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Thread: Kimber's reputation blinding us to an excellent choice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Lower Michigan

    Kimber's reputation blinding us to an excellent choice?

    I get that Kimber spends a lot more money on advertising than building great 1911s.

    I have observed and been personally burned by their QC issues.

    I have made many rude comments about both points.

    I bought a K6S.

    My (overly dramatic) post point is: are these issues keeping us from the best little revolver going?
    If you compare the specification sheets there is a clear winner here between the SP101/340 Pro/Cobra/K6S choices.
    I believe there is much more to that choice than just dimensions and features though.
    So, looking for guidance, I find the Lucky Gunner review. It pointed out just two negatives . An essentially cosmetic flaw and poor accuracy with 135 Gold Dot ammo. Both of which could be an early "sample of one" issue. The article ended with a bit of a "meh" tone. I've found few other RESPECTED sources saying much at all.

    What is everyone not seeing or saying about this revolver that should be at the top of the heap? My sample is nicely finished with a fine DAO trigger, I particularly like the reset. So far, one abbreviated range session. What am I missing here? Is there a metallurgy or long term reliability issue lurking that no one mentions? That seems unlikely as the piece has been around a few years now. Is the accuracy uniformly poor? My short time with it didn't get beyond 10 yards and I had no 135 Gold Dot with me anyway.

    What an I missing here?

  2. #2
    For me it has several reasons. Kimber’s reputation is a big one. If you have ever had to see the issues supporting Kimber’s product in the LE world it would make sense. The Bushmaster of 1911’s. Second, my limited experience has been kind of “Meh”. It’s a decent shooting snub. That is not miraculous. For most folks, so is a Taurus. So, it comes down to a risk. Are you willing to take the risk you got a great long term dependable wonderful shooting gun you are willing to stake your life on? With little real history, you are staking that on Kimbers long term rep. Now compare that to the history of S&W and Colt building revolvers. As far as a “new” design, compare it to Ruger in the SP-101. It is one of those things that is just not balancing out for a lot of people on the risk, especially the very well educated or highly experienced. Many of those saw what Kimber has done in the past and are a bit squeamish. They may have gotten it right, but is it worth the risk for many who very much know what they are getting into with other stuff.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  3. #3
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Too much $.
    Not enough history.
    Strong logistical support for established industry leaders.
    Kimber's reputation in the customer service area.
    L'otters are not afraid.

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter Nephrology's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Gateway to the West
    Same reasons I'd never buy a Tesla...

  5. #5
    Site Supporter jetfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sioux Falls
    I had a K6S rental gun go completely tits up after less than a box of ammo through it. Gun seized up hard and the cylinder had to be pounded open with a mallet. I sent it back to Kimber and forgot about it.
    I shot the PX4 before it was cool.

  6. #6
    Armed Pinko Chick Stephanie B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    SE CT

    Kimber's reputation blinding us to an excellent choice?

    My recollection is that Kimber once did an OK job as a semi-custom shop. When they ramped that up, they had problems.

    Even far-more established gun manufacturers have had problems with newly-designed products. Remington's R.51. Colt's AA- 2000.

    Frankly, I'd expect any company new to the task of making revolvers to have problems. Revolvers are considerably more complex than autoloaders. Consider how many millions of K-frames there are and then look at the market for aftermarket drop-in parts compared to that for 1911s.

    So, am I going to drop nearly four bills on a revolver from a company that has never made them before and has had a spotty QC record in making simpler guns (and,arguably, compensating for it by large ad buys)?

    Last edited by Stephanie B; 06-18-2018 at 01:42 PM.
    Former professional pain-in-the-@ss.

  7. #7
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Auburn, WA
    At this point, I plan on sticking with Ruger for my revolvers, or Smith & Wesson.

    Bases on established intrinsic quality and design,personal experience, and the expertise and timliness of their warranty/customer service departments if needed.

    Best, Jon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Lower Michigan
    Well, this shows the foolishness of losing the trust of the customers. It certainly is overpriced. It is sad that what might be a good choice is a complete non-starter for those who have been around a bit.
    Since it was developed on a clean sheet for modern production methods (unlike 1911s being adapted to the world of cast and CNC techniques) maybe they did get it right. Hard to imagine the Kimber marketing team using what appears to be an unlimited ad budget to say: "No really guys, we've done this right!" though.
    Perhaps here lies a nice revolver. The business model probably doesn't even care.
    I'm going to keep mine for now as a test case. I got a pretty good deal on it. Who knows...

  9. #9
    Member L-2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I'd be more inclined to buy either a Colt Cobra or the Kimber K6S if Post#1 and Post#2 indicated what quantity of rounds were fired; perhaps what variety of ammo was used, and what negative issues resulted, if any.

    From what I get from Post#1 is a cosmetic flaw, which I wouldn't want, but might be ok with if the cosmetic flaw was described as to what it was.
    From Post#5, not getting through a box (I estimate 50 rounds or less) and locking up with no follow-up as to the reason(s) why didn't help my decision to buy a Kimber either.

    My prior experience with three Kimber 1911 guns, still have one, was less than perfect with a slide stop premature lock-back problem (TLE II 5"); Series II being slightly out-of-time (remedied by a gunsmith; TLE II 5"); two others with one of three night sight dots going dim (Warrior and SIS 5"); an intermittent feeding issue when new (Warrior); full auto when new (SIS 5"). Other minor breakages to be expected with higher round count 1911 guns over 10K rounds.

    My prior experience with Colt isn't great either with a few 1911 guns with staked in sights loosening and coming out (two Commander models now discontinued); and a cracked frame (one of the Commander models); back in '88, a new Combat Elite 5" needing some ejector tuning/filing (remedied by a gunsmith); a new, issued, AR-15 which had a burr (in bolt carrier) which resulted in gas rings immediately getting ruined.

    I'm really hoping to hear from "DB" above, to let us know the good &/or bad things with that Night Cobra as that looks to be the model I'd want (&/or the similarly styled K6S black-colored model).

    Right now, my S&W 640 Pro is working very well for me (often with a 642 as a backup; all this when I'm not carrying one of my usual Glocks).

  10. #10
    My personal experience handling Kimber revolvers at the LGS left me completely underwhelmed with the quality of workmanship, as well as the aesthetics of the design itself. The trigger out of the box was nothing special, either.

    For context, I've yet to see a recent-production S&W revolver without some notable manufacturing flaw and I'm about to send my second Ruger (GP100 and LCP) home to get fixed.
    In Britain, they have made burglary a safe operation. It's like OSHA for burglars. - Thomas Sowell

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