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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First let me say that I think there was quite a bit of over reaction to Larry's comments regarding Kimber. One should not 'kill' the messanger just because they do not like the message. Wile I don't agree with Larry's conclusions the observations he relayed were true.

Here is my take on what Larry had to say, and some of my own observations.

Kimber does use blackened stainless parts in some of their guns. Wile this may be a pain in the butt for a gunsmith like Larry, Dane or me the simple fact is that when Kimber decides what parts to put in their gun they do not consider what would be most convinient for custom pistolsmiths. If you are a company and you can save a few dollars, or even a few quarters, per gun by standardizing certain parts then that is most likely what you will do. Putting a blackened stainless part in a blued gun is something that 99% of their customers will never know or even care about. The fact that it might be inconvinient to a gunsmith means nothing to Kimber. If anything Kimber can claim that the gun is better because it is more rust resisitent.

I'll be the first to admit, I was plenty annoyed the first time I did some minor exterior polishing on a Kimber slide stop and when I went to touch up the bluing it didn't darken. I cetainly cannot find fault with Larry not knowing that at some point Kimber began replaing previously carbon parts with stainless ones. It's not like Kimber made a press release or anything.

Danes comments regarding Kimber are spot on. Even with the few occasional problems a Kimber may have they are by far the best 1911's on the market. Second place is not even close. I work two to three days a week at the NRA Range in Fairfax, VA and I see Kimbers all the time. The guns are simply fantastic. The vast majority work without any problems and the few that do need some adjustment usually require only minor work.
 

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Imagine the consternation of the gunsmiths who first attempted to re-blue the post-'64 Winchester 94's! The ductile iron receivers, as I understand, came out Barney purple or worse. Also, there weren't any high-tech "shake-n-bake" polymer finishes to fall back on.

The manufacturers range from being indifferent to outright hostile to the after-market gunsmithing trade (try to get trigger parts out of Ruger, for example).

Rosco
 

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Second place is not even close.
Tim

Thanks for the post, both the information it imparts and the manner it was presented.

I would assume the above was directed at Colt ?

Now I find that interesting, since in Mr. Vickers original Kimber Post, he pretty much said the same thing, however when I questioned him about it..no response..perhaps understandable since TSHTF stuff had begun..

To be up front, while not a Master Smith, I like the Colts on many levels, have handled more then a few, and own several recent production ones, and consider the _new CNC machined_ guns to be the equal of any production Kimber. ( which I also own ).

Because of your 1911 experience & standing in the field, and in the interest of a Mature
debate, I would be interested in you views on that..... ?



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Blackjack on 2001-04-23 11:21 ]</font>
 

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For those that may not know Tim was one of the first smiths to seriously modify a Kimber as a custom gun, from almost day one of production.

He knows the guns and offers a good insight IMO from working full time as a pistol smith for many years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tim wrote:
Second place is not even close.

I would assume the above was directed at Colt ?

Nope.

Now I find that interesting, since in Mr. Vickers original Kimber Post, he pretty much said the same thing, however when I questioned him about it..no esponse..perhaps understandable since TSHTF stuff had begun..

To be up front, while not a Master Smith, I like the Colts on many levels, have handled more then a few, and own several recent production ones, and consider the _new CNC machined_ guns to be the equal of any production Kimber. ( which I also own ).

Because of your 1911 experience & standing in the field, and in the interest of a Mature debate, I would be interested in you views on that..... ?




My views... this could take a wile. :smile:

First with regard to current 1911 manufacturers I like Kimber, Springfield Armory and Colt, in that order.

Kimber builds without a doubt the finest factory produced 1911's ever made. Do they have problems, sure, but nothing that can't usually be fixed by a trip back to the factory for warranty service, or a minor adjustment by a local skilled gunsmith. I do mean to make it sound like I am saying that Kimbers won't work out of the box, far from it. The vast majority of their guns function 100% reliably right out of the box.
I have worked in the retail gun business and gunsmithing business off and on for almost 15 years. Nothing I have seen in that time even begins to approch what Kimber has done. They entered a market that some said was already over saturated and many claimed that they would not be able to deliver the product they promised. Instead, in only 4 short years they did what Springfield Armory and others had been unable to do, they unseated Colt as the #1 manufacturer of 1911 pistols. In fact they very nearly drove Colt completely from the market.

Springfield Armory builds a nice gun. Some do not like the frontstrap radius but this is a matter of personal preference, not quality. I find most Springfield guns to be kind of rough around the edges and am not usually happy with them right out of the box. Still, a little massaging is all it usually takes to get them up to snuff. The 'Loaded' models come with most of the same features the Kimber Custom Classic does but in my opinion the fit and finish of the gun is not as nice. The Springfields are 'diamonds in the rough' so to speak.

Probobaly the only Colt's I have ever really liked were the 1991's. The fit was decent and it seemed that since it was Colt's base model, with little additional polishing and fitting, that it was also their best model. The 1991's were tighter than any of the other models in Colt's line up and the cosmetics seemed to clean up nicer to. Colt is trying to challenge Kimber and SA with the XS model but time will tell if they are sucsessful. The XS guns are considerably more expensive than either the Kimber or SA Loaded model.

I guess I can best sum it up this way. Lets say we were going to build three custom guns, all with the same work and features, and we started with a Kimber, a Springfield and a Colt as the base pitols. When done the Kimber would be the best of the three and would also cost the customer the least.

_________________
Tim Bacus
Bacus Custom

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tim38super on 2001-04-23 16:08 ]</font>
 

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Tim

Thanks much for the response, the new 1991A1 Mil - Spec Guns was what I was referencing.
Glad too see you will work on Colts.

As far as I`m concerned, please go on as long as you like...you have valuable stuff to contribute here IMO.

I`m ashamed to say I have never seen your work....could you post some Pics, or direct us to some ?...and thanks :smile:
 

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Thanks for your thoughts Tim. Have you had a chance to look at the new Kimber IIs. Any opinion on how Murphy-proof it might be, and will it be prone to the same type of slide damage that Heine commented on regarding the Colt series 80? BTW, have any of the aftermarket parts maker modified their grip safeties for the Kimber II yet?
 

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I'm only a home-smith, but I work at a store where we stock Kimber's & Colt's. a Kimber Stainless Classic is ~70 cheaper than a Colt XSE, and is more than the last price on the XS series. That's Master dealer vs what we pay through distributor of course.

I had a Springfield Ultra Compact Bi-tone, and didn't have a problem with it, but a shooting buddy couldnt' shoot the same gun a whole mag through without a problem. Besides that gun though, we had half the Springfields going back for repairs, and stopped carrying them because of that. (This was pre-loaded)
I traded the SA for a Colt Defender, and love it. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
The Colt Defender is also cheaper than the Kimber Ultra Carry Stainless.
That's just a price/ out of box reliability comparison from my perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On 2001-04-24 12:22, Blackjack wrote:
Tim

I`m ashamed to say I have never seen your work....could you post some Pics, or direct us to some ?...and thanks :smile:
I will post some pics in a new topic. There is certainly no need to feel ashamed, I am a very small one man operation and up to this point I have made little effort to change that.
 
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