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Old 08-21-2012, 16:02   #1
MinervaDoe
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Kimber Custom Target II MIM'd parts

I just ordered a Kimber Custom Target II and I've heard that it's internal parts are of a lower quality than they used to be.

I intend to put 500 rounds through the gun as it is.

Then, I'll probably swap out the sear, the connector, the slide release, and the mainspring housing for some harder parts.

What do you guys think?

Is this a waste of time and money?

If it ain't broke don't fix it?

Are there any other parts that you would swap?
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Old 08-21-2012, 16:32   #2
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If it ain't broke,.....don't fix it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 17:15   #3
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Originally Posted by faawrenchbndr View Post
If it ain't broke,.....don't fix it.
This. Been shooting my Kimber TLE II for five years. Round count has to be in the thousands by now (didn't keep track the first year I had the pistol.) Haven't fixed or replaced anything on it because nothing's needed fixin' or replacin'.
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Old 08-21-2012, 18:41   #4
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Why would you buy a pistol that you already feels needs be "fixed"?
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:51   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Keep 'em comin'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger45 View Post
Been shooting my Kimber TLE II for five years. Round count has to be in the thousands by now (didn't keep track the first year I had the pistol.) Haven't fixed or replaced anything on it because nothing's needed fixin' or replacin'.
This is reassuring. I've heard enough people say this, that I was willing to try a Kimber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glock_19guy1983 View Post
Replace them when they break.
This is probably good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faawrenchbndr View Post
If it ain't broke,.....don't fix it.
Always good advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy View Post
Why would you buy a pistol that you already feels needs be "fixed"?
I would have bought either a Range Officer or an STI, but neither one is California "approved." The Kimber has a match grade barrel, bushing, frame, and slide. I thought I'd see if it can outshoot my Springfield 1911.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
If you don't have any ammo or magazine related issues after 500 rounds, there's really nothing to do to it unless you want to customize/upgrade it.
That's more or less what I'm thinking.

Thanks gusy. I'm obviously using the forum as a sounding board. I've had my Springfield Armory OEM 1911 since 1987. It's been very reliable. Recently, I put a Wilson bombproof sear and connector into it (as well as a Bar-Sto barrel). My gunsmith tested the Rockwell hardness of the wilson parts at 58, and my old Springfield parts at 52. Meanwhile, there was a broken Kimber sear on his press that tested at 14 .
It got me to thinking.... since I have my old Springfield Sear and connector, why not buy a few more parts and put them in the Kimber.
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Old 08-25-2012, 14:12   #6
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Thanks for your input guys. I've decided to leave well enough alone.

Here's a few threads I dug up on the Internet.
My take aways:

1) A lot of the comments I read state that MIM parts are just fine.
2) It's about $300 worth of parts.
3) MIM part breakages are rare and typically occur during break in. If they make it through this period, they usually last as long as a tool steel part.
4) Kimber's MIM quality issues were a result of the policies of their CEO, (Cohen) who has moved on to SIG.


MIM parts have decent longevity
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=241389

Springfield, Colt, and S&W use MIM parts in a number of their 1911s
http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i.../t-146381.html

Wilson Combat uses them in some of the their guns. There is a quote in this thread where a representative states that tool steel parts are overkill.
http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...rts-1911s.html

But, if someone wants to replace the parts, here is a solid sounding recommendation:

Quote:
Replacing the MIM parts is easy. Buy a "drop in" trigger kit (sear, hammer and disconnector) from Cylinder & Slide (I have two of their Tactical II kits, one on a Springfield another on a Caspian/Colt, both dropped in and yielded a little over 4.5 pound trigger pulls), fit a new thumb safety (I've used Ed Brown parts, which are partially machined investment cast, but my next one will be EGW machined from bar stock), grab a slide stop from EGW, Wilson or Cylinder & Slide (forged or machined from bar stock), a firing pin stop from EGW, a magazine catch/release from EGW and a new ejector.

You probably also want to replace the extractor as well, again, the EGW heavy duty one is really nice (I have one in that Caspian/Colt).

You could do this in stages, but you're looking at $300 in parts, installation would be extra. Most of the parts are going to drop in without modification. The new thumb safety will need to be fitted to the new sear. There are good directions, but it's a critical fit. I messed up two before I got the hang of it.

As for suppliers, be careful, many use MIM. Avoid McCormick, as they are all MIM. EGW is a safe bet, they don't do MIM at all. Some Ed Brown parts are investment cast, though Chuck Rogers swears by them (there is an explanation stickied in the gunsmithing section).

As for me and MIM, well, I am not a fan, but I'm not a eradicate MIM just because it's MIM either. Three out of five of my 1911s have MIM ignition components, and both my SW1911 and Springfield WWII GI have a few thousand rounds through them without incident. The Smith & Wesson even has a nice trigger pull at a hair over five pounds.
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=241389
Anyway, I handled the gun while I filled out the paperwork to start my 10 day waiting period. It's got a much tighter frame to slide fit than my Springfield and I'm looking forward to firing it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:21   #7
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Originally Posted by MinervaDoe View Post
Thanks for the replies. Keep 'em comin'...


This is reassuring. I've heard enough people say this, that I was willing to try a Kimber.


This is probably good advice.


Always good advice.



I would have bought either a Range Officer or an STI, but neither one is California "approved." The Kimber has a match grade barrel, bushing, frame, and slide. I thought I'd see if it can outshoot my Springfield 1911.



That's more or less what I'm thinking.

Thanks gusy. I'm obviously using the forum as a sounding board. I've had my Springfield Armory OEM 1911 since 1987. It's been very reliable. Recently, I put a Wilson bombproof sear and connector into it (as well as a Bar-Sto barrel). My gunsmith tested the Rockwell hardness of the wilson parts at 58, and my old Springfield parts at 52. Meanwhile, there was a broken Kimber sear on his press that tested at 14 .
It got me to thinking.... since I have my old Springfield Sear and connector, why not buy a few more parts and put them in the Kimber.

The only things match grade on your Kimber are the stamp on your barrel and the type in the advertising saying that it is.
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Old 08-21-2012, 17:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervaDoe View Post

I intend to put 500 rounds through the gun as it is.

Then, I'll probably swap out the sear, the connector, the slide release, and the mainspring housing for some harder parts.

What do you guys think?

Is this a waste of time and money?

If it ain't broke don't fix it?
If you don't have any ammo or magazine related issues after 500 rounds, there's really nothing to do to it unless you want to customize/upgrade it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 18:58   #9
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Replace them when they break.
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Old 08-25-2012, 15:45   #10
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Every time I see a thread about MIM parts it always makes me ask. Who actually had an issue with MIM parts breaking in their gun? I understand that it may not be the same quality as before but always wondered if anyone had a stoppage due to a MIM part breaking.
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Old 08-25-2012, 15:48   #11
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Originally Posted by SauerChoi View Post
Every time I see a thread about MIM parts it always makes me ask. Who actually had an issue with MIM parts breaking in their gun? I understand that it may not be the same quality as before but always wondered if anyone had a stoppage due to a MIM part breaking.
They happen, but are rare. Ive got ten years and 20k rnds into my TLE with no MIM problems. If I were going to change a part out for aesthetic reasons I would go with forged, but generally MIM problems will surface in very few shots therefore after the break in period If nothings broken then I dont worry with it.
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Old 08-25-2012, 16:24   #12
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If you are going to carry it.... I would switch out several parts and get rid of the Series II BS. Otherwise, leave it alone. I will say that you WILL get a distinct trigger if you get a C&S kit, one that is a step above stock.

FWIW about the Wilson using them on their guns. They were speaking of the 1996A2 which was a "entry" level gun they build a LOOOOOONG time ago. You don't see that stuff in their guns now.
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Old 08-25-2012, 17:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD357 View Post
... I will say that you WILL get a distinct trigger if you get a C&S kit, one that is a step above stock.
Good information:

Quote:
CS0104 - C&S 1911 45 ACP Enhancement Kit Series 80 Blue
Our Billet Carbon Steel 1911 Series 80 Enhancement Kit will replace your MIM or cast hammer, sear, disconnector, firing pin stop, and slide stop with much stronger parts, greatly reducing the chance of breakage. These parts are the most critical parts in your 1911. Life time warranty against breakage to the original purchaser on unmodified parts.
Price:
$179.95
http://www.cylinder-slide.com/index....how&ref=CS0104


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles E. Petty, Originally Published in American Handguns Magazine Sept/Oct 2005
Not too long ago I was very reluctant to talk about anything involving trigger jobs because anything having to do with cutting sears and hammers is a bad thing for the untrained. Two things changed that, the UPS decision to require handguns to be shipped by air to prevent their employees from stealing them and the vast improvements made possible in the manufacture of precision parts by CNC or wire EDM methods. Overnight shipping charges both ways make it tough to send a gun to a gunsmith for a simple trigger job.
Cylinder and Slide Shop now offers a complete kit, including all the parts for a 1911 trigger. If you know how to detail-strip the pistol you can exchange old parts for new. It contains a hammer, sear, disconnector, sear spring and mainspring. All you have to do is take the hammer strut off your old hammer and put it on the new one.
Cylinder and Slide offers a couple of variations and we elected to install their Ultra Light 3.5 lb. trigger pull set in a new S&W 1911. The Lyman trigger pull gauge showed a 5 lb 3 oz. average for five consecutive weights for the new gun. First I installed everything except the mainspring and recorded a 3 lb. 15 oz. average. Swapping the mainspring yielded an average of 3 lb. 13 oz. Not quite 3.5 lbs. but certainly close and it would have probably taken only a little bending of the sear spring to get there.

The parts are beautifully polished and need no additional work. The sear, hammer and disconnector all show the marks from a Rockwell hardness tester and there is a certificate with the actual test values recorded. Ours were about 52 Rock­well: hard enough to last a long time but not so hard as to be brittle.
On the pistol the trigger was crisp and creep-less. All the safeties worked as they should and considerable shooting revealed no changes or problems. But if anything isn't just right call, they can help.
http://www.cylinder-slide.com/dropins.shtml
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD357 View Post
FWIW about the Wilson using them on their guns. They were speaking of the 1996A2 which was a "entry" level gun they build a LOOOOOONG time ago. You don't see that stuff in their guns now.



The only reason they stopped using them is because people were calling up *****ing their $1800 pistol had MIM parts in it. Before Kimber came along nobody knew what MIM parts were.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:34   #15
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The only reason they stopped using them is because people were calling up *****ing their $1800 pistol had MIM parts in it. Before Kimber came along nobody knew what MIM parts were.
Wonder how many people ***** about the MIM parts in their $50k car or truck?
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Old 08-25-2012, 17:08   #16
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My early Target model still has the original parts in it.
Come to think of it, they all do.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:33   #17
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Having worked with and around firearms for a few decades, I have not seen any significant proof that MIM is any more likely to fail than bar stock. The hyper concern has been a great point of debate, but that seems to be about the worth of it.

I have a Kimber Custom II that has a few thousand rounds through it. I stripped it down completely at 500 rounds. Nothing out of the ordinary, all parts MIM or otherwise working and worn just fine. Again, stripped a few months ago and still nothing to report out of the ordinary. The only part I have HAD to change in the recoil spring and that was at the recommendation of Kimber, not because of a problem.

The range I worked at was a Kimber master dealer and we had a number of models for rent. I would say about 20 Kimber's of different specs available. We had a couple of issues that were related to the small pin for releasing the firing pin block. The "Death Grip" was required to make them actually fire. Our armorer fixed one (we wanted to see if he could do it), the other was covered by Kimber.

Show me some real data that shows the constant failure of MIM parts in Kimber, Colt or Springfield pistols compared to bar stock parts please.
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Old 08-26-2012, 17:46   #18
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Attrition....replace them if or when they break.
I've heard of folks getting 60K through their Kimbers before replacing anything.
I'm at just over 2K in my Cust II...not worrying.
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Old 08-26-2012, 20:06   #19
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Although I'm not really a fan of MIM parts, I would be willing to bet the ones in that Kimber will last a lot longer than you think.

There is good MIM and bad MIM. Yes, Kimber has had a few bad parts in the past but heck, what company hasn't?

I'll say what another poster said. If it ain't broke, then don't bother fussing with it.

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Old 08-26-2012, 20:16   #20
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How about ball joints? Are they important?
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:18   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervaDoe View Post
I just ordered a Kimber Custom Target II and I've heard that it's internal parts are of a lower quality than they used to be.

I intend to put 500 rounds through the gun as it is.

Then, I'll probably swap out the sear, the connector, the slide release, and the mainspring housing for some harder parts.

What do you guys think?

Is this a waste of time and money?

If it ain't broke don't fix it?

Are there any other parts that you would swap?

Kimber has always used low quality MIM parts. You would have been better off buy purchasing a 1911 that is quality to begin with. OBTW, there is nothing "custom" about your custom target II.
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Old 10-07-2012, 22:51   #22
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Originally Posted by G schütze View Post
The only things match grade on your Kimber are the stamp on your barrel and the type in the advertising saying that it is.
Yeah, I know. Take a look at the list of 1911s that can be sold in California. My first choices would have been an STI, or a Range Officer, but neither is sold here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by G schütze View Post
OBTW, there is nothing "custom" about your custom target II.
I never thought it was custom. I can only imagine the groupthink at Kimber as the marketing guys came up with that name.

I've only put 200 rounds through it, with only one jam (using a specific aftermarket magazine and some anemic reloads which wouldn't cycle in my G21).
The accuracy is decent. The lack of any index points on the sights bugs me. The trigger feels smooth and drops clean.

All in all, it feels like a decent gun. But, I'd have no problem swapping some parts on it. A new set of sights seems like a swap I'd really like to do. I'll finish breaking it in first.
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Old 10-07-2012, 23:29   #23
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Yeah, I know. Take a look at the list of 1911s that can be sold in California. My first choices would have been an STI, or a Range Officer, but neither is sold here.




I never thought it was custom. I can only imagine the groupthink at Kimber as the marketing guys came up with that name.

I've only put 200 rounds through it, with only one jam (using a specific aftermarket magazine and some anemic reloads which wouldn't cycle in my G21).
The accuracy is decent. The lack of any index points on the sights bugs me. The trigger feels smooth and drops clean.

All in all, it feels like a decent gun. But, I'd have no problem swapping some parts on it. A new set of sights seems like a swap I'd really like to do. I'll finish breaking it in first.
That sucks that you live in a communist state. Good luck with your Kimber. I personally wouldn't own one even if they were the only option in a 1911. I'd choose another type of gun if that was the case. I wouldn't give Kimber a penny of my money.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:50   #24
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Originally Posted by MinervaDoe View Post
Yeah, I know. Take a look at the list of 1911s that can be sold in California. My first choices would have been an STI, or a Range Officer, but neither is sold here.


Having lived in CA, I can tell you that you have more options. I would rather buy a used Dan Wesson then a new Kimber. I wont own another just based on my own experience with them a number of years ago, when they switched to the external extractor. My TLE-RL was sent back twice before I dumped it for half of what I paid. Guns only have to be on the roster for "new sales".
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:48   #25
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I believe the issue that many of us have with metal injected molding parts (also know as powdered metal or sintered metal parts) is not the frequency of their breakage, but the mechanism by which they break. Tool steel parts tend to "work" (to a greater of lessor degree depending on hardness) before they break, where MIM parts break instantly with no warning of impending failure.
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