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Old November 27, 2011, 03:56 AM   #1
Fargazer
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1911 pistols in 9mm - Springfield vs. Kimber

Well, my wife has redirected my gun fund (originally it was for an AR upper, but my eye surgery has delayed that), and we've purchased a Kimber Custom Aegis II she's been lusting after for a while. Keeps wife happy, which keeps me happy.

The Kimber shoots very nicely with both American Eagle 115 and 147; we will try some other ammo later on. She cleaned it for the first time tonight (an amusing adventure since neither of us deal with 1911's much - after the bushing housing (?) flew past my computer screen I "encouraged" her to use the reloading room that's set up for that, rather than the living room).

It's nice enough that, if it continues to operate this well, I may consider a full sized 1911 in 9mm for myself in a couple months, though I think I'd prefer a steel frame to aluminum. Two questions:
  1. Other than the weight, any major differences in the 1911 platform between an aluminum and a steel frame?
  2. Any thoughts between the following two pistols:I'm primarily looking for feed back on how they compare for fit, finish (and how durable that finish is from the factory), accuracy and reliability.
If I were to get a 1911 in 9mm, it would be a range / target gun that might be used on a nightstand or the office, but probably not used for concealed carry.
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Old November 27, 2011, 08:00 AM   #2
horseman308
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I don't have any experience with that particular Kimber. I handled a number of the Springfield Loaded Target models during my recent search for a 9mm 1911. They all felt nice. Tight, well made, etc. You would be very happy with one I believe.

FWIW, I ended up going with an STI Trojan in 9mm. I found it to be just a little smoother out of the box than the Springfield. I'm sure the Springer would smooth out just fine after a few hundred rounds, but I just like the Trojan's fit a bit better. Also, the trigger on the Trojan was noticeably better; no creep and felt crisper than the Springer. Otherwise, they're both great guns. You also can't get a Springer 9mm in anything but stainless (if that matters to you). I love my Trojan.

Anyway, I'm certain whatever you pick, you'll like it.
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Old November 27, 2011, 08:17 AM   #3
Rugerismisticness
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Ahh, I found myself here a while back. I would definatly go the Kimber route over the SA.

The SA is a nice pistol for sure, but the fit and finish on the Loaded Target wasn't near the Kimber Target II I was looking at. The slide to frame fit was excellent on the kimber, the trigger beat the crap out of the springfield, the barrel fit was excellent and the SA extractors all stick out of the gun like they weren't even fitted at all. My only gripe about the Kimber was the thumbsafety is shaped oddly, it digs into the side of my thumb.

What did I do in the end???
I went with a Para P18.9 because it fits my hand better and was a tad cheaper and had better capacity. The fit and finish is on par with the Kimber. I may go back one day and look for another Kimber Target II.
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Old November 27, 2011, 08:18 AM   #4
Ichiban
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I have the Kimber and like it. It is a range/target gun so it doesn't get a lot of abuse. My estimate is that I have put about 3000 problem free rounds through it so far. The fit & finish is good, as it should be for at that price. Accuracy is better that I am and recoil is minimal. It is a fun gun to shoot.

I think either gun will fill it's roll very well but I would suggest the Kimber just because the Springfield has features that I do note care for: the ambi-safety and the two-piece guide rod. The ambi-safety isn't that big of a deal breaker for me and the guide rod can easily be replaced but I don't like having to change parts on a new gun. If you are not familiar with the two-piece guide rod I'd suggest searching here or Googling it.
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:03 AM   #5
9x19
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Kimber - I have the gussied-up version, Team Match II - No issues and one of my favorite 1911s.

Springfield - I have owned a couple Loaded models in 9mm. Equal of the Kimber Target II in all ways, slightly better in others (no firing pin safety, steel MSH).
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Old November 27, 2011, 10:43 AM   #6
lonoinc
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I own 3 1911s including a Springfield loaded in 9mm. I have problems with the springfield that I do not have with the others. The Springfield is not as accurate as the others and after about 1000 rounds I am having extractor issues. The extractor throws brass at my face every few rounds and leaves brass in the chamber at a rate of 1 per 50. I will get the extractor tuned but the accuracy just is not there. YMMV
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Old November 28, 2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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I just purchased the Stainless Target II model in 9MM, after shooting one at the local range. I was blown away with the accuracy and overall feel of the gun after shooting about 200 rounds through it. That, and even the ammo I was using at the time was cheap range re-loads and it chewed through 200 rounds without a single jam or misfire. I was very impressed, and bought one myself a week later!
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Old November 28, 2011, 03:06 PM   #8
Rugerismisticness
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Coincidence, but my niegboor just got a SA Loaded 9mm (non-target, the only difference is the sights). He let me shoot it this morning and I let him shoot my Para and custom RIA 9mm for comparison. I wasn't too impressed by the accuracy, and we did have one FTE only shooting 50rnds of RWS NATO spec ammo. Groups I get with the Para were 1" at 15 yards, the RIA 2", and the Springer was close to the RIA at 1.75", all supported with my hands on a table and all with the RWS. My RIA likes the Blaser 147gr and groups them best, usually around 1.2" at 15 yards. The Para likes the Win 124gr +P PDX1 and groups them into .5" at 15yards on a good day. I really can't speak for what the springer liked, it's just too new. It certainly was comfortable and fun to shoot, but the fit just wasn't all that great as I've seen in other examples.

His was shooting about an inch left and and 2" low, which is odd for me. I'm usually high right if anything.
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Old November 28, 2011, 03:26 PM   #9
schmeky
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I don't own either one, but I know someone that owns both. The Springer has been a finicky feeder. The Kimber has not. The Kimber is also more accurate (in my hands) than the Springer.

Lastly, for some reason I can't explain, the full sized Kimber in 9mm is like shooting a full sized revolver with a powder puff 38 Special load. Just to easy.
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Old November 28, 2011, 07:03 PM   #10
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Kimber or springfield 1911 9mm --- I got a kimber 7-8 years ago. Back then, every springfield 9mm I held rattled (5-7 pistols). It may shoot OK but I picked the kimber over it. Kimber had extraction issues but was fixed with some simple DIY on the extractor hook.

If I were to pick between the two now, I would still pick the kimber.

If you are set on the two brands, then it is good but if not, consider the STI spartan or trojan.

The Trojan feels like it functions smoother than the kimber. They shoot equally well with appropriate ammo.
Friend has a Spartan, feels and shoots like the Trojan. In my opinion, Spartan is the best buy.

If not for carry, I would pick all steel for the weight will absorb recoil.
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Old November 29, 2011, 01:59 AM   #11
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I've got a Springfield 1911 9mm loaded with about 5K rounds through it. I bought it used but LNIB. The magazine followers didn't even have any brass tracks on them.

It's superbly fitted, 4.5# trigger, and one of the three most accurate 9mm's we own. The others are a HK P7 and a Glock 34. Those 3 are more accurate than our Sigs, Smiths, Rugers, etc. All are capable of 2" handheld groups with cheap ammo at 7 yards - and I'm speaking full magazines, not just 3 shots. But, the Springfield, HK, and Glock are in a class of their own - more like 1.25" - 1.75" at that distance. Heck, they'll all shoot way better than I can anyway!

Right out of the box the Springfield was having FTE's due to insufficient extractor tension. I fixed that and it's good to go - feeds any FMJ or hollowpoint I've tried. It sometimes balks on cast lead reloads but I suspect a tight chamber and bullet ogive are the issues there.

The stainless finish isn't as susceptable to holster wear as blued. It will scuff and burnish, but can't wear through like bluing. I favor steel receivers over aluminum for semi-autos that are going to see many thousands of rounds through them.
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:42 AM   #12
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I have a springfield fully loaded 9mm target, great gun. I had a couple of fte in the first 50 rounds but has been perfectly reliable for the last 500. Fires great, fit is very good, and very accurate. The only thing I want to change are the sights as black on black are hard to see in at indoor range when aiming at black bullseye

My colt Delta elite is still my favorite though, the previous owner had someone who knew their job tune it and it's about perfect.
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Old November 29, 2011, 12:30 PM   #13
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I think the STI Trojan is a much better choice than either.
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Old November 29, 2011, 02:23 PM   #14
9x19
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I like the Trojan as well, but don't think it's a world apart from the Springfield Loaded or Kimber Target. I do find my example of the (2011) Dan Wesson PM9 to be a bit better in fit and accuracy than all the other three examples I've owned.

Dan Wesson PM9


Kimber Team Match II


Springfield Loaded Target 9mm


STI Trojan 9mm
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Old November 29, 2011, 02:32 PM   #15
BigJimP
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Both guns you're considering are fine...

I prefer a 1911 in 9mm in steel --- and in a 5" gun. A little more weight feels good / makes it better practice for a full sized 1911 in .45 acp - and cheaper to shoot a 1911 in 9mm.

Steel guns don't scratch as easily as an alloy frame / I do have a Kimber 1911 in 9mm - their 4" tactical pro II model / and its a nice gun ....but my better 1911's in 9mm are both stainless guns in 5" - and my favorite is a wilson combat Protector model. But nothing wrong with the springfield or the Kimber ....both of them may have some trigger issues / that can be cleaned up on most any production gun ...but its not a big deal. Buy the gun with the best trigger you can find ...and you'll be fine.

In a 9mm mag - I prefer the Wilson combat 10 rd mags ...they've run really well.
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Old November 30, 2011, 02:30 PM   #16
Fargazer
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I found a Kimber Target II Stainless to look at, and I just wasn't too tickled by it; not something I can quantify, but I know I like my wife's Aegis II a lot more than the Target II.

I haven't seen a Springfield Loaded, but I did get to handle a S&W 1911 Pro series in 9mm, and I thought pretty highly of its fit and finish. Also, it uses Wilson Combat mags, which I consider a plus. Not sure if I want to go up to that level of expense (probably $1250 or so for it), but it's a nice gun to be sure.

I'll have to take a look at STI and Dan Wesson to see what is in that price range ($1300ish), and compare those to the Springer and the S&W.
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