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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/29/2005 4:57:59 PM EDT
I was shooting my Kimbers (which I love) today. A guy was there with some Colts, which I've owned and did't love, but liked. He went on and on about how Kimber uses too many MIM parts. I know that they use some, but they are parts with low stress like the grip and thumb safeties. Does it matter? I like Kimber. I hear some people bitch about them but my Custom Classic does way more than I ever could.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 5:28:18 PM EDT
The truth is that the MIM process, in theory is just fine. The problem is that many of the MIM parts on the market today have quality issues that are not necessarily due to the MIM process itself.

In other words, a knowledgeable manufacturer with high quality standards should produce a perfectly usable MIM part. A discount manufacturer will produce a discount grade MIM part. Since MIM and discount so often go hand in hand, the entire process gets tainted rather than the true cause.

A manufacturer builds a 1911 knowing full well that his product is just as likely to be shot very little or customized immediately as it is to be shot like any other type of handgun. The problem becomes how many high end parts you can afford to build into the price of the gun for the intended selling price. Too many high end parts and the gun becomes too costly for your intended market, too few and your perceived quality will go to hell.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about MIM parts except for two, the slidestop and the mag catch. These are the two I see breaking too often to be acceptable. If the gun you have or really want happens to have these as MIM parts, no biggie. Half the fun of a 1911 is buying aftermarket parts.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 5:54:14 PM EDT
Any part under high stress should not be MIM. However there is nothing wrong with MIM per se, it helps keep the cost of the gun down and can produce very consistant parts at a low cost, with minimal finish work. Certain companies went a bit too far tho as far as I am concerned, and put MIM in places where it should not have been. Even Colt went to MIM for the extractor, started having complaints, and changed back. I have broken an extractor, slide stop, and FP stop that were MIM, those are 3 places that suck for MIM, and hammers and such are not any better AFAIAC. Flaws tend to be internal and not seen til they break.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 5:58:46 PM EDT
Ive seen non-MIM parts break. I really dont worry about it.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 6:41:19 PM EDT
Yes. When you examine enough 1911s and look closely at the parts, you can easily determine that there is a big difference. Not with MIM in general, but with MIM as performed and used in 1911s. Don't believe me? talk to your favorite gunsmith. Ask him abou Kimber extractors, for example. There is a reason there are so many issues.

damian@adcofirearms.com
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 7:57:24 PM EDT
Maybe you can caulk this one up to the I can fix anything, but after buying my nice new Ambi-safety and fitting it, I had a problem with the guns function. As I was removing the safety I heard this little noise and then I now am the proud owner of a three piece Ambi-safety. I have seen the use of this style of metal in cars and don't generally like it, cause it fails to often. I have disscused this issue with Hobbs and am now informed that there are some non MIM manufactures out there.

So my answer is Replace all MIM parts!

NOW QUICKLY BEFORE YOUR GUN EXPLODES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry just my paranoia.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 8:18:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Ive seen non-MIM parts break. I really dont worry about it.




+1 but I did replace the slide stop because I'm paranoid
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 8:23:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By reinhardt:
He went on and on about how Kimber uses too many MIM parts. I know that they use some, but they are parts with low stress like the grip and thumb safeties.



...and the hammer, sear, disconnector, mag catch, slide stop, etc. I think the MIM parts in a Kimber outnumber the non-MIM parts.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 8:32:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/29/2005 8:33:55 PM EDT by wildearp]
I have one of the first Kimbers on the market. I have shot it quite extensively. I regularly have to sweep up the MIM particles and re-press them back into the gun in a high pressure oven.

NOT. I haven't broken a single part. I have two Kimbers.

I did break an extractor on a Springfield Armory 1911. Some parts just break.

I am also quite happy that I dumped both my Colts. I could just barely hit a barn with them......as long as I was inside the barn when I threw them.

The gun store commandos will tell you the Kimbers are junk and the parts break all the time. One would think such a gun dealer as unscrupulous, particularly if they were selling Kimbers.

Last week a local gun plumber was excessively ragging on Kimbers. Quite an expert, he was, because he told me so. He had several new Kimbers on his display for sale. One would have to wonder.........gun plumber selling junk. How good a plumber could he be?
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 8:41:03 PM EDT
So who doesn't make their 1911s with MIM parts, and what aftermarket parts are MIM?
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 8:45:29 PM EDT
Tag.
Link Posted: 7/29/2005 9:07:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By spork:
So who doesn't make their 1911s with MIM parts, and what aftermarket parts are MIM?



Dude, you need to search. Not just here, but at 1911forum.com, as well.

damian@adcofirearms.com
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 7:32:58 AM EDT
I've shot 1911 pistols extensivly for over a decade. I've put well over 100,000 rounds downrange in that timeframe, using pistols from Kimber, Colt, Para-Ordnance, Springfield, Les Baer, Nighthawk (just shot it ;) ). My parts breakage up until today, have been only NON MIM parts. Today was my first MIM breakage, where the nose of the slide stop broke. The gun still functioned fine, it just wouldn't lock back on an empty mag.

I'm not really all that concerned about it, for production guns that are shot at the range. For my carry piece, and customized guns, I like good tool steel for the fire control parts, and function critical pieces.
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 10:53:39 AM EDT
I had an SA loaded a couple years ago.
After 150 rds the hammer broke in half.
I don't know what pissed me off more, the fact that it broke or the customer service guy
telling me I had to wait 2 months to get it back!

Link Posted: 7/30/2005 11:08:17 AM EDT
IIRC leatherman uses MIM to make the jaws of their pliers and they hold up ok.
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 11:13:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RSF45:
I had an SA loaded a couple years ago.
After 150 rds the hammer broke in half.
I don't know what pissed me off more, the fact that it broke or the customer service guy
telling me I had to wait 2 months to get it back!





wtf 2 months
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 6:35:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2005 6:35:35 PM EDT by RSF45]

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By RSF45:
I had an SA loaded a couple years ago.
After 150 rds the hammer broke in half.
I don't know what pissed me off more, the fact that it broke or the customer service guy
telling me I had to wait 2 months to get it back!





wtf 2 months



That's what I said. I had a gunsmith do the trigger and put a new hammer in.
There was no fucking way I was going to wait 2 months after spending that kind of $$$.
I wound up selling it about 6 months later, still bitter about it at the time.
I waited a couple years before I bought another 1911.
Now I have 2 Kimbers
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 10:59:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By spork:
So who doesn't make their 1911s with MIM parts, and what aftermarket parts are MIM?



general rule
under 1k MIM parts
over 2k NO MIM
between
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 2:34:18 AM EDT
I do wish that people would educate themselves when it comes to this issue.

MIM parts are not inherently weak or problematic. When formed properly they are just as strong as their tool steel counterparts. The issue comes when a MIM part is formed improperly, and an air pocket is trapped within the part. Even then the air pocket has to be in a location that is put under stress when the part is in use. When they do fail it is more often early in the life of the part when the flaw gives out and the part breaks. Generally, obviously not always, if they last through the first 1000 rounds they will have no problems over the life of the part/gun.

The process has improved a hundred times over since Kimber started using MIM parts almost 10 years ago. The occurance of parts breakage due to flawed MIM parts has decreased dramatically during that time.

With all of that said, yes I would prefer to have a pistol with all tool steel parts. For most people that is cost-prohibitive. Both of my carry guns are Kimbers, and both still have the majority of their original MIM parts. I don't feel under-protected with either one.
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