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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My LGS has 2 Kimber's both LW and I'm considering purchasing my first Kimber. Now I'm no stranger to the 1911, as a Army Medic I carried the venerable weapon for 20 years! I also currently have 2 1911's but no Kimber's. I do not know the model of the 2 the LGS has but I'm looking!
So what do I need to know!

Thanks in advance!

Sarge
 

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I purchased my first two Kimbers in 2001. I bought another in 2015, and another just several weeks ago (still at FFL, I pick it up in another few weeks). Of the three I've had, they ran very nicely.

The first, a CDP ultra, ran out of the box without issue. The second, a budget Stainless Compact, did have an issue with certain ammo. A great pistolsmith happens to live not far away. He polished the ramp and did another couple of things, and it's run great every since. I easily have over 5000 rounds through the CDP ultra. The Stainless probably has closer to 1500-2000 rounds through it. Both are rock solid reliable.

I did swap out the mags early on for Wilson Combat. For tight 1911s (basically all commercially produced since the 1980s), bad or damaged mags are probably the number 1 cause of issues.

The Kimber I bought in 2015 was a Micro380 CDP. Again, having been through their Custom Shop, the QC was higher and everything was tighter. I've had no issues with it, but I probably have less than 300 rounds through it.

The one I just bought is a Camp Guard 10. I will do a full break-in during my November trip.

As for what to check...well, I would just do the normal 1911 checks. Others probably have much better, more specific advice on this point.

What did you mean by "LW"? It'll probably be obvious after you tell me and I'll feel like a fool.
 

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I'M guessing the that SargeRN7 meant that the Kimber models in question have lightweight (alloy) frames.
 

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Of course. See, I wrote I'd feel like a fool...

The CDP ultra I have has an alloy frame. IIRC, it is 7075 or something similar, very hard for aluminum with great wear resistance. While I only have around 5000 rounds through it, there is no discernible groove wear on the frame. Whatever they used for finish in 2001 was very tough. YMMV.
 

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Let me contribute something here for what it might be worth. About a year ago, a customer (who owns an auto detailing service as part of his used car business, purchased an auto at an auction in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He brought the car to his business here in Hayward to clean up, clean out, "detail". His employee was cleaning under the front seat, getting into all the little "hiding places" where dirt and trash accumulate. He felt something, dug around, and pulled out a Kimber 1911 9mm (a short version like a Commander)! He dutifully brought it to his boss (our customer) who before coming to us, had done everything humanly possible to ID the previous owner of the pistol. (Previous owner of the car denied any knowledge of the pistol (including Kimber, who would provide no help). To make matters worse, the Kimber jammed from the magazine almost every time. Local fixes, all new springs and a new extractor (all from Kimber) were tried with no success. The pistol was very tight and did not appear to be heavily used. Finally Kimber suggested that we send it to them for a no cost evaluation. They got back to us and indicated it needed a new frame as apparently the original frame was so used it was out of specs! We turned it back over to the customer to continue with Kimber as he needed to decide what to do. I saw him at a downtown store and asked him about the Kimber. He gave me a pained look, shook his head and changed the subject.
We did all we could as the name Kimber tells all it should be a quality pistol, and yet Kimber's only repair option was a new frame!
How many rounds to put a 1911 Kimber frame out of spec? We never found out.
Northwest Wisconsin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TXGR - yes they are lightweight models. As for mags I always use Wilson Combat in all my 1911's so that piece should not be an issue. NW Wisconsin, interesting story! Wonder what that weapon was used for other than shooting! What is everyone's experience with the newer models? Just about everyone seems to have the older weapons and these 2 are new. Do I need to provide more info on the weapons? Not hard to do the shop is about 3 minutes from the house!
Thanks
Sarge
 

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--snip--
They got back to us and indicated it needed a new frame as apparently the original frame was so used it was out of specs!
--snip--
I don't know if that is Kimber's fault. I mean, they might be rated for 50K rounds, but not for 150K miles wedged between a steel seat frame and some 350lb lumberjack bouncing around on top of it over Wisconsin roads...c'mon, everything has a stress limit... /jk
 

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TXGR - yes they are lightweight models. As for mags I always use Wilson Combat in all my 1911's so that piece should not be an issue. NW Wisconsin, interesting story! Wonder what that weapon was used for other than shooting! What is everyone's experience with the newer models? Just about everyone seems to have the older weapons and these 2 are new. Do I need to provide more info on the weapons? Not hard to do the shop is about 3 minutes from the house!
Thanks
Sarge
Yes, and the last owner of the car lived in Illinois so I guess one could wonder if someone's "defensive" gun got lost under the seat. Would not have been much of a defensive gun. Had it been mine, as there was actually no cash in the pistol at all, a real freebie sort of thing, I think I would have had Kimber replace the frame if that was the "real" problem. The barrel looked hardly used.
NW Wisconsin
 

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I have a CDP Compact no longer offered. I had John Jardine of Hayward Ca go through the gun. Installed a set of his ledge sights and a SA magwell. I have put about 5000 rounds through the gun and have owned it about 10 years. This is an EDC piece and I shoot occasionally and can't recall any issues with it. I use Wilson Mags exclusively. RP 185 Golden Sabers are my ammo of choice and the bullets have a profile similar to ball and makes for a reliable feeding round. It's been years and I can't remember what rag I read it in. but Kimber alloy framed pistols were shot 10,000 rounds in testing it's durability and it held up fine. but I can't site the source so only take this as hearsay. Mine is only one example and I can only relater my personal experience but I have no complaints. It is accurate dependable and light weight.
 

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Bought a 9mm Kimber LW with slide milled & Vortex mounted. After a few trips to the range got a Caspian steel frame, swapped parts, & sold the aluminum frame. My opinion, for what it's worth, LW for carry, steel frame for the range.
 

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Actually, I think the endurance test was 50,000 rounds. You very likely will never have a problem unless something is done to the gun that damages it. That tale from N.W, Wisc. is just a cheap shot. To be a stocking dealer for Kimber the dealer is required to purchase a minimum of 10 grand from Kimber. Not all dealers can afford to do that and sometimes it really makes them mad and they bad mouth Kimber every chance they get simply because they can't stock them. If those guys could afford to stock Kimber they'd be singing there praises. I'm not saying that's what is happening here but it does happen. Kimber is one of if not thee top selling 1911, why wouldn't a dealer stock them if they could.
 

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TXGR - yes they are lightweight models. As for mags I always use Wilson Combat in all my 1911's so that piece should not be an issue. NW Wisconsin, interesting story! Wonder what that weapon was used for other than shooting! What is everyone's experience with the newer models? Just about everyone seems to have the older weapons and these 2 are new. Do I need to provide more info on the weapons? Not hard to do the shop is about 3 minutes from the house!
Thanks
Sarge
Rock of the Marne

So I bought a Kimber Arctic LW in 9mm about two years ago. I paid $640 for it new and that was includingFFL transfer and tax.
It is very well made. The frame to slide fit was very good, like Dan Wesson good. The barrel and bushing was fit tight but not hard fit tight.
The aluminum frame machining is excellent.
I have only around 500 rounds through it so far only because of COVID. It never malfunctioned. I run Wilson Combat magazines.

The problem I found was the chamber wasn’t finished reamed as it wasn’t deep enough so my accuracy was terrible. I sent it to Kimber and they repaired it.
IMHO it’s extremely well made for the price and I highly enjoy it.
If I was to change anything it would be the rear sight and the full length guide rod. I don’t like dots on my rear sight and I prefer a ledge as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Everyone seems to be replacing the guide rod? Why?

Sarge
 

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Everyone seems to be replacing the guide rod? Why?

Sarge
I prefer a short guide rod. They are easier to deal with. I bought the Wilson Combat flat wire recoil spring kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments! I'm going to go by the LGS in a while and look again. I'll let you know if I come home with a new Kimber!

Sarge
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here are the results. Didn't buy one YET. Both are Lightweights, both are "Shadow Ghosts" i.e. dark grey frame black slide. Bottom line $799 before taxes! This seems a bit pricey to me BUT it may be reasonable since I'm not real familiar with Kimber prices. Of the 3 LGS's in this town NOBODY has much of anything in 1911's except for the Tisas guns. Nothing wrong with them I have a Carry model in SS 300 rds. and no issues and it is my current EDC, but that is not for this discussion.
What say you is this reasonable price for this weapon or out there?

Sarge
 

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That seems pretty close to the market value. You can find some different LW models online for just under $700 but most are going for what you’re seeing locally.
 
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