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This may be long but it's worth it. I bought a Kimber Pro CDP ll, external extractor this summer. From the beggiining it didn't work. It had extraction problems and a serious problem where it didn't want to go into battery on the initial round, whether when using the slide release or slingshotting it.
First, let's get over the BS newbie questions:
1. i used 6 different mags, different companies, plastic and metal followers including Wilson combat 47d
2. I used at least 5 different brands of ammo
3. i used FMJ and JHP's
4. I used 165, 185, and 230 gr
5. four other people shot it, and it did the same thing

I sent it back to Kimber, after 500 rds of "break in" and they returned the gun to me with a new extractor, polished feed ramp, breechface, and new mainspring. when I got it back the extraction problems were a little better but it still failed to go into battery.

500 rds later and one broken MIM part later, I sent it back again a second time: same "fixes" same results.

Now, here is where it gets good. My dealer (who I worked for at his shop for many years and is a good friend of mine) decided to pull some strings. He buys in huge volume and bitched about my gun. This is what Kimber said they would do for him: Give me and two other customers new slides with iinternal extractors on them!
This suprised both of is, so the shop owner asked why and they told him "We have been having so many problems with them that we have to conclude that it isn't working for us". The owner asked if this was a quick fix or a return to the previous manufacturing. Would they be slowly phasing back to the iinternal extractors? This is what they told him:

"I am not at liberty to say complely, but between us, I wouldn't be surprised if that were to happen soon, real soon. It' s just a matter of working out a way not to loose too much face and dealer confidence in the external extractor models already on the shelves".

My dealer who is totally pro-external extractor was shocked to hear this from Kimber, not a distributor. He said that he thought all the hoopla he was hearing was internet garbage, but when Kimber admitted it he was shocked.
 

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GEE! Every time I tell someone about Kimbers not running, I get the " They sell 10X as many 1911's as everyone else- so you're going to hear about 10X as many probs as SA, Colt, Les Baer etc. That's a cop-out. Finally sounds like someone in the co. has the testicles to finally do what's right. The extractor has always been the weak point of the 1911 design. It would have been great if Kimber figured it out, but they and alot of others couldn't make it reliable. Sounds like Kimber hasn't got the MIM parts right yet either. My Gunsite has some and has been reliable since day one(10,000 rds later). I love my Colt's, but if Kimber starts making them right, I may have to give them another look in the future. Tracy
 

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I hope that this is true! because this is the only way I would ever even consider a "NEW" Kimber II. I am glad that they are starting to admit that they made a mistake a BIG mistake.

MIM doesn’t bother me that much and I like Kimbers looks and finish when using the internal-ex. On the + side of it, Kimber at least doesn't have "machining" problems as others seem to have (Tracy!!!/Colts!!!), Kimbers fit and finish seem to be solid. I will tell you this will bring me back for a second look. I just wonder if Kimber will raise prices again to recoup the cost of their mistake?

That is very interesting about the side replacement offer, that is really amazing to say the least. Almost like they are starting a recall. :scratch:
 

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S&W has also been using the external extractor....have they had as many problems? I've had two Kimbers over the years and didn't have problmes with either. They did have the internal extractors however.

Bob
 

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tsp45acp said:
GEE! The extractor has always been the weak point of the 1911 design. Tracy
I dont agree with that at all, There have been poor renditions of the original but a properly made "Read FORGED not MIM extractor is probably the most reliable ever put on a pistol. What alot of people dont realise is that the 1911 was designed to be fed from a magazine only. I have seen people feed them as a single shot with a round dropped into a chamber and the slide dropped on it, this batters the hell out of the extractor. Those people are the first ones to complain when their pistols dont extract correctly. Also if kept clean and in reasonably tuned condition the original style extractor will work forever. I have fired original 1911's that function as well today as they did in the 20's.
 

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bigun said:
I dont agree with that at all, There have been poor renditions of the original but a properly made "Read FORGED not MIM extractor is probably the most reliable ever put on a pistol. What alot of people dont realise is that the 1911 was designed to be fed from a magazine only. I have seen people feed them as a single shot with a round dropped into a chamber and the slide dropped on it, this batters the hell out of the extractor. Those people are the first ones to complain when their pistols dont extract correctly. Also if kept clean and in reasonably tuned condition the original style extractor will work forever. I have fired original 1911's that function as well today as they did in the 20's.
Colt is the only company I know of that tried MIM extractors. Kimber extractors going back to 1999 (I haven't seen one from before that) have been machined barstock.
 

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SUPERMAN:

S&W appears to have had the external extractor thing worked out before they went to production. Their's functions fine from all reports thus far. My S&W external sure works OK and has through 3000+ rounds now.

Both my Kimber's (TLE II and CUSTOM II) had external extractors. They never failed once through 1000's of rounds each. :D These were full sized models which seem to have less problem with the external.

But, I would also like to try a Kimber with an internal some day.

Be Safe, Shoot Well. :rock:
 

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The biggest problem I've noted on internal extractors is that they are improperly adjusted from the factory, Too tight causes most of the ftf problems other than bad mags. Smith has used externals for years I would hope that they would have it right by now.
 

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From what I read and information available Springfield's sales are about the same as Kimbers, add S&W, more imports(RIA) and semi-custom sales, and total sales of 1911's probably have never been higher. Kimber probably has the lowest 'share of market' since they became a major player.

IMHO, the made two mistakes.

They introduced an external extractor that didn't quite work as well as it should. And, they produced it on all their models. They must have believed they "knew" the 1911 market better then they really did, or they were arrogant enough to believe they could force anything on their customers.
No one told them the "Colt story" and how that attitude worked for them.

I won't even get into the series II :D .
 

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Just to let you guys know, I have a friend who just bought a compact tle/rl II. He was having all kinds of problems with his gun even after the break-in period. He sent it to Kimber and they had it for about 2-3 weeks. He called to check up on it every couple of days and they kept on telling him that they couldn't figure out what the problem was. Well to make a long story short, he just got it back about a week ago and with his original frame, but a slide with an internal extractor. Figures huh? Maybe they're finally figuring out that the internal is a better way to go. He's just a regular guy too, no inside connection or anything.
 

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tsp45acp said:
The extractor has always been the weak point of the 1911 design.

I certainly don't see any evidence of this.

Kimber's sales would jump through the roof if they went back to the standard 1911 internal extractor. They should do it.
 

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Hard to improve on perfection. J.M.Browning was a genius.

1911Collector.
 

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If Kimber switches back to internal Im going to give them a go round, it been the only thing stoping me.
I went with a S&W 1911 and it runs with out any problem at all.
 

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Shootcraps said:
I certainly don't see any evidence of this.

Kimber's sales would jump through the roof if they went back to the standard 1911 internal extractor. They should do it.
TSP45 is correct in his statement and most accomplished smiths will agree.
The extractor is a weakness in the 1911 design. But not for the reasons
given in this thread. This issue with the exractor isn't how the user
loads the pistol when on a square range. We all know the proper way
to do that. It is when under heavy (read serious) use and you are clearing
malfunctions that the extractor will be forced over the rim of the shell
and likely to break.

If anyone doubt this, attend a level one pistol course at Thunder Ranch.

Regards,
Greyson

P.S. I have 1 series II pistol (Gold Combat RL) It works fine. So far.
But it will be the last series II pistol I ever own. External extractor or
firing pin block. A local SWAT guy had his TLE/RL II lockup
when his FP safety failed recently.
 

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A local SWAT guy had his TLE/RL II lockup
when his FP safety failed recently.
Did it break and a part of it made the gun lock-up? Other than that, I can't see how a failure of the Series II safety can lock up the gun. It can certainly drop the hammer without a bang or cause an FTRTB but how does it lock the gun up?

The only gun I've ever had lock up on me was one of my Baer's when one of the lower barrel lugs broke and the piece got caught behind the link so the barrel wouldn't move.
 

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Well, it looks like I have a collectors item with my Stainless TLE II. Cool, but it probably wont have any value till long after I'm dead
 

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I read Ned Christiansen's "test" on internal extractors in regards to the extractor snapping over the case rim, something that everyone says not to do because you will break the extractor hook.

Basically, he "rigged" it to one of his machines so it simulated the bolt over feed, I think they call it, and he stopped at 12,000 "snaps"...extractor still in one piece.
 

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If Kimber is, in fact, going to return to the internal extractor, its a long overdue move. When I was having extraction problems with my TLE/RL II, I asked Kimber to replace the slide with an internal extractor unit. They refused, and after two trips back to Yonkers, I disposed of the gun. Had they swapped out my external extractor slide for one with an internal extractor, I would have kept the gun. Oh well, better late than never.
 

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Big ole "IMHO" here....

I've got a Para Tac-Four (their Power Extractor), an old all-steel Colt Combat Commander, an S&W CS45, and a compact Kimber (4" barrel, "Officer's" sized frame).

Which is pretty much the full gamut. The PXT is supposed to rip the case head off a stuck casing before it'll take damage. I can't swear to that. I broke one a few months back with what may have been some over-the-top reloads (it also broke the MSH retaining pin, and is on it's way back to Para 'cause I can't keep a good one in it right not), but I think that Browning would have approved of the thing if he'd been able to make them 'round 1911. Maybe not for a military weapon, but for commercial sales. The extractor hook itself is huge, and the internal springs really improve on the self-sprung Browning design. 'Course, it's rather more complex to field-swap one....

The Colt and the Kimber use standard Browning-style extractors. My gunsmith swapped several of them in and out until we got a good one, but that wasn't his fault as much as a design issue, and one of the shock buffers I was using self-destructed inside the gun, which apparently trashed the extractor in there at the time. My major complaint with the Browning design is that the extractor hook may be a little sensitive, and, I think, is kind of small.... If handled properly, though, and maybe with a caveat against non-standard (i.e., reloaded) ammo, it should be reliable enough for military use, which is what Browning was going for.

The external extractors seem to solve Browning's problem as well as the PXT - bigger hook, mostly. But the hook design has to be right or it's going to be a problem. Between the possibility of large size and spring issues that the Browning design can't deal with, it should very good, and very reliable.

'Course, you have to do the hook right, and get one that won't break.... Kimber seems to have had a problem with that. The little CS45 seems to be 100% so far (about three months - same crappy reloads). OTOH, they've had several years - I think S&W has pretty much always used external extractors in their designs based on the M39. The CS45 looks like a very thick PPK/S, btw, with a somewhat similar DA/SA action. I'm not sure what their new 1911 clones do.... (My M39's been 100%, more or less, for the more than 30 years I've owned it.)

From a "tradition" standpoint, or esthetics, an internal extractor certainly would be better. I think they're easy to keep clean v.s. the externals (until you actually have to take one apart and clean it, but that may apply to both designs). If it works, I'll take whatever the manufacturer throws at me....

(I inherited a 1911 about three years ago. My first. I've got three of them now, as well as the odd S&W. I'm learning a ton....)

Regards,
 
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