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Posted: 10/18/2004 5:52:26 AM EST

Last weekend my friend and I went out to the range to kill a few targets.

He brought out his new Kimber 45. auto pistol. (I think it was a "compact carry")

He put three or four magazines through it, and it had a malfunction everytime. (at least one malfunction with every magazine)

He said it just needed a "break in period". And that some guns need a "break in period".

I said, bullshit, it should be shooting and functioning fine right out of the box. (none of my sigs ever needed a "break in period")

He still insists it just needs a couple hundred rounds though it and it may be ok.

I say he should send it back to the factory to find out what the problem is.

What do you guys think?

Any Kimber people here who know about this brand?

I have always thought that Kimber was one of the best (if not the best) out of the box .45 autos on the market. (wanted one myself at one time)

I am not Kimber bashing by the way, I have always respected this brand. I was quite shocked when this happened.

Do I need to point out that a self defence weapon that malfunctions may cost you your life?


Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:09:14 AM EST
Mine's been flawless.

What ammo was he shooting?

Did he clean *and lube* the gun before firing?

Is he using the stock Kimber magazines?
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:12:57 AM EST
What is the malfunction? Stove pipe, FTE, FTF ? More info please..
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:14:28 AM EST
My Kimber fires flawlessly. I don't think I have ever had a malfunction. I would say that (if he is using factory mags and good ammo), that there is a problem with the gun and I would send it back. This is very unusual for a Kimber from my experiences.

Just my $.02!
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:20:46 AM EST
My Kimber has had problems with the empty shell riding over the ejector evey once in a while. I have had the extractor tension checked and it is where is should be. I just havnt gotten around to sending it back yet.

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:24:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
What is the malfunction? Stove pipe, FTE, FTF ? More info please..



It was a failure to feed from what I could see.

The round was sitting there by the ramp but not going in.

I was surprised that this kept happening.



Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:32:29 AM EST
Many kimbers do need a break in period.

Mine's been pretty good out of the box as long as I don't shoot light loads or non jacketed bullets.

Shawn
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:35:31 AM EST

I should also point out that he was shooting hollow points.


Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:43:14 AM EST
I would bet your "Limp Wristing" it.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:49:31 AM EST
I suggest trying a high quality mag in it such as a Wilson 47D or a Chip McCormick Power Mag. I would guess 90% or more of feeding problems with 1911's pistols are a result of crappy mags. It seems I recall the factory Kimber mags not being too well thought of.

Also, perhaps it could be a limp wristing issue. Check his shooting form and see if he could be grimping the weapon too loosely.

And if this happens to be one of those subcompact franken 1911's with a 3" barrel, tell him to trade it on a real 1911 with a 5" barrel. They tend ti run much smoother and with far fewer hiccups.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:53:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:56:51 AM EST
It's defective. Send it to me for proper disposal.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:59:03 AM EST

I wasn't shooting it, my friend was, but I assure you that he is very experienced with shooting pistols.

He owns and has owned more pistols than god.

The new walther 9mm shot perfectly.

No grip problems, he was gripping correctly.

The mags were the ones that came with it.


Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:59:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 7:01:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 7:03:59 AM EST
Hollow points can cause this issue, so can bad magazines or a tight chamber. Is your friend sure he's not limp wristing it? The slide isn't locking back, is it?

You friend may need to radius that sharp corner where the feed ramp transitions to the chamber, that can cause rounds to hang up. I'm not talking about that ledge between the feed ramp on the frame and the one on the barrel. He could also polish his feed ramp and chamber. Use a small round jewelers file to round the angle at the chamber (go slow), and a dremmel and some #6 rouge for the polishing so you don't hog off a bunch of metal.

If he's not comfortable doing any of this himself, have him run a couple hundred rounds through the gun and if that doesn't cure it, send it back.

Remember, Kimbers are a mass produced gun. It's not like a Wilson or Les Baer. Even full house custom guns can arrive with problems.

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 7:59:31 AM EST
i have a TLE/RL II and when i first out a couple hundred rounds through it i had two malfunctions a FTF and FTE. thats been it. I also had a Custom II that did the same thing when i first got it. I follow the whole "put 500 through it before you start whining"
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 8:10:18 AM EST
I don't buy this whole "breakin period" on new guns. A gun should fire flawlessly straight out of the box or else something is wrong. Every manufacturer, even the best have a couple defective guns every once in awhile.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 8:17:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimless:
Tell him to get a Glock



[zen]Do I need to point out that a self defence weapon that malfunctions may cost you your life?
[zen]

Those two statements do not go together.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 12:27:56 PM EST
See page 26 (Break-In)
Kimber Manual
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:44:18 PM EST
My kimber has a lot of problems. Stovepipes, failure to eject, slide failing to lock back. it's now a safe queen, I don't have the time to baby it right now. I put approx 200 rounds through it, and used various mags, including factory, wilson, mccormick, with severel types of ammo.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:47:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:49:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By HomerSimpson:
See page 26 (Break-In)
Kimber Manual



+1 I could have sworn that I read in my manual that it takes at least 200-300 rounds for the slide and feed ramp to be properly broken in. Reading helps folks!
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:50:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By HomerSimpson:
See page 26 (Break-In)
Kimber Manual



Ya beat me to it.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:51:17 PM EST
The stock mags kinda suck. Especially since the split metal follower can damage the feedramp on aluminum guns.


I only use Wilson 47D's.


An occasional glitch during breakin I will accept, since these are a fairly tight gun for accuracy.

Your friends sounds very unusual.

As you can see, I have a few Kimbers now and they all work great, none have gone back.

My CCW gun is the Pro CDP II, 4" barrel & full sized handgrip

Pro CDP II ....................... Custom TLE/RL II ....................... Tactical Custom II ....................... Custom Classic Stainless



Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:56:14 PM EST
Yeah I have the same problem with my Team match II. Every last round in the magazine will hang up. And the only magazines I do use are the wilson combat 47's, they all hang up even when im using standard 230gr winchester ball. I wanted to send this back to kimber but I was pcs'd overseas before I could get a chance. hinking.gif

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 4:19:19 PM EST
I bought a Kimber Pro Eclipse a couple of years ago that is now facing similar problems. Out of the box, factory mag- shot fine. 500+ rounds break-in with no problems whatsoever. Couple months ago I started getting stovepipes on occasion, and they steadily increased over time. Figured it was a weak spring in the factory mag, so I bought a couple of Chip McCormick "blued" shooting star mags at the last gunshow I went to. Tried them out for the first time last month- first round, bang, stovepipe... Rack the slide bang, bang, bang, etc... For some reason the second round, and only the second round in the new mags stovepipes every time. Tried one of my friend's Colt 10 round mags, approx. 4-5 rounds stovepiped every time. Tried a couple Colt 8 rounders, no problems whatsoever. Tried some of his Chip McCormick stainless mags, no problems. Tried a Wilson Combat, stovepipe once in a while... What the problem is, I have no idea. But it really pisses me off that my $400 xd goes bang every time I pull the trigger, yet my $900 Eclipse is as finicky as it was expensive.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 4:54:36 PM EST

I just want to say a big thanks to all who posted to this topic.

It has been very enlightening to me.

I will forward a link for this thread to my friend and let him make up his own mind.

For myself, I think I shall stick to sigs and other weapons that go bang right out of the box.

I have a 1911 which I just love that has been pretty dependable. But recently the slide stop began to refrain from holding the slide open after the last stop. The slide stop needs to be replaced, and I will do that. And I'll keep it because I like it. But I would carry other pieces.

I'm not a 1911 hater or anything. But it is an old design and (IMHO) maybe it has been eclipsed by other more modern designs which have built on it's heritage.


Anyway, thanks again,



Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:39:01 PM EST
I had the same problem with a Stainless Pro-Carry that I bought from a buddy. He told me when I bought it that every once in a while it would not feed the last round in the mag, but not to worry since it didn't happen that much.

Well, when I brought it home and started shooting it I found that he slightly understated the problem! It would almost never feed the last round, and many times would fail to feed ANY rounds. Symptom was that the round would hang badly on or under the extractor, and would jam well below the chamber. Type of bullet didn't matter since the bullet never made it up the ramped part of the barrel.

Being a mechanic by training I started to troubleshoot this as best as I could. To make a VERY long story short, here's what I found..... (bear with me, it's a bit tricky to describe).

If you have the slide off of the frame, and the extractor is removed from the slide, try sliding an empty case up the face of the breech. In normal operation the round slides up under the extractor, so try doing this with an empty. What I found was that the portion of the slide that is just beneath the extractor opening was too tight in dimension for the case to pass easily through. In other words, the round never got the chance to pass up under the extractor because there was insufficient width for the case to make it up as far as the extractor. I'm not talking about the face of the breech itself, but rather the metal apron that is just below the round hole the extractor protrudes through.

Again, best way to verify this on your gun is to remove the extractor and attempt to slide a case up the breech face the way it would do in mormal feeding.

I found this dimension was so close to correct that it took only one or two passes with a flat file to open it up enough to feed perfectly.

Since this fix I'll bet I've had 1000 rounds without any malfs. Now she feeds anything, from any mag. I own 3 other Kimbers and none of them are picky eaters.

If you need more info gimme a shout. I'd post a picture but my sister just had a baby on friday and she's got the digi-cam! Sorry, but the baby comes first, he's a cutie!

Hope this helps!

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:51:10 PM EST
It is very common for a 1911 to need a break in, they say average is about 200 rounds. My Kimber has 5,000+ rounds thru it without a single malfunction of any kind, but frankly...I was lucky.

There are many potential causes for malfunctions, bad ammo, bad magazines, limp wristing, and sometimes a new pistol just needs to be broken in good, they are tight, and of course they need proper lubrication also, he did clean and lube it good before taking it to the range?

Link Posted: 10/19/2004 3:07:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By ZEN:
I just want to say a big thanks to all who posted to this topic.

It has been very enlightening to me.

I will forward a link for this thread to my friend and let him make up his own mind.

For myself, I think I shall stick to sigs and other weapons that go bang right out of the box.

I have a 1911 which I just love that has been pretty dependable. But recently the slide stop began to refrain from holding the slide open after the last stop. The slide stop needs to be replaced, and I will do that. And I'll keep it because I like it. But I would carry other pieces.

I'm not a 1911 hater or anything. But it is an old design and (IMHO) maybe it has been eclipsed by other more modern designs which have built on it's heritage.

Anyway, thanks again,

Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"


+1
why in the hell should a $700 gun (mine) require a break-in period? After my experience, I'm sticking to glocks and sigs
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 3:11:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
The stock mags kinda suck. Especially since the split metal follower can damage the feedramp on aluminum guns.


I only use Wilson 47D's.




+1 I think those wilson mags may be one of the finest magazines I've ever held.
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 3:18:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 7:32:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
why in the hell should a $700 gun (mine) require a break-in period?

simple.

because they are built with next to zero clearances between the moving parts.

some of these 1911 that guys go buy...especially those high zoot, feature lade, impress your buddies specials in the $1000-3000 range...are hand fitted to .0005"!

you can lower, port and polish, ramp and relieve, throat and french, chamfer and radius ALL YOU WANT, if the gun is tight, there is little room for error in alignment.

my most reliable 1911's are cheap ones with high round counts.




That is a very interesting (and good) point Campybob.

I was thinking yesteday, that the origional .45 autos could not be like this. They could not have all of these silly problems. And that probably the problem with Kimber is that they are making guns with close tolerances.

The old .45 was a loosy goosey gun, but it worked. The didn't have the accuracy of modern Kimbers for sure, but I bet they always went bang when they were supposed to.

The 45 I have is a combat piece, but it has no close tolerances. It works though.

What brand would a guy buy that is loose so it functions, yet high quality?

In my mind a pistol doesn't need to have match accuracy. They are nothing more than a long bayonet anyway. Made for shooting people at very close range. (that doesn't mean by the way that I can't be very accurate with one)


Zen

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine"
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