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  #1  
Old 08-21-2008, 07:02 PM
hwy1strat hwy1strat is offline
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Taurus PT 1911 vs. Kimber Custom II




I have read good things and bad things about both so now I want to get opinions from people who have shot these guns. Here in my area I can get the Taurus for 650 and a used Kimber for 750. I am willing to spend the extra hundered or so if it is worth it. What should I get. If there are any other brands in this price range that perform as well as or better please let me know.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2008, 07:51 PM
blkford blkford is offline
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I don't have either but I wanted to comment on the price for the Kimber. There is a gun shop down here that has a new CustomII for $649 and a Custom TLE II for $799. Amother shop has a very nice used Custom II for $745. I asked the guy with the used one why he was so much higher than the other place and he said the Custom II went for $1100 new. I think he is way off base on that but I haven't shopped aroung for Kimbers,( I'm more of a Springfield guy).
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2008, 07:52 PM
m_deaner m_deaner is offline
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I bought a stainless Taurus 1911 for $570 from Bud's Gun Shop. Overall, I'm happy with it, but it had a few problems.

1. Barrel bushing was not well fitted to the barrel. There was .005" of space between the bushing and barrel. I bought an EGW melt bushing and fitted it to the barrel for .001" of clearance. ($23)

2. Ambidextrous safety started coming apart after about 100-rounds. Replaced it with a STI single-sided safety ($25). It required about 5-minutes of filing and fitting.

3. Plastic grips were cheap feeling and the checkering was rough on my hand. Replaced with Hogue kingwood grips ($23) which fit perfectly with no modification. But I did need to buy new grip screws ($8) because the ones Taurus used were oversized.

4. I didn't like the full length guide rod. It made dissassembly difficult, especially after fitting the EGW melt bushing, and added extra weight to the gun that just wasn't needed. I bought a standard Ed Brown plug ($9) and guide rod ($16).

5. Magazine springs were weak, so sometimes the first round nose-dived after releasing the slide. Replaced magazines with CMC power mags ($21 each).

6. Replaced stock recoil spring with 18-lb ISMI spring ($7) because it seemed like the frame was taking a beating with factory hardball and defensive HP loads. Also installed a Wilson shock buffer ($6/package).

7. The Heinie straight 8 sights were impossible for me to get used to. I'm used to using a 6-o'clock hold, and was shooting 6" low at 25-yards with the Straight 8's. I ground and filed the front site down until the gun shot to point of impact, then cold-blued the front sight.

So now my PT1911 is reliable and very accurate, and the fit and finish is good for the price. But it was a lot of work and extra money getting to that point. I think the Kimber might be a better gun out of the box.

Last edited by m_deaner; 08-21-2008 at 07:55 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2008, 08:49 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwy1strat View Post
I have read good things and bad things about both so now I want to get opinions from people who have shot these guns. Here in my area I can get the Taurus for 650 and a used Kimber for 750. I am willing to spend the extra hundered or so if it is worth it. What should I get. If there are any other brands in this price range that perform as well as or better please let me know.
Rock Island makes a very good 1911 for alot less. They are not good project guns, but the one I have didn't need any work done to it. It is very accurate and very dependable. I love my PT1911, and think it's one of the best bang for buck 1911's going. But I got a way better deal than $650 for mine. If the only PT you can get is going to cost $650, then go with the Kimber by all means. But, if you're looking for a real bargain shooter, with by far and away the best customer service in all of the 1911 brands, go with the Rock Island(RIA). Look on the RIA threads and you'll see plenty of happy gun owners crowing about their guns. BTW, I also own a Kimber Raptor II that is the cat's meow and am still waiting on a Pro Carry II to get here.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2008, 08:51 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_deaner View Post
I bought a stainless Taurus 1911 for $570 from Bud's Gun Shop. Overall, I'm happy with it, but it had a few problems.

1. Barrel bushing was not well fitted to the barrel. There was .005" of space between the bushing and barrel. I bought an EGW melt bushing and fitted it to the barrel for .001" of clearance. ($23)

2. Ambidextrous safety started coming apart after about 100-rounds. Replaced it with a STI single-sided safety ($25). It required about 5-minutes of filing and fitting.

3. Plastic grips were cheap feeling and the checkering was rough on my hand. Replaced with Hogue kingwood grips ($23) which fit perfectly with no modification. But I did need to buy new grip screws ($8) because the ones Taurus used were oversized.

4. I didn't like the full length guide rod. It made dissassembly difficult, especially after fitting the EGW melt bushing, and added extra weight to the gun that just wasn't needed. I bought a standard Ed Brown plug ($9) and guide rod ($16).

5. Magazine springs were weak, so sometimes the first round nose-dived after releasing the slide. Replaced magazines with CMC power mags ($21 each).

6. Replaced stock recoil spring with 18-lb ISMI spring ($7) because it seemed like the frame was taking a beating with factory hardball and defensive HP loads. Also installed a Wilson shock buffer ($6/package).

7. The Heinie straight 8 sights were impossible for me to get used to. I'm used to using a 6-o'clock hold, and was shooting 6" low at 25-yards with the Straight 8's. I ground and filed the front site down until the gun shot to point of impact, then cold-blued the front sight.

So now my PT1911 is reliable and very accurate, and the fit and finish is good for the price. But it was a lot of work and extra money getting to that point. I think the Kimber might be a better gun out of the box.
How did your EGW bushing turn out? Been thinking of getting one myself.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2008, 08:59 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is online now
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Since the Olympics are going on, I vote Made In America...Kimber.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:03 PM
Ratsrepus Ratsrepus is offline
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Love my Kimber and will never trade or sell it.

Held a Taurus and wasn't as impressed with its fit and finish.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:10 PM
m_deaner m_deaner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
How did your EGW bushing turn out? Been thinking of getting one myself.
It's a high-quality part, looks great, and it isn't too hard to fit. I used a brake cylinder hone to ream out the inside until it tightly fitted the barrel, then polished the inner surface with emery cloth until I got to .001" clearance. I fitted the outside by sliding the bushing on a dowel rod and then screwing a bolt in the end of it, expanding it and making it a mandrel. I then spun the dowel in a drill press and used sandpaper to remove material from the outside of the bushing (but NOT material from the lug!) until it fit the slide.

If I had to do it again, I'd have ordered the bushing directly through EGW by phone and paid an extra $5 for the bushing to be built to the specs of my gun. I didn't know EGW did custom bushings for such a trivial expense until after I'd bought a standard bushing from Brownells. All you need to order a custom bushing is the OD of your barrel and the ID of your slide.
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:10 PM
hwy1strat hwy1strat is offline
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what do yal think about buying a used one?
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:12 PM
CCOOK CCOOK is offline
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Custom II vs. PT1911? I don't think there's really a comparison here - Custom II hands down - made in America, better warranty, better parts, better fit, better finish, and a far more reputable manufacturer.

-Cook
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:30 PM
Agent6-3/8 Agent6-3/8 is offline
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IMO, its not even close. I'd take the Kimber.
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:34 PM
zdragon52 zdragon52 is online now
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i bought a customII earlier this year(my first Kimber). Couldn't be happier. i was so impressed i bought another Kimber (UCII)..... another winner for me. Just shop around....i paid just under 600 plus tax and fees for a NIB customII.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2008, 06:59 AM
Ratsrepus Ratsrepus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwy1strat View Post
what do yal think about buying a used one?
I wouldn't worry about it. If I had those two options in front of me, I'd get that Kimber and not look back.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2008, 07:53 AM
Ske1etor Ske1etor is offline
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Well, I am convinced that the Custom II is one of the best values in the 1911 world. One can be had for anywhere between 600-750 range depending where you shop.

I absolutely love mine and it rides in my waistband every day.
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2008, 08:07 AM
Slabsides45 Slabsides45 is offline
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Right now on Gunbroker....

They are selling NIB Custom II's for $650 and up.

I was in a gunshop the other day, and they had a USED RIA milspec for sale for $450.00. Yeah, I could have gotten them off it another $50 or so, but I bought my RIA Tactical NEW for $389 plus s/h. My point is, some of these guys are a lot like your friendly neighborhood auto dealers, they'll take it if you'll let them. I'd resist the urge to buy the used one for $100 more than I could get a new one. Heck, even if it costs you another $60 in shipping, you'll get a new gun versus an unknown.
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:02 AM
JR47 JR47 is offline
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Quote:
I bought a stainless Taurus 1911 for $570 from Bud's Gun Shop. Overall, I'm happy with it, but it had a few problems.

1. Barrel bushing was not well fitted to the barrel. There was .005" of space between the bushing and barrel. I bought an EGW melt bushing and fitted it to the barrel for .001" of clearance. ($23)

2. Ambidextrous safety started coming apart after about 100-rounds. Replaced it with a STI single-sided safety ($25). It required about 5-minutes of filing and fitting.

3. Plastic grips were cheap feeling and the checkering was rough on my hand. Replaced with Hogue kingwood grips ($23) which fit perfectly with no modification. But I did need to buy new grip screws ($8) because the ones Taurus used were oversized.

4. I didn't like the full length guide rod. It made dissassembly difficult, especially after fitting the EGW melt bushing, and added extra weight to the gun that just wasn't needed. I bought a standard Ed Brown plug ($9) and guide rod ($16).

5. Magazine springs were weak, so sometimes the first round nose-dived after releasing the slide. Replaced magazines with CMC power mags ($21 each).

6. Replaced stock recoil spring with 18-lb ISMI spring ($7) because it seemed like the frame was taking a beating with factory hardball and defensive HP loads. Also installed a Wilson shock buffer ($6/package).

7. The Heinie straight 8 sights were impossible for me to get used to. I'm used to using a 6-o'clock hold, and was shooting 6" low at 25-yards with the Straight 8's. I ground and filed the front site down until the gun shot to point of impact, then cold-blued the front sight.

So now my PT1911 is reliable and very accurate, and the fit and finish is good for the price. But it was a lot of work and extra money getting to that point. I think the Kimber might be a better gun out of the box.
If I might point out, only #2 and #5 had anything to do with a problem. The rest were choices that you made. As for the magazines, nobody seems to use the factory offerings in any gun today.

A simple search of Kimber will turn up literally 50+ owners with trouble in their guns, and with their customer service. These are actual owners, not the usual "my friend" or "I knew somebody who said".

There are also multiple dis-satisfied customers with Colt, S&W, Dan Wesson, and just about every other brand listed on the forum.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:18 AM
Flockmaster Flockmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR47 View Post
If I might point out, only #2 and #5 had anything to do with a problem. The rest were choices that you made. As for the magazines, nobody seems to use the factory offerings in any gun today.

A simple search of Kimber will turn up literally 50+ owners with trouble in their guns, and with their customer service. These are actual owners, not the usual "my friend" or "I knew somebody who said".

There are also multiple dis-satisfied customers with Colt, S&W, Dan Wesson, and just about every other brand listed on the forum.
Exactly. I have a Taurus and bought it despit all the local "gurus" warning me to stay away from Taurus. The gun has been flawless and no part or function of the gun has ever done anything other than what it was supposed to. I held plenty of Kimbers as well before my first purchase and the shops here in NY (due to Kimber being a NY company I suppose) push them like they are the be all end all of 1911's. To be perfectly honest I don't see anything more impressive about an entry level Kimber than the Taurus. It just costs more.
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:39 AM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_deaner View Post
It's a high-quality part, looks great, and it isn't too hard to fit. I used a brake cylinder hone to ream out the inside until it tightly fitted the barrel, then polished the inner surface with emery cloth until I got to .001" clearance. I fitted the outside by sliding the bushing on a dowel rod and then screwing a bolt in the end of it, expanding it and making it a mandrel. I then spun the dowel in a drill press and used sandpaper to remove material from the outside of the bushing (but NOT material from the lug!) until it fit the slide.

If I had to do it again, I'd have ordered the bushing directly through EGW by phone and paid an extra $5 for the bushing to be built to the specs of my gun. I didn't know EGW did custom bushings for such a trivial expense until after I'd bought a standard bushing from Brownells. All you need to order a custom bushing is the OD of your barrel and the ID of your slide.
Thanks
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:48 AM
Triton28 Triton28 is offline
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I'm one of those idiots that will pay more for a well made American product over anything foreign made/assembled any day of the week. I will also happily give my local gun shop more money for the same pistol because I want him to remain in business. In my case, my local gun shop owner is a very good guy, and will help me with ANY problem I have, even if it isn't his job to do so. Keeping guys like this in business is in my best interests.

If given the choice that the OP is faced with, I'll take the Kimber 10/10 times. That's not a slight to Taurus, I'd own one right now if the used specimen I was looking at hadn't been snatched up before I could buy it.
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  #20  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:42 AM
zdragon52 zdragon52 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flockmaster View Post
To be perfectly honest I don't see anything more impressive about an entry level Kimber than the Taurus. It just costs more.

that's good to know cuz i think the Taurus is a darn good looking 1911. i'll have to take another close look at it.
Kimbers are well known for their uncompromising tight fit and finish.
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  #21  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:49 AM
Flockmaster Flockmaster is offline
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I have to be honest. If a tight slide to frame fit is important to you then you may not like the Taurus after a couple thousand rounds. Mine's got a pretty decent 'rattle' to it LOL. Accuracy is still as good as the day it came out of the box though, and that is what matters to me. It's also been ultra reliable and feeds ANY ammo.
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  #22  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:29 AM
zdragon52 zdragon52 is online now
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Originally Posted by Flockmaster View Post
It's also been ultra reliable and feeds ANY ammo.
BTW... how do you like the Taurus trigger pull comparing to a Kimber?
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  #23  
Old 08-22-2008, 01:56 PM
JM396 JM396 is offline
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All gun makers have lemons, however I've never seen or heard of parts falling off of a Kimber like I've seen and read about here on Taurus'. Not to mention the ILS system has had trouble recently from what I've read. Overall fit and finish there is no comparison. I think Taurus' CS has to be one of the worst in the industry from my experiences.

Kimber isn't my favorite but it's leaps and bounds a better 1911 than a Taurus.
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  #24  
Old 08-22-2008, 03:03 PM
InsanePacoTaco InsanePacoTaco is offline
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Might want to take a look at http://full-auto.org/viewtopic.php?f...a1f226171ae102
Just to get a balanced view on the situation. Yes, its 10 pages long and yes, you should read all of it.

To be honest, I like my Taurus and hold no bias against the (older) Kimbers. But I've never heard of a PT1911 that wouldn't fire out of the box, but some of the crap Kimber's been putting out lately has made it so I can't say that about them.

Regarding the trigger pull, the stock pull on a PT1911 is 3.5 lbs (assuming I'm remembering off the top of my head correctly)
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  #25  
Old 08-22-2008, 04:45 PM
Flockmaster Flockmaster is offline
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Originally Posted by zdragon52 View Post
BTW... how do you like the Taurus trigger pull comparing to a Kimber?
I like the Taurus trigger alot. It has one of the nicest out of the box triggers of any of the 1911's under $1000 I've handled. After I took out the series 80 safety the little bit of mush that ser 80 systems give the trigger was gone. It's pretty much perfect for me.
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