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  1. #1
    Golden is offline Junior Member
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    Kimber .45 for a first gun?

    Purchasing first handgun for home protection and target shooting, and to conceal if needed.
    Looking at Kimber pro carry II.
    But also looking at the custom with 5" barrel.

    It would be the only gun I own and I want to do it right.


    Recommendations?

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  3. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Re: Kimber .45 for a first gun?

    What kind of budget do you have for ammo and accessories such as extra magazines?

    The 1911 pattern pistol makes for a good first gun, but it will take some more familiarization than some others, especially when getting into carry.

    I would probably opt for a steel framed Pro sized gun if you're serious about only one gun.

  4. #3
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    I'd not rec a kimber as first gun, or a 1911 as a carry gun (too big).
    Every kimber owner I"ve ever talked to has had to 'break in' their gun for up to 1000 rounds for it to be reliable. Not a great idea for a first gun or a carry gun IMO.

    A SW M&P, a SA XDm, a Glock are all better choices - cheaper, lighter, more reliable out of the gate and just as accurate if not more so. Also, don't go too small- smaller is harder to control (aim), will have more felt recoil, and may have issues with 'limp wristing' in 45 (less so in 9mm).

  5. #4
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    if you are dedicated to keeping with it and learning - nothing wrong with a 1911 45
    as to that model i can't say
    i'd probably get a ruger 1911 or springfield 1911
    as to CCW - some do but most don't carry a 45

  6. #5
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    Nothing wrong with a 1911 as a carry gun. I do most every day, either a full size or Commander size. Nothing wrong with a .45 ACP either, but it will take practice. As for Kimber, there may be a break in period. My .38 Super Pro Carry II HD is, I think, over it's break in at 1000 rounds. I don't trust it just yet for carry, but it's getting there. The .45's that I have I do trust. The biggest issue that I've seen on the 1911 is to make swiping the safety off a natural event, you don't even think about it, it just happens when you draw the pistol. Get someone that is knowledgable to teach you how to shoot the 1911 correctly and then practice, practice, practice.

  7. #6
    Sgt45's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with a 1911 as a carry gun. I do most every day, either a full size or Commander size. Nothing wrong with a .45 ACP either, but it will take practice. As for Kimber, there may be a break in period. My .38 Super Pro Carry II HD is, I think, over it's break in at 1000 rounds. I don't trust it just yet for carry, but it's getting there. The .45's that I have I do trust. The biggest issue that I've seen on the 1911 is to make swiping the safety off a natural event, you don't even think about it, it just happens when you draw the pistol. Get someone that is knowledgable to teach you how to shoot the 1911 correctly and then practice, practice, practice.

  8. #7
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    I've carried a 1911 full sized, and commander-sized for over 40 years... every day. Suits me just fine. Quite a few of the gals I've taught in that time also carry 1911's... daily.... several of my shooting friends also carry 1911's. I have Colts, Kimbers, Sigs, Dan Wesson's, and S&W 1911's and they all have functioned just fine. All that is relevant only to me. Personal preference is what counts, and you'd be better off with trying one/some 1911's out and see what YOU think, so you can make an educated decision. I wouldn't presume to select your shoes for you either..... just sayin'

  9. #8
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Finally!

    Someone is thinking about getting a good gun for their first handgun for once... Too many times i hear, "well gee I only want to spend $349.99 with tax"

    Yes, a Kimber .45 ANYTHING would make a good first gun! And may I say you have damn fine good taste!

  10. #9
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but here goes.

    I've shot a fair share of Kimbers. They can be finicky at times. Sometimes they shoot, sometimes they don't. That's coming from Kimber owners that I know. Well.....the ones that are being honest.

    You should never have to "break-in" a firearm. They should shoot just fine, right out of the box. "Breaking in a firearm" is an old wive's tale.

    I've heard tales that Kimber themselves, say that their guns need to be broken-in. I've owned 100's of new handguns, and never had to break one in. I've never owned a Kimber, and if I had, maybe I'd be saying something different.

    Kimber = Over-priced and over-rated.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but here goes.

    I've shot a fair share of Kimbers. They can be finicky at times. Sometimes they shoot, sometimes they don't. That's coming from Kimber owners that I know. Well.....the ones that are being honest.

    You should never have to "break-in" a firearm. They should shoot just fine, right out of the box. "Breaking in a firearm" is an old wive's tale.

    I've heard tales that Kimber themselves, say that their guns need to be broken-in. I've owned 100's of new handguns, and never had to break one in. I've never owned a Kimber, and if I had, maybe I'd be saying something different.

    Kimber = Over-priced and over-rated.
    Opinions don't always translate into fact.....

    Well.....the ones that are being honest.
    I'm not sure who that crack is supposed to reflect on. Likely not me, as you don't know me.

  12. #11
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcj View Post
    Opinions don't always translate into fact.....

    I'm not sure who that crack is supposed to reflect on. Likely not me, as you don't know me.

    I have some friends that own Kimbers that wouldn't admit it, if they were having feed / functions issues with them.

  13. #12
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    Thank you sir. I do appreciate the clarification.

  14. #13
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    I do think at one time, when Kimber was first on the market, they offered some very good, hand-crafted firearms.

    But, that was long ago, long before they stepped up production to keep up with the market.

    As production ramps up, quality control tends to suffer.

  15. #14
    shoot4fun is offline Junior Member
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    I just bought a new full sized Kimber 1911. Can someone tell me what the breakin is for. Mine feeds & fires everything I put in it. It holds a tight group & i've ran about 250-300 rounds thru it so far.

  16. #15
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Re: Kimber .45 for a first gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoot4fun View Post
    I just bought a new full sized Kimber 1911. Can someone tell me what the breakin is for. Mine feeds & fires everything I put in it. It holds a tight group & i've ran about 250-300 rounds thru it so far.
    That isn't always the case, and the full size guns are typically the least fussy of any make of 1911.

    Some guns need the break-in, others don't.

  17. #16
    Golden is offline Junior Member
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    What do you mean by "trust it for carry?"

  18. #17
    Golden is offline Junior Member
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    And yeah, I really don't want to go cheap for a first gun, I just want to make sure I get quality for the money. I believe it's going to be a lifetime investment anyway.

    Is a 5" barrel concealable? Or too big? I'm a big guy 5'10" 270 don't know if my larger frame hides it better.

  19. #18
    Golden is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    What kind of budget do you have for ammo and accessories such as extra magazines?

    The 1911 pattern pistol makes for a good first gun, but it will take some more familiarization than some others, especially when getting into carry.

    I would probably opt for a steel framed Pro sized gun if you're serious about only one gun.

    I have an open budget for ammo and accessories, but my state of NY also has a clip max of 10, I think


    What other accessories would I need besides ammo, cartridges, and holster?

  20. #19
    Leo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    What do you mean by "trust it for carry?"
    You want your carry gun to be 100% reliable, i.e. it should go bang every time you pull the trigger without problems (no FTE's, FTFeed's, FTFire's).

    Concealing a 5" barreled pistol is doable even though it will be harder than concealing a smaller gun (with a 3" barrel, for example). But smaller guns would have more recoil and would be more prone to limp wristing and therefore, bigger guns will be easier to shoot for beginners.

  21. #20
    MoMan's Avatar
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    I have a full size Kimber that I bought new about 2 years ago, never had to go through any break-in period with it. It shoots everything I toss down it including lead reloads. Believe me when I say; if I had a problem it I would say so. I must just be lucky, I have numerous pistols/revolvers and have not had any problems with any of them. I do clean them after shooting and do properly lubricate them.
    Just sayin'!!

  22. #21
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    I have an open budget for ammo and accessories, but my state of NY also has a clip max of 10, I think


    What other accessories would I need besides ammo, cartridges, and holster?
    Magazines, cleaning accessories, maybe some 1911 specific tools pending on what make/model you get.

    If you want to start beefing up on 1911 terminology, and some basic info, start reading here:

    Guns, Guns, & More Gosh Darn Guns: 1911 Buyer's Reference Guide - Revised 2012-06-16


    In terms of Kimber, while they've had a rough past, they seem to be doing much better these days. You could do worse, but you can also do better, but it will cost more.

    While I've had issues with them the past, a colleague I trust has had several Kimbers over the last year or so and has not had any sues other than a point of aim / point of impact issue. While I typically don't run out and recommend a Kimber to those looking for a 1911, I'm not as die-hard about steering people away from them as I once was.

    That being said, if I were to buy a Kimber (I've had four in the past) it would be a Super Carry Pro HD.

    In terms of size vs. concealment, the hardest thing to hide on the gun is typically the grip, the Pro has the same size grip as the 5" guns so you're really not gaining anything in terms of concealablity with the Pro...that is unless you plan on carrying in a horizontal shoulder holster.


    The 4" guns with the round-butt or Ed Brown Bobtail are the most well rounded 1911s for carry/range etc.

  23. #22
    FloridaGuy's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Kimber Super Carry Pro HD in .45Cal. Ihave not been able to shoot it yet so on Friday I am planning on putting 500 round through it. From what I have read and have been told by other Kimberowners the normal break in period is about 500 rounds. They also recommendedthat this break in be done in one range visit because the hotter the gun getsthe better it will function after the 500 rounds. I was also told to purchase Springfield Armary Magazines for the Kimber they are said to work the best in the gun even better than the Kimber Magazines.

  24. #23
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGuy View Post
    I just purchased a Kimber Super Carry Pro HD in .45Cal. Ihave not been able to shoot it yet so on Friday I am planning on putting 500 round through it. From what I have read and have been told by other Kimberowners the normal break in period is about 500 rounds. They also recommendedthat this break in be done in one range visit because the hotter the gun getsthe better it will function after the 500 rounds. I was also told to purchase Springfield Armary Magazines for the Kimber they are said to work the best in the gun even better than the Kimber Magazines.

    It pains me greatly to see you buying into the gun break-in theory.

    But, I do wish you the best in your endeavors.

    When it comes to the part about swinging a dead chicken over your head during the break-in process, use a frozen one. It's a lot less messy.

    Sorry.....couldn't help myself.

  25. #24
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    Kimber's have had somewhat of a checkered past but do seem to be improving.

    A full size 1911 can be concealed quite easily but like any other full size gun you cannot skimp on equipment. 1911's are big and heavy so a quality holster and belt are needed to support the weight of the gun. When home I often carry my SA TRP in a Raven holster with a Wilderness Tactical belt with no problems.

    It seems that the more you get away from the original design of the gun, shorter barrels, the more issues there are with the gun. I only one one subcompact 1911 and it is in 9mm and has no issues.

    I expect a firearm to function as intended out of the box. I do understand that different guns like different ammo, mags and so on but to having to shoot 500 rounds to break in a gun to me is not really acceptable.

    The Commander size guns are a bit easier to conceal and you are not really losing anything with the shorter barrel. Good luck in your search.

  26. #25
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    For "Fred" to be pained, because "Joe" sees fit to "break-in" a firearm, is silly. Fred didn't spend any money on it, lost time over it, waste ammo doing it, or anything along those lines. If Fred gets pained, it's because Fred has an issue with someone doing something that Fred doesn't support. Many products end up performing better when they're broken in..... motor vehicles, shoes, guns, mower engines, hell... even floor mops have break-in suggestions.... New York City Industries for the Blind - Mops

    I have never experienced any issues because I didn't break in a gun, but I have broken in many very expensive barrels, and experienced excellent performance afterward.

    I have several Kreiger Barrels, and I adhere to their suggestions. Kreiger recommends break-in as much for future cleaning, as for performance. Break-In & Cleaning

    Some may need to consider 200 mg of Ibuprofin 3X a day for two days for pain. Apologies.

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