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.
P.S.- Sorry for the long post.