Kimber Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor - Let the Project Begin!

BigWoods

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After some debating between buying a used Kimber Montana in the $800 and change range or a new Hunter I finally decided to go for the latter chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. They only weigh 7 or so ounces more, but at the $645 shipped I bought mine for (from KYGunCo) I figured I would have money left over to lighten it up.

I picked the rifle up on Christmas Eve from my FFL (who graciously only charges $10 for his services). Initial inspection showed a barrel nicely aligned, a very smooth bolt, and a trigger as crisp as any of the other Kimbers I've handled. Once home I took it apart to clean it up and look things over. From the factory, the trigger pull was set at 3lbs 12oz. This quickly came down to 3lbs with 1/2 turn of the adjuster screw. The rifle cycled and chambered fine from the factory with all 3 rounds seating in the magazine with ease. For good measure however, I polished the feed lips on the magazine which helped the feeding even more.

The bare rifled weighed 5lbs 8.4oz from the factory.

In mounting my VX3i 2.5-8 with Talley Lightweights, I needed to take about 2mm off the front mounting screw so as to not contact the barrel threads.

On Tuesday I went to the range with my dad to run it through its paces. It was about 10 degrees and dropping with a pretty decent crosswind.

3 Shots down range and I had it sighted in with Hornady's 129gr American Whitetail loads.

The first three round group (shots 4-6 from the gun & still learning) went into 2". The second 3rd group, with me having settled in behind the rifle and my fingers still having some feeling in them printed .43". Fantastic! After that I switched to Federal 'Non Typical' 140gr loads. My first 3 shots went in to about 1". At that point I decided to give a 5-shot group a try, but I pulled shot 4 really badly. Excluding that, the final shot went 1.38". My dad took to the bench for the next group with the federal, placing three in a tidy .9". My final group went 1.42" with a numb trigger finger.
Short assessment of my brief and cold range session is that I've got a shooter on my hands.
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Mostly out of curiosity today, I removed the butt pad to weigh it as I was curious if I might drop the weight down by going to one of the Hastings air cell pads at 2.5oz. Somewhat surprisingly, the pad only weighed 3oz. There was some extra and unnecessary rubber on the inside that I cut out and shaved off .2oz
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With the pad off, I noticed that the stock is filled with a rubbery clear resin. I assume this primarily serves the purpose of deadening sound in the stock (which definitely doesn't have the 'tinny' sound that many synthetics are derided for). This has me thinking, though, just how much might all that rubbery goo weigh? I can't imagine it weighing less than 5 or 6oz as it seems pretty dense and appears to fill all but the bottom 2 or 3" of the stock. My plan with this rifle is to see how much weight I can affordably take off and this might be a good place to start. Thoughts? If I find it too loud or hollow sounding I imagine that I could always fill it with some spray foam.
IMG_20171229_114041091.jpg

Scoped, the rifle currently comes in at 6lbs 5.5oz. I will probably have the barrel cut back to 20" in the near future.



'
 

Ndbowhunter

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Finally got my hunter in 7mm-08 out today in -20 weather.

Shot precision hunter sub moa with 5 shot groups.

cut off the front part of the stock a bit and re glued it back on.

Cut out 90% of the rubber crap inside of the butt.

DIY buttpad from a sandal and a wood spacer

Bedded the lug.

Total weight of stock without the mag was down to 22oz.

My scale doesn't go over 40oz but I reckon the guns sub 5 pounds at 4lb 13oz

Ti bolt knob and 18" diy cut and I should be at 4lb 11oz for less then 650$ In a sub moa factory fodder gun.
 
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Ndbowhunter

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egw pic rail chop = 1.8 oz

EGW practical rings is 2.6 oz

Swfa 6x is 20.7 oz

Nuts on at 100oz for about 1100$ all up is the goal for a handy dandy freezer filler.

Still gotta chop the barrel Hacksaw, bastard file and a brass head screw driver and lapping compound.

Not sure exactly how to score a ti bolt knob tho.
 

Grumman

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There’s a guy on the 24 Hour Campfire classifieds that sells the Ti bolt handles for Montanas. I don’t know if they are the same for the Hunter or not.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

huntabsarokee

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ANy pics of the lug when finished more specifically the stock? How far in front and behind the lug did you bed? I just started the process with mine. Roughed up the stock a few hours ago. The lug seems like it already bottoms out so I was going to try and dremel some of the support that sits in the bottom of lug recess before I do the bedding. I have 2 layers of tape on the bottom of the lug, sides, and front.

I also just cut down the front scope base screw as well. Interested to see how these "improvements" change the accuracy.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Well it looks like I'm not the only guy with the itch to tinker with these!

NDbowhunter, do you have a picture of the gun now? Sounds like you've taken about 12oz off the stock - I would imagine 8 or so ounces of that being the goo.

If the accuracy keeps up as it seems to be, I probably won't bother with bedding.
 

Ndbowhunter

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Factory stock weighed 32oz

From memory I lost 6oz in the gel

1.3 or so in deleting front end
.6 oz sling swivel studs
And right near 2oz with switch of butt pad

I was in SE Asia this fall and just got done finishing up the project so don't quote figures as gospel. Guns packed up for a cross country move so no pics.



One nice thing is the molded in trigger guard is a 1.5oz savings over a Montana, and the detach magazine vs blind mag weight is a wash.
 

Ndbowhunter

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One things is that with a bigass scope like the swfa, taking weight out from the stock actually moved the balance point to right on the front guard screw.

As for the project.

I had my mind set On an mpi stock and all that jazz, but at 100$ an oz for weight savings it's not cost efficient and a rifle probably performs better with more weight so I'll look in the pack for weight reduction.


Swaro 8x32 in a basic elastic he harness with lens caps saves me 19oz over my current setup.

Oz smart and pound foolish. Lol
 

Ndbowhunter

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My opinion is that one of the reasons tikkas tend to shoot is because of their lug system.

I mimicked the approach and caught the lug every direction except on the bottom. Seems to make the most sense to me. I know the internet has 8000 different opinions on the matter.
 

30338

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I too found that the SWFA scope did not effect balance. And they are built to take some pretty serious abuse. Good choice I think. And I went to 8x32 binos as well. Easy way to drop ounces and mine seem to work fine in various light conditions. Was happy I dropped bino weight.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Well I spent the morning cutting and pulling the goo out of the stock. It took me about 2 hours, but when all was said and done, I shaved. 5.5oz off the rifle. After cutting as much out as I possibly could, I shoved some closed-cell foam in the stock to deaden sound, adding back maybe .2oz. I also, cut about 1/3" off the rear sling stud as had about 1/2" of insertion into the hollow of the stock.
IMG_20180101_122258028.jpg

That brings the weight of the bare rifle down to 5lbs 2.3oz, which I believe is on par with the Montana in 6.5 Creed. This has me thinking if there isn't an understandable secondary motive (besides sound dampening) for the silicone fill - namely keeping $500 extra value in the Montana.

Scoped, the rifle now weighs in right at 6.0lbs.
IMG_20180101_122900393.jpg
 

thinhorn_AK

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Well I spent the morning cutting and pulling the goo out of the stock. It took me about 2 hours, but when all was said and done, I shaved. 5.5oz off the rifle. After cutting as much out as I possibly could, I shoved some closed-cell foam in the stock to deaden sound, adding back maybe .2oz. I also, cut about 1/3" off the rear sling stud as had about 1/2" of insertion into the hollow of the stock.
View attachment 63827

That brings the weight of the bare rifle down to 5lbs 2.3oz, which I believe is on par with the Montana in 6.5 Creed. This has me thinking if there isn't an understandable secondary motive (besides sound dampening) for the silicone fill - namely keeping $500 extra value in the Montana.

Scoped, the rifle now weighs in right at 6.0lbs.
View attachment 63828

Interesting project however the extra 500 for the montana gets you an excellent stock and trigger.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Well the barreled action is the same as as the trigger. I've handled and appreciate the Montana and understand the difference in material; that said, the ergonomics are nearly identical and the Hunter's fore end is very stiff. To me the detachable vs blind mag is a pick what you prefer scenario.

For me, the one thing that really had me thinking hard about the Montana was the weight difference, which, as it turns out is basically nill.

There's still a chance that I put this in an MPI stock at some point, but that's becoming less of a possibility.
 
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luke moffat

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An MPI microlight stock should be around 12-14 oz finished which if starting with a 32 oz hunter stock saves yeah roughly 1.5 pounds for $600 or more like $33 per oz ;)
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Painting Complete:
View attachment 64570
View attachment 64571
I applied 4 or 5 layers of the olive base coat, followed by a smattering of the Stone. I finished it off with 4 layers of clear coat.

Overall, I like how it turned out.

Closeup:
View attachment 64572

The scope is currently off because I'll be sending the action off to have the barrel cut back to 19" next week.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Take two:



For some reason when I upload pictures through here it sometimes gives a thumbnail image and other times just the link; anyone know what I might be doing wrong?
 

JWP58

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Looks nice. What brand of paint is that? Did you spray the olive direct over the existing tan or did you sand it first?
While i haven't painted a kimber stock, ive painted a few, so i'll chime in. I dont sand at all (unless there are imperfections). Just clean it good with a degreaser or isopropyl alcohol, let it dry, apply light coat of primer, allow to dry, paint, dry, clear (or webbing), dry. I like to let my paint jobs dry/harden for at least 3 days before use. Thats all with krylon and rustoleum products.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Looks nice. What brand of paint is that? Did you spray the olive direct over the existing tan or did you sand it first?
The base olive coat is Krylon. The Speckle Stone and Matte Clearcoat are RustOleum.

I did sand the stock thoroughly with a combination of 220 grit sandpaper and a green Scottbrite pad. The paint seems to have adhered really well and has covered up the roughness from sanding. I'm not intending to try getting it back to tan and if/when I do repaint I'm probably try something new.
 
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