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Thread: Kimber TLE/RL II Stainless. My first gun...have lots of questions!

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  1. #1

    Kimber TLE/RL II Stainless. My first gun...have lots of questions!

    Hello...My name is Rawley and I am 21 years old. I just purchased my first firearm 3 weeks ago and chose to go with a Kimber TLE/RL II Stainless 19ll. Before I purchased the gun, I shot many different brands and sizes (Glock's, Sig's, Springfield's, H&K's, 9mm, .40, and .45 etc). After days of shooting I fell in love with my local gun range’s rental Kimber 1911 full-size. It's great feel, classic 1911 design, all steel construction, and great accuracy out of the factory set it apart from the rest. I wanted to ask...did I make a good choice for my first handgun?

    Although I really love the gun, I still have had some trouble with it and want to ask you guys what you think. Before shooting the gun for the first time, I did a field strip on it, cleaned, and oiled it. Even though the gun did not have a single round through it, I decided to do this anyways (it is also recommended in the owners manual to clean and oil it before first shooting it).

    Before I give you guys the detail on the problems I had, I first want to give you a little background information. Even though this is my first gun, I believe that I am doing all the basic stuff correctly. I do know how to properly tear down, clean, and oil a 1911. I have never disassembled the gun past a basic field stripping. I never under or over oil gun either. One other thing is, when I fire the gun, I always make sure to keep my wrist locked to avoid absorbing the action needed for the slide to properly slide back, cock the gun, expel the spent shell, and reload. I am aware that allowing the muzzle to rise too much will cause a jam.

    Okay, here is the problem. On day one I went to the range and shot 100 rounds and had only one jam (the round failed to feed into the chamber correctly resulting in the cartridge pointing in an upward position in the chamber). After examining the ammunition (new Independence .45 FMJ) I noticed that the round that failed to feed seemed to be out of spec compared to all the others (bullet looked like it was pressed too far into the shell). I decided to neglect this failure and blame it on the ammo instead of the gun. After this incident I decided not to use Independence ammo any more. On day two I went to the range and shot 150 rounds through the gun and had zero jams using new PMC .45 FMJ. On day three I went to a different range and was informed that they required that I purchase their reload ammo. They said that it was against there policy to use your own ammo. Well, on this day I shot another 150 rounds through the gun and had several jams (over 10 jams) using the ranges own reload ammo. Now, before we all go and blame the ammo, I want to make it clear that this range is the same place where I shot all the rental guns before purchasing my Kimber. During the rental gun firings, I used the same range reload ammo and had zero problems with all the guns I shot. The problem that seemed to keep occurring with my Kimber was that the spent shell was not getting pulled from the barrel and tossed out. Instead the slide would get stopped in the rearward position and you could visibly see the empty shell still in the barrel. On day four I went to another range (different than the other two) and shot another 150 rounds through the gun. I shot 100 rounds of new PMC .45 FMJ and had one jam (same as above) and shot 50 rounds of the ranges reload FMJ ammo (remember...different range and different reload ammo). Anyways, during the box of the 50 reloads, I had about 6 jams. This time the jams ranged form the empty shell still being left in the barrel and other times the empty shell would get caught in the slide as the slide moved.

    Now with all this being said, I should also say that between each day, I made sure to field strip, clean and oil the gun. Not once was the gun brought to the range without being cleaned and oiled.

    Did I make a good purchase? Is this normal? My guess is that since the gun is brand new and breaking in (550 rounds through it), everything is still very tight including the spring. I think that the reload ammo I was using might be okay on a broken in gun but with my new Kimber, it is not providing enough kickback to properly reload. It's to my understanding that most reload ammo is about 10% less power than new ammo. Is this true? Could this the problem?

    I hope I made a good choice when purchasing my Kimber TLE/ RL II. Is there anything that you guys do with your Kimbers to make them more reliable or are they fine from the factory.

    Please help!!!

    P.S.- Sorry for the long post.

    Thanks, Rawley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    3rd October 2004
    It's hard to call because reloads can cause alot of problems in themselves. But you say you have shot them before and they worked fine. From your description, it sounds like the extractor is not grabbing onto the empty casings correctly. I hate to say it, but Kimber has had alot of problems ever since they went to an external extractor. My best advice would be to give Kimber a call and see if they can help you under your warranty. Be sure to let them know you already have over 500 rounds thru it because their first answer to every complaint is to "break it in with at least 500 rounds". Good luck, keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2nd February 2005
    San FranFreako Bay Area
    I agree with Glocker on this one. Call Kimber and question the extractor since that is the only significant gun problem you have for sure.

    On feeding cycles, magazines can always be an issue since feed lips are often different and are THE key to when the round is released to the slide and barrel so they can finish closing. But right now you're having for sure extraction problems. In this case, solve the problems like you'd peel potatoes - one at a time.

    Sorting through magazines for the right brand can be done some other time. first problem is extraction.

    I have a pair of Kimber Eclipse Custom II's, so apart from the nylon mainspring housing we have basically the same gun apart from the rail.

    I'd like to tell you more but those problems need to be sorted out one at a time. Do more than one "fix" at once and you get confounded because you can't separate your variables.

    I think as you get more experience you'll notice that reloads are not nearly always reliable in feeding.

    Extraction first!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    26th March 2005

    Thumbs up I would just keep on shooting

    Also I would find another range only shoot their reloads what a rip. Anyway I myself would never judge my Kimbers on any reloaded Ammo. alone. Not trying to downplay reloading just it's not a carry Ammo. So I don't worry about how it shoots. I would get some Win.White Box 230gr FMJ at Walmart and finish giving your Kimber a really good test using this Ammo. Also keep using the Lub. at range every 50/100 rounds. I use Breakfree CLP it seems to work well.

  5. #5
    Also should mention, the problem occurred on all the magazines I used. I have one original Kimber stainless 7rnd mag and two ChipMcCormick 8rnd Power Mags. I don't think the magazine has anything to do with it.

    I will be calling Kimber in the next hour. I'll keep you guys posted.

    Thanks, Rawley

  6. #6

    Check out the CMC mags, too. I've seen a number of posts where guys have been less than satisfied.

    I'm having probs with a New Custom II, also. See my post.

    Good Luck
    Direct Not Diplomatic

  7. #7
    Well, I spoke to Dennis at the Kimber Custom Shop and it looks like I am going to have to send my TLE/RLII to him for some work on the extractor. Dennis was really helpful and from what I hear from other people...everything should get fixed. It works out for me because I was planning on sending it to them anyways to get some custom stuff done to it (ambi-safety and magwell for IDPA, under trigger guard checkering, adjustable rear night sights, premium trigger). I know...lots of money but Kimber does not offer a 1911 fullsize with tactical rail in stainless steel with all these mods. This was the only way to achieve my dream gun. After Kimber, it goes to Metaloy for a brushed chrome (flats of frame and slide) and matte chrome (curves of slide and frame) finish with custom engraving. Then it will be finished off with CocoBolo rosewood grips. It will truly be a one off gun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    11th June 2005
    I've got a T.C.II and fortunately I,ve had no problems so far. 2 Chip McCormick 10 round mags., the stock 7 that came with it, and a bunch of stainless 7 rounders. I stay away from reloads, since NO clue as to who loaded what into them. Good luck with your new Kimber!!! Make it smoke.

  9. #9
    Im new here and would like to say hello to all

    My Kimber TLE/RL II came with a tac rail and front strap checkering it is stainless as well. Yours didn't? I have had only one falure to feed with it and i blame it on my chip mckormic mags. It is my first pistol as well and am very happy with it. I want to get some wilson combat mags i hear they're the best. BTW if always had "rawley" in mind as a name for my first son if that ever happens but every girl iv'e ever been with hates the idea...lol anyways i think you made a great choice and i hope u get all youre issues solved.


  10. #10

    shock buff

    I got to thinking after my last post on this thread and there was a question i wanted to ask before i even read your post rawley. My gun was "like new" someone bought it and traded it in right away, they had barely shot it at all and that was evident. However there was a SHOCK BUFF already on it. Did yours come with one? I was wondering if this guy put one on or if they come with one out of the box?


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