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Thread: My Kimber Montana

  1. #1
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Default My Kimber Montana

    Well, I am finally able to put my quick build story together. It all started with my first mountain hunt carrying a monster(never weighed) Weatherby Mark V Deluxe 300 wby mag on my first mountain hunt. Though successful I quickly learned that I had to carry less weight up the mountain. So I picked up a tikka in .270 and used that for the last 4 or so years. Fantastic rifle and accurate but of course always wanted my own light weight rifle. The tikka weighs in at 7.48 pounds with the scope, sling and mag and I knew there was still a lot of weight to be lost.

    A few months ago a picked up a used Kimber Montana in 7mm-08 and mounted a Leupold 3-9x33 on top. I took it to the range and was not thrilled with the results. I played with factory ammo and a some SST reloads and neither wanted to group where I would expect it to. I also had multiple misfires with the factory Remington's and my reloads. I don't know if it was just a light strike or what the deal was but this of course didn't help my shooting so I attributed the poor grouping of 2" to that. The rifle went back to Kimber and a few weeks later it was back with a new firing pin and firing pin spring.

    Back to the range I went and this time no misfires. The grouping did not change and would hold 1.5-2" groups at best with more factory ammo and some new reloads (SST 139 gr & Berger 140 gr). After everyone's horror stories though I was prepared to do what it took to get it to shoot.

    So off to Stan Jackson it went and a few weeks later it was bedded and blueprinted. I then sent the rifle to Kevin Weaver to chop to 20.5", flute the barrel and bolt as well as skeletonize the action. Again a few weeks later I had it back and who knew how awesome the rifle would look. My intentions were to save a few ounces and was thrilled with the looks.

    1.jpg

    2.jpg


    Again I was back at the range and I had finally decided on shooting the 140gr Nosler Partitions. Though my shooting was not the best I still managed 1" groups with my best at 3/4". I know that my shooting is what is keeping those groups larger than the rifle is capable of.

    So lets talk weight.

    When I received the rifle it weighed in at 5 pounds 4.4 oz's and of course didn't pay any attention to it. Turns out my stock weighs in at 28.4 oz's which is 3+ oz's heavier then what I have found everyone elses to weigh. Pretty frustrating but it is what it is.

    The rifle already had an aluminum trigger guard that came with it as well as the talley low scope rings. I managed to get a TI bolt handle and I had Weaver Rifles cut some metal off as well. Unfortunately I only weighed the barreled action when I sent it off and didn't get a weight of the bolt by itself.

    Factory Bolt 1.3 oz Custom TI .7 oz Weight Savings .6 Oz
    Factory Trigger Guard 2.55 oz Weaver Aluminum .95 oz Weight Savings 1.6 oz
    Barreled Action w/ bolt 51.85 oz Weaver Custom 48.55 oz Weight Savings 3.3 oz

    So I managed to cut 5.5 oz's and with being weight cautious I have managed an awesome rifle to drag around the woods.

    Total weights

    Bolt handle .7 oz
    Trigger Guard .95 oz
    bolt w/o handle 7.8 oz
    barreled action 39.45 oz
    Stock 28.4
    Box mag and follower 2.5 oz
    Action Bolts .7 oz
    Talley Rings 2.1 oz
    Leupold 3-9x33 9.3 oz
    Neoprene scope cover .95 oz
    sling .9 oz
    7mm-08 ammo .8 oz ea


    The rifle weighs in at 93.6 oz's (5 pounds 13.6 ozs) and 6 pounds 1.65 oz's with 5 rounds of ammo. That includes scope, rings, sling, and neoprene scope cover. Exactly how I will carry it.

    As far as the $$$ go I have 1900 into the Montana minus the scope and another 316 for the scope itself. Unfortunately the Kimber couldn't make the rifle shoot straight from the factory so I had an increased cost for the bedding and blueprinting that hopefully others wont have. I am thrilled with the rifle and as I continue to develop loads and familiarize myself with the rifle I will tighten groups.

    Thanks to everyone who answered my questions about their rifles and I hope this answers a few questions for others.
    NRA life Member JVJ

  2. #2
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    NRA life Member JVJ

  3. #3
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default

    I Take it you looked into the Mtn Ascent version of the Kimber as well. I don't know what it is about the kimber Montana's but it takes a while to get a good grouping even with reloads, I bought my son a Montana in 260 rem in 2008 which they no longer make but after trying 4 different powders and numerous types of bullets we finally got it down.

    Looks like a good build. spiral fluting looks cool .
    Last edited by kahahawai; 03-16-2014 at 22:03. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice build!
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default

    Very nice, nothing like taking one and making it your own.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  6. #6

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    Well done man!!! Sounds very similar like what I did to mine. Kevin does great work for sure! Glad you got it shooting too. That thing will be a joy to carry for sure. The the $$$ we spend to "save" 1.5 pounds huh? :P

  7. #7

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    Nice finished rifle. It's a dang shame that you had to take a rifle that retails for over $1,000 then send it back just to get it to fire then off to the gunsmith for work to get it to shoot well.
    But Stan is the man, if he can't get it to shoot well no one can. He is a true master at his craft.

  8. #8
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    I looked at the ascent and though it is awesome i wanted the shorter barrel since the alders are not my friend. And Lanche yes I definitely used your rifle as a comparison throughout to plan. There are a ton of ways to go for a build and this is definitely one solid way without the 3k pricetag. Not too many options out there to get to this weight at this price that i had found and without building a frankenstein rifle. Thanks
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    Glad that worked out for you as that's a really handy little rifle for a lot of uses.

    I took the same rifle in 338 Fed and did the trigger guard and bolt handle change out.....Talley XLow lt wts and 2.5x Leupold ultralight.....5 lbs 5 oz total.

    It shoots incredible groups with Federal 210 NPs so I haven't bothered with reloads yet......did have two factory cartridges that wouldn't chamber so I cycle all ammo when I buy it....not often.

    The extra-low Talleys really get the scope down over the loading port so I rotated the scope 90 degrees counterclockwise to get the windage adjustment knob away from the port.......works great.

    So handy for a spring walk into the bear bait.

  10. #10
    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    this is one thing i dont understand about the kimber montanas is how they can cost so much and have notoriously poor accuracy from the factory. i hear the 2 inch groups are pretty much the norm. im shopping for one currently but its hard to look past the tikkas that ive seen shoot under 1" out of the box for almost half the price. i cant figure out why they cant get these to shoot better from the factory. great looking gun you have there i hope to have one pretty soon. thanks for sharing the pics.

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    I am interested in your miss firing problem ? how often was the miss firing happening ? did the rounds ever fire ? I had some miss firing with a new kimber and trying to deside if it was the firing pin spring or the rounds.
    thanks for any info

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    Glad that worked out for you as that's a really handy little rifle for a lot of uses.

    I took the same rifle in 338 Fed and did the trigger guard and bolt handle change out.....Talley XLow lt wts and 2.5x Leupold ultralight.....5 lbs 5 oz total.

    It shoots incredible groups with Federal 210 NPs so I haven't bothered with reloads yet......did have two factory cartridges that wouldn't chamber so I cycle all ammo when I buy it....not often.

    The extra-low Talleys really get the scope down over the loading port so I rotated the scope 90 degrees counterclockwise to get the windage adjustment knob away from the port.......works great.

    So handy for a spring walk into the bear bait.
    Got a pic of that bad boy on a scale?? 85 oz for a scoped rifle is awesome!!! Has to be a slick looking setup for sure!

  13. #13
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    So the Montana shot the first 5 rounds and the next 5 were misfires (didn't fire) that were factory Remington core lokt 140 gr. shooting factory ammo for the brass and to sight in.

    Then it shot my 7 reloads I put together and I got groupings of 1.5". Then it wouldn't shoot the brass with different primers that I hand loaded.

    So it didn't like to shoot a specific primer from the reloads nor did it like to shoot half of the factory rounds. This was frustrating as I was trying I find my load. And it didnt like the factory loads.

    So it went back for misfires and came back shooting, just with larger groups than required.
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Something is wrong, that shouldn't happen factory rounds or reloads, sounds like you have an intermittent problem, should get the firing pin checked out. My kids Kimber Montana always fired, just took alot of range hours to get the load with the right bullets it wanted, and the grouping we wanted.

    You should think about building a custom, if you got a stainless remington 700 action laying around you could get a great rifle built for your liking for under $3K and guarantee 1/2" MOA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skipper View Post
    I am interested in your miss firing problem ? how often was the miss firing happening ? did the rounds ever fire ? I had some miss firing with a new kimber and trying to deside if it was the firing pin spring or the rounds.
    thanks for any info
    Have you shot the Kimber with factory fodder yet? We need to get to the bottom of your situation.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Something is wrong, that shouldn't happen factory rounds or reloads, sounds like you have an intermittent problem, should get the firing pin checked out. My kids Kimber Montana always fired, just took alot of range hours to get the load with the right bullets it wanted, and the grouping we wanted.

    You should think about building a custom, if you got a stainless remington 700 action laying around you could get a great rifle built for your liking for under $3K and guarantee 1/2" MOA.
    I believe he was explaining what happened in the lead up to having to send it back to Kimber and now it fires fine and shoots better after the blueprinting and bedding.

  17. #17
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I believe he was explaining what happened in the lead up to having to send it back to Kimber and now it fires fine and shoots better after the blueprinting and bedding.
    oh okay....He just posted this today, so I thought he just shot it. My bad....

    I'm following this because, Many are buying the Kimbers and other nice-off the shelf high end rifles, and then putting more money into them with new barrels and such. A friend of mine also had Stan put a fluted douglas barrel for $1100 for his 280 AI. Just thought a build might be more cost worthy before one starts to sink more money into a light rifle that should be shooting good for what you pay for them.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    oh okay....He just posted this today, so I thought he just shot it. My bad....

    I'm following this because, Many are buying the Kimbers and other nice-off the shelf high end rifles, and then putting more money into them with new barrels and such. A friend of mine also had Stan put a fluted douglas barrel for $1100 for his 280 AI. Just thought a build might be more cost worthy before one starts to sink more money into a light rifle that should be shooting good for what you pay for them.
    I hear ya, I'm into mine about about $1500 roughly or $1800 with a scope. But mine shoots between 1" and 1.5" with most stuff I shoot through it. Certainly not nearly as good as some others, but its strictly a hunting rifle and for the ranges I hunt that is more than adequate.

  19. #19
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I believe he was explaining what happened in the lead up to having to send it back to Kimber and now it fires fine and shoots better after the blueprinting and bedding.
    Correct, that was the issue i had pre-Stan's work. I was explaining the issue. The rifle is now as accurate as expected just took a few dollars to do.
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    man one day I will hit the big money and be cool just like you guys all I have are junk ass Winchester model 70's

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