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Thread: Your thoughts on the Kimber Stainless Raptor II

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Your thoughts on the Kimber Stainless Raptor II

    I was just wondering if anybody has any experience with this pistol, and what are your thoughts on it. Also, any info on the quality of Kimber's customer service and corporate mentality would be great.

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    I will attempt to not flame, but I see Kimber as a money company vs a gun company. I do not know much about their long gun's, but there 1911's are MIM "metal injection molding" to the max, the mainspring housing is plastic, which I had never seen another mftr do. I believe whole heartedly that a Springfield GI with a good smith will walk all over the kimber for the same money. They at one point had alot of issues with there extractor because the went to an external type vs internal. Eventually they saw a big enough drop in sales, and enough people pissed off about repairs not working that they went back to the original internal extractor type.

    Lots of people on here own kimbers, I dont think they are terrible, but I think you could make a better decision with money.
    Springfield, Sig GSR, Colt, Dan Wesson Heritage RZ-45, I shoot dan wesson, and they are fricken solid! granted mine is a different model, the Cbob.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim12232 View Post
    I will attempt to not flame, but I see Kimber as a money company vs a gun company. I do not know much about their long gun's, but there 1911's are MIM "metal injection molding" to the max, the mainspring housing is plastic, which I had never seen another mftr do. I believe whole heartedly that a Springfield GI with a good smith will walk all over the kimber for the same money. They at one point had alot of issues with there extractor because the went to an external type vs internal. Eventually they saw a big enough drop in sales, and enough people pissed off about repairs not working that they went back to the original internal extractor type.

    Lots of people on here own kimbers, I dont think they are terrible, but I think you could make a better decision with money.
    Springfield, Sig GSR, Colt, Dan Wesson Heritage RZ-45, I shoot dan wesson, and they are fricken solid! granted mine is a different model, the Cbob.
    +1

    In my opinion you pay more for the name than you do for the gun.

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    plus to be honest, if you really look, you could probably find a Les Baer for around the same 1500 dollars! The Baer is gonna be a real tight tight custom 1911, probably a few issues in the first 600 rounds due to tightness, but ask any Baer owner and they wouldnt give them up for a bar of gold!....well maybe a big bar of gold!

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim12232 View Post
    I will attempt to not flame, but I see Kimber as a money company vs a gun company. I do not know much about their long gun's, but there 1911's are MIM "metal injection molding" to the max, the mainspring housing is plastic, which I had never seen another mftr do. I believe whole heartedly that a Springfield GI with a good smith will walk all over the kimber for the same money. They at one point had alot of issues with there extractor because the went to an external type vs internal. Eventually they saw a big enough drop in sales, and enough people pissed off about repairs not working that they went back to the original internal extractor type.

    Lots of people on here own kimbers, I dont think they are terrible, but I think you could make a better decision with money.
    Springfield, Sig GSR, Colt, Dan Wesson Heritage RZ-45, I shoot dan wesson, and they are fricken solid! granted mine is a different model, the Cbob.
    Interesting. I only know one Kimber: mine; the one on my hip almost every day. It has a steel mainspring housing. Oddly enough, if I go to the safe and pull out my Colt Series 80 Combat Elite (not a no-frills pistol) you will find a plastic mainspring housing.

    My Smith & Wesson BUG is full of MIM, too. I've yet to hear of issues with any pistol that uses these parts, though I've not researched it either.

    If you are looking at a Kimber with an external extractor, than you can research this issue, but all current pistols have had normal internal extractors for quite some time now. External extractors have some advantages, and other companies have moved to them as well. They just got them to work better and have kept them.

    That said, my Springfield Mil-Spec is probably the best value out there in a 1911, though I believe I got what I paid for with my Kimber.

    I continue to hear good reports about the Ruger SR1911, and would give it a chance if I was in the market for another one.
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-30-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim12232 View Post
    plus to be honest, if you really look, you could probably find a Les Baer for around the same 1500 dollars! The Baer is gonna be a real tight tight custom 1911, probably a few issues in the first 600 rounds due to tightness, but ask any Baer owner and they wouldnt give them up for a bar of gold!....well maybe a big bar of gold!
    I have a local USPSA shooter friend who owns a Les Baer and two Kimbers. He's had nothing but problems with the Les Baer pistol and their customer service. This is the only experience I know of (the only friend I have with enough money to have a Les Baer, too, but I digress) so I can't say it speaks to the company. He took his two Kimbers to Gunsite with 1000 rounds each, flawlessly. I loaded his ammo.

    But yes, in every other way, I've heard very good things about Les Baer quality and accuracy.
    Blue & Gold Firearms Training; Clark County, NV: NRA-certified, concierge instruction
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Damn, that's not what I wanted to hear. I was really wanting the Stainless Raptor II, it just looks incredible. But of course, I'm not gonna trade performance for looks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    Damn, that's not what I wanted to hear. I was really wanting the Stainless Raptor II, it just looks incredible. But of course, I'm not gonna trade performance for looks.
    Dont be discouraged! I dont know if you have a 1911 right now or have ever had one. If you havent there isnt a single new to 1911 person that hasn't looked favorably at kimbers. Here is a link to Dan Wesson, look around and see if anything catches your eye, the prices listed are MSRP and you can get them for a couple hundred less usually. These are not stamped out guns, they are the entry of semi custom hand fit guns, all have forged frames and slides and tool steel parts since late 2010. I would trust my life to my Dan Wesson, and thousands of other do too everyday!



    Tim


    GOOD LUCK w/ your search!

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim12232 View Post
    I dont know if you have a 1911 right now or have ever had one.
    Yup, I'm new to the 1911 platform. I'm actually new to the semi-auto pistol market. I've been shooting revolvers since I was 3 1/2, but just got my first pistol (Springfield XD40 4") about 6 months ago. I have shot my neighbors Colt (I think) at deer camp a few times, but that's all.

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    HighFlyingA380,

    Keep in mind that WHATEVER brand/model of gun you bring up in ANY gun forum -- like my "inferior" * Colt Government stainless-steel 1911 for personal example -- you'll get mixed reviews. Consequently, don't be put off some gun unless the reviews are clearly & overwhelmingly negative. Frankly, I've never noticed how "inferior" my guns is. ;-)

    In short, if you like the Kimber Raptor, GET it.


    *(i.e., to a Series 70 they say due to the "improved" Series 80 having the additional interior safety which is ssupposed to impact the trigger-pull too much -- I haven't noticed, the trigger is fine for me)
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 12-30-2011 at 04:18 PM.

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Kimber makes fantastic guns. Some people think they should cost less than they do, but - frankly - they probably think that about a lot of things.

    An earlier poster said that a reworked Springfield would be superior to a Kimber. Maybe, but why should I have to rework a brand new gun (not to mention that doing so probably voids the warranty & jeopardizes your initial investment)?!?

    Now, as far as your Kimber Stainless Raptor in question...

    I love the Kimber & Stainless part of the equation, but I'm less fond of the Raptor styling. It's just a personal thing, so if you like it, then go for it. I love my Custom CDP II, but some think the tri-tone look is too much. To each his own. The Raptor has great bones, so it'll be a great gun.

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudcroft View Post
    Frankly, I've never noticed how "inferior" my guns is. ;-)
    You're puttin' words in my mouth! I don't think it's a bad gun, just this particular one was not kept-up quite as well as it should be. And I only shot two mags out of it. And I'm not even 100% sure it's a Colt.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbpeck View Post
    I love the Kimber & Stainless part of the equation, but I'm less fond of the Raptor styling. It's just a personal thing, so if you like it, then go for it. I love my Custom CDP II, but some think the tri-tone look is too much. To each his own. The Raptor has great bones, so it'll be a great gun.
    The bones are really all I'm worried about as far as input goes. As for the looks, I like it so that's that. I figure if I'm gonna drop that kind of cash, I want something that's different from what most 1911 owners have. The raptor is really the only stock 1911 that IMO looks much different than the others. (of the ones that I've seen, that is)

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    HighFlyingA380,

    I should have been more clear: I didn't mean anything YOU said in your post here, I was referring to what I read about the Series-80 Colts by some people in various gun forums YEARS ago when I got the gun...they said it was a POS. It's been fine for me, but I did have to work on it to feed HPs as it only fed FMJ (ball) ammo reliably out-of-the-box.

    Still, I like my "POS." ;-)

    But like I said, ANY brand gun -- no matter how expensive -- can be a lemmon, so you just make your choice and hope for the best...and if it DOES have problems, that's where a company's Customer Service comes in, for better or worse!

    Good luck...
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 12-31-2011 at 06:13 PM.

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    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbpeck View Post
    Kimber makes fantastic guns.
    Just make sure not to buy the cheap $1050 ones.
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/...nreliable.html
    RALEIGH -- Little more than a year after buying 150 collector-grade handguns, officials at the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement say the $1,055 pistols were so unreliable they had to get rid of them.

    ALE Director John Ledford said the Kimber pistols repeatedly suffered such problems as rounds jamming during training exercises, broken sights and the weapon's safety button sometimes falling off.

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    They probably should have gone with Hi-Points instead: Even if they had the same problems as the Kimbers (and SIGs), at least it wouldn't have cost as much to have them.

    ;-)
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-05-2012 at 07:13 PM.

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerClose View Post
    Just make sure not to buy the cheap $1050 ones.
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/...nreliable.html
    Yea, I've read that letter before. A few observations...

    The Kimber pistols in question were not "collector grade." They had "special sights," probably meaning Tritium, & custom grips. They certainly had more in common with the entry level Custom II than a Gold Combat II. Nevertheless...

    Reportedly, 150 service pistols had 289 malfunctions over their first year of service. Assuming this is accurate, I'll concede that the guns should not have had that many malfunctions. It's worth noting, however, that it is much more likely that there were a few problem guns that malfunctioned repeatedly, rather than every single gun malfunctioning twice.

    According to the article, Kimber did offer a solution to the problem, and ALE decided to sell the guns anyway. Had they decided otherwise, Kimber would've sorted things out & probably would have continued to service them beyond the first year, just as they've done for countless other customers on this forum.

    I think it's also worth asking how the guns end up with "broken sights" and the "safety button sometimes falling off." Even on a really poor 1911, this just doesn't happen unless the pistol is being severely abused. IMHO

    I know I sound like a Kimber fanatic... I'm not. I just think this article paints a portrait of Kimber Mfg. that is inconsistent with the experiences of so many satisfied customers.

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Man, I wish I had $158,250 for guns. I'd be happier than a pig in mud.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbpeck View Post
    I just think this article paints a portrait of Kimber Mfg. that is inconsistent with the experiences of so many satisfied customers.
    I have to agree, it does sound like the writer has a bone to pick with Kimber. Or, they're one of those weirdos who just hate guns.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I love my little Kimber Ultra Carry II. It's more accurate than I would have thought a 3" barrel could be. My only problem with it (besides getting it back from my wife as it is her favorite as well) was when the end plate of the recoil spring assembly snapped off, likely due to stress from my field stripping it without the little spring retention tool. It did not fail while firing but came apart when field stripping afterwards. My fault, my bad.

    When I called Kimber to buy a new one for the then about 3 year old, 5,000 rnds used pistol the sales rep asked what happened. I told her the truth and that it was probably my fault. She put me on hold, came back, told me that despite my story that they were going to warranty the part anyway and a few days later I had a new recoil assembly, bushing and recoil spring delivered at no charge.

    My next sidearm will be a Kimber CDP. After shooting my Ultra Carry and hearing my reasoning for wanting a CDP next, my father-in-law bought one for himself last month and loves it.

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    I can't speak for the Raptor, but I do own a Tactical Custom HD II and I absolutely love it. It is a really tight gun and it seems that it really likes the oil. No problems at all from an all steel gun.
    A buddy of mine has an Ultra Crimson Carry and some Nighthawk 1911. Last time he tried to shoot with me, his Nighthawk wouldn't feed anything, while the Crimson Carry just chugged away. I like to think you get what you pay for, and Kimber hasn't let me down yet.
    3. Move thumb safety down taking gun off safety. Caution: The gun is now ready to fire. Be prepared for noise and recoil when pistol fires.

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    I have a kimber Tactical ultra II and love it. I had one stove pipe and 2 FTF out of the first 50 rounds fired and no problems since. I also was amazed at how accurate it was for a 3" BBL.

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    As people have already said, you can't judge a NEW gun (re: functioning) until you run several hundred rounds through it. Then, if STILL malfunctions, you make sure (first) that it's not the magazine(s) or YOU limp-wristing...if not then it's the gun. Still, some polishing here and there usually fixes functioning and feeding probems.

    The point is, ANY new gun out of the box may have functioning issues but you can't label a gun (too early) a "POS" as, for example, some people did re: the Beretta 3032 Tomcat. MINE was fine! Plenty of people tell you their guns worked fine right out of the box -- true, and good for them -- but I'm just saying new gun owners should put off their judgement ("reviews") of a new gun until a it has been broken-in.

    You don't have to SHOOT the gun (or "waste" several hundred rounds of ammo) in order to "break it in" (you can do other things, like I do with mine) but for most people who DO shoot their guns right out of the box, they shouldn't label a gun as "defective" (or unreliable) until it's broken-in...even though most people start the name-calling as soon as a gun malfunctions and look no further to see exactly what the problem is.
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-08-2012 at 04:33 PM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    I had a TERRIBLE experience with Kimber customer service. Their techs focused upon getting my guns out of their shop rather than solving the problem. A local gunsmith evaluated the gun and found obvious problems such as the burr in the chamber that the Kimber techs missed.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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