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Thread: Sig GSR vs Kimber Desert Warrior

  1. #1
    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    I am new to the thought of 1911 ownership and have done a fair amount of reading, researching,and handling of 1911's. I have narrowed my decision down to these two choices. From the 1911 enthusiasts out there that know, what shouldI expect from these two pieces?

    I am interested in owning thisweapon for the purposes of open carry, concealed carry, home defense, andshtf, civil unrest,combat-type situations. Competition is not important.

    Holster availability, operating in adverse weather conditions, ease of maintenance, and reliability are contributing factorsto this decision. Thanks in advance for any help.


    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Only reason I'd shy away from a SIG GSR is that it has an external extractor. I'm not saying it has extraction issues, but a 1911 IMO should have an internal extractor. To me it's just more aesthetically pleasing.

    Lately Kimber has been getting a bad rap on their quality control. I've heard that the Kimber II line has had some problems and some folks have had to send their pistols back multiple times. I'm sure with the amount of pistols they churn out, there are going to be some "bad" ones but if you're paying a hefty price for the Kimber line, then it should be right the first time IMO.


    Edit: Oh forgot to mention that I bought a used Kimber Custom Series I. It came with some no name magazines and they kind of give it problems feeding. It also came with a 10 rd chip mccormick mag and that has been rock solid. I'm on the lookout for maybe some Wilson ETMs or 47Ds, or even some Tripp Cobra IIs to make it feed reliabley. It's a great shooter and still breaking in 'cause the last owner said he only put like 1k through it.

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    While I haven't shot the Desert Warrior yet, I bought a Custom Crimson Carry II about 2 weeks ago and so far have had no issues (~200 rds in it so far). I'm not ready to draw a conclusion until well after 500 rds, but so far I've had no failures or issues.

    The range I go to had 2 people carrying them, one had two on him, and they both swore by them and said they had no issues with them. The best advice I got from them was to purchase an after market magazine, which I had already done (Wilson Combat), and to keep it lubed very well. I've heard multiple people say that all their problems with Kimbers were resolved by replacing the magazine.

    They also have a 500 round breakin period where you will need to shoot 100 rounds, clean it, shoot another 100, and so forth.

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    I'm sure the SIG is a fine firearm -- I haven't had any range time with one -- and I can add my name to the list of folks who unreservedly love and recommend my Kimber. I've got a Custom II which has been fed Wilson magazines and all sorts of ammunition. The previous poster is right; the factory stock mags (while they're not total garbage) should be replaced straight away.

    The break-in period is no myth, either. As each Kimber is hand-fit and machined to very tight tolerances, it requires those 500 rounds (most folks have told me 1,000 rounds is a more realistic break-in) to work through any potential issues and to get everything working smoothly together (yes, it DOES get smoother than it felt in the shop). Much like a brand-new race engine, the more you shoot it, the better it runs. I've only had a handful of failure-to-load issues during break-in and they're largely resolving themselves as I keep working rounds through it at the range. I have no problem trusting my Custom II when I need to and am comforted that if I do ever encounter an issue that Kimber will take care of it ASAP (I've talked to them during my break-in and am impressed by how direct and helpful they are).

    FYI, the issues most folks report are not tied to the Series II components (the firing pin safety) and the Desert Warrior doesn't contain those components, anyway. Most of the "problems" come from poor grip/technique and not going through the shoot-clean-shoot-clean cycle during break in. You're likely to run into a lot of naysaying about the Kimber pistols -- treat it as you would any other unsolicited free advice. If you do go that route the company will back you up 100% and that with the proper love and care up front she'll run reliably when you need it. Having to pick between a SIG or a Kimber... rough life, my friend

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    bcbrown2 wrote:
    Most of the "problems" come from poor grip/technique and not going through the shoot-clean-shoot-clean cycle during break in.
    +1 for this.

    I've personally fired hundreds of rounds through several different well-known autos with no problem and then seen other shooters "limp-wristing" the exact same firearm complaining about feed/extraction issues. An experienced shooter can pick up the exact same firearm using the same ammunition and magazines and fire hundreds of rounds without stoppage.

    The manual for the Kimber Carry II line does indeed say to fire 100 rounds of 230 gr ball ammo, clean, and repeat until 500 rounds have been fired. When the manual says to do something like break-in a weapon, it would be foolish to ignore it if you rely on that weapon to save your life.

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    Howdy to the OP... I've read posts from folks who break their sights trying to "adjust them" for the low-left shots they keep patterning (jerking the trigger and flinching in anticipation of recoil). That stuff scares me a little as it shows how willing we are to jump into a new gun and expect perfection without understanding that the weapon system is as much the hand, arm, body, eyes, and brain as it is the firearm.

    I'm relatively new to the 1911 and pistol shooting in general, too, but I'm starting to learn pretty fast what I'm looking for, what shot groups / patterns / malfunctions mean and am looking at my own technique before blaming anything other than myself. I've been breaking a lot of those Hollywood habits and I'll be darned -- the pistol feeds better, patterns right around the X and kicks the shells sideways now!!

    That said, my next weapon WILL be an M&P9c for those days I don't want to carry a three-pound piece of handheld artillery but want something compact and concealable although I myself am neither very compact nor concealable. :quirky It's OK for me to go "tupperware" for the next one, the way I see it. I already have my 5" 1911 and I'm glad it is my first pistol. It's brought me back to a lot of fundamentals which are forgivable on other platforms but force you to become a solid shooter, which will only help you down the road.

    And, for what it matters, it's my humble opinion that if you're going to buy a quintessentially American handgun, maybe it should be something made over here I still remember the first 230gr .45 cal FMJ round I threw downrange -- definitely an eyeopener -- and I remember the last one I fired, dead bullseye at 7 yards offhand. Your 1911 may not be the most carry-friendly or concealable handgun, but you might be a little surprised when it becomes your favorite!



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    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    bcbrown2, thanks for your insight. I am not new to shooting, handguns, or carrying, and I also currently carry something in the "tupperware" department. This purchase that I am deciding uponis a decisionto dive into the 1911 fray, where it seems all pistol enthusiasts seem to end up.

    It is hard for me to imagine that I would go throughout my life never having owned a 1911 of any kind, so this isdefinitely something that I have been eyeing for some time and has become a much more difficult decision than I could have evercontemplated. So many opinions, so many reviews, so many choices, so many features, and so many feel and look sonice...
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Right on. Hopefully I didn't come off as condescending... just enthusiastic

    I went about it all bass-ackwards; I started out looking for a Glock/XD/M&P and wound up with a simple, basic, and solid 1911. Today, as I look for dedicated carry weapons for under $600 I find myself looking for the "tupperware" guns and have a serious crush on the M&P9c. Have fun in your search... getting your pick of the 1911 litter is an enviable position, to be sure.

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    I seem to be the only GSR owner so far, so I'll give you my two cents on it. I have the "carry" 4.25" bbl with the nitron finish. I've put @1000 thru it so far. Excellent fit and finish, and has eaten everything I've put through it.....HP/SD ammo, ball, you name it. It's more accurate than I am. It's heavy, but it swallows recoil well. Easy to dump the whole mag and stay COM at 25 feet. Only issue I've had was the slide stop plunger tube came off the frame at the safety. Two minutes at the gunsmith had it fixed and it's not done it again. Wasn't peened enough at the factory and it just slipped out.

    Finding a holster was a bit of a trick when I got mine due to the slide being a hair thicker than a standard 1911, but I managed to find one that works well. I'm sure there are more choices on the market now that it's been out for a few years.

    I'm pretty tickled with the GSR....lots of upgrade features and very few if any MIM parts on the inside. Looks sweet too with the rosewood grips...





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    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    OBXMIKE wrote:
    I seem to be the only GSR owner so far, so I'll give you my two cents on it. I have the "carry" 4.25" bbl with the nitron finish. I've put @1000 thru it so far. Excellent fit and finish, and has eaten everything I've put through it.....HP/SD ammo, ball, you name it. It's more accurate than I am. It's heavy, but it swallows recoil well. Easy to dump the whole mag and stay COM at 25 feet. Only issue I've had was the slide stop plunger tube came off the frame at the safety. Two minutes at the gunsmith had it fixed and it's not done it again. Wasn't peened enough at the factory and it just slipped out.

    Finding a holster was a bit of a trick when I got mine due to the slide being a hair thicker than a standard 1911, but I managed to find one that works well. I'm sure there are more choices on the market now that it's been out for a few years.

    I'm pretty tickled with the GSR....lots of upgrade features and very few if any MIM parts on the inside. Looks sweet too with the rosewood grips...



    Thank you for your information, that is very useful.
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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