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Kimber 1911

989 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Woodworker2
My Kimber TLE 1911 has an annoying feed malfunction. Yes it comes standard with a polished feed ramp (so that is not the problem). It has more of a problem with ball ammo, but less with SWC. I'm thinking it may have a problem with the bushing I put in - since that shortens the ejection cycle - which is (seemingly) part of the problem -half of the mals are from a double feed issue. Does anyone have a good referral to a good smith in Utah?
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No info on a smith. I would advise taking out your bushing and return it to the factory configuration. If it clears the problem, then just get a better fitting bushing or break out a file. Kimbers are great guns. I have heard of only a very few problems associated with them if properly maintained.
If you are double feeding, then the slide is short cycling and not letting the spent cartridge hit the ejector. If you want to keep the bushing for some reason, then get a longer ejector for it. I'm assuming that will work also.

Oh yeah, I've about 20 years experience with building and smithing 1911's.
Hope this helps.
Well the thing is - this model of Kimber uses an external extractor. So I cannot change the geometry of the that part - true I could get a longer ejector rod - but I think it has to do with this external extractor (See Pic). I took it apart cleaned the extractor, and extractor spring and housing really well, and I did notice some grit in there so I'm hoping that was part of the problem. We'll see. If this doesn't work how do I go about finding a longer ejector? who would have that?

Pretty discouraging....I may sell the damn thing and get another XD. They may not be as cool as a 1911 but they are super reliable...BTW - the second picture shows how low on the ramp the rounds we're lodging. They were hitting so low they did not have an upward angle on them to allow them to slide up onto the lower angle part of the ramp. OH And yes I've tried all different kinds of mags....factory, McCormick, Wilson Combat --- same result.


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Can you take the same picture 2 more times? One with an empty mag in place and the other w/ a loaded mag in place.
OK here we go - I think I covered the variables here...

I also ended up putting more of a polish on the frame ramp, but still need to do more on the barrel ramp. Let me know if this angle is good. I can take pictures of other angles right away.



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Looks totally normal to me you should not be having any problems with feeding.. The extractor external model you have will have nothing to do with feed malfunctions, a shock buffer should not effect that either unless it is sticking in your guide rod or caught in the spring coils etc.. that is easy to find out and or just remove it and test.. If it is hanging up on feeding it can only be one or three things 1) Ramp geometry wrong or mis machined rough.. Don't look like it and not likely with a kimber, 2) magazines bad or damaged feed lips weak springs (mark and or number your magazines so you'll know if the same one is giving you problems) 3) Slide stop may be too long and may be hitting the side of the bullet as it comes up in the magazine, 4) Ammo loaded too long or too short out of spec.. Use quality factory ammo usually round nose will work the best.. I would not recommend selling it as high end 1911 are expensive to buy or replace (these days) and kimber is a reputable company they have sold a $hit load of 1911 over the years. Kimber can fix it if it is broken maybe for free.. I know I could fix it if I had it to work on. The other option is to take it to a quality gun smith for work. I know many quality 1911 gun smiths but they are not cheap these days... you also know a few Ron G is a master pistol smith.... B2B

P.s you gonna have to teach me how to put that arrow in your pictures.. that is slick...
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From what I've read online, if you call Kimber and tell them you are having extraction problems, I think they will replace your slide with an internal extractor slide. I'd give it a shot.
I got a new "external" extractor for my TLE II when I called Kimber. I did have to tell them the serial number.
Yep, that's exactly where the mag sits in my Kimber.
Mine is Classic Custom so it's an A1 extractor.
In re-reading this whole thread, I'd call Kimber and tell them I have a bad extractor and ask them to send me one. When it arrives, reinstall your original bushing, the new extractor and test fire. As stated, return it to the Kimber configuration first.
Then try your bushing again. I'm not the pistolsmith that these guys are but I think
if the slide stays open on the last round, you probably aren't short cycling enough to cause the 'failure to extract' situation.
The only time I've had the problem you are discribing was when my extractor was damaged.
Check to see if the bullet is hitting the inside of the slide stop. If it does, you can remove a little metal with a file till it clears.
If you're on the phone with Kimber, tell them to bring back them manufacturing from Korea to the USA. :)
I think the Kimber of out west that imported cool stuff is different from the Kimber that is out east that makes the pistols. As a side note I remember seeing a S&W article about how it was more effecient when they were building their new forging plant to make it bigger than what they needed and contract out work for other manufacturers. I thought it odd that Kimber and S&W 1911's use a similar firing pin safety which leads me to believe that perhaps S&W forges Kimber parts, or perhaps they're in kahoots!
Ha. I double checked mine after reading that. It says Yonkers New York USA.
This is one of their first models though, (serial below 008600). I hope they didn't 'ship out' like most of the tool companies did.
Replacement bushings are not always a perfect fit. I usually have to polish out the inside for barrel fitment and or cut down the outside so that it fits the slide properly. Also you did not mention how many 1911's that you had owned previously. You can not limp wrist a 1911 or it will not cycle.
Shell back it military trained :redgrin:, so he is not limp wristed although he was in the navy:buba:...before he joined the Army with me... so maybe he is a little.. Sorry buddy I couldn't help that one too easy..:lol: I was never in the navy so I'm good...:biggrin: I have 6 1911 and two of them are kimbers a gold match and a BP-10 the BP-10 had the same problem as shell back.. gun, so it may be a design prob. I believe he is talking about the shock buffer and not the barrel bushing.. Btw.. I think it may be the extractor being too tight and not letting the case rim slide under it on feeding... I've not broken in my kimbers yet (500 rds min) so I've not gotten around to worrying about the feeding issues yet..I've got to many guns so I may never get around to it.. I'd not sell it, I'd fix it as 1911 are a real mans gun... B2B
Two things to try

As an owner of a similar Kimber 1911, I think that your pistol has a combination of challenges; extraction and feeding. Without spending a lot of money, I would suggest that you try two things:

1. Replacing the recoil spring with a new 16 pound spring (increase to 18 pounds and see if that makes a difference). If the existing spring has lost some of its compressive strength, or has relaxed in length, your slide will not close consistantly. Recoil springs do need to be changed after about 2,000 rounds +/-, but "old" age is a factor too.​
2. Replace the extractor spring with one with a high poundage. These springs are about $4.00 each, and can be bought directly from Wolff (Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns) .​

Try removing the slide and seeing how well the existing spring/extractor will hold a live round.
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