19 replies [Last post]
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Joined: 03/10/2008
Posts: 10
Too light, perhaps?

There has been a trend lately in the rifle industry to make rifles as light as possible. The gun companies aren't the ones to blame, its driven by consumer demand. So many guys are obsessed with shaving every ounce off a rifle (while ignoring the many many extra pounds off their waist!).

The Kimber stock is a product of this lighweight trend. Kimber's walnut stocked rifles are excellent, but the moment I picked up thier synthetic stocked rifle, it seemed to me like a toy gun it was so light and flimsy that it would break easily.

Not to mention that a lighter rifle does not help, and often hurts, accuracy. I don't care what anyone says, they simply can't shoot a 5 pound rifle as well as an 8 pound rifle.

Get yourself a Sako and you will be a happy man. The discontinued but great Sako 75s can be found for a good price on gunbroker.com or gunsamerica.com

Offline
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Kimber rifles

Last year I bought a Kimber model 8400 classic in 25 06 from Cabela's. When I shot it the brass indicated a rough chamber. It was a small thing that the average Joe that does not reload would not notice. I sent it back after talking to them online and they put a new barrel on my gun for no charge. I love the gun. The stock is a beauty, it's accurate and has a great trigger. Got it for $1049. Since then have seen them on-line for less. Thumbs up

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Location: Naples Idaho
Joined: 05/26/2008
Posts: 15
Kimber rifles

Well, my experiance with Kimber is only getting worse!
I got my rifle back from their so called custom shop and the new stock looks like it was installed by a bunch of half trained circus monkeys!
I was always impressed with the fit of the origional stock, but the replacement looks terrible. The stock sticks up over the tang by 1/32 to 1/16 inck, the recoil pad isn't flush to the stock, and the stocks finsh is nothing like any 8400 I have ever seen. The finish on the new stock is like wet/dry sandpaper! It actually gives me the shivers to handle it, much like finger nails on a chaulk board. It is definitly going back to Kimber. Wish I had just bought an after market stock and bedded it myself.
Think twice if youre wanting to buy a Kimber rifle!

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Kimber rifles

Yippee, chance to have a gripe about Kimber. A newbie hunter sent a Kimber to me for a check over, my job was to shoot the rifle and check it all over before he came on a guided hunt with us. The rifle (7mm08) shot all over the show with factory ammo and handloads, the best I could do with carefully worked up loads was 3" at 100 yards. During the tests I also had a few misfires. When I stripped the bolt, I found the spring to be of a size more suitable to rimfire rifles, I guess that is one trade off with this ultra light design.

The rifle was factory bedded and I did not want to muck around with re-bedding a semi custom rifle that had only recently been purchased in New Zealand for $2500 (thats a lot of money here). I rang the NZ rep who said he had since dropped selling Kimber rifles as he had also had problems, mostly with communication. He stated that if a customer had a problem with a rifle, Kimber usually replied that they never make mistakes.

Ultimately, it was either the bedding or the barrel that was at fault as the only way to get better groupings was to pressure point bed the fore-end (packers were used as an experiment). Close inspection of the bedding revealed that whover had done the job, put every effort into doing it very well and I could find no flaws with either the fit or areas requiring relief. I really think the problem was a lack of stress relief in the light weight barrel.

I sent the rifle back to the customer with my basic observations and opinions of its problems. I recommended re-barreling but the customer did not want to have to re-barrel a new rifle (who can blame him). I usually try and recomend such things to avoid someone else ending up with a lemon downstream but the customer, quite disdraught by now, justed wanted the rifle out of his sight. The rifle ended up being traded for another rifle. A while later I heard about another Kimber (.22-250) giving similar groups no matter what was tried, I can only guess that it might have had the same problem.

A last negative was the substantial recoil the rifle produced, it was simply too much for a new hunter. I didn't like the recoil and I shoot a .375 RUM firing 300 grain bullets at 2950fps without too much discomfort.

I think it must be a bit of a catch 22 for some manufacturers. If a great deal of money is invested into a design or casting, the maker really has to stick with the design until the investment is fully recouped. Once the ivestment is re-couped, thats a differewnt story. Some company owners will sieze the opportunity to improve their designs to meet customer demands. Their businees grows and all of a sudden they are on top of the world. Those who are more egotistical would rather believe that they are right and anybody who disagrees with their brilliance should go somewhere else- which customers inevitably do (and staff alike).

I found the premise behind the Kimber design to be well thought out, who wouldn't want a rifle featuring the best of both the Winchester pre 64 and Remington M700 designs. Even the Military and police would like a rifle like this. The Kimber action has a round bottom (like Julia Lopez) for ease of bedding and natural centering and a Win pre 64/ M98 bolt assembly. The woodwork was beuatiful to say the least and the overall workmanship showed that the workers have great pride in their product.

Downsides were the unnecessisarily small size of the action resulting in a small firing pin spring which will easily misfire in adverse conditions. Even the large Ruger and Remington springs can fail and occasionally require replacing, hence the Wolf Spring company making a name for itself with aftermarket springs. The overall weight of the rifle was conducive to heavy recoil, the barrel was in-accurate. Barrel quality and over all weight can be easily altered. As for the action/ bolt diameter, that would require serious retooling or re-casting which I don't think will happen any time soon.

Cheers, Nathan.

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Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Kimber rifles

Well I'll be danged. My Kimber 25-06 has had a few snaps mostly with one brand of primers. I thought it was just that they were old primers. My gun is still a beauty and it shoots 1.25" groups at 100 yds with Barnes Triple shock bullets. My Ohler Chonograph indicates velocity of the 100 gr bullet is 3225 fps. Recoil is like a maiden's kiss.

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Location: Naples Idaho
Joined: 05/26/2008
Posts: 15
Kimber rifles

Del, is your Kimber the Montana?
I think some of the problem with them is the thin barrel. Mine shot poorly and after working up a load (with barnes triple shock) it was tolerable, but not great.
Before the trip I switched to Nosler Accubond and put on a Sims barrel deressinator (spelling?) This helped a lot but i still got flyers.
I'm lucky to have a couple of rifles that shoot amazing, so I guess I'm not to tolerant of not so great accurancy.
As far as the recoil of the Kimber, it has a sharp belt to it. I enjoy shooting the 300 mags, so it never bothered me. My girlfriend used the 270 WSM the first day in NZ to shoot a stag, and got a good scope cut over her eye! OOPS!

Offline
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Kimber rifles

No, it's a model 8400 Classic with a nicely figured walnut stock. I looked at several Kimbers including a Super America. This one had the best wood. You are probably right. The barrel is very thin, light and 24" long. Not condusive to great accuracy but fine for big game.

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Joined: 09/13/2008
Posts: 68
Kimber rifles

ldlogger,

How are you doing with getting your stock right?

I am sorry to read of your broken stock. How hard did you fall on it?

The 8400 Montana I have is ok so far however I have stressed it that much.

The other two 84M Montana stocks are also so far.

Location: Oregon
Joined: 06/13/2009
Posts: 2
Kimber "ultra light" kevlar stocks

I began shooting Tikka T-3's in 2005 and was (and still am) impressed each and every time I have dealings with this model / make

I used to be a Browning ABolt guy and nothing else mattered - I still like the features of this rifle (BUT NOT THAT X-bolt !!) but on 3 different occasions I have had my ABolt freeze up in cold weather and the only way to get it open and operational was next to the woodstove ! I started looking for a rifle that won't do that, period - Mauser ? yes but expensive to have a lightweight one - Model 70 ? yes but factory guns were not consistantly accurate and expense for a lightweight gun was again a factor - Kimber ? I was and have been watching longingly, secretly lusting for an 8400 Montana (that is until I started researching quality and CUSTOMER SERVICE issues) then I happened on the Tikka T-3 - I purchased and set up a 270WSM for a customer and when I shot it in I discovered the first AND ONLY factory out of the box rifle that shot factory ammo ... 4 shots into one "not so ragged hole" at 100 yds and it did it multiple times ! I have now owned or prepared in excess of 15 Tikka's in verious calibers and only one has not been a "one hole shooter" I have found the T-3 Lite chrome moly models to be slightly more accurate but not to such a degree I would not have a SS one - the only caveat I can offer is to have at least one extra magazine because if you lose yours you are "dead in the water" but so goes the dillemna with clip rifles of any make - Beretta owns Tikka but has allowed these Finnish CRAFTSMEN to "do their thing" and they build one fine HUNTING rifle, especially for the money - My "logic" tells me that since Finland is way up north and I have read that most all of the Tikka smiths hunt that they have designed a cold weather hunting rifle at it's finest - so far (knock on my head) nothing has frozen up on me - 270WSM and 338 Win Mag (yes it kicks but only when I pull the trigger) and the stock is lightweight, revolutionary in design and tough as the proverbial nail
my $o.o2

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