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Posted: 1/1/2003 9:56:21 PM EDT
Post your opinions and experiences with Kimber and Springfield armory 1911 handguns. Which one do you feel is better and why.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:06:55 PM EDT
BTT I'd be interested to hear this as well.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:35:47 PM EDT
They are both good but here is my story.

Not too long ago I compared the Springfield Trophy Match (blued) to the Kimber Gold Match (I believe thats what its called).

It used to be that the Kimbers had a better finish and fit but in this case the Springfield was much nicer.

The Springfield and Kimber both had adjustable target sights. The Springfields looked like original BoMar's and the Kimbers were their own. I liked the Springfields sights better.

They both had the usual bell and whistles, such as: Bevertail grip safety, Lightweight match trigger, full length guide rod.

The fit of the two was about the same but as I stated above the bluing on the Springfield was so much better. I think Springfield is only offering the Trophy Match in stainless now though (a recent change on their part).

The Springfield was also about $75 less.

Oddly, I went out today to see about putting that one on law-away but the stores were all closed (being that its new years day). Plus, I need to see what I need to get the new California handgun safety card.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 12:53:55 AM EDT
I have two Kimbers, an all steel pro carry and a custom eclipse.  Both have been great guns.  The Springfields just don't fit my hand right, they seem a bit clubby to me.  This topic has been pretty much beaten to death on this and other boards.  Comes down to getting what feels and shoots better to you.  I like the Kimbers better but I know people who love their Springfields.  Springfield is supposed to have excellent customer service.  Try them both out and go with what you like.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 2:55:36 AM EDT
Both are quality firearms. You won't regret purchasing either.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 10:22:54 AM EDT
What I have to say about Kimber can be summed up by this question and answer.

Q: What is the diffrence between Kimber and a bucket of sh*t?

A: The bucket.

Bottom line, the guns have cheap parts, a questionable "safety" system and bad to no customer service.

I don't own a Springfield, so I have no opinion on those.

Link Posted: 1/2/2003 12:28:36 PM EDT
I have the Kimber Target II. I have had ZERO problems with it. Of my friends/family, we have a total of 6 Kimbers and nary a hiccup yet.

I have heard good & bad things about the Springfields, but I tend to rely on first-hand experience.

I wouldn't buy any 1911 other than a Kimber.


BTW, they are all extermely accurate.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 12:54:55 PM EDT
I have a Springfield Compact and a Kimber Ultra Carry I.

Kimber has not skipped a beat since new.

Springfield Compact is now back in Geneseo, IL, for a checkup.  FTE's on every round.

I have to say, though, that my Springfield is a prettier gun (yea, I know they're both 1911's but parents can tell twins apart right?)

I'm disappointed in my Springfield, but some lucky folks have had no problems with theirs.  www.1911forum.com is a good place to gauge this sort of thing.

On the other hand, my Beretta 92FS has had about 5,000 rounds down the barrel with nary a hiccup.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 1:05:42 PM EDT

What I have to say about Kimber can be summed up by this question and answer.

Q: What is the diffrence between Kimber and a bucket of sh*t?

A: The bucket.

Bottom line, the guns have cheap parts, a questionable "safety" system and bad to no customer service.

I don't own a Springfield, so I have no opinion on those.

I wonder how much of this statement is from first-hand experience?

I have shot over 500 rounds through a rented Kimber Custom range-owned rental gun.  This gun is dirty, almost never cleaned, severely abused, has at least 15,000 rounds through it, not lubricated, and still has never hiccup'd once on me, or the many people I know who've also shot it.  This inspires in me a great deal of confidence with Kimber Custom guns.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 2:07:23 PM EDT
The Kimber Custom Carry is now the official gun of the LAPD SWAT team which I think says something. I'm looking at getting one. A few weeks ago there was a thread on here about a guy's Springfield Armory 1911 slide snapping  off from the dust cover forward. I don't think SA forges their slides which I see as a drawback if that true. PLease correct me if I'm wrong but the pictures of this gun certainly looked like the slide was not forged.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 4:13:29 PM EDT

What I have to say about Kimber can be summed up by this question and answer.

Q: What is the diffrence between Kimber and a bucket of sh*t?

A: The bucket.

Bottom line, the guns have cheap parts, a questionable "safety" system and bad to no customer service.

I don't own a Springfield, so I have no opinion on those.

Please explain.  Also, is this a first hand account?  I'm curious because some LE Agencies, and the US shooting team have different opinions along with myself and many others.  If you dont mind, I would like to know how you developed the opinion you did about Kimber's products.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 10:46:45 PM EDT
I thought i'd add that I already own a Springfield and haven't had any problems with it.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. BTW I *believe* Springfield has said in the past that the slides and frames are both forged. I know the forgings come from IMBEL.

I saw the pictures of the gun in question and it did seem a bit strange.

Also, wasn't it stainless? I remember hearing about bad batches of slides which were recalled. Improper heat treating or something.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 11:05:44 PM EDT
I own a Springfield & will never sell it. I also won't recommend them because of the soul of any gun: accuracy.

SA is the ONLY mfgr that uses a two-piece barrel, all others use a one-piece. To illustrate how this works, Brownells sells SA factory barrels for $65 or so. Good barrels from Wilson, Nowlin, etc. will run $150 & up.

After I had a Wilson barrel put in my SA it shoots like a dream.

OTOH, a Kimber will put a lot of bells & whistles on a gun that you may not need nor want, yet you still have to pay for them. SA allows you to buy a basic 1911 & build on it as you see fit.

My .o2
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 6:24:16 AM EDT
I have a Classic Custom Stainless 5" Series I that I have put about 1000 rounds through over the last year.  The gun is reasonably accurate and has the "normal" finicky-ness of a 1911 ( it doesn't like wolf or UMC ball ammo ).

While the gun has a decent fit and finish, my sig 229 and the range sig 220 have a better overall fit and finish, are more accurate, and have an overall higher quality of parts. They cost about $100 less than the Kimber.  Comparing the sig 229 with the Kimber, you will see they both use mim parts, rolled pins and have machined slides and frames.  But you don't see hokey plastic parts and goofball safety mechanisms like the series II safety.  The fit, even with 357 sig on a mid-sized aluminum frame, is still as tight as ever after 1000 rounds.  The accuracy of the sig has not degraded at all over the past 1000 rounds even with a high power cartridge as the 357 sig.

Bottom line, the 1911 did not hold up as well as the sig, did not have the same fit and finish as the sig and is not as accurate as either the 220 I shot ( off the bench on the same day with the same ammo ) or the 229.  All this for $100 more before I replaced the B.S. rubber grips.

While I consider the Kimber a decent performer, I do not consider it being worth anything near what its price.

Your opinion may vary, but I stick by what I have said.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 6:42:03 AM EDT
I had a SA Hi-Cap that was unimpressive to say the least. It's history, both the Kimbers are still here. That speaks volumes...
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 6:43:56 AM EDT

First you say the Kimber is sh*t.  Literally.

Then you compare the 1911 to two non-1911 guns.

Then, you say:

the gun has a decent fit and finish


I consider the Kimber a decent performer

How is "sh*t" a decent performer?  I would never think "sh*t" would perform decently.

I do not consider it being worth anything near what its price.

Oh.... so if a gun has a decent fit and finish, and is a decent performer.... but is overpriced, then that constitutes "sh*t" ???

And all this was decided by one pistol?
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 7:11:51 AM EDT
We sell a lot of both, about equal numbers of each. I like them both, and they each have their followers. But as far as quality goes, since I have been selling them, we have only sent one Kimber back, and several Springfields back, including a couple of TRP's.

I prefer Kimber, our gunsmith prefers SA.

This argument goes back and forth, just like the Bushmaster/ArmaLite one.

Just choose one and get proficent with it, chances are you will be pleased with your choice.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 8:34:34 AM EDT
I have owned 2 series 1 Kimbers, a compact stainless and a Custom LE. Both were very attractive guns, with seemingly good fit and finish,and with very good factory triggers.

The proof is in the shooting, however, and they were both lacking out of the box. The compact simply needed a new extractor, and 1 of the 2 factory supplied mags was junk. A Wilson Bullet proof extractor, plus Wilson mags, have so far improved reliability to %100, and this gun is now my carry piece. I also replaced the plastic MS housing with an Ed Brown part.

The full size Kimber proved more problematic. Same junk extractor. It also proved unreliable with my cast reloads-loads which run thrugh my other 1911s smooth as silk. It was OK if you shot factory ball ammo. The slide stop was also junk. I didn't bother replacing it, as I sold the gun on consignment. I think Kimber is better at marketing than building 1911s.

Anyhow, with the cash in my hot little hands from the LE, I bought an OD green Loaded SA. So far, it has been a great gun, no complaints. Just as accurate as the Kimber LE (when the LE wasn't choking), and a hell of a lot more reliable. I don't like Springfield's new MS housing integral lock, and will replace it with a standard steel arched mainspring at some point.

So based on my experience, I'd pick a Springfield over a Kimber. YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 8:52:40 AM EDT
I never liked the Springfields, foreign made frames and the edges were always sharp as razors out of the box.  I see alot of people throwing out model numbers here, but its important to compare apples to apples.  You shouldn't compare a TRP to a base Kimber, or a Pro Carry to a base Springfield.  Although personally, I think that the base Kimber is a better gun than the top of the line Springfield.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 10:38:52 AM EDT
Kimber makes a decent gun for the money.  However, after you factor in the cost of replacing the metal-injection-molded lockworks with parts that you are willing to bet your life on, the cost rises somewhat!  Also, the new "safety" that can break and render the gun useless needs to be removed, that also adds a few bucks to the cost.  Still, the slide, frame, barrel, grip safety and mainspring housing are very nice!  Of course, mine is one of the all-steel ones.

Don't own a Springfield.  Once upon a time, they were the prefered platform for 1911 'smiths.  Back when Colt got too pricey.  Now I think Caspian makes most of the gunsmith frames & slides.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 12:35:47 PM EDT


Oh.... so if a gun has a decent fit and finish, and is a decent performer.... but is overpriced, then that constitutes "sh*t" ???

And all this was decided by one pistol?

Decent to me is 3-4" at 15 yards and an occasional jam on ammo.  Decent is a finish that at least provides some protection and is moderately durable.  

That is what I got with my Kimber.  

I have guns that are cheaper that perform better ( 1-2" at 15 yards ) and cost less with better finish ( has held up better over a longer ownership and use period ) and are more reliable( no jams in as many rounds with twice the variety of ammo ).  

The fact that the gun cost more and is all around a worse gun than my sig makes the Kimber sh*t.  

If my sig is $600 and this is a benchmark, then the Kimber should be going for $400 - 500 instead of $700-800 based on its performance.  The fact the parts are not near as good ( plastic main spring housing, rough finish on the sear, hammer strut, disconnector ) makes this gun sh*t.  

I doubt I am alone.  Based on feedback on several boards ( 1911forum, glocktalk, sigforum ), there are others who feel the same way.  

Sh*t is performance out of line with the price.  You want to call this something else, fine, but this is what I call it.

Yes this is based on one gun. There is no way that I could personally own and shoot enough Kimbers to make a representative assesment, to have an unshakable case.  Nor could anyone.  I would love to meet the man who could own 10% of the Kimbers out there and shoot at least 1000 rounds of 3 different types of ball ammo and a couple of different hollow points through each one.  Statistically speaking, this would be enough to be "iron clad".  

Besides, what does that say about Kimber?  If I have to buy three of them to get a good sample, isn't one enough?  If it is not, then the gun is sh*t.  If I can just use the one I bought, then you know what I think.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 3:14:42 PM EDT
On the whole, I think they are both pretty good guns.  I've got a number of friends with Kimbers and they have nothing but praise.  I haven't personally known anyone with problems, but as with anything manmade, I'm sure there are lemons.

I just bought a Springfield Loaded Parkerized model.  Same bells and whistles as a Kimber, but it was a little less expensive, the parkerized finish is more durable and corrosion resistant than the Kimber blue (plus it serves as a great base to the gunkote finish I'm going to apply), and it came with Novak night sights.

I cleaned it and my first 5 rounds just to sight it in were in a single hole at 7 yds.  Admittedly, that is not a great distance but it stayed within 2" at my range's max distance of 15 yds.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 4:09:21 PM EDT
The Brazilian parts that Springfield does or did use are good parts. Imbel makes FN licensed FALs are as good as any Belgian FAL. I would have no problem reliing on them as much as any high quality US made part.

Link Posted: 1/3/2003 4:29:02 PM EDT
Bushmaster !

....Opps !

I've had both.

Both are very nice.
Either may need some minor tuning ( extractor, polish, throat, etc..) to run 100%
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 5:55:56 PM EDT
I own a Springfield and like it.

Back when I bought mine Kimber was having some small problems that have since gone away.

The Springfield felt better in my hands - the grips and trigger (which have been replaced since!) fit me better. I own a couple of Springfield rifles (M1A, M1 Garand, M1903) and yes, I know the company is the same in name only and wanted to complete the set.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I would bet that between equal models there's very little difference - less then the anyone but the best shooter is going to notice the difference.

I would buy a Kimber (or another Springfield) in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 7:45:30 PM EDT

I had a SA Hi-Cap that was unimpressive to say the least. It's history, both the Kimbers are still here. That speaks volumes...

Care to elaborate on what was so bad about it?

I just bought one, and it hasn't yet jammed on me. Accuracy has been great. The grips are a bit wider than a standard 1911, but not by much. I've grown accustomed to them more since I bought it.

Just curious as to what it was that was so bad about yours.

Link Posted: 1/4/2003 5:28:42 AM EDT
As had been pointed out this topic has been beat to death....several times, Anyway, I'll put my.02 in...I had a Springfield Mil-spec, bought new, nice looking gun, tight, it did have a one piece bbl, (the factory was in the process of changing over to one peice bbls when I bought mine) but it did have razor sharp edges on it, and I actually cut my thumb on the rear serrations, it feed all my reloads without a hiccup, but shot 8" low at 15 yds, I filed the front sight down and maganaged to get it to shoot much better, but it never was what I call accurate, I traded it for a Kimber custom classic(series 1) with adj rear sights, this is a much higher quality gun, no sharp edges, shoots very well,Much better trigger,no trouble feeding with my reloads, have'nt had to send it back for anything, The Mil-spec wasn't a bad gun it just wasn't what I really wanted, the Kimber is, as was pointed out go with what feels good in your hands, both Kimber and Springfield have had they're ups and downs in the quality field,But, I do think Kimber is the better of the two,  P.S. would also like to add that the grips on the Mil-spec kept cracking, and I went through 2 sets before I traded for the Kimber,Springfield replaced the grips each time, but it should've happened in the first place, in my opinion.....
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