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Here everyone, please read this: ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Ok, whenever this question about why a gun done by a competent one man or small sized shop will ultimately be better than a production semi-custom, read the above. I see many custom/semi-custom 1911's in action on a regular basis, and am frankly horrified at the lack of ATTENTION TO DETAIL seen in most of the "big name" shop guns.

Yesterday I asked a friend why I, a rank amateur, was able to assemble a reliable pistol using only hand tools while working in the balmy comfort of my garage. His answer: ATTENTION TO DETAIL -- I cared about what I was doing.

The Kimber Custom Shop efforts that I have seen were cosmetically ok. Their "checkering" was rectangular and flat, not worth the money. If you found one that works right, then count your blessings. If it doesn't run, then you'll make up the difference in cost by bringing it to a gunsmith for his ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

I too handled Dane's parts gun, and it showed ATTENTION TO DETAIL that other similar production guns lack. His gun went bang and had nice contouring/hand finishing. Other cheaper ones may look similar, but might not go bang or be as hand-friendly.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Remember it well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thank You Everyone for the replies, anecdotes, and opinions.
I believe I should have been more specific in the details of my question.
See Below:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-04-16 05:50 ]</font>
 

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Are these Kimber semi-custom pistols worth a second look and a few thousand out of my pocket?
Not to be redundant but we have, and they aren't. That is pretty specific. Guess you should let your salaried employee look for something better full time. Or just have him put standing orders from all the better smiths so you don't burn that extra couple thousand waiting. Sheeeeeeeesh!

With the tastes you have stated so far on list I wouldn't think a production anything would ever satisfy your palette, David.
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Ok,
I can see the disconnect so far, the Kimbers are not to vault and collect, I was looking at them as "are they worth it for thier intended purpose?" ie. service guns that looked a little better than a stock Colt, Springfield etc..? In no way do I think they could or would compare with on of Danes guns or Richards and I would not intend to compare them that is why they only cost a thousand dollars a piece and I acknowledge this wholeheartedly.
I just wanted to know if anyone has used the Kimber Ultra CDP or the Kimber Master Grade polished blue pistol? If you have used these secific pistols how were they?
Dane, yes he is doing just that I have custom work waiting with EGW, Novaks, Wilson (custom work) and after today a BHP will be headed to Kurt Wickmans and a 10mm is headed over to Richard Heionie's for cleanup. As soon as I can get to it we may still do that BCP STI project we have talked about by email.
 

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Shay,

What is it about that 700 round mark and Kimbers? That is exactly when my ProCarry SLE started giving me extractor problems and I sent it to Dane for TLC. Was that the same problem you had with your Kimber at the 700 round mark?
 

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I was in a middle of a Match when this happened! Click instead of Bang.

The firing pin broke or mushroomed and the disconnector was stuck in the down position.

I had a local smith put in SVI parts (Sear, Hammer, Disconnector,firing pin, trigger)and it was ok after that.

After that episode I got "MIM Phobia" and ordered my wilson CQB with bulletproof parts.
 

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Shay,

My problem was the extractor tension. Apparently, Kimber doesn't always temper the extractors and they can lose tension. That's why I sent the gun to Dane in the first place. Then I started getting creative :grin:.

Bob
 

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Hi Dane,
Those pictures are fantastic! Masterpieces as usual.

I know that as far as base guns you typically speak very highly for Kimbers as opposed to some of the others. You'll have to forgive if I missed this in another post but what do you think of those new Series II models that they are coming out with. Will they still be the prefered base gun or will you change your preference once this change comes into full swing. I thought that the genuine series 70's were the prefered bases and Kimber being very close to that but since they made this new safety mech. I was curious to how you feel about that? Thanks.
 

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Bill,

Dane did the following on this gun:

Total reliability package
Heinie slantpro nightsights
Carry melt
scallop frontstrap and backstrap
recut and crown barrel
replace extractor and slide stop (Wilson)
serrate back of slide 40 lpi
Install and fit STI SS beavertail
bevel and recut magwell
Cocobolo presentation grips
modify trigger
refinish gun with matte beadblast finish

It looks awesome! I know it will shoot better than it looks! Can't say enough good about Dane. He cares about his work and it shows. Guess I'll have to get on the list for a Grey Ghost next. I'll have to have a 5" version of my "mini-Grey" eventually! :grin:

Bob
 

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Jeez, after reading all the comments regarding the products from the Kimber Custom Shop, maybe I got lucky. All I can tell people is that my 2 year old Gold Combat has run like a champ from day one. The front & back strap checkering is perfect. The Black T finish was perfect. Repairs have been zero. After about 10,000 rounds, it seemed like the recoil spring was getting tired so I replaced it with a new 18 lb. spring. I have noticed that the chamber is quite snug. I feeds factory ammo perfectly, but if the hand reload is a bit long or a bit fat, forget it. Like most good pistols, it shoots more accurately than its owner. Best Wishes to all. Mark Shuell.
 

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I guess I am the odd man out. I own a Kimber Gold Match, and it has been near perfect from the get-go. I use it in bullseye shooting (indoor fifty foot) with a Clark rail and a Tasco red dot on it, and it is great.

I abuse the pistol by shooting a wide variety of ammo through it. Tonight I will shoot bullseye with 200 gr SWC Rainier over 3.7 gr of Clays, and later in the week (after a spring change) I will shoot 200 gr SWC Rainiers over 5.7 gr of Clays.

Other shooters in competition have tried the Kimber and ask who did the trigger job on it, as it's better than theirs. I tell them I did it with the first 18,000 rounds I've run through it.

Just my experience. I wouldn't sell my old Kimber Gold Match for what I paid for it, after all the rounds I've run through it.

Casey
 

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I have noticed that the recent beavertail fit on some Kimber Pro Carry's and CDP's is not all that great. I was checking out a row of 'em at a local shop and they all looked pretty sloppy. My custom classic, c. 1997, has a better fitted beavertail. I hope this is not indicative of a overall drop in quality.

Anybody else notice this?

T
 

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I work at a gunstore, and we've done very well with Kimber. One gun with a firing pin that either mushroomed or was out of spec, and wouldn't return past the firing pin stop.
Otherwise, we've had one customer that has bought 3 guns, and monkeyed with each, leading to problems.
I think the problem is that in general, the gunsmith's get the one's thatr are less than spec for modification, since otherwise, they wuldn't need monkeying.
The flip side being that those that get their gun customized are more likely to USE their guns to the point where a mistake will become obvious.
 

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Just noticed on the Heine web sight that he has temporarily stop selling Kimber spec'd sights due to the increased variation from pistol to pistol.

What's going on at Kimber?

T
 

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I'm w/Casey. I have a SS Ultra Carry that I bet my life on daily, and a Stainless Target that I shoot bullseye with. The only work done on them was adjusting the trigger pull to my liking. Both were reliable and accurate out of the box. None of my friends have any problems w/their Kimbers, either. Maybe we're not the odd ones out after all.

No company is perfect, and occasional problems crop up when ramping up to higher production levels. On the whole, though, Kimber is the best value in a production .45 ACP going today. JMHO.
 

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I just bought a Custom Classic last week. The gun only has about 125rds thru it but runs 100% with McCormick Power Mags. Accuracy is very good also and this is using UMC ball! Can't wait to try some different loads. Shoots to POA! I intend to put on a set of Heinie Straight Eights and lose the stock rubber(read ugly) grip panels in favor of something more visually acceptable. Dane, your guns on pg1 of this thread look great!
 
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Just to provide an update one of the Kimbers are still going strong, the Ultra CDP became "famous" in the new Garrity catalog and requested special treatment so I had to sell it off. Seriously though, I happened into an Ed Brown classic that was to nice to pass up. The "blued" gun is still running along without issue.
 
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