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I'm thinking of buying a Custom II but I'm somewhat put off by all the negative reports regarding Kimber's reliability (or rather the lack of it) that I've read on other forums. I do suspect, however, that most of these problems are with compact and subcompact models, not the original Government configuration. Hence, the reason for this post.

Essentially, I want a gun that would function 100% right out of the box. No jamming, no extractor issues resulting in brass being thrown in my face, not picky about ammo and magazines, and no "break in period" necessary for the gun to start functioning properly. So here's a question for Kimber owners: would you say that your gun has been 100% reliable according to the above criteria? Please be honest – I'm not interested in "Kimber is great buy one" type of responses. I'd like a fair and objective evaluation of the pistol.
 

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:) I have 12 Kimbers, only had a problem with one, a Pro Raptor, FTF and eratic ejection. Adjusted the extractor and that took care of it. I took it out this weekend and put 150 Lyman swc through it. No problems
 

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I have a Custom CDP and a Heritage Edition. The CDP required around 500rounds for break-in and has been flawless for the last 6000+ since. The Heritage has functioned perfectly through its first 1000 rounds. Both are very accurate, also.
 

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My Stainless Gold Match has been perfect for years and over 15k rounds. When I first got it I had some premature slide lock issues and a front sight that came loose.

My Pro Raptor has been perfect since it got a new IE slide. Probably 8k rounds.


Kimber tells you right up front there may be a break in period. Plenty have no break in problems but some do.
 

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I don't own a 5" Kimber, but I can tell you this much: Kimbers are built on extremely tight tolerances and therefore are extremely tight when new. Most people who complain about Kimbers malfunctioning are not using enough lubricant on critical areas that inevitably lead to drag, then to other issues like FTF's, FTE's and such. This is typically the "break-in" of a Kimber, keep it adequately lubed till it loosens up like an average "out of the box" gun. Kimbers tight tolerance not only means a more accurate pistol, but also a longer lasting one.

If you don't feel like cleaning and lubing a new Kimber every couple hundred rounds till it loosens up, then by all means, don't buy one. I'm not going to tell you what you should or should not buy, that is your choice.
 

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My Eclipse Target is a 5 inch and yes it has been flawless.
From right out of the box till 2600 rounds later not a single
problem.

I wound up taking the 5 inch after not being able to get 100 rounds
through the pro model without a failure. 1 year and 2 replaced Eclipse
Pro's and Dennis convinced me to go with the 5 inch.
I'm glad I did. I would not own another 4 inch Kimber. NOT BASHING
KIMBER. They worked with me for a full year back and forth. Replaced
the gun twice and gave me a new 5 inch. I would definitely buy another
Kimber but only a full size.

Good Luck

Chris
 

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I'm thinking of buying a Custom II but I'm somewhat put off by all the negative reports regarding Kimber's reliability (or rather the lack of it) that I've read on other forums. I do suspect, however, that most of these problems are with compact and subcompact models, not the original Government configuration. Hence, the reason for this post.
I have several 4" models and have had no problems with them. To be more specific to your question, my SIS Custom has functioned at the 100% level since I got it. It is the smoothest 1911 I have ever been near.

As to accuracy, the SIS broke a 4" blue-rock (shotgun target) in the dirt with the first round, out of the box at 25 yards. It then "smoothed out" and broke the chips :biglaugh:
 

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I have an older Clackamas gun and I later bought a standard 5" for a friend as a gift about two years ago.
I don't think the Clackamas gun can be considered as representative but the one I bought for my friend has done very well. The only hang up I ever saw with it was on an out of spec reload.
IMHO the odds of etting a Kimber that functions corretly out of the box is as good as with any other maker.
I also had very good personal experience with two Smith and Wesson 1911s and my Springfield TRP. If I found a Kimber I particularly liked I wouldn't hesitate.
 

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It is really sad to see all the negative on this forum about guns like Kimber. It may very well prevent a newcomer to this forum from buying a fine pistol like Kimber. As someone already mentioned above, in most situations its the user. Not enough lube, improper cleaning, bad shooting techniques, poor handling. I saw Kimber was getting blamed in a post on here about wear marks on a safety. WOW...what a way to ruin a great reputation of a fine company.
Anyway..My 4 in Kimber works flawless. I never really hear anyone say anything bad about their 5's. I will be getting my 5" come spring time and it will be a Kimber.
 

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Kimber is as good as or better than most other brands of 1911's IMHO. Shooter unfamilarity/ignorance as others have suggested leads to many issues with weapons, ANY weapon.

I've had a basic Custom II for over 5 years. It has over 5000 rounds thru it. When it jammed, it was with handloads (poor crimp, light target load etc..) Perfect functoning from the beginnning with factory fullpower loads FMJ 230 grain regardless of manufacturer S&B, REM, WIN.

With all respect, the PERFECT Weapon your looking for doesn't exist. You can make ANY semi auto weapon a jamomatic by feeding it ammo it doesn't like or crappy handloads.

Its just realistic to expect a break in period ([B]for both shooter and gun!) [/B]for any weapon including HK, S&W, SA, SIGS, Clark's. Les Baer, Rock River etc.....Remember guns don't shoot themselves only people shoot em!

Specifically speaking, both my Sig 220 and SIG Hammerli Trailside have FTF and FTE many times. But, I keep them because overall these weapons are MORE reliable and ACCURATE and practical for MY needs than others I've owned or tried. So much for Hell and back reliabilty. My Glock 19 was not completely reliable but close. I've even had revolvers with timing issues, a 617 S&W "right out of the box".

Kimbers are USUALLY reliable and accurate right out of the box using factory ammo when the operator does their part. If your NOT inclined to deal with a break in period with a Kimber, it is NOT a good choice for you.
 

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No problems with my TMII (EE), but yesterday had my Pro Carry II (IE) have a FTF on one of my reloads,...racked the same round twice and then gave up on it. Shot the next 200 with out a glitch.
I pulled the bullet and threw the case away.
R
 

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My 5" Warrior runs 100%...and has from day 1 - several thousand rounds
My 5" SIS runs 100%...only a couple hundred rounds so far
FWIW...my 4" has run 100%...since 2002.

I shoot lots of diferent types of ammo...and use both the factory Kimber mags, as well as Wilson 8 rnd mags...
 

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My Kimber Custon II has been reliable from the day I brought it home. The only thing I have done to the gun is I replaced the firing pin with a series 70 pin to disable the Swartz firing pin safety in case it ever fails. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't understand the function of the pin safety when I bought the gun.
 

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I own 3 Kimbers... only one of them is a 5" gun. It is a Custom II... based on the performance of that Kimber, I bought two others to keep it company.

I have over 2000 rounds through the Custom II and never had any issues. Only change made to it (and my other 1911s), was the replacement of the mainspring housing to an arched version.

Another point... the Custom II had the best trigger "out of the box" than any of my other off the shelf 1911s.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
With all respect, the PERFECT Weapon your looking for doesn't exist. You can make ANY semi auto weapon a jamomatic by feeding it ammo it doesn't like or crappy handloads.

Its just realistic to expect a break in period ([B]for both shooter and gun!) [/B]for any weapon including HK, S&W, SA, SIGS, Clark's. Les Baer, Rock River etc.....Remember guns don't shoot themselves only people shoot em!
Actually, I can't agree with that. None of the three semi-auto pistols that I presently own (HK USP, FN Hi-Power and Colt 1991A1) have ever had issues of any kind (except for defective Colt mags). None of them required any "break-in" either.
 

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Break-in

Regardless of manufacturer is it not wise to go through a "break-in" process? The handgun is a mechanical devise and most mechanical devices work better with some use (like an engine). Common sense tells us that the tighter the tolerances the more important a break-in period becomes.

The break-in process gives you the shooter time to familiar yourself with the handgun and hone your skills with it prior to using it as a daily carry. I think it would be foolish to purchase a new auto of any brand and carry it for personal defense without at least shooting 300 rounds anyway.

My daily carry is a Kimber Ultra Covert with the 3 inch barrel. The first 200 rounds produced two FTE. Rounds 200 through 1000 have been flawless. Who is to say that the FTE's had something to do with the cheap ammo I was shooting?

One should also ask, would you rather have a handgun that requires no break in and it's action gets more and more sloppy with time allowing the risk that it will have failure down the road when you really need it or have a well made handgun that requires some break in period but maintains it's tolerances for the long haul?

I now apologize for taking the original posters question a little off track.....
 

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My Custom TLE II is not quite two years old. Initially I had a few FTF's. Don't remember what I attributed those to. Currently I have just over 5000 rounds through it. It's my primary range shooter and an alternate for carry. It's a flawless performer and I trust it with my life.

I'm very meticulous about cleaning and lubing, replacing springs (sometimes ahead of recommended schedule) and I have to believe that's a factor in it's overall reliability.

Regarding your thought on "break-in"....I also have a new full size Wilson CQB. The Wilson organization acknowledges a 300 - 500 round break-in for their fine pistols.

With all due respect, your unusually high "expectations" / "standards" could be a real "let down" for you. If you have an FTF or two or some other minor "hiccup" initially that could be easily taken care of, doesn't mean you're not going to have a flawless performer in the long term. Other posters have already listed a number of the variables that could affect 100% reliability "out of the box".
 
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