Equipment: Kimber Hunter Pro Desolve Black

I have to admit, I’m a bit biased when it comes to Kimber’s fine line of bolt-action rifles. My companion in the field has been the manufacturer’s 4.13-pound Mountain Ascent chambered in .280 Ackley Improved for the past two seasons, and I’ve been fired with that rifle. I shot 500 yards on a loose aoudad ram, caught my biggest elk yet, and caught plenty of other game with the very maneuverable, super accurate shooter. You can see why I’m a little biased.

My first impression of Kimber’s new Hunter Pro was that it’s flat and sexy. The 22-inch stainless steel barrel, with a muzzle brake, blends into the Desolve Blak camo pattern covering the reinforced polymer stock. The rifle was, of course, ultra-clean – no nicks, dents or unpleasant aesthetics. At 5.9 pounds, the new Hunter Pro wasn’t noticeably heavier than my Mountain Ascent, but I could feel the slight difference in weight. Even so, the feel of the weapon in hand and the positioning of my cheek on the butt was all too familiar, like an old friend, and I couldn’t help but smile. This gun fits me like a glove.

The rifle is drilled and tapped, and the scope attachment is elementary. I chose to attach Leupold’s VX-5HD 2-10×42 scope. After a quick aiming, I was ready to send my first round with the Hunter Pro chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

The Hunter Pro costs over $1,000 below the mountain climb, but they felt identical on the bench. I applaud the safety of the three-position Model 70-style fenders, and the trigger guard allows easy access to the trigger when wearing thin shooting gloves or bulky winter warmers. The detachable box magazine is easy to remove via a simple push button, easy to feed, and provides a welcome audible sound. Click on once reinstalled. The trigger is factory set between 3.5 and 4 pounds, offers no creep, and breaks clean and crisp. It’s perfectly curved and I call its width “just right”. The trigger is not easily user adjustable, however, Kimber will adjust it at the factory if you provide him with the desired pull weight.

I realize there is some great action out there, but Kimber’s 84M is hard to beat for the money. It is a short action with a double lug bolt that has been slimmed down to reduce weight. It sports a full-length Mauser-style claw extractor for controlled round feeding, and a rear-positioned bolt release lever. The bolt tilts perfectly and promises a quick launch, and it loads the next round into the battery as easily and quickly as you can ask for.

Kimber Hunter Pro Desolve Black Bolt

Lightweight pistols, which is the Hunter Pro, often have a bad reputation for recoil, even when chambered in loads like the 6.5 Creedmoor. And while this rifle kicked Federal Premium’s Big Game 120-Grain Trophy Copper out of the muzzle at 2809 fps, the stock design, muzzle brake, and recoil pad made it minimal. When the rifle thundered, I was able to stay on the scope and reacquire the target quickly.

Throughout an afternoon, I shot three-round groups from a bench at distances of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards. The Kimber Hunter Pro chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor is exceptionally accurate. Almost all of my 100 and 200 yard groups had at least two balls in contact, and my last 500 yard group was in a 3 inch orange spot.

Kimber Hunter Pro Desolve Black Muzzle Brake

Stepping away from the bench, I put the Hunter Pro through its paces in real-world scenarios pulling sticks as well as flipping, prone, and leaning on a backpack. Friends, that’s where that rifle shines. There’s nothing not to like about the way the gun handles in these situations. It’s compact and light, super maneuverable, and I applaud the fine taper of the front end. The gun drops into sticks, sinks into backpacks, and balances with the best of them as it levels up for a casual shot. This type of shooting is why Kimber created this rifle. This is a big game shotgun designed to carry well and be highly maneuverable. This is the type of rifle you want when tackling that once-in-a-lifetime golden sheep or riding miles and miles on horseback. Its slim construction allows the Hunter Pro to drop into a scabbard, taking up little space on the saddle. Available chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .280 Ackley Improved and .308 Winchester, it’s a versatile rifle that will be preferred by mountain hunters and those venturing off the beaten path in search of big game nirvana.

I look forward to testing this new Kimber in August when I cash in 21 points in Colorado and chase the pronghorn at fleet feet. This rifle is everything I hoped it would be. If you are looking for a reliable, accurate and versatile big game rifle, the Kimber Hunter Pro is for you.

Kimber Hunter Pro Desolve Blak Rifle Accuracy Results Chart

Technical specifications
Type: bolt-action centerfire rifle
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor (tested), .280 Ack. Imp., .308 Win.
Magazine: detachable, three-shot capability
Barrel: 22 inches; stainless steel ; sporty outline; 1:8 RH twist; 4 grooves; threaded muzzle with brake
Trigger: 3.5-4 lb pull weight in one step
Site (s : none, drilled and tapped for optics
Security: 3 position model 70 type fender safety
Store: straight comb; fiber reinforced polymer; Solve the Blak camouflage; LOP 13.75″
Metal finish: stainless steel
Total length: 41.25″
Mass: 5.9 lbs.
MSRP: $1,006; kimberamerica.com

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