1911Forum banner

Conversation with Dennis from Kimber.

1846 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  James
Had a phone conversation with Dennis from Kimber this afternoon, in regards to the blown case/subsequent-doubling issue with my classic.

From his tone, it sounded like he was a little peeved to have to be explaining things to me, but I can overlook that.

I pretty much grilled him on my perceived disconnector problem. I asked him if you should be able to get the hammer to drop on a half-depressed connector. He said yes. I asked how far you should be able to have the slide pulled back and still be able to get the hammer to fall. He said 1/4". I'm thinking, "that sounds like a helluva lot".

Bottom line he said, was that my buddy who had 2 doublings in 50 rounds didn't know how to shoot the gun/pull the trigger properly. I guess I could sort of believe this, although I'm not exactly sure how you can pull the trigger "wrong". Tug-and-release quickly instead of squeezing and holding maybe? He did say that when "properly" fired, doubling should never happen.

I asked him how many blown up guns they get in there - and he said as many as 7 a _week_. He said it was always careless reloads. He also said that whenever they get a blown up gun, they always go through the same thing with the customer. They insist its firing out of battery (as I did), but from what I gather, Kimber typically assumes its bad ammo.

The whole conversation sort of sounded blow-offish. His suggestion was that I just go take the gun out and fire it. He brought that up over and over. From a technical standpoint, I don't know whether I should trust him on his disconnector answers. I sort of got the impression he didn't believe there could be a problem, and just wanted to convince me.

The conversation wasn't entirely confidence inspiring, but he did indicate that they did take a thorough look at the gun, including firing it and didn't think there were problems. In the end he did say that if I wanted, I could send the gun back to the factory and they'd shoot it thoroughly over a 2-3 day period.

I think what I'll do is take the thing out with the 22 conversion on it, and put several hundred rounds through it just to I can get confident in the trigger. Then maybe put a box of .45 through it. ::shrug::

Should I be less than confident after this exchange?
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

· Banned
Joined
·
208 Posts
Are you sure about the 1/4" answer? Most 1911's will only stay locked up for about 1/10" of slide moment. After that they are unlocking the barrel.

I'd have to take a look at my pistol, but I think the disconnector groove in the slide is less than 1/4".

Something doesn't seem right.



------------------
Have a great day!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's kind of what I was thinking.

If you guys have the time, could you give this a shot : see how far back can you pull your slide and still get the hammer to drop. Try it 10 or 15 times to see if you get any oddball cases.

Also, try taking the slide off and depress the disconnector with a fingernail - how far down as a % can you depress it and still get the hammer to drop? And finally, can you depress it around halfway (+/- a little either way) and get the hammer to drop to half-cock with a little wiggling on the trigger? I can make this happen with mine, and when it does, the disconnector gets "held down" by whatever's going on in there.

[This message has been edited by Kayser (edited 11-28-2001).]
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
I have two models. Will look at both tonight. Till then.

------------------
John

"And by the way, Mr. Speaker, The Second Amendment is not for killing ducks and leaving Huey and Dewey and Louie without an aunt and uncle. It is for hunting politicians like (in) Grozney and in 1776, when they take your independence away".
Robert K. Dornen, U.S. Congressman. 1995

[This message has been edited by John Forsyth (edited 11-28-2001).]
 

· Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Kayser,

I'm sittin' here with my Kimber Pro CDP, and if it goes more than about 1/8" out of battery, it disconnects and the hammer won't fall.

With the slide removed, I have to press the disconnector nearly flush with the frame for it to disconnect.

As near as I can measure, the disconnector slot in the underside of the frame is 3/8" long, but tapered. The wear marks inside the slot begin roughly 1/16" each side of center, which would support the 1/8" out-of-battery play.

I notice that when the slide is 1/8" out of battery, the slide has just begun to unlock. Would this result in a blown case? If no, then perhaps your gun IS defective and Dennis is just trying to get rid of you. I think this might be the situation; if this barely-out-of-battery condition led to blown cases in every weapon, JMB himself probably would have redesigned the disconnector.

Cheers,

/TCP

------------------
Measure Twice....Cut Once
 

· Registered
Joined
·
582 Posts
Kayser,

About 1/10th inch on my Ultra Carry. Noted that it doesn't take much before the hammer strikes the firing pin retainer rather than the firing pin. Methinks Dennis may be full of horse pucky.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With the slide removed, I have to press the disconnector nearly flush with the frame for it to disconnect.
Hmm. Unless I'm reading this backwards, you're saying you can depress the disconnector just about the whole way down, and the hammer will still fall?

I didn't get a chance to measure how far I can pull my slide after I got off the phone. Will do so tonight.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,565 Posts
OK,

Here's the deal. Since Kimber's side of the story has not been presented thus far, I called Dennis.

He was quite familiar with your case, as he had talked to you about 20 minutes before your post was placed here. They were expecting you to post by 2:30, so I guess you lost the bet for somebody.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned by you is that you were supposedly using remanufactured ammo. Is that correct? If so, what brand?

Also, they could not duplicate the double firing...is it possible that you were actually pulling the trigger without knowing it?
http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum17/HTML/001284.html

In this thread, where you say the smith managed to get the hammer to drop in an "obvious out of battery condition", how far back was the slide.

Technically, the hammer dropping slightly out of battery is not the same as the gun firing on its own or “doubling”. One thing that I agree with is that the gun should be disconnected well before the slide goes back 1/4". When I asked Dennis about this, he said about 1/4" and when I disagreed, he said he had never actually measured it. The disconnector does not "instantly" disconnect upon the slightest downward movement so the hammer will drop on a vast majority of 1911s with the slide slightly to the rear; my guess is .12 or less. BUT, for the cartridge to ignite with the gun out of battery, that would mean the hammer would have to travel the .5 of an inch or so from a dead stop faster than the slide travels the .12 back to full battery at full speed. NOT LIKELY. Also, please remember that the slide itself, will hold the hammer back, or block its movement fully forward, until it is close to being in full battery. I will have to go home and make this measurement. In any case, if the gun disconnects at any point during the cycle, you have to release pressure on the trigger and pull it again to get another shot.

Now I am not defending Kimber as much as posing some questions about the "rest of the story". I can't say that every Kimber I have seen has been perfect, but I often wonder if some of these problems should actually be blamed on the gun.

I am also not defending Dennis, as your experience may have been different than mine. I will say that he called back within 20 minutes of me leaving the message. He did not know why I was calling as I only left my name and a message that I had a few questions. He took the time to answer my questions thoroughly. He even called later because he forgot that he had already called me and was making sure that all of the calls were returned. I know he has a New York accent, but being from NJ, I don’t see that as being rude. I normally don’t associate rudeness and standoffishness with someone who will chat with you on the phone for 30 minutes about Internet rumors and Kimber bashing.

I also learned, for the first time, that Kimber has links to this forum and others chock full of snipers Kimber grievances.

I usually let these opinion threads go, as it is usually “brand X “Vs” brand Z and similar non-sense. I am getting to the point though that I can't see this forum as being an outlet for specific gripes, under anonymous screen names, and only telling part of the story. I haven’t quite decided what I am going to do yet, so I’ll just post what I know about 1911 mechanics and some of what I learned by talking to Dennis today. You can take it for whatever you get out of it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Believe me, I didn't take exception to his accent - I'm from Long Island originally and my whole family sounds like that


I hope I'm not coming off as griping about Kimber or trying to blow smoke. My main concern here is trying to get to the bottom of a situation with a gun that I'm not personally familiar with on a technical level.

I had thought I was giving as much info as possible. The original case rupture was a factory reload - and was clearly a bonehead move on my part. After it happened, and then my friend had the doubling problems I thought that perhaps there was more subtle damage than the first inspection showed. To the factory it went and came back. When I showed the issue with the disconnector, post factory trip to my 'smith he did indeed say "hmm. that's not good.". Given the fact that the gunsmith knows more than I do, I was ticked. Had I not stopped in and showed him before hitting the range, and there _is_ still a problem, who knows what would have happened?

So, I sent a friendly email to Kimber and as a result talked to Dennis today. I used the word "peeved" when I described him because it sounded to me like he probably had gone through this rigamarole with others and was a little exasperated that I was badgering him on details here and there. My original post was not intended to sound like I was offended or anything. With my novice level knowledge of the weapon, I didn't feel like I came away from the conversation knowing whether the "problem" I'm seeing is real or imagined.

In no way am I trying to make this some kind of an opinion thread. Apologies if it sounded this way.

I've been peppering the various forums in here trying to glean as much info about the 1911 as I possibly can, so I can make a judgement call as to whether I want to step onto the range with the gun again.

Back on the subject : taking a measurement, it looks like I have < 1/16" of backwards movement of the slide before it disconnects. I would imagine this is a good thing. The dropping-to-a-half-cock with a mostly-depressed disconnector is worrisome, but maybe I'm making too much of it. ::shrug::
 

· Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Take it to the range... put one round in a mag, load chamber, remove mag... Fire.. See if the hammer follows the slide down... if not, try again. When you're comfortable that the hammer won't follow, load 2. See if it doubles.. See where I'm going with this?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
Kayser

A properly set up 1911 should NEVER double. Plus, how the trigger is pulled has nothing to do with whether the pistol doubles or not. As far as I know there are only two ways for a 1911 to double, faulty trigger mechanism components (hammer, sear, sear spring, and disconnector), and a slam fire. If anyone out there knows of more, please let us know.

Since you were using reloaded ammo you should not assume your doubles were strictly a pistol problem, you may have experienced a slam fire or two. Slam fires can be caused by a combination of firing pin spring problems (too short, or too weak), firing pin problems (too long usually, though sometimes too heavy), and ammo problems (primer sitting to high in the case, or soft primers). Your gunsmith can check this for you easily. If you do not want to visit your smith again, the best thing for you to do is to replace the recoil spring and firing pin spring, with a higher power spring set. I suggest you get a Wolf’s 18.5 lbs. recoil spring set (which includes the proper firing pin spring) assuming your pistol has a 5-inch barrel. If your pistol uses a shorter barrel get the proper spring set for your pistol. These are listed on the Wolf’s web sight. The web address is below.

Wolf’s Gun Springs: http://www.gunsprings.com

Then go shoot your pistol with some ammo from a major manufacturer and later with the same ammo you have had problems with. Just be sure to check every round for primers that sit above the level of the case and load no more than two (2) rounds in your magazine until you have fired at least 50-100 rounds, particularly with the ammo that doubled for you. The reason for the 2 round limit is in case your pistol doubles. You may have been lucky before if your pistol only fired two rounds. If your problem is in the trigger mechanism more than likely the next time it doubles it will empty the magazine. As you know a double is really exciting, just imagine what an entire magazine will do.
I guarantee you that you will not be able to hold every round on target or in a safe direction, as the muzzle will rise violently by the third round. Take my word for it, I have been there and done that.


To check for high primers just run your finger over the back of the case. If the primer is high you will notice it right away. Also, if you find any do not load them, just set them aside and either return them to your dealer as defective or shoot them individually if you dare. Since you said you were using "Factory Reloaded" ammo, I suspect you will find high primers and this contributed to your doubles. Though the firing pin and spring will still be playing a role.

Now for the disconnector.
During operation, the disconnector rides against the center part of the underside of the slide. With the slide in battery, the disconnector rests at full extension, or close to it, in the curved recess at the back of the slide. As the slide travels back, the bottom surface of the slide pushes the disconnector down interrupting the hammer and sear. This action is the "interrupt" safety, which is supposed to prevent the hammer from falling even if the trigger is pulled. This is supposed to happen with about 1/8th (.125) inch of slide travel. I will to try and measure a couple of my pistols to find out how far the slide depresses the disconnector, since I have never checked before. Though, since your gunsmith said your disconnector is not working right, it probably isn’t. The question is "is the problem just the disconnector or are there problems with the hammer and sear as well?" Based on your experience, you need a gunsmith to evaluate this for you. So you should still get a full safety evaluation of your pistol by your gunsmith.

Also, while your gunsmith is checking the hammer and sear, ask him to check the slide to frame fit. Ask him to look at, or measure if possible, the gap between the top of the frame, and the bottom of the slide, where the disconnector contacts the slide. This is very unlikely, but it is possible that tolerance stack is working against you and the slide is not depressing the disconnector enough. Though, I would expect the disconnector is on the short side of the tolerance, rather than the gap is too large.

I hope this helps.
Str8_Shot

PS. After your test session, don’t use that reloaded ammo again. Stick with ammo from the major manufacturers or reputable re-manufacturers. There are a few reputable re-manufacturers, and I am sure the people that follow the ammo section of this forum can give you good recommendations.

PPS. If you are checking how far you can depress the disconector before the hammer falls with the slide off, be sure to block the hammer so it can not impact the frame. If you let the hammer hit the frame it can be damaged, since it is not intended to take the impact of the hammer. That job belongs to the firing pin stop.


[This message has been edited by Str8_Shot (edited 11-28-2001).]
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,216 Posts
Sorry that y'all may be subjected to my opinion but hopefully it is understood and taken in proper context.

1. WHY take ANY chances with the safety of a FIREARM??? I just don't understand this concept!!!


2. If there is even a REMOTE possibility of a faulty firearm causing injury, WHY argue, manipulate, 'convince', etc., whatever, that the owner go and shoot it more??? That scares the heck out of me!!!


3. My entire family is from NY and NJ... I know what rude is.

4. DEMAND a NEW replacement or REFUND!

5. When a shooter's safety may be an issue due to the firearm itself... THERE IS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND WHAT THE PRIORITY IS!!!

Good G*d!!!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
When I read horror stories like this it makes me grateful I got one of the "perfect" Kimbers.

My Custom Classic has gone through 1336 assorted rounds without malfunction. Only trouble I had was during the first 50 rounds and only then with bad reloads.

------------------
J Damien Scott
Las Vegas, Nevada
Main Duty Gun:Kimber Classic Custom with Wilson 47D magazines.
Deep Concealment Gun: Kahr P9
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,565 Posts
Originally posted by Sniper:
Sorry that y'all may be subjected to my opinion but hopefully it is understood and taken in proper context.

Good G*d!!!
None of you have to apologize and I am not saying you didn't have a problem, but we are only getting your side of the story. As far as proper context goes, you have to wonder about somebody who will get on the web as soon as possible each time they have an interaction with Dennis to give everybody the bad news play by play. This isn't a football game. SEEMS like you have an axe to grind and you are trying to recruit people to harass Kimber rather than resolving your problem.

http://kimber.infopop.net/3/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=729299964&f=393299635&m=3782904912

Taking into account all I have read about this subject, your demanding attitude, and what APPEARS to be a smear campaign that you are on, I would eventually tell you to screw off.


[This message has been edited by James P (edited 11-29-2001).]
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,565 Posts
Originally posted by Kayser:
I hope I'm not coming off as griping about Kimber or trying to blow smoke. My main concern here is trying to get to the bottom of a situation with a gun that I'm not personally familiar with on a technical level.

Back on the subject : taking a measurement, it looks like I have < 1/16" of backwards movement of the slide before it disconnects. I would imagine this is a good thing. The dropping-to-a-half-cock with a mostly-depressed disconnector is worrisome, but maybe I'm making too much of it. ::shrug::
Regarding paragraph 1: Wasn't your first thread labelled "Thoroughly disgusted with Kimber" rather than (example) "How does this work?"

Second paragraph: You don't function test a disconnector by taking the slide off and pressing it with your finger. If it is disconnecting within 1/16 of an inch of slide travel, my guess would be that it works pretty good. Of course it is impossible to know for sure without handling it.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,565 Posts
Originally posted by James P:
I also learned, for the first time, that Kimber has links to this forum and others chock full of snipers Kimber grievances.
In response to Sniper's email, the gist of this comment was that it is uncommon for a company to link you to a place containing complaints and grief about their products and service. I know there is good stuff in there too, but the happy people never seem to type as much as the unhappy ones.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Originally posted by James P:
I know there is good stuff in there too, but the happy people never seem to type as much as the unhappy ones.
Isn't that the truth! All my Kimbers, and every single one I've seen and shot, have worked flawlessly. Now it's obvious that is no such company that doesn't turn out the occasional defective product. I had a FP stop crack at about 1000 rounds, Kimber had a new stop to me at no charge in 2 days.

Now we've all heard the stories (from posts here and on other forums) of the lemon that couldn't be made into lemonade. I doubt we'll ever get to know the full details, nor should we want or expect to. To me it seems that some folks have a persecution complex and are bearing a "Kimber Screwed Me" torch. It's old news, and not exactly representative of their product or service, and borders on slander.

As for this perceived disconnector problem, I inspected my 3 1911's this morning. Both Kimbers require the disconnector to fall 2/3rd's the way to the frame to disconnect. My Remington Rand 1911A1 requires slightly MORE travel. When either disconnector disconnects, there is only 1.85mm protruding above the frame. (sorry, couldn't find my imperial calipers.) I hesitate to say it, but it sounds like this whole issue revolves around ignorance of the design and function of the 1911 type pistols. I would suggest following the links on this forum to m1911.org or Syd's site for a little education.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top