Over on 10-8Forums.com, we'd had some threads which discussed issues with the Kimber Warrior, which I had once recommended as a viable service 1911. Our collective withdrawal of endorsement for the Kimber lineup has been met with great consternation throughout the internet, with folks arguing bitterly on both sides of the matter. I wanted to speak for myself this time around, and in a venue in which more folks would be able to ask questions if they desired. For starters, you can read the original threads HERE and HERE.
Before we start with the discussion, please consider the sample size that I have used to reach my conclusions, then consider your sample size. This is meant strictly as an academic discussion that includes statistics, not an emotional mudslinging event. Let's look objectively at how I've come to my conclusions, starting with the photo below:
Yup, that's part of a batch of Kimber Warriors that I worked on over the course of several days, with several assistants. The guns were all in street service, and all had over 3000 rounds each on them when I first met them, and about 5-6000 rounds when I got them in the photo above. They exhibited the following symptoms during the first training class:
-Feedway malfunctions with OEM Kimber TacPro mags - rounds would nose down into the frame below the feedramp
-Feedway malfunctions with quality aftermarket magazines. The feedramps were improperly dimensioned and all the guns came with the Kimpro finish on the feedramp so they became sticky with extended firing.
-Extractor tension failures - some of the extractors fell right out of the slides upon disassembly
-Slide stop problems - premature lockbacks, failure to lock back, or improper lockback such that seating a magazine caused the slide to drop. Most of the guns had .38/9mm slide stops with lobes so long that they struck the top round in the magazine. These guns were .45's.
-Rear sights falling out
When I got to the pistols at around 5-6000 rounds, we had some more problems:
-at least 2/3 of the pistols had loose plunger tubes that were held in primarily by the grips. The factory plunger tubes were MIM units which did not hold a stake very well.
-grip screws had come out with the bushings, as they were not staked or Loctited at the factory
-several had their barrel bushings break. These bushings were machined, and I have no idea why they went south.
With the following fixes, the guns were born again hard, and have served with distinction and many have reached 15-20,000 rounds on them with only replacement extractors and springs.
-new bar stock plunger tubes, bushings, and extractors
-recut and polish feed ramps
-Replace and Loctite and/or stake grip screw bushings and sights
-Replace OEM magazines
-Adjust slide stop lobe, detent rear face
The issues that this batch of guns also reflected many of those which I had worked on, as well as those experiences of my peers in the industry. I each instance, with the requisite fixes, the guns were good to go. I personally ran one of the original Warriors with only the above tweaks for about a year, and a decent 5 digit round count (sorry, don't have the log book for that one any more).
In summary, if you like your gun and it works, have a good time and drive on. If you're looking for a new gun, then read over this list and compare stats with the other reviews and recommendations. Ultimately, it's on you to decide what you want. Decide with facts.