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Thread: 1st season with the Kimber Montana 338 Federal

  1. #1
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    Default 1st season with the Kimber Montana 338 Federal

    Just thought I would post some information on this gun and caliber. Seems there is a lot of bad press on the Kimbers, etc..
    Accuracy This gun is finicky. It likes the factory 180gr TSX and one of my handloads, 42gr of H322 with the 210gr TTSX. I am getting 1 to 1.5 groups off the bench at 100 yards. This rifle is very light so is more difficult to shoot IMO. I have not tried any lead bullets. I moved away from them for hunting things I eat.
    338 Federal killing power- I look at this caliber as a heavy bullet 30-06 in a short action. It has similar ballistics. I shot a moose with it this year. 180gr TSX factory load. Frontal neck shot. Through neck, lungs, and back into the gut somewhere. 75 yard shot with plenty of penetration and damage.
    I bought this gun primarily for moose.
    I would buy this gun again. If you are looking for a lightweight gun for long hikes this is a great gun and caliber combo.

  2. #2
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    For me, there comes a point where a gun gets too light and I don't shoot it as well. I understand the value of hauling something up a mtn that does not weigh a ton, however I always felt like it would do me more benefit to shed 10 lbs off my rear end and carry a bit heavier gun that I could shoot well. Kimbers shur do look nice though...
    Thx for the inputs
    Randy
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I am hunting a Montana 325 WSM and a .Montana .308 and I have fallen in love with both - the 338 Federal intrigues me so I will most likely get one in the future - I have not had any trouble with shooting either Montana but I will say that the 325 is pretty finicky with loads too, likes 220 SBT and IMR 4007 SSc very well though

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback... I've been intrgued by the .338 Fed since its introduction.

  5. #5
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    i have a few kimbers and found if you sling up before the shot ( while from the bench or shooting position ) and hold the rifle it shoots very well. unlike heavier models that can just rest for the shot, the kimber needs to be steadied.

    good luck with your shooting!
    happy trails.
    jh

  6. #6
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    My experience with my Kimber 84M 7-08 has been similar. Very picky about what it shoots. Most bullets shot into 1.5-2" groups at 100 yards. However, with 140 grain Barnes TSX shoots consistently under 1", so I'm good to go. Funny thing is that it's back to 1.5" when it load it with the 120gr TSX's. However, for hunting rifle that's plenty of accuracy. I loaded the 120's for my boys to shoot caribou with and two caribou died with one shot each, one at over 300 yards.

    I absolutely love the rifle though. It weighs a touch over 6 pounds including scope, bullets, and sling, and with the 22" barrel it's so nice to carry. It's my go-to for almost everything now, and my big heavy magnums are gathering dust.

    If you are willing to spend some time experimenting with loads, the only other way to get such a nice light rifle is to pay 3 times the price.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the review; I've been curious about that exact setup for a little while know. The only thing I find intimidating about it is the difficulty in finding .338 federal brass or factory ammo. I know they can be necked up from .308, but I like the stamp to read what the caliber actually is.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  8. #8

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    the Kimber in .338 Federal is an excellent rifle which will fit the requirements of 90% of North American big game hunting. Mine loves the 185gr TSX, will tolerate the speer 200 gr and Sierra GKBT 215 gr bullets but with the TSX 185gr...there isn't a need for anything heavier. I have hunted goat, blacktail, and whitetail, and very much enjoy the light weight while backpacking. It isn't that difficult to shoot even though its light. The trigger is very nice too. MOA out to 300 yards is the norm with the TSX.

  9. #9

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    Ruger just dropped the 338 Federal this year so if you want one you better get it.I see others doing the same.Its just not popular enough .The 338-06 might have made it better.I think the 338 win mag is just fine and the 338-378 Weatherby in the accumark is the cats meow.

  10. #10
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    Ruger has dropped the 338 Federal .... because Hornady (and Sturm Ruger) have developed their own 338 cartridge (surprise!) that said, the "new" 338 RCM could be a great development ... watch and see - I shoot a .308 Kimber Montana and LOVE it, haven't had an "ounce" of trouble with shooting it and it is accurate - as far as the "finicky" part with Kimbers, they use "out of the mainstream" twist rates in their barrels, at least in some, and the twist rates are usually slower making heavier bullets less stable in flight - it is not surprising that the 180 class 338 bullets shoot best given the probable slower rate of twist and the lesser velocity BUT a 338 hole is still bigger than a 308 hole ! Both my Kimber .308 Montanas shoot 3/4 MOA to 350 (as far as I've had the chance to bench test for groups) and the Kimpro'd one really likes 125 Sierra Pro-hunters and the 325 WSM shoots 5/8 MOA to 500 yds measured

  11. #11
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    Default Up-date for 338 Federal and Kimber Montana

    The kimber is still a joy to carry. I brought it in on a bear hunt this spring. Killed a 6 foot black bear with it. I used the 185gr factory TSX ammo. Shot though the shoulders, the bear turned and ran 20 feet and dropped. Blood and lug tissue every where. The shot was about 40 yards. This is becoming my favorite gun. Why carry anything heavier? I also have a browning 300WSM mountian Ti. I like the Kimber better. At least for now. The 300WSM is a great caliber also.

  12. #12
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    Most of the Kimbers I've seen were fine gun but I found a deal on a 338 Fed in a the Tikka T3 and I could not resist so it is in the rack now wearing a 2-7x Leupold compact. It runs close to 7 lbs loaded and will be a dream to carry. I have not played with loads much yet but I'm glad to hear the 185 gr TSX is working in the 338 Fed....not much I wouldn't hunt with that load.

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