Saturday, July 11, 2015

Le Morte de le Beloved Kimber: A Toy Story

I broke my Kimber Custom 1911 in .45acp pistol at the match today.

After 17 years (I bought it for under $300 in 1998) and untold thousands of rounds punched through the gun ... I broke it.

I was at an IPSC [USPSA] match at the Albany gun club, and not doing all that well because I haven't been attending many matches lately I'm out of practice. when I found myself on the Third Stage with a gun that wouldn't allow me to reload a new magazine.

Let me be a bit clearer:

I tried to do a reload, but the magazine would only go halfway in.  I tried everything; I even leaned over and whispered softly:  "I promise I'll still respect you in the morning" but that didn't work.

So I quit the stage with one magazine fired in what I had expected to be a three-magazine problem (8-round magazines), and took a zero on the stage.

[NOTE:  I had a GREAT time:  about 11 seconds on a 30-second stage, but I got a zero score of course because I ONLY SHOT EIGHT ROUNDS.]

After I signed the score sheet, I took my broke-dick gun to the safety table to get a good look at it.  After I field-stripped it and found some strong sunlight, I could look down at the magazine well through the top of the frame, and the right-hand side of the trigger yoke was protruding into the magazine well a good eighth of an inch.  It didn't look as if it had broken (at least in that part I could see), but it was at least bent.  Into the magazine well.  

And here I always thought I had a delicate finger on the trigger!

Which explained why I couldn't even drop the hammer to clear the stage: by IPSC rules, the gun didn't leave the stage "loaded" but I wasn't "clear" in the strictest sense.

I gave The Beloved Kimber to my friend, The Hobo Brasser (THB), to do the mechanical stuff involved in removing the old trigger.  I'll be ordering a replacement trigger from Brownell's (I guess), and have it delivered to THB.

 I have as much mechanical ingenuity as a hog in a sty, except perhaps not as much manual dexterity.

(I once tried to replace the floater bulb in an old-style toilet:  I broke the porcelain tank in the process.  I ended up having to buy a new toilet and hiring a plumber to install it.  THAT is how much of a mechanic I am!)

My friend THB said "I've got a back-up 1911 in the car, you can finish the match with that", which generous offer I gratefully accepted.  I finished the match with a gun that felt a LOT different (it was a Taurus, and the grip safety ... unlike The Beloved Kimber ... had not been pinned).

But wait: there's more!

Unfortunately, the 10-round Chip McCormick magazines I had expected to use in my Kimber would somehow not feed in the Taurus, so I was reduced to using the four 8-round magazines.  Even though I was registered as competing in Limited-10 Division, I found myself reduced to shooting a la Single-Stack Division equipment.  And 2 of the 3 remaining stages were high round-count stages: I had 32 rounds in four mags to shot 26-round stages.  So much for avoiding standing reloads!

Further:  THB had been having accuracy problems with the 1911, and after taking the opportunity between stages to test the accuracy of that gun, he realized that the barrel (the original one, which had a lot of range time in its history) had been completely shot out.  Any A-zone hits were merely a matter of chance.

So he 'retired' that pistol, and we ended up sharing his "Back-up" gun for the last half of the match.

On the penultimate stage of the match, THB made the comment that he had never seen a pistol crash in practice; it always happened in the middle of a match.  (Perhaps we don't practice enough?)  I realized, at that moment, that I have broke three pistols in my 30-years of IPSC competition, and EVERY one happened either during a match, or when I was demonstrating techniques to students in the 'Introduction to USPSA class which I teach.

Which only proves that my personal God has a perverse and quirky sense of humor.

I gotta find a new God.

But for now, I gotta put in an order to Brownells.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG, you pinned the grip safety!!! Talk about unsafe practices.