I wish I could remember where, but someone on my blog roll recently started a discussion on Kimber pistols and their reliability--or lack thereof. I stayed out of it because I don't own a Kimber; my taste in 1911s runs toward Springfields. But now I have something interesting to add to that discussion.
ALE director John Ledford said the Kimber pistols repeatedly suffered such problems as rounds jamming during training exercises, broken sights and the weapon's safety button sometimes falling off. He made a deal with a local firearms dealer to swap the pricey pistols for less expensive handguns without spending any additional money.
The short version is that they were purchased in 2009 and the 150 pistols issued to 112 ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) agents and 22 reserve agents had 289 documented malfunctions during training. Not something that would engender faith in your weapon if you're in law enforcement, I'd think. I know a a concealed carry licensee I wouldn't carry one for self-defense if I was experiencing reliability issues on this scale.
There is also an amusing story-within-a-story about ALE's multiple bulk gun purchases, prices paid and so on. It seems that they change duty weapons a lot for some reason. I guess the money has to be spent somewhere.
Edit, 1008: A shout out to redclay, who also forwarded me this story via email. Good sir, that is a first for this blog, and I thank you.