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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally had a chance to take my GCS out shooting today. Prior to use I had removed the mag well and factory grips, and also added a Colt thumb safety (I hate extended/ambi ones). Anyway, I was able to fire 100 rounds of hardball during my lunch break. My verdict: lots of potential, but definitely not perfect out of the box. I had two failures to feed where the loaded round jumped up and nearly out of the ejection port instead of going where it belonged. Maybe the magazines, but I was only using ones I have never had prior trouble with so I doubt it. Accuracy was quite good, but it was hard to tell how good because the trigger pull was very gritty. I had cleaned the pistol before shooting, so I need to look at the hammer/sear surfaces to see what's up. I had several fliers in my groups, but I don't know yet if the awful trigger, the gun, or the user caused them. The pistol felt comfortable to the hand, and the checkering didn't hurt my hands at all.

Once I get it tuned up and the few problems ironed out it should be an excellent pistol, especially after I do a few more changes like a Novak rear sight, Brown beavertail and USGI guide rod/plug setup. However, I am a bit amazed that this factory "custom" pistol performed no better than an out of the box specimen might typically do. A few hundred dollars more for night sights, extended mag well and 30lpi checkering? I don't think so!

This is my second experience with a so-called "Custom Shop" Kimber. The first was phenomenally accurate, but had reliability issues. As a result I'm inclined to tell any prospective new owner to buy only a base model Kimber, and add the fluff later if you want. You'll be ahead money-wise even if the rollmarks aren't as special.
 

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The base model Kimbers are probably a better value for the dollar. As a tool, I can't really see what a gold Combat offers that a TLE doesn't. That's not to take away from the Gold Combat, I have seen a few and they were fine guns. It’s just that they use the same slide and frame, same barrel, same safeties, same sights, both are checkered, etc and the Gold Combat apparently shows little evidence of superior fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting fact: The barrel bushing is easily loose enough to turn with my fingers. Just out of curiosity I dug out of my parts box the blued barrel bushing that originally came with the early baseline Kimber I once owned. It's a much tighter fit in the GCS slide! It won't go all the way in without a wrench and some fudging. You certainly can't tell me the Custom Shop models use "hand selected" components! :mad:

Looks like it's time to go through Brownell's catalog and get a whole laundry list of parts together.
 

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dsk, that's why I don't have mine anymore. I have to admit that it was one of the best looking handguns I've ever owned.......

...but my trigger was also something a little less than desired. I too would have the occasional flyer, and a jam from time to time.

This new series 1 cost around $1400 if I remember correctly about 3 years ago.

So, to all the people who ask from time to time if the high end semi-customs are worth the extra money.......yes! At least my Wilson CQB is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Again, I'm not saying it's a bad handgun. It's just that IMHO the "Limited Edition" Custom Shop guns (which really means they'll be widely available later, but for now shhhhhh.....) are overpriced for what you actually get. For $800 or so this would have a been a very good buy in a handgun, and the issues would be minor. That's why I say don't waste money on a "Limited Edition". Instead, buy a baseline Kimber and have what you want done performed by a local pistolsmith.
 

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As you know our pistols are pretty much cousins as they apparently came from the same shop ( and one would assume are very close in production dates). Mine had a gritty trigger as well. I found that the engagements are cut properly but the polish was not performed. A quick buff with a cushioned ultra-fine emory pad and it was as smooth as glass.

Someone metioned that the barrel bushing is "finger loose" on these models. Mine also is finger loose...however, the inside diameter-to-barrel outside diameter is extremely snug and allows no movement at all. I think this mating surface is the important one.

Aside from some cosmetic disappointments I am very pleased with my gun. I let my gunsmith shoot it. He can put 5 shots into the same hole at 21ft (not a ragged hole.....the same hole). He is impressed and I get excellent accuracy for my skill level as well.

Aside from some stuff you want to do to yours....I think your "gotta-do" list will be relatively short in order to make this gun perform.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Besides the internal tuning I intend to make the following changes:

GI recoil plug/guide setup (I hate FLGR's)
Ebony Hogue grips
Novak tritium rear sight
Ed Brown beavertail
S&A stainless extractor
Ed Brown SS bushing
Ed Brown SS firing pin stop

Once all this is done I should have a really fine pistola, good for heavy use where I wouldn't want to take one of my purdy Colts. :D
 

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is the radius on kimber pre-fit to Ed Brown Beavertail GS?
I think Ed Bown is .250.

Some of the disappointing parts on mine include the BTGS, and the thumb safety (the left hand side is not stainless....rather hard-chromed carbon steel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Same here. The right side is stainless, the left is hard chromed. :mad: The beavertail is hard chromed as well.

The Kimber frame and grip safety uses the same .250 radius as the Ed Brown. However, the Brown safety rides higher so the frame needs to be filed down to create a flush fit with the safety.
 

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I'm thinking of going with Chip McCormick parts (direct from McCormick).
I'm guessing the fit will be pretty much drop-in. I'm HOPING the material is better and the finish is spot-on.

JD
 
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