Catastrophic Micro .380 failure. I'm done. - Kimber Forum

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Old 12-20-2016, 07:41 PM   #1
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Catastrophic Micro .380 failure. I'm done.

This is the second time the gun is going back to Yonkers. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Once it's back, it's up for sale or trade or whatever way I can get rid of it the fastest. No more Kimbers in this house. Stupid me had designs on a Kimber Hunter rifle in .308. No more. The first time it came back with the new guide rod and recoil spring. Apparently, that wasn't enough.

I haven't posted in a while as I have been holding my breath, hoping the gun I was carrying every day would continue to be the marvelous shooter it is when it works. After installing night sights I wasn't able to get to the range for a couple weeks. But I was carrying the Micro every day. When I finally got to the range I sent a pistol target with a one inch bullseye out to seven yards. First shot, dead center bullseye. Next pull of the trigger, "click." Cleared the round. Click. Cleared the round. Bang. Then click... and maybe another dozen failed attempts later I gave up. I'm sure you can well imagine my frustration and anger when I realized I'd been carrying around a defective firearm for at least two weeks.

Back home at the bench I broke down the gun. But I couldn't depress the firing pin far enough to get the back plate off... and the plunger for the firing pin block seemed frozen as well. Any fix was obviously beyond my skill set. Luckily I've found a local gunsmith with 30 years experience and who is very accommodating. I took the gun to him and watched as he was able to extract the firing pin and then the extractor. There was a piece of something in the extractor channel and some galling on the frame at the back end of the extractor. But even after clearing everything it was not obvious that the gun was working. He asked to keep it to make sure and I said yes. I heard from him the next day to say he was having problems. I said take whatever time you need.

He worked on it all day Sunday and most of Monday. After calling Kimber and searching the web and perhaps even this forum for answers he had to give up and asked if he could send it back to Kimber. I, of course, said yes.

Parenthetically I should note he was able to get the gun to fire if he held it upside down while pulling the trigger. So there's that.

I'm sure I'll get no argument about abandoning Kimber. But here's the other factor. I picked up a Ruger SR1911 in 9mm with an alloy frame, 9+1, commander size. To date 400 rounds without so much as a burp. It just works. As does my Glock 43. With guns I have personally proven as reliable as these, I don't need to hold my breath and hope my carry gun is going to go bang.

Kimber has built a reputation for high end guns. I'm afraid my opinion is that the high end only relates to the price.

I've also learned the benefits of a series 70 1911 (like Rugers). So that's where I'm headed.

Thanks all for your help early on with my Micro. I'll post again if anything interesting happens with Kimber and my defective Micro. And yes, I am very angry.
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Last edited by John316; 12-20-2016 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Added detail.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by John316 View Post
With guns I have personally proven as reliable as these, I don't need to hold my breath and hope my carry gun is going to go bang.
Makes sense. Carry a gun that just works.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:02 PM   #3
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Sounds like there might be something wrong with the firing pin block spring perhaps is broken or twisted. That happened to a colt Mustang I had; it would only fire intermittently when I held my mouth just right and tilted the gun (modified gangsta style).
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cucamonga kid View Post
Sounds like there might be something wrong with the firing pin block spring perhaps is broken or twisted. That happened to a colt Mustang I had; it would only fire intermittently when I held my mouth just right and tilted the gun (modified gangsta style).
That's quite possible. And that's why I'm going with a Series 70 style 1911 in the future. Ruger, among others who use different Series 70 methods, uses a very light titanium firing pin and an extra stout firing pin spring to make the gun safe from a drop that could result in a discharge. Doing so they do away with four extra pieces in the trigger assembly as well as the whole plunger/spring/detent system that failed in my Micro. Kimber has opted for the Swartz system in their more full size guns that pretty much speaks to lawyers' concerns more than their shooters' needs. And that, my friends, is why I'm outta this party.
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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Hate to see you go but understand you gotta do what you gotta do.

Real shame you didn't start off with a Kimber 1911, you picked the Micro which looks like a 1911 but is not a true 1911 design.
I would like to get a Ruger SR1911 Commander in 45acp, they make a nice pistol and it looks good to.

I do think Kimber has had more issues with the Micro than they should have. Sorry it didn't work for you.
Might buy one sometime to see for myself.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:44 AM   #6
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If you have to hold it upside down in order to get it to run right. You could probably sell it for a lot more than you originally paid for it. I know the gang bangers out here would pay a lot for one like that.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:58 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your Micro 380. I wouldn't be too happy either. It seems the Micro 380 and the Solo have more issues than Kimber 1911's . I don't own either so my comments are from what I read hear.
I will say Kimber isn't the only company that has guns going back for warranty work. A number of guns I own from other companies have gone back for problems or recalls. It does happen but obviously we hate when our guns have to go back.
I personally wouldn't give up on all Kimber guns, my 1911 9mm and 45's have proven to be excellent guns. I would choose one of them over a similar Ruger any day of the week. I understand your frustration and it's your hard earned money to spend however you choose. I would suggest doing some research on any gun before you buy one because almost all top gun manufacturers have some lemons come off the line. If you read the Solo or Micro 380 treads here you probably wouldn't have purchased a Micro 380, I know I won't.

Hope everything works out for you and I hope one day you get an opportunity to shoot an Ultra, Pro or Custom Kimber 1911 because I think you will be impressed.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:36 AM   #8
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Long shot but could it be something to do with the night sight install? Could the firing spring safety be interfered with somehow? Seems funny that it presumably worked as Kimber would have tested it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
Long shot but could it be something to do with the night sight install? Could the firing spring safety be interfered with somehow? Seems funny that it presumably worked as Kimber would have tested it.
I have to admit that was my initial thought. Which is why I took it back to the gunsmith who installed the sights. However, unlike some bigger Kimbers, apparently the Micro does not have a spring trapped underneath the rear sight. So installing the sights likely had nothing to do with the failure. It'll be interesting to see what Kimber says or does.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:50 AM   #10
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Thumbs down

Sorry, but I call "fake news" on this... Catastrophic? not so much... (Sorry for your troubles though).
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