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I've been troubled by the recent attacks on smiths like Vickers and others on this and other boards. Everyone has the right to express his opinion. While we disagree, we can do so in a respectful manner. Vickers is an artist who built his reputation with sweat and blood. He and others deserve the respect owed them. That doesn't mean that we have to bow down and take their opinions as gospel. The goal is to have honest dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Let's get some perspective here. Vickers said that Kimbers are experiencing QC problems, not that God is dead. The discussions here are about steel not theology or politics. Personally, I reserve my passions (and elevated blood pressure levels) for more important matters than whether Kimbers have quality problems.

If we continue to treat each other disrespectfully, we are only abetting the anti-gun cause. If we drive away competent (if opinionated) gunsmiths then we are helping to weaken whatever little gun culture is left in the U.S. If these boards become a hostile place for smiths they will ultimately become a hostile place for regular folks like myself.

We can be open, honest and even confront each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We can even critique the opinion of the "greats" without besmirching their reputation. A society that eats its children doesn't last long.
 

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You said it, the way I thought it...I should hire you to post for me and keep my own mouth shut!

:lol:
 

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Howard,

I think your characterization of "eating our children" is a bit strong. No one is questioning Larry's right to his opinion. What I think you are not getting, is that what was presented to us, was not presented as merely an opinion. When a person is offering pronouncements about a manufacturer and they have positioned themselves as an expert on the subject, then they are presenting from a position of authority. There is a huge difference between what most would see as just offering an opinion and that which was presented to us. If any member is going to make such bold statemnts of FACT, then I think it is incumbent upon them to provide corroborating information, when politely asked to do so. If not, then we are likely going to call them on it. As of yet, none of the numerous requests for information have been addressed by Larry.

I found the parallel thread on the 1911Forum, with its cryptic instructions to a Kimber rep who is supposed to be monitoring the forum a bit puzzling. If there is such a QC problem with Kimber, then wouldn't a phone call or letter be the more sincere and appropriate method of communication? As was the case here, the information presented (innuendo really) was not very enlightening. Why aren't other smiths drawing the same conclusion? Why are we the bad guys for pointing all this out? While you have expressed concerns about besmirching Larry's reputation, you don't seems to mind the fact that Larry has no compunction about besmirching Kimber's reputation.

If you will, go back and read our front page, you will note we ask: "that you are careful to distinguish between presenting fact and that which is simply opinion." When any member makes strong proclomations, as were those made in the "Alert" or "Warning" threads -- without providing reasonable supporting information -- then I think it is a huge disservice to us all, if we let such statements go unchallenged. If you want to call that "eating our children", then I say: please pass the salt.


DD

PLEASE NOTE: The Kimber QC threads were moved to the 1911 Talk forum. Nothing has been deleted.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-29 17:25 ]</font>
 

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DD,

Maybe Larry technially "erred" when he voiced his opinion as fact...but in his experience, with the Kimbers he had, it was fact.

I could voice very similar "facts/opinions" on Smith and Wesson autos...er ah semi-autos.

I'm not taking up for him. He is certainly capable of doing that himself. But lets not pick nits so much.

WE all lose in the end if we beat each other up. No matter who does the beating...and please don't get me wrong, I don't think that we shouldn't disagree from time to time. I would just say to be careful with the rhetoric. Apply that as you will...

I mean this not in any way to be disrespectful to either yourself, Dane, Larry or anyone else that feels slighted...on the contrary.
 

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Larry M.,

Point well taken on the rhetoric. I went back and edited my post, as some of it was distracting to the subject at hand.

As was previously discussed, Larry's actual experieinces are not in doubt here. They never were. What I am suggesting is that we were not given enough information to arrive at such a similar conclusion about Kimber's QC. Further, I would contend that Larry does not have enough data to support any such issuance of a blanket statement about Kimber's QC. Show me more substantial proof and I will build Larry the tallest stage from which to trumpet his findings.

I think now that the Kimber QC issue has been floated by Larry, he either needs to support his conclcusions in a responsible manner, or publicly withdraw his statements. To do otherwise is IMO highly unfair to both Kimber's reputation and the integrity of the information available from this forum. No disrespect to anyone intended, but this is hardly a trivial matter.

DD



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-29 17:16 ]</font>
 

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I guess when I'm ready to send a gun out for a full house job, I'll just send Larry a Colt not a Kimber. Who here wouldn't want Larry to work on your gun? Lets all take it a little easy. Larry's presence here is very enlightening for us. Ya know, most good smiths are strong willed people. They have a strong point of view. So if they use strong language, so be it, I don't mind. I really want Larry and "smiths" of his rank to stay active on this board. Sam
 

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Desert Dog, this is in no way meant to be a flame/personal attack, in your post to LW McCay you say:

"As was previously discussed, Larry's actual experieinces are not in doubt here. They never were. What I am suggesting is that we were not given enough information to arrive at such a similar conclusion about Kimber's QC"

And

"I think now that the Kimber QC issue has been floated by Larry, he either needs to support his conclcusions in a responsible manner, or publicly withdraw his statements"

Because what Larry is saying is either unpopular or not the norm or not what the PR department of any manufacture boasts about does not change that it is the facts in Larry's expierence (listed or not) with Kimber. Simply because he did not list the exact problems should Larry retract everything? Which would you rather have, Larry building great pistols or taking more of his time to list his problems on the Kimbers?

I know if my pistol was in his possession, I'd want my pistol worked on, not a grocery list of problems to be posted on pistolsmith.com! :grin:

Dane in the original threat that is now locked states:

"I respect Larry's and Dick's opinion" and "Yes, some of their guns can be a problem. Yes, their barrel fit sucks".

And then Dane says:

"If as Larry says..."can't be done". Believe him"

That's enough for me. I think that Larry Vickers is a great pistolsmith and a great VALUE to this site, and to basically say unless there is a detailed account given on the problematic pistol(s) that Larry has had, his opinion/expierence is not valid sure GREATLY DEVALUES Larry's (or anyone's for that matter) work.

Again, this is not meant to be a personal attack. If it was a personal attack, I'd've said "your feet stink!" :wink:

Derek
 

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Since I am sure someone will ask. I do indeed respect Dick's and Larry's opinions on how they build a gun. Even if I might disagree :eek: No, neither Heinie's or Vicker's guns generally have problems and NO neither have barrel fits that suck.

:grin:

I can't answer the thread on the 1911 Forum and and tired of it here, I thought I might commment.

Pistolsmiths with national reputations owe the manufactures and the gun buying public a responsible and mature way of dealing with the problems of a individual customer level and on a professional level of the gun business.

Internet forums at any level of membership are not the way to a get a manufacture's attention to a problem that could EASILY solved by a phone call to the right place.

Here is a hint, for all if you have a problem with a Colt, Kimber or Springfield or most any one else. They ALL actually have a CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT, call THEM.

If they don't respond or if they do respond, this forum is a place to let us know the problem, solution and the results of your contact.

IMO which is worth what you paid for it here, the entire thread on Kimber QC a disservice to "us" as gun owners and to Kimber. To be clear, I think Larry was WAY out of line and as the details were explained by his customer here, even more so.

I would have thought that there was some underlying reason to make such a broad exclamation of Kimber's lack off QCs, but after seeing the other thread attempting to reach a Kimber employee lurking on the 1911Forum. I'll see if this will help.

Kimber's customer service # is 914 964 0771 EXT #2.

I found it BTW in my address book :roll: It is also clearly printed on the Kimber web site and in all their advertising.

Disagreeing is one thing, natual selection for stupidity is another. Some times the population would be better with a little cleaning of the gene pool.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-05-01 14:34 ]</font>
 

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Derek,

No flame intended, but if you are going to quote Dane, it would be helpful if you were a bit more careful about taking quotes out of context, as it can be somewhat misleading. Look at the complete post from which you quoted Dane:

Geezzzzeeeee, I forgot to add. Kimber's very seldom shoot to POA from the box on the fixed sighted models. Since day one..better but still not good from the samples I see. If your gun does not, fitting a new set of Heinie's sights, or Novak's for that matter isn't going to fix the problem and will usually make it worse. A barrel refit done correctly and a recrown usually will.

Some of the most accurate guns I have ever seen have been Kimbers with a Brown bull barrel fitted. One of the most accurate Kimber barrels I have seen, is now fitted correctly into one of my (well, Luigi' stole it so it must be his now :smile: ) personal guns.

Bottom line is Kimber barrels can be made to shoot POA with any good sight and Kimber quality control, IMO, is no worse or better than anyone else's in the last 20 years.

The way I look at it is you get a frame, slide, small parts, a good barrel and the mill work done for $600. Then you take it to guys like me, Larry, or Dick and have us put it together correctly.

If as Larry says..."can't be done". Believe him and get another gun....my second choice would be another Kimber for the dollars spent. Larry's or YMMV.

-Dane Burns

As we can see in the above quoted post, Dane is addressing the POA problem (which is easily addressed). It is not an indictment of Kimber, nor is it somehow an implied agreement with Larry's QC contentions. Dane is simply saying that if you happen to get a lemon (and ALL manufacturers have them), then his choice of replacements would be another Kimber. That is very different from what you were implying. It was also interesting to note what Dane said in the post that preceded the one you quoted from. Here are a two selected quotes from that post:

A bad gun is a bad gun and I don't want to work on one any more than Larry does.

I still think they [Kimbers] are the best value on the market quality wise.

-Dane Burns
No one is claiming what Kimber experiences Larry has shared with us are untrue. What several of us are saying, is that the information on which Larry is basing his claims about Kimber's QC is NOT substantial enough to support the conclusion he is advancing. Whether it is Larry Vickers or ANY other reputible gunsmith posting this sort of information is not the point here. The issue is not with Larry Vickers himself, it is with the substance of what he is claiming. What IS important to understand, is that a member who has positioned himself as an authority on 1911s is making very strong claims based on very little real evidence. Worse still, he refuses to answer direct (but polite) questions from those that are seeking additional information.

Am I supposed to accept that Kimber has QC problems based solely on Larry's account of: his problem with an Oregon Kimber, three Kimber pistols that Ken Hackathorn told him about, a POA problem that has already been addressed, two Kimber pistols about which we are given no real information, and his personal view that the inclusion of stainless small parts is somehow related to a QC problem at Kimber? I don't think so. And neither do many other people -- both here and on the 1911Forum.

What value does this forum really have, if we are to allow erroneaous and possibly misleading information to be perpetuated? What precedent do we set, when we allow members to post alarmist "WARNINGS" and reactionary "ALERTS" as being fact -- when in truth, they are only one mans OPINION?

We should expect that professionals that are viewed as credible sources of information take that responsibility seriously. The power to influence is not something to be taken lightly. Protecting the reputation of a manufacturer from being unfairly maligned is no less important than that of an individual. Unless Larry Vickers can provide this forum with substantive and relevant information to support his claims, then in my view, he should retract his injurious pronouncements about Kimber's QC. To do otherwise, is IMO both reckless and irresponsible.

Imagine a man is yelling F-I-R-E in a crowded theater, but it turns out he only saw someone smoking in the lobby. Imagine the man doing the yelling is a fireman. Imagine how Kimber must feel. Think about it.

DD

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-05-02 01:02 ]</font>
 

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I suspect Larry Vickers is the one most tired of this "crap".
 
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