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CDR_Glock
08-04-2010, 07:10
There are a lot of models of Kimber 1911s. Aside from the fact that there are higher tier Kimbers for competition or limited edition versions, what are the true differences aside from aesthetics? They all have match grade barrels, skeletonized premium triggers, most have ambidextrous safeties and some have the extended beaver tail.

I liked what the Raptor's styling had to offer so I chose the Pro.

However, aside from different permutations of stainless, blue, aluminum, steel etc, do they shoot differently (assuming the barrel is the same length)?

MD357
08-04-2010, 08:30
In terms of parts and fitting there is little if any difference between a base Kimber and a "Gold Match." A majority of the options over a Custom II is fluff.

CA_DUDE
08-04-2010, 08:42
Yeah unless your looking for something specific like a shorter barrel, sights, or other ergonomic or asthetics, I think they're the same quality wise. I bought a Custom II and am perfectly happy with it. It's a solid performer with a good amount of standard "features".

asiparks
08-04-2010, 10:52
As above...
Same components pulled from the same bucket o' parts. Different finishes and whistles added, but your base Custom II has the same odds of accuracy, reliability etc as a Grand Raptor.
The "super match" did at one time come with an accuracy guarantee, suggesting it might be more fitted than assembled. Not sure if that's still the case, I can't find a reference to it on the website...
Early "Custom Shop" limited runs did have the frame. barrel, slide and bushing "matched" together as they travelled through production.
My '99 Pro Elite has the serial number electropencilled on the bottom of the barrel, bushing, and inside the slide. I don't know if this implies special fitting or just that given the first group of slides/barrels/slides off the line, this was the least loose combination....
Someone with a more recent Custom Shop gun would have to tell you if they still do that.

ctfireman
08-04-2010, 14:48
That's my problem & why i don't have a kimber yet. Still trying to figure out the full line.

rsxr22
08-04-2010, 14:58
Theres really not that much to figure out! Some of their guns are a little better than others, but like most said, there normally external features. I thought i was getting something better by buying the SIS which was basically a series1 and nothing about it really impressed me, minus the trigger on it. The SIS imo had a better trigger than ANY other stock production 1911 ive felt.

CA_DUDE
08-04-2010, 15:15
I think this is the case with most 1911's
until you get up into custom shop territory

CMG
08-04-2010, 16:21
The only real value-added additions between a Custom and higher-end Kimber is front-strap checkering ($150 value) and night sights ($75 value). Some rate the Kim-Pro finish as value-added as well, but for me it doesn't add that much. ($50?)

So it should cost no more than $275 over the cost of a Custom, even if it has all three of the above.

CDR_Glock
08-04-2010, 16:55
Is it hand made? Why so much money for checkering, etc?

Ruggles
08-04-2010, 17:40
I agree that the majority of the Kimbers are very similar but the Super Match and the Gold Combat are truly a step above the rest of the Kimber heard in fit and finish.

asiparks
08-04-2010, 17:52
That may be true of the new bull barreled Gold Combat, but it wasn't of my 2002 model.

The new GC runs about $1800 around these parts, more than a DW Valor, about the same as many new Baers and many gently used EB's and Nighthawks ( and a mere $89 cheaper than my own used Springfield Pro which came with a bunch of mags 'n' stuff )... So, no matter how much of a step above regular Kimbers it may be, it would be very near the bottom of my shopping list...

Once you go over about $1200 for a Kimber., it's time to start looking at other options.

Ruggles
08-04-2010, 18:16
That may be true of the new bull barreled Gold Combat, but it wasn't of my 2002 model.

The new GC runs about $1800 around these parts, more than a DW Valor, about the same as many new Baers and many gently used EB's and Nighthawks ( and a mere $89 cheaper than my own used Springfield Pro which came with a bunch of mags 'n' stuff )... So, no matter how much of a step above regular Kimbers it may be, it would be very near the bottom of my shopping list...

Once you go over about $1200 for a Kimber., it's time to start looking at other options.

Of the ones you mentioned I would take the Kimber Gold Combat (or Supermatch) over the DW Valor and a couple of the Baers. The rest would be over the Kimber on my list. I would take the Springfield Pro over it for sure.

CMG
08-04-2010, 18:32
Is it hand made? Why so much money for checkering, etc?

I believe $150 is an average price for machine-cut front strap checkering. If you know of a reputable shop that does it cheaper, please share.

$75 is an average price for tritium sights, some go a bit cheaper, some a bit higher.

Finishes are all over the place for price, but to me, from the OEM, I don't place a high value on one finish over the other, unless there is lots of hand-polishing involved, such as Colt's Royal Blue vs their matte blue.

YMMV, of course.

asiparks
08-04-2010, 18:36
Of the ones you mentioned I would take the Kimber Gold Combat (or Supermatch) over the DW Valor and a couple of the Baers. The rest would be over the Kimber on my list. I would take the Springfield Pro over it for sure.

I'm genuinely curious, why ?
I have a DW CBOB and it is better fit than any of the 7 or so Kimbers I've owned (GC included), and uses better, MIM free, components. This is true of the couple of Valors I've seen too.
I don't subscribe to Baer's "tighter is better" philosophy, but the quality seems to be there...

Ruggles
08-04-2010, 20:02
I'm genuinely curious, why ?
I have a DW CBOB and it is better fit than any of the 7 or so Kimbers I've owned (GC included), and uses better, MIM free, components. This is true of the couple of Valors I've seen too.
I don't subscribe to Baer's "tighter is better" philosophy, but the quality seems to be there...

I agree with you on the Baers, they are great quality but feature wise I would rather have the Kimber GC or SM over say the Concept 2. Now a Baer Super Tac or SRP would be my choice over the Kimber easily.

As for the DW Valor vs the Kimbers mentioned I can not "justify" it anymore than I can justify say a Chevy Silverado over a Ford F150. I just prefer the Kimber and the way it "feels" in my hand. The DW may well be a superior 1911 in reality but I prefer the Kimber. I happen to think both the Kimber and the DW are fine 1911s and one would not go wrong picking either.

My next 1911 will be a Wilson again (a Professional this time I think) but if it was not it might well be a one of the Kimbers mentioned to save some money.

That is the beauty of the current 1911 market, there are a slew of great guns to choose from, too damn many really. :supergrin:

BlayGlock
08-04-2010, 20:44
If you want a Kimber I suggest a TLE. You get checkered strap and night sights and everything else comparabe to most of the Kimber line and they can be had for under $900.

Ruggles
08-04-2010, 21:03
If you want a Kimber I suggest a TLE. You get checkered strap and night sights and everything else comparabe to most of the Kimber line and they can be had for under $900.

Yeah the TLE might be the best "Bang For The Buck" in the Kimber lineup.

bac1023
08-04-2010, 21:14
Other than the top models, such as the Super Match and the Gold Combat, its all about features and finish.

I have a Super Match II and it is a nicer fit 1911 than my Custom II and more accurate to boot. That said, they're still production guns.

CMG
08-04-2010, 22:49
If you want a Kimber I suggest a TLE. You get checkered strap and night sights and everything else comparabe to most of the Kimber line and they can be had for under $900.

I'd agree, they run closer to $950 around here, but to me that is reasonable given the features it has (checkering and tritium sights).

GVFlyer
08-04-2010, 23:44
Some Kimbers come with 19 MIM parts, others come with 21 MIM parts, making them the industry leader in pot metal components.

PlasticGuy
08-05-2010, 00:07
The Super Match is unique among the Kimbers. The slides are mated to frames early, and chosen/fitted for tight tolerances. There is extra fitting that goes into the barrel and trigger components, and this is why it is the only 1911 Kimber makes that carries an accuracy guarantee. They truly are superior to the rest of the Kimber line. That said, they are still just a production 1911. It is possibly the best production 1911 made by anybody, and highly underrated in my opinion, but there is nothing custom about it.

Other than that, quality of parts, fit, and finish are equal across the Kimber 1911 line. Decide what size/material/controls/sights/finish you want, and order the appropriate model. I think the sweet spot in their line is the TLE series. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and for a reasonable price.

MD357
08-05-2010, 01:41
The Super Match is unique among the Kimbers. The slides are mated to frames early, and chosen/fitted for tight tolerances. There is extra fitting that goes into the barrel and trigger components, and this is why it is the only 1911 Kimber makes that carries an accuracy guarantee. They truly are superior to the rest of the Kimber line. That said, they are still just a production 1911. It is possibly the best production 1911 made by anybody, and highly underrated in my opinion, but there is nothing custom about it.

Anyone ever see Tommy Boy where he talks about taking a dump in a box and marking it guaranteed to make the guy feel better??

I keeeed I keeeeeed..... not really. :cool:

mrsurfboard
08-05-2010, 02:03
MIM parts and steel barrels, not stainless, are kind of turning me off to Kimbers.

bac1023
08-05-2010, 05:44
Anyone ever see Tommy Boy where he talks about taking a dump in a box and marking it guaranteed to make the guy feel better??



:rofl::rofl:

GVFlyer
08-05-2010, 09:06
MIM parts and steel barrels, not stainless, are kind of turning me off to Kimbers.

Yep. I was looking at a brand new Kimber Custom II at a Gander Mountain and the barrel was rusting. When I pointed the rust out, the counter guy said rust on new Kimbers was not unusual.

bac1023
08-05-2010, 10:35
The Super Match is unique among the Kimbers. The slides are mated to frames early, and chosen/fitted for tight tolerances. There is extra fitting that goes into the barrel and trigger components, and this is why it is the only 1911 Kimber makes that carries an accuracy guarantee. They truly are superior to the rest of the Kimber line. That said, they are still just a production 1911. It is possibly the best production 1911 made by anybody, and highly underrated in my opinion, but there is nothing custom about it.

Other than that, quality of parts, fit, and finish are equal across the Kimber 1911 line. Decide what size/material/controls/sights/finish you want, and order the appropriate model. I think the sweet spot in their line is the TLE series. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and for a reasonable price.

I also love the Super Match II.

For me, its the most accurate 1911 below $2000 and more accurate than many above that.

Now I'm not saying its the best quality 1911 in its price range, as it isn't. However, it is well fitted and works the best for me under $2K. I find it smooth, accurate, comfortable, reliable, and nice looking. I also like its feature set. :)


http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu81/ollituc/002-14.jpg

Ruggles
08-05-2010, 19:32
No doubt the SM or GC are very nice 1911s indeed. I can "feel" the difference in them just holding them over a standard Kimber. Maybe it is just me :) I mean look at that pic of the SM above and tell me that is not a sweet 1911. :)

MIM is not pot metal, not by a long stretch. You may not like it but it has become a industry standard in many ways and it would not have done that if it was pot metal. IMO MIM us the most over blown internet firearm myth ever.........followed closely the S&W lock :)

The SM & GC run about $1650 locally but are very seldom seen. I think they are worth that price point.

lawdog734
08-05-2010, 21:37
I agree with ruggles. How many have actually had mim parts fail?

GVFlyer
08-05-2010, 22:11
N
MIM is not pot metal, not by a long stretch. You may not like it but it has become a industry standard in many ways and it would not have done that if it was pot metal. IMO MIM us the most over blown internet firearm myth ever.........followed closely the S&W lock :)



Metal Injection Molding, sintered metal and pot metal are all powdered metal processes, like Mattel uses for their toy guns, that are characterized by a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age.

Tool steel or forged parts are better and for many gun manufacturers cost no more.

GVFlyer
08-05-2010, 22:14
I agree with ruggles. How many have actually had mim parts fail?

I have - and what I object to most is the nature of their failure - they break suddenly and without warning. Metal parts tend to "work" before they fail, giving you an opportunity to replace the part prior to it's actual failure.

tx787
08-05-2010, 22:29
I have a stainless custom ii and have been extremely happy with it. Only regret was not getting the TLE it's a great value for the checkering and sites.

MD357
08-05-2010, 22:38
I agree with ruggles. How many have actually had mim parts fail?

I've seen more than a few fail. It really doesn't bother me in a $500 1911 though. However, I think it's ridiculous in a $1k and up 1911.

Rinspeed
08-06-2010, 04:40
Tool steel or forged parts are better and for many gun manufacturers cost no more.




If they cost the same then none of them would be using MIM parts. :dunno:

Ruggles
08-06-2010, 05:38
Amazing how anonymous folks on the internet know more about building firearms and what parts to use than S&W, Colt, Kimber etc........The only two part I have ever had fail on a 1911 were and ejector on a Les Baer and a thumb safety on a STI........seems kinda balanced to me.......

I still believe MIM weakness is the biggest internet hype in firearms.....well that and that Glock's infallibility :)

GVFlyer
08-06-2010, 08:36
If they cost the same then none of them would be using MIM parts. :dunno:

What I was suggesting is that it costs you the same amount to purchase a good pistol as it does for you to buy one using MIM or other powdered metal parts.

Some firearms manufacturers embrace the use of MIM parts as a cost cutting measure, others use powdered metal components to increase profit margins. It's basic metallurgy that a forged or tool steel part is going to be stronger and more durable than a bit made using any powdered metal process - and as I said before, MIM parts have inferior failure modes.

MD357
08-06-2010, 09:14
The more you shoot the more you see stuff fail, MIM or not. MIM just happens to be at the center of a good number of small part problems that I have seen. Most wont put more than a few hundred rounds a month, if that, through their guns so it's easy to discount the need for well built 1911s. Companies like Kimber, Taurus, etc bank on this. I just don't blindly trust companies when it comes to 1911s I buy for my protection. I remember when people would say there's nothing wrong with Kimber EE guns, that is until they had one puke at the range and fought Kimber tooth and nail to send it back. Now call me crazy, or a know it all, whatever, but why go with an EE, much less try to re-design it 4 times like Kimber did, when the internal extractor works just fine? 1911 companies would do well to keep it simple and stupid and just focus on quality and CS.



I still believe MIM weakness is the biggest internet hype in firearms.....well that and that Glock's infallibility

The reality is that most MIM doesn't fail and most glocks are reliable. However, just as I won't pay $1k for a 1911 riddled with MIM, I won't buy certain glocks until they get a re-design due to actual experiences. :supergrin: S&W lock..... same thing. YMMV.

PlasticGuy
08-06-2010, 10:18
...I still believe MIM weakness is the biggest internet hype in firearms.....well that and that Glock's infallibility :)
I absolutely agree with this. I personally used a Kimber Series I Stainless for carry and when teaching/taking classes for about 5 years. I didn't document my rounds, but I know it was in the range of 20,000. I had one malfunction in all that time, and the only new parts it ever saw were recoil and firing pin return springs for annual maintanance.

I've got a couple friends with Kimbers that are have round counts in the "several thousand" range with zero issues. While all parts can break, and while I openly admit that I prefer forged and machined parts, I have yet to see a broken MIM part from a Kimber.

I also agree about Glocks. They have their reputation for a reason, but I've seen several broken extractors and trigger springs in Glocks that have less rounds through them than my Kimber did. If it's mechanical, it can break. That's why we clean them regularly, and inspect the more wear/breakage prone parts every time we clean them.

Ol'Slabsides
08-06-2010, 16:03
As above...
Same components pulled from the same bucket o' parts. Different finishes and whistles added, but your base Custom II has the same odds of accuracy, reliability etc as a Grand Raptor.
The "super match" did at one time come with an accuracy guarantee, suggesting it might be more fitted than assembled. Not sure if that's still the case, I can't find a reference to it on the website...
Early "Custom Shop" limited runs did have the frame. barrel, slide and bushing "matched" together as they travelled through production.
My '99 Pro Elite has the serial number electropencilled on the bottom of the barrel, bushing, and inside the slide. I don't know if this implies special fitting or just that given the first group of slides/barrels/slides off the line, this was the least loose combination....
Someone with a more recent Custom Shop gun would have to tell you if they still do that.

Here's that link, look on the left hand side, scroll to the bottom: http://www.kimberamerica.com/products/pistols/customshop/

Says that the Super Match II is guaranteed to fire a 5 shot group at under 1" at 25 yards.

Ruggles
08-06-2010, 16:06
I think most folks (myself included) would choose a non-MIM part over a MIM part all things being even but that does not mean MIM is the equivalent of pot metal. I mean I would choose a BMW over a Chevy all things being equal but that does not mean that Chevy makes a piece of junk. My definition of pot metal is junk, maybe that is where we differ .

bac1023
08-06-2010, 17:16
Well, like I said, I never claimed the Super Match II was the best quality or best value in its price range. What I did say is that's its an awesome shooter for me. Its smoother than any other 1911 I own under $2K and more accurate when I'm behind the trigger.

Do I think a 1911 costing $2K should have MIM parts? Hell no. However, the Super Match II is a far nicer 1911 than the sum of its parts, in my opinion.

I would invite those that never shot one to try one out at some point. They really are very nice in many ways.

Ruggles
08-06-2010, 17:23
"However, the Super Match II is a far nicer 1911 than the sum of its parts"

Well put.

MD357
08-06-2010, 22:50
I think most folks (myself included) would choose a non-MIM part over a MIM part all things being even but that does not mean MIM is the equivalent of pot metal. I mean I would choose a BMW over a Chevy all things being equal but that does not mean that Chevy makes a piece of junk. My definition of pot metal is junk, maybe that is where we differ .

Yeah, but Chevy does put some junk out there..... :supergrin:

Ruggles
08-06-2010, 22:54
Yeah, but Chevy does put some junk out there..... :supergrin:

Now put the spoon down and stop stirring the pot ole trouble :supergrin:

MD357
08-06-2010, 23:31
Now put the spoon down and stop stirring the pot ole trouble :supergrin:

Oh I meant what I said, trust me. :whistling: :supergrin:

Ruggles
08-07-2010, 06:42
Well that is the beauty of the internet, we all get to state our opinion even when it's wrong as in your case :)

MD357
08-07-2010, 08:42
Well that is the beauty of the internet, we all get to state our opinion even when it's wrong as in your case :)

Yep, because when one doesn't leave the confines of the internet, MIM never breaks and chevy puts out a gem of a car. :supergrin:

Ruggles
08-07-2010, 08:57
Yep, because when one doesn't leave the confines of the internet, MIM never breaks and chevy puts out a gem of a car. :supergrin:



Two Chevys and no isssues.....

Two 1911 parts breaking....one MIM.....one tooled steel.....see MIM does break.......but so does non MIM parts.....

:tongueout: