought all current Kimbers were Series 80.
No Kimbers are Series 80 style. They have a completely different type of firing pin block.

Flfiremedic 06-17-2010 02:10 PM

Always trusted my Glocks...but this Kimber just felt right. The Doom and Gloom club member keeps sending me quotes from a different forum that I'm eligable to join but have no interest in. I feel better hearing from you guys about the safety, and again...really like this Kimber...its already a daily carry, just one I feel a little better about now.

BDHES 06-17-2010 03:12 PM

Like SRJim said, with over 50,000 sold a year, I have yet to see a documented case of a FP safety going bad in a crisis. In fact, all I've seen are second and third hand accounts of a problem with one at all.

My theory is that it's just another way for the Kimber Haters to spread what you've called "Doom and Gloom" :biglaugh:

Get it and enjoy it!

Thanks,
BD

BaldEagle323 06-17-2010 03:17 PM

The Series 80, like on a Colt, blocks the FP until the trigger is squeezed. Some say that this has a small negative effect on the trigger. Kimber uses a Swartz type of safety that requires the grip safety to be depressed before the FP can work. I have had zero issues with mine, and I doubt seriously if anyone on here has had any. Maybe one in thousands...so some insist on removing this device. I wouldn't remove it on a SD gun...the BG's lawyer will have that as me defeating a safety device, making my gun more deadly and therefore I was looking for trouble. The only time I notice it is stripping or reassembling the slide, and removing the slide from the frame. I like the little plunger I have to depress to remove the FP...makes it less likely to launch it across the room.

chiefjefe 06-17-2010 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flfiremedic (Post 2725170)
Guys I'm sure this has been hashed and rehashed. I've used Glocks for YEARs, but feel in love with the feel of a Kimber TLE II. Have some friends that are part of the Gloom and Doom club are warning me not to use it as a carry pistol due to the unreliability of the Swartz grip safety. I've done some research, and it seems some heavy hitters are carrying this exact weapon with no issues. Any recommendations here?

Yes, get a series 1 kimber, better option imo.

DArBad 06-17-2010 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flfiremedic (Post 2725170)
Guys I'm sure this has been hashed and rehashed. I've used Glocks for YEARs, but feel in love with the feel of a Kimber TLE II. Have some friends that are part of the Gloom and Doom club are warning me not to use it as a carry pistol due to the unreliability of the Swartz grip safety. I've done some research, and it seems some heavy hitters are carrying this exact weapon with no issues. Any recommendations here?

Funny, its the exact opposite of over 15 shooting ranges/gunstores I've been to in the SF Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno Nevada & Las Vegas Nevada.

The Kimber overwhelmingly-------is the favorite brand, outselling almost everything else----because of reliability & quality of fit/finish.

Butthead 06-17-2010 05:43 PM

Basically, the FPB in a Glock is just a beefed-up (and simplified) Swarz safety type system anyway.

So, why would you have any reservations about carrying the Kimber as a CCW if you trust the Glock? :confused:

wtfd661 06-17-2010 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kruzr (Post 2725244)
They are Glock shooters, nothing they say about 1911's should be mistaken for factual.

:biglaugh:

Never had a problem with both of my Series II Kimbers :rock:

LJA 06-18-2010 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeg1005 (Post 2725276)
If you look at how it works.. theres really nothing that will fail on it.. its a pin that pushes up into the slide that is activated by the grip safety. If you aren't gripping it right then it won't work(and its physically impossible to not grip it right and still shoot the gun)MIke.

Not quite, Mike. Depending on the timing of the Swartz, you can in fact not grip the gun right, pull the trigger, the hammer will fall, but the firing pin remains locked. Click but no bang is the outcome.

Most Kimbers seemed to be timed so that the firing pin block is released before the trigger is released by the grip safety. I personally have one that releases the trigger well before the firing pin block is released - and the firing pin block does not release until just before the grip safety bottoms. I think this is a dangerous combination in an SD gun where, in a stressful situation, you just might not get a perfect grip - or even a good enough grip - to release the Swartz block.

Log Man posted a pretty straightforward test to determine whether the Swartz timing is correct. IIRC, and I may not, the test is done by first making sure the gun is empty. Then make sure it is empty. Then be really sure it is empty. If you are sure the gun is unloaded, and with the muzzle pointing in a safe direction, depress the grip safety and dry-fire the gun letting the hammer fall. Keep the trigger fully pulled to the rear. Release the grip safety while holding the trigger fully to the rear. Use the hand that is holding the trigger back to pull and hold the hammer down, and use the other hand with a pen or small punch to push in the firing pin and see if it is fully released. Kind of like the Monkey with the football thing, but if you can manage it, and the firing pin is not blocked, your Kimber is timed correctly. You will note that the grip safety is still being kept from returning to a fully released position by the trigger being held to the rear, and you will see it move back to its relaxed position when you release the trigger. The idea here is to confirm that the firing pin is unblocked before the trigger is released.

Log - or anyone else - if I got it wrong please fix it. It's been a while since I tried it and don't have a Kimber handy.

Good Luck, LJA

fildugn 06-18-2010 09:14 AM

1911 owners are a strange bunch. They will take a stock pistol and checker the MSH and front strap, bobtail the frame, add crimson trace grips or night sights, they will polish the ramp and throat the barrel and add a full length guide rod, they will lower and flare the ejection port, do a trigger job and add an ambidextrous thumb safety. But let someone add a firing pin safety and they start screaming "It's not like John M Browning made it".

RainDodger 06-18-2010 12:28 PM

fildugn... you have succeeded in making me smile today. I needed that. :)

Kruzr 06-18-2010 01:08 PM

I've always subscribed to the philosophy that in a stressful situation, if you can't depress the grip the gun properly to fully depress the grip safety as you always have when shooting prior to that, then you probably won't be shooting too well either.

If you have a problem with it when at the range, then it should be addressed. If you don't, you should have no reason to believe it would be an issue at just the time you need to depend upon it however small a chance of that situation is.

DArBad 06-18-2010 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fildugn (Post 2726562)
1911 owners are a strange bunch. They will take a stock pistol and checker the MSH and front strap, bobtail the frame, add crimson trace grips or night sights, they will polish the ramp and throat the barrel and add a full length guide rod, they will lower and flare the ejection port, do a trigger job and add an ambidextrous thumb safety. But let someone add a firing pin safety and they start screaming "It's not like John M Browning made it".

So true, filugn, I am with you on this one:rock:

Bulldog Six 06-18-2010 02:09 PM

The Swartz safety, much like the Series 80 safety (only worse), is an ostensible solution desperately casting about for a real problem.

Every modification to the baseline 1911 design should be weighed on a scale that judges increased complexity and operational risk to potential benefit for the user.

An ambi safety, for example, adds both complexity and fragility to an important function of the pistol - clear negatives. However, for left handed shooters carrying 1911s, most conclude that the risk is outweighed by the virtue of fast operation of the safety, in a manner that doesn't alter the firing grip. It does, however, require careful fitting and periodic checking, a small price to pay for most southpaws.

As for the Swartz and Series 80 safeties, I guess that the three safeties on a 1911 (grip safety, thumb safety and most important, trigger finger wired to a functioning brain) aren't enough for some people. To each his own.

SWG62 06-18-2010 05:59 PM

Swartz Timing
 
I had the same thing with the Swartz timing on my Ultra Raptor as LJA said in post #16. I had read Log Man's welding fix on the grip safety, I even thought about asking him if he would weld up mine. This afternoon I took the Raptor apart and tried the Jerry K. method of stretching the grip safety extension. A 6oz. ball peen, a heavy steel plate and a 1/4in. punch applied to the top and nose worked. A little file work on the MSH ears and the timing is not quite perfect but it's about 95%. I decided to quit while I was ahead.
Log Man must have been the ghost writer for Jerry Kuhnhausen's 1911 book.

OC1911 06-18-2010 06:48 PM

drift rear sight off the gun, firing pin block comes out of the top of the slide, drift sight back to place. done.

my grand raptor has had this done to it and it causes no issues and makes takedown of the slide so much easier...

Horoscope Fish 06-18-2010 06:57 PM

I've heard replacing the stock, Series 80 firing pin with a Series 70 firing pin neatly defeats the Swartz Safety, for those so inclined, since there is no notch for the safety to engage on the Series 80 pin. But, then, I'm not a gunsmith so don't take my word for it.

B Wood 06-18-2010 08:55 PM

I must be one of the few that has documented Schwartz safety issues.

I own two Kimbers...a pre Series II CDP compact which is perfect....and a Pro Eclipse II which has failed numerous times. Ask Dennis at Kimber.

dealing with Dennis was a pain. Ended up going to another contact who headed the military side up...same one that worked on the DET1 pistols. They fixed mine...but ended up rebuilding the entire gun. One of the problems was a barrel drilled off center.

For those that doubt Schwartz issues...let me post these photos.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...r/IMG_8047.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...r/IMG_8046.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...r/IMG_8045.jpg

The problems we encountered on this pistol were failures to feed, failures to fire, failures to eject, and jams. I believe that the failures to feed & eject, as well as the jams were caused by the off center drilled barrel.

The failures to fire occurred with numerous brands of ammo, numerous shooters, and numerous times. the grip safety would be depressed, trigger squeezed, and nothing would happen. The problem was the forge markings on the pin within the slide that the Schwartz activator engages...the forge markings allowed for an inconsistent engagement of the safety..resulting in failures to fire.

I can and have documented the failures. Kimber rebuilt the pistol..but dealing with Dennis soured me forever on Kimber. Thank GOD for Chris at Kimber......

I still carry my CDP...never an issue. My Eclipse on the other hand....well all the brave talkers here...make an offer if you trust the safety so much....my email is [email protected]

PS..Kimber refused a refund on it...which would have been much better for them to do....I would have been happier, and they definitely would have been happier.


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