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DungFu,

Those words of wisdom are the bottom line. Is the gun "for serious", or for admiration and entertainment?
People look at this differently. I'm not here to tell anybody they are wrong. I think my perspective is relevant to this meandering thread, so bear with me while I wax on this a bit.

I consider the small Kimber's like the Micro 9 to be novelties. That doesn't mean I think they are defective or not worthy firearms. I'll include the Micro 380 and the Solo in this mix. I like them and enjoy shooting them. I find them interesting mechanically and nice to look at. Do I think they are the best civilian tactical firearms or an awesome EDC? No.

Still, I paid good money for each of them and don't regret it. I knew exactly what I was buying. When people insist these small Kimber's (or any Kimber for that matter) are a PoS only because they requite some break in and tweaking, I think about the golfer I mentioned in my last post.

I won't go into the boring details of my long story of how much time and money I've spent on self defense training of every kind in the past 15-20 years. Pistols, edge weapons, long range precision, sporting clays, CQB, shooting from vehicles, you name it. Some of the best instructors in the country. I am not a John Wick wannabe or mall ninja. I just find the subject interesting and challenging and I am fit enough, motivated and have some natural ability. I've been shooting long guns, shotguns and pistols since I was a little kid. Training seriously since my 20's. I am not a gunsmith but do most of my own work.

All that experience has taught me that the most important weapon in any situation is your brain. I practice relentlessly to be able to shoot just about any firearm well. Given a choice, the last handgun I want in a serious self-defence or SHTF scenario of any kind is a shiny, dwarf 1911 derivative. But if that's all I have, I'll make it work and my adversary is still going to have a bad day. Unless I'm outgunned. Then, the wise citizen retreats.

At the risk of seeming over dramatic, I don't bet my life on interesting guns. My current EDC is a Hellcat RDP - with the comp and RDS. I have started working a new Mako into my rotation and find it also to be a very good EDC. In the past, My EDCs have been Glocks, Sigs, and Berettas. All of them excellent for their intended purpose. It makes no difference to me who doesn't like any of those guns. I carry them not marry them.

I am deadly when operating any of those pistols in any situation. My point here is not to be boastful. Rather, to explain a core principle of mine. That is: Most of the time, it ain't the gun. It's you. Similar to golfers, a bad carpenter always blames his tools. I'll conclude with one of my favorite movie quotes. Dirty Harry Callahan saying, "A man needs to know his limitations." I get it's just a movie, but art imitates life.
 

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No Bad Ninja, you do not "understand this correctly". So everything that followed was irrelevant. None of the problems were caused by the "owner's gunsmithing". That was what fixed them. The problems were the result of grossly bad design. So warranty service cannot fix bad, wrong design.

You did get something right, though. The owner's "cutting and welding" did fix one of the major design problems conclusively, unreliable cartridge feed. But you probably would not understand the technical details if I spoon fed them to you.

Sometimes you can silence a clueless character by providing pictures, but at the risk of him probably not being able to understand what you are showing him. But I'll give it a try, below.

And no, I'm not "offended" when I, and anybody reading the exchange, understands that the person slinging the mud is, as I said before, clueless.

Now to pull a slide and take a few closeup pictures of the welding a boob owner can do, if he is gets lucky, albeit as a lucky moron like me. :)

O.K., Below is the slide face, finished on my milling machine. Notice the radius on the bottom. The center of it, below the firing pin hole, is about 3/32" lower than the ridge on the bottom of the original Kimber slide, which is supposed to pick up rounds from the magazine, but sometimes doesn't. That extra 3/32" makes a world of difference in reliability. But beyond that, the outside edges of the built-up area are even lower, engaging more of the cartridge base. All of this stays far clear of the primer. You can almost see my rounded firing pin tip, which rests almost 1/16" below the face.

Wood Gesture Door Waist Lock


Below is a view of the bottom side of my built-up slide. The milled scallop is to keep all the built up welded steel far from the primer area. The outside edges beside that scallop engage a whole lot of cartridge base. The back part of the built up area is not too critical, so I just hand finished it with diamond tools to give about a 45 degree angle where it meets the slide ridge. The finish on that area looks a little crude, but there was no reason for a mirror finish, as on the slide face. This 45 degree angle is so that, during recoil, the slide cams over the nose of the next bullet in the magazine, and slightly pushes the whole round down, against the magazine spring. When the slide clears it to the rear, the round snaps upward against the magazine lips and is in feed position. It all works, as I had hoped.

Kimber could do the same thing, and it would dramatically improve the reliability of the Micro Nine. Cost would be little or nothing.

Wood Fixture Door Gas Tints and shades
 

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I gotta admit, that's not too shabby.
You aren't talking over anyone's head here, so cool your jets, Iceman.
I'm impressed with your ingenuity.
It looks sketchy as hell, but not bad for a home brew.
I would be concerned with the integrity of the weld and everything that got hot.
I wouldn't carry it, but that's just me.

I'm not a Micro9 fan.
Kimber makes nice 1911s, and has very strong customer service.
The Micro9s seem to have more issues than any other model, except maybe the Solo. They also sell a shitload of them. It's extremely popular.
You should have let Kimber fix it, and traded it in for an Ultra.
 

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You "would be concerned with the integrity of the weld and everything that got hot" because you know none of the facts, values, metallurgy, temperatures, risks, or lack thereof. I've been doing this stuff since before many of you were born.

What you regard as "sketchy as hell" and a casual "home brew" modification is an understandable conclusion, if you don't have the engineering training, experience, or technical knowledge to judge it. I would be in over my head if some medical school professor tried to talk me through a new hands-on brain surgery technique involving kitchen spoons, for example. I'd probably tell him to go to Kimber. They know about all that stuff.

I wouldn't carry this Micro Nine either, as I said earlier, because there are other design problems I could not fix or side-step. Again, the one-word solution is "Glock".

The Micro Nine is a paradox for me. I love the look and feel of it. But the people behind it did not take the time to perfect the concept, before unloading umpteen thousand on a trusting or optimistic public. I was one of those people.

My opinion on Kimber's demonstrated way of doing things is that I wouldn't think of letting them touch anything I own, under warranty or otherwise. And I have no need to trade the gun for something else, etc. I have no shortage of fine firearms, that work. The Micro Nine was a learning experience, cute and briefly entertaining. It rests on the pile, perhaps a conversation piece, until the day I may be bored, take it out to shoot, and am reminded of why I haven't shot it for a long time.

It is about fun and learning. Who knows what Kimber might do next? I might buy another one...on the same day that Hell freezes over. Which is possible, I suppose. Joe Biden could explain it better than I can.
 

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All that's left to say is it is going to be very upsetting when everyone realizes nothing we believe is real and we are all human batteries in The Matrix.

Nose Glasses Hand Vision care Gesture
 

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You "would be concerned with the integrity of the weld and everything that got hot" because you know none of the facts, values, metallurgy, temperatures, risks, or lack thereof. I've been doing this stuff since before many of you were born.

What you regard as "sketchy as hell" and a casual "home brew" modification is an understandable conclusion, if you don't have the engineering training, experience, or technical knowledge to judge it. I would be in over my head if some medical school professor tried to talk me through a new hands-on brain surgery technique involving kitchen spoons, for example. I'd probably tell him to go to Kimber. They know about all that stuff.

I wouldn't carry this Micro Nine either, as I said earlier, because there are other design problems I could not fix or side-step. Again, the one-word solution is "Glock".

The Micro Nine is a paradox for me. I love the look and feel of it. But the people behind it did not take the time to perfect the concept, before unloading umpteen thousand on a trusting or optimistic public. I was one of those people.

My opinion on Kimber's demonstrated way of doing things is that I wouldn't think of letting them touch anything I own, under warranty or otherwise. And I have no need to trade the gun for something else, etc. I have no shortage of fine firearms, that work. The Micro Nine was a learning experience, cute and briefly entertaining. It rests on the pile, perhaps a conversation piece, until the day I may be bored, take it out to shoot, and am reminded of why I haven't shot it for a long time.

It is about fun and learning. Who knows what Kimber might do next? I might buy another one...on the same day that Hell freezes over. Which is possible, I suppose. Joe Biden could explain it better than I can.
Welding isn't brain surgery, and neither is gunsmithing. It's just a gun.
I applaud your ingenuity, but question the integrity of that ground out blob of metal.

If you honestly don't see the reasons someone would question your weld blob, that's on you.
I'll explain so everyone can learn something.

Kimber uses 400 series steel, (probably 416 which is a common hardenable stainless steel) on those micro 9 slides.
The iron content in 400series Stainless, allows it to be hardened, and is also why Kimber uses the coating (to prevent rust).

The thing is, 416 doesn't like welding, and on a stress area of a slide, it's sketchy at best.

Looks like a great tool for blowing off that hand you keep patting yourself on the back with.
🤣

Your pic shows the Kim Pro finish on the part of the slide intact, so I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that slide never made it to heat treating temps, needed to properly harden/anneal the compromised area (around 1800 degrees f. ).

If you used 300 as filler to build that weld, it's gonna come apart eventually, and you are gonna get a real world metallurgy lesson.

You are gonna find that weld dropped off into the guts of that micro one day, and probably blame Kimber lol.
I hope you love that Micro, because you have made it worthless.
 

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That reminds me,
to paraphrase the immortal words of Emily Litella on SNL,
"Little, tiny, teeny, itty, bitty, weeny brass shavings
in a little, tiny, teeny, itty, bitty, weeny firing pin hole..."
SNL video (RIP Gilda Radner)
If you all don't mind me going off-topic to lighten the mood...

Belushi said, "Chicks aren't funny." Not true. Gilda Radner is a great example.

Gilda and Bill Murray were the celebrity hosts of the 1979 Bally World Championship Pinball Competition at the Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

I won a competition sponsored by Apple and Bally to write the software that managed the leaderboard and operated it during the competition. So I was invited to the cast party afterward - even though I was 17 and underage. I was feeling a bit out of place but found myself at the bar. The bartender said, What are you having? I said, "How about a gin and tonic?" That was the only drink I could think of. And so it was handed to me. I turn around with my cocktail, thinking I'm all that... and there's Gilda Radner standing right next to me. She said, "I hope that's a Seven Up". I replied..."I look young for my age." She laughed. I was feeling a little star-struck and awkwardly told her I watched the show and she was really funny. Then, all of a sudden, Bill Murray comes up behind me, puts me in a headlock and gives me a 'linky' with his knuckle on my head, and says, "Hey, are you trying to steal my girl?"

He lets me go and asks what I'm drinking. I replied gin and tonic. He grins and calls the bartender and says, "Two shots of Jack Daniels for me and my friend." Suggesting one for him and one for me. He drank them both himself.

Gilda was a big star... SNL was at its very best then. She was so nice to me that I never forgot it. Bill Murray too. Even though I spoke to her for ten minutes I was genuinely sad when she died.
 

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O.K., I apologize in advance for the length, but I hope to pump up some of you about gun part welding possibilities.

Bad Ninja posted some insulting comments on a subject where it looks like he has no hands-on experience. The Internet is awash with this. Internet anonymity amplifies the good and the bad in people, and then broadcasts it.
In that regard, read screen names, draw conclusions. The latest word salad dump was an effort to avoid backing down on original unprovoked insults, when it became evident that there was more to this Kimber slide welding stuff than first appeared. Sometimes, when folks use bad judgement in front of a group and it becomes obvious, they conclude that the fix is to dig the hole deeper. Posts and E-mails are survivors. Ask Hunter Biden.

For those of you who legitimately wonder about the wisdom of slide welding, any replacement of metal on any firearm is tricky, and can lead to failure and loss of something valuable. Don't even think about it, unless you have the gear and skills. It requires learning, focus, and a few mistakes along the way. The subject had long fascinated me so, some years ago, I spent the time and money to acquire a new skill. I had been welding for decades, but this fine welding had always been impossible. It is challenging to fuse together very small bits of metal. This is not auto bumper welding. It must be approached cautiously, when the parts are from valuable firearms long out of production, and made only in small numbers. But don't think it is impossible. And even big mistakes can often be corrected.

The proof of anything new is whether it works, and endures. Ignore anonymous scoffers spewing a tangle of relevant and irrelevant "facts", to support arguments that something can't be done, because they say so. Or that, "Well, I wouldn't do.. (such and such) because....". That is the voice of ignorance. It is an epidemic.

Over the years, it appears to me like there are only a few people who can (or will) do it right, welding small firearms pieces. Most of them don't advertise. Dealing with the public can also be a pain in the butt. I suspect that most of these specialists will not work for anybody whom they sense may be a potential crank customer, or self-declared welding expert. I would never do the modifications which I describe for anybody except a close personal friend. But hey, it's fun. Welding is a tiny part of it. I've designed and scratch built some unique, one-off firearms which do exactly what I hoped they would do. Not all of it works the first time. Trying is how you find out. Like buying a Kimber.

Just FYI, my Kimber slide welding was done with special, imported, high frequency arc welding equipment. With a series of dials and switches, you control every aspect of what the arc will do, and how it strikes. There are few other way to do it, with very small pieces, like replacing the sear engagement surface on an out-of-production Colt single Action Army trigger. Gas welding would be impossible. TIG or MIG, sure, and again, equipment is everything. The physical process would be quite similar to what I do. And some people are so good that they work miracles with this equipment. They can do the same sort of thing I did with this slide, and far better. I have the greatest admiration for them.

It takes a good eye and quick reflexes. Each arc hit is a risk. Starting the arc is tricky, and it is impossible without the special electronics, settings, rod size and alloy, and even rod length. Sadly, most of the companies making it are located in, yep, China. Metal buildup on the Kimber slide was done via 4 or 5 quick hits, each arc strike lasting way under one second. The piece must not be preheated. You want as little heat as possible in the surrounding metal, or the piece can indeed be ruined. After each small hit, you stop for a few minutes, to let the tiny weld bead return to room temperature. Only with the right equipment and settings can you get such a small weld that is fused well, but has not dangerously heated anything else. If not fused, the joint is going to come apart eventually. And you need to add slightly more metal than necessary, to be able to machine it down to finished size.

This sort of welding can be valuable to a manufacturer. You can experimentally modify a complex existing part, like a slide, frame, barrel, etc., and see if it will really do what you want, and appear as it should. If so, then change some CNC settings and make a thousand. As a wise engineering teacher once told me, "The wonderful thing about CNC is that you can make 100,000 parts, all of them precisely identical, and all of them wrong in exactly the same way." :)

Bottom line: If I could convince everybody here of one thing, I would want it to be that modern equipment and techniques have made it possible for you to add metal to any steel gun part by welding, to repair or modify it. If done right, it is safe, permanent, and effective. Knowledge and equipment is everything. If you are thinking about it, ask somebody who knows, not some donut eating clown with a keyboard in East Oakeefenoakee.. Aluminum frames? Very doubtful, but perhaps possible, if done by somebody with a level of skill and equipment light years beyond mine.

It's about fun, and sharing the fun. Not seeing who can sling the most mud, get away with it, and feel like a masked oriental sword swisher. ZWHOOSH! "Oops. I should have worn my steel-toed ninja boots."
 

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O.K., I apologize in advance for the length, but I hope to pump up some of you about gun part welding possibilities.

Bad Ninja posted some insulting comments on a subject where it looks like he has no hands-on experience. The Internet is awash with this. Internet anonymity amplifies the good and the bad in people, and then broadcasts it.
In that regard, read screen names, draw conclusions. The latest word salad dump was an effort to avoid backing down on original unprovoked insults, when it became evident that there was more to this Kimber slide welding stuff than first appeared. Sometimes, when folks use bad judgement in front of a group and it becomes obvious, they conclude that the fix is to dig the hole deeper. Posts and E-mails are survivors. Ask Hunter Biden.

For those of you who legitimately wonder about the wisdom of slide welding, any replacement of metal on any firearm is tricky, and can lead to failure and loss of something valuable. Don't even think about it, unless you have the gear and skills. It requires learning, focus, and a few mistakes along the way. The subject had long fascinated me so, some years ago, I spent the time and money to acquire a new skill. I had been welding for decades, but this fine welding had always been impossible. It is challenging to fuse together very small bits of metal. This is not auto bumper welding. It must be approached cautiously, when the parts are from valuable firearms long out of production, and made only in small numbers. But don't think it is impossible. And even big mistakes can often be corrected.

The proof of anything new is whether it works, and endures. Ignore anonymous scoffers spewing a tangle of relevant and irrelevant "facts", to support arguments that something can't be done, because they say so. Or that, "Well, I wouldn't do.. (such and such) because....". That is the voice of ignorance. It is an epidemic.

Over the years, it appears to me like there are only a few people who can (or will) do it right, welding small firearms pieces. Most of them don't advertise. Dealing with the public can also be a pain in the butt. I suspect that most of these specialists will not work for anybody whom they sense may be a potential crank customer, or self-declared welding expert. I would never do the modifications which I describe for anybody except a close personal friend. But hey, it's fun. Welding is a tiny part of it. I've designed and scratch built some unique, one-off firearms which do exactly what I hoped they would do. Not all of it works the first time. Trying is how you find out. Like buying a Kimber.

Just FYI, my Kimber slide welding was done with special, imported, high frequency arc welding equipment. With a series of dials and switches, you control every aspect of what the arc will do, and how it strikes. There are few other way to do it, with very small pieces, like replacing the sear engagement surface on an out-of-production Colt single Action Army trigger. Gas welding would be impossible. TIG or MIG, sure, and again, equipment is everything. The physical process would be quite similar to what I do. And some people are so good that they work miracles with this equipment. They can do the same sort of thing I did with this slide, and far better. I have the greatest admiration for them.

It takes a good eye and quick reflexes. Each arc hit is a risk. Starting the arc is tricky, and it is impossible without the special electronics, settings, rod size and alloy, and even rod length. Sadly, most of the companies making it are located in, yep, China. Metal buildup on the Kimber slide was done via 4 or 5 quick hits, each arc strike lasting way under one second. The piece must not be preheated. You want as little heat as possible in the surrounding metal, or the piece can indeed be ruined. After each small hit, you stop for a few minutes, to let the tiny weld bead return to room temperature. Only with the right equipment and settings can you get such a small weld that is fused well, but has not dangerously heated anything else. If not fused, the joint is going to come apart eventually. And you need to add slightly more metal than necessary, to be able to machine it down to finished size.

This sort of welding can be valuable to a manufacturer. You can experimentally modify a complex existing part, like a slide, frame, barrel, etc., and see if it will really do what you want, and appear as it should. If so, then change some CNC settings and make a thousand. As a wise engineering teacher once told me, "The wonderful thing about CNC is that you can make 100,000 parts, all of them precisely identical, and all of them wrong in exactly the same way." :)

Bottom line: If I could convince everybody here of one thing, I would want it to be that modern equipment and techniques have made it possible for you to add metal to any steel gun part by welding, to repair or modify it. If done right, it is safe, permanent, and effective. Knowledge and equipment is everything. If you are thinking about it, ask somebody who knows, not some donut eating clown with a keyboard in East Oakeefenoakee.. Aluminum frames? Very doubtful, but perhaps possible, if done by somebody with a level of skill and equipment light years beyond mine.

It's about fun, and sharing the fun. Not seeing who can sling the most mud, get away with it, and feel like a masked oriental sword swisher. ZWHOOSH! "Oops. I should have worn my steel-toed ninja boots."
I can't imagine how you could hold a rod straight with your arm all worn out from patting yourself on the back. Lol.
Miracles indeed.

416 doesn't like being welded, especially cold.
A proper heat treat would work help the compromised metal at the weld (and you should clean up that work, but that really doesn't affect the metal), but hey, you claim to be a wizard.
Based on your reply, I wouldn't shoot that gun.

Most members here are retirement age, and you aren't the only person here with a welder and a shop.
 

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...I be listening to bad ninja on the welding on the 416 steel... ...ain't a welder, just an old engineer who has designed, inspected, and had cut out and redone welding in fossil and nuclear plants... and been around some of the finest golden arms in the industry... imho...
 

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Too bad about Bad Ninja. The guy doesn't know how to communicate without launching a new insult with each post, particularly the kind in his last one, based on nothing that was ever said or thought...just coming from somewhere in the cobwebs, an attempt to escalate.

Too bad there can't be a coherent, polite exchange of ideas with this guy waiting to pounce. Fine welding on firearms is a fascinating subject, and I'll bet there are others following the thread who know a good bit more about it, and can separate the theoretical from the practical, based on what they have done, not what they have read somewhere. They just don't want to enter the discussion, for fear of being pounced on by a...well, you know. I don't want to begin doing the same thing.
 

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Too bad there can't be a coherent, polite exchange of ideas
I totally agree with that statement. Everyone has a different way of addressing a problem and should be able to express those views without contention. I've listened to your input and while I don't particularly agree with a lot of it, I'm intrigued with your tenacity to charge forward on your quest. I've learned a lot and have enjoyed your arguments on the matter. I'm in agreement with you on fixing your own firearm if you posess the skills and the wherewithal to do so. It's not always about manufacurers warranty when you're trying to do something specific with your firearm. I truly enjoy your input and hope you continue to share your mods with us.
 

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I have a mill, a lathe, plasma cutter and a MIG welder. All small, hobby sized. I can weld two pieces of metal together with a proper-looking bead and make simple parts with my other tools but I am neither a welder or a machinist. I got into all of that when I was restoring vintage motorcycles and motorscooters for fun. Sometimes I had to make parts I couldn't source. I am an engineer and made a living as a software developer since I was 16. I realized early on that I needed to learn how to make or fix mechanical things because the brain needs that kind of exercise too.
 
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