Kimber Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor - Let the Project Begin!

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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Well I finally got around to getting the silicone out of the grip and the last of it out from under the butt pad that I missed before. I'm amazed at how well a bit of cleaning lube (Otis) worked to get it right out of there! I shoved another hunk of closed cell foam in the pistol grip and super glued the cap back on without much issue.

2.9oz more out for an all up rifle weight of 5lbs 10.7oz. If my math is right, just the rifle should weigh in right about 4lbs 13.5oz. That's Mt. Ascent/Adirondack territory.
IMG_20191018_220147.jpgIMG_20191018_220320.jpg
 

kad11

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Well I finally got around to getting the silicone out of the grip and the last of it out from under the butt pad that I missed before. I'm amazed at how well a bit of cleaning lube (Otis) worked to get it right out of there! I shoved another hunk of closed cell foam in the pistol grip and super glued the cap back on without much issue.

2.9oz more out for an all up rifle weight of 5lbs 10.7oz. If my math is right, just the rifle should weigh in right about 4lbs 13.5oz. That's Mt. Ascent/Adirondack territory.
View attachment 127702View attachment 127703
Nice! What barrel length did you end up at and what velocities are you getting with hunting ammo?

I'd really like to do something like this with a Hunter 6.5 in the future...it would be perfect for those midseason day hunts when you know you're gonna be still hunting or tracking bulls.

Thanks!
 

mt100gr.

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Happy to see this thread popping up again.

I shot my hunter again this AM and have settled on the 147gr ELD-M for this year.

Since removing the goo in the stock and grip and completing my DIY barrel chop, (see posts from this past winter/early spring) I have shot a handful of different ammo. My goal for this rifle was to find a factory offering so I could just feed it and use it. I have a "couple" other rifles that I OCD handload for and wanted to avoid that here. As suspected, technique is a huge player with a rifle this light. I found that over a pack with a hand over the scope works the best and is the most repeatable for me. It's definitely sensitive to me not paying attention but I have been practicing with it quite a bit. It shoots the 129sst equally well and I have used those on 5 deer in the past with perfect, though slightly messy on occasion, results. My other 6.5s are loving the 147 so I elected to use that this year to see how it performs.20191020_125517.jpg

I cut mine down to 17.25 inches and it wears an older Nikon 3-9x that has been very good to me on a couple different rifles. 20191020_125838.jpg
 
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mtwarden

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That would work for me :)

I'll hopefully get mine out to the range this week. I'm also hoping for an off the shelf load- really hoping the 165 gr Accubonds work (.308)- have had really good luck w/ the performance of those bullets in my .06 (not a Kimber)
 

kad11

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Happy to see this thread popping up again.

I shot my hunter again this AM and have settled on the 147gr ELD-M for this year.

Since removing the goo in the stock and grip and completing my DIY barrel chop, (see posts from this past winter/early spring) I have shot a handful of different ammo. My goal for this rifle was to find a factory offering so I could just feed it and use it. I have a "couple" other rifles that I OCD handload for and wanted to avoid that here. As suspected, technique is a huge player with a rifle this light. I found that over a pack with a hand over the scope works the best and is the most repeatable for me. It's definitely sensitive to me not paying attention but I have been practicing with it quite a bit. It shoots the 129sst equally well and I have used those on 5 deer in the past with perfect, though slightly messy on occasion, results. My other 6.5s are loving the 147 so I elected to use that this year to see how it performs.

I cut mine down to 17.25 inches and it wears an older Nikon 3-9x that has been very good to me on a couple different rifles. View attachment 127843View attachment 127844
Nice shooting! I'd imagine recoil is still pretty mild at that bullet and rifle weight? Do you have a specific application in mind for this rifle?

I've got a Hunter in 270 with a 24" barrel. It shoots factory Barnes 129 gr LRX really well and is pretty easy to shoot accurately with a 3-9 SWFA. With the longer barrel and light bullet I'm only correcting 0.9 mils at 300 yds. This combo weighs 7.25# unloaded.

It would be completely unnecessary, but a 18-19" 6.5 Hunter at 5.75 lbs loaded up would be pretty sweet!
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Nice! What barrel length did you end up at and what velocities are you getting with hunting ammo?

I'd really like to do something like this with a Hunter 6.5 in the future...it would be perfect for those midseason day hunts when you know you're gonna be still hunting or tracking bulls.

Thanks!
The barrel is 19" and gets 2650fps with a 129gr interlock behind 42.5grs of H4350. Not blazing hot, but it does the trick on game.
 
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BigWoods

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Kad11; Realizing you didn't directly ask me about application, but I've built mine up to be a light weight and fast shooting rifle for deer tracking in Northern New England. Weaving through thickets and the chance of a quick shot opportunity means the gun spends the day in my right hand. The gun is extremely handy and shoulders quickly but I'd also be confident stretching the range out if the opportunity presented on a clear cut.
 

mt100gr.

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Nice shooting! I'd imagine recoil is still pretty mild at that bullet and rifle weight? Do you have a specific application in mind for this rifle?

I've got a Hunter in 270 with a 24" barrel. It shoots factory Barnes 129 gr LRX really well and is pretty easy to shoot accurately with a 3-9 SWFA. With the longer barrel and light bullet I'm only correcting 0.9 mils at 300 yds. This combo weighs 7.25# unloaded.

It would be completely unnecessary, but a 18-19" 6.5 Hunter at 5.75 lbs loaded up would be pretty sweet!
Recoil is very mild. It's a lot of fun to shoot but the discipline makes up for it - groups can fall apart in a hurry and make a guy look silly. I've really enjoyed the project and learning aspect of it though.

As for application, I originally bought it to be a backpacking rifle. I was never happy with the way it shot (operator issues most likely) so it was relegated to filling multiple doe tags each year on my property. I have also gravitated much more to medium-long range setups and hunting style so other rifles are more appealing for a primary hunting rifle. It was always sufficiently accurate but I had much more faith in the sub-100 yard 'yard work'.

Most of my backpack hunts are with the same guy and we typically only pack one rifle. Obviously splitting up to hunt is out when we do that so this will serve as an extra gun that packs really easy. I also see it getting used for some random river bottom whitetail hunts, or any hunt that doesn't revolve around glassing big country. Lastly, I take any opportunity I get to tag along on fun draw hunts. Goat, sheep, deer or elk limited permit hunts, wolves, bears, etc. Lots of times there's tags in my pocket that are open too but it doesn't make sense to pack my entire set up when another tag is the priority. This rifle will go on those hunts just in case since I really don't like shooting other people's rifles at animals if I haven't spent much or any time behind them.


...and I tried to sell this one until bigwoods started this thread!

I had to stick close to home toward the end of the 2017 season so I put it to work in the yard. My 3rd daughter was born 2 days later.
20171123_080136.jpg
 

kad11

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Kad11; Realizing you didn't directly ask me about application, but I've built mine up to be a light weight and fast shooting rifle for deer tracking in Northern New England. Weaving through thickets and the chance of a quick shot opportunity means the gun spends the day in my right hand. The gun is extremely handy and shoulders quickly but I'd also be confident stretching the range out if the opportunity presented on a clear cut.
That is awesome - thanks for the response! It's hard to beat the sense of accomplishment you get when taking an animal via still hunting or tracking
 

kad11

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Recoil is very mild. It's a lot of fun to shoot but the discipline makes up for it - groups can fall apart in a hurry and make a guy look silly. I've really enjoyed the project and learning aspect of it though.

As for application, I originally bought it to be a backpacking rifle. I was never happy with the way it shot (operator issues most likely) so it was relegated to filling multiple doe tags each year on my property. I have also gravitated much more to medium-long range setups and hunting style so other rifles are more appealing for a primary hunting rifle. It was always sufficiently accurate but I had much more faith in the sub-100 yard 'yard work'.

Most of my backpack hunts are with the same guy and we typically only pack one rifle. Obviously splitting up to hunt is out when we do that so this will serve as an extra gun that packs really easy. I also see it getting used for some random river bottom whitetail hunts, or any hunt that doesn't revolve around glassing big country. Lastly, I take any opportunity I get to tag along on fun draw hunts. Goat, sheep, deer or elk limited permit hunts, wolves, bears, etc. Lots of times there's tags in my pocket that are open too but it doesn't make sense to pack my entire set up when another tag is the priority. This rifle will go on those hunts just in case since I really don't like shooting other people's rifles at animals if I haven't spent much or any time behind them.


...and I tried to sell this one until bigwoods started this thread!

I had to stick close to home toward the end of the 2017 season so I put it to work in the yard. My 3rd daughter was born 2 days later.
View attachment 127941
Thanks for the reply - that makes a lot of sense. I know what you mean about sticking close to home - I've got two little girls at 1.5 and 3 yrs old. Unfortunately I'm finding that, for me, less time in the field = more money spent on gear while wishing I was in the field 😀. It makes no logical sense, but I've about convinced myself I "need" one of these little 6.5s (as well as a trainer 223) to compliment my 270 and 300 wm...

Thanks for this thread guys - it's cool to see that a sub 6# rifle is attainable without spending a fortune.
 
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BigWoods

BigWoods

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Thanks for this thread guys - it's cool to see that a sub 6# rifle is attainable without spending a fortune.
Right? I think I surmised it earlier in this thread, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the 8.5oz of silicone was largely used keep the extra cost of the Montana more justifiable to consumers. It seems that Kimber did a bit too good of a job designing a lightweight synthetic stock.

Glad to get the thread going!
 

mt100gr.

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Thanks for the reply - that makes a lot of sense. I know what you mean about sticking close to home - I've got two little girls at 1.5 and 3 yrs old. Unfortunately I'm finding that, for me, less time in the field = more money spent on gear while wishing I was in the field 😀. It makes no logical sense, but I've about convinced myself I "need" one of these little 6.5s (as well as a trainer 223) to compliment my 270 and 300 wm...

Thanks for this thread guys - it's cool to see that a sub 6# rifle is attainable without spending a fortune.
I hear you. A .223 trainer is definitely on my short list, too.... For the girls as they get older, of course.

Dabbling in the lightweight short barrel world on the cheap is the best part! Admittedly, once the ounces start disappearing it's 'game on'!! What else can I chop off this bugger? ...mine is missing sling studs too. I never use a sling. Still haven't gotten around to the flip flop recoil pad. ...swfa ultralight, maybe.
 
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BigWoods

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What else can I chop off this bugger? ...mine is missing sling studs too. I never use a sling. Still haven't gotten around to the flip flop recoil pad. ...swfa ultralight, maybe.
I'd thought about looking for a lighter pad but the original is only 3oz and a bit less if you take some material out of the back of it...didn't feel like it was worth losing the comfort and esthetic.

I may have my local very competent machinist do some fluting work eventually. Anyone know how much weight that could take off?
 

mtwarden

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with the barrel already shortened, I’d guess 2-4 oz, depending on the width, depth of the fluting

I’m guessing another ounce-ish out of fluting the bolt
 
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BigWoods

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with the barrel already shortened, I’d guess 2-4 oz, depending on the width, depth of the fluting

I’m guessing another ounce-ish out of fluting the bolt
Thanks for the estimates!
That spiral flat fluting that Luke Moffat did on his ultralight Montana would be tempting.
Screenshot_20191021-101545.png
 

mtwarden

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got out and shot mine (.308 165 Accubonds- factory ammo); my rest could have been little better (bags on a card table), but am pretty happy with 1.25"-ish groups

I think I'll do some bedding over the winter, but it's GTG for elk season now :)

 

WDE91

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What sort of accuracy could I expect under optimal circumstances for a Hunter in 280Ai at 100yds?
 
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