Kimber Sucks

I’m going to throw down some hate on a gun company favored by many.  Kimber.  They freaking suck.  Kimber is backlogged so deep, ordering anything from them is freaking useless.  The little Solo pistol they put out is virtually vaporware as we’ve had some on order since last summer and still haven’t seen any.  We could have sold a hundred of them if we had them.  The institutionalized corporate arrogance is astonishing.  Last year we ordered a simple 9mm 1911 at the beginning of the year.  It was a Christmas Present from a mother to her son and she knew Kimber was slow.  We had estimated dates from Kimber and it looked to be fine.  He didn’t get the gun till late January.

Kimber’s attitude is worse than their guns.
1400 dollar pistol and they put in plastic mainspring housings?  Really?  Come on.
We had some pistols that had waves inside the barrels.  Kimber’s response was flippant.  “Oh, that wont effect accuracy.”  The hell it doesn’t.
Brand new Tac Custom II’s… With Slide Release and Safety Levers that look like they went through a Rock Chipper.  They didn’t want to send us new parts so we just sent the guns back to them and we had to pay for the shipping.  Nice.  And to top it all off – they only include 1 magazine.  WTF?  How useless can these people be?  Come on.  But people put up with all that BS because Kimbers have one thing going for them… They are Pretty.  People will happily pay for arrogant, tacky, high maintenance shit if they are pretty.

Yes, I just compared Kimber to Paris Hilton. My apologies to Paris Hilton Fans.

What people are going for when they ask to look at a Kimber is a good quality 1911… If that is what you want – Get a SIG 1911.  Seriously.  In many cases, you will even pay less money for the SIG which is a much better built gun. Feature for feature you are about 200 bucks less for a better made SIG than for the similar gun made by Kimber.  And you are going to get a more accurate gun as well.  My SIG C3 spanked the hell out of my Kimber Tac Custom II and Custom II, and Warrior, and Raptor, and CDP Pro II.  Look, if you have a Kimber that you like, that’s fine.  Enjoy it and be happy.  If you are looking to buy a Kimber… Buy a SIG.  You will get a much better gun and it even comes with a spare magazine. How novel is that?

48 thoughts on “Kimber Sucks”

  1. True story. I was in my gun-shop of choice witha friend. He carries a Kimber Ultra. Shop had just gotten a shipent of then newATI 1911’s in various iterations including a couple of their sub-compact versions.
    Side by side comparision to the Kimber commenced. The exterior bits and pieces were pretty much the same; size was same; trigger pull was order of magnitude better on the ATI; price for the ATI was 399.00

  2. I hit a lot of shooting ranges all over the country.
    I pay special attention when others are shooting 1911s.
    The most problematic ones I see are the Kimbers.
    Now I know that people do have Kimbers that run, and run flawlessly.
    However I there have been So many times that a guy has spent his range time fighting with a Kimber instead of shooting while I have been there.
    Kimber isnt the only brand with issues.
    Caryns 1911 compact wouldnt run reliably until we stepped up on the recoil spring, however it is an Armscor build and NOT at the pricepoint of a Kimber.
    My Combat Masters needed some love, again… recoil springs, and lube.
    However they are 35 year old carry a lot shoot a little guns that were neglected and sold because the owners didnt understand them.
    A 1911 with the price and assumed reputation of Kimber should come out of the box and run.
    Run well with anything you feed it.
    It should also looks like something you show off with pride.
    Kimber should aim to have the customer service that RIA has.
    I am happy with my Detonics, RIA, and Colt.
    I dont see Kimber turning my head.


  3. I bought a Kimber in 2002. It was problematic until I decided to only use Wilson mags; since then it’s run well and is a very accurate pistol. However, my subsequent 1911 purchases went to Colt, S&W, and RIA. I have no plans to buy another Kimber.

  4. My LGS says he can’t be a preferred dealer anymore because they raised some kind of minimum order or something?

    He politely told them to go to hell. If someone wants one he would try to get it but he couldn’t promise the same low price he usually offers for other guns.

    And this sucks too. I wanted a Solo as well.

    Anyone wanting a 1911 I tell them to look at SIG first. I love Springfield and Colt and those ATI’s are phenomenal. But I tell them that SIG is making the best out of the box production 1911’s today. If they want a less expensive pistol I tell them ATI.

  5. BTW, I completely understand the hate for Kimber. Local range has 2 pistols with kabooms from a bad batch of ammo (all the rounds were overcharged the same amount). The Kimber frame is inpieces and the Rock Island Armory frame has a small crack. If someone gave me a Kimber, I would just turn around, sell it, and get a better pistol.

  6. Some guys I work with carry Kimbers and won’t even look at the SIGs, because they’re “purists” and the SIGs have external extractors.

    1. A true purist would not have a Kimber. Regardless of extractor the quality of the SIG is there. Moreso than Kimber.

      Only Kimbers I like and desire are their Pro Carry (both .45 and 9mm) and Solo. And I do have to acknoweldge the fact that they still offer 1911’s in 10mm. Not enough manufacturers do.

      But Kimber really needs to stop thinking their shit don’t stink.

  7. Now that I have a Sig P220, a S&W 625 and a Blackhawk with a 45 ACP cylinder, I am seriously thinking about selling the Kimber. I don’t feel so bad about it now.

  8. “Kimbers have one thing going for them… They are Pretty. People will happily pay for arrogant, tacky, high maintenance shit if they are pretty….Yes, I just compared Kimber to Paris Hilton.”

    Since when was Paris Hilton pretty?

      1. I thought it was before she had safety rails installed because of the large number of visitors taking the tour.

  9. I bought a basic 5 inch Sig in stainless. $840 new. Built like a tank, tritium sights, “basic” no-frills 1911 (no unnecessary “full length”, “two piece” guide rod). Accurate like a mother. Eats everything I feed it. If I rubbed a stone in some Bullseye, I’m sure my Sig would fire it. Great trigger. Best 1911 value on the market. Better than Springfield.

  10. I will stick with my COLT 1911 A1s. They work every time and are what Mr Browning intended the service pistol to be!

  11. I had a Kimber -Eclipse, all pretty and tarted up- damn thing was like a pocket reference guide to jams. Including ones I don’t think the books have a name for. Lets see- Failure to feed nose down, failure to feed nose up. Live rounds stovepipe style,live rounds inverted stovepipe style, empty case stovepipe, empty case flipped 180 and fed rim first into the chamber (or attempted) the list goes on- Failure to strip a round off the magazine, failure to extract,failure to eject. This gun was made out of failure and held together with defects. Kimber told me it needed breaking in with .500 rounds. Do you know how long it takes to fire 500 rounds with a new, never before known to man jam every second shot? I was weeping- please-someone take this away and throw it in a quarry. I tried every magazine known to man- McCormick, Wilson, GI, etc- nothing would get that thing to run. Sent it off to Kimber and it came back the same. Jamfest. Jammomatic. Jam and toast. Peanut butter and Jam. Jam jam JAM JAM.. Never again.

  12. “Yes, I just compared Kimber to Paris Hilton. My apologies to Paris Hilton Fans.”

    Paris Hilton has fans?

  13. I think I posted this before the last time you discussed Kimber (NC Alcohol Bureau had to ditch Kimber). I don’t get tired of repeating the story. …

    My Kimber Gold Combat RL II had the plunger tube loosen up after only 4500 rounds. It was past the one year warranty but Kimber agreed to fix it … as long as I paid for the overnight shipping both ways. Remember, this is a $1900 gun from their Custom Shop. Oh yeah, they also offered to clean and lube it for $175. I ended up having a local gunsmith fix it for $30 (I didn’t have the needed tools). I love my gun but I think somebody at Kimber fell asleep at the wheel.

    I couldn’t even see straight for the first few minutes after getting their reply. I’ve bought three more 1911’s since that first one. None of them have been Kimbers.

    1. Clean…. and lube…. for $175?

      Just reaffirms my decision to never own a Kimber. But the temptation has been there.

    2. Wow. Had the same problem on a Springfield. Spent a total of 45 seconds on the phone. They paid for overnight shipping both ways. From call to fixed pistol was 10 days. Most of the delay was my fault for not shipping it right after I made the call.

  14. I am not an expert on this but isn’t the same guy that got the blame for ruining Kimber now at Sig getting the blame for doing the same thing there. I am happy with my S&W 1911 even with the external extractor.

    1. I don’t know who is doing what, but SIG firearms are top notch. SIG branded accessories are a complete different ballgame… A game of disappointment, defeat, and despair.

    2. I bought a SIG P238 last month and the trigger was malfunctioning right out of the box. On the other hand, customer service was prompt and courteous, paid round trip and it now dry fires fine. Haven’t been to the range yet.

  15. Wow. With 25 comments (when I clicked), I was just gonna peruse all the ZOMGOGREYOUSUCK comments. Not a one. Nada. But plenty of Paris Hilton humor. Kimbers are like Paris Hilton. Hehehehe. 🙂


  16. I bought a Custom II back in 2002 for $650. I don’t understand their current price points. Sigs new Traditional line has me drooling.

  17. When Sig labels their pistols as “California compliant” and/or “Massachusetts compliant”, what exactly do they mean?
    I don’t want a pistol with a lot of extraneous stuff in it that the nanny states think are safer.

    Of course, there *are* plenty of Sigs that aren’t Mass. and/or Calif. compliant – so there’s plenty to select from.

  18. I could be wrong, but I believe that California requires a magazine disconnect safety. Other than that, I think that the “compliance” mainly revolves around magazine capacity.

    As for 1911s, I’m perfectly happy with both my Colt Lightweight Commander and my Taurus PT1911. Never really caught the Kimber bug, though I know a guy who seems to be trying to collect the whole set.

    My old duty gun, a Glock 22 Gen3, seems to be occupying my belt real estate most of the time these days. But I’m sure that at some point, I’ll migrate back to the 1911s. Maybe after throwing on some new grip scales or sights or something…

  19. Nothing really wrong with Kimber….other than they are overpriced. Every manufacturer gets dissed by someone.
    Sig lovers hate Kimbers, Springfield lovers hate HK, Colt
    lovers hate S%W, yada yada yada.
    And every manufacturer has a few stinkers come off the
    line, sometimes an entire model line is a stinker. However
    no manufacturer is going to stay in business for very long if
    they don’t make a product that is at least adequate.

    1. The 4″ Super Carry… Make sure it’s reliable. Give it 500 rounds total and then at LEAST 100 rounds of your carry ammo. If it runs all that without stopping, you’ll be just fine. If it gives you hiccups… Well, I’d not carry it.

  20. Team Match II = expensive, unreliable group of mostly metal parts. Customer service is absolutely poorest example I have seen in a US based company. I would sell to someone but would lose sleep over the guilt of knowing 2 people would have been screwed by the same gun and company. I can only hope I read about them filing for bankruptcy soon. Please spend your hard earned company with a gun company that values their customers……not Kimber!

    1. Your experience mirrors that of others I’ve talked to and my own. Kimber needs some big help… and I know a lot of guys that could really turn Kimber around and put them at the forefront. But that would mean institutional change… and companies like Kimberly do not like that.

      1. Guys
        Don’t be stupid! Kimber are just a junk with nice finishing. Why are they backlog? Easy, they play the game of the desired object, people wait for their solo , 1911 or micro, once they have them , people have to swallow the shit. Imagine a big piece of cow shit nicely painted, will you buy it?
        I prefer Sig sauer , colt 45, Browning , Beretta , S&W . Those are the guns to rely my life in the line of duty.

        1. I took my CCW class with a Kimber, what a mistake! that piece of junk jammed every other round, the instructor oiled it and played around with it to no end. Kimbers quality sucks, there is a guy named Chattanooga that was dogging the Smith & Wesson 1911TA, my Smith shoots like a laser and the quality is second to none. if you are on the Kimber wagon, watch the wheel will fall off!

  21. Also , kimber has an mediocre little monkey running the plant and a dumb running the fiasco mim department.

    1. yeah I found out the hard way as well. My Covert is a $1600 lemon and all I was told is to shoot 500 more rounds out of it. how can you break in something that was already broke from that factory to begin with.

  22. I purchased a Solo carry, and over the course of two weeks had non-stop problems with it. I wound up trading it in and losing money in the process. I had been drooling over kimbers for sooo long and now my impression of them is ruined. I wound up buying a Dan Wesson and it was the gun I had hoped the Kimber would be… Now my buddy bought an Ed Brown, and now I am back to wanting to upgrade.

    1. If you bought it from a reputable dealer, go talk to them and ask them what they can do to help you out in getting a decent gun.

  23. I had been wanting a Kimber for a long time. My Gunsmith strongly recommended against it. He said as an FFL he has more Kimbers come back for service from customers than any other gun. He is a good guy and takes care of his customers and will take care of shipping them back to the factory. His opinion is the same as most here; Kimbers are very overpriced problems with little to no support from the manufacturer. As for me, I have been carrying a Springfield XDs 40 that has never failed in countless rounds of everything I feed it. And my Sig P226 is a dream to shoot. Accurate, reliable, everything a gun should be. And my Colt Gold Cup is a Series 80, so the trigger I am not happy with. But my gunsmith promised that once we change that trigger out it will be exactly what it should be. So looking forward to that. My wife saw a picture of the Kimber Micro Bel Air and said “I want one of those”. I said no. Glad I did.

    1. The Kimber Micro line is similar to the Colt Mustang and the SIG 238… and I believe there’s another one like these out there, but I forget the name…
      These are kinda like mini 1911’s, but really the resurgence of the original Colt Mustangs that they used to make before Colt killed the line when they gave the American Gun Owner the big Middle Finger and pretty much stopped selling to the public, thinking they could Live Well servicing only the Military and Law Enforcement communities. Having collected more Bankruptcies than my kids collect Pokemon, they had a turn of heart about the American Gun Owner. Without any apologizing for being a dick… It’s too little, too late for me, and I’d rather have Strep Throat than a Colt. The Kimber Micro may or may not be a good choice. Honestly, I’ve not had any experience with the little Kimber Micro. But it would have to do a whole lot of work to get me to trust any Kimber at this point. This leaves the SIG 238.
      There are a number of versions of the little SIG 238 that might appeal to her. But off the cuff, I’d say you are right to caution away from anything Kimber.

  24. Series 1 Kimbers made before 2000 are fine, forged parts and reliable. They went downhill after that. But it still depends on the model, length barrel etc…. the basic 5″ models are generally more reliable than the high end ones and the shorter barrel guns. Its really hit or miss with Kimbers. But if you get a good one its up there with any Springfield, Colt or SIG.

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