Firing Line: 12/03
Kimber Failures to Feed
Re: Nov. 2003, “Firing Line”:
I read Bruce Petrie’s letter regarding his Kimber Eclipse Pro II and feel that recounting my experience with my Kimber Tactical Pro II might help.
The gun seemed to be the perfect combination of size, power, and features on a carry gun. As is my practice with all guns intended for personal protection, I bought the gun, cleaned and lubricated it, and headed for the range with lots of ammo. I will not carry any gun until I have fired a minimum of 500 rounds through it. I was using a Kimber factory seven-round magazine and six Wilson Combat mags. I had previously used Wilsons in all of my 1911s with great results. I was using my IPSC practice loads and new Remington and Winchester ball ammo. Immediately I began to have failures to feed and to go into battery with the seventh round in the factory mag and the seventh and eighth rounds in the Wilson mags. The failures were not limited to any particular magazine or to any particular type of ammo. This seems to be the same problem experienced by Mr. Petrie.
I cleaned the gun a second time and returned to the range. It happened again. At the range I met another Kimber owner who was having the same problem. He suggested that I switch to McCormick Power Mags with 11-pound springs. Before investing in the Power Mags I called Kimber customer service in Montana. They confirmed that approximately 30 percent of their guns were experiencing these “last-round” problems and that the gunsmiths at Kimber were befuddled as to the cause. He suggested that I call the factory and that I speak to one of their experts who does a considerable amount of competitive pistol shooting. A second Kimber representative did acknowledge that some of the 4-inch guns were having this problem. He concurred with the advice to go with the McCormick Power Mags and sent me a Kimber eight-round mag. He also sent a new 23-pound recoil spring to address the failure to go into battery. Both the mag and the spring were sent free of charge.
I purchased six Power Mags, changed the recoil spring and headed back to the range. To date I have put 300 rounds through the gun with no malfunctions with either the Kimber eight-round mag or the McCormick Power Mags.
I am still not ready to declare this gun to be 100 percent reliable. I’ll have to shoot a few hundred rounds more through the gun before I decide to carry it. Apparently, the Kimber 4-inch guns require mags with heavier springs. Both the Kimber eight-round and the McCormick Power Mags seem to fit the bill.
-Rene E. Lamar
Coral Gables, Florida
Re: September 2003, “Sorting Out 7-08 Bolt Rifles”:
I wish your article would have come out four months sooner. Maybe I would not have bought my Remington 700 Titanium 30’06. I read that you were having a problem with grouping shots. I want you to know that I am having the exact problem with my Titanium. The only thing that seems to work a little is by shooting two shots and then letting the barrel cool.