Why no love for Kimber

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SharpDog, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    I have seen many recent posts from folks wanting recommendations for .308, .270, 30-06, 6.5C and all of the responses are similar: Ruger, Tikka, Bergara, Winchester and occasionally Browning.

    I have been lusting after a lightweight Kimber for years but have never pulled the trigger (sic).

    Why no love for Kimber ?

    Is there something wrong with them ?
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Feb 23, 2010
    @MCMXI has a couple Kimber rifles he's written about extensively here; his .375 H&H thread cost me the price of a new rifle (not that I'm complaining. . .).

    I think Kimber's rifle offerings are underrepresented because many are very specialized for ultra light weight.

    Certainly every Kimber I've held has felt disconcertingly light for the cartridge. A local shop has a 300 RUM Mountain Ascent (I think) lighter than my 10/22 carbine; that hurts to think about.
  3. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Recommendations I give are based on my personal experiences.
    I haven't had experience with a Kimber, so I can't recommend one.
    ontarget and LoonWulf like this.
  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Justin, TX
    When I was selling guns my store carried Adirondacks and Mountain Ascents. Every time I picked one up I thought there was no way I would want to shoot a rifle that light.

    If you take away the weight factor Kimber doesn’t offer anything over a Winchester or Montana for me.

    There is nothing wrong with Kimber. In my mind their rifles fill a very narrow niche that not many people need filled. They make a Tikka feel like an anvil.

    If I were a chamois hunter based in the Alps or Pyrénées, I wouldn’t mind a Mountain Ascent 22-250 with a 1:7 barrel twist at all.
    LoonWulf and edwardware like this.
  5. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    NW Montana
    I think that this is a complex issue. Kimber is still trying to recover from a reputation earned five to ten years ago when there was little competition in the lightweight hunting rifle market. 1911 sales have historically accounted for 95% or more of revenue for Kimber and so it might not be a surprise that the rifles were neglected with little investment to repair or service machinery required for rifle manufacturing. In addition, there was a conscious decision to make very light hunting rifles with the emphasis on weight and scale and not nearly enough on accuracy/precision. At the time it was good enough but barrels were hit or miss and other issues cropped up which ultimately led to the "Kimber roulette" moniker.

    In the last four to five years Kimber has made a lot of improvements and rifle returns and issues have dropped significantly. The Hunter rifles have all but eliminated returns and they're doing well with a significant increase in overall sales. I've been a fan of Kimber hunting rifles for years and have no desire to own any other brand because Kimber hunting rifles tick every box for me. It's really that simple. I could care less about CRF, but a locking bolt, good extractor, ejector away from the bolt face, excellent machining, actions (some) that will feed empty cases, a great trigger, good stock fit, great looks, and 5-shot sub 0.75 moa groups in under 2 minutes with no cold/clean bore shift works for me.

    Few seem to appreciate the complexity of Kimber rifles. There's a lot of elegance that you just don't see in many other products. Take a look at the bolt locking mechanism for example. Look at the primary extraction cam on the reciever and notice that it's a helical cut rather than straight. Compare bolt lift on a Kimber to many other rifle brands.

    There's a price to pay for such a light rifle and many find it hard to shoot a Kimber rifle well. They will reveal poor technique in short order. I work up handloads for all my rifles, but my gf's .308 Win Montana seems to have no problem shooting Hornady 150gr SSTs into decent groups (see below).

    adcoch1, LoonWulf, taliv and 3 others like this.
  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    I’ve heard few horror stories accuracy wise about them, but don’t have any personal experience with them to recommend one way or the other. I just looked up prices on them and I was suprized to see how reasonably priced their synthetic stock models. Sure is a big premium for walnut though it looks like.
    SharpDog and LoonWulf like this.
  7. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    There are many established brands, and Kimber is not cheap enough to sway buyers, plus their reputation for mediocre, but high price 1911's leads people to believe their whole line is low value.
    SharpDog and LoonWulf like this.
  8. Jackal

    Jackal Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Northwest Washington
    Because 99% of people who shoot animals dont need to spend double the cost of common rifles to achieve their goals.
  9. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Personally I really like my Kimber 8400M. Great rifle. It is purpose built to be svelte, and does not give up barrel length to achieve it. In this day and age of complete cost cutting, utter copycatting, gunmaker bankruptcies, I think Kimber should be given great credit. I think this is a rifle a Brit or German could hold up next to their Sako, or Blaser, and say look, this rifle is smart and outstanding.
    adcoch1, LoonWulf and SharpDog like this.
  10. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    I own an 82 (Yonkers) and an 84; the 82 (.22) drives tacks, beautifully built and not made anymore. The 84 (.308) shoots 3/4 to an inch at 100, beautifully built and has the looks. I found the 84 hard to master at the bench but a change in shooting mindset for this light rifle shrunk the groups significantly. Kimber rifles are a niche player and are working away from an earlier bad reputation. They build an elegant rifle. It all falls to personal taste which varies greatly.
    LoonWulf likes this.
  11. larueminati

    larueminati Member

    Oct 25, 2017

    I considered one but came across way too many horror stories of not just bad accuracy but terrible customer service from Kimber. Flat out not standing behind their product.

    I'm not a gambler.
  12. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    Never owned or even shot one, but there were enough guys that posted here that had really, really poor experiences that I’d have to think twice. there was one guy here that lamented long and hard about one that he bought.

    There are too many good choices to have to gamble.

    Reputations are hard to gain and easy to lose
    ontarget likes this.
  13. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

    Mar 15, 2017
    I have a Kimber Custom ll 45ACP. It is every bit as good as a Colt Gold Cup I owned years ago. I love Kimber's. If people don't like them it's probably not from the experience of owning one but the price they don't like. You get what you pay for IMO. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Kimber Rifle just not in the market for a rile right now.:)
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    .308 Norma likes this.
  14. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    I am very much a fan of the Kimber action; I just wish they didn’t make them so lightweight by taking as much weight out of the barrel as they do. I prefer my rifles to be slightly muzzle heavy in balance.
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    If you need or want a sub 6# rifle they are a bargain. Anything else in that weight class will cost over $3000. And still not have CRF or stainless

    The rifles shoot well enough. But only a handful of people can master a rifle that light

    I've had one about 10 years and like it a lot if hunting in rugged terrain. But for general use prefer something about a pound heavier.
    Captcurt likes this.
  16. Balrog

    Balrog Member

    Nov 28, 2008

    I have owned a few Kimber 1911s. They look good. I did not find them to be reliable enough. I should have learned sooner, but Kimber does a great job cosmetically with their 1911s and they kept drawing me back. I have had much better luck with Colt, Springfield, S&W, Sig, and Wilson Combat 1911s.
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Jan 28, 2003
    Plain and simple. Kimber America of Yonkers made such a concerted effort to piss on their customers heads, and make such a substandard unreliable product that they destroyed their reputation. It is very easy to destroy your reputation and very difficult to rebuild it. On the several occasions that I dealt with Yonkers on broken rifle issues, I felt the strong desire to fly out there and personally rearrange some dental work on the sub human apemen and women that I had the misfortune of speaking with. I think they must have dragged some 5 dollar bills through the back alleys and cheap hotels to attract their customer “service” staff at the Yonkers facility.

    That being said, I had the opportunity to own and shoot a new Kimber Hunter. It functioned well, it was accurate, but the stock design is completely un shootable for me. The rifle is so slim and the comb so narrow that I feel like I’m trying to shoot a kids rifle at the fair. I appreciate what Kimber was going for with that rifle but I’ll take a couple of pounds added on for shoot ability any day. Kimber has created a very light, very slim, very compact rifle that is almost completely unusable for me.
    cdb1 likes this.
  18. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I had one of the 84 light weights. I think that it weighed 5 3/4 lbs without the scope. Always wanted a 257 Roberts and I thought this might be the ultimate whitetail gun. That light rifle slapped the snot out of me. I couldn't believe that a Rob could smack me that hard, but it did. It isn't because I am that sensitive to recoil either. My go to gun is a 6 1/4 lb savage 10 in 300 WSM.

    That being said, I will admit that the rifle was quality all the way. Smooth action and the best trigger that I have had on a production rifle. Accuracy was alright, but not stellar. Around 1 1/2 MOA.
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