Friends: I've done lots of research, read lots of reviews, fired the Kimber (not the S&W), and I think I have this narrowed down to these two guns. I can get the S&W 1911 from my local dealer for $600, with the Kimber Custom II coming in at around $700.
Obviously, both companies are reputable. I intend to use the gun mainly at the range, and for home protection. The general view on this forum seems to favor the Kimber brand, and I'd be curious to know what people think. Any S&W 1911 owners out there who have anything to say?
I'm a proud owner of a stainless steel SW1911. It is my my first 1911. I'm a bit of a Smith & Wesson fan, owning three of their products.
It is an excellent pistol. I've put close to 1000 rounds through it and no malfunctions. I've been shooting at 7 and 15 yards. It is an incredibly accurate pistol. My best group at 15 yards is 2". In fact, I'm more accurate with my 1911 than with my .22lr semi-auto.
The fit and finish of my pistol is outstanding. I feel that I got a really good deal on my pistol. Aside from the pistol, the quality of Smith & Wesson's customer service is well known. I feel that they have been a responsible manufacturer and took the bulls by the horn when they recalled the early SW1911 due to concerns of the firing pin.
My pistol was one of the recalled few. It had already been corrected when I purchased it from the store.
The appeal of the SW1911 is the fact that there is a high degree of customization done to the pistol out of the box. I guess it depends on whether this is important to you or not. My skills as a shooter are developing but the degree of customization of the gun will allow me to grow into it. Others who have fired the gun have felt that it is an excellent pistol. One fellow who frequently likes to shoot my gun can put bullets into the same hole at 15 yards.
There is a certain coolness factor with the SW1911. Some criticized the large SW1911 billboard printed on the slide. I actually like the logo. I think the newer SW1911 have dropped the billboard.
Kimbers are fine pistols as well. I've fired them on several occassions and they seem to be quality guns. Kimber guns certainly have their following.
Either way, you can't go wrong with either of these pistols but my vote would be for the SW1911.
I'm all for the Kimber. Like John Y, I'm a proud owner of a Kimber, so I back them whenever I see the subject come up. They are excellent guns in my opinion. Shoot great. Haven't handled the Custom II, but I'd imagine it's a good piece. Good luck deciding.
Gainfully employed= shooting somebody elses bullets and getting paid for it
I've got Kimber 1911's and S&W revovlers. Both are exellent. A rumor, that I cannot substantiate, is that Kimber frames/slides were made by S&W - and may still be made by them. If that's true - what's the diff?
Basically fit, finish, and custom touches. I know this sounds trite - but look at the two guns, compare the fit, finish, and extras that you get. Due you place a $100 value on the difference? If not - S&W, if so, Kimber.
I have Colt, Randall, Springfield, Para, Dan Wesson and S&W 1911s. Notice any glarring ommisions? Could it be .....Kimber! Now don't get me wrong, Kimber makes a quality firearm but so does a whole lot of others. Kimber carved a niche for itself in the 1911 market (when in Oregon) by offering a quality firearm at a decent price. Since then (and the change in ownership) they have come out as the leader in the "model of the month" club and the prices have risen dramatically.