Hilton Yam is in my opinion one of the best builders of working 1911′s. Notice I said working. These aren’t competition guns these are built to be working guns for the CCW holder, Police Officer etc. In other words those looking for an ultra reliable piece of gun art meant to save your life. Hilton just released a new video on You Tube which is a video presentation of the printed version on the 10-8 Performance website. Check the 10-8 Performance website for many articles on the 1911 and how to run it right!
This would be a good one to download from You Tube and keep for reference. I use 10-8 sights and other parts for my 1911′s and S&W M&P. I hope you enjoy the video!
Click the picture for a larger view
Hum my Rock Island 38 Super looks a lot like his. I guess so since it has 10-8 sights and Ed Brown grip safety, 10-8 trigger, Tripp Research magazines etc. Yep I did the build:-)
July 17, 2012
We’ve all heard this argument many times. You know where I stand!
May 30, 2011
“Rock” or Kimber?
Over the years I’ve owned and reviewed many Kimbers and Rock Island Armory 1911′s. I was thinking the other day about the values of each brand and how they compare to each other. This may seem a bit one sided since the Kimber is much more expensive than the Rock Island Tactical. At least from my viewpoint price doesn’t always mean one pistol is better than another.
I wouldn’t presume to tell you which 1911 is better, rather I’ll present some observations and facts and let the reader decide. As far as price is concerned you can buy three Rock Island’s for the price of one Kimber. The question for the buyer is the Kimber’s price worth it compared to the value of the RIA?
From an aesthetic viewpoint the Kimber 1911′s are very desirable while the Rock Island 1911 is more utilitarian but certainly attractive in it’s own way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say.
In the last few months I’ve had a sample of each 1911 for review purposes. One is the Kimber Aegis II the other a RIA Tactical both in 9MM. Having fired well over 500 rounds from each pistol I surely have a basis for comparison.
The Kimber has a steel slide with an alloy frame. The entire pistol has a carry melt treatment with the frame front strap checkered at 30 LPI. The top of the slide is also milled flat. The Kimber also has Meprolight nightsights. The trigger, barrel and bushing are all advertised as match quality. This model is from the Kimber Custom Shop. Even so there are MIM parts.Trigger pull is between 4 and 5 pounds. The Kimber is a series 80. Retail is $1159.00.
The Rock Island Armory Tactical is almost universally respected. This is not my opinion necessarily rather information taken from many of the gun forums and feedback from friends. The pistol is forged steel and made in the Philippines. It has ambi thumb safeties, beavertail grip safety, full length guiderod and Novak type sights. I’ve spoken with a friend, who is a plant manager, who told me that the slides are hand fitted. Some hand fitting is also performed on the internals so that they all have a trigger pull between 4 and 5 pounds. The Tactical is a series 70. Pretty impressive for a pistol that retails for $450.00.
Most models have a parkerized finish. In recent months the number of models has increased. Some of these new models are two tone with a parked slide and stainless color frame. Rock Island pays attention to customer feedback with several models on the market as a direct result of this feedback.
What about accuracy and reliability? Well you be the judge. The first 165 rounds fired from the Kimber resulted in eight assorted malfunctions. After the initial problems a total of 900 rounds have been fired with no additional problems. The Rock Island Tactical was reliable out of the box with only one malfunction which was a faulty alloy cased round with a ding on the lip of the case.
The picture below shows a target fired with the Kimber and Rock Island Tactical.
I believe the photo is self explanatory. The “R” stands for Rock Island and the “K” of course stands for Kimber. The rounds fired are an equal number from both pistols. Distance was 10 yards. You be the judge:-)
The Kimber has a one year warranty. Rock Island LIFETIME warranty. Repairs on the Rock Island are seldom needed. Turnaround time for warranty repair is one week to ten days. Kimber warranty work has a turnaround time of one month from what I’ve read in the 1911 forums. Rock Island normally adds an extra magazine when returning a warranty repair gun to the owner.
Would I carry the Kimber while going in harms way? Yes after breaking it in and it having shown itself reliable after the initial problems. Would I carry the Rock Island? Yes without a second thought.
I believe this provides enough information for anyone in the market for a 1911 to make an informed decision to choose between the two brands. I welcome your comments, experiences and opinions.
May 28, 2011
March 20, 2009
Kimber Raptor II
Ten Yard Victim–LOL!
I’ve had my issues with one Kimber I’ve owned as you can read about in the blog. With that said if you do get a “good” Kimber they are fantastic pistols. The chance of getting a problem pistol is much less with a pistol from the Kimber Custom Shop. The Kimber Raptor II is such a pistol. In fact I’ve kept track of Kimbers QC issues over the last year and a half and I’m happy to report they seem to have resolved whatever issues they had at one time. That’s certainly good for them but more importantly for those of us who actually were hoping Kimber would come back to the fine product that was.
A good friend of mine traded this slightly used Raptor to me last week and I couldn’t be more pleased with any 1911. I owned a generation I Raptor with the external extractor which I traded years ago. Ever since then I’ve wanted to get another Raptor with the traditional extractor and eventually hand it down to my son. The blue that Kimber puts on these custom shop pistols is very reminiscent of the deep shiny blue that S&W used way back when. This is a very attractive pistol. In fact it’s in the top two in my view. With the deep blue, scaled slide cuts and the same treatment on the grip frame it not only provides a wonderful grip but looks very classy. Yea I know a blued gun does wear but that just gives it character in my view and if it bothers you that much then you can always have it reblued down the road. The way I look at it is that the only truly beautiful finish is a deep shining blue!
Novak Type Low Profile Night Sights/Top Slide “Raptor”Cuts
This custom pistol is also equipped with a new style low profile night sights. I’m not sure if Kimber requested the change in the rear sight profile but I do like it better than the older Meprolight design. The pistol is also equipped with ambidextrous thumb safeties. They are not terribly wide to the point of being disingaged by accident. The “Raptor” cuts also cut down on light reflection. The top of the slide and the front grip strap as well as the rear of the slide have a slightly muted finish. With most 1911′s I normally will exchange some parts to suite my taste and the way I shoot. With the Kimber it’s basically take it home, clean it and go shoot—no changes needed. Also, the beavertail has a raised pad on the bottom for positive disengagement of the grip safety.This is the first feature I check on a 1911. So many of them I have difficulty depressing the grip safety reliably to ensure I can fire that shot first time every time. This one works very well. The trigger pull is 3 pounds 12 ounces and breaks clean and crisp. Trigger takeup is also short with very little slack. The Raptor is fitted with a full lenght guide rod which I live with or without. They really don’t contribute to accuracy in my view but some shooters swear by them and that’s fine.
Since all of the custom shop guns have the critical parts hand fitted it’s very much above average in the accuracy department. The target below was fired from 15 yards slow fire and is shown next to a loaded Wilson Combat 47D magazine for group size reference. This is 9 rounds fired.
I think this would make the suspect drop the gun:-)
The target seen below was fired from ten yards fairly fast at approx. one round per second. The target is a Birchwood Casey 5 inch.
The second target seen is the same target with two additional mags fired also at faster than one round per second.
Most of the rounds went into the area already shot
This is a standard qualification target. The circle on the face is 3 inches. Two magazines fired relatively fast.
A few pictures of this beautiful pistol even if it
s a little dirty at the time.
Even after 200 rounds the finish still shines through:-)
These grips are the Mil-Tac G-10 grips sold by Craig Sword. They are very durable and provide a positive grip. The factory wood grips are still the most attractive with the blue finish. I hate to do ant damage to the Kimber wood grips but they can always be replaced. Outside of the grip change if your so inclined I can’t think of a thing that needs to be changed on this pistol. It comes perfectly outfitted to my taste and preferences. There is one thing that I should mention for those who like light rails on a 1911. Novak makes an add on rail that can be fitted and has a very low profile unlike many that add a considerable amount of weight and bulk. They do require that two holes be drilled into the lower frame which is something I would never do to this pistol. As far as magazines are concerned this pistol is not magazine sensative. Some 1911′s are and will only work with a few types. I used the factory mag which I think is a McCormick. I also used Wilson 47D’s, Metalform, Novak, McCormick match and plain old GI mags that have had many a round run through them. It works with any mag which is a big plus.
Even though the price of all guns are skyrocketing, particularly 1911′s this is one that does give you value for your money. During all my shooting during this range trip I had no problems whatsoever. A total of 200 rounds of assorted types and brands were fired. That brings the total round count to 400 with many more to come! If I could only have three handguns it would be this 1911, my Sig P6 and S&W model 19. That provides a solid lineup of reliable defensive handguns.
With the current political climate one should buy all they can afford to and hang onto them. It may be a very bumpy road ahead for the 2nd amendment and our rights in general. One last word–if you don’t belong to the NRA join now! Your support and active support is needed now more than any other time in our history.
January 27, 2008
Romanian WASR AK-47
The AK-47 is the most prolific gun on the planet. It’s used by good guys and bad alike. Most people are familiar with the history of this gun but here’s a short history. Back in the later years of WWII a Soviet army sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon which was adopted by the soviet army in 1947 thus the designation Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947. To date there are over 30 million of these weapons in service with many countries; allies and foes alike. Some believe the AK-47 was the product of borrowing design features of the German STG44. The STG44 does have a striking resemblance to the AK. This is an issue that will be long debated. My personal opinion is that Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon on his own and is a bonafied genius in firearms design. Over the years this design has spawned many variations in both caliber and use. Most any Russian rifle/squad automatic now in use has it’s basis on the AK-47 design. The original guns were forged models soon after were stamped when that technology was perfected. This reduced cost as well as allowing for greater production numbers. Some countries are so enamored with this weapon they have it on the nations flag. Mozambique being the most well known. While many liberal types look at the AK-47 as the poster child for the evil of guns. Those of us who’s main hobby is shooting know better. There’s no such thing as an evil gun the person or persons that use it determines whether it’s a tool for freedom from oppression or used to oppress.
There are more types of AK’s made than I have room to name. This particular AK-47 is from Romania and is the most common in the USA. Prices are very reasonable. This rifle was $379 at Cott Firearms in Marshall, Mo. Ammunition is increasing in price as we all know but the 7.62×39 round at Midway Usa is priced at $109 for a case of 500 rounds. Not to bad at all for a rifle round. Certainly the least expensive large caliber rifle to shoot. Whether for just a fun time at the range, hunting or home defense the AK-47 fills the need nicely. This Romanian model has a chrome lined barrel for longevity. As AK’s go I found this one well made. The rifle also comes with a magazine pouch, a cleaning kit that fits in the butt of the rifle. It also comes with two 30 round magazines and a bayonet.
When I brought this AK home the first thing I did was take it down to remove all the cosmoline that’s used to pack guns for long term storage. You certainly should do this as well before firing yours. After cleaning and lubing I loaded up and headed for the range. Of course I always use Militec to lube all my guns and I highly recommend it.
I setup a standard police silhouette target up and decided to fire from the 25, 50 and 100 yard line. Firing from the 25 yard line was what I expected. I was able to maintain groups of 1 inch kneeling. From the 50 yard line I fired from a kneeling position and achieved the below group firing three rounds.
From the 100 yard line the group opened up. The AK-47 is not known for great accuracy at distance. I do believe it is more accurate than many people give it credit for. This is the 100 yard group.
The black area of the target is a 5 inch circle. For an AK-47 or any rifle with iron sights I consider this pretty darn good and much better than I expected considering what I have heard about poor accuracy. I completely enjoyed shooting this rifle! It’s just plain fun and handles well. If you’re used to an AR15 you do have some getting used to with the different manual of arms. I shot a total of 160 rounds with no malfunctions of any type. I expected no less considering the reputation the AK-47 has for reliability. I also emptied a 30 round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger and still no malfunctions. It was a blast to, literally:-)
To disassemble the rifle is simplicity itself. At the rear of the receiver cover is a button that is pushed in then lift off the cover. Then grasp the recoil spring at the rear, lift it up and pull it out. After that just pull the bolt and one piece gas piston to the rear where there is a notch at the rear of the receiver allowing the assembly to be pulled up and out. That’s all there is to it. From this point just clean as usual and assemble in reverse of the take down procedure. It takes about 3 minutes to disassemble!
I’ve also been in contact with some soldiers in Iraq who in addition to the issue M16/M4 they carry an AK-47 especially when riding in a vehicle. They refer to the fact that many of the hiding places for insurgents is behind a very common building material over there which are cinder blocks(commonly referred to as concrete blocks). From what they tell me the AK-47 round will go right through a cinder block wall providing more effective fire than the issue AR15 5.56 round.
If you want an inexpensive gun that’s a load of fun to shoot I can certainly recommend the AK-47!
My AK with a Troy single point sling
http://www.ak-47.us/ A great website with tons of AK info.
The AK-47 and US Soldiers
Middle East – AP
>U.S. Troops Use Confiscated Iraqi AK-47s
>Sun Aug 24, 2:15 PM ET
>By ANDREW ENGLAND, Associated Press Writer
>BAQOUBA, Iraq – An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway,
>puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.
>Within seconds the assault rifle has blasted out 30 rounds. Puffs of dust
>dance in the air as the bullets smack into the scrubland dirt. Test fire
>U.S. troops in Iraq (news – web sites) may not have found weapons of mass
>destruction, but they’re certainly getting their hands on the country’s
>stock of Kalashnikovs – and, they say, they need them.
>”We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in
>certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to
>demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon … demonstrate an ability to
>use it,” said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th
>Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
>In Humvees, on tanks – but never openly on base – U.S. soldiers are
>carrying the Cold War-era weapon, first developed in the Soviet Union but
>now mass produced around the world.
>The AK is favored by many of the world’s fighters, from child soldiers in
>Africa to rebel movements around the world, because it is light, durable
>and known to jam less frequently.
>Now U.S. troops who have picked up AKs on raids or confiscated them at
>checkpoints are putting the rifles to use – and they like what they see.
>Some complain that standard U.S. military M16 and M4 rifles jam too easily
>in Iraq’s dusty environment. Many say the AK has better “knockdown” power
>and can kill with fewer shots.
>”The kind of war we are in now … you want to be able to stop the enemy
>quick,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy S. McCarson of Newport News, Va., an army
>scout, who carries an AK in his Humvee.
>Some troops say the AK is easier to maintain and a better close-quarters
>weapon. Also, it has “some psychological affect on the enemy when you fire
>back on them with their own weapons,” McCarson said.
>Most U.S. soldiers agree the M16 and the M4 – a newer, shorter version of
>the M16 that has been used by American troops since the 1960s – is better
>for long distance, precision shooting.
>Two weeks ago, Sgt. Sam Bailey of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was in a Humvee when a
>patrol came under rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine gun fire. It
>was dark, the road narrow. On one side, there was a mud wall and palms
>trees, on the other a canal surrounded by tall grass.
>Bailey, who couldn’t see who was firing, had an AK-47 on his lap and his M4
>up front. The choice was simple.
>”I put the AK on auto and started spraying,” Bailey said.
>Some soldiers also say it’s easier to get ammo for the AK – they can pick
>it up on any raid or from any confiscated weapon.
>”It’s plentiful,” said Sgt. Eric Harmon, a tanker who has a full 75-round
>drum, five 30-round magazines, plus 200-300 rounds in boxes for his AK. He
>has about 120 rounds for his M16.
>Young doesn’t carry an AK but has fired one. He’s considered banning his
troops from carrying AKs, but hasn’t yet because “if I take the AK away
from some of the soldiers, then they will not have a rifle to carry with
Staff Sgt. Michael Perez, a tanker, said he would take anything over his
standard issue 9mm pistol when he’s out of his tank.
And the AK’s durability has impressed him.
“They say you can probably drop this in the water and leave it overnight,
pull it out in the morning, put in a magazine and it will work,” Perez
I’ve wanted to attach a single point sling to this AK like the type I use on my AR15′s. The trouble was in searching the internet I found very little information or hardware to attach this type of sling to the buttstock of an AK. I came up with a simple and inexpensive solution for those who would also like to put a single point sling on their AK.
I found some parts I had to attach a sling to my Savage 10FP. You start with an eyelet screw. Depending on the size of the screw you drill an undersize hole then place the eyelet screw in the location shown in the picture. After that you just attach the sling attachment and your done. I used a Troy Industries single point sling I have never used. It has the H&K type single snap hook. Just snap the hook in and pull the elastic part to cover the parts of the hook to prevent accidental release which is unlikely even without it.
This setup is sturdy and holds the rifle in the vertical high ready position allowing you to bring it to your shoulder very fast. It also allows you to let the rifle hang on either side to use your handgun or just rest awhile. I hope you find this inexpensive solution helpful!
I’ve made some changes to my AK that I have found to be very useful. I changed the wood furniture out with polymer type rear stock and front handguard.
As it looks now
After Refinishing in AK Black
Troy Sling On Polymer Stock
You’ll notice the rubber butt pad I also added. I have since removed this item finding it somewhat cumbersome to use. It’s just to large and catches on your clothing which loosens it. This is one add on I would not advise adding unless it is the same size as the original butt stock and is attached with screws. Another item I put on was the replacement receiver cover that has the optic riser attached. You can use the iron sights with this model. With a red dot scope it’s rather fast getting on target. The only difficulty with this arrangement is every time you remove it to clean your rifle the sight must be adjusted. It will not hold zero. Since I’m an old guy and have used iron sights for many many years I also removed this because I simply don’t want to have to re-zero the rifle after each cleaning. I have to face facts that with the natural pointing attributes of the AK you don’t really need an optic unless you just really enjoy them. They do look kinda cool:-)
The above mount works much better. It’s very solid and in spite of how far forward it is the red dot view is very good making a fast sight picture a snap. This mount is from Ultimak at http://www.ultimak.com/m1-b.htm. I prefer the Aimpoint type red dot on an AK. Rather than spending the money on a real Aimpoint I have chosen to purchase an Aimpoint clone from http://www.1337tactical.com. The prices vary from $75 to $105. The difference is the $105 variety comes with a lever throw mount rather than the hex mount. For $30 I decided that the type that attached by hex screws would work just fine.
The above is the type which attaches with hex screws
This is the one with the throw lever. Both come with mounts rather than having to purchase them separately as you do with the higher priced Aimpoint.
This pretty much covers the additions I’ve made or am in the process of making. One last thing is the attachment of the single point sling on a polymer stock. The process I wrote above for wooden stocks works better on polymer than wood. It holds the sling very securely. I hope this saves you some time and money by revealing those parts which don’t work very well.
Blogged with Flock
October 27, 2007
I was at Cott firearms last week just taking a look to see what was new and as always checking for any good used gun buys. Well I didn’t see anything that got my attention but out of curiosity I took a look at the Kimber Pro Carry II in 9MM. I’ve been reading more and more about the 1911 platform in 9MM and frankly I was getting pretty curious about this combination of the best handgun ever made chambered in this old caliber.
As many of you probably know when Colt designed the Commander model for the Army for use by the officer corp as well as those in support positions this is the gun they designed and it was designed for the 9MM from the start. The Colt Commander is 1/4 inch longer than the current trend of CCW 1911′s with 4 inch barrels such as this Kimber Pro Carry II and the Springfield Champion LW and soon (around April 08) the Rock Island Armory Tactical which Armscor calls a midsize gun. I’m sure if anybody else comes out with another 4 inch 1911 in 9MM it will be Rock Island Armory. They are a very inovative company that pays attention to their customers like no other! This is the only 4 inch bull barrel full frame 1911 I know of in 9MM. The Springfield is available only in 45 with the exception of the smaller 1911 designed around the 9MM.
I know who wants a 1911 in 9MM. Well sir, I do. After succumbing to this little beauty I’m a convert. It does fill a useful nitch. If you’ve read my blog at all you know I’m a 1911 45 ACP devotee in the extreme but lets keep an open mind on this one. No, I’m not getting into the endless 45 ACP vs 9MM debate. I’ll say this–over the last several years ammo makers have come a very long way in making the 9MM a much more effective load than it was even ten years ago. I use the Winchester Ranger “T” series 127 grain +p+ for my Hi Power and now this Kimber. It feeds very well and the ballistics on this round are impressive. I trust this load to do the job simple as that.
The Kimber holds 9 rounds of 9MM in the magazine with one up the pipe. Weight on this gun with the alloy frame is 28 ounces. So, ten rounds at your disposal in a lightweight highly concealable 1911. What more could you ask for in a daily carry gun that will ride with you eight or ten hours a day. Riding in a Milt Sparks 55BN in winter and a Sparks “Heritage” IWB in warm weather and your’e set.
The Milt Sparks “Heritage”
These days there is certainly one reason for using a 9MM that has nothing to do with the caliber debate and that is the cost of shooting. At MidwayUsa 500 rounds of 45 ACP cost $126 whereas 9MM is $76 for 500 rounds. That is a substantial savings and allows those of us without unlimited funds to shoot a lot more for the same money or shoot the same amount for a considerable savings. From what I’ve been told ammo prices are going up two more times by February next year. Not good but then there isn’t much we can do about that except adapt by reloading more.
On to shooting this fine gun. After bringing the Kimber home and giving it a complete cleaning and lube with Militec I put it all back together. There is one thing to let you know about when taking this pistol down for cleaning. The gun comes with a very slim hex wrench that slips into a hole in the guide rod in order to capture the compressed spring so you can remove the guide rod and then the barrel. There is nothing at all hard about it and just adds a small step to disassembly. Incidentally the Kimber uses a single 22 pound spring which changes out like any other 1911so you don’t have to fool with buying two specialized springs.The instructions for taking down the pistol is in the manual. You really need to read this before attempting to disassemble the gun for cleaning. I removed the rubber grips which came with the gun and put on a set of Mil-Tac G10′s with the 1* logo on them. For those not familiar with this it means One Ass To Risk. This is something Gary Paul Johnston came up with many years ago as a uniform patch for the SWAT team he worked with. Mil-Tac is the only company licensed to use this logo. I also picked up two additional magazines made by Metalform with a removable base and pre drilled for a slam pad. These are very good magazines no matter the caliber but I was especially impressed with the way these were made. Quality throughout at $13 from Brownells if you care to order extra mags for your guns. I was lucky enough to get my mags right away. Yes, the 9MM mags are less expensive as well:-)
I gathered up a few hundred rounds of 9MM in various brands and types of bullets and headed for the local police range. I used a reduced size B27R target. All shooting was done from 10 yards and 25 yards. I started at the 10 yard line as I usually do and tried for the smallest group I could manage without slow firing. I noticed right away that recoil was actually pleasant. Just enough to let you know you were shooting a major caliber. Getting back on target was very fast with this gun in no small measure to the excellent sights that Kimber uses as well as the reduced amount of recoil compared to the larger calibers. This is the first target after 50 rounds at ten yards. Firing and reloading stopping only to reload the mags.
I don’t shoot slow at all from ten yards. I practice like I would if engaging a real target. As you can see this little gun is an excellent natural pointer as most 19111′s are. These first 50 rounds were all ball ammo from winchester in the white box Wal Mart variety. Next I loaded up the mags mixing Federal 9BP’s with Cor Bon 125 Grain +P’s, Speer Gold Dots and some older plain hollowpoints. Everything feed to perfection with all mags no matter how I mixed up the ammo. I fired a total of 200 rounds with no malfunctions. Next I backed up to 25 yards and did some slow fire. I fired 20 rounds from this distance at the head. All rounds were fired standing without a rest. This is the target.
Practically speaking you wouldn’t be making head shots at 25 yards but for the sake of testing accuracy it works. I was really impressed with the results. I had two flyers with one a little high and the other a little low left as you can see from the picture. Eleven rounds of the twenty went into the center hole. This is a better result than normal for most 1911′s I shoot at that range regardless of caliber. It just proves if you do your job this little gun will shoot up to a high standard. It is fitted with a match barrel and trigger. I loaned out my trigger pull gauge so I can’t tell you the exact trigger pull but it is crisp with little takeup. Since the first time through with the excellent results at the ten yard line I loaded up one mag to capacity and moved back to the ten yard line intending to fire the entire mag as fast as possible. All ten rounds went into the same large hole from the first time through. This really got my attention. To say I was surprised would be an understatement!
I’ve shot my Springfield Champion a lot but I have never equaled this accuracy at 25 yards with it. Whether it’s the quality construction of the gun or the 9MM round from a 1911 platform is something to be answered by additional evaluation. One thing I’m sure of is this is a very good carry combination that deserves your consideration.
I’m up to 550 rounds on the Kimber this week with only one problem which has nothing to do with the gun. I felt like I should pass this along so you won’t have the same problem. I was cleaning the Pro Carry and ran out of Wilson gun grease. I made a WalMart run and picked up some “Shooters Choice” all weather high tech gun grease and applied it like I would the Wilson grease. When I went to the range I immediately had malfunction after malfunction of every type you can imagine. I was using the same ammo as before and the same mags. Nothing had changed except I used that shooters choice grease.
I tore the gun down and wiped it down removing the grease. I got it pretty dry then just lubed the gun as usual with Militec only. After that there were no more problems of any kind. The problem was obviously the grease. The question now is why? There are two reasons I can think of. The recoil impulse for a 9mm in this gun is not sufficient to overcome the extra drag from the grease. The second would be the grease formulation is just to thick to work well with any gun. No matter—I would stay away from this brand of gun grease period!
At somewhere just over 550 rounds the gun started failing to eject empties. The empty brass would stay in the barrel as well as jamming of various types. I was not a happy camper! I realize this can happen to the best of guns but it is very aggravating especially when you buy a gun that’s pretty expensive. I knew it was not a magazine issue since the Kimber mags and the Metalform mags are some of the best mags available and showed no signs of defects. I contacted Kimber and got an employee who was less than helpful. It’s probably the same person I have heard of on the forums as being a real—well you fill in the blanks:-) After a day or two I called back and talked with another person who was very helpful and an all around nice guy. I asked for a new extractor since I had determined that was the problem. I explained the extractor hook appeared to be partially broken off. They didn’t have any extractors in stock but he offered to pull one from the assembly area after I explained this was my carry gun. This is exactly what he did and I received the new extractor in four days which I thought was very good. The service from this employee was excellent. All he asked was that I send the old extractor back so they could examine it.
When I received the new extractor I got right to work and replaced it. It did need some minor tuning but very very little. I hand cycled the gun until it was tossing out every round. This is only an indicator so you have to go to the range and fire a 100 rounds or so to make sure you have it right. I did take the Kimber to the range this morning and fired 100 rounds and the gun functioned flawlessly. The rounds ejected better than when it was new and put the empties directly to my right about 5 feet in a circle about 4 feet around. I also tried several other brands of ammo other than ball ammo. I used some Cor-Bon as well as Remington and Federal JHP’s. They all functioned without any problem. Problem solved! I really love this gun for several reasons I’ve mentioned before. The more I shoot it the more I enjoy it. The cost of 9MM is almost half that of 45acp and as I’ve said with Winchester Ranger “T” 127 grn +P+ it’s very effective. Of course Speer Gold Dots are also fine rounds to use. To sum things up it was an unexpected malfunction but it happens and was taken care of in a timely manner by Kimber and I’m happy with this gun!
One other item you might be interested in is the Tactical Pro. This is the same gun as the Pro Carry II but has extra features. Most apparent is the gray frame. It also has an ambidextrous safety, night sights, 30 LPI checkering on the front strap, a magwell and a different trigger. The increase in cost is on average $250 more than the Pro Carry II.
As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Blogged with Flock
April 11, 2007
This is my basic model Kimber custom II. The basic Kimber has all the needed accessories anyone should need in a working self defense gun. Even being a basic model it has a match barrel, trigger, beavertail grip safety and a lowered and flared ejection port. The trigger on all the Kimbers I’ve owned or fired have been very consistant and normally break at approximately 4 pounds. The only problem I can see is after 100 or so presentations from a standard holster I started noticing wear on the finish. The areas showing wear were around the front of the barrel, the thumb safety and front of the trigger guard. To be fair you expect to see some wear at the muzzle after awhile but I have never had a 1911 show this much wear this soon. Oh well maybe it gives it a well used rustic look:-) Seriously though I may use my recent experience with refinishing my RIA Tactical with DuraCoat and do the same with the Kimber. DuraCoat is one tough finish!
Couple this 1911 with a Milt Sparks Heritage IWB holster and you have a fine combination for daily carry.
December 8, 2006
I used to have a Kimber Eclipse when they first came out. As usual I decided I had to have something else and traded it. I regretted it ever since. The other day I was checking the local gun shops and spied this slightly used Eclipse in the case. After the usual haggling over price I gave in and bought this one. It’s as accurate as the first one was and has the internal extractor which I prefer over the recent trend of putting the extractor on the exterior of the slide. This time I think I’ll keep it:-)
The two tone finish is very classy as well as very functional. When you present the gun all you see is matte black. None of the silver finish is visible. The black part of the finish is also very durable. I’m not sure what they use but it does holdup very, very well. The Kimber sights are also extremely useable. They provide a very clear sight picture with just enough daylight on either side of the front sight to pick the target up pretty fast. They are also perfect in height. They use lateral serrations on both front and rear sights which cuts down on glare.
As with all Kimbers they are as accurate as most any factory guns. My Kimbers still don’t beat my Rock Island Armory in the accuracy department. In short Kimber makes a fine 1911 and I can certainly recommend them to anyone looking for quality and a beautifully made 1911.