Kimber Hunter Rifles: A Hunter's Review
The lightweight Kimber Hunter rifle offers sub-MOA accuracy and build quality at an exceptional price in a variety of popular short- and long-action calibers.
Kimber’s American-made bolt-action rifles have earned a reputation for accuracy and durability, making them a favorite choice of serious hunters around the world.
The company introduced their Hunter family of rifles, which offer all the premium features you’d expect from a Kimber firearm at an affordable price point.
At the heart of the Kimber Hunter rifle is the 84 controlled round feed action. Inspired by the Mauser 98, the Kimber 84 features dual locking lugs and a full-length claw extractor that bites down on the cartridge case for reliable cycling under any circumstances.
It’s the same design that dangerous game hunters have demanded for decades, and while you may not be risking your life every time you head to the field with your rifle you can rest assured that the Kimber’s controlled round feed design will never let you down.
The action itself is machined from the highest-quality stainless steel to very exacting tolerances and is mated with a sporter-contour stainless steel barrel with a match grade chamber. The barreled action is treated with Kimber’s durable KimPro II satin stainless and matched with a pillar-bedded FDE reinforced polymer stock with a straight comb and detachable three-round box magazine. Despite the use of those high-grade materials and premium components, the Hunter rifle is among the lightest guns in this class, weighing as little as 5 pounds, 7 ounces. Overall length is 41.25 inches for short action calibers.
Other premium features on the Kimber Hunter rifle include a three-position wing-type safety (which allows you to load and unload the rifle with the safety engaged and lock the bolt), a push-button bolt stop that allows you to remove the bolt for cleaning, and a crisp trigger that comes from the factory with a pull weight between 3.5 and 4 pounds.
MSRP for the Hunter rifle is just $891 to $990, which places it in the same range as many budget bolt guns with far fewer features. The Kimber Hunter is lighter than other rifles in this class and it offers features like machined stainless construction and a match chamber yet it’s priced affordably. Additionally, the Hunter is backed by Kimber’s sub-MOA accuracy guarantee.
Kimber Hunter Rifle at the Range
The Kimber Hunter I tested was chambered in .308 Winchester and weighed in at 5.5 pounds, making it easy to carry in the field (with a full magazine and Trijicon AccuPower scope, the Hunter weighs just over 7 pounds total). The Hunter also is compact and maneuverable. Guns with long barrels hang on brush and branches when still-hunting whitetails, and longer rifles are a burden in the deer stand or in a ground blind. That’s not the case with the Hunter. In the confines of a ground blind I still had plenty of room to raise the rifle and get into position for a shot without banging the gun against the sides of the blind.
The fit and finish of the Kimber Hunter rifle far exceeds its price point. There’s no visible gap between the free-floated barrel and barrel channel, which is common on other rifles in this price point, and the stainless bolt runs smoothly through the action. The Hunter’s three-position wing safety is very easy to use and allows you to load and unload the rifle safely. It’s also easy to disengage the safety silently in the field so you don’t spook game.
A target crown protects the rifling in the barrel from damage and the metal box magazine fits securely in the magazine well without any slop. The reinforced polymer stock features raised, textured grip panels that allow for a secure hold on the rifle even in wet conditions, and the straight-comb design is comfortable and properly aligns the eye with the scope. A one-inch Kimber recoil pad helps reduce recoil impact, and despite its lightweight the Hunter is a pleasant rifle to shoot from the bench.
Kimber promises sub-MOA accuracy, and the Kimber Hunter model I tested beat that guarantee. Average group sizes ranged from .72 inches to .91 with Federal and Hornady production ammunition.
That level of accuracy was possible thanks in part to the Kimber’s match-grade barrel and excellent trigger. The Hunter’s trigger broke at just 3.6 pounds with no slop or creep. There were no issues with feeding, extraction, or ejection, which is what you’d expect from a rifle equipped with a heavy-duty Mauser-type claw extractor. Hunter rifles are available in a wide variety of calibers for every hunting application ranging from the mild-recoiling .243 Winchester to the versatile .30-06 Springfield.
Now’s the time to start shopping for a new deer rifle, and the Kimber Hunter rifle should be at the top of your list. It offers a long list of premium features at an unbeatable price, and this American-made rifle is backed by Kimber’s accuracy guarantee. You simply won’t find a better rifle for less money.
Kimber Hunter Rifle Specs
- Action: Kimber 84M/84L CRF stainless steel
- Calibers: .243 Win (# 3000791), .257 Roberts (# 3000792), 6.5 Creedmoor (# 3000793), .270 Win (# 3000795), 7mm-08 Rem (# 3000790), .280 Ackley Improved (# 3000796), .308 Win (# 3000789) (tested), .30-06 (# 3000794)
- Weight: 5 lbs, 7 ounces to 5 lbs, 13 ounces
- Overall Length: 41.25 inches to 43.75 inches
- Stock: FDE reinforced polymer, pillar bedded
- Barrel: 22-inch to 24-inch sporter contour, target crown, match grade chamber
- Finish: KimPro II Satin Stainless
- Magazine: 3-round detachable box
- Trigger: 3.5-4.0 pounds (3.6 lbs as tested)
- MSRP: $891 to $990