Kimber Quality? “Schwartz Safety”

There a lot of hate out there for Kimbers. They seem to be middle of the line between lower end 1911s and higher ends.

I know a lot of people on here carry kimbers on here.

I’ve also heard critism for the “Swarts Safety” saying that it can have timing issues. (Which can be true with normal firing pin blocks).

Kimbers are strange because it’s hard to find a lot of videos and information on them.

Last I heard, Kimber put out more 1911’s than all the others, combined. Whether that is true, I do not know. For those looking around the internet, it is a “Schwartz Safety”. Not the same as a Series 80. In Kimbers, that would be the Series II guns that have the Schwartz in them. The earlier guns were Series 70.

I personally have not had one of the Series II guns. I have had both Series 70 and 80 (Kimber and others), and not a lick of trouble on the trigger with either of them through 100’s of thousands of rounds.


I have no love for Kimber 1911’s but it seems they seek me out. Back when they first came out the Remy Nylon66 was referred to as the RONCO Gun in the bag /box because they were easy to get apart and a biotch to get back together. Kimber came out with a 1911 and we saw sheared off hammers, safeties, slide stops and all manner of QC issues.

Fast forward 30 years and my eldest bought a Kimber from the custom shop, (not directly). I looked at him and said Remember what I told you Him:“Yeah, never buy a Kimber.” He had no more mags than came with it and no ammo at all so I hooked him up. Phone call 2 hours later. Dad, there is something wrong I can’t chamber a round and get it to go all the way home. Bring it and all the parts by tomorrow and I will see.

Long story short his barrel was a smooth bore, no lands, no grooves and no chamber Three trips to Kimber to fix it and much pain and he got a running gun. He sold it immediately for more than he paid for it and bought an XD for less than the original price of the Kimber + mags and ammo.

I’ve seen great Kiombers and some that were real pieces of meat.




Well, I hate the Series 80 and the Schwartz Safety guns. (thanks for the spelling @MarkinMT I remove the Series 80 stuff and Schwartz stuff from my guns. I don’t like the feel of a Series 80, and I don’t like the chance of the little metal tip breaking off the Schwartz making the gun a paperweight.

The Series 80 has a firing pin block operated by the trigger, the Schwartz is activated by the grip safety.

I bought my Kimber used, and have had no issues with it. They are not, in my opinion a very high end quality gun, but very serviceable (I have shot a total of 3, so not an expert on Kimbers.)

I have no qualms about carrying my Kimber, but it is not a semi or full custom. Neither is its price tag. Of course, we all know what they say about opinions… :grinning:

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I have a Kimber 1911 Ultra carry .45 that I carry. I really like it and I haven’t had any problems with it.


:+1: Changed the title. I double checked my spelling online, but clearly my brain is fried from work :sweat_smile:

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That’s what happens when you are looking to hard for a G19😉

I love my Shot Show Custom II, accurate out of the case, no problems.:sunglasses:

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I sometimes mess up the name, too. I believe it’s “Swartz”, although I often accidentally refer to it as Schwartz… probably from watching Space Balls too many times when I was younger. :stuck_out_tongue: Firing mechanism blocking system - near the bottom of the page the patent is listed as: 2169084 August 1939 Swartz.

The Swartz safety is only on Kimber models with “II” in the name. For example, mine is an Eclipse Custom II, and it has the Swartz safety.

I like the idea of it, but if you’ve ever taken it apart, the components seem pretty thin. I am not familiar with the components for the series 80 1911’s, but the FPS mechanisms of more modern striker fired firearms seem more robust… although I think it is basically part of the design, where I think it was a retrofitted add-on to the 1911… although one could argue that so was the grip safety and thumb safety.

It’s easy enough to test the timing of the Swartz safety if you are worried about timing issues… although you might have to explain it to the person behind the counter and ask for permission before you test it. A YT video explaining how to test it is titled " Swartz Safety Timing Check Procedure Colt Kimber 1911." I would not purchase one that does not pass the test, as “fixing it” at the very least requires taking off that darn, tight Kimber rear sight… or might even suggest getting one without the “II” in the name if you don’t want to worry about this.

The other issue is making sure the firearm is upright and not engaging the grip safety when putting the slide back on. If the frame is upside down when reassembling, the safety hangs down, blocking the slide, too.

As a side note, even on the Kimber forum it’s suggested to stay away from the Kimber external extractors (I don’t think they make them anymore). IIRC, Sig 1911’s use a longer design that functions better.


Guessing the philippines make the most 1911s in the world. That said if you have the money & the time to get a kimber fixed correctly you should buy it. Folks used to hate taurus for poor quality so why not kimber?

When I first began buying firearms Kimber had the reputation of being a quality semi custom 1911. They have since become what I call 50/50 guns, meaning 50% are going back to the factory. The new Rapide Black Ice is an absolutely beautiful handgun, but, I will not lay down that much cash for it to spend it’s first 4 or 5 months of ownership going back and forth to the factory!


Kimber makes quality firearms. Always has.


I would sell my Kimber Micro 9 9mm. I have small hands and it feels to small for me. the main reason it just doesn’t shoot well.

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It is a sellers market for sure right now. If you want to sell that gun, I would do it now! I have never shot a Kimber Micro, mine is a full sized 1911 model. But, if it does not work for you, consider selling it.


Is it because of the grip, snappy recoil, flush magazine?
I’ve thought about buying one since I already have their Shot Show Custom 2, but I’m a lefty with medium size hands so I would need an Ambi Safety and extension on the magazine

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I have a Kimber Ultra+CDP 45acp. It’s my first Kimber…and it absolutely rocks!!!