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Posted: 1/30/2006 4:56:42 AM EDT
It seems that there are a bunch of people chiming in about bad MIM parts on various discussion boards. So, it has lead me to start to question the reliability of said manufacturing process. But, at the same time, it has caused me to think:

Are the people that are complaining simply the ones who have had problems and there are tens of thousands who haven't had any issues? I mean, there has got to be a study out there that provides stats for something like this. I would imagine the topic would be like any other out there (I have a friend who swears Toyotas are the worst made car in the industry, but millions of others say otherwise).

Also, what about MARSOC? I am a proud Kimber Warrior owner. The warrior is supposed to be based off the 1911 issued to the MARSOC operators. I can't imagine that Kimber tooling up special parts for these pistols and giving everyone else MIM. So, are the Marine Special Operations Capable units getting low quality MIM pistols that magazines fall out of and barrel bushings go flying across the range after 8 shots? Not to mention the members of LAPD SWAT who carry the Kimber TRL. These guns would also have this fatal flaw. Or, are these operators getting their components replaced by their unit armorors?

This all comes down to whether or not I want to spend $160 for piece of mind. My life no longer depends on the weapons I carry. They go to the range and back. However, I would be extremely pissed if something broke on my expensive pistol from this type of wear and tear. I haven't had the chance to get it to the range yet, as I have been busy with wedding plans, but I am just wondering if I need to head anything off at the pass. If the Marines and SWAT don't replace their parts, why should I worry about it?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:16:32 AM EDT
I don't worry about it.


I've got 5 kimbers, with varying numbers of rounds through them, and I haven't replaced a single part.


ANY manufacturing process can yield bad parts. MIM *may* be a bit more susceptible, but I think you'd find that failure pretty quick.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 12:56:51 PM EDT
Just a question. How is the slide to frame fit on your Warrior. I picked one up the other day with the intention of buying it until I saw how loose the slide was to the frame. I have a PRO CARRY SLE and there is virtually no slop in the slide.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 1:32:23 PM EDT
The fit is perfect on mine. Everything is very crisp. The only thing I don't really like about it is the kimpro finish. It seems like a thick baked-on paint rather than a durable parkerized finish.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:31:58 PM EDT
MARSOC DET-1 has a pistol similar to the Warrior, and yes, it has MIM parts. They put a lot of rounds through their guns, and premature or freak breaks were not seen. I know this firsthand as I got a tour of their armory about 8 months ago, and it was one of the first things I asked their armorer. He was a very knowledgeable 1911 guy, and he told me that his personal opinion is that MIM is not a problem at all. He is of the opinion that all small parts can break eventually, and that they were not experiencing any more parts breakage due to MIM parts.

You can't deny all of the people that have premature or freak parts breakages with MIM parts, aprticularly Kimber MIM (as opposed to MIM in a Springfield), but it's hard to put it into perspective. You have a point that perhaps there are a few very vocal people as opposed to thousands who have no problems, but who wouldn't be vocal if they had a bushing or mag release break on a gun after a few hundred rounds. I've never seen that happen with Springer and Colts, and I've seen a lot of broke 1911s.

My father in law, who is a metalurgical engineer for a very large aerospace firm with some very large military contracts, explains it like this. MIM is a cost cutting and labor saving manufacturing method. The process is not flawed, but if you use cheap powdered metal, you get a cheap, brittle end product. My guess is that Kimber is outsourcing their MIM parts and have gotten some pretty low qaulity part.

Between what I've seen in person on mine and other's guns, and what I've seen on the internet, parts on Kimbers that break more frequently than cast or barstock parts on other 1911s are hammers, ambi safeties, slide stops, mag releases, and barrel bushings. The last two are parts I've never even seen break on any other quality 1911 that was made in the last 20 years. For me, I hate having to be concerned about these parts, and it's worth replacing them, but in reality, the chances of actually having a breakage like this are very slim.
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