Kimber Pro Carry II update

The Kimber is now at 1247 rounds fired. Since completing the 500 round break in period that Kimber recommends, it has shot 747 rounds and experienced one failure to extract. Compare this to the first 500 rounds where it experienced 4 different malfunctions. At least in regards to this gun, perhaps the “break in period” isn’t a myth after all.

To elaborate on that further, the issue that appeared to be causing the malfunctions was that the slide was closing too fast, indicating the gun was oversprung. Shooting it in seems to have cured it of that issue, and now it runs just fine. Weird? Perhaps. But not unheard of, either. It’s a common practice with some other service pistols to lock the slide to the rear for 24 hours in order to get it to “set” in a compressed position, and thereby reduce the effective spring weight.

I didn’t do that with the Kimber, opting instead for the more expensive route of “shoot it a whole bunch.” My way is also more fun. The current score for the Kimber is 90/100.


  1. I’m also interested to see that the “break-in” really appears to be a thing with this gun.

    I’ve often read that the 3.5-3 inch guns wear through recoil springs quickly. My experience, however, has only been with 5 inch 1911s. I wonder how spring tension at maximum compression varies with number of rounds fired in a 4 inch gun. I also wonder if the Kimber will stay in this apparent “spring sweet spot” for a while, or if it will pass quickly.

    I would have been tempted to change the spring to something lighter, but I really appreciate how you’ve compared the gun’s performance against the factory recommendations.

  2. Your old friends at 10-8 weren’t big fans of sub-5″ guns, or Kimber in particular. What’s up with Hilton Yam nowadays? His blog has slowed to barely crawling.

  3. Caleb, you mentioned locking back the slide trick for 24 hours. Have you done that with any of the pistols you’ve tested during this 1911 showdown?

    1. No, but it’s a common fix for oversprung handguns. And none of the other guns have been oversprung.

  4. The other day I read an alleged test report on Colt samples for the USMC contract (loose rounds dot com, 7/30/2012). The report contained many tidbits, buried in there were measurements of recoil spring length at various points in the test. The shortening observed over the test makes me wonder if a manufacturer like Kimber could overspring new guns knowing that the spring will degrade quickly during its life. The Colt shortening was not linear with round count. The bulk occurred over the first 450 rounds.

    That said, this is a USMC spec pistol which uses a different type of recoil spring assembly. So, this phenomenon may or may not be shared with other models or manufacturers.

    Text from the alleged report:

    4) After firing 150 rounds, the recoil springs reduced in length from 7.32 inches to 6.46 inches. After 450 rounds, the recoil springs measured approximately 6.38 inches in length. After 4,500 rounds, the recoil springs measured approximately 5.94 inches in length.

  5. What does locking back the slide trick for 24 hours exactly means can someone elaborate pls

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