Nov 11

Kimber Stainless II: The Overhaul

I’m not quite sure when my wife fell in love with the idea of owning a Kimber.  Nevertheless, in order to support my wife’s dream, I went on the hunt for a Kimber.  After some time we found a Kimber Stainless II.  My wife loved it from the start as it met most of her requirements.  To customize it, she bought some grips that she liked.  Everything was fine except one issue.  This gun shot horribly low (4″ at 7 yards).  In an attempt to fix the issue I replaced the front sight with a lower Hi-Viz sight, but it was still shooting low.  After never being quite right, I finally convinced my wife to let me customize Kimber to fix that annoying issue and give the 100 year old design a facelift.  Before we jump into the alterations, here is a picture to remind everyone what a stock SSII looks like:

original-Kimber

I enlisted the help of my friend Craig to do the slide work.  Starting with a bare slide is easier than with a once-finished one.  The challenge is to blend existing cuts in with the new cuts and that alone has it’s challenges.  For example, when you take a rounded slide with a Novak sight cut and you flattop it, you end up with one Novak cut on top of the other.  The only way of correcting that is to get a custom sight.  In this case, I ordered a fiber optic sight from Dawson Precision.  While they didn’t have an extra wide Novak cut sight (the standard is .330″ and I needed a .370″), they were willing to sell me a finished sight with a blank base.  Craig took that blank sight and cut it down to where it fit perfectly.  I don’t want to bore you to death with the details, so without further ado…the overhauled KIMBER:

List of modifications:

  • Slide was Tri-Topped
  • Slide was French Cut
  • Fixed rear site was replaced with a Kensight adjustable sight
  • Front sight was built from Dawson Precision blank sight to match wider Novak cut
  • Kimber Logo was filled with purple acrylic
  • Frame was undercut at trigger guard
  • Entire gun was blasted with glass beads
  • Top and sides of slide were polished
  • Safety was replaced with Ambi-Safety
  • Mainspring was changed to 17 pounds
  • Sear was re-cut and polished
  • Trigger housing areas were polished

Of course here are some obligatory pics (that don’t do the gun justice):

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Nov 04

Fixing up a C-More Replica (Potentiometer & LED Module)

I had an issue with a potentiometer on a C-More Replica.  The dot would not shut off unless you had it firmly turned all the way.  After reading a post on Brian Enos, I decided to give the pot some more clearance to reduce the chance of it getting turned on.  Here we go:

    1. Remove the sight from the rail mount
    2. Remove the bottom cover that holds in the the circuit board

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Pop the circuit board out.

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Bend up the Pot from the board. You may have de-solder the legs that hold the pot on the board. You can leave the actual leads in place:
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Pic of the pot underside.  Bend up the tabs that hold the cover and PCB board together.
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Here the case is removed from the pot.  We need to trim the lead on the left side of the board so the LED will shut off sooner.  This can be done with an Exacto knife.
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Here is what you need to remove:
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Here you can see the trimmed version.  I removed about 50% of the silver tips.
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You might want to check all the solder connections, I re-soldered all of them for good measure.
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After I put it all back together I decided to replace the LED module with an authentic C-More module this really helped the brightness of the dot and eliminated the dot washout that the replicas experience (the dot is brighter at the bottom and very dim at the top of the lens).   Here are some pics that will help you spot a non-authentic module:

C-More on the left (they have a color code at the bottom) and the generic module on the right.
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C-More left, generic right:
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C-More left, generic right:
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Overall I’m happy with this combo. It’s definitely good enough now for a practice gun!

 

Posted in Reloading Tips & Suggestions | 3 Comments