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Old 03-13-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
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Thinking about purchasing a Kimber Super Carry Pro? Read this!

Hi Folks,

I think this will be an interesting post to some folks. First, I do not have an axe to grind with Kimber. However, I do have issues I would like to make available to folks considering a purchase of a spanking new Kimber Super Carry Pro.

I purchased this pistol 30 days ago today! I love the way it shoots, handles, weighs & stows in a IWB Wilson holster. I love it so much, I am not taking it back for a refund. The sporting goods store has an unconditional 30 day return policy, so it would be easy to do that if I didn’t like it. Just gives you my state of mind before I mention the issues. So…

Here we go.

Within one hour of purchasing the pistol I was out function firing and made my first steps toward the 500 rnd. break in mark. First, it did not like my 185Gr. XTP handloads running 1130 fps chronographed from a 5” barrel. OAL of 1.215. 95% FTF nose down, 8 Rnd. Factory mag. I have shot these out of every .45 I have owned and the ones I still own. Not a crises. I did have some 230 HTP Remington HP’s that ran like a top. Fired about 60 rnds. and called it good for the day. At the end of that session, I noticed the grips were loose. No big deal. About a quarter turn with an allen wrench and all was well. I make a point here. I am well aware of alloy frames and grip screws/bushings, so was only firming up the screws, not tightening.

Next trip, more 230 Gr. HTP and 185’s. Couple hundred rounds, and now I have Wilson Combat 8 Rnd. HD mags. Now I have about 30% FTF on the 185’s. Wow, making progress. About ½ way through, noticed grips were loose. Again, allen wrench ¼ turn, firmed right up. Shot the rest of the HTP’s, putting a total of around 150 Rnds down range. Got home and grips were loose again. ¼ turn and all is well. And I noticed a day later (I was carrying the pistol with the 230 HTP’s) right side thumb safety was flopping around. Damn, what a pill. Female side of the tongue & Grove broke a leg off. Called Kimber and got another right side safety coming (That was Monday of this week). I kept the piece that broke and looked under a magnifying glass and it looks crystallized at the break. So be it. But, it is not here yet. I’ll give them the benefit of the Post Office piss poor delivery. Hopefully will arrive in a day or two.

Tuesday, I went out to the range with several different ammo styles. Put maybe 200 more rounds through it. Found by loading the XTP’s to 1.255 (1.260 ACP Max design OAL) using the Wilson mags, 100% function. Yippee… Also found 185Gr. Mag-Tech Gold bullets loaded the same as the XTP’s with an OAL of 1.220 run slicker than snot. That is what I will be carrying for Self-Defense. However, as I was going through that batch, grips got loose again. Middle of shooting, firmed them up again.

Here is the kicker. I get home and find grips loose again! This time I took them off. I know some of you know where I am headed with this. Yes, 3 bushings were toast. Grrr…

Now I finally figured out what caused this issue and I am not a happy camper. The factory grips have oversize holes in them. They never properly fit the bushings! Being oversize the only thing keeping them tight was the downward pressure of the grip screws themselves. This is a sad story. I have tested the factory grips on another 45 and they are sloppy. Now if they were oblong, I could see that causing the forward/backward movement on the frame. They are not oblong, just too large in diameter to fit the bushing tightly like a normal set of grips. This is truly a shame for such a nice gun ($1500.00) would have very poorly fitted grips. Inexcusable! Now some of you might think what does oversize holes in grips got to do with it. They ARE held by screws. Not! If you have a solid grip on the gun, and that is necessary with a alloy commander size gun, that movement back and forth WILL pound the bushings to death!

I called Kimber support again, but before I did that I ordered a Brownell’s oversize bushing kit and several pairs of Raasco grips. I do not wish to return the gun at this point in time and indicated that to Customer Service. However I also hit them up on the piss poor feed ramp. Barrel is relieved nicely, but the feed ramp in the frame is approx. .350”. Specs for a reliable ramp is ~.410”. And when I was investigating the FTF on the XTP’s I noticed a tiny spot just below the ramp where they were hitting and stopping the slide. Customer service told me they design the gun for 230Gr. JRN. I about had a fit! That may have been cool 30-40 years ago, but technology has come a long ways since 230 JRN was the fodder of choice, especially for CC and Self-Defense. The truth of the matter is they don’t give a damn about what you wish to carry. He came right out and said forget about Hornady Critical Defense or Critical Duty. They won’t feed because of the polymer tip insert. Well, I cannot go past that point in MY gun as they will not feed no matter what mag I use. Nose down FTF. They do not do that in any other .45 I currently own with any mag I stuff in them.

Once I get the oversize bushings in the frame, I will NOT use the original grips. They will beat the bushings out once again. I expect the Raascos will fit the bushings nice and firm. If not, I will keep searching until I find a set of something that will. I will not fire that gun again until I have a good fit on the grips. Just too much recoil for loose fitting grips and an aluminum frame.

Finale: I really love everything about this gun. Shoots VERY straight, tight groups, nice trigger and with their preferred bullet style or OAL (a bit long for XTP’s), never had it fail in any other way. No FTE’s in any manner, shape or form. And now that I know about the grips, I think I can fix this to where it will not happen again with new bushings. As far as the broken safety issue, if it happens again, I will just get Wilson’s “Bullet Proof” tactical safety and install it.

Hopefully someone considering purchasing this model will be able to check the grips BEFORE taking out shooting.

Keep your powder dry!

Billings, MT
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:49 PM   #2
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Wow, what a pain in the ass. Sorry to hear that. One thing I want to comment on is the Hornady Critical Defense ammo that the customer service rep said to forget about. That sounds like he's pulling the old cover your ass thing. I have a Compact Stainless II and Critical Defense (185GR as you know) is what I carry in it and my other guns. The Compact Stainless chews it right up, never one issue with a single round of that stuff feeding and I have shot a crap ton of it through the gun just to be sure. I think that customer service rep said that as a disclaimer or something.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum from northern Illinois Hot 45, I think part of your problem came from not using the factory recommended ammo to break in the gun and choosing not to send it back to the factory the when you first started having problems. I hope you're not going to have any new problems because you may have voided your factory warranty. I've owned a Super Carry Pro for 2 years now and have almost 2000 trouble free rounds through it. I followed the break in procedure using 230 gr RN ammo before shooting any HP ammo.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:58 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum from St Lou..
Hope you get the kinks worked out in the SCP soon, but if it takes a trip back to the mother ship in Yonkers I wouldn't mention the word reloads or reman as Chuck has stated it may terminate the warranty...{page 18 of manual}
Good luck and keep us informed..
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:10 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site from Tennessee! That's a lot of problems for a new pistol. I have to agree with what Chuck said. I really don't know what else to say.
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Last edited by 2sharp2; 03-13-2015 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chuck43 View Post
I followed the break in procedure using 230 gr RN ammo before shooting any HP ammo.
I think the break-in period is necessitated by the lack of hand-finishing by skilled craftsmen. You can scrub off the majority of the rough spots by firing hundreds of rounds of ammo, or you can give the gun to a guy with some layout dye and some polishing tools and on its first trip to the range the gun will function like a finely tuned machine.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #7
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I have a super carry custom that's has been perfect from the time I opened the box. When I go out shooting with my friends they ask me to bring it because it is so nice.

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Old 03-13-2015, 08:35 PM   #8
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Replying to all the kind folks here in the forum.

I know there are are SCP's out there that function like a dream. I have been reloading since 1960 when I was 15 yrs. old and shooting since I was 8. My reloads are not the issue. I chronograph everything and know how to read signs of pressure. These 185's are loaded with 9.5 (exactly) of WAP running 1120fps (5" barrel guns). That isn't even quite a full +P load. Close, yes. The Rep DID state the gun will handle +P loads without issues. Feeding issues are strictly not enough care taken in the feed ramp/barrel relief period.

ByrdMan: Yes, that is probably very true. CYA, all the time.

Chuck, JMS & 2sharp: The truth of the matter is it really doesn't make any difference what bullet style you use to break a gun in. Short strokes and stove pipes or horizontal FTE's can be caused by limp wrist or tight slide to frame fit on a new gun. As I mentioned I have never had a failure to extract. Never. My warranty will be s**t when when I rebushing that damn frame and I already know it. If I was worried about the warranty, I would have sent this thing in Monday. (This is not meant to sound sarcastic. It is not!)

Rusty: Yes, and that is sad for a 1500.00 gun! But I can live with that. I have already used jewelers rouge and a polishing wheel on the ramp that exists and you can use it as a mirror. I also have a custom smith that makes Race Pistols that can handle anything else if I find an extreme need to shoot Critical Defense. But that's not likely.

Zoom: I really believe that. They are a really nice gun. I just got one with bad grips.

For All: I am actually not ragging on the function. I found a load (Mag-Tech 185Gr +P) that I feel real comfortable with. As I mentioned before, I love the pistol. I just wanted to post something that anybody considering a SCP be sure to be aware of the "Pissy Grip fitting" so they don't blow out the bushings. There was NO excuse for piss poor grips (fitting) on a pricey pistol! Had that not happened, I wouldn't have posted anything at all. I can live with particular bullet issues. And, I know several pistol smiths that can re-weld the frame if these new bushings go south. But, the odds with proper fitting grips, of having a replay is slim to none. In 62 years of shooting, I've never had a bushing go bad...

Thanks to everybody for their comments. Have a great weekend.

Billings, MT

Last edited by Hot 45; 03-13-2015 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #9
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Welcome from the Midwest. I have a Scup. I too had failure to feed and grip issues. I took mine to local quality smith and he resolved the failure to feed and return to battery. Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
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Hi there Nelly.

Bet you haven't had a problem since!

You know, I expected on a tight fitting gun to have failure to go into battery too. However, that was never an issue. If a round started into the chamber, it went bang, case went bye-bye, and bullet landed where I wanted it to. Like I mentioned earlier, I love the way it shoots and handles. Everything else I could deal with one way or another. Just the grips.

Did you loose a bushing before finding the grip issue?

I searched the web pretty thoroughly and found quite a few other Kimber owners replacing bushings, including movies with Kimbers, but no one ever mentioned why they had to replace them. I wanted folks to know why I have to replace mine so people would be aware. Loose grips can be fixed with bedding compound, among other ways, as long as one knows about it before firing a fair share of rounds through the gun. Bushings are not supposed to be an issue unless you cross thread a grip screw, or in the old days before Stainless Steel, they rusted in place. <LOL>

I will be sure to let everyone know what happens in the end so this tread will not be left hanging.

Billings, MT
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