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Thread: Kimber 8400 Montana Accuracy

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Default Kimber 8400 Montana Accuracy

    For owners of the synthetic stocked Kimber rifles, is your barrel free floated all the way? I'm having interesting accuracy issues (ie, not great) with a particular load. I'm wondering if the barrel should be free floated all the way or should it have a pressure pad at the tip of the stock?

    Strangely, my Nosler partition loads are shooting more accurately (at 100 yds) than the Accubond loads. I was planning on hunting with the Accubonds, but if the partitions are much better, I'm going to switch to them.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Some guns just don't like certain bullets as far as I can tell. I like Accubonds but if my rifle didn't I don't think I would spend a bunch of time trying to force feed it if there was another great round that it ate up with a smile! I would certainly try a to play with loads and COAL but if it just don't like em then oh well. I doubt that anything you shoot will shrug off the partitions.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I agree. I'm going to have a shoot off later this week and go from there. My old Ruger tang safety 30-06 shot some of its best groups with Partitions.

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    I had to seat the Accubonds long in my Kimber to get sub-moa accuracy. .005 Off Lands. Same load same OAL as factory loads was about a 2.5 inch pattern I think. Factory AB ammo shoots sub moa. Fortunately the Kimber magazine is long so no prob with the longer OAL. H4350 would not group as good or give the velocity. I've posted this before but I'll post it again. Here's where I ended up.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    For owners of the synthetic stocked Kimber rifles, is your barrel free floated all the way? I'm having interesting accuracy issues (ie, not great) with a particular load. I'm wondering if the barrel should be free floated all the way or should it have a pressure pad at the tip of the stock?

    Strangely, my Nosler partition loads are shooting more accurately (at 100 yds) than the Accubond loads. I was planning on hunting with the Accubonds, but if the partitions are much better, I'm going to switch to them.
    Have you checked the bedding? Might be worth giving the tang and recoil lug area a good skim bed. What WSM round is your rifle chambered for?

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    My Kimber Montana in 300 win mag is free floated all the way, that is how it came from Kimber and it seems to work just fine so I have not messed with it.

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    My Kimber 8400 Montana in 30-06 is free floated all the way, very good shooter.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    While it may not be the issue, my gun (300WM) is not free floated. The stock contacts the barrel in the last inch and a half. Thanks for the info on your guns. I wanted to know what it should be before I start sanding away material. Yes the tang and the recoil lug are nicely bedded by the factory.

    The barrel certainly is nice. When I clean it, the barrel feels absolutely smooth and it cleans up very fast, with little copper accumulation.

    Thanks for the target, Snyd. I'll take a look and see if I can seat the bullets out any further - that would certainly be an improvement.

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I know it's not in vogue, but I bedded the entire anction and barrel on my 8400 in 30-06. It shot sub-MOA with 150 grain bullets, but as the weight went up the accuracy got worse. I tried several different powders and bullet weights but couldn't get it to the accuracy I wanted. I tried skim bedding the action again and that didn't fix it. I read somewhere that one of the high end custom mountain rifle builders, whose name escapes me now, beds the full lenght of his barrels, so I gave that a shot. After bedding I get MOA from all of my loads up to 220 grains.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I had to look it up, but NULA full length beds their barrels.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I had to look it up, but NULA full length beds their barrels.
    Funny, before I got the 8400, I was considering a NULA or a "Colt Light Rifle" which was a commercial version of Melvin Forbes UL rifle.

    I checked the throat of my gun and then the magazine and unfortunately, for the 300 WM, the magazine limits the OAL to a length quite a bit less than what the throat allows. Hadn't thought about this till now, but Kimber (and other manufacturers) probably set the leade/throat in their chamberings out pretty far to accommodate the heaviest, longest bullet commercially available - in this instance a 200 or 200 gr roundnose perhaps.

    I had set the dies to match factory Nosler Accubond OAL before. Hope to hit the range this weekend. I reset my seater die further out and loaded a bunch of 180 Accubonds and an equal number of Partitions so they nest in the magazine comfortably. I'll see how that goes. If the Partitions group 1 MOA I'll call it done till after the season. If the Partitions aren't grouping significantly better than the ABs, I'll put a small piece of business card between the fore end and the barrel (for a pressure point), and if that still isn't working, I'll carefully trim off some stock at the end of the fore end to free float the entire length. Then I'll play with bedding issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    Funny, before I got the 8400, I was considering a NULA or a "Colt Light Rifle" which was a commercial version of Melvin Forbes UL rifle.

    I checked the throat of my gun and then the magazine and unfortunately, for the 300 WM, the magazine limits the OAL to a length quite a bit less than what the throat allows. Hadn't thought about this till now, but Kimber (and other manufacturers) probably set the leade/throat in their chamberings out pretty far to accommodate the heaviest, longest bullet commercially available - in this instance a 200 or 200 gr roundnose perhaps.

    I had set the dies to match factory Nosler Accubond OAL before. Hope to hit the range this weekend. I reset my seater die further out and loaded a bunch of 180 Accubonds and an equal number of Partitions so they nest in the magazine comfortably. I'll see how that goes. If the Partitions group 1 MOA I'll call it done till after the season. If the Partitions aren't grouping significantly better than the ABs, I'll put a small piece of business card between the fore end and the barrel (for a pressure point), and if that still isn't working, I'll carefully trim off some stock at the end of the fore end to free float the entire length. Then I'll play with bedding issues.
    Man, I sure like picking up a rifle that just shoots right out of the box. That said all I see here is a bunch of solid reasons to go to the range which sure doesn't seem like a bad thing to me!!

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Finally got my gun sorted out. I seated the 180 gr Nosler Accubonds out to just short of maximum for the magazine length. I took it to the range and shot it the way it came from out of the box, and then put a piece of business card between the fore end and the barrel. No difference and not acceptable accuracy. Lots of vertical stringing.

    So,I sanded and relieved the fore end tip from the barrel so it is completely free floating (it was touching before). And I checked that the action screws were about the same torque (with my 5 fingered torque wrench attached to the allen wrench).

    That did the trick. It shot an identical group right after I shot the first group. Here are the results:




    Ready to go! The "after" shot could have been even better. The trigger broke just as my heartbeat moved the cross hairs to the right.

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    Kimber Montana's actions are glass AND pillar bedded at Kimber - There are a few unique twist rates with Kimber barrels that "can" make a difference with bullet weights - There are also differences in how much barrels have been lapped at the factory, I've found AND chamber dimensions vary a bit as well - Snyd has his 325 WSM tuned quite well but mine and my son's won't shoot 200's no matter HOW hard I try, but shoot 220's extremely accurately (I full length bedded mine, like NULA, and it changed the characteristics of the groups but not the overall accuracy) - 270 WSM Montana bore's as rough as the proverbial "cobb" and with 2 308 Montana's one shot 150 accubonds like a benchrest gun and the other puts 165 TSX's into one raggy hole (all at 100) - I have an 84L 30.06 on the way, we'll see how that one shoots (I have HIGH hopes)

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I lucked out on the bore and that is on reason I had hope it would shoot better. Mine is smooth as silk and hardly collects any copper. It cleans up faster than any gun I own. Beautifully crowned muzzle as well.

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    What Back Country said about full length bedding the Kimber stock is a good idea.

    From what I have heard, the new Kimber 84L rifles are supposed to have corrected the
    quality control issues that have appeared from time to time in earlier models. Time will
    tell on that.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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