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FirearmsPlus.FL I'd like too here your take on Colt/Kimber differences

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I read in one of the posts below that you try to to give honest opinion/experience on the differences between Colt and Kimber.I'd be interested to hear the pros and cons of both from an honest dealer.I have no specific models in mind,but you may choose similar ones if it helps your explanation.

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(First, let it be said, I prefer Colt due to the high-cut grip and a few other minor features, so I am biased slightly, but I try to present both as the features they possess.)

Well, in the standard model (XSE vs Kimber Custom Classic Stainless) you have certain things that are functionally the same, but with different feels;
Grip safety (I hate both :), but the Kimber's is fitted compared to the Colt drop-in)
Manual safety (Colt isn't extended as much as Kimber, but you don't really need the extended)
Aluminum trigger (both are functionally the same, appearance being the main difference)
Both use plastic MSH's. IMO, Colt hides their mold line better, but I commonly replace mine out of habit.

Colt provides the old sights with white dots, while Kimber gives nice low-mounts without any kind of dots.

Kimber has the extended mag catch, nice feature. The checkered slide lock is nice too.

Colt high-cuts the front strap underneath the trigger guard (one of the main things I love about the current models)

Both lower & flare (though, flaring differently) the ejection port, but Colt also flares the forward portion, for better ejection of unspent rounds.

Colt uses stainless steel parts throughout (regardless of how they're manufactured) whereas Kimber uses blued hammers, sears & disconnectors (regardless of manufacturing discussion)
Kimber also uses bare steel barrels compared to Colt's stainless.

Both are tight enough, both have front cocking serations and a guide rod.

Aesthetics is personal, horsey compared to the little writing :)

The Kimber is priced cheaper IIRC (not at work right now) but not by much.

Comparing the 1991 to the Kimber Custom Classic is a little different, due to the price difference, and again it depends on what features you think you need.

Kimber also makes nice packages (CDP & Eclipse) that add a lot of value for not much. They call these guns custom, but I don't think they do trigger work or fitting above & beyond the regular line.

BOTH of these guns are production guns. They are "hand assembled" in the same assembly line process that has been used on most mass-produced products across the ages. I can't tell you how many people think Kimber's are all hand fit match grade triggers...

When it comes to Gold Match vs Gold Cup or Defender vs Ultra Carry, the second definetly goes to Colt and the first isn't as direct a comparison as Kimber would make it seem.

[This message has been edited by FirearmsPlus.FL (edited 09-14-2001).]
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Thanks for responding.Ok I lied,I am thinking of purchasing an ultra CDP,your saying you prefer the defender?please explain.(by the way the thing I really like about the CDP is the carry melt).Also please explain your Goldcup/goldmatch comments.

Sorry you piqued my interest,Byron

Let me add another difference between Colt and Kimber designs. This difference is in the length of the slide stop notch, the Kimber notch is about twice as long as the Colt (or anyone elses). For most aspects this is not much of a big deal unless you want to use shock-buffs, then it can be a big deal. In the Kimber with a shock buff installed and the slide locked open, you cannot pull the slide back and release it to chamber a round. The shock-buff takes up too much space so you can't pull the slide back far enough to drop the slide stop. You must push the slide stop down with your thumb. If you are considering one of the CDPs based on the Ultra Carry frame this is not a big deal because you should not be using a shock buff in very small frame pistols. Though this can be a big deal with the larger frames if you have trained yourself to always pull the slide back during failure clearance drills.

The differences between the Gold Match (GM) and Gold Cup (GC) are a bit subtile in my experience. I have a Gold Match. First the slide to frame fit in the Gold Match is tighter than the Gold Cup, and the GM trigger pull will generally be crisper than the Gold Cup; but not by much. On the other hand the chamber in the Gold Match may be too tight to feed non-match grade FMJ ammo reliably. My GM and a friends, both had to go back to Kimber for this. I fixed my situation after mine came back and my friends went back to Kimber twice. Another friend has a GC and it feeds everything out of the box. The GM will look nicer than the GC, as Kimber has a nicer deep high gloss blue, and a nicer high polish stainless finish than Colt. The stainless GC has the best sights (Bomar adjustables), on the blue frame GC and both models of GM, the sights are prone to breaking in one way or another. Though the Kimber sights fail more catastrophically, which means they have to be replaced by Kimber, while it is possible for you to replace the roll pin that typically breaks on the Colt. The GM comes with nice rosewood grips and the GC comes with rubber wrap around grips. The GC comes with a wider trigger than the GM, a small point but it may fit your hand better.

They both have the same differences in grip safeties that were mentioned earlier, though the Colt may be more robust. On my GM, the small arm on the grip safety, that prevents the triggers rearward travel, became worn (my fault) and that allowed the safety to become trigger activated. Both the GM and the GC are very accurate.

So between the GM and GC what would I recommend? The answer is a series of questions. Which one feels best in your hand? Which one has the best trigger? And Finally Which one has the best price?

As far as packages are concerned. Kimber does make what appear to be nice packages, though what you get for the added cost are features of machining, which Kimber does very well. The extra cost you pay for the features, does not generally include extra human attention to make sure everything fits and works together properly. This is why you see posts that say Kimbers are the best thing ever, or they have big problems. This primarily the reason I feel that the best value from Kimber is the Custom Classic and Custom Classic Stainless. Since spending more only gets you cosmetics, not necessarily improved reliabiltiy.

I hope this helps.


The best handgun for self defense, is the one you have with you.
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Originally posted by byron2112:
Thanks for responding.Ok I lied,I am thinking of purchasing an ultra CDP,your saying you prefer the defender?
I prefer the Defender to the Ultra Carry, the CDP has extra features (and a bigger p[rice tag) so it's not a direct comparison like between the Defender & Ultra Carry Stainless.
You're paying more for the melt down, the checkering and the night sights, and it's a good value if you want those features, but that's entirely subjective. We sell the CDP's very well (Pro & Ultra) and I like them. They make good carry guns, and should serve you very well.

Also please explain your Goldcup/goldmatch comments.
The Gold Match is a standard kimber, with stainless barrel, "premium" trigger, ambi-safeties, wood grips, side polish & bomar-like sights. It's supposed to be better fit, but all Kimber's are pretty well fit (GM's are actually usually a little looser, which lowers break-in somehwta, but it varies by gun, so it's hard to judge)

Gold Cups have adjustable sights also (either Eliason (with pin that breaks sometimes) or Bomars (but they're really Bomars I think :)
All of the enhanced colt's have the side polished. The GC has rubber wrap around grips (hate pachmayrs)
The main difference is that a GC is the only current made gun (AFAIK) that has the wide trigger. It also has a different sear & hammer (with a notch to prevent sear damage if the sear hits the half-cock notch and a little spring to help resist trigger bounce)

Slide to frame fit and trigger pull in current production guns varies somewhat, but in general BOTH GC and GM are very well fit (tight enough for accuracy, but not too tight)

The GC is also quite a bit cheaper.

So, they're not really that similar of a model, aside from the adjustable sights (you can get a Kimber Target and a Colt 1991 with Bomars, and it's not a GC or GM) so it's really a lot more subjective.
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