colt vs. kimber

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by colmustard, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    so i asked before about maybe getting a para gi, but i have now made the desicion to save my pennys and get a really nice 1911, right now i am trying to decide between a colt series 70 or a kimber, my questions are which is more reliable, which shoots better and all in all which is a better firearm.:D
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Well, all you're going to get from this one is competing opinions.

    Exactly what are you looking for in a 1911?

    What are you looking to spend for this 1911?

    With some detailed answers to these questions, many of us can give you some solid advice. Limiting your selection to Colt and Kimber overlooks many great 1911s that may be just what you want - like Springfield, Dan Wesson, STI, and many others. I currently have a Colt, Kimber, and 2 Springfields - and they are all great guns and each has a different purpose and use...
     

  3. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    I would not like to spend much mor than $1,000 for the pistol, the pistol does not have to have all the bells and whistles like extended beaver tail and what not. And the pistol must be made fully in the usa which leaves springfield out i think.
     
  4. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Since I have no idea what pistols are "made fully in the USA" - I wish you luck in the search. At that price I'd generally recommend a Dan Wesson but it is owned by CZ - which is a foreign company...
     
  5. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I've had both. NGIB is right on with his other options. I don't have his experience, but what I will say is that, at one time, I had a Colt Series 70 and three Kimbers. The Kimbers are really good pistols, but I've traded them all toward higher-end pistols that I wanted.

    I kept the Colt, though. Nothing quite like it, IMO.
     
  6. bobbyb13

    bobbyb13 New Member

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    6 of one, half dozen of the other. There are just so many variations of both.
     
  7. hillmillenia

    hillmillenia New Member

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    I've been through the Colt's, Kimbers, Springfields, Para's etc. I find alot of cast and MIM parts except the Colt. Now people will tell you that cast and MIM technology is such that you should'nt have any problems. That is simply not true. I have personally broken parts in all but the Colt. Granted Colt uses plastic MSH in some...and I change them to steel. The series 70 reissue I have has what looks to be a cast MSH and a MIM grip safety but the parts that get the most wear are steel. If your not looking at Wilson or Brown or some other hand built 2k plus handgun, I have to go with the pony. But that just sounds like a biased opinion so take it for what it's worth.:rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Glockmaniac

    Glockmaniac New Member

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    my next 1911 will be either a KIMBER ECLIPSE in 10mm with a 5'' barrel, or a gold cup in .45.

    the eclipse i could get one NIB for 1500$ and the GOLD CUP...eeeeww 2000$ out the door...lol.
     
  9. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    I have the Kimber Stainless II in 10mm, its oh so nice!

    Anyways comparing most Kimbers to a colt series 70 is a bad comparison. Now Id take a Kimber over a Colt series 80 any day.
     
  10. PSYCHOSTROKER

    PSYCHOSTROKER New Member

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    By far I am not expert on this subject, bit up till recently I was in the same boat, trying to decide on which 1911 would suit my needs, I looked at Colt, Springfeild, Smith, and Kimber
    This all started about a year ago, Spending some time in Springfield Mass I decided to go to S/W and took a look at there 1911 DK first, And Although it is a sweet looking pistol it was just a bit out of the price range I had set to spend, It is a vary nice piece,
    I then took the time to look at both the Springfield, Colt and Kimber under one roof, and put everyone in my hand, although I did not shoot all of them due to the fact these were new items, I really felt that the Kimber CDP PRO II was the one that fit the best in my hand, I then went and bought every magizine on hand guns that pertained to these 1911's that I was interested in, Everyone has its good quailities, as I kept reading and thinking and this was over months the one important issue that kept coming back to me is, the feel of the pistol in my hand, I went back to the local gun store to put these pistols in my hand over and over, and asking a ton of questions everytime,
    Then it was what size do I want, compact, med, or large, and who really am I impressing here, I decided that I wanted a 4" not a 5"
    next was do I want SS or Blued, this was not real important at the time but it did become important later,
    So finally I had narrowed it down to a Springfield and a Kimber, I was able to finally fire both of these and I have to tell you they both are nice to shoot, I then was able to shoot a Colt, bit only a 5" barrel, The Colt is sweet, but didnt fit in my hand right and I didnt want a 5"
    Then there was the price, I'm like the most of us out there, working hard just to save a little, but wanting the best bang for your buck, At first I couldn't even come close to touching anyone of these, they were out of my range
    So I saved and saved but always returning to the gun store to put these guns in my hand, and I have to say the Kimber felt the best, but it was one of the most expensive ones on the list, Then my wife thought that the Kimber Raptor was a sweet gun, the only problem is the Raptor model I wanted to buy was not legal in CA, so that went out the window, almost a year later I bought the Kimber CDP PRO II for under a grand, before tax, and I have to say I felt like I made the right choice for me, and that is the key to all this, which pistol is going to:
    feel right in your hands
    what can fit into your budget
    are you going to conceal carry or is this going to be your prized possession
    and is this what all your friends want you to buy or is this really what you want.
    I had to ask all these ?'s a thousand times before I put my Benni's on the table.
    Now this is IMO and I'm not basking any pistol or manufacture out there, nor am I dis-crediting any one else out there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  11. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    Why A colt 70? dont get me wrong love them,have a couple, but i think you maybe able to get a 80 and save $,unless u found a good deal.
    Also have a couple kimbers, raptor & raptor 2 both great
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  12. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    first off thanks for the great input, y'all, and as far as why i was thinking series 70 and not 80 was on account of the safty device they installed in the series 80, I have heard that some have problems with them. But I have never shot one so any advice is much needed.:D
     
  13. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    This is not my words,But it wouldd explian better then i could,Im not good with putting thought into words,

    In 1983 Colt made an even more drastic change to their 1911 line. Out of concerns for product liability, all of Colt's 1911-type pistols were redesigned internally with a new firing pin safety system. The new setup involved a small plunger located inside the slide to block the firing pin against movement, thus preventing the pistol from discharging accidentally should the pistol be dropped or hit hard while fully loaded with a round in the chamber. Two small sheet-metal levers working alongside the trigger pushed aside the plunger, which would then free up the firing pin to fire the weapon once the trigger had been deliberately depressed. The new pistols were all re-designated Series 80 models, and they replaced all of the older Series 70 models in Colt's lineup. Around 1988 it was decided that the collet bushing wasn't all it was cracked up to be, as there were a few reports of the bushing fingers breaking in use. In addition, it was felt that modern CNC manufacturing techniques had allowed tighter factory tolerances with the older solid bushing setup. As a result the original mil-spec barrel and bushing configuration was reinstated during that year, but the Series 80 firing pin safety was considered here to stay. Or was it?

    Not everybody liked the new firing pin safety system Colt devised. Many gunsmiths groaned that the FPS made it that much harder to do a good trigger job on the piece, and some purists contended that the small parts that made up the safety system were fragile and thus prone to failure after extended use. The arguments for and against the firing pin safety system are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say there was a strong market demand for 1911-type pistols without the FPS that rival 1911 manufacturers were all too willing to meet. Manufacturers such as Springfield Armory, Kimber, Norinco, and others made huge inroads on Colt with their non-Series 80 1911 "clone" guns. Colt of course continued to make only Series 80 pistols, as conventional wisdom dicated that once a manufacturer made changes in the name of decreased product liability there was no looking back.

    Fast-forward slightly to the year 2001. Due to a multitude of issues, Colt's financial situation had degraded to the point that their very survival seemed uncertain. Rival 1911 manufacturers now dominated the market. Some of them had also made changes to their 1911 line to include a firing pin safety system of some sort, yet their business didn't suffer as a result. The new CEO of Colt, retired General William M. Keyes took notice and realized that the public's perception of Colt was much different than that of other manufacturers. While other 1911 makers were making significant changes to the appearance and function of their pistols and being warmly received, the public attitude towards Colt's own products leaned more towards nostalgia and "the way they used to make 'em". Colt was continuing to sell the fabled Single Action Army (aka "Peacemaker"), despite the fact that there were imported clones on the market that sold for a third of what Colt was asking for theirs. As one associate of Keyes reportedly pointed out to him, "the other ones don't have the little horsey on them". The point was clear. Customers might have been willing to try out new products from other makers, but if they wanted to own the original it HAD to be a Colt. It was then that Mr. Keyes decided it was time to test-market a few new products, aimed not towards cutting edge handgun technology but instead backwards in time to "the way they used to make 'em". First to market was a close replica of the original military-issue M1911A1 pistol as used by Uncle Sam for over three-quarters of a century. While the pistol closely matched the originals in outside appearance, what was more significant was the fact that internally the new pistol had returned to the old pre-Series 80 ignition system as used by the original military-issue weapons, meaning there was no firing pin safety! Colt was able to do this without fear of liability in the same way that they were able to continue making the old Single Action Army, with its outdated fixed firing pin system. Being made and marketed by the Colt Custom Shop, the pistols were at once designated collectibles intended for a niche market, as opposed to products intended for general public consumption. Of course the pistols were still almost as readily available as any regular-production item, but by listing them as Custom Shop-only offerings Colt cleverly managed to drop the firing pin safety system and skirt product liability concerns at the same time.

    screw hole. They are supplied on contract by the Chip McCormick Corporation, and in the opinion of this author look much nicer than the plain checkered or rough-sawn wood grips of the originals. I do however miss the gold Colt medallion that was inset into each grip panel on the originals. On the positive side they're only grips, and if you prefer the original style they're not too hard to find at gun shows or on eBay.

    There is another internal change in the new pistols, and it's definitely a welcome one. The barrel ramp/chamber entry throat is a new style designed to allow reliable feeding of all bullet shapes, yet at the same time not allow an excessive amount of case brass to be left unsupported. It looks like two ramps in one, first a large sweeping ramp then a much smaller "dimple" right at the 6 O'clock position. The new setup works perfectly in ensuring reliability, yet is much safer than the older and more common method of creating a huge, sweeping entry throat that would often leave unsupported brass at the bottom. Many new Colt owners unaware of this new setup have incorrectly assumed that their new pistol isn't "throated for hollowpoints", and have sent their guns off to a gunsmith for a "reliability package". Trust me, the new setup works much better than the old one. I don't know if Colt has patented it, but if not I think the other 1911 makers should follow Colt's lead. The final internal difference with the new guns was only present on the first run of pistols such as my blued example, and that was that the slide stop cutout in the frame was completely milled away as on other current Colt production. With all later production the bridge of metal on the frame rail above the cutout is retained, as on the 1st Gen. Series 70 pistols.

    The ejection port is the same as with the originals, meaning the opening is narrow and has the high lip on the right side of the slide. Most new 1911 pistols have a lowered port to allow better ejection, but the narrow port is a concession to authenticity. The trigger is made of steel, with a serrated face as on the originals. The flat surfaces of the slide and frame are polished, which contrasts beautifully with the sandblasted matte surfaces present on the rounds. On the carbon steel models the color of the factory bluing and level of polish isn't quite as bright as on the originals, but it is still pleasing to the eye and nowhere near as dull as most other contemporary firearms. Sadly, bright-polished blue guns seem to be an endangered species these days so I'll gladly take any attempt to replicate the finishes of old! The mainspring housing was nylon on most earlier production, but the newest production runs are now shipping with a steel housing. Some have reportedly been of the flat variety, but factory specs call for the original arched type. Lastly, the slide rollmarks are almost identical to the original guns.
     
  14. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    The WW2 reproduction pistols were an immediate success, even despite the limited availability of just 4000 units and high Custom Shop price tag. Colt was thus inspired to introduce the next item in the "retro" line, a new MK IV/Series 70 Government Model like those manufactured for the civilian market from 1971 until 1983. True to original specifications there was no firing pin safety in this one either, but even more significant was the fact that Colt chose not to re-introduce the finger collet barrel bushing setup. Apparently it was decided that the collet bushing was a feature nobody would miss anyway, but the end result is that the new Series 70 models are technically more true to the older "pre-Series 70" production Government Models of 1911-1970 than the original "1st Generation" Series 70 guns. It is this author's belief that Colt merely used the Series 70 designation with the new guns as a means of identifying all pistols not using the firing pin safety system, rather than risking confusion over their products by naming them differently. It seems to make perfect sense, as it's not too difficult to remember that Series 70 means any Colt product without a firing pin safety system, versus a Series 80 which has the safety.

    The new pistols are for the most part dead ringers for the original guns; however there are a few differences. As already mentioned the new guns use the solid barrel bushing, whereas the 1st Gen. guns used the collet bushing. Both lack the Series 80 firing pin safety, however the new pistols do use the same internal parts as the Series 80 pistols. In other words, the extractor, firing pin, and grip safety have the notches cut into them that would normally allow the FPS parts to function. There are however no cutouts in either the slide or the frame for the levers and plunger, which means that a firing pin safety cannot be retrofitted to these guns without making the additional machining passes that a Series 80 gun requires. This all may sound like a cheap cop-out at first, but one must look at it from a manufacturing standpoint. Series 80 parts are fully backwards compatible in Series 70 guns, as the "notched" parts do not affect function and aren't even noticeable when the gun is completely assembled. In the name of streamlining its spare parts network Colt dropped all of the older Series 70 parts from production many years ago, and existing owners of older pistols are merely expected to order S80-type replacement parts which of course will still work fine. There was simply no point in making these older parts all over again just for a limited-production Custom Shop item, and so the new Series 70 guns use the exact same internal parts as the other current pistols in Colt's product line. It is worth mentioning that Colt did the exact same thing with the WW2 repro M1911A1, meaning that model uses S80-type internal parts as well.

    The sights on the new guns are also from current production, as they are identical to the plain, high profile ones used on Colt's M1991A1 model. They are very similar to the original mil-spec sights of the originals, but they are taller and wider and allow a much better sight picture than the tiny sights of old. While not exactly period correct, as with the collet bushing they are probably another departure from the original that few owners will mind. If you intend to shoot your new S70 on a frequent basis you'll no doubt appreciate having sights you can actually see. The grips are rosewood and are checkered in the traditional fashion


    So IMO if your not into competition shooting the 80 or new 70 is fine,but i do love my old 70'
     
  15. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I have owned both. My first Colt was a Combat Commander that NEVER jammed and could NOT miss a beer can at 30 yds. So I thought they were all like that. So I sold it for $100 profit and thought I was Oh SO Clever. (I should die and go to hell). My next Colt taught me different. I now own a Kimber Compact which is a joy to shoot and handle, but I dislike the lack of bushing and the full length guide rod. What a pain to field strip. And a parts gun built on a Springfield frame. It shoots acceptably, is reliable, and field strips easily. But I love carrying that Kimber. Small frame, 4" barrel, best (almost) of all worlds.
    The Lovely Mrs. Freefall owns a Combat commander (beaut- the instructor at the class she just took drooled over it) and an Officers ACP series 80. Damn thing needed a new extractor and heck if I could get the damn thing out. Had to pay a guy. Luckily he took pity on me and didn't rape me. Still have to go wring the thing out now. Anyways, if i was looking to buy a .45 right now, I'd get a Kimber or an S&W. They're pricey, but how long are you planning to own it? Are you planning to bet your life on it? Do you want the cheapest parachute you can find?
     
  16. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    Man im getting wordy
    But if you could find Colt gold cup 80 for the right $ i would buy . i would not sell mine,they get pricy 2,but you can get a new style GI for good prices now.
     
  17. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    Freefall hit on S&W it might e somthing for you too, depends on what your want full,commandor,sub. I have a S&W 1911PD 41/4 and its my #2 carry #1 being my colt comannder 41/4 barrel is more comfortable,but stick with 45
     
  18. TwistedMinded_1911

    TwistedMinded_1911 New Member

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    I don’t think you can buy any pistol today without 1 hear a there have some trouble; I find they are few and far between. I only by from kimbers custom shop and have had prob. and also bought the cheapest pistol out there kel tek , bersa, ,and others and work great out of box .Don’t get me wrong kimbers are great but I had prob with them to.

    {Officers ACP series 80. Damn thing needed a new extractor and heck if I could get the damn thing out. Had to pay a guy. Luckily he took pity on me and didn't rape me.)

    You need to know you pistol , learn every thigh you can , break it down get to know the part, and make sure you feel its right for you. go to range and rent, see what you like , what you are using it for, go to rang a lot of good people like to help, it a nice family , I’m always ask by someone to let me try out my pistols and I’m happy to let them ,that way they get a feel for different pistols before they spend money for something they aren’t happy with in 2 day. Nothing worst then buying on impulse

    My wife carry’s a kel tek 9 that I fluff & buffed for her and she loves it. I even carry a kel tec 38 for back up as a mouse gun fluf and buffed with no FTF. Try a few get what you what, then you’ll get the fever!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  19. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Twisted, you list some really impressive hardware in your posts. We all enjoy gun porn so how about some pix? I know Cane loves to look at Colts...
     
  20. hillmillenia

    hillmillenia New Member

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    chime...I have a SS XSE Commander I had to return to Colt because of the off-set frame to the plug syndrom. They paid shipping both ways and had it back to me pronto. They also at my request replaced the the ambi-safety to a right hand type at no charge and polished the frame where the the original safety was scratching. I replaced the plastic MSH with an Ed Brown SS serrated one and pulled the full length recoil spring assy and replaced it with the stock biz. It is now a great pistol but yes it took some jacking with to get it there...Oh and by the way, I removed the srs.80 safety parts and put the Brownell's shim in the frame...probably not neccessary but litigated safeties are such an irritant! to the OP, You have alot of great suggestion here. You might go to your local range and get the one that fits you best. Good luck!