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Thread: Kimber MARSOC by Western Arms

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    29th May 2004
    Athens, Greece, Earth
    Posts liked by others
    Blog Entries

    Kimber MARSOC by Western Arms


    In 2005 Kimber was awarded a contract to urgently provide some special 1911 pistols to the Marine Detachement, assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command. Those pistols known as either Kimber MCSOCOM or DET-1, were build on Series 1 frames and slides, using:

    - short recoil guide rods
    - Novak Low Mount tritium sights
    - Kimber's own ambi safeties
    - Ed Brown beavertails
    - Dawson precision M1913 Picatinny rails
    - Wilson Combat magazines

    Here is an article on the MCSOCOM pistol (courtesy of AR15.COM).

    This is the MCSOCOM (or DET-1) pistol, as the USMC guys got it from Kimber, who of course grabbed the opportunity to come up with a similar pistol for the civilian market. The civilian pistol was called Warrior, which differs from the DET-1 pistol in some parts, but is basically a very close immitation of the USMC gun.

    The above pictures are of the Kimber Warrior model, the civilian version of the USMC pistol.

    Western Arms came up with an Airsoft version of the DET-1 pistol, in summer 2005, and it is this pistol that we present you here.


    A lot of people accuse WA for producing too many 1911 variances. As far as I am concerned (and most probably the same is true for most of you), I am happy they do, after all, it would be next to impossible to get a real MCSOCOM pistol, unless one was willing to join the USMC. Also, I would sincerely doubt if my budget would ever allow me to own three different Wilson Combat custom pistols, so WA offerings allow me the pleasure of having some real nice replicas of those hard-to-get guns.

    WA calls their MCSOCOM pistol MARSOC, which is a term not used by USMC, but which we will use from now on to denote the replica. The MARSOC arrived to me in the usual WA uninspiring dark grey box, with the usual contents. The pistol and its magazine, a small bag with BBs, an allen wrench, a bushing wrench, and the usual documentation in Japanese.

    The pistol was send to me, by our sponsor Airsoft Extreme and was not customized in anyway, so I assume that's how you will get it too, if you call Airsoft Extreme and order one.

    As it came out of the box, the pistol is a very authentic reproduction of the real USMC MCSOCOM DET-1 gun.

    It features Kimber logo on the slide,

    Kimber's address on the frame, a DET-1 prefixed serial number and US MILITARY PROPERTY USMC inscriptions.

    An aluminum trigger and "stainless" hammer are the shiny parts.

    The grips supplied with the gun, fail to immitate the real grips provided with the pistol, as far as their color is concerned. Their color is too light to match the original grips. They are mounted on the pistol with authentic looking hex head screws. The mag release button is fully checkered (I like it that way) and an Ed Brown look-alike beavertail safety is nicely blended with the rear of the frame.

    The mainspring housing is fully checkered as well, with a lanyard loop attached at the bottom. The lanyard loop is OK with the supplied Wilson 47D immitation magazine, but if you use a magazine not equipped with a magazine pad, make sure you do not slap it hard, in the mag well or your hand will hurt.

    The Kimber ambi safety (very similar to the King's one found on the MEU(SOC) pistols), is accurately reproduced. The rear sight is a two-dot Novak Low Mount (I wasn't expecting to see and tritiums here).

    The barrel's chamber and the barrel are stainless steel in appearance and the chamber has a cut, which in the real pistol would allow the operator to visually check if there is a chambered round or not. However, the inscriptions on the chamber are somewhat strange saying "cal. 45 NDT P" whatever that means. Chamber and barrel are made of metal of course.

    The front sight is a dovetailed single white dot thing (Novak, I assume), which matches the curvature of the slide (nice touch!). The slide comes with wide and slanted, front and rear cocking serrations.

    What is also strange is that the recoil spring plug is not checkered, but absolutely flat. That's the way the real pistols were made, so a thumbs-up for authenticity to WA.

    On the bottom of the dust cover, you can find a light rail, which closely immitates the Dawson Precision rail, found on the DET-1 pistols. Typically a special adaptor is included with the pistol, which allow you to mount any standard Weaver rail accessory. This adaptor however was not included in the package I received, so I have to find alternatives, if I want to use a light with this pistol.

    The pistol I got had a faulty thumb safety. Even though the safety would move up and down properly, it was evident that whoever fit it in the pistol had no idea of what he was doing. The safety was not relieved enough to allow it to move, the only reason it was moving was because the frame of the pistol, being plastic, allowed the movement by bending. A few strokes with a file, solved this issue, and allowed the safety to move without problems, to the safe position, where it blocks the sear, the way it should.

    The trigger of the pistol is of course excellent, like all triggers of the WA pistols I've tried, and which contributes greatly in the accurate shooting of the gun.

    A nice touch, is that WA has included some weights below the grips, to make the feeling of the pistol more authentic.

    However, the finish of this particular pistol, was not up to WA standards, I've seen in other models. The paint used on the plastic was peeling of, in some spots on the front strap, and as you may have noticed, it was easily removed when I rub the front of the slide with some Nitro solvent. Now, I haven't tried the solvent on other pistols until now, but none of the pistols I've tried had peeling marks on them.

    Finally, the gun was delivered with a Wilson Combat 47D immitation magazine, which holds 23 rounds.

    Overall, the pistol is very nice. A very accurate reproduction of the pistol offered to the USMC, with realistic feeling and features. The quality of my particular speciment was a little far from the typical WA standards, but maybe my gun was from the initial production run. The issues with the peeling paint and the badly fitted safety haven't been noticed in any other WA pistol.

    My plans for this gun, is to keep it as it is, if I manage to find the 20 mm rail adapter, and change only the plastic-looking grips with a set of real ones (if I can find a set at a rational price). Otherwise, I plan to remove the rail all together, and change the grips with a set of lightweight Alumagrips, which have enough space on their back to accept the weights used now. I'll keep you posted on that.

    Please continue to Page 2 of this review.



    Like any other WA SCW 1911 pistol, this one is stripped in the normal way. Remove the slide stop and pull the slide to the front. Remove the recoil spring guide and spring from underneath the barrel. Then press back on the recoil spring plug and remove it from the rear of the slide. Finally turn the barrel bushing anti-clockwise and remove it, and then remove the barrel. Re-assemblying is the reverse process. Pictures can be found in the review of the WA FBI Trial Pistol, here.


    The pistol was tested in the usual conditions, i.e. with the target being at 10 m, using propane as propulsion gas.

    The best group obtained was with 0.25 gr BBs, and it measured a mere 1.75" from center to center, very accurate for an airsoft gun.

    Poor Man's Chrono Test

    The pistol penetrated both sides of the Coke can, punched the bottom of the can, but failed to penetrate it. The velocity of the BBs is assume to be in the high range of 350-370 fps.


    I liked this pistol. Even though the particular gun which I got had some issues, it is still a very fine example of the latest models coming out of WA factory. Fine trigger and the excellent (as usual) ergonomics, make it a viable (and nice) addition to whoever is interested in the latest military versions of the 1911. Accuracy is great (I am sure I can improve on that 1.75" group with some more attention), so the gun is a nice training tool, for the ... home warrior.

    Maybe, when I get some money, I'll invest in a full-metal kit for this gun, it surely deserves it.

    Note on Gas

    With all Western Arms pistols, you are supposed to use the HFC 134A gas. Using Green gas in them, will cause problems, premature wear etc. HFC 134A is giving slightly less performance (lower BB speed), when compared to Green Gas. Green Gas should not be used in unaltered pistols made in Japan, like the WA ones.

    With the above warning noted, I have to admit that I am testing all pistols using ... propane. Green Gas is in reality propane, with a little silicone oil added, to lubricate the pistols. So instead of paying for Green Gas, I bought a canister of propane, like the ones sold in US for the camping stoves, or flame torches, and a special valve adaptor, which allows me to use the much cheaper propane instead of Green Gas. In this site, you can read more on this issue:


    The reason I am ignoring the manufacturer's recommendation, as far as gas is concerned, is two-fold. First, I want to have consistent environment for all the tests (some of the pistols we'll test here use HFC 134A, some use Green Gas), and second it's plain difficult to find HFC 134A in Greece. Also, I plan to upgrade all the standard pistols (like this one) so that it is safe to use Green Gas (and thus propane) with them.


    Accuracy: 3
    Upgradeability: 4
    Training Capability: 5
    Realism: 5
    Quality: 5
    Power: 3

    Overall: 25
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    Last edited by John; 13th September 2008 at 09:20.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    1st November 2006
    Posts liked by others
    Umm... the chamber is made in plastic, the barrel is metal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    28th January 2006
    Posts liked by others
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911A3
    Umm... the chamber is made in plastic, the barrel is metal.
    ya most ppl dont realize that its plastic colored over

    after i got a metal slide and ran green gas constantly the paint started to wear away, gotta get a new chamber

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