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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 'slightly' used KZ-45 compact today. It was owned by someone who at one time worked at the gun store where I bought it, and the guys there claimed he only put about 100 rounds through it. It looks very clean to me. Little disappointment - it did not come with a manual or the infamous videos - so I can't clean it yet... but I'll contact Wilson on Monday and order them.

It has one odd behavior that I wonder if anyone has experienced or heard of: On the first round fired from a fresh magazine, the trigger feels like it has about 8 or 9 pound pull! On follow up shots, it feels like it should. I put about 75 rounds through it today, and it had this behavior consistently - sometimes requiring an even stronger pull. At first I thought the grip safety wasn't catching, but I tried it from everything from normal-firm to a squeeze-the-crap out of it tight, and that didn't effect (or correct) anything.

I'm not too worried, because after I break it in, I'm going to send it back to Wilson to get a ambi safety installed. If the problem is still there after I finish breaking it in and give it its first full cleaning, then I'll have them look at it when they do the safety.

BTW, so far I love this gun. Feels solid, great fit for my hand, dead-on accurate... I'm really enjoying it so far. It's my first polymer gun, but it has the best grip of any plastic gun I've held.
 

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Congratulations on the Wilson KZ-45!

I have the full size version and am very impressed with it.

Mine does not seem to have different trigger pulls and I can't understand why yours would. I've found the guys at Wilson to be very helpful and I think I'd pick up the phone and explain the situation to them. They might be able to walk you through a fix over the phone.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I've been carrying the KZ around with me all day in a generic DeSantis IWB holster (mostly just around the house, we're having a bit of blizzard here this weekend). I'll get a better holster soon, but I have to say this gun feels good on my side. I think it might be the perfect carry gun -- a nice balance of 1911 platform, outstanding reliability, lighter than a full-size full-steel, and 9 +1 rounds. Sounds perfect to me.

It could just be infatuation, but I think that the KZ line might be the optimal price-point for getting the most for your money - at least in terms of the practical things like accuracy, capacity, and reliability. I'm sure that the $3,500 Tactical Super Grade Compact is an outstanding gun... but for day-to-day carry, I don't think I could need anything better than the KZ. I could be wrong, but I somehow doubt that in a self-defense situation, the Super Grade would give me a significant edge over the KZ. Some day I may get a stainless Ed Brown Kobra Carry, because it's a beautiful gun. But honestly, I don't know if I'd carry a gun that's that pretty, shiney, or expensive.

Sorry for rambling, I'm trapped in the house until I dig myself out tomorrow morning. :)
 

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I just sold my KZ45; still have my KZ45c, as I felt the full-sized was an unnecessary duplication. (It kicked just a little less than the 45c [maybe 10-15% less], but that didn't make it appealing enough to keep.)

Side by side with my full-sized Super Grade, there's no comparison, and rightfully so for the monetary difference. It may be apples and oranges to try and make an analogy between a full-sized SG vs. a KZ, and then call it even between a compact SG next to the KZc, but the SG is a very refined example of a potentially perfect 1911. It points at least as easily, it's tighter all around--slide to frame and frame to barrel than a KZ, with no compromise in reliability or performance. I wouldn't think there'd be much comparable difference "stepping down" to their compact versions. I found I was 20% quicker and about 10% more accurate over the same combat courses with the SG than the KZ. On the other hand, I really like the KZ for extra rounds it could carry, albeit 2 extra shots. That, in my opinion, is the only thing that keeps the KZ in contention as a keeper next to an SG. Reduce that capacity by one round for a KZ 45c, and I'd probably take an SG Compact if I had to make a choice.
 

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Sounds like you need to send it back to Wilson.

Here's why:

The full mag seems to be interfering with the trigger bow, causing the excessive-pressure-required-for-trigger-pull issue. Whether it's the mags bowing and hitting the trigger bow, the trigger being improperly shaped, or a combination of the two, it left the factory in a state it shouldn't have.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
moredes15 said:
Side by side with my full-sized Super Grade, there's no comparison, and rightfully so for the monetary difference.
That I would expect. But if you had a 45 minute, bumber to bumper stop and go commute every morning, would you do it in a Porche? Some people would, personally, I'd just get a Honda for the commute, and save my Porche for the weekends. Following that (perhaps odd) anology, I could carry a Glock -- but I am most comfortable with 1911's. And my point, or opinion on this, is that for top level accuracy, reliability, and quality, at the most cost-effective point for an 'everyday' 1911, the KZ might be it.
I wouldn't think there'd be much comparable difference "stepping down" to their compact versions. I found I was 20% quicker and about 10% more accurate over the same combat courses with the SG than the KZ.
Now that's interesting. I wonder why that is? Is the thicker grip slowing you down? Is it that the KZ is lighter, therefore has more recoil, and takes longer for follow-up? If it's the latter, than that will always be a compromise one makes when we choose to carry a lighter version gun.

I guess if money were no object, I might think of this differently. While I don't want to compromise on my personal safety, I also have to be conscious of the price of diminishing returns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
300lbGorilla said:
Sounds like you need to send it back to Wilson.
....it left the factory in a state it shouldn't have.
Thanks for the feeback! This may be a stupid question, but would you suggest I send it back without firing it anymore?

The guy at the store where I bought it (who I don't completely trust) suggested that I finish breaking it in before I bother to call them, since they will most likely request that I break it in before addressing any concerns. I'm also considering only filling the magazines half way, to sort of test your theory. I just don't want to do anything that might damage the gun.

Thanks again!
 

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I don't understand this "break-in" stuff. Neither the KZ-45 full size or the KZ-45 Compact I have required ANY break-in. I started shooting them (with both factory JHPs and my handloads) and continue to do so.

I too think the KZ-45 may be the best general duty/carry 1911 for the money. For me they are reliable, comfortable to carry, accurate and come with slightly higher capacity than standard.

"I found I was 20% quicker and about 10% more accurate over the same combat courses with the SG than the KZ."

I found this comment very interesting. The difference for me is so slight I can't tell if there is any advantage, one way or the other. The KZ may recoil slightly more but the better, hand filling grip negates that and gives more control.

As always, YMMV!
 

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I agree with everyone else, the trigger oddity is something that must be warrantied.

Dollar for value, I don't disagree at all that the KZ 45c is probably the weapon I'd choose for general CCW. In my situation I don't ever expect to need it; more likely, in my neck of the woods, I'd pull it more for pitbulls than perps. But if I was LE, where the liklihood of needing a firearm is much greater, I'd carry the SG (c) if I could.

As to the better results that I got with the SG over the KZ, I've found that in 25y 'bullseye' shooting that the recoil isn't much more to contend with, and "doesn't affect me" that much. But that sweet :) 3 1/2 pound, no takeup, no backlash (ok, ok...there's almost no backlash to speak of), 'break-like-a-1/8"-glass-rod' trigger allows for 20-25% better groups. At least, with me behind the gun.

The KZ is much lighter (8oz is the OEM spec); its' polymer grips allow no alteration. The Super Grade of course, allows one to change the grips. With a set of Jack Breskovitch's 10oz grips, the Super (probably weighs in at 4 1/2-4 3/4 lb. and) handles faster than the KZ from target to target, but it's especially noticable on multiple double-taps. The objection might be "yah, but I'd hate to carry a 4 1/2 lb gun all day"; I've worn it for 4-5 hours at a time in a Bianchi rig meant for LEO, and it's not bad at all--granted, I don't trudge it around in a car and carry 8-10hr on overtime everyday, but in that rig, I think it's certainly as manageable as a fully-laden KZ carried CCW. But I digress, so now I'll shut up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just called Wilson, great customer service experience. 300lbGorilla was right, they said it probably is the trigger bow, and that shooting it won't make it better or worse but feel free to send it right in and they'll fix it. He mentioned that issue has come up before with the KZc's. By the time it get's back fixed and with an ambi-safety, I'll have a good holster for it and be ready to go!

Thanks for all the feedback everyone!
 

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Heh... that's exactly what I was gonna say. Break-in won't have anything to do with a trigger bow interference issue.

I'm glad to hear you got it straight from the horse's mouth and that Wilson is gonna take care of you.

Hope it's back in your hands soon!
 

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Well, bummer

Just had the same experience with my new KZ-C. Poor John; he'll be at least as frustrated as me.

I went the range with a couple folks from the office yesterday. Everything started well. The pistol shoots really nicely; accurate, reliable, etc. I got about 75 or so rounds down range, and suddenly I thought I was trying to shoot it with the safety on. I had a couple of shots where the trigger pull was staggering, then back to normal (which is VERY NICE). I went through that intermittently (which makes it hell to describe, and hell to diagnose and repair). Other than this, everything was great. In about 150 rounds I had one FTE which I am pretty sure was a bad case. It was badly banged up and looked as though it may have been oversized - a lot of streaks and marking from the chamber. I am not going to worry about that. (It was hell to clear, though. I guess I should have kept the case, ID'd the make, and really studied it, just to try to diagnose the issue.)

I shot some S&B, 'cuz I am trying to use it up and get rid of it; some white box 230 gr. ball; a few Corbon 200 gr +P (the old version), and a few Silvertips. All in all, I like this gun better than the full size KZ. I think it feels and shoots better. The trigger thing is a bummer, as I was hoping to run at least 300 rounds through it yesterday and clean the hell out of it, etc, but sometimes SLTH. The real bite now is that my schedule sucks for several days, so even though I'll probably have it back Wednesday, maybe Thursday, I can't shoot for a while after that.
 

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Update on the above

Yeah, John was not a happy camper. He took it back to the shop and got someone on it right away; I got it back promptly. I patrolled Saturday night, and went out of the way to get up early and hit the local commercial range. As mentioned in another string, had a lot of FTE/Double feeds with White box, which really surprised me. I was really sure I'd be off at FedEx the next day.

I also had some S&B along, tried it, and had no problems. Hmm. I headed right out to the counter, got small boxes of 2 other premium loads, and no problems at all. Hmm some more. Still hadn't gotten close to 500 rounds, so I didn't want to clean it yet. Skipped out of work a few minutes early today and went to the indoor range here (I live and work in 2 different towns). Took 50 rounds of newer white box than the apparently bad lot, 100 rounds of S&B, 50 rounds of Ranger SXT +P, and 40 rounds of Silvertip. 1 FTE, again a double feed, and plain out fugly to clear; yet again, it was the White Box. I think I see a pattern here.

I have used 7 different loads, only one presents a problem. I think I'll be using the WB for other guns. I did have one failure to return to battery with a Silvertip. It felt rough. I took the round out, looked for problems (hard to do inside, with yellow glasses on, and using my contacts instead of being able to look over my glasses - getting old sucks), and didn't find any. I locked the slide back, and it was pretty nasty in there. I used the field expedient cleaning process (spit on my finger, rubbed the worst of the crap off the ramp, and off we go), and finished up my shooting, including that round, without another bobble.

I was pretty tired, and my poor decrepit joints, already sore from working out and a poor sleeping position one night this week, were talking to me about the slamming from the +P in this light gun. I saved the last 20 Silvertips to see how I shot. I did really well, considering I am old and blind, and was pretty tired. I did not live up to the gun's potential at all, but considering the circumstances, I will not complain at all.

Frankly, I like this gun and its feel better than the full size KZ. I have smallish hands for my size, so the short grip is not a problem. Thanks to all the folks at Wilson's, and the usual suspect, Keith Brown, for all the help in getting this nice pistol. It's sitting upstairs with some Hoppe's Elite bore gel on it; we'll see how that works, too. I'll finish cleaning in the morning, I think.

Now all I gotta do, although I can't justify it, is figure out how to get a PDP bobtail ... :biglaugh:
 
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