1911 selection process

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by jeffroalpha700, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. jeffroalpha700

    jeffroalpha700 New Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    I have a Colt 1911 Gold cup that I used to use in IDPA matches. I cannot use it as my duty pistol (adjustable sights, trigger job, stainless finish I don’t want to ruin, etc.). I currently have a G21 that I use on duty, as mentioned in my other post, but I want to switch back to a 1911 for various reasons.

    My question is that I can choose from three manufacturers for 1911's: Colt, Kimber, and Springfield. I see a lot of positive feedback from people on here with Kimbers, but here has been my experience.

    I have fired two different Kimbers that were manufactured within the last two years. In both cases, I had numerous malfunctions (mainly stovepipes). They fed pretty well with hardball, but that doesn't do me any good when we use Speer Gold Dot 230 Grain rounds for duty. The Denver police department had the same problem with them and actually banned their use in their policy and provided replacement pieces.

    Has anyone else experienced these problems? I really would like a high capacity 1911, but these issues have kept me away from trusting my life with one. This is the main reason for wanting a Springfield, as I have had good experiences with the few I have fired, but Springfield does not offer a higher-end high-cap.

    I also need to clarify that my purpose isn't to "bash" Kimber. I just am looking for honest feedback, as my experiences with them haven't been that great. Maybe someone knows what would cause these malfunctions and has some solutions.
  2. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    I have the Kimber Gold Combat Stainless and haven't had a problem at all with it(had one, but found out it was operator error, so the guns record has been set straight.). It has no problem feeding any kind of ammo I load it with. I've shot several hundred rounds of Federal Hydrashok, various ball ammo and one or two other hollow points from it with no problems at all from the gun. I've had a few bad casings that caused it to jam. Those were some of the dirt cheap shells I shot. Shot along side Wilson tuned guns and my Kimber shot as good or better. The tuned Gold Cup actually stove piped several times. I dont have any experience with the high capacity jobs, but there's my experience.

  3. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Gotta echo the above. I have had two Kimber 1911's (and two other Kimber products.) Both are older. One old enough to be pre-extra safety. Both run flawless using all types of ammo. Here is what I think MIGHT be key - stay away from the external extractor models, I've heard the most bad news about those. The two that I have are a Custom Classic (plain jane Guvmint model - "Series 70" style safeties.) and a Ultra Eclipse II. This one has the extra grip activated hammer block. It works fine, the extra parts just make disassembly a bit tricky from time to time when I forget and activate the grip safety while trying to install/remove the slide. I have since traded the Classic in as partial payment on a Nighthawk Custom - it runs great too.
  4. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    I have owned quite a few Kimbers and have had great luck with all of them.

    What kind of mags were you using and was the pistol cleaned and lubed before shooting ??
  5. I would pick the Springfield out of you choices.
    Just my .02
  6. jeffroalpha700

    jeffroalpha700 New Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Thanks for all of the comments. Now to answer a few of the questions.

    The magazines were Kimber magazines. Two different individuals owned the two guns. Both were well cleaned and lubed. Maybe the Kimber magazines are part of the problem. I tend to like Chip McCormick's and Wilson’s.

    45Smashemflat. That may be it. There was a reason I mentioned the age of the pistols in my original post, because I have fired some of the older Kimbers and they tend to function better. That's also the reason I asked about the issue, since this would be a new pistol.

    I am leaning towards the Springfield, just based on recent experiences and posts, but I am always open to suggestions.

    Once again, thanks for all of the comments.
  7. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    The problem could have been mag related. It's a shame you didn't have a Wilson Mag to try.
  8. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I'll jump on the Mag bandwagon too. My first Kimber - Custom Classic purchased way back during the "model one" days came with the cheapest looking mag around and it was a real POS. Switched to some "already owned" Wilsons and never looked back. I have picked up a couple of newer Kimber mags when I bought the Eclipse and they have worked OK. Point of reference - the older Kimber mags were not marked Kimber in script - the newer ones are. Mags are key and you need to mark them for reference. True story - Nighthawk Custom mags are made by MecGar. I own 4 other MecGar 8 rnd mags. They work great in my two Kimbers. One of the "regular" MecGars does NOT work in the Nighthawk. Works in all other 1911's that I own. The Nighthawk marked MecGars work in all 1911's that I own. I have since gotten rid of this mag.

    By the way - the Eclipse is a stainless gun with a "greyed out" finish. I like it. Mine is a custom shop Ultra with ambi safety, front strap checkering, etc. Its heavy enough for the 3" gun to be managable.
  9. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    I own a Kimber Compact Stainless II. (See avatar.)

    I own *1* Kimber mag. It is my mag of last resort. My other mags are Wilson.

    No stovepipes.
  10. durk

    durk Active Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    That seems kinda screwed-up to me. The mag that it made for and is shipped with the kimber doesn't work as well as a mag from another company? Hmmm. (Mind you-all I am still pretty new to this 1911 stuff).
  11. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    My AMT SS 1911 came with a generic blued magazine of not much consequence.

    I now run it with 2 SA SS mags and it runs fine.
  12. i have 2 kimbers, a super match II with external extractor, a grand raptor II with internal extractor. both run 100% with all ammo. but now both are single stacks. i have 3 springfields, a custom built, a ss gi with adjustable sights added, and a loaded target ss in 9mm. all run 100% with all ammo. the only time i have problems is when the ammo loaded doesn't match the spring i have in the pistol. too heavy a spring with too light a load tends to create all kinds of stovepipes and jams of all kinds. that will happen with all makes low and high end. just my $.02. all 9 of my 1011's are single stacks.
  13. 1911Kid

    1911Kid New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Look into Para-ordinance 1911's. great pistols with 10 + 1 rounds on the hicap models. Springfield makes great pistols but with my personal experience i prefer the Paras.

  14. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    There are many different 45 autos out there but if I was going into a fire fight and had my choice, of pistols, I would always grab my Springfield. That is just my bottom line. Worked just fine for me in while working for Uncle Sam.
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