Kimber Failures

Kimber is one manufacturer that people seem to either love or hate. I don’t own any of their pistols so I never formed and opinion. With that said this news story doesn’t bode well for their PR department:

Little more than a year after buying 150 collector-grade handguns, officials at the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement say the $1,055 pistols were so unreliable they had to get rid of them.

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.

Maybe my reading comprehension isn’t great but I can’t find anywhere in the article that states what cheaper pistol the department replaced their Kimbers with. Either way spending $1,055 on a pistol is a serious waste of tax payer money when there are so many good options on the market that are much cheaper (Heck a Glock or M&P is going to be less than half the price when law enforcement discounts are figured in). But it seems this particular department likes to waste money, although they claim it’s money obtained through seizures instead of taxes:

An avid gun buff and collector, Chandler ordered Kimbers with special sights and the ALE seal carved into their handles, spending $158,250 provided to the agency through federal seizures involving alcohol, drugs and illegal gambling. The purchase was also approved by Chandler’s supervisor, Gerald Rudisill, the chief deputy secretary of crime control.

I have a hard time thinking law enforcement agencies should get the spoils of their arrests and seizures. On one hand it’s a way to fund a department without tax money but it opens the door for a huge conflict of interest. In order to get more equipment a department has to increase the amount of property they seize which in turn gives grounds to start seizing property of non-criminals. When I say this people usually claim I’m being paranoid and that this type of thing could never happen but sadly they are wrong as evident by the actions of Minneapolis’s own Gang Task Force.

The department also replaced some of their assault rifles (correct classification as these rifles appear to have a selector switch to go from semi-automatic to rock ‘n’ roll):

In addition to the new pistols, ALE agents have been issued new assault rifles after leaders determined their $1,495 Swiss-made Sig Sauer rifles, bought in 2006, weren’t up to snuff, either.

You know they could have obtained an M4 pattern rifle for cheaper. Wait that’s exactly what they did and saved themselves some money:

In exchange, a Greensboro firearms dealer provided the agency 120 Bushmaster M4 assault rifles valued at $1,270 each.

Or not:

ALE also got special Eotech 512 “holographic” sights that make a red dot appear on a target, valued at $439 each.

It sounds as though the department just obtained the EOTech sights which requires me to ask what was wrong with the standard M4 sights that the Sig rifles had correct? Who knows but this story does give a nice how to on wasting money needlessly. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t run law enforcement departments as everybody would be issues the most reasonably priced reliable handgun I could obtain (probably a Glock or an M&P) coupled with the most reasonably priced reliable rifle I could obtain (probably an AR-15 or AK-47 pattern rifle).