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  #1  
Old 10-02-2013, 09:08 AM
Olympus Olympus is online now
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Another Strike Against Kimber




I was detail stripping my stainless target the other night when I made the mistake of letting the plunger spring detent shoot out while I was removing the thumb safety. Rookie mistake I know. The spring and the detent on the slide stop side remained in the tube though. But of course, I did not see where the other detent shot out to and no amount of searching would find it.

So I ordered the spring assembly from Midway as a replacement. I actually ordered 2 since they were cheap to have an extra on and if this happens again. When they come in, I start to reassemble my pistol and notice that the replacement detent will not fit in the plunger tube. The diameter of the detent was too big for the hole in the plunget tube. I thought that was odd, so I opened the package on the other assembly I ordered and tried the other detent. Same thing, too big to fit in the hole in the tube.

So now I'm really confused. To I took apart my Dan Wesson and tried the detent in that plunger tube. Perfect fit for both detents in both packages.

Now I call Kimber and explain the problem. The guy tells me "oh no, never use aftermarket parts on a Kimber. The quality just isn't as good and that's why the detents don't fit that you ordered." Nevermind that they were either Ed Brown or Wilson, can't remember which. So I ask the rep why they don't fit since the plunger tube should be milspec in size and the detents should work no matter what name is on the gun. He would not give me a straight answer and just kept saying I should only be using Kimber parts from their website for my gun.

So whatever, I decide to just order the parts from Kimber. Then I find that they don't just sell the spring and detents, it also includes the plunger tube which I don't need. Price is a staggering $25 and shipping is almost $10! So my only option is to spend $35 and I only need one detent. The spring and detents from Midway were only like $5.

This really chaps my butt. One, that the Kimber plunger tube is NOT milspec in diameter, and two, that my only choice is to spend $35 for the whole tube assembly from Kimber.
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Last edited by Olympus; 10-02-2013 at 09:11 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-02-2013, 10:55 AM
SkippySanchez SkippySanchez is offline
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Those Midway parts should have fit, no question. Still, $35 for a part on an expensive gun doesn't seem like that much to me, knowing from personal experience plunger tubes don't last forever. Most of us go through twice that in ammo on a decent day at the range.

It's probably too late now, but for future consideration if a steel part flies across the room, drag a magnet criss-crossing the area where the detent/spring/firing pin/grip screw/whatever might have landed. You can get magnetized laminate sheets at Walmart & "blott" the area.

Might take time, but worth a try considering how much time you'd spend ordering a new part that you may have found.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2013, 11:29 AM
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Curious since all my Kimber plunger tubes are the same size as any of my other 1911s. I hope the OP realized that the two plunger pins are two different sizes. The thumb safety pin will not fit through the hole intended for the end of the slide stop pin.

Keep in mind that the plunger spring should have a bent "dogleg" in it to keep it from flying out.

Last edited by Kruzr; 10-02-2013 at 11:35 AM.
  #4  
Old 10-02-2013, 11:31 AM
RainDodger RainDodger is offline
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Well, here's your mistake, as I see it: "So I ask the rep why they don't fit since the plunger tube should be milspec in size and the detents should work no matter what name is on the gun."

Does it say somewhere that a Kimber is milspec? Personally, I would buy Kimber parts for my Kimber pistol. The fact that they don't sell it separate from the plunger tube is another matter entirely - I think they should... but again, that is their business decision.
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2013, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzr View Post
Curious since all my Kimber plunger tubes are the same size as any of my other 1911s. I hope the OP realized that the two plunger pins are two different sizes. The thumb safety pin will not fit through the hole intended for the end of the slide stop pin.

Keep in mind that the plunger spring should have a bent "dogleg" in it to keep it from flying out.
Yes, I am NOT trying to push the detent from the slide stop end of the plunger tube.

The spring does have a slight bend. The spring and detent for the slide stop did NOT fly out of the tube. Only the detent for the thumb safety shot out.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
Yes, I am NOT trying to push the detent from the slide stop end of the plunger tube.

The spring does have a slight bend. The spring and detent for the slide stop did NOT fly out of the tube. Only the detent for the thumb safety shot out.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to say that. The plunger spring and detent go in from the back but the two pins are different and the slide stop pin has to go in first.

Last edited by Kruzr; 10-02-2013 at 12:42 PM.
  #7  
Old 10-02-2013, 12:42 PM
DArBad DArBad is offline
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I sympathize with the OP. Don't know about Kimber's plunger tube size made not to mil-spec standard.

BUT, a similar story with my experience was when I still have Springfields. I wasted money buying replacement aftermarket firing pins, stupidly(me) assuming that all 1911's parts are made to mil-spec dimension, most esp. when what I owned then were: SA Mil-Spec, SA GIs. Long story short, SA's firing pins are not mil-spec BUT 9mm/38 super size even on gun model's designated as GIs and Mil-Spec.

Last edited by DArBad; 10-02-2013 at 12:48 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-02-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kruzr View Post
Sorry, I wasn't trying to say that. The plunger spring and detent go in from the back but the two pins are different and the slide stop pin has to go in first.
Maybe I misunderstood then. I know that the two detents are different sizes and that the detents and spring can only go in one direction.

The detent beside the slide stop is still in place and the spring is still in the tube. Only the larger detent is left and it can only go in one way. I tried both packages of spring assemblies again and still no luck. The detents will just barely go in the tube enough to hold them and that's using some force. They might be going inside the tube 1 to 2 millimeters, but there is no way I'm forcing them further.

I went ahead and ordered the whole assembly from Kimber. But I'm not very happy. I am fully aware that 1911 parts occasionally need to be fitted, but I never would have dreamed that of the thumb safety detent.
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Last edited by Olympus; 10-02-2013 at 01:33 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:18 PM
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You need to pull the spring and other pin out. The pin will only fit on the spring if you twist it on while holding the spring. Sometimes you have to open the end of the spring a little. You won't be able to just push it into the spring.
  #10  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kruzr View Post
You need to pull the spring and other pin out. The pin will only fit on the spring if you twist it on while holding the spring. Sometimes you have to open the end of the spring a little. You won't be able to just push it into the spring.
That's not the problem. The pin/detent is too big to fit in the plunger tube. It won't even come close to making contact with the end of the spring.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:24 PM
Glenn-SC Glenn-SC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
This really chaps my butt. One, that the Kimber plunger tube is NOT milspec in diameter, and two, that my only choice is to spend $35 for the whole tube assembly from Kimber.
I think that you should sell the gun and move on.
Your standard for quality is "milspec" and no mater what Kimber does that isn't milspec won't be good enough for you (or is just "bad") you'll remember that every time something goes wrong and it will be blamed. And you'll now stay awake nights wondering what other Kimber parts are not milspec and will break and/or need to be replaced.

I bet those Target sights aren't even milspec either!
That "match" barrel? Whoa!
  #12  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:28 PM
VietVet USMC 1968 VietVet USMC 1968 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
This really chaps my butt. One, that the Kimber plunger tube is NOT milspec in diameter, and two, that my only choice is to spend $35 for the whole tube assembly from Kimber.
You assumption seems to be the issue here. Take responsibility for what you did & stop blaming Kimber.
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:36 PM
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You assumption seems to be the issue here. Take responsibility for what you did & stop blaming Kimber.
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  #14  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by VietVet USMC 1968 View Post
You assumption seems to be the issue here. Take responsibility for what you did & stop blaming Kimber.
Thanks for the tip. You'll note I already took responsibility for losing the part if you had fully read my post.

And I do blame Kimber for using a plunger tube with an inside diameter that is too small to use aftermarket detents that work perfectly in my other 1911s.

If my comments about my displeasure with Kimber affects you so much that you feel the need to comment with nothing of substance, I'd recommend a thicker skin.
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Last edited by Olympus; 10-02-2013 at 02:49 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-02-2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Glenn-SC View Post
I think that you should sell the gun and move on.
Your standard for quality is "milspec" and no mater what Kimber does that isn't milspec won't be good enough for you (or is just "bad") you'll remember that every time something goes wrong and it will be blamed. And you'll now stay awake nights wondering what other Kimber parts are not milspec and will break and/or need to be replaced.

I bet those Target sights aren't even milspec either!
That "match" barrel? Whoa!
This makes no sense. "Good enough" has nothing to do with anything. I've been shooting 1911s for a lot of years and have replaced worn out or broken parts on other guns with high quality aftermarket parts more times than I can count. This is just my first experience with a nonstandard plunger tube.
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  #16  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:01 PM
DArBad DArBad is offline
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Whoe, guys! First the federal government shutdown, now this????

What is the world coming to??

OP, as I intimated, its not just Kimber, but most other makers have a few parts that are not manufactured to " MIL-Spec " dimension. It is also possible that ONLY YOUR GUN 's plunger dimension that is a little bit off.

Cheers.
  #17  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DArBad View Post

OP, as I intimated, its not just Kimber, but most other makers have a few parts that are not manufactured to " MIL-Spec " dimension. It is also possible that ONLY YOUR GUN 's plunger dimension that is a little bit off.

Cheers.
I had the same thought. Luckily I have the exact same gun in a different caliber and I tried my new detents in that gun also. Same results. The plunger tube is too small. And this gun was just purchased brand new a few weeks ago. So that ruled out something being wrong with my plunger tube.

I completely understand that not all parts will interchange. I should have known better than use the term "milspec" on this forum. The it doesn't change the fact that, IN MY OPINION, the inside of the plunger tube should be a standard size diameter and something as small as detent should not have to be "fitted" in order to be installed. But then again, maybe I have my expectations too high...
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:12 PM
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I just pulled the plunger spring and plugs from my Stainless Target II and tried two Ed Brown plungers (one brand new out of the bag and the other from my KC) and one Les Baer plunger. They all slid right in. Kimber's plunger tube is no different than other 1911's. If the tube is too small for the pin then the tube is bent or dinged.

The OP needs to pull the spring and slide stop plunger out to see if there is a problem but to say that Kimber's tubes are not the same diameter as other 1911's is just plain incorrect information.

Last edited by Kruzr; 10-02-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:15 PM
bigdogdaddy bigdogdaddy is offline
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Price is a staggering $25 and shipping is almost $10!
You need a boat. I just paid a little over $200 for 2 distributor caps, 2 rotors, 2 sets of points. I honest to God can't remember the last thing I bought for the boat that cost $25.
  #20  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kruzr View Post
I just pulled the plunger spring and plugs from my Stainless Target II and tried two Ed Brown plungers and one Les Baer plunger. They all slid right in. Kimber's plunger tube is no different than other 1911's. If the tube is too small for the pin then the tube is bent or dinged.

The OP needs to pull the spring and slide stop plunger out to see if there is a problem but to say that Kimber's tubes are not the same diameter as other 1911's is just plain incorrect information.
I appreciate you doing that. But the gun in question is a stainless target 9mm. I just bought a new stainless target in 10mm and neither of the detents will fit in that gun either. So something has to be up or I'm just the unlucky guy to have 2 guns with incorrect dimensions. If I wasn't experiencing the same problem in 2 identical guns, I'd say your are definitely right. But I have the same problem with both Kimbers.

I also tried these detents in my Dan Wesson Razorback as will as my Range Officer. They slid right in on those two guns.
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  #21  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:19 PM
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You need a boat. I just paid a little over $200 for 2 distributor caps, 2 rotors, 2 sets of points. I honest to God can't remember the last thing I bought for the boat that cost $25.
I have one of those, a 2001 Bryant 182 Limited. Knock on wood, it's been problem free so far.
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  #22  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:31 PM
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Do the Razorback or RO spring and detent assemblies fit in the Kimbers?
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:46 PM
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Do the Razorback or RO spring and detent assemblies fit in the Kimbers?
Didn't think to try that. But I certainly will this evening. I was too focused on the new ones.

And I've never tried the new springs that came in the packages. Only the rear detents. Didn't figure there was any need to change out the whole shabang.
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  #24  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:53 PM
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I'm just trying to figure out what could be causing this since plunger tubes aren't caliber specific and all the Kimber's I know of, are the same as other 1911s.

I'm wondering what you are going to pull out of the tube and if the spring is in one piece.

  #25  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:58 PM
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I've already pulled the spring and smaller detent out of my gun. Nothing out of the norm. I checked the plunger tube and there are no dents or kinks.

I can hold the new detent up to the rear hole in the plunger tube and visibility see that they are both approximately the same diameter. Its that apparent that the new detent won't fit inside the hole. And that rear hole does not appear to be egg shaped or out of round in any way either. I made sure to check that too.
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