Select Page

If you’re a proud owner of a Kimber 1911 like I am, you’ll know it’s not just a firearm—it’s a prized possession. And just like any other treasure, it deserves the best care. That’s where I come in. I’m here to guide you through the process of cleaning your Kimber 1911, ensuring it stays in top-notch condition.

In this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of maintaining your Kimber 1911. I’ll share my tried-and-true tips and tricks, from disassembly to cleaning, and then reassembly. We’ll cover the tools you’ll need, the best cleaning solutions, and step-by-step procedures to get your Kimber 1911 squeaky clean and ready for action.

So, buckle up and let’s dive in. Trust me, your Kimber 1911 will thank you.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Supplies

Having the right tools and supplies is basically like preparing a canvas for your masterpiece. Without the proper equipment, you’re likely to run into roadblocks that’ll stall or even scrap your entire cleaning process.

First things first, a quality cleaning solution is crucial. It’s essential to choose a cleaner labeled for firearms, and specifically for a Kimber 1911, if you can find it. I’d recommend exploring solvent options like Ballistol or Hoppe’s No. 9. Remember, using the wrong type of cleaner could damage your firearm’s finish or even interfere with its functioning.

Next, you’ll need a set of high-quality gunsmithing tools which generally include brass/nylon brushes (for the bore and chamber), cotton swabs, and patches. Having a variety of sizes can be beneficial as you never know what tricky nook or cranny you’ll need to clean in the Kimber 1911.

Additionally, a gun cleaning mat can be a lifesaver. Trust me, you don’t want to mar your table or work surface with firearm residue or cleaning solution. A good cleaning mat also provides an organized platform to keep your disassembled parts in order.

You’ll also require good pair of safety glasses. While it may seem unnecessary, safety always comes first. The glasses can protect your eyes from potential flying springs during the disassembly.

Finally, a bright, focused light source is necessary. Often, important parts of your firearm are packed in darkness waiting to be cleaned. A LED flashlight or desk lamp can make a world of difference.

Moving forward, remember that excellent maintenance of your Kimber 1911 relies on good preparation. Failing to plan means planning to fail. Once these tools and supplies are assembled, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Disassemble your Kimber 1911

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of disassembly, let’s remember the cardinal rule of firearms safety first. Always verify the firearm is unloaded before starting. Now, let’s move on.

Getting your Kimber 1911 apart might seem daunting, but with the right approach, it’s a breeze. Here are the straightforward steps I recommend:

  1. Remove the magazine. I always start by releasing the magazine clip. Simply press the release button usually found on the left side of the gun just below the trigger, and the magazine slips right out.
  2. Make sure the chamber is empty. The next step is safety paramount. Pull back the slide and look inside the chamber making sure no bullets remain.
  3. Release the slide and pull the trigger. Allow the slide to go forward, keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, and pull the trigger. This action de-cocks the hammer.
  4. Remove the slide. Now, line up the slide’s small notch with the top of the slide stop, then take out the slide stop.
  5. Take out the recoil spring and barrel. Lightly push the recoil spring assembly forward, remove the recoil spring and guide rod, and slide the barrel out the front of the slide.

Always use care and attention during disassembly. Small parts are prone to loss or damage; so, do your best to keep track of everything. If something doesn’t seem right – stop. It’s better to play safe and consult an expert if you are stuck.

It’s time to dive into the cleaning process. Tune into the next section to learn the best practices for cleaning your Kimber 1911.

Step 3: Clean the Barrel and Slide

Now that your Kimber 1911 is properly disassembled, it’s time to step into the core of the cleaning process: cleaning the barrel and slide. As daunting as this step might initially feel, it’s not as complicated as it seems to be. I’m here to guide you through each step and make your Kimber 1911 shine!

Start by using a cleaning rod with an attached bore brush – make sure the brush is soaked in your preferred cleaning solution. Slowly insert the brush into the barrel and complete multiple passes to ensure you remove all residual dirt and fouling. It’s crucial to keep the cleaning direction same as the bullet’s path of travel. So you’ll be pushing the brush from the rear of the barrel to the front, mimicking the bullet’s movement.

The next part is slightly trickier – cleaning the slide. Dunk a lint-free cloth in the cleaning solution and gently rub every reachable part of the slide. Special attention should be given to the breech face and extractor – this is where grime often accumulates. Use a small brush or a toothpick with caution if you notice stubborn debris. Don’t forget – never force or pry anything!

Then, take the barrel brush off your cleaning rod, replace it with a patch holder. Run clearing patches through the barrel until they come out clean. Again, don’t be stingy with the cleaning solution – it’s your best friend in this process.

In this step, patience truly is a virtue. Remember: we’re working with a beautiful piece of machinery here, not a sledge hammer. A good clean can be the difference between a beautiful, malfunction-free gun and a frustrating trip to the gunsmith. The goal isn’t to hurry, but to pay attention to detail and ensure a thorough cleanse for your Kimber 1911.

Step 4: Clean the Frame and Other Parts

Moving forward, our next focus is the frame and other parts of your Kimber 1911. It’s crucial, just like with other sections of your firearm, to give them a thorough cleaning. Don’t neglect this step, as a grime-free frame is just as vital for your pistol’s performance as a spotlessly clean barrel.

Here’s how I recommend you tackle this task:

Materials Needed:

  • Cleaning solvent
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Cleaning brush or toothpick
  • Synthetic lubricant

Begin with applying some cleaning solvent onto a lint-free cloth. Firmly rub the outer areas of the frame, ensuring that all surfaces are cleaned. Pay special attention to the areas where moving parts make contact. These zones tend to accumulate grime the most.

Next, look at the interior sections of the frame. Here, a cleaning brush or toothpick comes in handy. Use these tools to delicately dislodge any stubborn debris stuck in the recesses.

Remember, you’re not just looking for visual cleanliness; you’re aiming for functional cleanliness. Your Kimber 1911’s reliability, accuracy, and safety depend upon it.

After you’ve taken care of the grime, it’s time for applying synthetic lubricant. Unlike the barrel, the frame and other parts of your Kimber 1911 only require a light coating of this lubricant. A thin layer ensures that these parts can move freely, enhancing overall performance.

The final part in step 4 involves inspection. It’s tempting to jump to the next step, but I strongly advise against it. After cleaning, always inspect the frame and other parts for wear or damage. Small issues caught early can prevent major problems down the line.

Remember, cleaning your Kimber 1911 isn’t just an exercise in cleanliness—it’s an exercise in maintaining the longevity and effectiveness of your firearm. The process requires patience, as all good things do. Stay tuned, there’s more to come in our Kimber 1911 cleaning guide.

Step 5: Lubricate the Kimber 1911

Lubrication is the final step in ensuring that your Kimber 1911 remains in optimal condition. This process is not one to be skipped or done haphazardly as its consequences affect the longevity and effectiveness of your firearm.

I urge you to use a high-quality gun oil for this process. Not only will it provide better lubrication, but it can also resist heat and won’t evaporate quickly. This ensures your Kimber 1911 stays lubricated for a longer duration, even under extreme conditions.

Start the lubrication process by applying a small drop of oil on the slide rails – the tiny ridges on the interior part of the frame. Don’t go heavy-handed with the oil here; a small drop will do. Then, use your fingers to carefully spread the oil over the rails. The goal is to have a thin layer of oil covering all the surfaces of the rails.

Subsequently, put a drop of oil on each hole where a pin slides through the frame. Once again, the key is to use very minute amounts. Excess oil might attract dust and grime, which beats the purpose of lubricating in the first place.

Don’t forget to lubricate the barrel bushing area and the hood of the barrel too – these areas experience a lot of metal-on-metal contact and hence need special attention.

I’ll leave you with an important note of caution. Avoid getting oil in the firing pin channel or the extractor – it can end up hampering your Kimber 1911’s functionality.

That’s your Kimber 1911 lubricated and ready for action. Keeping your firearm in working order isn’t difficult with the right tools and a bit of patience.

Step 6: Reassemble your Kimber 1911

Now that you’ve dutifully cleaned your Kimber 1911 and properly applied high-quality gun oil, reassembly is the next on the agenda. Believe it or not, reassembling this firearm can be as easy as disassembling it. With all the components clean, I’ll now guide you on how to put them back in place.

Start with the frame. Ensure your weapon’s frame is ready to receive the other parts. Next, let’s go ahead and slide the recoil spring back into the spring guide with the tighter, thinner end sliding in first. Be sure to correctly brace the spring guide into the barrel link. Misalignment could result in improper function.

Moving on to the barrel bushing, rotate it to the locked position and then place the recoil spring plug over the recoil spring. Make sure you press it down until it locks into place below the barrel bushing.

Next up, we have the slide. Slightly pull the slide back to line up the notch in the slide with the slide stop. Then insert the slide stop pin into the frame through the barrel link. Once the slide stop is in place, you can release the slide.

Finally, it’s time to reattach the grip panels. Line up the holes on the grip panels with the holes on the frame. Using your screwdriver, reattach the grip panel screws. Remember not to overtighten them, as doing so could possibly crack the grip panels.

Remember: I cannot overstress the importance of rechecking your work. Make sure all the parts feel firm and are correctly installed. A quick function check can be a real lifesaver. Cycle the slide a few times, make sure the safety works, and check the trigger.

And there you have it. Your Kimber 1911: disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and now, successfully reassembled. Stick with the steps, get to know your firearm, understand its parts, and there’s no reason cleaning and maintaining your weapon should feel like a daunting task. A well-maintained firearm can offer reliable service for many years to come.

Step 7: Perform a Function Check

Now that you’ve reassembled your Kimber 1911, it’s time to perform a function check. This is a critical part of the cleaning process as it ensures all parts are correctly installed. A correct function check is crucial for the reliable operation of your firearm. Not performing it or skipping this step may result in malfunctions, and in worst scenarios, can even lead to safety issues.

Begin by double-checking the reassembly process. Recheck the installation of each part – frame, recoil spring, barrel bushing, slide, and grip panels to ensure they’re secure and in their proper places. Once certain that all are correct, start with the function check.

One of the easiest methods for a function check of your Kimber 1911 is to cycle the slide. Pull it back and let it go. The spring should push it back into place with no hindrance. Then, engage the safety. Attempt to pull the trigger while the safety is engaged. It should not move.

Next, disengage the safety and softly squeeze the trigger. The hammer should fall. Afterwards, without releasing the trigger, rack the slide. Release the trigger. You should observe a small forward movement of the hammer called a “reset”.

If you didn’t feel the reset or if you came across any malfunctions during your function checking, disassemble your Kimber 1911 and reassemble it correctly.

Remember, the importance of a function check can’t be stressed enough. It is as integral a part of the cleaning process as is disassembling and reassembling your firearm. With each comprehensive cleaning, regular function checks will ensure your Kimber 1911 stays in top performing condition, offering you years of reliable service.

So, commit to taking this seriously. Treat every cleaning and maintenance session as a chance to familiarize yourself more with your Kimber 1911, while ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.


So there you have it. Cleaning your Kimber 1911 isn’t just about keeping it shiny. It’s about ensuring its reliable performance and longevity. The function check, as we’ve discussed, is a crucial part of this process. It helps you avoid any malfunctions or safety issues that could arise. By checking the installation of each part and testing the slide, safety, trigger, and hammer, you’re making sure your firearm is in top-notch condition. Remember, it’s not a one-time thing. Regular function checks are key in maintaining your Kimber 1911’s performance. So get into the habit. Your Kimber 1911 will thank you for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is performing a function check important for a Kimber 1911 firearm?

A: Performing a function check is crucial for a Kimber 1911 firearm to ensure reliable operation, prevent malfunctions, and avoid safety issues.

Q: What does a function check involve for a Kimber 1911 firearm?

A: A function check for a Kimber 1911 firearm involves checking the installation of each part and testing the slide, safety, trigger, and hammer.

Q: How often should I perform a function check for my Kimber 1911 firearm?

A: It is recommended to perform a function check for a Kimber 1911 firearm regularly, especially after cleaning, modifications, or when encountering any operational issues.

Q: Can I perform a function check on my Kimber 1911 firearm myself?

A: Yes, you can perform a function check on your Kimber 1911 firearm by following the provided instructions or seeking assistance from a knowledgeable gunsmith.

Q: Are there any specific safety precautions to take while performing a function check on a Kimber 1911 firearm?

A: Yes, always ensure your Kimber 1911 firearm is unloaded, the barrel is pointed in a safe direction, and you strictly follow the recommended procedures to avoid accidents.