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Old 12-08-2010, 18:42   #1
albinlee
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Kimber vs. Para vs. ???

Hey Folks,

I have spent awhile perusing these 1911 forums, as I am getting ready to make the leap from being a Glock only guy . I am looking for a commander sized 1911 without a rail, with the good stuff like a beaver tail, skeletonized hammer and trigger, extended controls, etc. My budget would be somewhere between 800-900, based on my research, mostly because I want this gun to last me until I have children to pass it on to. I have been looking closely at two models, the Kimber Pro Carry 2 in black, and the Para LTC (alloy). The reason I am interested in these two is because I would like an aluminum, lightweight receiver. Also, they seem to be very reasonably priced, while including most of the options I would like to have (front strap checkering is not a huge deal to me). I am very picky about spending my hard earned $ on quality options, up to a reasonable standard. I am aware that the Kimber uses MIM for some of their parts, but cannot find info on the Para. Also, I am leaning toward the Kimber based on the good things I have heard about them, as well as the fact that the type II internal safety is actuated by the grip safety, rather than the trigger (which is good!)

Can anyone provide any personal experience with either company, or better yet, each specific pistol? Also, I would love to hear people's advice on what they think might be a better alternative to those two, budget in mind. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2010, 18:44   #2
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stretch it to $999 and get a STI Ranger II.


Para would be towards the bottom with Taurus.
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Old 12-08-2010, 18:48   #3
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Stay away from buying a Para sight unseen. They have horrible QC and even worse customer service. The trigger on my LTC was crap, the sights were off, and it would not feed my reloads when all my other 1911s do. I could have fixed those things, but seeing as how this was my second crap Para I just traded it with full disclosure. My first Para would not run at all from the box without some major work. I returned it from whence it came as well.

OTOH, Except for some quick finish wear I have had pretty good luck with the Kimbers that I have owned.
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Old 12-08-2010, 18:55   #4
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Originally Posted by Quack View Post
stretch it to $999 and get a STI Ranger II.


Para would be towards the bottom with Taurus.
This.
http://www.brazoscustom.com/sti_guns/Ranger2.htm

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Old 12-08-2010, 18:58   #5
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I had a Para once. Promptly sold it off. Did not have any problems with it at all I just didn't like the double stack. As far as Kimbers go I always wanted one but kept reading all the horror stories about them until I came to this site. Here we have Quack,Drc767, Jrsaccord, Bac, and others, and all have nothing but good things to say about them. I trust these guys more because they all have impressive collections and experience with 1911s. They can back up their claims as opposed to someone who had an uncles cousin neighbors' friend that had one ftf in 1987 and that makes all Kimbers junk. Like I stated earlier I have never owned a Kimber but would not hesitate on buying one that these guys would recommend.
Here is a pic of the Para 14.45 I used to have.
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Last edited by thecableguy; 12-08-2010 at 19:07..
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:02   #6
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To the OP, I had a Kimber PC2. While it was a very nice gun, if I was buying a $800-$1,000 4"-4.25" I would easily spend the extra cash on the Ranger2. STIs are very well built, and their CS from what I hear is fabulous. Having the FS checkered alone is worth the difference in the price.
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:10   #7
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If your looking to keep this gun for a long time and possibly pass it on. I would get a steel frame. It works well for Sig and there are allot of 1911's with alum frame and steel slide. But aluminum is soft and eventually will become a loose fit. I personally would stay away from para. For that price you could get a nice springer or for another hundred or two a nice used Les Baer. STI is very nice two.

Last edited by Flashy2003; 12-08-2010 at 19:11..
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:14   #8
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Okay so I can tell the Para would be no good, for what I am looking for. I still like the Kimber, but wow! That STI sure looks sweet. I definitely like the Ranger II, and would even consider the Guardian as well. Are these both aluminum frames? The weight would seem to indicate so, but I am not 100 percent sure.
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:18   #9
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Guardian is a CCO size (officer grip frame and Commander slide) and has a steel frame.

the RangerII is steel.
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Last edited by Quack; 12-08-2010 at 19:19..
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:29   #10
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How can the steel frame only add 5 ounces over the comparably sized Kimber? I thought a commander sized 1911, steel on steel, came in somewhere around 38 ounces empty. Is there something I am missing? Thats awesome that I can have a steel frame for only 5 extra ounces. I want to be able to carry the 1911 I choose, considering both size and weight are critical to me.

Also, does the aluminum frame really detract from the quality of fit and finish, over time? I read online that modern aluminum alloys are really strong and durable, especially in the aluminum frames of 1911's. Much more so than the original lightweight commander by Colt.
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Last edited by albinlee; 12-08-2010 at 19:32.. Reason: Added question.
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:36   #11
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not that heavy. a Ed Brown Kobra Carry with empty magazine is 35oz and the alloy Kobra Carry is 27oz
i think my DW Guardian is about 26-28oz as well.
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Last edited by Quack; 12-08-2010 at 19:39..
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:38   #12
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DW guardins are commander size,fullsize grip just 4"ish barrel.also look at the S&W's 1911 pd and gunsite.
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Old 12-08-2010, 19:41   #13
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DW guardins are commander size,fullsize grip just 4"ish barrel.also look at the S&W's 1911 pd and gunsite.
STI Guardians are CCO's, the DW Guardian is out of his price range.
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Old 12-08-2010, 20:18   #14
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Out of those two, I'd go with the Kimber for sure.
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Old 12-08-2010, 21:54   #15
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Stay away from buying a Para sight unseen. They have horrible QC and even worse customer service. The trigger on my LTC was crap, the sights were off, and it would not feed my reloads when all my other 1911s do. I could have fixed those things, but seeing as how this was my second crap Para I just traded it with full disclosure. My first Para would not run at all from the box without some major work. I returned it from whence it came as well.

OTOH, Except for some quick finish wear I have had pretty good luck with the Kimbers that I have owned.
my expierence with kimbers qc wasn't much better. and i have a pc11 that won't run. and the finish wears very easily. that said, i had and traded an original pc that was perfect in every way. difference between producing 5000 guns a year to 50000 a year. that's the last gun i've sold and i'm very sorry i did it, as i really like the pro carry. have not quite kicking myself for it. not bashing kimber, just relating my expierence.

Last edited by woodrowNC; 12-08-2010 at 21:56..
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Old 12-08-2010, 22:09   #16
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I have a Stainless PCII in 9mm and it's been perfect so far. I really like it.
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Old 12-08-2010, 22:45   #17
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I would get the Ranger 2. Or a Springfield Loaded Champion Lightweight.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=8
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Old 12-09-2010, 21:40   #18
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If at all possible I would prefer a dark finish, such as the Ranger 2, but with an aluminum or scandium frame. Lightweight and commander size are my two biggest objectives. I really like the size of the Kimber PC II because it is a commander chopped to 4 inches, but I am shocked to hear that your Kimber won't run. That can't be common?!

Also, I like the Smith and Wesson 1911 PD, but am not sure about the external extractor for reliability? Also, does the SW have a firing pin safety attached to the trigger? That is one thing I could really live without, because I am big into trigger pull being under 5 lbs and short/crisp. I feel that for 8-900 dollar range, I should be getting a trigger like the Kimber: adjustable, and not restrained by the firing pin safety.
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Old 12-09-2010, 22:18   #19
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Kimber all the way...
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:04   #20
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consider something from smith and wesson better quality and cs than both kimber and para in the same price range- althougth I do think streching the budget to 1k will get you the sti which I think is the best buy in the 1k or less price range-except for colt- I am a long time colt fan but do just fine with a stock gun no beavertail or extra stuff. I also prefer the short trigger and arched mainspring housing colt usually uses
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