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Kimber break-in period?!? What's the deal??

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  • lastchance1701d

    New Member
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    Jun 4, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I got impatient waiting to find any SA Loaded Champions to come around for my carry gun, and when I was in my local gun shop the other day I came across a Kimber SIS Pro. I have heard some negative things about Kimber, and I am sure some of it is true and some is just bias. Nevertheless, my good friend loves his Kimber CDP ultra. After sleeping on it for a night I went back and bought it. I went to the range this past weekend to begin the break process, and after the first 50 rounds everything was just peachy. Then it started having feed problems where the bullet would get caught halfway in the barrel. At first it was only when I loaded a clip and racked it, then it started doing while shooting. I asked Dave, the guy that runs the range, about it and he said it just needed to be broken in. I cleaned and lubricated the gun before this range outing, so I no it isn't that. Does anyone know anything about this? Any advice or suggestions? Thanks for the help.


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    Sep 20, 2008
    Kimber recommends the break in period for a reason.... I have never had a problem with a properly "broken in" 1911, and they all require some form of break in.


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    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    1911s have alot of friction, especially when they are new and the surfaces are rough from machining. Some of the Kimbers run out of the box flawlessly and others don't. The difference is simply the tolerances they are built with. Some are tighter than others, and in my opinion, some are excessively tight, and thus would require a significant break-in period.

    I would routinely clean the gun every range trip to remove any slurry or debris that will build up on the slide rails and on other places like the barrel --> frame interface.


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    Oct 22, 2008
    DFW Keller
    What's been said.... Kimber says 500 rounds to break in, and apparently they won't take a gun back for warranty for feed or ejections problems before such time. (although I don't know how they could verify x amount of rounds) That's one of my issues with Kimber. Good gosh, polish the feed ramp a little and save the buyer $400 in ammo just breaking the darn thing in. SA doesn't require this and there's is a production gun too. Oh, I know some would say the Kimbers are extra tight... but I call BS on that. A tight fit shouldn't cause feed problems. It's just there short cuts in production.

    But let me say, as long as you have an internal extractor version you will get that Kimber to perform and be reliable. So don't through the baby out with the bath water as they say. And once it reaches a reliable state, you're good to go.


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    Mar 11, 2008
    DFW, North Texas
    Oh, I know some would say the Kimbers are extra tight... but I call BS on that. A tight fit shouldn't cause feed problems. It's just there short cuts in production.

    Did you really say that?

    BTW, put a Kimber up against most any other production 1911 and compare details of fit and finish. SA's Professional according to them, include custom features. I watched a Shooting Gallery I think it was 2 days ago and when describing the Professional, they could have been describing a base Kimber Custom.

    Their tighter tolerances certainly can cause issues. If it were a custom or semi-custom the friction points would be smoothed out already, but some guns, not all as many will have you believe, need more work that others. I'd be frustrated if it were mine, but it's a production gun and they aren't perfect. You also don't pay the cost of a custom even though you get a lot of features that are.

    To lastchance:

    Some people swear by racking the slide 100+ times at first just to smooth it out a little and swear by that. It also helps with those extra tight picky guns to be very wet, extra lubricated.

    Now what might be the real cause. It's a Pro; 4" Kimber. The recoil spring needs to be replaced every 600-800 rounds however, the spring they use is not made for a 4" gun and many times needs to be replace much sooner. It's the outer officers spring. it works fine in some guns but not ideal and works like crap in others.

    Do yourself a favor and order new recoil springs direct from Wolff (Kimber springs come from Wolff as do most companies) and order part number 32725. It's a spring Wolff designed specifically for the 4" Kimber's and is said to be able to go 2000+ rounds. I don't know of anyone that's worn one out but many replace them 1200-1500 anyways. They're only $8.

    It will feel stiffer at first and have quite the "POP" (which is why some dumbass marketing guy made the decision not to use it and scare off new customers). After a few rounds it'll lighten up, but you'll notice a marked improvement in full cycle. You won't feel it getting weak at each end of the cycle. That alone fixes more FTF/FTE issues with Pro's.

    The fact that you're sling shotting the slide and it's failing to strip a round off the magazine succesfully leads me to believe it may be the spring which will be rapidly getting weaker at that point in the cycle. You shold be able to sling shot or release the slide stop and it load a round just fine.

    It may also just need a few more rounds through it, but I'd get the recoil spring out of the picture as a problem as well.

    Wolff Gunsprings Manufactures springs for modern and vintage firearms, guns, hammer, pistols, handguns, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, semiautomatic, accessories, weapons, law enforcement, hunting, shooting, recoil, colt, mainsprings, magazines, IPSC is Wolff direct. Pn# 32725 (but confirm in case my tired head is wrong. They make it easy to find. It's an XP spring for all 4" Kimbers and has it's own separate page)
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