Long Term Review: Kimber .22 Hunter


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Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:33 PM
My gracious and beautiful wife gave me a Kimber .22 Hunter as a gift to celebrate our wedding. I've had it since last August, so I figured I'd let you all share my experience.

Initial Impressions: When I first handled the gun there was something that was SO different about this gun. It was like no other .22 I had ever held. Even the famous 52 Winchester didn't feel like this. The gun handles like a real sporter that is sized for adults. It shoulders lightning quick and it handles like a dream. The finish is a matte black on the metal and a satin on the walnut stock. The stock is rather nicely figured, nothing fancy, think understated elegance. There is a buttpad which is made of some sort of grippy rubber. Feels great in the shoulder! I believe it has an 11 degree target crown. The safety looks just like the Winchester except for the fact that it is only 2 position. The action was smooth and did not feel like a regular .22. The action is VERY tight and just reeks of accuracy. The fact that it is claw controlled is curious and the way it works with a rimfire is interesting. The round apparently rotates in 2 different recesses, one for feeding and when you close the bolt the round moves into another recess in the bolt face. Hmm...okay! The trigger makes this gun. It is about 2 lbs or so and perfect! The gun came with a 5 round magazine. Then I reached into the box and pulled out the test target. 50 yards, 5 shots, .3333"! Wow! A rifle that I can live up to! I immediately purchased a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm scope to top it off. Rings were included. Mounting was a cinch!

Range sessions: Well...this gun is incredible! The gun's accuracy never ceases to amaze me. It is ALWAYS consistent provided that I am consistent. Most groups have been great with all sorts of ammo. I wish I would have recorded them and saved the targets Stephen A. Camp style. But alas, I am not that great of a reviewer but let's suffice to say that anything you can expect out of a .22 rifle, this rifle can deliver. The 100 yard accuracy is commonly within 1MOA. I know that is mostly my fault when it isn't within 1MOA. But then again, I almost never shoot from the bench. There is only one problem with this rifle: ejection isn't always positive. Sometimes, the case doesn't jump all the way out of the chamber and it can get stuck between the bolt and the chamber. This problem happened to me a few times but then cleared up. I believe that I just changed the way I manipulated the bolt which made ejection more positive. I never have this problem anymore but sometimes when I hand the rifle to other people, they experience this peculiarity.

Final Impressions: This gun is phenominal. The quality of the fit and finish is excellent and it is probably my favorite rifle in my battery. One funny instance occured where Chris Rhines and I were trying to sight in my Bushy AR. We kept shooting at these little metal plates (about 4"x7") 100 yards away. We both were having trouble hitting them due to a bad zero. So I was just joking and pulled out my Kimber, fired a round...*tink*! :D Most people are unwilling to spend this kind of money on "just a .22". But it seems to me, that with her spending that kind of money, I didn't get just a .22, I got a gun that will be a lifelong companion. Pretty fitting for a wedding gift eh?

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Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:34 PM
A close up of the action:

Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:36 PM
With my Watson drop point:

Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:38 PM
Side profile:

Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:39 PM
Disclaimer- Even though my wife is a photographer, I took the pictures myself. That is why they are not good. :o

Soap
April 20, 2003, 10:53 PM
Here is 20 shots (now that I think about it, I think it was actually 25, I'll have to ask the witnesses), 50' indoors, using a sling and prone, .45 ACP for scale:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=236840

cratz2
April 21, 2003, 12:44 AM
Excellent review! I've been looking at getting a Kimber for the past couple months. Local shop has one with a normal wood stock and a heavy-ish fluted barrel for $700 on consignment. If I had any extra money right now, I'd get it. We recently moved into a house where I can shoot anytime I desire and realized I didn't have one nice 22LR rifle. I'm looking at getting either a Kimber or I might spend a few less bucks and get the CZ American. Hope I can get the Kimber.

Man... I wish my wife bought me presents like that. ;) But I'll keep her anyway. :p

firestar
April 21, 2003, 02:12 AM
Talk about tearing out the X-ring! Nice! Looks like a keeper. I don't see that you would ever need another .22 (but I am sure you have more), this rifle could serve almost any purpose and be a great all around rifle. I am a little envious but I have a CZ-452 that works for me and I can't out shoot it yet. Maybe someday I will have a Kimber but I am afraid I will never wear out my CZ.

John G
April 21, 2003, 02:20 AM
Very cool. Almost makes me want to get married. I didn't know a rifle was part of the deal!;) Good shootin!

jacks308
April 21, 2003, 08:45 AM
Kimbers are all that and a bag o' chips !! I thought I was crazy back in the 80's to buy a .22 for nearly $700 bucks . But it is left-hand , it shoots like yours and it drives people crazy trying to figure out why it's soooo accurate .
Sounds like ya got a great gal too .

Jack

Soap
April 21, 2003, 09:09 AM
Thanks all! This rifle is pretty much my main rifle right now since I do more with .22s than I do with anything else. I think she paid somewhere around $650 brand new for this one at Galyans. Cratz2, I would call the Galyans at Castleton Square and see if they can order you another one.

JohnDog
April 22, 2003, 12:16 AM
Daniel,

Glad you like your Kimber! I got mine in July of last year, as a present to myself for getting a new job. I had been thinking of getting a bolt action 22, and had even been looking at Marlins at WallyWorld. Then the new job showed up and I got the new gun itch. Went to this big gun shop we have in town, and was looking at the Marlin 25s and Ruger 77/22 in the rack. Then I asked the guy what is that - and it was the Kimber Hunter! It took about a minute for me to decide that I wanted one! Look and feel just like you described. Then I asked if they had any others - salesman said we have one or two more. He brought out the next one - just like the display gun. Then he opened up the next box - everybody (he, I, another salesguy and the owner) all went OOOOOOO at the same time!! I said, in an overly load voice, I'll take this one. Hopefully this picture does it some justice. The comb of the stock has a lot of figure and all of the walnut has a tiger pattern to it.

And it has become my favorite 22. I think my 10/22 glares at me when I open the safe, because it doesn't get to go anywhere anymore. And since I hunt with a M70 Winchester I use it for practice all the time. It went scouting with me all last summer, and had a pretty productive rabbit season this late winter. I mounted a Leupold VXII on it, and just for grins put some Butler Creek target knobs on it. It is just a great rifle.

JohnDog

Soap
April 22, 2003, 12:49 AM
JohnDog- SWEEEET! Is that a maple stock!? It looks like dark stained flame maple to me...

I got the rifle to go with a Winchester LT or Lightweight...I haven't even bought them yet but I'm glad that the feel is similar.

Lone_Gunman
January 10, 2006, 01:21 PM
I guess I am bringing this thread back from the dead... but I am in the marked for a 22 rifle and am looking at the Kimbers...

I was wondering how do scopes attach to the Kimbers? Do they have integral mounts? If not, what kind of mount did you use?

What scope would you recommend for a Kimber 22?

Does Kimber put iron sights on any of their 22 models?

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