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Old 03-06-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Technical differences between models

OK, supply and demand will set price point. (check)

Aesthetic features, i.e. grips, checkering, sights, etc. (check)

But really, how can we learn what the true technical differences between the models are?

Are they all the same on the inside?

Are the materials used all the same?

Is there a level of fit/finish at a higher level that makes one model a better shooter than the other?

I've seen the specs. listing on the web site, but that only explains some of the very small variations in price.

What would be a good source to learn from?
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
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Besides contacting the manufacturer there are several that I use.
* Online reviews of the guns I'm interested in
* Owners (not paid help) of the gun stores I frequent
* Forums such as this
* Good old fashioned gun magazines-I get them 2nd hand from my brother
* Experienced gunners at the range
* Gunsmith

Usually I can find out what I want to know online, but talking to experienced shooters/owners is a kick and learn something new everytime
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
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Put simply, they use 3 different metals alone or in combination to make the various models of kimbers, steel, stainless steel and aluminum. A lot of the internal parts are common. The major differences between the various models are the combinations of the barrels and frames.

ULTRA
3 bull barrel and a short grip.


ULTRA+
3 barrel and a full length grip


COMPACT
4 barrel and a short grip.


PRO
4 barrel and a full length grip.


CUSTOM
5 barrel and full length grip.


The II designation in the model name indicates it has a Swartz firing pin safety.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks Chuck, but I kinda already had all that from reading the web site. What I'm looking for is information (if it exists) that is not on the web site, but would help me understand why one Kimber can be purchased for $800.00 and another costs of $2,000.

Does the $2,000 gun shoot/perform better than the $800 gun or is it just prettier?

I sure wish a Kimber rep would visit our site from time to time.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Insta-Gator View Post
Thanks Chuck, but I kinda already had all that from reading the web site. What I'm looking for is information (if it exists) that is not on the web site, but would help me understand why one Kimber can be purchased for $800.00 and another costs of $2,000.

Does the $2,000 gun shoot/perform better than the $800 gun or is it just prettier?

I sure wish a Kimber rep would visit our site from time to time.
That was my issue with the TLE and Combat.
I said "the barrel looks the same" he said it was.
Same with the trigger, recoil spring, etc.
Other than the Combat holding an additional round and some cosmetics I couldn't find much difference.
Maybe I'm stupid?
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ultraman View Post
Other than the Combat holding an additional round and some cosmetics I couldn't find much difference.
Maybe I'm stupid?
No you're far from it, this is what Kimber does, they make a few minor changes and give it a different name. They say they produce 100 different models of the 1911 how many differences can there possibly be? Look at the Super Carry Pro, Master Carry Pro and Classic Carry Pro, basically they're all the same gun. One has an aluminum frame another a metal frame, one has a laser grip another a bone grip, a lot of the differences are cosmetic.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
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It's kind of like when you buy a car. You start with the base model and add options. I've also seen it compared to a Chevy and Olds (I know they don't make them anymore) one is just fancier then the other. I'm sure at some point better internals may be a part of it.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Islander View Post
It's kind of like when you buy a car. You start with the base model and add options. I've also seen it compared to a Chevy and Olds (I know they don't make them anymore) one is just fancier then the other. I'm sure at some point better internals may be a part of it.
That's not really a fair analogy you can't add options on a Kimber, you take it or leave it the way it comes from the factory.

As for the Chevy and Oldsmobile they were two different class cars, they each had totally different engines and transmissions. Oldsmobile was GM's guinea pig, they used it to introduce new concepts and options. In the early 40's they used it to introduce the hydramatic transmission, in 66 they came out with the front wheel drive Toronado and in between there were hundreds of other innovations that eventually made their way into the other GM lines. At the time the Chevy was basically the affordable family car.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:47 PM   #9
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Sure it's a fair analogy. You start with the base model in the Kimber line and as you move up the biggest difference is options. You can pick the ones you want by the variation you choose!
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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I think the differences are mostly cosmetic and what one Kimber vs another Kimber is worth is mostly determined by what someone is willing to pay. Other than barrel length, the sights are about the biggest physical difference.

We want what we want and some are willing to pay extra if they think something is "the best" or more desirable. I admit to that. I don't know that a $1,000 Kimber 1911 is better than a $400 RIA 1911, but I assume the Kimber cost 2-3 times more because it is better made.

Some brag about how cheap they can buy things. That's ok. But others are willing to pay more for quality. I'm betting most here like quality or you'd be on another forum. (Sorry Gator, not the technical answer you're asking for I know.)
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