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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007, 09:33 PM
DesertShooter DesertShooter is offline
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Kimber Magwell




I've been thinking about making some changes to my Custom II. It's currently box stock except that I have refinished it in Combat Black Duracoat.

One of the changes I'd like to make is the addition of a magwell. I was initially thinking Smith & Alexander but lately I've been leaning toword the Kimber produced piece. The reasy is pretty much asthetic as I like how the actual mainspring housing does not extend past the bottom of the frame. I also want to add magwell sized rosewood grips, white dot sights, and an EGW stainless bushing.

What do you guys think?

Please let me know and post a pic of either the S&A or Kimber unit.

My gun...as is.





The way to go???
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2007, 11:38 PM
saltybastard saltybastard is offline
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I was also in the same boat as you are now. I went with the Smith and Alexander b/c of some shooters bumping the magwell when it was holstered during competition. When bumped hard enough, the Kimber magwell, with it's screwed on funnel portion, would slightly misalign from the magazine well. This doesn't happen very often but when it does, it can prevent the mag from going in or make it difficult to go in. This isn't a very big deal b/c you just loosen the screw and re-align but from the look of your pistol, I'm assuming you're practical with your pistol and want something that really works and is very reliable. The Smith is a one piece design. If you really can't live with the Smith and Alexander, just have a gunsmith machine the lower back strap portion. I hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2007, 07:00 AM
Bluetooth Bluetooth is offline
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I have the S&A pictured on a Colt and like it. I have not tried the Kimber but have used a two piece Wilson. I didn't fine the two piece Wilson to offer me any advantage and didn't like fiddling with the extra parts. The one piece does offer you the ability to radius the heel:

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Last edited by Bluetooth; 07-14-2007 at 05:17 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:37 PM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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If aesthetics are the only concern then choose the magwell that appeals to you.
On my guns the magwells function differently.

My Kimber Super Match has the stock Kimber magwell, as you can see from the photos the S&A magwell I installed on my Eclipse has about a quarter inch more purchase than the stock Kimber unit.


This small amount of additional checkering makes a ton of difference in control on my guns. It is “noticeable”
The Kimber magwell will actually “slip” during firing but the S&A type will lock into the meaty part of my hand.
I prefer the S&A for that reason.
Depending on your hand size and grip style you may find an advantage here.
You may want to try a few guns with the different types before commiting as they all cost and install about the same.

Also, here is a pic of my Colt Commander with the EGW bushing setup, you should expect a similar result on the Kimber.
The fancy barrel crown work was done by Bob Rodgers
Good Luck
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2007, 07:16 PM
DesertShooter DesertShooter is offline
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Thanks for the responses and the awesome pics!

My hand is not large enough to take advantage of the extra quarter inch the S&A setup provides in the magwell area. But yours looks great!

Still havnt made up my mind, but once I do, and throw all the pieces together, I'll post some pictures and let you all know.

Regarding the EGW bushing...

What dimensions should I be looking for? Are all Kimbers relatively the same, or should I invest in a dial caliper to find out my guns exact dimensions? What type of tools (files or sandpaper) should be used for fitting the bushing?
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2007, 03:23 AM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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You will need to measure the I.D. of the slide, check the O.D. of your barrel also; it should be at .580 to .581 inch in diameter.
Depending on the I.D. of your slide you should be able to order the correct size.
Check the spec’s on the EGW web site and see what George is offering.
I think he makes them in .701 .7015 and .703 inch O.D.
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2007, 05:32 PM
screamindman screamindman is offline
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I have a one piece Kimber magwell that fits perfect, looks, and functions great. I can vouch for the Kimber piece as being a solid, no b/s design. I'm a big fan of it, the only difference is that I love the arched magwell, so that's what I use. One of the other forum readers mentioned a two part design that had misalignment problems, but my piece is a solid one piece unit that doesn't even move at all. I ordered it right from the custom shop for around $80. Definately worth the money, and it does speed up reloads greatly because it automatically aligns the mag when you firing it into the gun.
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2007, 06:10 PM
Live45 Live45 is offline
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Wow - some good looking Kimbers in this thread! TheGerk - I Love those grips on that Super Match!

Now - I have a question that I probably shouldn't have, but I need help because I want walnut or rosewood grips and I'm sure which size I should get because I'm not sure if I have a magwell or not.

I have a box-stock (almost brand new) TLE II full-size. Does it have a magwell already installed? Is it integrated with the mainspring housing? I would like to get a metal mainspring housing at some point, but I'm not sure if I need the ones with the magwell included or what? Sorry for the newb post.
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2007, 09:57 PM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Live45
Now - I have a question that I probably shouldn't have, but I need help because I want walnut or rosewood grips and I'm sure which size I should get because I'm not sure if I have a magwell or not.

I have a box-stock (almost brand new) TLE II full-size. Does it have a magwell already installed? Is it integrated with the mainspring housing? I would like to get a metal mainspring housing at some point, but I'm not sure if I need the ones with the magwell included or what? Sorry for the newb post.
Your TLE does not have an extended magwell from the factory. The only difference in magwell grips and regular grips (you want Government sized grips) is the bevel at the bottom of the grip. A grip made for magwells has a flat bottom so it covers the top part of the extended magwell. A "normal" grip has a bevel so it blends in to the bottom of the frame.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2007, 11:13 PM
DesertShooter DesertShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr
Your TLE does not have an extended magwell from the factory. The only difference in magwell grips and regular grips (you want Government sized grips) is the bevel at the bottom of the grip. A grip made for magwells has a flat bottom so it covers the top part of the extended magwell. A "normal" grip has a bevel so it blends in to the bottom of the frame.
To further complicate things, your mag opening is beveled (better than a GI spec,but not as good as a mag well). This means the inner edges of the mag hole have been broken to aid in reloads. The biggest difference is the beveled mag opening is PART of the frame, and not a seperate piece (as a mag well is).

I've noticed that the magwell for sale on kimbers parts website SEEMS to be one piece from the pics, while the stock magewells on all the Kimbers I have seen are two pieces (mainspring housing, and mag 'lips'). A recent change, or a totally different part? I'm ordering the Kimber unit in a couple of weeks so I'll let you all know.

Pics to come...
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  #11  
Old 07-16-2007, 11:58 PM
JeffinAZ JeffinAZ is offline
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Magwell On Clackamas

Here is one of my Clackamas with the added Magwell, also had it blended but have no pics of the work yet. Hope this helps. Jeff





Wilson Combat CQB Compact
Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail
Dan Wesson PM-7
Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special
2 Colt Mustang Plus II's
2 Kimber Classic Customs (Clackamas)
"1 re-finished and modified , 1 LNIB condition "
Kimber Ultra CDP II
Kimber Tactical Pro 9mm
Kimber Custom II
SIG 239 9mm
S&W 581 .357
S&W 637 AirWeight .38
Walther P99 9mm
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2007, 11:59 PM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertShooter
To further complicate things, your mag opening is beveled (better than a GI spec,but not as good as a mag well). This means the inner edges of the mag hole have been broken to aid in reloads. The biggest difference is the beveled mag opening is PART of the frame, and not a seperate piece (as a mag well is).

I've noticed that the magwell for sale on kimbers parts website SEEMS to be one piece from the pics, while the stock magewells on all the Kimbers I have seen are two pieces (mainspring housing, and mag 'lips'). A recent change, or a totally different part? I'm ordering the Kimber unit in a couple of weeks so I'll let you all know.

Pics to come...
If you are ordering from the Kimber Store, the Gov't arched magwells, and all the compact magwells are one-piece. Very "similar" the the Smith & Alexander units. The flat Gov't magwells are two piece. The funnel fits into a cut-out like a dovetail in the front of the MSH and there is a hex head screw on the bottom. (You have to take the MSH part way out to take off or put on the extended part.)
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2007, 01:14 AM
Live45 Live45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr
Your TLE does not have an extended magwell from the factory. The only difference in magwell grips and regular grips (you want Government sized grips) is the bevel at the bottom of the grip. A grip made for magwells has a flat bottom so it covers the top part of the extended magwell. A "normal" grip has a bevel so it blends in to the bottom of the frame.
I see what you are saying. So my grip should be non-magwell, non-ambi? I don't think I need that magwell ... I assume I can find MSH in metal without the magwell ... 5" 1911s seem so complicated after I got one that I thought would be easy to modify.

Anyway thanks for all your guys' help here - I'd post pics, but the gun doesn't look great ... it does feel and shoot pretty good though. Maybe I'll post some when I get the grips and stuff.
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2007, 11:57 AM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Quote:
I see what you are saying. So my grip should be non-magwell, non-ambi?
The ambi grips have a small relief on the right side grip for the "other-than-Kimber" style ambis. If you take off the right grip on your TLE, you should see an ambi relief that is covered from the side by a thin flap of rubber.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2007, 10:02 PM
DesertShooter DesertShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr
If you are ordering from the Kimber Store, the Gov't arched magwells, and all the compact magwells are one-piece. Very "similar" the the Smith & Alexander units. The flat Gov't magwells are two piece. The funnel fits into a cut-out like a dovetail in the front of the MSH and there is a hex head screw on the bottom. (You have to take the MSH part way out to take off or put on the extended part.)

Thanks for the clairification Kruzr. Sounds like the dovetail should prevent the yaw that some have reported if the funnel is bumped?

The S&A magwell looks great Jeff...why must you make life difficult by swaying my choice?!??

Excellent pics
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  #16  
Old 07-17-2007, 11:42 PM
JohnnyEgo JohnnyEgo is offline
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Kimber TLE w/ S&A Magwell & Magwell Cut Aluma Grips:



I like the S&As, although the Kimbers look nice as well.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2007, 12:37 AM
Live45 Live45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr
The ambi grips have a small relief on the right side grip for the "other-than-Kimber" style ambis. If you take off the right grip on your TLE, you should see an ambi relief that is covered from the side by a thin flap of rubber.
Hrmm... let me whip it out...

So does that mean that this grip can be used with ambi or single-sided safeties? I guess I just don't see what that little relief does for the ambi ...

Sorry for the threadjack - here's a gun without the magwell ^ for comparison
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2007, 12:22 PM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Yes, that little cut-out is for the arm of the "conventional" style right side ambi safety. On all ambi's other than the one made by Kimber and one made by King's Gunworks, the right side is retained by a little arm that goes under the grip. That cut-out is needed to allow the arm to move up and down with the safety.
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2007, 06:14 PM
Live45 Live45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr
Yes, that little cut-out is for the arm of the "conventional" style right side ambi safety. On all ambi's other than the one made by Kimber and one made by King's Gunworks, the right side is retained by a little arm that goes under the grip. That cut-out is needed to allow the arm to move up and down with the safety.
Very interesting - thanks a lot for clearing that up for me. I was wondering why the grips for ambi looked the same. Now if I can decide between aluma, carbon creations, or esmeralda.
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2007, 10:57 PM
Kung Kung is offline
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Careful with the MagWells!!!

I just bought a brand new Kimber Custom II (Series II). It handles the firing pin safety differently than other makes and models. YOU MUST BE "extremely" careful when removing the slide....DO NOT depress the grip safety while stripping the slide from the frame. If you do this you will shear off the Push Rod that engages the Firing Pin Bock which equals.....negative BOOM!

Which brings me to the MagWell. I decided to install a Smith and Alexander one piece magwell. After installation I noticed that I had a slight problem getting the slide on the frame. It was hanging up at approx 95% engagement with the frame. After scratching my head for a while it dawned on me about the above mentioned issue with the Push Rod. See the S&A magwell's grip safety stops are not in the same position as the Kimber Main Spring Housing. It was stopping the grip safety from coming fully out from the frame thus causing the Push Rod to protrude out of the frame surface approx .020" and hitting the slide causing it to stop. If I had forced it harder than I did the gun would be in a box on the way to Kimber for repairs. I had to break out the file and have at it for about 30 minutes to get it just right to allow the Push Rod to sit flush with the frame surface.

I personally do not like this method of safety for the firing pin. The old series 80 is perfectly fine and much more robust. I shoot IDPA and will be using this gun. We'll see how it holds up.

Just thought I 'd let ya know to be CAREFUL with the new Kimber Custom II Series IIs.

Oh by the way...Kimber does not warranty the shearing of the Push Rod!!!

Last edited by Kung; 07-20-2007 at 11:02 PM.
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  #21  
Old 07-21-2007, 12:24 AM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kung
I just bought a brand new Kimber Custom II (Series II). It handles the firing pin safety differently than other makes and models. YOU MUST BE "extremely" careful when removing the slide....DO NOT depress the grip safety while stripping the slide from the frame. If you do this you will shear off the Push Rod that engages the Firing Pin Bock which equals.....negative BOOM!

Which brings me to the MagWell. I decided to install a Smith and Alexander one piece magwell. After installation I noticed that I had a slight problem getting the slide on the frame. It was hanging up at approx 95% engagement with the frame. After scratching my head for a while it dawned on me about the above mentioned issue with the Push Rod. See the S&A magwell's grip safety stops are not in the same position as the Kimber Main Spring Housing. It was stopping the grip safety from coming fully out from the frame thus causing the Push Rod to protrude out of the frame surface approx .020" and hitting the slide causing it to stop. If I had forced it harder than I did the gun would be in a box on the way to Kimber for repairs. I had to break out the file and have at it for about 30 minutes to get it just right to allow the Push Rod to sit flush with the frame surface.

I personally do not like this method of safety for the firing pin. The old series 80 is perfectly fine and much more robust. I shoot IDPA and will be using this gun. We'll see how it holds up.

Just thought I 'd let ya know to be CAREFUL with the new Kimber Custom II Series IIs.

Oh by the way...Kimber does not warranty the shearing of the Push Rod!!!
If you would have searched here first, or even gone through the Common Problems and Fixes Sticky, you might have saved yourself some trouble.
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  #22  
Old 07-21-2007, 11:05 PM
DesertShooter DesertShooter is offline
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Finally made a decision...

Went with the Kimber magweel, flat, oxide black.

Also ordered checkered rosewood grips to fit flush with the mag well, and an EGW stainless bushing.

I think I'll end up putting all subsequent posts and any pics of the evolution of this project in a new post since the magwell issue has been resolved.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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  #23  
Old 07-22-2007, 09:49 AM
jmeacham jmeacham is offline
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The Kimber website says their magwell "may require fitting by a qualified gunsmith" but the posts I have read on this forum never refer to this statement. What does Kimber mean by this? Does it fit out of the box or does it require smithing? I am also considering a magwell but I really don't want to order something that I can't install myself.
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  #24  
Old 07-22-2007, 12:11 PM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Any part may require fitting. When putting a magwell on a Kimber Series II gun, you need to make sure the magwell lets the grip safety to sit far enough back to allow the push rod to be flush with the frame on top. If not, the slide will get stuck on the push rod. The MSH/magwell may need to have those GS stops filed down a little.

(If you didn't understand what I just wrote, don't try to change your mainspring housing or put on a magwell until you do. A search of the Kimber section will turn up enough posts to explain it all........again.)
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  #25  
Old 07-25-2007, 07:19 PM
Kung Kung is offline
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Kimber is well aware of the Series II FP block issue. Thats why they don't warranty it when someone shears it off. The whole issue could be avoided if Kimber would just machine a small slot in the slide to clear the Push Rod during break down.
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