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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those who aren't familiar with Kimber's history and believe they've been making 1911's for over 25 years since they put out a 25 yr. anniversary model, here is the actual history.
The Ultimate 1911

(Full article on post #11 and another article on post #13)

The Government Model industry was shaken to its core by the introduction last year of Kimber's 1911. Priced at a mere $625...

...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


Kimber has always used MIM parts. For the first guns, the parts were made in Spain with molds owned by Kimber. When they got the MIM machines in Yonkers, the molds came over here. Initially, even the bushings were MIM. This changed about 6 months into production with the delivery of two machines to make stainless steel bushings.

The Series II safety was introduced in 2001. No other parts on the gun were changed at that time. MIM then, MIM now.

When purchased by Kimber, Jerico was also making slides for Wilson Combat (and Kimber continued to make them for about 7 years.) Kimber and Wilson had an advertisement battle in 1997 as a result of Kimber advertising a gun worth $1500 for $615. Here is a blurb from American Handgunner in 1997 on the dueling ads:
 

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Thanks for the post. Some of the stuff I did not know. I do remember that ad though.
 

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Thanks for the fun read, Kruzr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
gmcal said:
Good info. The "blurb" is not showing up.
? Shows to me. If you are getting a red X, try right clicking and copy the addy in Properties. Put that in the browser address box.

This article synopsis was first posted on the forum about 4 years ago by Sniper. It inspired me to find a copy of the magazine. American Handgunner also talked about Kimber's manufacturing process and QA/QC procedures. If I have time to upload them, I will. That will undoubtedly bring lots of responses like.."they sure don't do that anymore." :)
 

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Thanks Kruzr,

This is a great thread! I have a couple questions for anyone who knows...

1. Why would a gun company like Kimber move to Yonkers, N.Y. ???

2. At what point did Kimber go from small, great 1911 building company to the larger, um... maybe too big, company today?

3. Any other info?


Here is some info from Wikipedia, if you guys believe anything printed there. I heard that they are not always the truth of information...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimber_Manufacturing

Thanks!
 

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F16DCC said:
Thanks Kruzr,

This is a great thread! I have a couple questions for anyone who knows...

1. Why would a gun company like Kimber move to Yonkers, N.Y. ???

2. At what point did Kimber go from small, great 1911 building company to the larger, um... maybe too big, company today?

3. Any other info?


Here is some info from Wikipedia, if you guys believe anything printed there. I heard that they are not always the truth of information...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimber_Manufacturing

Thanks!
I will take a stab at #1 and I may very well be wrong.

Most of the metal manufacturing in the US is done in the northeast. Of course there is some everywhere but the majority of it is in that area. I would think that the cost of doing business in the metal industry would be cheaper there than out west. From raw materials to the supplies to skilled labor there is more of it there than anywhere else.

May have been something as simple as he owned a building in Yonkers and he didn't in Oregon. Things that happen don't always makes sense.
 

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Was the above article the one in which the author tore down a Kimber and a Wilson and found no visible or measureable internal difference except that the Wilson "showed signs of hand fitting on the sear"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Jim, some of that is in this article and some in the "Jerico vs. Jerico" article that compared Jerico a built Kimber, Wilson and Ithaca. I'll post that one also.

Here is the entire article from American Handgunner:



 

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This should be mailed into Kimber as a little reminder--
and now for some fighting words:
For a 1,500 dollar gun these days, I'd rather own a 615 dollar piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Armorer said:
This should be mailed into Kimber as a little reminder--
and now for some fighting words:
For a 1,500 dollar gun these days, I'd rather own a 615 dollar piece.
And today, that $1500 dollar gun of 1997 is closer to $2500+, while the $615 gun runs about $750.
 

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Exactly-- Seeing the number of broken hammers and such from broached MIM on Raptors, CDPII, and the like? I'd consider a stainless SA springer or Taurus a 750 dollar gun, and a much better investment. This is how my spending has gone, and will continue to do so until Kimber takes a look at how they're alienating a chunk of the market.
And while you might not get all the niceties of a Kimber, out of an 800 dollar gun, it's still a good platform to send off to any reputable smith as a base for a carry or competition project.
I know I'm not making any friends pointing this out, but since they brought in that Remington guy to handle most of their production, he's made a major assembly line out of a "semi-custom" line...with adding just so many limited, commemoratives, and the ilk per year, we're the ones who suffer a drop off in all the wrong areas-- least of all price.
I'm not saying that marginalizing is the way to go, but for the extended expenditures, I'd do for 4 less kimber models a year for a better gun closer to what the consumers can afford.
 
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