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  1. #1
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    Kimber vs Springfield vs S&W?

    I know much discussion has taken place on the forum, but I'd appreciate some solid feedback.

    I recently sold three of my guns to help fund the purchase of a .45. In speaking with my gunsmith I mentioned buying a Kimber with a 3" barrel.

    Without hesitation he said "get a Springfield."

    So what makes one better then the other?

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Springfield uses less MIM parts IIRC, Springfield has a lifetime warranty. Springfields have a better reputation for "out of the box reliability".

    As for S&W, if you're looking for a 3" S&W only offers one model of 3" 1911 while SA and Kimber have more options. S&W also carries a lifetime warranty, but some examples I've seen have been a little rough in the fit dept. I doubt it matters much to you, but S&W uses and external extractor, but so far no one really has any complaints on their rendition of it. Some favor the standard internal extractor for parts availability etc.

    What exactly are you looking for on the gun? Steel frame? Aluminum? Scandium? .45ACP or other? Night sights? Stainless? Two tone?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Springfield uses less MIM parts IIRC, Springfield has a lifetime warranty. Springfields have a better reputation for "out of the box reliability".

    As for S&W, if you're looking for a 3" S&W only offers one model of 3" 1911 while SA and Kimber have more options. S&W also carries a lifetime warranty, but some examples I've seen have been a little rough in the fit dept. I doubt it matters much to you, but S&W uses and external extractor, but so far no one really has any complaints on their rendition of it. Some favor the standard internal extractor for parts availability etc.

    What exactly are you looking for on the gun? Steel frame? Aluminum? Scandium? .45ACP or other? Night sights? Stainless? Two tone?
    Thanks for the info. Well this is the love part. When I was in the Corp ('64 - '68), I was a Flame and carried a 1911A1. Maybe clunky. but it never failed me. I'd love to get one for carry. Thus the thought of Kimber.

    I'd like a lightweight with a 3" barrel. I see where Colt offers two models, but I don't know the weight of them. I really don't like the look of the S&W, whereas the Kimber is a good looking piece. But looks aren't going to save my a$$ in the event I need it.

    So bottomline is definitely function and reliabilty. It's not like I'm going to pull it at Walmart to show it off. I really like the Springfield EMP, but I don't like the fact that it doesn't come in .45. I have a Sig P239 that I carry in the fall and winter, so getting the EMP wouldn't offer an advantage.

    So, what to do, what to do?

  4. #4
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    I own a S&W .45 and a Kimber .45 - I've shot several Springfields - My summary is you can't go wrong with any of them.

    Some details on the Kimber I just bought several months ago:
    More expensive than S&W or Springfield.
    I chose a Kimber Pro CDP II
    Made entirely in the Kimber Custom Shop.
    Night Sights, Meprolight Tritium 3-dot night sights.
    Compact and Pro Carry pistols have 4-inch bushingless match grade bull barrels.
    Barrels and chambers are match grade for accuracy.
    Breech faces are polished.
    Ejection ports are lowered and flared for reliable function.
    Slides are machined from solid stainless steel and given a satin finish that will not reflect light.
    Compact Stainless II has a shorter frame yet retains 7-round magazine capacity. 8 rounds is a Wilson Combat Magazine.
    Kimber aluminum frames have been lab tested to over 20,000 rounds without evidence of meaningful wear.
    All Compact and Pro Carry pistols use a proven single recoil spring design.
    Available with steel, stainless steel or lightweight aluminum frames that reduce overall weight.
    Crimson Trace® Lasergrips.
    Tactical Rail.
    Deep front strap checkering 30 lines-per-inch.
    Deep rear strap checkering 30 lines-per-inch.
    Deep trigger front grooving.
    Deep bottom trigger guard checkering 30 lines-per-inch.
    Checkered flat mainspring housing.
    Match grade Premium Aluminum Trigger
    Sights and edges are rounded and blended for easy carry w/o snagging clothing.
    Beveled magazine well.
    Magazine release button is extended for fast reloading.
    Match grade trigger breaks clean and consistently every time.
    Extended ambidextrous thumb safety.
    Kimber aluminum frames are machined from solid blocks of 7075-T7 aluminum to the same critical dimensions as the steel frames.
    Adding these features during the manufacturing process reduces their retail cost by over $500
    This is what I bought http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/crimson_carry/

    The S&W .45 I carried on duty had almost none of these - I had to add a lot to it .

    As I said before - you can get all of this on almost any .45 with the help of a gunsmith & after market parts , but it's available straight from the factory when you buy the Kimber.

    So it depends on your budget and what feathers you want on your .45

    I hope this helped.


  5. #5
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    DonDavis: I love the look of the Kimber. I really like the Ultra CDPII as I really don't like the laser grips.

    Lot of money, but as I said, if it costs a lot, looks good, but fails to go bang, then there is no reason to buy.

    I'll probably end up with a Kimber.

  6. #6
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    I understand - laser grips are not for everyone and I believe mainly for indoor work - you'd probably be happier with:

    http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/cdp/

    2 of my friends have these Kimbers and frankly shooting their guns made me decide to buy the Kimber at all.

    Sweet shooter, I'm extremely happy with it.


  7. #7
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    Well...

    My first choice would be a Springfield Loaded Micro. I've had too many issues with Kimber and unless I could find a pre-series II don't think I'd go that route as I simply detest the Swartz firing pin safety, I don't know why I didn't list that before, but that's another difference. SA doesn't use a firing pin safety requiring the addition of "foreign" parts, the S&W used the Colt Series 80 Style FPS, and Kimber uses the Swartz safety.

    If I couldn't find a Springer (The word is that supply of SA 1911s is somewhat limited at the moment), I'd try and probably go with the Smith & Wesson model and give that a whirl.

    I wouldn't buy a Colt Defender as they just aren't as well equipped as other compact 1911s available at the same price point.

    Kimber would be my last ditch effort, I'm just not that thrilled with them and three of the four I've owned were custom shop guns. On top of all the issues I've had with them, their barrels are more prone to rusting than almost any NIB gun I've ever seen.


    However....

    A Kimber that runs, runs very well and is a nice piece. You can get one in almost any configuration you want and equipped with almost whatever you want and they tend to be more readily available for purchase.

    If you get one, follow the break-in period to the letter before running JHPs in it, once the 500rd break in is done, if the gun isn't running right, SEND IT BACK TO KIMBER and let them mess with it. If you complete the break-in and the gun is running good with FMJ but not JHPs, SEND IT BACK TO KIMBER and let them mess with it.

    There's been a lot of instances were there have been out of spec slide stops in Kimbers of late and those are causing some issues with premature slide lock and or failure to lock on empty, so keep that in mind when doing your break-in.

    Also remember that Kimber stock/factory mags (not the Kimber Tac-Pro mags) are generally crap and you probably want to get some good after market mags, you should probably do this while doing the break in period to ensure the gun will run with the mags that you intend to use.

  8. #8
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    Speaking of MIM parts.... Kimber uses them, period. Depending on what your budget is and what size 1911 you want..... look at Dan Wesson. You will get a better fit, and higher quality gun for the money than with any other!

    Sorry Kimber fans... but I guess if I really wanted I could grind up all the Ed Brown parts in my Dan Wesson, mix up the shavings with some glue, and vwalah!....

    instant MIM!

  9. #9
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    You might want to go read a long unbiased review by one of Handgun forum members about the Kimber.

    He's done several reviews on different guns and has been pretty correct on each one in my opinion.

    Kimber UC II review

    I'm not a Kimber only lover - I own and love several guns: Colts / Rugers / Walthers / Sig Sauer / Tauras / AR15's / AK 47's / Shotguns,and on and on and while they can all break, most of them do not break, if they did they would go out of business.

    Best get your input from several places and go shoot one at a range where they rent guns and test several guns then you can determine for yourself.

    Sometimes you can get very slanted views on these forumn's.

    I hope this helps and good luck on making your selection, there are lots of good guns out there and while one person will swear by one brand, another will curse it.

    That's why the make different brands.


  10. #10
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    VAMarine: I looked on the Springfield and could not find anything Micro. Are they still making them?

  11. #11
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Yes...

    Go to: Products- 1911 Pistols-Loaded--Select Model--Loaded Micro Compact LTWT Bi-Tone

    Looks like this:



    Or the railed version:


  12. #12
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    Got it thanks. Guess I am going to have to search one of these out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by plentyofpaws View Post
    I know much discussion has taken place on the forum, but I'd appreciate some solid feedback.

    I recently sold three of my guns to help fund the purchase of a .45. In speaking with my gunsmith I mentioned buying a Kimber with a 3" barrel.

    Without hesitation he said "get a Springfield."

    So what makes one better then the other?

    well my pspringer operator is a fantastic gun. i've never shot a kimber or a smith 1911, but the range i go to sold their smith 1911 rental gun becasue of constant parts breaking (the frame even cracked at one point). and had to send it back to smith at least a half dozen times.

    but i do read mostly positive reviews of smith 1911's, maybe they just got a lemon?

  14. #14
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    Well one never knows. I took my baby to the range today, I like it a lot!

  15. #15
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    Not on your list but my vote would be a Colt Defender if your dead set on a 3" 1911. Opinion based on personal experience with a Springfield 3.5", Kimber 3" and Colt 3" plus what I have read extensively on the subject. The little guys "can" work and they are a powerful big temptation for us 1911 fans (I've bit a few times and I know better) but they are inherently more finicky than even a 4" and obviously the 5" slide and barrel. We can ignore the physics as we lust after the 3" but not refute it. Colts been doing it a long time with the Defender and now a new derivative the Colt Agent. Not a spotless track record but better with a longer history. For half the money but about equal the risk in my opinion the Rock Island 3.5" might be worth a look. Might sound a bit crazy but if the RIA doesn't work and you can't get it to work at least your not out 800+ bucks.

    Springfield in general gets a lot of high marks including from me with thier full size loaded model's being a strong best buy contender in their price range. I'll take 2 please and a nice Champion for good measure. But my shorty experience with them, not so good. Life time warranty is nice for guns with 10,000+ rounds down the pipe and something breaks due to wear. That's understandable. Don't like it but it is understandable. It makes sense and that life time warranty you/I forgot about 5 years ago when you bought the gun is now a nice deal. But if I and others have to be sending new or near new stuff back to the factory on a warranty claim before you/we/me really get started then I don't want it back. Sorry but Glock, HK, Sig, Beretta and Colt have spoiled me on the whole reliability thing. YMMV

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by plentyofpaws View Post
    I know much discussion has taken place on the forum, but I'd appreciate some solid feedback.

    I recently sold three of my guns to help fund the purchase of a .45. In speaking with my gunsmith I mentioned buying a Kimber with a 3" barrel.

    Without hesitation he said "get a Springfield."

    So what makes one better then the other?

    google kimber reviews. your gunsmith is a smart man.

  17. #17
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by YFZsandrider View Post
    Speaking of MIM parts.... Kimber uses them, period. Depending on what your budget is and what size 1911 you want..... look at Dan Wesson. You will get a better fit, and higher quality gun for the money than with any other!

    Sorry Kimber fans... but I guess if I really wanted I could grind up all the Ed Brown parts in my Dan Wesson, mix up the shavings with some glue, and vwalah!....

    instant MIM!
    all the dan wesson's i've looked at in gunshops had inconsistent machining quality. poor grips safety fitting, loose triggers, some had tight slide/frame fits and some were loose.......

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