Tag Archives: Kimber

All New

What really bugs me about the Gun Industry is how they change one or two small details and act as if it’s something completely new.

Take a look at SIG Sauer.  They have the TACOPS 1911, which is a great gun.  They Cerakote it tan, change the grips, and all the sudden it’s a “Scorpion” and thus a completely different gun.  Some rifle makers will change the stock, and now it’s a completely different model.  For the most part, the gun is only cosmetically different.  Yet the gun companies wave flags of originality and claim innovation.  Look, if you are using off the shelf parts that have been on the market for over a year, you should not be allowed to use the word “Innovation” or anything in a thesaurus that is similar.   Worse yet, the Gun Writers out there who have to review these things.  Never mind that its the same damn gun with different cosmetics… these guys have to write another 2,000 words with photos on how this is something new and fresh.  And they publish those articles and people buy those magazines and it’s all just rehashed shit from 20 years ago.  I’m not naming names but I swear to the All Holy that I read the same rifle article 20 years as I just read in a new magazine 20 minutes ago, with the only difference being the freaking handguards.  Its the same thing.

christian_bale_as_bruce_wayne_and_batman__drawing__by_p_shdw-d665959

I was going to say Clark Kent and Superman, but I hate Superman… he’s a Douche.  But look at Bruce Wayne.  League of Shadows Ninja, and then changes costume to become Batman.  Really only cosmetically different.   Bruce Wayne could still kick your ass without the Dark Knight costume.  He doesn’t need the costume to perform.  And just because he is in the costume, doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a better fighter.  He’s no tougher, no stronger, or any smarter while in the bat-suit.
Who else does this a lot?  Kimber.  Freaking hell, they only make like 3 different 1911’s but given them different skin treatments and all the sudden you have guns from 699 all the way to 1400 without any special Custom Shop work… just cosmetics.
Poor Gun Review Writer.   This is one of the reasons I stopped writing gun reviews.  I got really jaded and sick of rewording the same review for the same gun that’s just had a small detail difference.
Kimber Custom II.  Kimber Target II.  Same flippin gun, just a different rear sight.  But according to Kimber, it’s a whole new model.
Now, I’m not busting Kimber’s nuts on this, or SIG’s… because so many other gun makers do it too… they all do it.  Accept for Taurus, who has so much CQ issues, everything they make is totally different.

Imagine if you will, if the Auto Industry worked in the same fashion?  This car is the same as that one, but this one has XM built in, so it’s a totally different car!  We call this one the Stallion, and this one the Tornado Hunter!  See, it has a pin stripe too.  (Well, they kind of do… looking at the Subaru and Toyota sports car, but that’s another subject)

No, people would not tolerate this in the auto industry.  Yet it’s SOP in the Gun Industry.  I like what the Car guys do those… They have Trim Levels.  Same car, with a series of steps in upgraded add on features that go from basic to fully loaded.
The Gun Industry should look at that model for awhile and think about it really hard.  Because right now it’s just ridiculous.

Now, I understand that a gun company needs to make new stuff to sell more stuff.  But I think these guys are going about it all wrong.  Let’s look at to examples.
Glock.  They make the same damn gun in 3 sizes in common calibers and that’s it.  That’s what they do… because they’re Glock.  The do what they do and they do it very well.  You don’t hear about quality control issues with Glock. You don’t hear about anything other than “It’s a Glock”. And they sell and sell and sell to the point that Glock’s Marketing effort is about like the Maytag Repairman’s schedule.  Because you know what you are getting with a Glock… Your getting a Glock.  Now look at SIG.  The P250 the P2022, the 229, 228 M11 226 MK25 and they are all different and you really don’t know what you are getting anymore with SIG or anything from SIG wearing that badge… I’m saying this because I love SIG and really I’m feeling like they have let me down.  Lost their way.  Looking more at Cosmetic Themes than keeping a tight ship… because I’ve seen some SIG’s with some serious issues that should not have been there.
Some guys have said they wished Glock was more colorful or fabulous like SIG is.  When really I’d like to see SIG act more like Glock.  The worst thing Glock stamps their name on is those disposable pens they give away.  SIG’s?  That could take all day talking about.  You don’t know what you are getting with SIG anymore and that’s a shame.

 

SIG smashed out another home run pistol

You guys know I’ve drank the Glock Cool-aide.  I freely admit it.  But I also remain an unabashed fan of the handguns from SIG SAUER.  I just like them.  Especially when SIG is coming out with very good ideas like the new P938.

Not much bigger than the P238, the little .380 automatic… the new P938 is essentially the same thing just scaled up slightly to fire the 9mm cartridge.

One of the guns that I’ve always wanted was a Colt Pocket 9.  Colt gave the American Public the middle finger and my desire to pursue the Pocket 9 was squelched, but not totally killed in action.  This kind of reminds me of that little Colt.

Really the only guns in the SIG’s class are the Kimber Solo, the Springfield EMP and SIG’s own P290.  I’m not talking about the Kahr’s or the Walther or even the Shield… I’m talking about the Higher Class options here.  The 938 just feels like it’s a step above to me.  I think it’s a lot nicer than an EMP… again, that’s just me and I am not going to cut down on the EMP.  I know it’s a great little pistol.  I just like the 938 a lot more for reasons I can’t quantify for you.  Same reason I like “Pralines and Cream” better than “Butter Pecan”.  I can’t explain why… I love me some Butter Pecan.  It’s one of my very favorites, but given the option between the two, I’ll take the Pralines and Cream every time.  I don’t even know what the hell a Praline is.

Back to the SIG, the new 938 trumps the 290 hard.  Lower bore axis, slimmer profile… just nicer.  I know I tend to favor Single Action triggers or triggers that feel and work like Single Actions, so admittedly I am biased to the 938 over the 290.  But taking the trigger out of the equation, the 938 is dimensionally smaller, which gives it an edge in concealment without sacrificing any ability for the gun to be a good shooter.  So really the choice is between the 938 and the Solo.

The P290 just seems too chunky by comparison to the slender newcomer.

At the gun shop I work at, we are a house divided on the new SIG… Some of us prefer the SIG P938.  And by Some I mean just me.  Everyone else like the Solo better. Oh well.  The SOLO is very smooth and sleek.  But it’s too much of a good thing and I don’t feel like I can get a solid hold on it.  It doesn’t point for me either.  The 938 points very well for being so small, and I can get a good grip on it, even with my hamfists.

To me it comes down to that trigger pull.  The SIG’s trigger is a Single Action that kept getting better the more we played with it, with the SOLO is a Double Action Only affair… While the SOLO’s trigger is nice, I find the SIG’s to be superior.  Some will argue that accuracy with a Defensive Weapon such as these is a secondary concern… and they are right.  But this doesn’t mean we have to disregard accuracy altogether.  I am quite sure that in a defensive pistol accuracy remains quite important.  Making that First Round Hit through a Vital is important.  But, that’s just my opinion.

I’d love a SIG P938 and I just might have to get one, one of these days… and by one of these days I mean “as soon as possible.”

UPDATE:  Thanks for the Hat Tip, SIG.  *High Five*

Ultra Concerns

I have to agree with our friend Rob Pincus.  Rob is one of the most active trainers in the Gun World.  He’s always on a range.  And he’s describing exactly what I’ve been seeing as well.

I’ve only had and seen good results with small 1911’s from two sources.  SIG and Detonics.  None of the others have run properly.  I don’t know exactly why that is as I am not a Mechanical Engineer. I’m a Low Brow Knuckle Dragging Gunslinger… I know what works and what doesn’t. I’ve seen more failure to function with 1911’s than any other handgun type. In fact, I’ve only seen one 1911 run through a course without a failure. That was an STI in 9mm run by our friend Larry Correia. His “Cheater Heater”. Anyways, back to the caution on these Ultra Compacts. Be careful with them. Find loads that run in your pistol. Lubricate them with Slipstream Weapon Lubricant. Find how many rounds you can go through before the gun starts acting up and needs to be cleaned again. If your gun is not reliable – then for the love of all that is good in the world… Don’t use it for defense. Just Don’t. To do so would be to make a Jump with a Chute packed by the kid that takes out the trash at Wendy’s. Not Bright. If you have an Ultra and you like it… and it isn’t quite reliable. Have a Gunsmith go through it and tune it up.

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?

Kahr vs Solo

Kimber’s new little Solo sub-compact is developing into quite the nice little carry package. While the main competitor, the Kahr sub-compacts are just not measuring up anymore.
The best selling Kahrs are the CW series guns. These have a cast slide, polymer frame, and come with just one magazine… but they are only 400 bucks. The nicer forged steel P series guns are right up there in Kimber Solo price territory, but they do come with an extra mag. They are good little guns and I am quite fond of them… but the ones people buy are the CW series and we’ve had some issues with them lately. The new ones from the factory are real notchy, sticky, and sharp. Very unpleasant guns to hold and operate. They are hard to pull the slide back and even more difficult to drop the slide again… the fit an finish look fine on the outside, but the way they work… just very poorly. These CW guns are actually hurting the Kahr brand. Had to take a return on one this week on one I sold, and that’s just not cool. A CW45. Those folks are never going to look at buying another Kahr for the rest of their lives. And I can’t blame them.  At that point you can’t try to talk them into the upper end Kahr pistol – because they look damn near the same.  They just got turned off one to spend more on another that looks the same?  Doesn’t work.
Then you pick up that Kimber solo. Whole other world. It’s like going from a Flinstones Kahr Car, sorry… to a Mercedes Benz.  Smooth action like melted chocolate.  None of the Kahrs can come close to that feeling.  They could – but they don’t.  Kahr persists in their sharp edged slide lock levers and sharp frames textures.  It’s like you reward yourself with buying a Solo, and punish yourself with a Kahr… and I have to say that I hate saying that.  Because I really do like Kahr! They are accurate, reliable, with great triggers… but they feel sharp and rough and are a hard sell.

Kahr needs to revamp their lines.  New cosmetic lines, a more agreeable texture on the grips.  The actions need to feel smooth and when someone – specifically women – try to press the slide release lever, that slide needs to drop with little effort instead of making their thumbs bleed.   Round off the sharp corners on everything.  Make it something you want to hold on to.    You do that… simple reworking of existing stuff without any reengineering… then Kahr would dominate the CCW market and we could price those at 499 instead of 399. The upper end P-series… would be redundant.    Kahr could dominate… they seriously could.

I may have been wrong. Maybe.

At SHOT Show took a look at the brand new and shiny Kimber Solo 9mm.  At for some reason that I can’t put my finger on… I disliked it.  No, let me be clear.  I hated it.  I wouldn’t have one.  Even if it was gifted to me, I’d sell to some unfortunate nitwit who would think it was nifty and then I’d go buy something I liked more and could get more use out of… like blister cream or 8 Track tapes.

And now here it is, six months later.  To be honest, it’s grown on me.  I no longer hate it.  For some reason I can’t put my finger on… I kinda like it, and I wouldn’t mind having it.  But I’d still never actually buy it.

It’s… hmm… I’m searching for the right word for it… “Nice”.  It’s a nice little gun.   And perhaps that’s its problem from the start.  You see, a universally accepted good gun like a 1911 Commander .45 is great looking gun… beautiful, in the eyes of fellows like me.   At the same time it feels just gorgeous in the hand.  It fits.   It also looks like what a Weapon should look like… it looks like it’s going to destroy something, it just hasn’t decided who yet.  It has a form that’s based on it’s function and that function is to put large bullets through bad guys.

And this is where the Kimber Solo Nine Millimeter fails.  Even in the name, just say the name a few times out loud… it even just sounds “Nice”.  Like something Julie Andrews might have in her purse… it’s just well mannered and nice.  Or like something you might spread on a piece of toast.  It’s nice… Pleasant, without being fun or too interesting.   Like having a Brunch with your Grandmother… nice…  And that’s what put me off of the Solo.  It is completely lacking in Sex and Violence.

Julie Andrews approves of the Kimber Solo.

Now, if Kimber was to scale the Solo up… to say .45… then all the sudden it would become very interesting.  Or even something slightly different, like .357 SIG.  But just a 9mm?  Sure, it works… perfectly serviceable.  Certainly better than a .380… it’s nice.   But I won’t buy Nice.  Not for the price.  The thing is retailing for about $630 and for that much salad you have a world of other options that are less “nice” with more Sex and Violence.

Can you imagine the Solo in .357 SIG?  Kind of like a young Julie Andrews playing a lead role in a remake of Bound.  Proper, but she’s a dirty dirty girl behind closed doors.

Alternatives would be perhaps a Kahr MK9, or if you can find one, a Colt Pocket 9 – which I am still wanting one day.  A Springfield EMP9 would also be pretty cool.  But the Solo 9?  It just leaves me feeling less than satisfied.

I think I just might be the first gun writer that has compared a handgun to the star of Sound of Music… Well, at least not to Captain Von Trapp.

My name is Ogre, and I’m an addict.

We had a Kimber Desert Warrior that had come in on trade some time ago.  It’s been riding the shelf almost completely untouched for a couple months.   I remember selling the gun to the fellow years ago.   This was before Kimber took they QC Nose Dive.  I examined the gun carefully.  He carried the gun a lot, then let it ride his gun safe a lot.  But he didn’t shoot it very much.  There is only a little finish wear on the frame rails from cycling, which is nothing because we have new guns on the shelf with more.  The breach face still looks new.

My cost on it was real good.   So it went into the back on Layaway.   I’ll take my time getting it payed off… I’m in no rush to take it home.  It still has those weird yellow waffle-like grips.  I hate those things.   Those are going Bye-Bye as soon as I finish the 4473 on it.

 

Respecting Kimber

I’ve had some emails where people think that I am disrespecting Kimber.  Actually I feel that Kimber has disrespected the American Gun Culture.  Taking us for granted.

Personally I have great respect for Kimber.  They changed the 1911 Industry as a whole.  Before Kimber, it was common to buy a new Colt or other 1911… and take it straight to a gunsmith so that they could make the gun simply run.  Kimber comes out with the gun they called the “Custom”.  And it worked right out of the box.  They sold so well, that the other 1911 makers had to step up their games or they were out.  It really kicked Colt in the Sweets hard.

I’m critical of Kimber because in my opinion they have let themselves down.. accepting lower standards and just expecting customers to just take it because they are Kimber and they know better.  Well, that’s just not acceptable.  Kimber needs to get back to building guns instead of making pretty.  The need to take seriously the gun making responsibility.  Guns are for Competition, for Law Enforcement, for Self Defense… These guns can Save Lives.  They should take seriously a sacred responsibility to build guns right.