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Kimber Fail

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by iamme, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Yep Kimber has been picked up by .gov so must be good.....

    N.C. law enforcement pistols no good

    RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- North Carolina's Alcohol Law Enforcement agency says 150 new pistols bought for their agents at $1,055 each were so unreliable they got rid of them.

    Agency officials say the Kimber .45-caliber pistols repeatedly malfunctioned during training exercises, with rounds jamming, sights breaking and the weapons' safety buttons sometimes falling off, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported Sunday.

    Agency Director John Ledford said a deal was arranged with a local firearms dealer to swap the pricey handguns for less expensive models.

    "Failure of a weapon during training is problematic enough, but if any of these types of failures occurred during a life-and-death situation the result could be loss of life to a sworn member of the division or an innocent civilian," Ledford wrote in a November memo announcing the change. "During violent encounters with armed suspects, reliability and speed are paramount."

    Since the Kimbers were issued to agents in the fall of 2009, Ledford wrote, agents reported 289 malfunctions during training exercises, and many agents had chosen to carry personal weapons instead of the Kimbers.

    Ledford said a deal was arranged to trade in the department's troublesome pistols to a Raleigh firearms dealer in exchange for 150 new Sig Sauer 220 handguns valued at $718 each.

    "We are hopeful these will be quality products, and we believe they are," Ledford said. "The Sig handgun is the same model carried by the Secret Service."
     
  2. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    Before you knock all kimbers - take a look at what they were using - they had a ultra model which is the 3" 45 and using it as a service pistol. The 1911 that Browning designed was never designed to be that compact. I hate to admit it becuase I really do not like Glocks but this is the one reason I would buy one of the Glock ultra compacts. I have two kimbers and the only problems I have ever had are because of the ammo that I reloaded poorly. I am now looking for a kimber compact not an ultra. A 3" 1911 is not a trust worthy gun regardless of who made it. IMHO
     
  3. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Kimber made their name on great marketing and initially good guns. QC has gone way down as has quality. Just be informed and do real research :) FWIW my first 1911 was an SA Ultra Compact and had 0 failures with it and led me to owning just a few more! haha.

    See your rebuttal and raise you a 10-8:
    10-8 Performance: The Kimber Warrior
    Monday, July 12, 2010

    The Kimber Warrior


    Over on 10-8Forums.com, we'd had some threads which discussed issues with the Kimber Warrior, which I had once recommended as a viable service 1911. Our collective withdrawal of endorsement for the Kimber lineup has been met with great consternation throughout the internet, with folks arguing bitterly on both sides of the matter. I wanted to speak for myself this time around, and in a venue in which more folks would be able to ask questions if they desired. For starters, you can read the original threads HERE and HERE.

    Before we start with the discussion, please consider the sample size that I have used to reach my conclusions, then consider your sample size. This is meant strictly as an academic discussion that includes statistics, not an emotional mudslinging event. Let's look objectively at how I've come to my conclusions, starting with the photo below:




    Yup, that's part of a batch of Kimber Warriors that I worked on over the course of several days, with several assistants. The guns were all in street service, and all had over 3000 rounds each on them when I first met them, and about 5-6000 rounds when I got them in the photo above. They exhibited the following symptoms during the first training class:
    -Feedway malfunctions with OEM Kimber TacPro mags - rounds would nose down into the frame below the feedramp
    -Feedway malfunctions with quality aftermarket magazines. The feedramps were improperly dimensioned and all the guns came with the Kimpro finish on the feedramp so they became sticky with extended firing.
    -Extractor tension failures - some of the extractors fell right out of the slides upon disassembly
    -Slide stop problems - premature lockbacks, failure to lock back, or improper lockback such that seating a magazine caused the slide to drop. Most of the guns had .38/9mm slide stops with lobes so long that they struck the top round in the magazine. These guns were .45's.
    -Rear sights falling out

    When I got to the pistols at around 5-6000 rounds, we had some more problems:
    -at least 2/3 of the pistols had loose plunger tubes that were held in primarily by the grips. The factory plunger tubes were MIM units which did not hold a stake very well.
    -grip screws had come out with the bushings, as they were not staked or Loctited at the factory
    -several had their barrel bushings break. These bushings were machined, and I have no idea why they went south.

    With the following fixes, the guns were born again hard, and have served with distinction and many have reached 15-20,000 rounds on them with only replacement extractors and springs.
    -new bar stock plunger tubes, bushings, and extractors
    -recut and polish feed ramps
    -Replace and Loctite and/or stake grip screw bushings and sights
    -Replace OEM magazines
    -Adjust slide stop lobe, detent rear face

    The issues that this batch of guns also reflected many of those which I had worked on, as well as those experiences of my peers in the industry. I each instance, with the requisite fixes, the guns were good to go. I personally ran one of the original Warriors with only the above tweaks for about a year, and a decent 5 digit round count (sorry, don't have the log book for that one any more).

    In summary, if you like your gun and it works, have a good time and drive on. If you're looking for a new gun, then read over this list and compare stats with the other reviews and recommendations. Ultimately, it's on you to decide what you want. Decide with facts.
     
  4. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  5. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    There's already a thread about this.

    http://www.northwestfirearms.com/ge...le-guns-fail-kimbers-1911-a-2.html#post357449

    Even if these are the 3" guns, I don't buy that as an excuse or the real reason for the "fail". (see other thread for discussion)

    I've owned 2 3" 1911s. One Para and one Colt and shot several THOUSAND rounds between them with no issues that wasn't directly related to iffy reloads. The "theory" that "they were not designed as 3" guns and that makes them bad" is a boatload of BS.
     
  6. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    Guess I got handed my foot
    This is what I beleive I know
    1) My dad, two vry good friends and myself own and shoot kimbers
    2) We find them to be extremely accurate guns
    3) None of us have had problems with these pistols
    4) They are the tightest fitting 1911 I have ever used. I have been around 1911's since I was 18 and joined the Navy, I am now 48. There is no comparison between the militray 45's I qualified and carried and the Kimbers. Amazing what those old ithicas and remington rands are worth now.
    5) I would argue that any 1911 that doesnt use a bushing isnt a real 1911 as john Browning originally designed the gun to be and then to shrink it 3' is looking for problems.
    6) I think Kimber clips are crap and have gone to using colt manufactured clips which work alot better.
    I am no expert but I trust my full size kimbers with my life - I may find out someday I was horribly wrong but until then or I have actual first hand evidence that the kimber is crap I dont believe it. I have close to 1000 rounds on one and 200 on the other kimber. With time I may come to find what is being said is true. Until then I will be buying another kimber.

    James Ruby
     
  7. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Not saying there aren't exceptions, but as a whole... and the guys w/ 10-8 are opinions I trust on the issue. I have to mention though 1911 also wasn't designed with a grip safety, later added. So by your account no 1911, is a 1911 :)

    And sorry on the dupe, didn't see it.

    Oh just saw rest of your post- if you read the post by 10-8 you'll see that for low rounds sure no problem....
     
  8. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Uhm, the I believe it's the 1910 that didn't have the grip safety. By the time it was accepted and adopted (when it actually became the Model of 1911) it had the grip safety.:thumbup:
     
  9. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't part of his original design though. But thanks for the clarification on that, hard to remember this stuff sometimes.
     
  10. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Actually it was designed with a grip safety, it didn't have a thumb safety. The Military wanted that added. In Sept. of 1910, a model was presented with a thumb safety.
     
  11. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh, I thought it was other way around. Thanks. Guess I still need another cup of coffee.
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    And I'm thinking I need to find and re-read the article I was using for my information!
     
  13. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    I don't understand these little underhanded comments people post to bash a product. No one is forcing you to buy a Kimber. If someone decides to carry a bad Kimber as they EDC before working out the kinks, let Darwin deal with them.

    I love how everyone bashes kimbers at the first sign of a lemon. forget about all the reliable kimbers on the market. LET'S ONLY FOCUS ON THE BAD BATCHES OF QC!
     
  14. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Because Kimber made a name on good marketing and early good products. People herald them as some magic item, when the facts dont support it. Call it some food for thought... Why is it those that own a Kimber feel the need to come in these threads and defend their lone example when large batches as documented above are shown to have problems?
     
  15. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    For the same reasons that Glock people defend the gun made popular by cops who chose the low bidder.
     
  16. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    and where exactly are these people who "herald" them as god's gift to all shooters? just because a few mall ninjas think they are gold doesn't mean everyone does.

    I'm in no way defending all Kimbers and I know there are lemons in the batch just like any other production guns. Why do I defend my Kimber? For the same reason why you need to bash them I guess. If you truly wanted to post that as food for thought, you could have skipped the whole "kimber fail" or "Yep Kimber has been picked up by .gov so must be good....." and said that there was a bad batch.
     
  17. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    didn't realize choosing a good weapon at the lowest price offered was a bad thing. I guess that's why I don't work for the government.
     
  18. Agreed.
     
  19. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    If you have any of the Clawson books, that's the most accurate info. Goddard is ok, but not as accurate.

    More coffee, more coffee! :)
     
  20. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    A couple thing to note on this article. First, this agency buys new guns every year and a half, where the average is every 10 years. Obviously they like buying shiny new guns all the time and have to justify the new purchase. Second, many of the officers bought these "lemon/collector grade" Kimbers for pennies on the dollar after they were decommissioned. I view this story more as a ALE fail than a Kimber fail. I guess Sig's also suck because you can't get parts for them any more.:huh:
     
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