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Old March 18, 2013, 11:45 AM   #26
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:03 PM   #27
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Like all mfg's Kimber has some lower end guns ...and some higher end guns ( like the Gold Combat in the custom shop listing for $ 2,251 and probably selling new for around $ 2,100).

Kimbers, and a lot of 1911's, are all mass produced....and under $ 1,500 or so in the market - in my opinion - no gun spends any time to speak of on a bench with anyone that could be considered a "gunsmith" they are not custom fit, custom tuned .....they fix them under warranty, if needed.

The higher end 1911's in my opinion:

1. Wilson Combat $ 3,200 plus
2. Ed Brown ...$ 2,750 plus...
3. Nighthawk ... $ 2,750 plus

4. and a distant 4th ...Les Baer ...$ 2,000 plus

so where do you put a Kimber ( not all Kimbers are created equally ):
Kimber Custom II ...lists at $ 871...
Kimber Gold Combat Stainless II out of custom shop lists at $ 2,251...

At, $ 2,251 Gold Combat Stainless is a pretty nice gun ( I have one ) ...but is it almost as good as an Ed Brown (I have one ) or a Wilson ( I have 2 ), not in my opinion.
For the money, I think Colt and Springfield give you quite a bit of gun for the money ....under $1,000 .../ in the mid price arena $ 1,250 - $2,000 I think Sig 1911's, upper end springfields, maybe some Kimbers...are decent guns / above $ 2,000 I think Wilson Combat, Ed Brown or Nighthawk are worth a serious look !
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:01 PM   #28
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What's sad is that Kimber jump-started the 1911 business. In the early to mid-1990s, it was taken for granted that to get a decent 1911, you bought a crappy Springfield or Colt and had it almost completely reworked. Kimber introduced the concept of offering a very solid gun with what were then custom-only features at a good price.

Now even if Kimber has turned things around, terrible customer service and flawed guns-of-of-the-month have made them an also-ran while Springfield and Colt have cleaned up their acts.
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:07 PM   #29
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I've owned 2 Kimbers , the first a full size black
custom or some such thing and I had many problems:
The 2nd one was a Grand Raptor II-nice gun ,shot great
and anything I fed it. The first one was prolly a fluke.
The Grand Raptor had too much bling for me so I got
rid of it and bought a GI Commander.
To answer your question.
I think Kimbers are great handguns!
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:08 PM   #30
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I've owned three Kimbers. To answer the OP's question, NO they are not worth it. Based on MSRP alone. Not even factoring in the additional expenses of return shipping to Yonkers, dozens of different brands of magazines and thousands of rounds of different ammunition, all in a quest to make a Kimber 1911 run properly.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how many thousands of rounds Kimbers "break in period" is up to? IIRC it was approaching 2000 rounds last time I checked. Regards 18DAI
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:33 PM   #31
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my son has a Kimber

It is
full featured

I would get one in a hot sec.

I would not get anything less...

Only more

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Old March 18, 2013, 03:00 PM   #32
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Well I tried one that my range rents, a Kimber Custom Target II and it was an awsum gun. No problems what-so-ever. I looked around and talked to many that had Kimbers (not on the Internet) and every single person had only good things to say about them. Had my heart set on a Kimber Eclipse Custom II but none were to be had. My range luckily had one they bought, when they bought lots of guns from the parents of a guy they knew that just died. I made sure he did not kill himself with the Kimber, that would be bad luck. Anyhow, the gun had about 1,000 rounds through it so it was broken in. I checked it out and it felt great, good and tight with no grit to the slide like you see on some of the cheaper new 1911's. It came with four Kimber mags, plus the Kimber .22 cal conversion slide and mag. Picked her up for $1,000 and could not be happier.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:12 PM   #33
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I felt that mine was worth it. It came with most of the upgrades I wanted, and it looked very pretty - which for me was much of the reason for getting a 1911.

Me, and the two people I know personally who've owned Kimbers have had a great experience with the company. I have my eye on a Dan Wesson at this point, but if I found a good deal on a Kimber I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
Apparently some people have a hard time with their CS, but I never had to deal with them.
The other thing to keep in mind - particularly on the internet - is that while some people have legitimate, first hand, complaints about a company, a lot of other people do not.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:21 PM   #34
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I own 4 & would say yes, but....I have never used anything but Wilson Combat magazines in mine. I don't know if this is why, but I have never had any problems with mine.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:23 PM   #35
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I will never own a kimber.

There are nicer guns for what they want to charge.
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Old March 18, 2013, 06:03 PM   #36
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Kimber are decent guns and look good, but they are not worth the price. I also heard the slide if a little stiff.
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Old March 18, 2013, 06:23 PM   #37
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Here's my view on it. I picked up my Custom II for $800 last summer. Everyone is saying that they are overpriced for what they are. If that is true aren't even the new Remington 1911's overpriced? You know, the ones everyone is praising and talking up so much? My buddy just bought one with all the features of my Custom II except his has a fiber optic front sight......for $900. The same one he bought is on Buds right now for $833. The fit on his gun is very loose compared to my Kimber. The finish and looks are way better on my Kimber to me as well. I don't know about accuracy or reliability differences between the two because his hasn't been shot yet, but my Kimber has been perfect in its first 1,000 rounds.

It sucks that when you someone does get a lemon from Kimber they get a heck of a lemon. It seems that when you do get a good one they generally run really well and have no problems.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:47 PM   #38
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There are a few kinds of threads that, if left open long enough, are almost guaranteed to devolve into some kind of spitting contest that involves Nazi references. Those threads include:
1) threads about Kimber;
2) threads about Taurus;
3) Glock vs. 1911 threads; and
4) 9mm vs. .45 acp threads.
Should I just start one now and get it overwith?

To the OP, I have limited experience with Kimber. I've shot a couple that were less than steller performers and a couple that were very good.
Are they worth the money? Good question. Kimber seems to have a love\hate relationship with gun owners.
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Old March 18, 2013, 11:15 PM   #39
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Is a Kimber worth it?

I bought my first 1911 pistol just before the panic started. It's a Kimber Stainless Pro TLE II, so it has the Meprolight sights already on it. Paid $989 plus tax, MSRP from Kimber's website is $1,253.00.

I've gotten through the "break in" period without a single FTF, FTE or any other issue. Very accurate pistol if I do my part. Like some other members have said, I have only used Wilson Combat magazines also. It is a truly beautiful firearm that I feel will last a lifetime.

It's no safe queen either, I carry it regularly.
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Old March 19, 2013, 10:14 AM   #40
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With Kimbers it depends. As a whole, I think they're all overpriced, but that's just what I've noticed in the close to dozen that I've owned.

I tend to think the less expensive models are your best bet, since really there isn't much difference between the base models and the more pricey (cosmetic) models. The last one I bought was a Custom (can't stand that they use that word...custom from Kimber...yeah right) TLE II. I paid about $900 OTD for it.

Even with that one I didn't notice any real difference between it and a $700 Springfield PX9109LP. When you get over $1000, Dan Wesson is my pick. For a production 1911, it doesn't get much better than a DW.
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Old March 19, 2013, 11:23 AM   #41
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Is a Kimber worth it?

Kimber is to firearms as Bose is to audio. All show (marketing) and no go. somebody has to pay for all those full page glossies in every gun rag in the universe.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:48 PM   #42
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Come on guys, I'm sure not trying to defend Kimber here..../ but some of their models are certainly comparable to the rest of the group of mass produced 1911's out there from Colt, Springfield, Sig, STI, etc. out there as well...

Not everything Kimber makes is junk .../ and I hope you guys don't really think that Kimber puts the same quality internal parts in their $800 guns ...that they do in their $ 2,200 guns...and if you do, I think you're missing the boat here ...

Kimber is not a top end 1911 mfg in my opinion/ and I know everyone sees dozens of their guns in every gun store ( in prices from $800 - to over $2,000 ) they're easy to pick on ...and I'm not saying Kimber's $ 2,000 guns are nearly as good as Ed Brown or Wilson Combat's guns either .../ Wilson Combat, as an example, internally and cosmetically, is a way better gun ( and a better long term value in my opinon)...even at twice the price or more of a top end Kimber / but there are a lot of Kimbers out there doing pretty well even after 10,000 or 25,000 rds thru them ...certainly not up to Ed Brown or Wilson Combat standards....but not junk either necessarily, in my opinon.

To imply that the Kimbers coming out of their custom shop the Gold Combat Stainless junk, I think is going a little too far off the deep end.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:31 PM   #43
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It's not about producing junk, they make some nice handguns, it's their p-poor warranty and customers service that I disapprove of. Anybody can put out a lemon now and then but Springfield Armory, S&W, and the others with lifetime warranties don't force you to spend $250-300+ (f you can find ammo) "breaking in" their pistols before they will fix their defective products. When you know you're going to avoid standing behind your warranty by stalling/out waiting your customers until the warranty is up or force customers to jump through so many hoops and spend so much money jumping through those hoops that they'll give up and pay for the repairs out of pocket you have no incentive to improve quality control.

One of the things that struck me when I unpacked my last Kimber was the disclaimer in their already poor warranty disavowing any coverage for their Swartz safety. I took a close look and could see why, the design is in my opinion (and it appears their opinion as well) very easily damaged during normal field stripping and reassembly.
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Last edited by sholling; March 19, 2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:28 PM   #44
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Agreed, Kimber is a marketing driven company obsessed with styling and looks while giving engineering, out of the box quality, and customer service short shrift. It should also be noted that Kimber's "Custom" guns aren't - they're just fancier production line products. Well and truly said...mucho hype, overpriced, and their unique brand of customer service which begins with "it's so tightly fitted that it won't work until YOU run 300 rounds through it!" Who it his right mind would trust a piece for CCW that was that flawed? Who the heck has that kind of ammunition supply to try and fix an out of the box mistake. They ought to take a cpl grand out of their well financed advertising budget and hire a cpl gunsmiths that know what they're doing. Rod
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:43 PM   #45
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I am not experienced with Kimber 1911s, but I do have a lot of experience with their rifles and I must say that they are top notch quality.
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:52 PM   #46
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Is a Kimber worth it?

I have a Kimber Ultra Carry 2 and it has been flawless with factory loads since I've owned it. It can be a bit cranky with reloads but in my experience all 1911's can be a bit cranky with certain loads. My friend has a Pro Carry and he said it has been 100% as well. Seems to me no matter what gun a thread is about there is always good and bad said about it. If Kimbers weren't great guns then no one would pay their prices and they would have to close up shop. I like mine and that's all that matters to me.
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Old March 21, 2013, 02:44 AM   #47
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Kimber is a nice pistol, I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at one. That said, I can't imagine holding $1200-1500 cash and choosing any Kimber over a Dan Wesson, Springfield, or upper-end Colt.

The Dan Wesson Valor, in particular, can't be bested by any Kimber I know of, and can be had for $1400-1500. In fact, the Valor is my favorite 1911 pistol until you hit the semi-custom makers like Ed Brown and Wilson Combat. They're just that nice.

I've often described the Kimber gamble as a much fancier version of the Taurus gamble. If you get a good one, it's going to shine like a diamond, but if you get a bad one, best of luck trying to get the company to take care of you.
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Old March 21, 2013, 05:16 AM   #48
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On the 1911 forums, there's a Kimber subforum with a sticky saying

Kimber Common Problems and Fixes...

And most threads are about problems with their perfect guns with the occasional rant from the lucky few who have had flawless Kimbers (or are good enough at 'smithing to iron out the kinks themselves).
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:44 AM   #49
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Yea but most on the internet are their to complain about things, not tell you how good they are -- its just human nature. Anyone I know that has actually owned a Kimber has very good things to say about them.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:03 AM   #50
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And of the 5 people I know who own Kimbers, three swear by theirs. The other two have love/hate relationships with their Kimbers, because of fantastic accuracy and iffy reliability.

I know one dealer who has had issues with corrosion on NIB barrels, but that may have been a single bad lot.
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