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  #1  
Old 07-23-2012, 02:42 PM
twosocks1950 twosocks1950 is offline
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Kimber vs Dan Wesson?




I'm not looking for a bunch of Kimber bashing or Dan Wesson bashing!!!!!!!!! I own two Kimbers and like them both, but keep hearing good things about the Dan Wesson 1911. Back in the day Wesson only made Revolvers that had interchange barrels and not very good ones at that. Just wondering how the two 1911 compare without reading what each manufacturer has to say about their product but from someone who has shot both and can give me some good information as to the pros and cons of each as well as price point. Should add will be using the weapon for concealed carry so not interested in full size. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:01 PM
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
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Hello twosocks, I own and shoot both. Mine have all been full size but my experience may give some indication of the overall quality of both makes. Over a period of several years, I have owned five Kimbers and two Dan Wessons. IMHO, they are both quality production type guns. While the Kimbers are fitted well, the Dan Wessons are fitted a bit more precisely and don't seem to have any MIM parts, if that matters to you. The DWs show evidence of internal fitting, polishing, etc. that I have not seen in 40+ years of owning various manufacturer's production 1911s. The DWs obviously cost more than than most Kimbers but now, owning both, I see why. No bashing of either DW or Kimber here. I consider both to be worth the prices asked, and intend to keep shooting and enjoying both...ymmv
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Last edited by Rock185; 07-23-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: sp.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:08 PM
jsn124 jsn124 is offline
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Hey twosocks - as a former Kimber owner I can give some feedback. Btw I never had any hard feelings for Kimber I just sold mine to fund the ECO. I owned the Ultra Carry II in stainless and it was a great pistol. For me, I ended up having to play around with the mags on the Kimber until I found what worked best. I ended up using the Kimpro Tac-Mags in the UC II and after some "break in" it ran nicely. Never had that issue on my ECO thus far (at least at 125 rounds to date).

Overall the parts on the DW are just nicer. My understanding is that all parts are either manufactured by DW or they source parts from quality manufacturers, e.g. EGW, Ed Brown, VZ Grips, etc.

The Duty Coat (if you go with the non-stainless version) is supposed to be extremely durable on the DW.

I would guess that by the time you changed out all the parts on a Kimber depending on your base model (not that its necessary) you'd be at or above the cost of a DW depending on how handy you are, e.g. sights, MSH, thumb safety, etc.

Finally, I can't speak for Kimber customer service since I didn't have to interact with them. But I can say that customer service at DW (Keith) have been extremely helpful and fast in sorting out a grip bushing issue that I caused on my ECO.

I'm sure others have more ideas and thoughts but I figured I'd share my own experience.

Last edited by jsn124; 07-23-2012 at 03:10 PM. Reason: added details
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:11 PM
Tunachaser Tunachaser is offline
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I went with DW because I had heard that Kimbers were a bit on the slow side, and a couple of the other guns were a tad over priced.. There were only a few years that the quality of the DW revolvers suffered and I believe that was after the company was sold for the first time and the machinery was a bit worn out. After the company was purchased by the current owners the quality has risen steadily and is once again one of the finest firearms made. Customer service is once again on the rise and I'm told it is due in large part by the lady working in the front office. If they just iron out a few reliability issues, this will once again be the go to gun company. JMHO
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:11 PM
twosocks1950 twosocks1950 is offline
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Rock185 and jsn124 thank you for the replys both were helpful. May start look at DW a little closer. Thanks again
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:19 PM
jsn124 jsn124 is offline
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twosocks - glad to help but one more key point I should add. I suppose there is debate around this subject and I'm not sure if you have the series II pistols. If I understand correctly the series II refers to the Swartz safety / firing pin block safety Kimber utilizes on this line of pistols.

Some folks really don't like it and this seems to be another complaint with the series II pistols.

The Dan Wesson ECO doesn't have this feature which seems to be a good thing in that it is one less thing that *could* malfunction at a critical moment. I don't have any stats to back that up but simply relying on general mechanical sense / idea that *less is more*. This is not meant to start any argument but only providing more information to help you make the best decision as you look at DW's.

Last edited by jsn124; 07-23-2012 at 03:21 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:27 PM
Onegoodshot Onegoodshot is offline
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I like Kimbers. (BUT) I have no reason to have, or pay for, a Swartz firing pin safety.
MIM has never been issue for me, I have too many 1911's to shoot one 30,000 rounds for MIM to show up as faulty.
Dan Wesson makes the features I like. Ramped barrels if the weapon has a alloy frame. True Commander size Compact, with conventional barrel bushing.
Flat wire single recoil spring on Officer 'ultra' size pistol, and features I prefer.
Kimbers have been great for me. (BUT) I don't mind spending the difference in price for the Dan Wessons to get the upgrades in parts and features.
I tend to NOT forgive Kimber for SIS slide serrations, on a otherwise remarkable pistol. I have the same feeling about the scales on the Super Carry models. The unique 'bobtail' on Super Carry, for me, less desireable than a
conventional grip with rounded heel (offered on Ultras, but not on Pro?).
My feeling is Kimber is out of touch with people that shoot every week. Simply my opinion.
If there is a Kimber that you like with features you want, I would not hesitate.

Last edited by Onegoodshot; 07-23-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:19 PM
skosh69 skosh69 is offline
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Well, I have one of each. I like them equally for their strengths as both are different. My Kimber is the CDP - 5" with an alloy frame, the DW is a Cbob - 4" SS bobtail.

Bottom line, it all boils down to what YOU are looking for in a gun.

Personnally, for just a few dollars more than what most Kimber top tier 1911's go for, you can have a DW. But again, it's all in what you want your pistol to be.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:27 PM
sbeatty1983 sbeatty1983 is offline
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Ive been thinking about a DW valor but I cant find a shop in a 100 mile radius that has a dw for me to look at. Never been big on ordering a gjn ive never handled.
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2012, 06:25 PM
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I've had both and I won't be getting another Kimber. They're not bad at all, but I think you can get a better gun for not much more money (and sometimes less). I really liked the ones I had, my first 1911 was a Kimber and two more followed. But DW keeps getting better while Kimber...um...has not. I can't knock 'em but to call a spade a spade, DW is the better 1911.
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:00 PM
Marcus99 Marcus99 is offline
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I asked myself this same question months ago. I was (and still am) in love with the government size Kimber Eclipse; the black stainless finish, sharp yet simple lines, trigger and hammer just did it for me. Quality, attention to detail, fit and finish, CS and warranty were less than stellar though. Then I came across the DW Valor and after an hour of reading this forum and some other reviews it became pretty obvious that I was going to end up with the Valor. I even had the trigger from the Eclipse installed in my Valor, so I got everything I wanted from the Eclipse and more with my Valor. No hands on experience as it hasn't arrived yet but if you do thorough research between the two I trust many people would come to the same conclusion.

Having said all that, I have a feeling I may end up with an Eclipse at some point.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:41 PM
shovelhead rider shovelhead rider is offline
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A couple of my buddies bought Kimbers back in 2003. I went out shooting with them and it was the first time I shot a 1911. I was hooked. I came home and talked to a gunsmith friend of mine who had just bought a Dan Wesson Pointman. He said that the DW was as good as some of the 1911s he had built from scratch for people. He said there was obviously a lot of care, craftsmanship, and quality parts in them. At that time they were cheaper than Kimbers, as well. I got on line and bought one straight from the factory, (the serial number is the initials of the guy running the show at the time and the number 6, I always thought that was kinda cool.) It's a great gun and my friends with the Kimbers agreed that it was everthing that their 1911s were. Since then, I've bought my fifth Dan Wesson this summer, a duty treated VBOB, and it is an amazing firearm. It is so much more refined than that first one, and I thought that Patriot-EXP was the cat's ass.

The Kimbers I shot that hooked me on 1911s were nice guns. And if you pick a Kimber up and it speaks to you-buy it. My friends that still have theirs and wouldn't trade them. I just shot another friend's Kimber 10mm and it was a nice gun-but I like my Razorback better. They're both good guns. I think if you pick up a Dan Wesson, it'll speak to you and you'll buy it.
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:21 PM
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Well my personal experience with several Kimbers has been atrocious. Granted this was many years ago with Series II guns, but they were junk. I had a thumb safety break and fall off of the gun within several hundred rounds. Slide stop ditto. Grip safety and slide stop broke on the other one with less than a thousand rounds. All were poor quality MIM parts. Maybe you won't shoot thirty thousand rounds through a gun and break or wear out a mim part, but a bad one won't last five hundred rounds.

I know several other people who have had similar experiences with them. I also know several casual shooters who have had no problems with Kimbers. However, I will never own another one. Sorry for the bashing, but that has been my experience with them.

I do own several current Dan Wessons and feel that they are close to the Wilsons and Browns that I have owned as far as fit, finish, and quality goes.
I feel that they are the best combination of quality and options available at their price point.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:36 PM
justjed justjed is offline
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I sold my Pro-CarryII to fund my purchase of a 2007 CBob. I've had no reason to regret it. I personally prefer a gun with a bushing. The only thing I gave up was the lighter weight of the Kimber, but a good gun belt and holster more than make up for the difference. MY Pro-CarryII was also one of the ones that had issues with the grip safety. Because of that, I prefer an ignition system with no FPS. When it worked(which was most of the time), it was accurate, easy to shoot well, and a good looking piece of equipment. Get the one that sings to you.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2012, 07:39 AM
SWinokur SWinokur is offline
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My first 1911 was a Kimber TLE/RL II. Never had a single problem but I really wanted a SS gun. I found a NIB Heritage on Gun Broker and bought it. It too shoots perfectly. Kimber makes a nice gun. It's just that to me the DW is a NICER gun. Fit and finsih seems a bit better to me. I also enjoy no Schwarz safety as to me it's an unnecessary part.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:03 AM
oneoff oneoff is online now
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I'll bias my remarks immediately by confessing that I actually liked those old Dan Wesson revolvers, and carried one for years! I won't argue that there are better combat choices in the revolver world, but I was always happy to outshoot anyone that wanted to play with targets.

I really enjoyed the first Kimber I owned, one of their earliest stainless government models. I wish I still had it (and "all" of my DW revolvers!) but I traded it (on a DW PistolPak), and have regretted it ever since. But I have had no luck with Kimbers since that old Series 1 as folks like to call them, and I have tried. I'm not a fan of the extra safety either, but reliability has always been the defeating issue. I'm picky though, and I've had a few that were probably good enough; and certainly better than what our boys in the world wars had! But I do agree with what has been posted, that with much better Dan Wessons for just a little more, why not go that route?

You'll find a lot of us on here that own both Ed Browns and Dan Wessons, and I think that says a lot for DW's. There are many that compare EB's to DW's, but very few that would compare EB's to Kimbers. The perspective from above is probably more telling than that from below. The Valor I had outperformed every Kimber I ever owned, in every way. If I was forced to choose between only a Valor, or allowed to keep the hundreds of lesser 1911's I've owned, I'd take the one Valor for life, and be happy. The CCO that I currently own has been flawless with Tripp mags, as was the Valor. I'm out of touch with Kimber as they stand today, but will probably never buy another one.

Just my opinion! I wish you the best with your choice, and bet you'll have a good time with 'em either way.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:53 AM
jfwest jfwest is online now
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The four Kimbers I have owned have been "hit & miss". Two were good, two weren't. Sold them all. Own four DW's now, not a problem with any one of them.

No doubt in my mind.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post

Having said all that, I have a feeling I may end up with an Eclipse at some point.
I had one. I still think the Eclipse is one of the best looking 1911's out there. Mine was so purty I was afraid to mess it up so I traded it. I don't feel that way about my guns anymore - should have just kept it and shot the heck out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWinokur View Post
Kimber makes a nice gun. It's just that to me the DW is a NICER gun.
Pretty much.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:41 AM
Southern6er Southern6er is offline
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I'm shooting a 4" Kimber Pro Carry II and a 5" Stainless II. No issues with either firearm at all. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another at all, but given the choice, I'd go with a Wesson (VBOB, Guardian, or ECO). Their fit/finish is excellent. Their parts are not MIM (not a biggie, but they feel substantial and quality), and I've read WAY too much good about them to not consider them.

While I'd love a Brown, Baer, or something top tier, I feel the Dan Wesson's give me a LOT of what *I* am looking for without breaking the bank for those top tiers.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:55 AM
Onegoodshot Onegoodshot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoff View Post
You'll find a lot of us on here that own both Ed Browns and Dan Wessons There are many that compare EB's to DW's, but very few that would compare EB's to Kimbers. .

Just my opinion! I wish you the best with your choice, and bet you'll have a good time with 'em either way.
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Dan Wesson cost more $ than Kimber, but for that extra cost, you recieve a lot more value.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:00 PM
kennethhardy kennethhardy is online now
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I own wilson and nighthawk but, the most accurate gun I ever fired was a range rental kimber. Beat to hell but was a laser.
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  #22  
Old 07-24-2012, 01:57 PM
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I've shot and owned Colt,Kimber, and Dan Wesson.The DW is built the way JMB designed them to be without no extra BS parts.They all are good quality in their own way but my new DW RZ-10 seems better built to me than my 2 Kimbers and my old colt I sold.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:34 PM
shovelstrokeed shovelstrokeed is offline
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I own a DW Vbob and the closest Kimber I have to that is my Eclipse Ultra II.
Both have proven to be reliable and accurate. The Vbob holds a slight edge in trigger and a big one in feel but that is subjective.

On the whole, the DW is slicker than the Kimber, I know, I know, ambiguous term but I can think of nothing better to describe it.

I hate the Heine straight 8 sights on the Vbob and will be changing them soon. Other than that, I would take the Dan Wesson, even at a price premium over another Kimber.

I actually have another commander sized gun. Oddly enough, a mk IV Series 80 combat commander. This gun has extensive custom work done to it so doesn't really bear comparison. It is slicker than either and has a better trigger.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:28 PM
phatmax phatmax is offline
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I have two kimbers a Compact Carry and an Ultra Carry, both are late 1990s early 2000, bought new. PRE Series II

Both have been great, have amazing triggers and are good shooters. The Ultra is simply a great carry gun.

I would like to update them with Heine Ledge Tritiums at some point, but that is about it. The finish on the black Ultra Carry is not terribly durable, but does not really matter for a carry gun (for me).

I have two DW, a Guardian and V-Bob. Easily the finest, best made firearms I own. Both shoot well, slick, and pretty.

Also have a couple SIGs and a Colt 1973 Gold Cup.

In all, the DW guns are a good investment and great shooters. The current crop of Kimbers no longer feel as well made.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:25 AM
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I have a Kimber Custom Crimson Carry II and a Dan Wesson Valor (plus a Ruger SR1911) and I like the DW best of all. The Kimber is nice but not as tight as the DW which also has a better trigger.

These comments also apply to the Ruger even though you did not ask.

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