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Hello group,

I am an absolute neophyte when it comes to 1911 handguns and guns in general. To make matters worse, I am also a bleeding heart liberal, and have been all my life, but I have never really understood my fellow liberals penchant for gun control. It just doesn't make much sense to me as a means to control violent crime. Anyway, I had thought about owning an handgun for years (probably about 25 years) and the recent trajedy in New York and Washington finally pushed me over the edge and I decided to buy one. It may not make much sense, but it did make me feel better.

I searched the web for several weeks, looking for and reading everything I could find on handguns, tying to figure out what I should buy. I started out with Glock, but after actually holding one in my hand that idea when out the window. I thought the Desert Eagle looked cool (sorry, I am a neophyte remember) but learned it was actually kind of silly. The most beautiful hand guns I found were the Berettas, but one private review I read really blasted them for what seemed good reasons so that one went by the wayside too. I even looked at Kel-Tec, and found a forum dedicated to that gun. If I were going only by private citizen's reviews, I probably would have bought a Kel-Tec, because no one on that forum had anything really bad to say about their guns, and most simply loved them. They loved Kel-Tec's customer service as well.

What I finally did was buy a Kimber. Until I stumbled upon this forum, I was unable to find anyone who had anything bad to say about Kimbers. What I wanted to do was buy a handgun that would work great out of the box, and that I would never have to do anything to. I only wanted to have to buy one gun to last me the rest of my life. I am in California, so I plopped down a little over $800.00 for a Defender II, actually, a little more than $900.00 after tax and fees. (This is a special production model, essential a stainless classic with the apparently infamous stainless frame which has a black oxide finish on it, and rosewood grips). In my part of the country, a custom classic with no frills goes for $700.00+. I figured for an extra $100.00 I could get one that looked really good in addition to working well.

Then I found this forum.....Talk about post-purchase anxiety. I spent all evening yesterday reading viturally every post on this forum about Kimber, and my anxiety slowly began to turn into panic. Oh my God...it seems that my beautiful, perfect Kimber is going to need a lot of stuff...$200.00 night sights...forged instead of MIM guts...steel springs instead of plastic and I don't know what else. I have not actually taken possession of the gun, there is a 10 day waiting period in this state, but if I am willing to eat a $50.00 penalty charge, I can cancel the purchase and try again with something else. I have about a week left to decide.

So please group, help me decide what to do. Should I keep this gun or eat the loss and buy something else, and if something else, what???? HELP!!!!!
 

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People are generally going to post more regarding problems than pleasures in most cases.

I did a year ago what you are doing now! Bought a Pro-Carry then I stumbled across this site. But after the year and roughly 3000 rounds, I couldn't be happier. My gun dislikes Chip Mc's mags. Other than that it has been flawless.
There is only 1 way to find out what the gun is like, shoot it! Don't read posts here. If rounds don't feed, if all of the MIM parts break, then worry!!

Enjoy the gun, it is simple as that.

Just my opinion, I don't spend much time on the net, every fall brings me back to the gun sites to get geared up for shooting all winter. Most of the topics are identical to last year. But I'm sure happy Kimber owners out weigh unhappy.

[This message has been edited by Rob Orlando (edited 10-08-2001).]
 
J

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I have two Custom Classics, bottom of the line Kimbers and a Royal Carry, custom shop pistol with commander length slide with officer’s grip. All the pistols still have the original parts in them. One Classic had over 25,000 rounds through it. Yes, you read that right 25,000 rounds. If you want to change out parts because you want to… go for it. That’s part of the fun of owning a 1911. If you feel you need to change the parts because there is something wrong with them don’t waste your money.

If you’re going to use your pistol for carry you may like night sights on it. If it isn’t a carry weapon you don’t need night sights. In facts the night sights on my Royal Carry, which is my carry gun, died. I don’t miss them.

With that said… it is a 1911 and customizing it to your personal taste is part of the fun of owning it.
 

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You need to take some deep breaths and relax. I have an Ultra. I have had it for two years and close to 4000 rounds through it. No problems, other than a missing spring from the factory that was immediately detected and repaired by the retailer. I carry this gun off duty to protect my life.

Any, I repeat, any gun can fail you but Kimbers have proven themselves to be an excellent and reliable weapon.
 

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No worries Mon! You have a good gun so just enjoy it. I purchased an ultra CDP then found this forum. I had my concerns but as Rob stated, people post more problems than positives. Kimber is a great gun!
 

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I first fired a pistol when I was nine years old. I have handled revolvers, and some autos, off and on, for a very long time.

Late in life I decided to get the 1911 I have always wanted. After picking up and handling, and studying, all the examples I could, I picked up the Kimber Ultra Carry. I'm fussy about fit because of a small hand size, and fussy about recoil because of a muscle problem. It was a .40 S&W. It was the *one* that actually felt like an extension of my hand, and felt like it had been *there* forever. It *spoke* to me. I put it down and tried others, but kept coming back to that Kimber. I'm sure there may have been comparable, or better choices, or choices that others would argue for, but this one "just felt good; real good. It felt *right*.".

Out of the box (but admittedly with not a real large amount of rounds down range yet) it has been flawless so far, and a joy to shoot. It will take a while to get used to the shorter sight radius, but that was expected, and I did buy it for it's compactness.

Don't look back. Just enjoy your new Kimber.

DQ
 

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In the non high-end gun arena there are none better than Kimber. You can spend more on a Baer, Wilson or something from one of the big name smiths but, you're going to find your Kimber to be an excellent weapon and smart buying decision. I sure did.

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Steve333
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well....

So far only positive responses when I was expecting a lot of "get rid of it" advice. I am feeling a little bit better about the purchase now. Thanks to all for the support. I am especially happy to see some with an "Addict" rating supporting the choice of a Kimber . I also want to thank all at this board in general, as I have learned an enormous amount here already, and expect to learn much more in the weeks and months to come. Handgunning is new to me and a little scary, so I expect to be coming here often for advice, and by all indications, I will be able to get it in abundance.

I have been on line since the late 80's and even though it has been more than 10 years now, every time I need to get some information fast, and I find something as fabulous as this forum on the Web, I still think to myself..."I LOVE THE INTERNET!!!!"

Information is the great equalizer.

Thanks again.
Scotty
 

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Hey buddy! Don't sweat it! I have 2 Kimbers myself and I haven't had any major issues with them yet! Just like a car, you can often end up with a bad lemon but generally the make is good. The talk about adding stuff and making changes to the gun is usually later on as you get more involved in shooting. The recommendation is to practice with that gun, learn the in and outs of how to maintain it. And above all, learn how to safely handle it! Most hardcore shootist will tell you to shoot the gun first before you customize it. In your case, I don't really think it is necessary. BTW, the laws in the PR of Kalifornia suxs!
Happy shooting and come again!!!!
 

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I get this kind of anxiety, too, when I drop a lot of $$$ on something. Do yourself a favor, ignore the comments. Go pick it up, read the instructions and learn to field strip it. Then clean and oil it properly, take it to the range and SHOOT it. You'll have a great time. Don't freak if you have an occassional problem. Carefully diagnose it, or ask someone at the range who seems intelligent to take a look at it. But shoot some before you make any changes. Some individual guns need a break in period.

If there's a problem, do what you would do with your car. Take it to the dealer and explain it, and have them repair/exchange if it's under warranty. Kimber makes a great gun, as good as they get in this price range.

Learn to shoot well, and have fun. You did not make a bad decision. And if you got a lemon or one with a bit of a tolerance problem, do like I said. Have the dealer fix it. Kimbers are like anything else. Well made, but occassionally someone or something got a bit out of kilter at the manufacturer.

Enjoy the gun and shoot it a lot. You'll really like it.

Regards,
RCJ
 

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Two sources of relief to your anxiety:

1. Shoot lots of practice ammo and enjoy your new gun; and

2. Vote Republican.

Remember, the definition of a Republican is a Democrat who's been mugged. Welcome to The Other Side. Oh, by the way, send your membership and $35 to the NRA ASAP, okay?
 

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Beammeupscotty:

All manufacturers produce a few lemons, but most major manufacturers, including Kimber, generally produce a good product. In terms of 1911s, I own a Kimber, a Colt, and a Springfield. The Kimber is the only one of them that was ready to go, right out of the box. In fact, it's better than the Springfield that I had customized by a well-respected gunsmith in terms of parts fit. Just try your gun out and be sure it's reliable. If you have problems, Kimber generally has pretty good customer service.

Good luck, and let us know what you think after you've had a chance to put a few hundred rounds through it.
 

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Beammeupscotty:

I spent a lot of time on another forum before finding this one. I love 1911's and my favorites are Colts & Kimbers. Get the Kimber, get some training, then enjoy it.

I purchased a Kimber Pro Carry a couple of years ago and loved it. Except the frame was made out of aluminum, and I always thought it might crack. So I sold a perfectly good gun because of imaginary faults. The very next day I realized that I screwed up, so I bought another Kimber as soon as the store opened. I sleep a little better at night knowing one of my 1911's is a Kimber.


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Hero45
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Ditto what others have said. Don't borrow a problem until you have one. My Kimber runs just fine with Chip McCormick mags, MIM parts--just like it came out of the box nearly two years ago. I have about 1800 rounds through it.

Shoot it and enjoy. And, welcome to the Kimber family.

RJ
 

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I had the same thought after finding this forum. But, I've got a few friends who shoot Kimbers exclusively and love them. Sure there are a few problems from time to time. However, Kimber has a great reputation for fixing any issue in a very timely manner. A friend shot the barrel bushing out of his Custom last year. He dropped it off at the dealers on Monday morning and it was back in his hands on Friday afternoon good as new. This was after over 30,000 rounds. No charge,no questions just good customer service.

There are always those who think every gun should be perfect out of the box. Sorry this is the real world. I've got a Gold Match that shoots like a dream even with Kimber factory mags. I ordered Wilson springs and followers but I'm not going to chang anything until I start having issues.

Shoot and enjoy your weapon and remember... If Boxer and Feinstein had their way you could not have bought your Kimber.
 

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I've got a classic stainless I've put 17,000+ rounds through in less than a year now and never had a hickup. I compete in IDPA/IPSC matches with it all the time, MIM parts included. Its the most reliable gun I've ever owned and I've never had a problem that wasn't caused by my experimentation with reloading. In fact, I just used it to win first place in my class/division at the IDPA Nationals.
 

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Star Trek Fan,

I think you will be very happy with your purchase. I think the only bitching about MIM parts you will see comes from certain Colt die hard supporters who feel that Investment Casting is better than MIM.

But Colts have plastic parts also, and there are guns made from plastic frames among other things that work perfectly well.

Wilson Combat even uses MIM parts in their pistols. You have to pay them at least $2000 to get a 1911 from them without MIM parts.

Plus, you will see people bitch and moan about aluminum too. There are just some people out there that don't feel satisfied unless everything is a chunk of steel.

Well all of these "lesser" ways of forming steels, using alloys and polymers are also used in automobile and aircraft and other high stress environments and they seem to work just fine. Actually, in lots of instances, we don't use forged steel because there are better alternatives. Forged steel has its limitations also.

What is more important is the quality of the parts manufacture. Are things designed and created with excellent, proven techniques? Is there good quality control? Are they using the proper machinery to do the job of manufacturing to proper tolerances? Does the company and the product have a good reputation?

I would argue that Kimber appears to be doing the right thing as a company. They came from no where to almost putting Colt out of business in 4 years. Colt has huge brand recognition and if it weren't for that, they would have been long gone 20 years ago.

Most people have to be happy with their Kimbers, or they wouldn't sell so damn many of them! Also given that a company like Colt has had to cut back its product line, and production over the past couple of years makes me wonder more seriously what kind of product they put out compared to Kimber.

If Colt or other company's products are so superior to what Kimber offers, why are people not buying more of them compared to Kimber's products?

So, don't sweat your Kimber purchase. Enjoy it. And if you really want Night Sites, go put 'em on.
 

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Beammeupscottie

Welcome to the group and to owning a Kimber. I will agree with most everything you have been told and I will not mention what I disagree with because nothing wrong was mentioned.

Since you are new to handguns I most heartily agree with the recommendation to get some instruction. Most indoor ranges have instructors that offer one or two day beginning handgun classes. Take the most basic course offered, or find a friend, coworker, or a sales rep at the range to give you some basic instruction before you shoot alone. A little knowledge goes a long way and it is not like it seems in the movies. Read the owners manual, you should be able to get that even if your can't pickup the pistol yet. This will have a good description of most of the major parts. Most classes will include the handgun, or you can rent one, so take a class as soon as possible even if you wont be able to use your pistol.

Once you have received some training, read your manual, and have received your pistol, it will need some shooting time to wear in. Wear in, is just the moving parts smoothing any tooling marks or rough spots so all of the parts settle into a consistant pattern of motion or come to rest at the same place every time. To aid the wear in process do the following.

1. Remove the magazine, lock the slide back and make sure the chamber is empty.

2. Point the barrel down and place one drop of good old fashioned gun oil (Hoppes #9 is good), on each side of the pistol, on each of the frame rails on the inside lower edge of the slide, and let this drip in side for a couple of seconds.

3. Grip the slide tightly, pull it back and guide it forward till it stops. Pull the slide back and forth a few times to move the oil around on the frame rails. Close the slide.

4. Tip the barrel down and place one drop of oil on the barrel at the front of the ejection port. Pull the slide back and forth a couple more times.

5. Now load the magazine and begin shooting. You will ultimately want to shoot 500 rounds before you clean your pistol, and you will want to relubricate your pistol using steps 1-4 every 100 rounds. For ammo I suggest Federal American Eagle, Sellier & Bellot, or PMC, as these are generally inexpensive and the generate a lot of powder residue. What we are after here is to use the residue as a very mild buffing compound with the oil as a carrier, so your pistol will get filthy, and a bit oily for a while. In fact during the wear in time you will be using a lot more oil than is necessary for normal operation, but it is necessary for wear in.

7. Once you have fired 500 rounds clean the pistol using the instructions in your owners manual. For a powder solvent I suggest I suggest Hoppes #9 (silver label) semi-automatic solvent. When the owners manual tells you to lightly lubricate your pistol, they mean the following:

a. Wet a Q-tip with oil and run it over the surfaces to be oiled.
b. Then take another Q-tip, or a cleaning patch, and wipe the oil off. The remaining film is enough.

When you are done everything should move very smoothly and the pistol will probably be very accurate.

Last, remember that the more you shoot, the more comfortable you will become,and the more fun you will have. Most of us shoot a lot more than we ever thought we would because it is fun, and going to the range can be a great social event. Most people at ranges are very frendly and love to talk and generaly turn out to be some of the nicest people you ever meet.

I hope this helps.
Str8_Shot
 
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