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  1. #1
    mr.goodkat is offline Junior Member
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    kimber rust question

    i read VAMarine's 1911 guide and he mentioned rust issues with kimber. is this an on going problem or something that was happeing awhile ago. ive been researching 1911's awhile and have ruled out SA's, and all aluminum frame versions, so im left with a couple models of Kimber, STI (Lawman, and Trojan 5.0), and Smith and Wesson. so for the money i want to know im getting a quality gun, otherwise kimber is out too. im not into buying guns just because of whose name is on the slide.

  2. #2
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.goodkat View Post
    i read VAMarine's 1911 guide and he mentioned rust issues with kimber. is this an on going problem or something that was happeing awhile ago. ive been researching 1911's awhile and have ruled out SA's, and all aluminum frame versions, so im left with a couple models of Kimber, STI (Lawman, and Trojan 5.0), and Smith and Wesson. so for the money i want to know im getting a quality gun, otherwise kimber is out too. im not into buying guns just because of whose name is on the slide.
    I have 3 full sized Kimbers...1 with a SST barrel...the other 2 with standard steel barrels and have never seen rust ANYWHERE on any of the 3. When I rotate them in usage..I make sure each is well oiled when put away...even a wet patch run thru the bores. My carry piece at the time will be run MUCH dryer, but since the purchase of my MPc I'll probably retire all 3 Kimbers to the rack to be used for target work and home defense.

    STI's I dont care for..but wouldnt turn down a SW 1911 if I could get it at a good price

  3. #3
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    I've owned my Kimber for 3 years and shot the heck out of it.

    I've never had any rust at all anywhere on mine.


  4. #4
    Hiram25 is offline Member
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    Use Gunzilla to clean your weapon and you should never have a rust problem.

  5. #5
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    Despite what the 2 prev. posters said, Kimbers do often have slight surface rust that can pop up during the first few weeks of ownership. It is a commonly posted concern on the 1911 forum, and my Ultra experienced this as well.

    The problem can be easily remedied by using a scotch brite pad and oil, to lightly buff away the rust. DO NOT use steel wool. Steel wool will only leave residue on the stainless steel that can result in more rust.

    All stainless steel will have some amount of carbon in it, which is what rusts. When I first experienced it with my Kimber, it was on the muzzle end of the barrel, exposed flats of the hammer, and quite a bit on the rear sight. The gun was not exposed to any abnormal amount of moisture, and was not even being carried at the time. I followed the advice I recieved on another forum and buffed away the surface rust, as I described earlier, and have not experienced any since.

    At the time, it really bothered me that a new gun would rust... especially its stainless components. I had other 1911s (Dan Wessons) that I had let sit for a month, after shooting, and they never had a spec of rust show up. I'm not sure what it is about the quality of the steel that Kimber uses, but this is not an uncommon problem.

    As I said, once you adress the problem, it is not likely to return. I have since carried the Ultra for about a month, and it has been completely void of any signs of rust.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    Use Gunzilla to clean your weapon and you should never have a rust problem.
    I use FP-10 to LUBE my guns and Clenzoil to "protect" them. Ive had 2 O/U trap guns sitting...oiled...in the rack since 1990....not a speck of rust anywhere on them.

  7. #7
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by YFZsandrider View Post
    Despite what the 2 prev. posters said, Kimbers do often have slight surface rust that can pop up during the first few weeks of ownership. It is a commonly posted concern on the 1911 forum, and my Ultra experienced this as well.

    The problem can be easily remedied by using a scotch brite pad and oil, to lightly buff away the rust. DO NOT use steel wool. Steel wool will only leave residue on the stainless steel that can result in more rust.

    All stainless steel will have some amount of carbon in it, which is what rusts. When I first experienced it with my Kimber, it was on the muzzle end of the barrel, exposed flats of the hammer, and quite a bit on the rear sight. The gun was not exposed to any abnormal amount of moisture, and was not even being carried at the time. I followed the advice I recieved on another forum and buffed away the surface rust, as I described earlier, and have not experienced any since.

    At the time, it really bothered me that a new gun would rust... especially its stainless components. I had other 1911s (Dan Wessons) that I had let sit for a month, after shooting, and they never had a spec of rust show up. I'm not sure what it is about the quality of the steel that Kimber uses, but this is not an uncommon problem.

    As I said, once you adress the problem, it is not likely to return. I have since carried the Ultra for about a month, and it has been completely void of any signs of rust.

    Good luck!
    All SST contains some small amount of carbon. And during SOME processing the grain structure of that material CAN BE ( doesnt mean AWAYS IS) transformed ( the grains move around sort of thing) and the chrome isnt there to protect the base metal. IF this happens its normally caused buy the heat treatment of that item and NOT caused by a machining process or anything such as that.

    One may buy 100 Kimbers and have it happen to ALL of them..or NONE of them because they "batch" heat treat the guns.

    No one should think that a Kimber ..or any other SST 1911 CANT "rust" but its no more of a "problem" with a Kimber than it is with any other brand. And to boot..."any other brand" MAY NOT be heat treated to the same specs...i.e. may not be "as hard and as tough as".

  8. #8
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Two points.

    1.Not all Kimber barrels are stainless steel. The chart for which guns have which barrels are in the back of the Kimber catalog and it's listed for each model on their website.

    2.Regarding " its no more of a "problem" with a Kimber than it is with any other brand" I would tend to disagree

    I've provided the links in multiple posts, on multiple occasions from the gun forums, I have never heard of or seen ANY other manufacturer having the same frequency of this occurring as Kimber.

    Maybe it's that I got to see a lot of them that got pulled from the shelves as my wife worked at two gun shops as not dealer worth his salt is going to leave a gun in the case with a rusty barrel, or maybe it's just that I spent a lot of time in the gun shops (if your wife worked in a gun shop wouldn't you?), maybe Kimber has fixed the issue. Who knows.

    As I've always said, I'm not saying don't buy a Kimber because of _________. what I say is that I won't buy or recommend a Kimber because of ________ and I want the members here to be educated consumers and be aware of previous issues with ANY maker, not just Kimber. If you're dead set on a Kimber, or Kimber is the only one making such an item (for a while they were the only ones making a steel frame 3" .45) I will be more than happy to make a recommendation on a model.

    Here's an example.
    Look at their new Super Carry line, only the 5" has a stainless steel barrel, the others just say "Steel, match grade"

    Super Carry Custom:
    Barrel: Length (inches): 5
    Material: Stainless steel, match grade
    Stainless steel match grade bushing
    Twist rate (left hand): 16

    Super Carry Pro:
    Barrel: Length (inches): 4
    Material: Steel, match grade
    Twist rate (left hand): 16

    I'm sorry, but for that price ($1530MSRP) I want more for my money.

    When I can go a year without hearing about a barrel rusting up, when ALL Kimbers come with the stainless match grade barrel (You're paying for it regardless if you get it or not given the price tag), when Kimbers have a lesser rate of issues than other brands and the quality matches the price, I'll reverse my opinion and buy one of each.


  9. #9
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Two points.

    1.Not all Kimber barrels are stainless steel. The chart for which guns have which barrels are in the back of the Kimber catalog and it's listed for each model on their website.

    2.Regarding " its no more of a "problem" with a Kimber than it is with any other brand" I would tend to disagree

    I've provided the links in multiple posts, on multiple occasions from the gun forums, I have never heard of or seen ANY other manufacturer having the same frequency of this occurring as Kimber. ....


    I never alluded to in any manner that ALL kimbers DID HAVE SST barrels....and besides just being made of SST doesnt exempt it from rusting anyway. My stating that it wasnt any MORE of a problem ..IO should have said that TO ME a barrel rusting isnt a problem because I MAKE SURE when mine go in the rack they are throughly oiled down with preservative oil. Ive NEVER had a barrel rust on me...not even the barrel on my Daisy BB gun I use to POP squirrels with to keep them off my bird feeders.

    But I DO notice that you state.."I have never heard of or seen ANY other manufacturer having the same frequency of this occurring as Kimber"....which to me says OTHERS DO at times have it..?

    I know that Kimber makes frames and slides for other "brands" but dont know about their barrel making..if they do..I wonder why we never hard of those "other brands" having rusty barrels????

  10. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sully2 View Post
    I never alluded to in any manner that ALL kimbers DID HAVE SST barrels....and besides just being made of SST doesnt exempt it from rusting anyway. My stating that it wasnt any MORE of a problem ..IO should have said that TO ME a barrel rusting isnt a problem because I MAKE SURE when mine go in the rack they are throughly oiled down with preservative oil. Ive NEVER had a barrel rust on me...not even the barrel on my Daisy BB gun I use to POP squirrels with to keep them off my bird feeders.

    But I DO notice that you state.."I have never heard of or seen ANY other manufacturer having the same frequency of this occurring as Kimber"....which to me says OTHERS DO at times have it..?

    I know that Kimber makes frames and slides for other "brands" but dont know about their barrel making..if they do..I wonder why we never hard of those "other brands" having rusty barrels????
    Sure other barrels rust, they're metal right? I have a FN Hi Power that had a tendency to speckle a little bit, I hit it up with some Flitz and a scouring pad and never had an issue again and I ONCE saw a Sig 220 Elite with some minor rust on the top of the barrel hood. That's two occasions from two different manufacturers.

    With Kimbers, I'd have to say I've seen at least a dozen, never been fired (other than whatever factory testing was done), still in the anti-moisture bags or whatever they are with rusted barrels that had never left the box since leaving the factory, I had one that if you sneezed on it would start turning brown, regardless of how well maintained it was. The same treatment I that was successful on my HP didn't do squat for that CDP.

    On a side note, who does Kimber make slides and frames for?

  11. #11
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Sure other barrels rust, they're metal right? I have a FN Hi Power that had a tendency to speckle a little bit, I hit it up with some Flitz and a scouring pad and never had an issue again and I ONCE saw a Sig 220 Elite with some minor rust on the top of the barrel hood. That's two occasions from two different manufacturers.

    With Kimbers, I'd have to say I've seen at least a dozen, never been fired (other than whatever factory testing was done), still in the anti-moisture bags or whatever they are with rusted barrels that had never left the box since leaving the factory, I had one that if you sneezed on it would start turning brown, regardless of how well maintained it was. The same treatment I that was successful on my HP didn't do squat for that CDP.

    On a side note, who does Kimber make slides and frames for?
    Right off hand I think Kimber needs to look close at some of their processes then.

    Kimber makes frames and slide for Brown and for McCormick. I was told that when the frames and slides are "matched up"..that the tightest fitting combo went to Brown; the second tightest Kimber kept and the 3rd tightest went to McCormick. Course there is more than JUST frame / slide fit for good accuracy. My Springfield "loaded"...( snickering) SST model...which BTW I hated from about 1 month after purchase and it took me a LONG time to finally figure out what was wrong with it....fired shotgun patterns...also low and to the left. I bought an undersized bushing and hand fitted it with minimal tools ( cause thats all I had...lol) From the factory th barrel/ bushing// slide fit totalled .021...?? When I got done...barrel to bushing was .001.....bushing to slide was another .001. Shot TIGHT groups then...but still low and to the left..?

    After I got my first Kimber so that I had a "shootin iron".......I started checking. The front sight dovetail had been machine INCORRECTLY and the sight was off by .035...and was drilled and pinned!!.. I drilled out the pin...moved the front sight over so that it shot dead center but then the ..??..Base..??..of the sight hung over the edge of the slide.

    Finally said the hell with it and traded it for my second Kimber

  12. #12
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sully2 View Post
    Right off hand I think Kimber needs to look close at some of their processes then.

    Kimber makes frames and slide for Brown and for McCormick.

    That's not quite correct, at one time before everyone started making their own frames/slides, I'm pretty sure they all got their slides/frames from Caspian, that's if they weren't building up Colts etc.(as well as Wilson Combat), I know for a fact that Kimber is making their own and Brown is too, if you look at the Kimber frames, the dust cover is profiled differently. Now days almost everyone is CNC machining their own.

    Regarding Ed Brown, the following can be found on their website:
    In 1998, after manufacturing all the major components of the 1911, Ed’s two sons Travis and Wade joined the business full time. A new direction was established - the design and manufacture of a complete line of Ed Brown firearms, to include not only the 1911 but also a proprietary line of bolt-action rifles. The next few years were invested in plant expansion and R&D for the design and manufacture of the Ed Brown 1911 frame, slide, and bolt-action. Years of intensive prototype development and testing required the Brown family to fire thousands of rounds through their new line of 1911's, and hunt hundreds of game animals across the world with their new line of bolt-action rifles.
    I would have wagered that McCormick was also using Caspian frames, but as he has ties to Kimber I guess anything's possible.

  13. #13
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    ...
    Regarding Ed Brown, the following can be found on their website:
    I would have wagered that McCormick was also using Caspian frames, but as he has ties to Kimber I guess anything's possible.
    Since Im not at kimber on the shop floor...all I can relate is what I was told by them when I called once questioning some mods that I wanted done for me...other than that..???

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