Went to the gun show a couple weekends ago, and came home with a new toy: Kimber Tac-II Custom, a GM-size 1911, but with a lightweight alloy frame. I had posted previously on two different threads that I thought a full-size lightweight would be my next gun. Unfortunately, the only ones I have seen have had the external extractor. I promised myself that if I ever saw one with an internal extractor, Iíd get it. Well, I saw exactly one at the whole show, so I bought it.
First thing I did was unscrew the flared magazine well doodad thatís designed to help with speedloading. This will be a concealment gun, not a competition gun, so reduced profile trumps speedloading. The flared mag well is held on by a screw, and a dovetail.
A week or so later, I found a Pachmayr rubber mainspring housing on eBay, so I installed that.
Then I replaced the stylish plastic Kimber stocks with rubber Kimber stocks, that I just happened to find at the gun show for $5. I like rubber stocks; have them on almost all my guns.
Next order of business was to replace the guide rod/finger-slicing plug with GI parts, as God and John Browning intended. I used the same recoil spring that came on the gun, just replace the guide and the end cap.
Then, I replaced the hex-head screws with flat-head screws. (The four stock screws, and the magazine catch screw.) I rarely or never have Allen wrenches with me, but I almost always have a Swiss Army knife in my pocket. If a screw comes loose, I want to be able to tighten it on the spot, and not wait until I can get to a tool kit. The purpose of hex-head screws is to keep people from tearing up the screws by using a wrong-size screwdriver. I figure screws are cheap. If I destroy one, I can replace it.
Hereís the gun after all the fiddling (but before the Pachmayr mainspring housing):
- The trigger sucks. I have an Ohaus spring-loaded trigger scale that goes to 4.5 pounds, and this goes off that scale. Not by much. Maybe itís 5 or 5.5. A touch on the heavy side, but creepy. Slow-fire shooting for accuracy is hard work; I have to get through the creaking and scraping before the sear releases. Bummer. I hate to spend money on a gun, and then have to spend more for a decent trigger. I have two other Kimbers, and owned another one previously, and none of them needed trigger work. Maybe itís the super-duper whiz-bang (and useless) firing pin blocking gizmo that they use. (It's on this one, but not on my other Kimbers.) One of these days when I have some time, Iíll pull out those parts and see if the trigger is better as a result. That might be it, or it might not be.
- I can take or leave the checkering on the front strap. I donít have it on any of my other pistols. If I were building a pistol from scratch, I would leave the front strap smooth, but I guess I can live with it.
- The checkering on the underside of the trigger guard is just stoopid. What is the purpose of roughening the underside of the trigger guard? You donít grip the gun there. All it does is scrape your finger when the gun recoils. Itís like glueing a piece of sandpaper inside your collar. Itís useless, and annoying. I might try ďpaintingĒ it with Plasti-Dip or something.
This is the first magazine fired through the gun: 7 shots, 7 yards, 2-hands, standing (no rest), fighting the trigger. The hole furthest to the right was the first shot, which I called right, getting used to the trigger. Note that the group is a little high, though. That will become more significant later.
Here are 9 shots at 7 yards. 3 rounds 2-handed; 3 rounds right-handed; 3 rounds left-handed. The left side of the group was the left-handed shots, the right side of the group was the right-handed shots, the middle of the group was the 2-handed shots. The gun is intrinsically accurate enough, but note again that everything is above the point of aim.
Out to 25 yards. I fired as carefully as I could, aiming at the diamond shape, and got no holes on paper! It looked like there were some holes on the backer, though, above the target. So, I taped up a second target below the diamond. I held the sights on the center of the cross, and made holes on the target above, about 6 or 7 inches high. Not a good thing. I want my pistols to be on at 25, maybe an inch or two high, max. I donít know what to do about that, with fixed (Tritium) sights. I hate to whittle on the rear sight, what with the tritium dots there. Any ideas?
OK, back to 7 yards, to work from the leather. I used a turning target (indoor range), with the target exposed for 2 seconds. From the leather, 2 shots in 2 seconds. (That's 2 seconds max. I was finishing well before the targets turned back, but on this range, I can't set the turner for fractions of a second. On the outdoor range, using a PACT timer, pairs are usually 1.5 - 1.7.) I was using a Galco Gunsite holster that I had bought a half hour earlier from a guy on Craigslist. $45, which I thought was a pretty good price. Holster looks barely used. Anyway, as you can see, everything went low left, a sure sign of trigger yank. I repeated the drill with 2 other Kimbers, and everything was nice and centered. I repeated the drill with this gun, same thing Ė low left. I attribute it to really having to fight the trigger, and the light weight of the gun making it easier to push off target.
Note: I've been back to the range since, and put another 200 rounds through the gun. Timed pairs are now centered, but it really is hard work fighting that trigger. I didn't have a camera that time around.
Summary: Cool gun. I intend to carry it a lot, but not until I get the trigger sorted out, and get a few more rounds through it, so I can be more familiar with it. Not sure what to do about the sights. According to my handy-dandy sight-adjustment formula, it will require removing only 2 to 3 thousandths of an inch from the top of the rear sight to center the group at 25. There is enough material on the rear sight to do that, without running into the tritium inserts. I may try that.
Nice gun and review on it.
You should write for a magazine. Nice job.
Good report and nice looking pistol.
Took the Kimber apart to remove the iddiwa firing pin block parts, to see if that would improve the trigger pull. I could not get the parts out. I think you have to take the rear sight off to remove the plunger inside the slide. The rear sight would not budge, and yes, I removed the set screw.
But, while I had the gun apart, I inspected the pieces. Saw some roughness on the disconnector, on the flat part that contacts the trigger bar. I gave that a polish with some crocus cloth, and dabbed on a tiny speck of grease. I don’t know if that helped, or if it was coincidence, but now the biggest pre-release hitch in the trigger release is gone, and the pull is down to about 4 3/4 pounds.
Went to the range, and the trigger is much easier to control now. Doubles at seven are all centered now, not yanking low left like before.
Sights are still off though, 6 inches high at 25 yards, and just a skosh to the right. That’ll be my next project. Anybody have a 10-pound sledge hammer I can borrow, to drift that rear sight?
Last edited by milquetoast; 01-01-2007 at 07:33 PM.
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