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First off. I have always loved 1911 pistols although I haven't owned one yet. For the most part I haven't been in to shooting for too long and they have always been a bit out of my price range. Anyways I would really appreciate some advice on a trade I am considering. I have been offered about a ten year old Kimber Custom II (steel frame/slide). No night sights, minor holster wear and about 3000-5000 rounds through it. The guy offering me the pistol bought the gun used but has owned it for the majority of it's life. It was his first 1911. The gun has been kept original without any mods with the exception of the replacement of the recoil spring and an extended mag release. From previous dealings and reviews the trader seems genuine and honest. He also claims most of the rounds it has fired were home reloaded cast (lead) bullets that were loaded a little on the less powerful side as he claimed to prefer it to hot ammo due to quicker follow up shots.

I am not sure if I am giving unnecessary details but I would imagine lead bullets reloaded a little less hot would wear the gun less... A plus

From my research I know these guns can last a long time and that the 3000-5000 figure isn't too bad. However... I am sort of concerned about the extractor situation. This pistol has the internal extractor. Now from readings I know that they started with internal had problems... went to external.. had problems and finally back to internal... This pistol being first generation

Is the old style internal extractor a big deal? Can I replace it with the new internal extractor? I brought this issue to his attention and he said "the gun was designed over 100 years ago, what does it matter if the pistol is 10 years old and has some "older features". For the most part I guess he is right, but like anything I buy I need to know all the specifics so we can come to a fair agreement.

I have read a very lengthy and well written article about what to look for when buying a used 1911.. The guy is also willing to let me shoot it so that instills confidence in the gun.

I would just appreciate some advice on the situation and the gun in question.

Thank you and god bless.
 

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Despite a lot of the armchair commando hubbub about Kimbers, MIM, or whatever, they have made plenty of good 1911s. Granted, they all contain moving parts made by man. I have had a few of them over the years and if the deal is good, I would go for it. Given your budget and this being your first, it sounds like you have a good opportunity to finally own one - and you are going to have the luxury of being able to try it out first! Maybe bring a few different types of rounds with you from lead wadcutters to 230gr ball, to a few types of hollowpoints. Get an idea of whether it is going to work for more than the range if thats what you're hoping for. Sounds like a good opportunity!
 

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It all depends on the price.

Internal extractors are by FAR the norm in a 1911.

Bob
 

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From my research I know these guns can last a long time and that the 3000-5000 figure isn't too bad. However... I am sort of concerned about the extractor situation. This pistol has the internal extractor.
As a competitive shooter, I shoot 5000 rounds per year. All my .45's have internal extractors.:rock:

Don't worry about it.
 

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In my experience with Kimbers I would most definitely consider buying an older one as you have described. The current production...probably not. Internal extractors have never given me a problem as long as it's made from quality steel properly tempered and tuned for the gun. The first years of Kimber production were very good pistols for the money.
 

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Older ones like the one you are talking about and the newer Series II are both great series of guns. Unless it is way overpriced it will be a great gun for you.
 

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Kimber first made their 1911 in Clackamas then moved to Yonkers. The "Custom II" started out as just being called the "Custom". The main difference between the Custom and Custom II is the Swartz safety that immobilizes the firing pin (should the gun be dropped it can prevent an accidental discharge).

Internal extractors were used in the beginning @ Kimber on their original models and series II as well until they thought it'd be cheaper to go with an external extractor. Needless to say after @ least 3 design changes of the external type they scrapped the idea and went back to old school style internal (much better IMO, easier to find parts and fix yourself if needed). The deal is you have to have proper extractor tension for feeding as well as extracting on the 1911. They probably figured it's alot less effort adjusting the external type but ran into other issues. S&W has a very good history of external extractors because of their experience with other auto's they make.

3 to 5 thousand rnds is just waking up a 1911 steel frame, you'll see members here with up to 50,000 on a govt model.

I can't tell ya if your trade is any good without more info on that but the Custom II Kimber is a great shooter. My pref. is the early Custom without the Swartz safety but wouldn't turn down a series II either(I own them both among other 1911's and enjoy them equally).

PS Welcome to the forum;)
 

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Kimber first made their 1911 in Clackamas then moved to Yonkers.
Sure about that?


Kimber History:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=183961

...How Kimber, a name associated with high grade hunting rifles, came to be in the 1911 business requires a little history lesson.
The story begins in Yonkers, N.Y., with a company called Jerico Precision which was founded in 1978 as a manufacturer of hand tools and a subcontractor for various defense industries.
The name Jerico comes from founders Jerry Roman and the late Richard Brown, an acronym for "Jerry and Richard's Company."

...Jerico needed two things: a market and somebody who knew about 1911's.
The help they found turned out to be businessman Leslie Edelman, owner of a major firearms and accessory wholesale
company called Nationwide Sports, and Chip McCormick who knows something about 1911s. At the time, Edelman was a minority shareholder of Kimber Of America and his plan was to connect Jerico's manufacturing capability with Kimber's established dealer network.
The project began in the winter of 1994 and the prototypes of the "Kimber" pistol were shown at the 1995 SHOT Show.
Controversy swirled around the sample at the show, which were in fact made by Caspian Arms with the serial number and
manufacturer's identity hidden under the grip panels.
Then in late 1996 Edelman purchased Jerico and changed the name to Kimber Manufacturing. In April, 1997, Edelman closed Kimber's riflemaking facility in Oregon and moved the entire operation to Yonkers.
That's the history of how the Kimber 1911 came to be...

~ American Handgunner Sept/Oct 1997
 

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If he's letting you shoot it first, you really can't go wrong.

Also, thanks Wolfgang for the history on Kimber... great to know.
 

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I will NEVER again buy a Kimber with the EXTERNAL extractor! There are no "new internal extractors" I'm aware of.

Assuming this is the standard extractor you're probably good to go. But don't pay collector prices. Older. used Kimbers should be available in the $400-$500 range these days.

-- Chuck
 
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