How I tuned up my Micro .380 - Kimber Forum

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:58 AM   #1
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How I tuned up my Micro .380

Hi guys from East Texas. I am new to the forum and must say it is quite informative. Thanks to all who post here as It helped me to decide how to approach the issues I am having with my Micro .380. I had terrible problems at the range a few days ago. Almost every shot jammed or had one of the many problems listed on the forum. After giving it considerable consideration I decided against sending it back to Kimber and chose to use some tricks from my automotive engine building days to resolve my problems with this gun. The following is the course of action I took.
I disassembled the micro except for the trigger and hammer and gave it a really good cleaning.
Next I inspected all of the parts for possible manufacturing defects.
I then begin to look at the parts that would be considered moving and rubbing against each other during the action movement inspecting them for drag or resistance from tool or machine marks.

A). First was the feed ramp. I felt of the ramp with my finger and it felt pretty smooth for a factory job but when I simulated a bullet being forced up the ramp into the chamber it felt like a rub board from the tool marks. I knew that from rebuilding engines that any metal parts that rub together must be slick as glass and lubed if it was to last. It would also move freer therefore using less force or energy from the return spring. I polished the feed ramp using 1000 grit then 1500 and 2000 3M automotive finish sand paper. I finished it with a dermel tool and jewelers rouge like compound until I had a mirror finish. I ran the bullet across it again and was surprised at how easy it was to run it up the ramp. I also rounded off the throat of the chamber ever so slightly to take the sharp edge off which also made a world of difference.

B). Next was the barrel and outside chamber. With the barrel in the slide and the spring and rod removed I worked the barrel in the slide simulating the action. I again noticed some drag from the tool marks. I used the same process and polished the barrel, outside of the chamber, and the surface of the slide where the barrel would ride during the movement of the action when fired. I Simulated the action and wow was I surprised at how smooth it was again using less force or emergency from the return spring.

C). Next was the slide itself. Locations of drag were the area where the barrel rode, the rail that slides on top of the hammer during the action movement and the hammer. I used a very small fine file and tapered the firing pin keeper/block and rail then I polished it using the same process as above. I also polished the hammer where it touched the rail. Basically I polished any parts that moved on one another.

D). Last I replaced the 8# return spring with an 11# spring from wolf and gave everything a good cleaning before going to the range.

Went to the range 8/8/2017 and shot 3 magazines 21 rounds through the micro. It fed flawlessly. The action was very smooth but I had 6 or 8 FTE. The case would be half in the chamber when it would FTE . Came home and did more research on the web and found an interesting video on how to tune an extractor for a 1911made by “Wilson Combat”. The video was very informative. As instructed in the video I put a round in the slide and under the extractor. I turned the slide upright and the round fell out indication that the extractor needed and adjustment. I took it out and put a slight bend in it as instructed, reinstalled it and placed another round in it. This time the round stayed as it should have after shaking the slide. I will go back to the range today and try it again and report back. (I will post pics asap)
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #2
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Sorry things weren't better out of the box Randy. It sounds like you have the skills to tune her up yourself? Keep in mind though these pistols are supported by Kimber but "TOO MUCH" love in your shop could void the warranty?
I've found that the 11# Wolff spring was too heavy and caused timing issues for me. Maybe 1 in 50 kind of thing. I think it would be ideal for +P ammo but I was told by my area Kimber rep that +P in any aluminum framed pistol wasn't the best idea. You didn't mention if you have the newer guide rod (notched) and spring (flat wire)? If not call Kimber and they"ll probably send you that rig for free. These newer recoil set ups started showing up last summer and have proven to be an improvement. We've also had reports that the Sig P238 recoil parts, flat wire, are a direct fit and cure a lot of ills.
Just one other thought, my Micro runs best with 95gr RN FMJ or 90gr XTP ammo. Flat point stuff caused hang ups with her???
Hope things go better next time out, keep us posted :-)
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:06 AM   #3
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never hurts to polish everything...
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
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Randyh, welcome to the site from Tennessee. Good job fine tuning your Micro.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:24 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, as a fellow mechanic I appreciate and understand your information. Just be careful about warranty work , and remember to keep those part lubed to prevent rust or tarnish, just because it's stainless it can still rust . Thanks again if I run into trouble I'll know were to look.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:48 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum from GA. I've had mainly loading issues with my M380 so I will follow your progress on this thread. My micro has been back to Kimber twice and it's almost problem free now after 1600 rounds. Love the little pistol though, it's so fun to shoot.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cousinmark View Post
Sorry things weren't better out of the box Randy. It sounds like you have the skills to tune her up yourself? Keep in mind though these pistols are supported by Kimber but "TOO MUCH" love in your shop could void the warranty?
I've found that the 11# Wolff spring was too heavy and caused timing issues for me. Maybe 1 in 50 kind of thing. I think it would be ideal for +P ammo but I was told by my area Kimber rep that +P in any aluminum framed pistol wasn't the best idea. You didn't mention if you have the newer guide rod (notched) and spring (flat wire)? If not call Kimber and they"ll probably send you that rig for free. These newer recoil set ups started showing up last summer and have proven to be an improvement. We've also had reports that the Sig P238 recoil parts, flat wire, are a direct fit and cure a lot of ills.
Just one other thought, my Micro runs best with 95gr RN FMJ or 90gr XTP ammo. Flat point stuff caused hang ups with her???
Hope things go better next time out, keep us posted :-)
Haven't had time to go to the range and it's also been raining here in East Texas. You are also right about the flat nose ammo. More especially if your feed ramp hasn't been polished. I can't believe the difference in the way this thing feeds now after polishing the ramp. Remember folks we are nor removing a bunch of metal here just polishing. Removing to much not only void the warranty but could be dangerous. Wish I would have mic-ed everything before polishing though. This is a great little gun and accurate too.

Last edited by Randyh; 08-10-2017 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:16 AM   #8
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I'll bet people that have problems with their solo's would benefit from this also, it's like shooting hundreds of rounds to break it in but without the cost of ammo, this is what is basically happening.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:28 AM   #9
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Wow Star,
Twice Yonkered and about $800 worth of ammo and it's still not right.
I would not have been that patient before demanding a new pistol from them. You have the patience of a saint. What percentage of rounds fired cause a malfunction? 1%, 5%, 10%,?
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:31 AM   #10
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It's one thing if you're getting malfunctions after 50 or 100 or 150 rounds without cleaning but if you get malfunctions within the first 30 after a good cleaning that is a problem and cannot be trusted for concealed carry.
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