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Old 03-26-2009, 10:18 PM   #11
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Cane- that is a bargain for a sight adjustment tool. I recently sat quivering in fear as I took a 1/4" wooden dowel to my NHC rear sight two weeks ago to make a windage adjustment... I am not the type to start fiddling with my guns as I have exactly zero gun smithing under my belt. It worked out for the better with nary a mark to my new baby, and she is spot on now- but I wished I had this tool you linked too. that is a very reasonably price. Ordering one now...

OP- We need some pictures.
Slawth, It's on sale!

MidwayUSA - B & J Machine Model 500 Universal Front and Rear Sight Tool
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #12
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Cane & JD, thanks so much for the great advice here. Finally an update (sadly) and some pics... First the pics:

A group photo, out with some friends in the desert last weekend:




And my buddy firing the 460:




And now the bad news: The gun first went back to the gunsmith because the slide locked back (wouldn't return to feed the first round). The guy had to file a bit of the slide release lever off to allow the slide to come forward. The bad side effect was that the slide wouldn't lock back after the last round (it always returned forward no matter what), but at least I was shooting...

So I took it out again a couple times, and the first round was always difficult to chamber. I tried a few different magazines, the Wilsons never gave me FTFs except on the first round, but always difficult getting the first round in, no matter what mag I tried... But at least the gun fired still.

Then the new Novak rear sight got completely blown off. Back to the 'smith again, he had to drill a larger sinkhole and add a drop of Locktite to get the sight to hold.

And finally last weekend my buddy was shooting it, we had gone thought maybe 50 or 60 rounds, and the slide release lever and detent pin (the pin behind the slide release) came completely off and out halfway through a magazine. I found the slide lever but never found the pin. I ordered another one from Kimber this morning, and another slide release lever.

So, I'm beginning to think I'm just going to convert it back to 45, it seems either the parts can't hold up to the round or the gunsmith can't handle the job. BTW he was the only person I could find in my area that would do the work for me (remember I also added an ambi safety, magwell/MSH, trigger and new sights).. This is a brand new beautiful Kimber and I don't want it taking any more of this abuse....

What do you guys think?

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:11 AM   #13
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And now the bad news: The gun first went back to the gunsmith because the slide locked back (wouldn't return to feed the first round). The guy had to file a bit of the slide release lever off to allow the slide to come forward. The bad side effect was that the slide wouldn't lock back after the last round (it always returned forward no matter what), but at least I was shooting...
Was the cause of the lock-back determined by the smith? I don't think it had anything to do with the slide stop. I think filing on the slide stop had a lot to do with the failure you talk about later.
I'm only guessing because the Kimber site does not state, but the replacement slide stops (at $19.95) are probably MIM. You really want a good forged unit like:

NightHawk Forged Slide Stop

Or machined:

EGW Heavy Duty Slide Stop
Ed Brown Hardcore Slide Stop
Wilson Combat Bullet Proof Slide Stop

I had the same problem with the lock-back and I found the problem to be a sticky slide channel and a barrel bushing hanging up. I solved both by hand lapping with Wheeler Engineering - Lapping Compound Midway-Wheeler Engineering Lapping Compound Kit starting with the 220 and working up to the 600 grit. You will find that the bushing is free for the most part of the barrel but when you get it to the threaded, muzzle end, there seams to be a processing issue that causes the barrel to swell. This causes the bushing to hang when the gun goes into battery lock. Hand lapping cured both these issues on Fenrir.

I also had the problem with the slide not locking back after the last round. I determined this to a couple of issues. My first was the gun would FTE on every round due to the fact that the 24# recoil spring wasn't allowing the slide to fully recoil to the rear resulting in the spent casing failing to contact the ejector and not ejecting. By reducing the spring pressure (clear down to 18# with one coil clipped) I got the FTE corrected but stumbled onto the next issue. The cycle time is much faster with the 460 due to the increased pressure. When using magazines with poly (tupperware!) followers the time over the slide stop is insignificant and fails to engage the stop. By switching to the Tripp Research Cobra Mag (with metal slide stop interface) this problem was eliminated!

Tripp Research Cobra Mag

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So I took it out again a couple times, and the first round was always difficult to chamber. I tried a few different magazines, the Wilsons never gave me FTFs except on the first round, but always difficult getting the first round in, no matter what mag I tried... But at least the gun fired still.
Are you returning the slide by hand to load the first round or are you letting the slide returned on its own?

Fenrir does the same FTF when babied but give the slide stop a quick thumb release and bang, the first round is at battery. Give the gun its head and let it do the work. JMB didn't design a 1911 to be babied!

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Then the new Novak rear sight got completely blown off. Back to the 'smith again, he had to drill a larger sinkhole and add a drop of Locktite to get the sight to hold.
He didn't use locktite the first time?? And the novak actually came out of the dovetail??

Me thinks you may need to ferret out a new smith! I told you I would do the swap for you!

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And finally last weekend my buddy was shooting it, we had gone thought maybe 50 or 60 rounds, and the slide release lever and detent pin (the pin behind the slide release) came completely off and out halfway through a magazine. I found the slide lever but never found the pin. I ordered another one from Kimber this morning, and another slide release lever.
See above. ^

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So, I'm beginning to think I'm just going to convert it back to 45, it seems either the parts can't hold up to the round or the gunsmith can't handle the job. BTW he was the only person I could find in my area that would do the work for me (remember I also added an ambi safety, magwell/MSH, trigger and new sights).. This is a brand new beautiful Kimber and I don't want it taking any more of this abuse....

What do you guys think?
Your Kimber is, and will be fine. You just need to do some tuning to get this hand cannon running. I'm weird like everyone here will verify. I enjoy working on my guns and fixing or improving them with the end result being a canebrake gun.

Don't give up on this outstanding package. (Besides, we won't let you leave the fraternity! Once a member, always a member! Right JD?)
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:44 AM   #14
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Thanks again for all the help Cane... I guess I made the mistake of taking it literally when Clark Custom said their 460 kit was "drop in"... They didn't mention needing lapping compounds or forged replacement parts etc in order for it to work properly. I would rather have a 45 I can count on than a 460 I have to cross my fingers with.

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Old 04-07-2009, 03:43 AM   #15
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Thanks again for all the help Cane... I guess I made the mistake of taking it literally when Clark Custom said their 460 kit was "drop in"... They didn't mention needing lapping compounds or forged replacement parts etc in order for it to work properly. I would rather have a 45 I can count on than a 460 I have to cross my fingers with.
With all due respect to Clark Custom Guns, This is a significant change to the 1911. Going in, I took the "Drop-in" statement with a grain of salt.

Of course the reason for my attitude is that I have installed 100s of drop-in parts before this project and each is an experience unto itself.

Guns, like any operating assemblies are best when left in their "system engineered" or stock condition. When you start to change parts to that assembly you must be willing to re-engineer that which is necessary.

Gun customizing is not an instant gratification sport. It requires a dogged pursuit of perfection.

That or just "Blind Luck" like our friend JD seams to enjoy!
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