I wanted something different and in my search for the ultimate NA big game rifle, a used but described as "Pre Owned" Kimber Montana in 325 WSM caught my eye for sale on GB. I simply could not resist as the photos of this rifle called out to me. So it spoke to me, even though I hate muzzle brakes. Yes it has one and I intend to have it removed... perhaps?
This 325 does not look like it has been shot much, but it has been hunted and has the beauty marks to prove it! Marks of character and it was also described as "Used but not abused". I like it! More than I thought I would. I've had light rifles built around standard Rem 700 actions, like a Classic in 375 H&H with Brown Precision stock. I've also owned a few semi-custom jobs and am somewhat picky when it comes to my rifles. I'm never 100% happy with any factory gun and have always thought things like... if I could only put this trigger on that action... I have a couple Tikka stainless T3's. Nice guns but I do not like the safety and a few other things. I can live with that small stuff on a T3. I've never sprung for the $3,000 and up rifles, like the very nice Forbes NUA's.
But with this Montana, I'm having a tough time finding something that I do not like about it, except perhaps the brake? OK, I'll try hard... perhaps the trigger should have been a Winchester style for cold weather hunting? Or, the stock might slick-up when wet? On one of these forums I read a fellow thought the Montana looked like a toy gun. I see nothing but 100% quality, the best production rifle I've ever owned! It just feels right, not too heavy- not too light. I do not like hunting with heavy rifles. Yes I can carry them all day, but their weight distracts me from the hunt, especially while still hunting. I should have bought a Montana years ago and sure hope this one shoots!
I have some questions and appreciate all advice here:
1, What are the inch pounds to torque the action screws?
2, The rifle came with Leupold PRW bases. Should I stick with those? I was thinking about a Game Reaper 1 piece mount instead?
3, OMG, what scope to use? I was favoring either a Leupold 1.5-5X, their 4X, or 2-7X. I've shot most of my big game on 4X... even some very long shots and that power seemed fine. Only not that great at the range. I do have a new Bushnell Elite 3-9X40 with RainGuard. On my scale it weighs 14 oz, so it is heavier than my other choices. I took a photo of it lying above the action to get an idea for looks. Is this too much scope for the gun? I could mount it on another rifle I originally bought it for. I'm leaning towards the 2-7, but sure like the idea of RG!
4, I see factory Nosler and Winchester both load 2 very different 200gr 325 Accubonds. Who actually ownes the name? I'll see if my Montana likes factory fodder first.
I'll be using this Montana here in Washington State for Elk, bear... but also in Alaska and Canada for Moose.