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Thread: Kimber Feeding Trouble

  1. #1
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    Default Kimber Feeding Trouble

    Well, I've finally had enough. My Kimber Montana 270wsm is getting sent back to the factory. I've had it for a year and a half and it's never fed very well. Last time I went to the range I tried to shoot some 130 gr. Core lokt. I tried loading three shells into the box and tried to shoot a group. But I might as well have been trying to feed .338 shells through it.

    Went by Mt. View Sport tonight since that is where I bought the rifle, told them I was having a feeding problem, and asked what I needed to do to send it in. All I had to do was tell them i was having a feeding problem and they described the exact problems I was having without me having to say a thing. They made the comment that Kimber was having so many problems they just need to stop selling the things. Some are having feeding problems, others are having extraction problems, barrels overheating after only a few shots. What is going on with the Kimber short mags?

    Its too expensive of a rifle not to be a smooth feeder and tack driver.

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Ak wonderer,

    I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble with your Kimber. I read Chuck Hawks articles regarding the WSM's. He claims that WSM's and their rebated rims to not cycle well with the mauser type controlled round/feed actions. It's obviously true because there are alot of folks out there who are having the same troubles that you are. I'd suggest getting a Browning, Sako, or Tikka rifle if you want to keep the WSM. If you want to stay with a Kimber......I'd suggest going back to a standard cartridge. A 260 remington, or a 270 winchester will do exactly the same thing as your band-wagon magnum. Except it won't jam on you like the band wagon magnum. I feel your pain.....I have a brand new 7600 pump rifle that's a jamomatic piece of crap and shoots groups that are four times the size of my old 30-30 model 94. Talk about wasting almost 700 dollars on the biggest piece of crap rifle that I've ever shot.

  3. #3
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I bought the wife a Kimber Montana 270wsm. It had a feeding problem as well, it was sent back to Kimber and they tried to remachine the feed ramp. While doing that they let the grinder take a bite out the rail, it would hang on the spot were they nicked it. Plus it still would not feed right. I sent it back and got a refund and bought her a Remington Alaskan TI in 270 WSM and it has proved to be a great rifle. I still have a thing for the Kimber Montana a lot for the money if you get a good one.
    Hope it works out for you.
    In the picture you cans see were they worked the ramp and the damaged rail is on the right.


    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  4. #4

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    Look at a cartridge like say: .300 Holland & Holland at how much taper it has. Now look at a .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, with a near straight case and sharp neck, and ask yourself which will feed easiest. It is the price you pay for high power capacity.

    If I can not high speed, (Cranking the bolt, leaver, pump as fast as possible) empty the magazine with zero feeding problems. I will sell the (PIG) firearm.

    Now days everyone wants: super light, super pretty, super short, super powerful. They spend more time petting there firearm indoors while watching "Outdoor T.V." than hours in the field. In the old days we wanted super reliable, and field strip-able.

    NOTE: This is not a dig at Kimber, but at cartridges that lack taper, you just have to go with what works.

  5. #5
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    I've seen lots of Kimbers and I have seen them wiht feeding problems. I sometimes wonder if Chuck Hawks doesn't do his shooting from the keyboard. My very first WSM (33) I ever owned was on a Mauser 98 with a bolt head cut and a custom made follower and no other modifications. This rifle was made before the "W" was added (I know the designer). There was never a feeding problem and the Mauser extractor was never a problem. The difficulty in feeding comes from the extremely straight sided case. With an improperly designed follower it holds the case too far off center and it won't take to the extractor at the correct point and binds the round up between the follower lobe and the extractor. If you study the Sako SM action the follower is designed correctly and feeds very slick Granted it is not CRF but the follower is correct for the cartridge.

    The 375 Ruger case has less taper than the WSM and it feeds in the CRF Ruger rifle very well. Also the MRC action for the Short Mags feeds very well and it is a Mauser type claw extractor. The rebated rim is only .013" (.545" body vs .532" rim ) and I don't find that significant for any claw extractor. My M98 6.5x284, rebated rim by about .027" (.500" body vs .473" rim) works fine so I don't by My Hawks theory.

    I think the demand for the WSM line of cartridges and the Kimber rifle pushed them to production too soon and the QC was shelved to boost the numbers of rifles out the door. They are a very nicely balanced light weight rifle. It's too bad they couldn't make one work well in the WSM calibers. That grinding on the feed ramp and other such repair tactics are what made me abandon the company as a maker of any of my rifles. I feel I need to apologize to everyone to whom I recommeded the Kimber Montana rifle. Not so much for the rifle but the lackluster performace from the company when we sent guns back for repair.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6

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    I have a Sako 85 Finnlight in 300 WSM and it cycles great. Absolutely no problems. It is a "centerfeed" design.

    Having said that, the accuracy is terrible. 2-4 inch groups. I sent it back to the factory and they finally sent it back after almost 3 months, telling me all they had done was clean it and shot a .9" @ 308 ft, 5 shot group.

    Well I guarantee ya that rifle was well cleaned, and broken in. So I dont know if it's the scope rings or the rifle. I believe they put it in a vice to shoot it which would not at all replicated field shooting it. Will be taking it out again here pretty soon to give it another go. And no, the problem isn't with me, I can shoot tight groups in other rifles.

    Bottom line, I have heard of very few problems with the short mags and many good things about them, includung good accuracy in good rifles.

    From what I have read about Kimbers, either you get a good one or a bad one and now I am wondering about Sako. Not at all impressed with their synthetic stocks.

  7. #7
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    If the rifle comes back from the factory and still doesn't perform, then its getting sold and replaced with a Sako. A hunting buddy has both a 300wsm and a 270wsm Sako 85's that feed and shoot great. If anyone see's a Sako 75 Finnlight for sale let me know and I might get rid of my Kimber no matter what condition it comes back in.

  8. #8
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    First off, I am planning to get a Browning A-bolt in .270 WSM soon. I will let everyone know how it does.

    Second, IMO, you should not have to send a rifle back to the company at all for it to work properly and shoot straight. I understand there will be a fluke once in awhile (maybe 1 in 10,000 that leave the factory), but in this day of CNC machining, lasers, etc, etc, etc having to send a problem rifle back is crap. I don't have too many guns (due to not having too much money), but so far I have not had any real trouble with Remington, Weatherby, Springfield Armory, Colt, or NEF. But I have had significant trouble with Ruger and will never buy from them again. I will never buy the first Kimber because I've heard too much about them.

    I don't understand why I can take my old M-1 Garand, that is a conglomeration of American, Danish, and Italian parts dating back 60+ years and shoot it until I'm blue in the face with no malfunctions whatsoever, but I can't trust a brand new rifle off the shelf. It blows my mind. No wonder our economy is in the state it's in...too many companies are not interested in quality but only in the $$.

    Sorry for the rant, just stating my opinion.

  9. #9
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I have been a long time fan of Kimber and I've owned a few over the years. I hate to agree that the quality is slipping somewhat and that may be due to greatly increased volume. I hope they take care of your rifle for you- in my single experience with customer service they did a good job of taking care of my issue.

    I received one of the first 84Ms years ago and it shoots and feeds fantastic (admittedly in .308). Kimber's product line variation and production was about 1/10th what it is today. Could be related.

    I did get a .300WSM in another make of rifle and I've come to like it quite a lot.

  10. #10

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    Kimber's quality control has definately gone down hill. I had two bad Kimber's last year. One was a 270 WSM montana that had poor accuracy and the bolt would be very difficult to open after firing. The other was a tacticle pro 1911 which would sometimes fail to go into battery and other times lock the slide open with bullets still in the magazine.

    My older kimbers seemed to function better than the newer ones. After dealing with Kimber customer service, I have decided that I am done with Kimber for now. For the price of a kimber rifle or pistol, there are just too many other good options out there.

  11. #11
    Member Double Shovel's Avatar
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    Default Kimber vs. Sako

    Of the 5 Sakos I currently have, 4 are Stainless/Synthetic, 3 are Band-Wagon magnums (2 are Finnlights both M75 and M85), all of them shoot small groups, and none have feeding problems. Are they made in USA? No. Do I like synthetic stocks? Not really. But, for not much more than a Kimber, they have been the best all-around rifles for my type of hunting (sheep to bear in wet, dirty, salty conditions).

    I also have a Kimber Montana chambered in 7mm-08 that has fed reliably but was hell to find an accurate load for. We're talking 6-8" groups at 100yd off the bench with some handloads. Finally, I settled on 1" groups with 140 Gr Barnes TSX. The Kimber is a joy to carry but when push comes to shove, for a couple more ounces (300 wsm vs. 300 wsm), give me a Sako Finnlight band-wagon WSM any day of the week.

    Now I'll kindly step off my high horse... Happy Trails.

    DS

  12. #12

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    I once set up a Winchester Super Shadow in 270WSM for a friend to take to Mo. on a whitetail hunt. I was so impressed with the feed and function that I bought one just to have for a future project (358WSM). I love the control round push feed concept and view it as the best of both worlds.

    There are several of these rifles for sale on gunbroker.com for around $500.

    Not to hijack the thread but I'd wouldn't mind hearing Murphy's take on the control round push feed concept!

  13. #13
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default Kimberly Rifles...

    I too own a Kimber Montanan chambered in 325 WSM...

    Kimber "positive" comments:
    I have "yet" to notice any feeding issues, and my accurracy is off the hook! At 100 yds, I can cover three shots w/ a dime; sub MOA. It has been an interesting journey, taking the short mag challenge when a new calibers sprang up almost overnight. I made a decision to buy based on the "All-in-One" rifle concept. I can use it for anything.

    Kimber "negative" commnets:
    I am not impressed with the quality of their stainless. I have had MINIMAL moisture and developed rust on the barrel, trigger and guard. To decrease the occurence of rust, I use Vasoline lip therapy and liberally apply to the external components. So far (knock on wood), it has been doing better. I am thinking of applying one of those fancy clear bake on finnishes, has anyone used/reccomend any?

    Another reason I chose the Kimber was the controlled push feed (mauser style extractor). Given the scenario of a grizz covering ground towards you fast, I was taught that you'd need such action for dangerous game. After reading this post, I am a bit apprehensive now...

    Kimber comments aside, I too am always looking for a new rifle, one cannot own too many . I love the Sako 85 Finnlight, does it come in 325 WSM??? I have always considered that "one" rifle to do it all and I like the ballistics of the 325. I have always been a 7mm Rem Mag fan, mainly for elk, but wanted a tad more punch for bear, hence the 325. Ballistically, it is similar to the 7mm, but carries more energy down range. 338's are nice to knock down large game, but we all have our preferences. Maybe momma will surprise me with a Nosler custom under the tree this year? The have an accuracy garantee, just like the Sako, I wish Kimber laid that claim...

    I'll step off my soap box now...
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

  14. #14
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Native View Post
    . Maybe momma will surprise me with a Nosler custom under the tree this year? The have an accuracy garantee, just like the Sako, I wish Kimber laid that claim...

    Momma did lay a Nolser 48 under my tree this year in .300WSM. You won't be dissapointed... kinda pricey but its a lot of rifle. Accuracy guarantee only applies to Nosler Custom ammo and its pretty hard to get in AK. Mine shoots Winchester and Federal just fine however.

  15. #15
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    I have two Kimber WSMs...both feed and shoot very reliably....no problems whatsoever.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    I have two Kimber WSMs...both feed and shoot very reliably....no problems whatsoever.
    Same here I bought a Kimber 300 WSM recently and it feeds super smooth both fast and slow and extracts the spent rounds not problem either. I do have to say its pretty inexcuseable that a rifle company that is charging as much as they do for this type of rifle is putting out rifles that are sort of "luck of the draw" on whether is a good one or not. I love mine though, sorry to hear you got a bad one I feel your pain there. Keep us posted on how it works out for ya.

  17. #17
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    Cool Montana .325 WSM

    too own a Kimber Montanan chambered in 325 WSM...

    Kimber "positive" comments:
    I have "yet" to notice any feeding issues, and my accurracy is off the hook! At 100 yds, I can cover three shots w/ a dime; sub MOA. It has been an interesting journey, taking the short mag challenge when a new calibers sprang up almost overnight. I made a decision to buy based on the "All-in-One" rifle concept. I can use it for anything.

    Kimber "negative" commnets:
    I am not impressed with the quality of their stainless. I have had MINIMAL moisture and developed rust on the barrel, trigger and guard. To decrease the occurence of rust, I use Vasoline lip therapy and liberally apply to the external components. So far (knock on wood), it has been doing better. I am thinking of applying one of those fancy clear bake on finnishes, has anyone used/reccomend any?

    Another reason I chose the Kimber was the controlled push feed (mauser style extractor). Given the scenario of a grizz covering ground towards you fast, I was taught that you'd need such action for dangerous game. After reading this post, I am a bit apprehensive now...

    Kimber comments aside, I too am always looking for a new rifle, one cannot own too many . I love the Sako 85 Finnlight, does it come in 325 WSM??? I have always considered that "one" rifle to do it all and I like the ballistics of the 325. I have always been a 7mm Rem Mag fan, mainly for elk, but wanted a tad more punch for bear, hence the 325. Ballistically, it is similar to the 7mm, but carries more energy down range. 338's are nice to knock down large game, but we all have our preferences. Maybe momma will surprise me with a Nosler custom under the tree this year? The have an accuracy garantee, just like the Sako, I wish Kimber laid that claim...

    I'll step off my soap box now...



    Lemme get this straight..... You have a Montana that shoots sub 1/4 MOA, and feeds and your lookin for a sako .325?

    God willing I'll be in Alaska in July and I'll happily take it off your hands. LOL

    Pete

  18. #18
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    Not related to Kimber feeding problems but to see this disclaimer on a nationally recognized custom rifle maker and accurizer is somewhat concerning...

    "Accurizing is no longer offered for Kimber rifles. This is not a statement about Kimber, but is merely the result of our inability to get a consistent result from Accurizing these products."

    http://www.hillcountryrifles.com/accurizeit.aspx

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    I was a hairs breath away from buying a Montana .325, but that very disclaimer from Hill country was the last straw. I can't take the chance.

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    A .458 mag or Lott feeds like a baby in a growing spell!!!! And they are as straight as an arrow...
    Last edited by Proud American; 04-09-2009 at 16:37. Reason: add letter

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