I have been thinking one of these Kimber's with a scaled down action and a stock designed by Melvin Forbes would be a real nice rifle. I would use it for general purpose deer and yotes and maybe trip out West. I was thinking of .270 or 7mm, but have not ruled out the big .30 The thing is I have seen several magazine reports on this rifle and accuracy was around 1.5" at 1oo yards and that does not do much for me. Has anybody got one to shoot out of the box? What more could be done to tighten one up to shoot closer to 1/2" ? Is it the rifle and barrel? I'm curious about other's impressions. Thanks in advance. Oh and what caliber?
I've seen several of the 8400 shot in my area. All of them shoot much better than your post. With good handloads, they are shooting average 3/4" to 1" groups. Have also seen a couple of the 8400 Montanas shoot about the same. The Kimbers are excellent in quality. Even the Montana with its syn stock is real custom looking. Probably the biggest handicap to better groups is the light barrel. It is probably a #1 or #1 1/2 taper. It shoots great for the first two shots and then starts to open up with heat. The M70 style safety, trigger, and metal work are very custom. Putting on a heavier barrel would really make this rifle a better shooter I suspect.
AS far as caliber, only 300 WSM have been in the pipeline for the Montana, and a few other in the 8400. If you want one caliber does all then its hard to beat the 300 WSM. My other choice would be the 7 WSM. Both can shoot heavy enough bullets for long range accuracy & energy. I'm not sure how hard the 7WSM is going to be to find. The 300WSM is out there in many places. Good luck.
Forgot to mention, but Kimber did put a 3" magazine box in the 8400. This allows you to seat out beyond the factory spec of 2.800" to better utilize the case capacity. All around an excellent designed rifle.
Interesting about the 3" box. Does this negate the problem the 7mm had of being short so numbskulls would not try to load it in a .270WSM? I take it that would allow you to seat the bullet out further and regain lost powder capacity and acheive full potential velocity. The 7mm or 270 appeal for 99percent of what I would actually do with it, but that .30 means would be the ultimate one gun , gun. What do you think the recoil would be like with 165 grs ? Harsh? or just not something you would notice shooting at game. I would never want to get myself into a flinching problem and I hate brakes. It is hard to compare recoil between rifles and shotguns, but a strong duck load does not bother me hunting, but I hate to pattern them. Turkey loads give me a migraine by the forth shot sighting in. I would hope the 30 would get your attention on a bench, but never noticed when a deer was the target. That synthetic stock 30 WSM with a nice Zeiss or Swaro would be a real nice rig. Would you go 150 or 165 for deer and varmints?
Recoil of 7WSM would be caparable to a 7mmMag. Remember, there is no free lunch where recoil is concerned. A given bullet weight at a given velocity will have a similar recoil as long as weight of rifle stays the same and all accessories on the rifle are the same. Why don't you like breaks? If you tend to be recoil aware, a Vais muzzle brake makes a tremendous difference. Noise isn't bad, results are BIG. A far as case length vs box length, if I remember correctly, Winchester moved the shoulder forward to prevent chambering in the wrong caliber. Your OAL of the loaded round will give you more capacity with the round seated out further. Of course, your bullet choice will have alot to do with actual gain in velocity, vs powder choice,etc.
Recoil is not what bothers me so much as muzzle blast and I am under the impression that a rifle with a muzzle break on a 22-24 inch barrel is going to be quite harsh without hearing protection in a hunting situation. I know from experience that the guys that had their overunder 12 gauges ported are not welcome in duck blinds with the guys I hunt with and the dogs really hate it. The side blast is really bad on your partner or dog. I had a Thompson Contender pistol (12 inch bull barrel) that shot a 120 grain balistic tip at about 2700 fps and that thing required plugs and muffs that cut off (it did do a number on deer out to 260 yards!). I worry (maybe needlessly) that my hearing would be effected by a muzzle break even if it is only a dozen shots a year unprotected. I do not want to wear muffs to hunt. I find the trade off just not worth it if you are not shooting a short barrel or a really hot round. I can tolerate a 130 grain .270 without ear protection hunting. I do not know that I could tolerate it with a muzzle break----might just be too much. Maybe I am under the false assumption that to lesson recoil always ends up increasing db's to the shooter. Does the break you use decrease recoil without increasing noise?
I was very excited when Kimber began advertising the 8400 Montana and when Browning started advertising the Mountain Ti (of course Browning forgot to actually make one for the public).
Anyway, I purchased a Montana in 7mm WSM last fall. Having a hunt planned to SW Texas in December, I really hit the range hard trying to get to know my new rifle as well as I did my ol' .270. After breaking the barrel in properly, I started getting serious with the accuracy. However, with premium factory loads in 160 gr and 140gr my results were not something to right home about. I jumped to the reloading bench to work up 140 gr NBT. My accuracy improved only to around 1.5moa. I did not feel comfortable with taking it on my trip and upon my return I called Kimber. They use 1.5" as an acceptable reading. Sorry $1K in a rifle should yield a lot better results. They offered to recrown the barrel and test fire it but I will try to work up additional loads.
BTW, the factory trigger was complete CRAP. $60 later at the local gunsmith and it breaks like a Mercedes Benz.