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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm revisiting some 1911's I've had tucked away in the back of the safe for some time. This one I got around the turn-of-the-century. Can't believe all these years have passed so quickly.

Kimber made it not long after moving from Clackamas to Yonkers. They called it the "Stainless" back then, as it hadn't TRULY become a "classic" yet. And there was nothing "classic" about the design of this 1911, as it had modernized features (as compared to truly "classic" 1911s). Now it is something of a classic, I guess, as far as Kimber manufacturing history goes. I've barely shot this one... probably no more than 150-200 rounds through it. Kimber dropped the name "classic" from this model because that term was seemed inappropriately applied to the modern design.

I went with the Colt thumb safety, arched MSH, and short trigger just because I prefer that style. I would really love to have a 20lpi checkering job done on the front strap... that would make it among my favorite 1911 Government models.



 

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I'm revisiting some 1911's I've had tucked away in the back of the safe for some time. This one I got around 1998. Can't believe 17 years has passed so quickly.

Kimber made it shortly after moving from Clackamas to Yonkers. They just called it the "Stainless" back then, as it hadn't become a "classic" yet. Now it is something of a classic, I guess. I've barely shot this one... probably no more than 150-200 rounds through it.

I went with the Colt thumb safety, arched MSH, and short trigger just because I prefer that style. I would really love to have a 20lpi checkering job done on the front strap... that would make it among my favorite 1911 Government models.



Actually, you couldn't be more wrong.

The very first Kimber stainless government model was called the " Classic Custom Stainless". From there it went to "Custom Stainless" and then to " Stainless".
These were all Series 1 models. Current production models are called "Stainless II" designating the firing pin block.

The serial number of your pistol does not suggest an early manufacture date of 1998. Your pistol originally came with the 3 hole aluminum trigger.
The original "Classic Custom Stainless" model that came out in 1997-98 had a black polymer trigger.

To add to the confusion, during that initial time frame Kimber also produced the "Classic Stainless Target" and Classic Stanless LE" models.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The very first Kimber stainless government model was called the " Classic Custom Stainless". From there it went to "Custom Stainless" and then to " Stainless".
These were all Series 1 models. Current production models are called "Stainless II" designating the firing pin block.

The serial number of your pistol does not suggest an early manufacture date of 1998. Your pistol originally came with the 3 hole aluminum trigger.
The original "Classic Custom Stainless" model that came out in 1997-98 had a black polymer trigger.

To add to the confusion, during that initial time frame Kimber also produced the "Classic Stainless Target" and Classic Stanless LE" models.
Actually, you completely missed the point, so I clarified it for you.

It wasn't truly a "classic" at the time, because they had just begun making them! And there was nothing "classic" about the 1911 design they were using... it was a modernized design at the time. Not a "classic".
:rolleyes: Now, all these years later, it has become something of a classic, purely in terms of Kimber manufacturing history.

Yes, as I mentioned I believe I got it around 1998, but it could have been 1999, or so. I'll see if I can dig up the original paperwork, but it's not terribly important to me.

As I mentioned, I replaced the trigger, MSH, and thumb safety. I've also replaced the fire-control group with premium components. Eager to get some aggressive front strap checkering on it!

BTW... there were no "Series 1" Kimbers. People, such as yourself, have erroneously referred to Kimbers without the Schwartz FP safety mechanism as being "Series 1", but no such nomenclature has been assigned by Kimber.
 

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You have a third generation (not Series) stainless 5" Kimber. They used the term "Custom Classic" since the beginning in 1996. They were the first manufacturer who produced a "custom" gun without having to send a base model to a pistolsmith or buy a Wilson. Thus they wanted folks to know that it was a "customized" classic gun. Why they changed the name to simply "Stainless" I don't know, because they also made another model, the Stainless Compact in that era. The term Series-I was coined simply because when the Series-II came along nobody knew what to call them. Of course Kimber never called them that, at the time they had no intention of building a Series-II. No matter what, you have a fine gun from Kimber's glory years. All my Kimbers are original series.
 

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Are you sure you got that pistol in '98? I have a "Classic Stainless" with a lower serial # that I bought new in 2001. When I called Kimber to date it they said it was built in 2000. I'm just curious if they told me wrong. Mine has been a great pistol. 100% trouble free. Your looks very nice by the way.
Tomcatt
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Glenn-SC, VF-1, AZ Husker... thanks, guys.

AZ... I share your enthusiasm for the Compact Stainless, as I have one of those, as well. Plus a Compact CDP. All of these from Kimber's early days.

Of my three early Kimbers, I think the Compact Stainless is my favorite. Mine has been finished in Kimber's "Eclipse" finish and Vic Tibbetts tuned and tweaked it. I'm considering having the front strap on it checkered, as well, then refinish in black DLC... then I think it would truly become one of my very favorite carry guns.

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Are you sure you got that pistol in '98? I have a "Classic Stainless" with a lower serial # that I bought new in 2001. When I called Kimber to date it they said it was built in 2000. I'm just curious if they told me wrong. Mine has been a great pistol. 100% trouble free. Your looks very nice by the way.
Tomcatt
Tomcatt.... no, I'm not sure of the date... just estimated. It may be from the early 2000's. As I mentioned earlier, I will see if I can dig up the paperwork on it.

Congrats on your Classic Stainless... they built them well in those days.
 

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I have an early target model that is from 98 or so. It has the black poly trigger, and a serial that is about 40K less than the OP's.
 

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I purchased this CLASSIC STAINLESS LE in October, 1998. I had told my FFL that I wanted to buy a stainless Kimber, and this is what he sold me. With exception of the Hogue grip panels, it is completely OEM.

 

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Gorgeous pistol Larry, and I don't even like stainless. That's a beauty.
:)
 

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I like the blackout parts.
 

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My Classic Stainless that I bought new in 2001 (don't know manufacture date) has a considerably lower serial number than yours. Nice pistol. Did you polish the slide flats ? The stainless Kimbers I have seen from that era did not have the polished look to the flats yours has.
 

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AZ had a Stainless Compact #61XX for a few days Before I got it, lol - back in 03 - still have it - I do believe it was a 98 year ( I believe! ) That gun has gone bang every time I pulled the trigger - it did come with the Black trigger as stated.

OP - is your a 5 digit ser #
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My Classic Stainless that I bought new in 2001 (don't know manufacture date) has a considerably lower serial number than yours. Nice pistol. Did you polish the slide flats ? The stainless Kimbers I have seen from that era did not have the polished look to the flats yours has.
AK1911cop.... Yes, I did polish the flats. From the serial number, mine must be a couple of years newer than yours.
 
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