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I'm sure that there is more, but the main difference is that the I does not have a firing pin safety while the II does.

So is that an improvement? Some people prefer the I over the II because they don't want the firing pin safety. Isn't that the difference between the Colt 70 and 80 as well?
 
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A lot of 1911 elitists will tell you to stay away from the series II guns because they "aren't as reliable", or "don't have as good a trigger". In my personal opinion as a guy who's worked at a gun shop, worked on a range with rental guns (that see way more use than anyone but a series IPSC shooter might put them through) and know a few really good gunsmiths and has lots of friends who are far more serious shooters than me....there's nothing wrong with the series II's or Colt 80's series. In all my years being around guns and seeing them break in the most unusual ways, I've never seen a series II Kimber fail because of the firing pin safety. Now you're talking about lots of them being brought in by their owners, or worse, rented (which when you consider they're being rented 7 days a week and even if you conservatively say they get 100 rounds a day average over 7 days a week, at a place open like 360 days a year, that's still 36000 rounds through that gun a year without the "firing pin safety" failing). None of my gunsmith friends have ever seen a series II or Colt 80's series gun fail because of the firing pin safety.

The reality (in my opinion as I claim to not be an expert but have seen more than the average Joe in gun abuse in a non combat setting), unless you're an operator over seas that potentially is going to be using your pistol in a daily combat situation (and how much use are their pistols getting anyways? I'd imagine their rifles see way way more combat use), I wouldn't sweat it. Why try desperately to find a series I gun and pay more for it used than buying a new series II? Heck, if you want to dish out some coin for a good "series I/70 series" gun, spend a little extra and by a Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, etc, that is a "top shelf" 1911. Then again, I currently own a Les Baer and have owned a Series II Kimber Gold Combat at one time, and both have malfunctioned (stovepipe, ftf, fte, the usual 1911 bugs) more together than the dozen or so Glock's I've owned over the years (and those things I would shoot for a few thousand rounds between cleanings).

The only thing I'd say to maybe be aware of in the new kimbers (and have no idea when they started doing this or if it's been since they moved operation to NY) is MIM (metal injection molding) parts. Only seen a couple of these parts break, but not really sure if it was because they were MIM, or just from wearing out. Any mechanical device has the potential to break or fail. That's why we have gunsmiths, mechanics, buy new cars and don't drive them for a million miles, etc.
 
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Series 80 is frowned for the above, but I've really only heard trigger issues from guys that really really know every nuance of their gun, and have had triggers adjusted for competition. The other two- It's not to the original design, and they're were teething issues to get them working.
 
Series 70 = no firing pin safety = Kimber MKI
Series 80 = with firing pin safety = Kimber MKII

While there are likely millions of 1911s with the firing pin safety plugging away, cheerfully throwing lead, I'm in the group of owners who would not want a defense gun that had it.

Didn't say that I wouldn't own one, just wouldn't use one as a carry gun.

At one time I had a Series 80 style gun with the firing pin safety. It was a gun I purchased new and at about 1000 rounds or so it developed a small problem. It would drop the hammer when you pulled the trigger and not consistently go boom. Definitely not a good thing on a carry gun. Not such a big deal on a range gun. Turned out that there was a timing problem with the firing pin safety. It got fixed by the manufacturer and it was all good from there on out, but the little nagging thought of the gun not firing when needed was always in the back of my mind.
For a while I had another Series 80 gun. It had the firing pin safety plunger and lever removed, the lever being replaced with a nice little shim. If I had a Series 80 style gun that I wanted to use as a carry gun I would duplicate this setup.

What I noticed on the gun that still had the firing pin safety was that the trigger takeup was a little mushy. The "breaking" of the trigger was still crisp.

This was just one gun that had a problem, but it was MY gun.

This is just my personal opinion. You know how opinions are.......:D
 
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