1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Owned a SA mil spec back in the day and never did like it, so I sold it and haven't had a 1911 since. Looking to get back in the game and considering either a Kimber or a Ruger and had a few questions about the Kimber:

- Looking at the specs on Kimber's site, the Stainless II appears to have a match trigger while the Custom II two-tone does not. Is the trigger on the more expensive models like the Stainless II really an upgrade over the Custom II?
- This will purely be a range gun for me - are there any other models I should be looking at in the sub-$800 price range? (Stainless II is $775 plus tax at the local dealer, and that's in the ballpark of my max budget)
- Heard they had some QC issues over the last few years. Have these mostly been worked out?
- How has customer support been recently?
- I have heard about rust issues on Kimbers before. Is that an ongoing issue, or does anyone know what caused/causes it?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
Some Kimbers come with a SS barrel and others don't. I own several Kimber's and I see the biggest difference is cosmetics. My Gold Match came with the sides of the frame and slide polished while my SS Target has a bead blasted finish and a carbon steel barrel. Both guns have a good trigger pull and both group about the same. If the cosmetics are important go with the higher price models. As far as shooting, trigger pull and overall function my SS Target or as good as my Gold Match. Just remember to keep a coat of oil on the Carbon steel barrel and you are good to go. I recently purchase a Custom 2 tone and gun was running great but the plunger tube came off. I retuned the gun to the factory for repair and had them add adjustable sights. I also requested them to clean up the trigger because of a little creep. Gun came back with sights added plunger tube replaced and the trigger cleaned up. Kimber sent a free shipping label to return the gun. I was only charged for adding the adjustable sights. Off the bench there is very little difference between my Gold Match, SS Target and the Two Tone. A local smith told me he feels Kimber barrel's are very good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Is there any way to tell visually whether it's a carbon steel or stainless steel barrel?

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the target sights run? That's something I would consider if I got the Custom II or Stainless Custom II with fixed sights and POI/POA didn't match.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
523 Posts
Take a look at the Stainless Target II. I think that will take care of most of your concerns at a very modest price delta over the Stainless II model. Has SS Barrel, adjustable rear sight and "match" trigger.

I bought a 9mm Stainless Target II just over a year ago. The extractor needed a small adjust out of the box. But for that it was reliable and accurate. Trigger was pretty good, but a good smith can make it even better.

I have not had reason to use customer service except to buy parts (ambidextrous safety and slim grips/bushings) but their store operation is easy to use and quite efficient in dealing with questions/returns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Didn't realize that Kimber said on their website which models come with a stainless or non-stainless barrel. Stainless Target II barrel is listed as a non-stainless, which is a deal-breaker.

Custom II barrel is listed as a stainless. If the Custom II trigger can be made good by a decent smith, then I think that might be a winner except that the slide is not stainless. Have people had issues with the slides rusting if they're not stainless?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,753 Posts
Kimbers are some of the BEST production level 1911s out there. They are also the BIGGEST seller of 1911s in the USA for good reasons.

Prior to buying my first Kimber, I had 4 Colts and 4 Springfields.....all were bought brand new. But, I had " issues " from all of them as they came out of the box. I started buying Kimbers only around 2010, and I found them to have consistent quality, nice trigger pull out of the box...........and very reliable without tweaking this or replacing that part.

The bottom tier Kimbers (Custom II, Custom II stainless, Target, etc. etc) gives the best bang for your money as their performance and out of the box tolerance and quality are EQUAL to the more expensive models selling north of the $1,200 mark. I used to own a Kimber Gold Match II, I sold it away as I am more happy with the price and performance of the Kimber Custom II............I have a pair, and they are keepers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Kimbers are some of the BEST production level 1911s out there. They are also the BIGGEST seller of 1911s in the USA for good reasons.

Prior to buying my first Kimber, I had 4 Colts and 4 Springfields.....all were bought brand new. But, I had " issues " from all of them as they came out of the box. I started buying Kimbers only around 2010, and I found them to have consistent quality, nice trigger pull out of the box...........and very reliable without tweaking this or replacing that part.

The bottom tier Kimbers (Custom II, Custom II stainless, Target, etc. etc) gives the best bang for your money as their performance and out of the box tolerance and quality are EQUAL to the more expensive models selling north of the $1,200 mark. I used to own a Kimber Gold Match II, I sold it away as I am more happy with the price and performance of the Kimber Custom II............I have a pair, and they are keepers.
Thanks for the response. As much as I want to believe that Kimbers are great, there is too much negative stuff online for me to have 100% faith in them. But a lot of the posts about issues are a couple years or more old, so my primary concerns are making sure that those issues are taken care of and that Kimber customer service is where it should be?

I'm hearing that they still don't use stainless steel on many of their slides/barrels, and after some research I've seen that some of the issues were happening on stainless parts anyway, and that Kimber was asking the consumers to pay for them to fix it. This sort of stuff is totally unacceptable. I can say that I've had to deal with Ruger customer service before and it was absolutely nothing like what I've heard about Kimber. They were fantastic. But I'm hoping that's all in the past. Ruger feels like the safer bet with slightly less capability and Kimber feels like the better quality pistol with tons of risk (both in terms of whether the gun will work and/or not rust as well as whether Kimber can or will fix either of those issues if they come up).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
My buddy had an Eclipse that he bought in 2007. Absolutely fantastic pistol, but he did run into some rust issues about 6-7 years ago and we don't talk much anymore since he moved away and I never heard if he got it resolved or not. He wasn't the best about keeping his gun oiled, but these sort of issues just don't happen with other guns as far as I've seen.

Bottom line is that you need to have great customer service or great quality control. You can't be lacking in both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,753 Posts
I don't have first hand experience with Kimber's customer service except the negativity I constantly see parroted in the internet. My Kimbers were 100% since day one.

I personally know of a friend and member here in this forum(Skosh69), who had issues with the finish of his Kimber CDP, he sent it back to Kimber......he was EXTREMELY delighted with the service and experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,753 Posts
As to a stellar customer service, one that goes way above, it is an internet mantra the Springfields " are the best in the business "...............not in my experience.

Go to an LGS, compare 1911s side by side, ask those who own what you want to buy, then go from there. As for me........I've asked close to 20 people who own Kimbers, most own more than 2 and several are LE's......I am convinced.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,685 Posts
It seems you have already taken a negative view of Kimber. I would recommend you move on to a different brand. There is no point in buying a gun from a company that you are already questioning. As a side note, I own several Kimbers and have never had a problem with rust or function.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I love my Kimber target 2 and I did not have any of the supposed issues that Kimber was supposed to be having. In the last year I have run 10k rounds through it with only two malfunctions which were induced by underloaded rounds.

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
Patriot, Over a period of time I've had a half dozen Kimbers. I prefer the adjustable sights over the fixed. Factory fixed sights may shoot to the POA/POI the owner wants with the owner's preferred ammo, at the distance the owner prefers, but it didn't often happen for me. People seem to think the factory sights in their guns. No, the sight dimensions are for the mythical "average shooter". Anyway, four of mine were Stainless Target IIs, in 38 Super and 9MM. Those Target IIs were reliable and trouble free from day one. Two of mine were the Eclipse model in 10MM and 38 Super. They had different triggers, but trigger quality was the same. The different holes/designs,etc the factories put in triggers are just cosmetic. All my previous Kimbers had carbon steel barrels in the white/unfinished. I've not investigated it, but I suspect my current Eclipse in 38 Super has a carbon steel barrel too. I've had no rusting problems with any of my Kimbers. I know that some owners of other manufacturer's 1911 type pistols find it cool to demean anyone who says anything positive about Kimber, using the pejorative, "Kimber fanboys". I can only share that I've had very good experience with the Kimbers I've owned, and considered them a good value for the money. My current Kimber is an Eclipse in 38 Super. I've only put a few hundred rounds through it at this point. I can report that performance with a variety of magazines, and several different types of factory and hand loaded ammo, has been absolutely flawless.......

BTW, my current Kimber displays the best fit of barrel/slide/frame of any I've owned. I don't know if this is due to continued manufacturing improvements or luck of the draw, but no complaints out of me.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
I think fit and finish is more consistent on Kimber's than other brand production guns. I really like the 1911 platform and have been using it for 50+ years. I have had to send my Les Baer for a slide stop adjustment and they made me pay shipping both ways after saying they would pay my shipping back if the slide stop needed adjusting which it did. Colt is really trying hard but there quality from gun to gun of the same model seem to still vary quite a lot. I would never buy another Colt sight unseen. Anything made by man can be flawed. I think in the 1911 world SF has the best customer service. Knowing the Target model did not have a SS barrel did not stop me from buying one. Les Baer does not build any 1911's with a SS barrels. Proper care will prevent rust. I have heard some people cold blue the Kimber carbon barrels. Milling slide was 85.00 and I think sights were 125.00 I think. The best buy is the SS Target which comes with adjustable sights. I wanted a two tone gun. At the indoor range one of the range officers thought the gun was the super match model because it is really a tack drive and it looks like one. Again on the upper end Kimber's I think you paying more for look's rather than function. I also have the Eclipse Target model for range use only because the finish is pretty but not very durable. I have had very good luck with all my Kimber's and would buy another one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Let me try to respond to a few things:

Darbad - thanks for the info about the other user's experience with customer service. One of the points of this post was to try and determine if they've improved since it seems like there was lots of internet info about the customer service in the 2010-2013 time frame and I haven't seen much since.

Mr. T - my view of Kimber comes from two extremes - one from my experience with my buddy's pistol, which was a fantastic firearm and from my handling of kimbers in store which seem to be a very well-built. Incredibly smooth and great cosmetic finish. The other side of my view has to do with the stories I've read about poor customer service, rust, lack of reliability, miscellaneous issues like plungers falling out, sights falling off, etc, etc, etc, and Kimber sometimes takes care of it and sometimes doesn't. I can't say I've read anything like that about Ruger (other gun I'm considering). So I'm just trying to figure out if the issues causing those types of customer unhappiness have been resolved over the last 2-3 years or if there are just less people buying Kimbers and consequently less unhappy customers.

Augie - thanks for your comment. How long ago was your gun built?

Rock - that's a beautiful gun. Thanks for your comments. What do you attribute the numerous reports of rusty Kimbers to (including my buddy's)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Let me try to respond to a few things:

Darbad - thanks for the info about the other user's experience with customer service. One of the points of this post was to try and determine if they've improved since it seems like there was lots of internet info about the customer service in the 2010-2013 time frame and I haven't seen much since.

Mr. T - my view of Kimber comes from two extremes - one from my experience with my buddy's pistol, which was a fantastic firearm and from my handling of kimbers in store which seem to be a very well-built. Incredibly smooth and great cosmetic finish. The other side of my view has to do with the stories I've read about poor customer service, rust, lack of reliability, miscellaneous issues like plungers falling out, sights falling off, etc, etc, etc, and Kimber sometimes takes care of it and sometimes doesn't. I can't say I've read anything like that about Ruger (other gun I'm considering). So I'm just trying to figure out if the issues causing those types of customer unhappiness have been resolved over the last 2-3 years or if there are just less people buying Kimbers and consequently less unhappy customers.

Augie - thanks for your comment. How long ago was your gun built?

Rock - that's a beautiful gun. Thanks for your comments. What do you attribute the numerous reports of rusty Kimbers to (including my buddy's)?
As to when it was built I am not sure, I bought it from a local retailer brand new less than a year ago. Most of those rounds have need through the gun in the last 6 months. The hardest thing for me is paying premium prices for 10 round mags when the 9 round mecgar mags work really well.

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
463 Posts
I have 3 stainless Kimbers a Pro Raptor 9mm a Pro TLE 45 and a Pro TLE/RL 45 To me if your getting a Kimber get the Stainless Pro TLE 45 the best Kimber for the money stainless MSH, front strap checkering and night sights. Oh never any rust any where.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
Patriot, I usually clean my Kimbers when I come home from the range. Even if I don't clean right then, I do wipe the gun down with whatever lube I'm using and may also run an oily patch through the bore. I treat the unfinished Kimber barrels as I would any other bare, non-stainless, steel Item I cared about. My FN/Browning Hi Powers also have unfinished carbon steel barrels and I have occasionally discovered a fine rust starting on the exterior barrel surfaces. If I lived in a more humid area I have no doubt proper care of the Kimbers, and other guns, would require greater effort. I know some owners of stainless firearms seem to believe that stainless guns require little or no maintenance. Stainless does resist rusting and does stain Less, but within my humble experience stainless does require care, much as with a blued gun. FWIW, years ago I lived for a short time in an apartment with an evaporative cooler. I admit I was taken aback when it was quickly apparent that my guns, no matter the manufacturer, began to show signs of fine rust just from being in the elevated humidity due to the cooler. So I have no definitive answer for reported rusting issues that may be specific to Kimbers. With what I consider proper care, I've not experienced those issues.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,163 Posts
I have had 6 kimbers. Still have two. The last one I bought this year is a used pre Series II. Have several Ruger SR1911s and SR1911-CMDs in different flavors. Buy the Ruger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I have had 6 kimbers. Still have two. The last one I bought this year is a used pre Series II. Have several Ruger SR1911s and SR1911-CMDs in different flavors. Buy the Ruger.
Was dead set on it til I ran into a used Colt stainless model with a great trigger for just $50 more. I bought it knowing I could still go back and get the Ruger if it doesn't work out. I tried out the trigger on the Kimber Custom II that was right next to the Ruger, and it was unexplainably bad. I'm not sure what's going on with Kimber, but their current production models just don't have anywhere near the same quality as their high-end work from 10 years ago.

I'm taking the Colt to the range on Friday and will have a better opinion by then.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top