Kimber Talk Forums banner
1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The two guns I’m comparing here are the Kimber Stainless II in 45 ACP and the Springfield Loaded in 45 ACP. I’m still a little new here so throughout this review, I’ll try to fill in some context. These guns have never been fired before this comparison.

When it comes to price, I have my limits on what I’ll spend. $500-$600 in plenty ok spending the cash on a decent gun. $700-$800 I really start to evaluate how much I really want that gun. $900-$1000, well, I’m waiting for a price drop. Over $1000, forget about it. That’s a unicorn pistol. Have I done it? Yes, but it’s rare. I dropped $1217 on this Springfield a month or two ago and I’m just getting around to shooting it.

Normally, this gun runs in the $850 range but due to the discontinuation, the price increased quite a bit, although, the California compliant version as evaluated is still available.
Air gun Trigger Wood Everyday carry Gun barrel


The Kimber Stainless II, well, the price was just right. $830 is right in that upper end and they are nice guns. I had already purchased the 10mm variant and with the ammo shortage here, I just wanted another 45. The 10mm was gritty but functioned well. The breakin is messy due to the bead blasted slide and rails, unnecessary friction on the only two surfaces that have to slide pretty freely. I’ll leave it at that. Extra oil is necessary to keep the metal byproduct of the two surfaces sanding each other down, flushed out of that area otherwise, the gun becomes unreliable after about 50 rounds. I expect the breakin on this 45 to be the same. A few drops of oil and work the slide back and forth a dozen times or so and it will return to normal function. The Mec Gar mags I had ordered for the 10mm didn’t work well. I did find some unbranded that appear to be the exact same mag that came with the 10mm and they work fine.

Comparatively speaking, these two firearms we are looking at are in the same class and make for a good apples to apples evaluation. Let there be no mistake, there is bias going into this comparison. I am a big supporter of Springfield polymer pistols. I think for the bracket of the market they serve, they are second to none. Kimber on the other hand, the reputation of Kimber has changed over the years from the once famous quality to really hit and miss. Some of that probably has to do with the volume of 1911s they put out. Not going to lie, I’ve seen a lot of stupid things come out of Kimber over the past few years that have really deterred me from buying one until recently.

After the experience with the 10mm, I can say that the Stainless II is built well. All stainless (including the main spring housing) full length guide rod and very good fitment. I decided that in that $800 price range, it’s a worthy gun to add to the collection. Now on to the actual comparison.

The magazine that came with the two are identical. Largely due, I’m guessing, to the Mec-Gar oem manufacturer. This made the comparison just that much easier.

Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Font Watch

Ruler Wood Rectangle Audio equipment Gadget



The magazine on the left is from the Springfield, you can tell by the scratches on the mag that the inside of the magwell is not as finished inside. For this test, I also used two Mec-Gar branded 8rd magazines with polymer followers. These mags have worked very well in all of my 1911s thus far.
Wood Font Gun barrel Rectangle Trigger


In addition, I used PPU factory 230gr ball range ammo. These are the first shots and I don’t feel that running HPs in them yet is exactly fair due to neither of them being broken in yet. Cheap factory range ammo at this point is fair enough.

The two guns have very different finishes. While both bare stainless, the Springfield has a matte finish with machined faces on the flats. A very appealing finish in my opinion. The machined flats lends to the sharp crisp edges on the serrations, there is no slippage happening there.

Light Air gun Wood Line Trigger


In addition, the safety is ambidextrous, the finish matches the slide flats but the slide release is matte. The matte areas on the Springfield are fairly abrasive. It’s not a smooth matte.
Wood Finger Everyday carry Hunting knife Ruler

There is no checkering on the front strap so that rougher matte does help there. There is very aggressive checkering on the main spring housing. Take note that the MSH has a lock on it. That’s because this model is the California compliant version, which to my subjective measurement, equated to about a 30% increase in trigger pull weight. Something I’ll likely swap out later.
Hand Wood Gesture Finger Gadget



Onto the Kimber… The Stainless II has a matte finish over all. It is a much smoother matte that that on the Springfield, but it does evenly cover the entire gun.
Wood Everyday carry Musical instrument accessory Tableware Hardwood


Right hand only safety, albeit, not as generous as the one on the Springfield. Standard size slide release also sharing the same finish as the rest of the gun.

The front strap again, has no checkering but due to the smoother matte finish, provides a little less grips texture than the Springfield.
Hand Wood Sleeve Gesture Finger


The main spring housing has the same aggressive checkering as the Springfield Loaded. Both models come standard with skeletonized hammers and triggers along with comfortable oversized beaver tail grip safeties.
Communication Device Bicycle part Everyday carry Gadget Audio equipment


The slide fitment goes to the Kimber. There is no play in the slide to frame fitment. The Springfield had a little bit of side to side play, but very little. Not enough to catch on my camera.

Continued below…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The sights are a little different. The Springfield came with standard 3 dot sights. The Kimber came with a fiber optic front sight and blacked out rear sight. I am not partial to either one.
Trigger Air gun Wood Dvi cable Gun accessory


The smoothness of the slide movement and the trigger both go to the Kimber. Some of this may have to do with the Springfield having a heavier set of springs in the main spring and the recoil spring. The hammer draw on the Springfield is much heavier than the Kimber.

How did they shoot? Well, this is where the surprise came in. First, both guns worked flawlessly with both magazines, the factory and the aftermarket Mec-Gar mags. I didn’t stick around outside terribly long with either. Low temps, 13 mph steady wind with frequent 20 mph gusts didn’t leave me with a comfortable environment to play around in.


The picture below is of the two targets and the first magazine through each. Both 7rd factory magazines. The first two shots were to find point of aim. The next 5 we’re groupings. These shots were taken freehand from a standing position at 20 yards.
Archery Line Font Parallel Circle


On the left is the Springfield Loaded. Take note that the first shot went way high and didn’t even hit the paper at 20 yards. The second shot barely clipped the top edge of the paper. The group after finding point of aim was not bad. Still a little high and left but a sight drift can correct the windage. I am leaning towards replacing the rear sight with a target sight because I am not real happy about how high it’s shooting. Given that I was fighting a cross wind, I don’t think it grouped bad at all.

The right was the Kimber Stainless II. That gun shot low, however, not as far off as the Springfield was. The Kimber grouped really well after point of aim was determined. Except for the last shot. The last shot I believe I may have pulled it low. The second hole from the bottom is a 2 round hole.

Both of the 8rd Mec-Gar mags were used to function test fast shooting. Both guns performed flawlessly in that test.

At this point, that’s all I have to offer. I plan to do a full video review after the weather breaks. I will have to relearn the process to get a video up as I am on Rumble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Update: So after I did these evals, I tore the Springfield down. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed. I really wanted to get to the bottom of the issues. Under “normal” circumstances, I don’t generally need to completely tear down a gun and clean out the trigger guide rails etc. In this case I did (also had to do it to the Kimber 10mm as well). That took care of most of the gritty trigger. The Kimber 45 only needed the oil. It was good out of the box.

The second thing I did was make adjustments to the adjustment screw in the adjustable trigger. Something that really should have been done in the factory. This is the first time I’ve had to do it. With these things I was able to smooth out the trigger pull and almost eliminate the creep. It’s still 30% or so heavier than the Kimber but it’s much smoother and breaks cleanly now.

That left the smoothness of the slide draw. Again, the heavier spring set makes a big impact on the slide draw. What I found was the pressure on the disconnector was the biggest factor. I can just about let go of the slide on forward motion before that disconnector will drop down and let the slide pass.

The next cause was the contact point on the hammer. The Kimber (bottom) is rounded over and provided a smooth transition when the slide is drawn. The Springfield (top) has a flat surface and squared off edges where it contacts the bottom of the slide. I tried to capture that in the pic below. This will smooth out when breaking it in but is the cause of some of the friction.

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Helmet Bumper

I checked the bushing fitment and all was good there, very well fit, so the last contact point of contact was the other end of the barrel. Both guns have had exactly the same number of rounds through them. Notice how much abrasion there is on the top of the barrel of the Springfield (on the left) vs the Kimber (right).

Product Finger Material property Auto part Metal

This is going to prompt me to call Springfield and ask what their definition of “match” barrel is. By my definition, it should be match fit to the gun with precision. That doesn’t look like precision fitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,307 Posts
So my takeaway from this eval is you over-paid for a Springfield Loaded that is not all it can be.
I don't think Match barrel in your Loaded equates to it being hand fitted by a Smith'...Match barrel in a Nighthawk or Wilson Combat yes, but not a Springfield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So my takeaway from this eval is you over-paid for a Springfield Loaded that is not all it can be.
I don't think Match barrel in your Loaded equates to it being hand fitted by a Smith'...Match barrel in a Nighthawk or Wilson Combat yes, but not a Springfield.
Yeah, I knew I overpaid by about $350, I still wanted it before they disappeared. Every gun manufacturer lets one slip. That's why when I compared the two, I made mention of the 10mm. While the Kimber 45 was excellent out of the box, the 10mm required much of the same treatment as the Loaded and is somewhere between the two. What is just as important as out of the box shootability is how the company deals with it under the warranty. We are going to find that out.

Just to take user error out of the equation, at least as much as possible, I went back out this morning and fired 4rd from the Springfield using a bench rest. The elevation is consistently off by 6"-6.5". I will be putting in the call to Springfield this afternoon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got my third Kimber Stainless in yesterday. It has some cosmetic flaws as I described in another thread. The action was right in between the two I already have. I would love to adjust the trigger on it but apparently, I do not have an allen wrench the right size. Its a different size than some of my others.

The Springfield is still with the manufacturer fixing the point of aim. Last night I ordered another Springfield Loaded. I already got the shipping label this morning so I would expect Saturday or Monday delivery. The new one is not a CA version. Should be a closer comparison, (i.e. trigger pull, slide rack, hammer weight, etc) because it'll have the standard main spring setup instead of the shorter, more stout main spring due to that lock. This one was $157 less than the first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, the story on the new Loaded… I’ll start with the good. It’s purdy 😉
Wood Air gun Everyday carry Trigger Wood stain

It’s tight, like really, really tightly fitted. It takes some effort to remove the slide. Finish is perfect. Even the grips look better than the last one.

The bad. Yesterday, I ran a single mag through it. 3 failures to feed and mag failed to hold open on the last round. I opened it back up to see if there was anything obvious. There was. Some idjit engraved the bottom of the slide where the disconnector rides along the bottom. Wouldn’t be so bad except the engraving has raised edges that were chewing on the end of the disconnector and causing unnecessary drag.

Now, I’ve already had this conversation with the guys on another forum about how it “common” and “everyone does it” nonsense so I’m gonna save us all some time and frustration. In response to those who pretend to know better, I sanded that area smooth as it should have been when it left the factory. Hit it with 220 and knocked down the raised edges and hit it with 600 grit to smooth out what the 220 did. I did nothing else to it. The engraving is still there, I just cleaned it up. Took a whole 2 minutes to do.

Finger Bumper Gadget Material property Automotive exterior

At this point, the one 7rd mag are the only rounds that have been put through it. I then took the same mag and the same box of ammo and ran 3 more mags through it, loading the same magazine each time. The result, it ran flawlessly. Two mags were run in rapid fire, and the third in a slow and normal target shooting pace. Slide held open on every mag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,151 Posts
So, the story on the new Loaded… I’ll start with the good. It’s purdy 😉
View attachment 130333
It’s tight, like really, really tightly fitted. It takes some effort to remove the slide. Finish is perfect. Even the grips look better than the last one.

The bad. Yesterday, I ran a single mag through it. 3 failures to feed and mag failed to hold open on the last round. I opened it back up to see if there was anything obvious. There was. Some idjit engraved the bottom of the slide where the disconnector rides along the bottom. Wouldn’t be so bad except the engraving has raised edges that were chewing on the end of the disconnector and causing unnecessary drag.

Now, I’ve already had this conversation with the guys on another forum about how it “common” and “everyone does it” nonsense so I’m gonna save us all some time and frustration. In response to those who pretend to know better, I sanded that area smooth as it should have been when it left the factory. Hit it with 220 and knocked down the raised edges and hit it with 600 grit to smooth out what the 220 did. I did nothing else to it. The engraving is still there, I just cleaned it up. Took a whole 2 minutes to do.

View attachment 130334
At this point, the one 7rd mag are the only rounds that have been put through it. I then took the same mag and the same box of ammo and ran 3 more mags through it, loading the same magazine each time. The result, it ran flawlessly. Two mags were run in rapid fire, and the third in a slow and normal target shooting pace. Slide held open on every mag.
My Range Office has something engraved like yours but it never caused any problems. I don’t think it was as deep or raised like your engraving. Later today when I get home I’m going to take a look. I don’t remember if it was there when I bought the gun or after it went in for a repair. I agree it should have been cleaned up before it was sent back to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
In this thread, we learn the Springfield doesn't test fire guns before releasing them for sale.

That engraving location was not chosen by a competent gunsmith.
Idjit is correct.
Well, there is evidence that they had been shot and that first mag fed 4 rounds so they very well could have fired a couple test rounds. When I was on the phone with support, she mentioned that they do test for function, just not accuracy. I find that silly myself but I don't know the manufacturing facilities or safety protocols. I have seen at least one facility (not necessarily Springfield) that uses a box type contraption that contains the blast in the event of catastrophic failure during test fire.

Yes, that engraving is the result of an idjit. I don't know who these other manufacturers are that these guys are telling me put build numbers in that spot (I am not suggesting it doesn't happen) but I have had 14 1911s in total from at least 6 manufacturers and this is the first time I have seen that. As far as the rest of the gun, fit and finish, it is very high quality. Had the smith cleaned up his work, I would have never know any different without tearing it down and looking for it. Runs perfectly now.

Sorry if I sounded a little brash in that last post. No one likes to hear that their favorite manufacturer screwed up. People will come out of the woodwork to defend them. I am of the facts don't care about your feelings group. I call it like I see it. I have not really shared a lot of the positives. I will when I sit down to do the video. No manufacturer is perfect. I have a lot of Springfield handguns. Well over a dozen. It's just the last two that I got that are an issue of QC. Every manufacturer goes through a phase like that at some point. Even the last Kimber had a minor QC issue, it just didn't effect the function (although, it hasn't been fired yet).

I have never set out to bash a brand or promote one, just present what I see and make your own call. There are far more people out there that save for a long time to be able to afford a gun like one of these than there are those of us that can do so whenever they feel like it. The reviews are for those that can't really afford to get a lemon. There is no worse feeling than saving for months for that one you really want and then be let down at the range. As I said when I first joined this forum, I waited years to buy a Kimber because of the stigma that is out there on modern Kimbers. As far as the 3 I have evaluated so far, I'm not buying it. I spent over $5k on the the 5 I mentioned in this comparison. The best of the 5 I looked at, the Kimber 45 has been the best "out of the box".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Woohoo… found two full boxes of 10mm I had stashed away. Found a box of Blazer in the vault and one box of Amscor in the big safe. Cheap ammo but they’ll work for testing out that new 10mm. Huge plus if they run the cheap stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,151 Posts
I field stripped my Range Office and checked the engraving. The surface is smooth but it really doesn’t look like this area should be engraved.

I got sidetracked when I disassembled the gun. I realized I haven’t cleaned it lately so I took it to the bench and removed the old oil and added some fresh oil. I reassemble the gun and later realized I never took a picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
More of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly…

Finally, I have my Loaded back from Springfield. I say that like it took forever but the truth is, I believe it was a little over 3 weeks maybe?, which ain’t bad. I thought it was only 2 but my post says April 11.

Started off my afternoon with a thorough cleaning and lube of all 5 guns.
Brown Rectangle Wood Textile Font

Now the target comparisons to the originals are under different conditions. I’m shooting at half the distance, without the wind and not wearing my glasses (that’s a good thing, haven’t really adjusted to shooting with them yet)

Let’s start with the original Springfield Loaded California Compliant model in 45 ACP.
Everyday carry Wood Gun accessory Gun barrel Air gun


Originally, this gun was shooting 6”-6.5” high. I called Springfield, sent them a picture of the target. They sent the label. I dropped it off, couple weeks later, it’s shooting very nicely. Below is the target at 10 yards, grouping at a pretty darn good 5 shot group of 1”. This was 1 of 2 guns that actually hit the bullseye.
F545743B-B510-45FB-8DDC-C60F073BB159.jpeg

Now, lighting conditions were not great, this was shot just before twilight but good enough to see the targets clearly. I could not be happier with that result. I will be honest and say that it was difficult to tell the difference between the bullet holes and the bullseye in that light. It’s possible it could have done a little bit better. It is a 5/8” dot at 30 feet.

Next up is the second Springfield Loaded in 45 ACP. This is the version that was recently discontinued. It does not have the pesky lock in the main spring housing that the CA model has.
Air gun Wood Everyday carry Gun barrel Gun accessory

This gun did not do great on the first magazine. Had 3 out of 7rds that failed to feed and the slide did not lock back on the empty mag. As mentioned previously, I sanded the engraved area on the bottom of the slide, ran 3 more magazines through it and it ran flawlessly.

Below is the target at 10 yards shot immediately after the previous target. This gun shot an excellent 5 shot group under an inch.
Font Circle Pattern Art Parallel


Next, is the Kimber Stainless II in 45 ACP. This gun was an excellent example from Kimber. No issues with it so far. As mentioned in previous posts, I sanded the slide and removed the matte. The original finish was very well done but I preferred the machined slide look.
Air gun Trigger Wood Rectangle Gun barrel


This gun when originally tested ran flawlessly. As expected, it performed very well today as well shooting a 5 shot group at under 1”. It still shot a little left as it originally did. That can be fixed with a slight sight drift.

Font Art Circle Pattern Symmetry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Next is my newest Kimber Stainless II in 10mm. This was my anniversary present from the wife. Pictured in its original state. This gun had never been fired until today.
Air gun Wood Trigger Rectangle Grey


The good news is, it grouped well for a 5 shot group at roughly 1.25”. Fired in the same conditions immediately following the initial 3. It appears that a slight drift might be necessary as it favored right.
Font Art Circle Recreation Design


The bad news, every single round tested failed to feed except the initial chamber. I thought I heard some sounds that indicated the mag may have been binding so I changed ammo and changed the mag to an unbranded mag that worked in the other Kimber 10mm. That did not fix the issue. The first round chamber failed to feed as well as 3 of the 4 remaining rounds. So far, there have only been the 2 rounds that fed properly.

Last but not least, my original Kimber Stainless II in 10mm. Identical to the one above. This gun had a lot of grit inside when I first received it. After a deep cleaning, it still was a bit rough in the action. This is the only gun of the 5 being looked at that has had 30rds through it. It was around 80rds during this test.

Air gun Grey Gun barrel Trigger Gun accessory



Issues with this gun are small. It requires frequent cleaning during breakin, as all the Kimbers do. This one was a bit rougher than the others with the slide movement and the action. Does seem to be smoothing out.

The good news is, it also grouped very well at around 1”.
Font Art Circle Recreation Pattern
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top