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-   -   Kimber Quality (https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=1009720)

Srhamilton 02-10-2020 03:49 PM

Kimber Quality
I take it this is the site to find out. I’ve read on a few forums about the poor quality of the newer Kimbers. There’s a couple nice used ones (1911) near me and was wondering when did the manufacturing change? How old of a gun would I want? Thanks

Big Pete10 02-10-2020 05:58 PM

I bought a new one in 09. Had to dimple the slide stop, file the front sight to zero it, installed a Colt sear spring to lighten, replaced the thumb safety and she's good to go. The original thumb safety was too easy to turn off, my holster would turn it off and since I don't like the huge bat wing competition safetys I replaced it with a small Colt safety. It's a nice accurate gun, mine had a few problems. Oh, I also boosted the hammer to smooth out the trigger pull. The Colt sear spring brought it down to about 3-1/2#.

jjfitch 02-10-2020 08:56 PM

Kimber sells a zillion guns every year. They're going to have some Q/C problems and as new models are released there will be growing pains. Just like any other manufacturer.

I have 4&5 inch versions. All S/S as well as alloy frames, target sights and combat sights. None have had a single issue requiring warranty work. I have one 9mm Gamer gun with so many rounds that its on it's third set of sears/hammers.

The last two new firearms I purchased were Custom II, Two Tones. Both were perfect in every way, fit finish and performance, POA=POI!

Two of my EDC's are 4" Pro Carry II's 9mm and 45ACP!

I've had one S&W and one S/A that were returned for warranty work.

Buy a new Kimber with confidence!


krunchnik 02-10-2020 08:58 PM

You will hear all kids of derogatory statements about Kimber quality,customer service,mim parts and so forth.
I own 4 Kimber's and have had zero problems from any of them-I like them but that's my own opinion.
I also own 2 springfield EMP's-a Ruger SR1911 and a Para Ordnance so I am not quite a brand fan boy.

gts350 02-10-2020 09:11 PM

I love my Kimber.

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Frank Vaccaro 02-10-2020 09:28 PM

Buy a Kimber, I don't think youll be disappointed. They are quality guns!

JLS1911 02-10-2020 09:31 PM

I just bought a Custom II Two Tone in November. Very impressed with the fit and finish. Shoots way better than I do, and that was proven by an instructor I have been working with. The only problems I have had with it are the thumb safety, which has one spot that is just a little sharp which irritates my thumb after a couple hundred rounds of steady shooting and the problems I cause myself. I wouldn't worry about getting a new one at all.

Teufelhunde 02-10-2020 10:32 PM

I have four Kimbers. Two I bought new and two I bought used. In a used Ultra CDPII 9mm, I had some feeding issues, took it to a local smith for a $90 action job and not another problem with a bonus of a 3 lb trigger. A Micro 380 had a slide stop spring break that was TOTALLY MY FAULT. I called Kimber and TOLD THEM IT WAS MY FAULT. They sent me a shipping label, and repaired it at no charge, having it back in my hands in ten days.....

No other problems in any of the four....probably 4000 rounds between all of them



steam 02-10-2020 10:58 PM

Kimber 1911 pistols have always received a lot of attention, good and bad. When they first appeared on the market every magazine write-up was glowing! And immediately some well known custom pistol smiths began espousing the idea that the guns were inferior due to MIM parts. When I picked up my Kimber back in 1997, the difference between it and the other 1911 brands was astonishing! The fit and features were tops! Learn how to evaluate a gun yourself. Blanket statements regarding brand suitability is sometimes misleading, unintentionally or otherwise. I have found forum info to be extremely useful and beneficial. I love researching my favorite guns and this and other forums have so much knowledge to learn from. The fact is that a used gun behind the counter could have a problem. So could a new gun, it's happened to me it could happen to you. Learn at least the basic things to look for when evaluating a new gun you want to purchase. My Kimber runs flawlessly. Has since 1997, still on original parts. You will hear that a lot. But everyone has their own experiences!


Magnumite 02-11-2020 07:05 AM

I had a Series 1 Gold Match, deep blue. Great pistol, aesthetically appealing. Had one issue, a slight bullet bump against the slide stop with some bullet profiles. That was easily remedied.
I built two pistols using near new Kimber upper slide assemblies. Both shoot excellently. I have since replaced the ramped Eclipse 9mm upper with a 40 Kart barrel. It is destined to be rechambered in 10mm.

JerodM 02-11-2020 11:02 AM

I have 9 kimbers and many other manufacturers guns such as Colt and Caspian.
Kimber makes a quality pistol.
With any brand, you will not satisfy everyone.
Good luck,

wproct 02-11-2020 07:29 PM

I have owned 3 Kimbers, nary a problem with any of them. My most recent, a Stainless Target II in 9mm has been my favorite. Kimbers are nicely finished, lots of features, and are priced reasonably. You will see a fair amount of negativity toward them but you will also see a lot of loyal owners and fans, me being one of them. Just jump on in, the water is fine!:)

wccountryboy 02-12-2020 11:35 AM

The days of the external extractor fiascos and the out of spec slide stops are far in the past....
Kimber offers a huge menu of 1911s, for every taste and budget. Their triggers are by far the best, consistantly, that I've found on mass produced 1911s. The fit and finish is best in class... some of the surface treatments are mediocre...
To quantify, when I say "best" in class, I'm talking about a $1250sh price point. Much beyond that, and better quality can be had from other manufacturers. The Kimber thats really worth $1500-$2k+ doesn't exist in my mind....

Mtnfarm 02-12-2020 05:55 PM

I used to think people were being a little hard on Kimber. Having owned several, they are nice, and were very accurate [9mm and .45acp]. For the price point, the plastic mainspring housing is a poor choice for an otherwise nicely finished pistol. The fps should not be there... and for that matter, neither should 80 series. Lots of other makes eschew it. Kimber reminds me of Apple...too expensive for what you get.

Teufelhunde 02-12-2020 11:10 PM


Originally Posted by Mtnfarm (Post 13065926)
the plastic mainspring housing is a poor choice for an otherwise nicely finished pistol.

I would have to agree with this.....Mine look and work very well, but, for the price, Plastic???? REALLY?????



johnireland 02-12-2020 11:32 PM

Bought an Ultra Carry ll last May...no problems...am very happy.

William_Brown 02-13-2020 12:57 AM

I love my ultra carry II. I mean love it. Mine did come with a crappy magazine... but I must be a bad luck cloud. I always have ftf issues with factory mags.... my Kimber was no different. It seems the cheaper.the mag, the better it works for me sometimes:-). With the Wilson mag, 0 ftf or fte. My Kimber is a really nice pistol and it wasn’t expensive. I must have gotten mine on sale because it cost less than comparable high speed low drag springfields... and it was lighter and performs great.

The trigger is as good as my Wilson.

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glider 02-13-2020 05:47 AM

You'll need to spend ALOT more money to get a better gun than a Kimber.

1911Pistolero 02-13-2020 06:43 AM

My friend has one with a stainless finish and it had pitting within a year of the purchase. All he did was shoot it at indoor ranges, and he would also wipe it down a light coat of oil after cleaning it and stick it in a gun sock before putting it back in his safe.

KCJeep 02-13-2020 09:05 AM

Entry level Kimbers, and their slightly upgraded models are a steal in a quality American made 1911. Very well made, lots of features and despite internet blab usually run very well. Get much higher in price though and you are getting into DW money, which I will not pay for a Kimber.

AZ Husker 02-13-2020 11:47 AM

Agreed about the Dan Wessons. With the soft market right now you can find very nice models around or even below $1000. While I loved the old Kimbers, no way can they compare today.

wccountryboy 02-13-2020 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by AZ Husker (Post 13066848)
Agreed about the Dan Wessons. With the soft market right now you can find very nice models around or even below $1000. While I loved the old Kimbers, no way can they compare today.

I agree that DW makes an oveall better pistol- no one can argue otherwisewith a straight face. However, they are significantly limited in what they offer as far as features go. As a left handed shooter, and ambi safety is a must have. Kimbers design is better than most, DW doesn't offer it... unless that's changed in the last year. Its tough to start with a NiB gun that has to go to the smith before its fired...

Teufelhunde 02-13-2020 07:46 PM


Originally Posted by glider (Post 13066460)
You'll need to spend ALOT more money to get a better gun than a Kimber.

Umm....no, you don't. I bought a brand new Dan Wesson Valkyrie CCO in 9mm for $1200. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my Kimbers, but they are NOWHERE near the quality of the DW's....I have four of each......



buyamerican 02-14-2020 09:08 AM

KCJeep hit the nail on the head. Good advise in my humble opinion.

passx 02-14-2020 10:09 AM

I own 1 Kimber that I bought this past year new for $850, quite the deal for an all stainless 6” longslide target gun, very nice tight frame to slide fit along with a great barrel hood to slide fit as well. Ok accuracy out of the box but not great. Required an immediate Kimber paid trip back to fix a locked up adjustable rear sight that they fixed and turned around in 10days, shouldn’t need it but they did right by me.

So I dig into it and find the barrel to bushing fit has a ridiculously loose .009in clearance and about the same fit for the bushing to the Slide, just terrible, very loose.

Then I find the slide stop to frame pin is a bit less than .001in which is pretty good but the barrel link is about .007in bigger than the pin and the pin doesn’t appear to touch the legs at all, just terrible, imho

So I got a new oversized barrel bushing from egw that I thought was big enough to require fitting but just basically slipped in but tightened things up considerably, at some point I’ll call george at egw for a bigger bushing but the current one is good enough for now. I reamed the frame to accept a .204in slide stop pin and changed the barrel link to get the pin to contact the ramp.

The only real “performance issue I had with the gun was that it would have a couple of fte’s with the empty case locked under the extractor, so I followed steve-in-Allentown’s wonderful extractor tuning guide and found a bunch of issues there with the worst being that the hook to breech distance was way to small and would lock the case rim in and wouldn’t eject it.

All in all the gun is much better and way more accurate, and just runs perfectly. The plastic mainspring housing is pure bull-crap right up there with springfields glued-in ejectors just bs and nothing more, but like the glued in ejector it works and is liveable, just wish they would’ve spent some of that saved money on some front strap checkering.

I also replaced the trigger with a Fusion short smooth faced piece (my preference) and cleaned/smoothed/deburred all the fire control piece’s for a very nice 3 1/2 lb trigger (4.0lb oe, not bad !),,, very happy with the results.

All-in-all I was disappointed in the quality of my new Kimber for things that should have been in my opinion much better but for the $850 I spent it was a good starting point and the repairs/upgrades were really pretty easy but really shouldn’t have needed it again in my opinion. I am very happy with the finished product, very nice shooting and damn accurate, much more so than I am.

So that’s my Kimber rant, sort of,,,, I really like this gun !

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