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I have noticed complaints on this forum (and all the others) about the quality of 1911 style firearms which has prompted me to post a message. Since I am in the market for a new, quality 1911 style firearm I am certainly considering a Kimber. After researching other manufactures I have realized that in every forum there are complaints and people that swear they will not spend there money on another (insert brand name). My general feeling is that all of the manufacturs make a decent quality product and all of them have their small quirks. The biggest complaint about the Kimber seems to be the sights (very minor in my opinion and easily corrected). I personally feel that if you buy a Colt, SA, Baer, or any of the other major brands, you can't go wrong. Of course these guns are made by people and mistakes are going to happen. Things sometimes are not going to work as they should, no matter how much you paid. Even though this is very frustrating, it is a fact of life. I guess the point I'm trying to get to is to buy the gun that suits you best. Don't read too much into the posts about malfunction and despair.
 

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Very well said jra.

I often visit this and other similar forums simply to get a "general idea" on opinions of various products that I am planning to invest on. But everybody does not clean and maintain their firearms the same way...

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"That's all we expect of man, this side the grave: his good is - knowing he is bad"

- Robert Browning -
 

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What I try to look for in the "defect" posts are trends. If company A has produced 50 guns and 10 have defective sights or untensioned extractors, then that is a pretty good indication of what you may end up with should you opt for a gun from Company A.
The one thing about firearms is that if you have a genuine defect, you cannot return it to the dealer for replacement. This fact alone is a major source of frustration for many gun buyers. There is no quick resolution to the problem and many times more money is involved (via shipping costs, unless reimbursed) to have the product returned in working order as it should have been when originally shipped. People work hard for their money and I can't blame them for expecting a reliable firearm in return.

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Jra,

I agree with the basic message in your post, but I would suggest to you that manufacturers provide warrantees for the kind of random defects usually found. Like most folks, I find a defect irritating on anything expensive but I wouldn't write the company off because of it.
However, I am one of those folks who had had a defective front night sight replaced by Kimber a second time. What troubles me about this is that it is not a random defect. They shipped my Eclipse with a high probability of it containing a known defect. They made me pay for the shipping to resolve a known defect the first time after emailing me about the extensive reliability testing that MeproLights go through. They paid for the shipping the second time only after my protest.
A company that knowingly ships products with defects, and then behaves as though it is a random problem makes a statement about their values in the marketplace. Let the buyer beware.
 

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Many defects in my Gold Match Royal.
Let's see, where do I begin.
Gun arrived with big scratch in the slide. When I disassembled it to clean and lube before shooting, there were metal shavings in the gun and rough, jagged metal flash at the forward end of the left rail. The trigger wobbled from side to side, had a "three-stage" pull with lots of creep.

Range test: The gun jammed on fmj, every 12 rounds or so. The rear site came loose after 40 rounds. Shooting from rest, the gun shot 2.5" high at 25', with adjustable sight bottomed out to compensate. Recoil spring has sharp ends that score guide rod, causing groves in metal that drag. Creep in trigger gets worse. Back to factory.

Smith explains metal shavings are function of "fitting" process. Gun is put in fixture, then mechanical ram drives back and forth until the slide will cycle. Apparently they never even cleaned and lubed the gun before shipping!

Range test 2: Gun still jams, tried many different kinds of mags. Gun still shoots high, then Rear sight comes loose again. On advice of factory, put 500 rounds of ball through it over three sessions. Jamming now more frequent, with last round in mag jamming most of the time (FTF). Creep in trigger now sporadic, but it changes trigger pull significantly from shot to shot. Accuracy about 2" at 25' (I can do 3/4" group with my HK45 at 25'). Spring scores guide rod so badly it has to be replaced. Now intermittent stovepiping begins. Back to factory.

Range test 3: Gun still shoots high. Jams continue. Grip screws come loose. Rear sight comes loose. Right side MIM ambi-safety deforms and bends inward, scratching frame. Back to factory.

Kimber sends new replacement Gold Match. I dry-fire it in shop. Gritty trigger with lots of creep. I put it up for sale, unfired.

Lesson learned: Kimber ain't what it used to be. Cost of lesson $150 lost value plus $100 in shipping costs, plus $50 in FFL fees.

No more Ks for me thank you. YMMV.

Considering this was a $1000+ gun, I was shocked by how bad it was, compared to HKs, Sigs, SWs and others I've owned.

Yo

[This message has been edited by Yo (edited 10-20-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Yo (edited 10-20-2001).]
 
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