Kimber Mountain Ascent - My Experience

lifeisgoodsteve

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Feb 2, 2019
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Hi All,

For those out there considering the Mountain Ascent (Montana or Hunter) like I was, just thought I'd share some brief feedback on the experience I've had with mine chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Posted on another forum, but in case some guys here stay mostly here, will repost. I know some have had poor experiences with Kimber, which I respect and am not trying to dispute as I respect each man's own personal experience. I simply want to share my very good experience as when I was researching what to get on paper the Kimbers really checked all the boxes I was looking for. That said, on paper and in real life are often quite different animals. I'm no pro, so just a layman's sharing.

I've carried it for about 25 days in the field and shot a couple hundred rounds through it by now.

- Carrying it: As 99.9% of the time I'm carrying my rifle, what's not to love about a 4lb 13oz rifle! I also really like the soft touch feel of the stock which is actually why I stretched my purchase for the Mountain Ascent vs. Montana. In the heat of exercise and climbing hills I sweat a lot, though with this stock my grip still feels quite good. It's just so darn comfortable to carry.

- Shooting: Yes, it took some practice to get used to such a light rifle, but thanks to the phone support guy at Kimber and some practice I feel very good now. Turns out I later found out Kimber has a simple article with tips for shooting light weight rifles in general.

- Accuracy: Couldn't ask for more as you can see in the latest pics after remounting the sight. Took 3 shots to nail the windage, then shot these 3 groups to nail down 2.75" high at 100 yards. Bullet is Hornady Superformance (120gr GMX, 3050fps at muzzle).

- Critiques:
1. Fit - this is personal so can't expect all guns to fit all people. For me, the butt was too small as a raised cheek piece seems to fit me best. So had to put the cheek raised stock pouch, which I actually love now. With such a light rifle I was fine with a little more weight and by now it feels very natural. Also kind of like always having the bullets I need for the hunt with the rifle, so I don't pull a bonehead move and forget them at home.
2. Price - kind of steep for the Mountain Ascent over the Montana and the Montana would have normally been a lock for me as I'm a bang for the buck kind of guy. However, I couldn't get over how good the soft touch stock of the Mountain Ascent felt (Montana stock is different). Since I carry it so darn much I stretched for the MA and am glad I did.
3. Muzzle break came loose - this isn't really a critique as I've had revolver sights also come loose after lots of shooting. Just a simple note to potential owners. Mine came loose at the first couple range sessions, effecting accuracy, so I simply used some light loktite and it's been fine ever since.

In conclusion, I really love it as it's a joy to carry in the field and silly accurate. Now just waiting until I can truly justify getting a sibling in a larger caliber.

Cheers,

Steve
 

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tzone

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Looks like you have a sweet shooter. I have a kimber MT in .223 Rem that I haven't shot yet. I had and sold a Kimber Hunter last fall in 6.5 CM that was a shooter like yours. 3/4" group at 100 and 200. I don't want to talk about why I sold it. :D
 

noharleyyet

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Good review, I will second the handling characteristics of the Kimber featherweights taking some time getting accustomed to. My brief ownership of a Montana was my fault for simply not being able to keep it still..and not taking the time to adapt.
 

mulecreek

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Good stuff! I picked up a Kimber MA in 7mm/08 a year or so ago. To be honest this gun has been giving me fits. Just when I think I have things dialed in I get a flyer that I cant explain. I have assumed the problem was me and not the gun but it has been so inconsistent that I was beginning to question the gun. I never have done a lot of recreational shooting and have really only had one gun that I shot and hunted with. Before getting this gun I hunted with a Rem 700 BDL in 300RUM exclusively for the last 20 or so years for everything from Javelina to AK moose. I shoot that gun very well but wanted to have a smaller caliber gun for myself and my sons.

Essentially all my shooting experience has been with a rifle that is twice the weight of the Kimber. I found the article you referenced and I think I will try those suggestions. Quite a few were things I was not doing. I think cooling the barrel down between shots will help considerably. Back to the range rather than the classifieds.
 

lifeisgoodsteve

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By the way, for anyone interested in tips on shooting lightweight rifles, here's the one I was mentioning:

It was interesting how the Kimber service rep I spoke with said he used to compete in long range shooting, but was beyond frustrated when he started working at Kimber and his groups were 3" at 100 yards. Someone mentioned specifically to try to keep even pressure on all contact points, which went a long way for him to get sub moa pretty fast. It certainly helped me.

Regarding hot barrels - Yes, I clearly negatively effects accuracy. I noticed that the 4th shot in a row would be way off the mark. So when at the range, especially if sighting in, I just do 3 shot groups then let it cool before shooting again. This is certainly not a range rifle for lots of rounds of repeated shooting, as it's simply too light a barrel.

Cheers,

Steve
 

JLS

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Regarding hot barrels - Yes, I clearly negatively effects accuracy. I noticed that the 4th shot in a row would be way off the mark. So when at the range, especially if sighting in, I just do 3 shot groups then let it cool before shooting again. This is certainly not a range rifle for lots of rounds of repeated shooting, as it's simply too light a barrel.
Maybe mine is an outlier, but I can rattle off five rounds in a row and still maintain sub MOA accuracy.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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Once I learned how to improve my shooting to account for the light weight, my groups went from 1.5 down to about .75. It isn't the most forgiving rifle to shoot, but I have been shooting mine pretty well. It is a 7mm-08 shooting 140grn etips. I can hit paper plates out past 550.
 

std7mag

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Hmmm,
Thanks for the review!
I may have to look up those tips from Kimber. Might help some for my Forbes 24B in 280 Rem.
Not having any difficulties with it, but tips always help.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2015/9/10/how-to-shoot-light-rifles/

This is the article I read and adopted the shooting tips from. I reread it periodically, and have it saved on my phone in case a range session starts to go sideways....

FWIW: of the 6 Kimbers I have first hand knowledge of; 2 of which I own, accuracy hasn’t been the issue. 2 had either cosmetic or feeding QC issues.
 

lifeisgoodsteve

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Maybe mine is an outlier, but I can rattle off five rounds in a row and still maintain sub MOA accuracy.
I don't really have enough experience or have tested enough to say one way or the other. I was also noticing that at the beginning which could also have been due to my own shooter error. Will have to go back and try 4 and 5 shot groups now to see if still big difference. Thanks for sharing as it'd sure make range sessions nicer to get 5 shots in a row before letting cool.
 

dragginwood

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https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2015/9/10/how-to-shoot-light-rifles/

This is the article I read and adopted the shooting tips from. I reread it periodically, and have it saved on my phone in case a range session starts to go sideways....

FWIW: of the 6 Kimbers I have first hand knowledge of; 2 of which I own, accuracy hasn’t been the issue. 2 had either cosmetic or feeding QC issues.
Thanks for sharing this, also found this to be a good read.

I just go a killer deal on a Kimber Adirondack, but the only caliber available was .308.. Wasn't my preference, but for 60% off I can deal. What I have since discovered is that felt recoil in a sub-5# bolt gun is substantially different than that of my .308 Armalite AR-10.... Been working hard to improve my precision without developing a flinch. Just started getting touching groups from position at 100yds last week.
 

BrentAK

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Thanks for sharing this, also found this to be a good read.

I just go a killer deal on a Kimber Adirondack, but the only caliber available was .308.. Wasn't my preference, but for 60% off I can deal. What I have since discovered is that felt recoil in a sub-5# bolt gun is substantially different than that of my .308 Armalite AR-10.... Been working hard to improve my precision without developing a flinch. Just started getting touching groups from position at 100yds last week.
I have a adirondack in .308 same thing happened to me i was looking at getting one im 7-08 but scored a sweet deal on a .308 that i couldnt pass up. I love my adirondack the only problem i have is i cant get 165grn accubonds to shoot that great. 180 and 150grn round shoot great though. i need to try different powders and other 165 projectiles out of it.(just picked up some partions so hoping they work out.)
edit: rifles weighs 6lbs with scope and ammo.
 

Hummer

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I have admired (lusted for) the Mountain Ascent since it first came on the market. I am not a big guy, and careening to age 69, any lightweight rifle and hunting gear gets my full attention. The stock fits my small frame well and it feels sexy as hell.

Last year I settled on the Kimber Adirondack instead because the shorter 18" threaded barrel was ideal for use with a suppressor. Most of my hunting is at close distance in the forest and the short barrel with a suppressor really isn't a liability even on pronghorn at 300+ yards. At the last minute I chose 7mm-08 over .308 for the reduced recoil and I'm glad I did. It's a dream shooting this rifle and I can't imagine a better combination. The recoil, muzzle rise and sound from the shot is amazingly soft. The bull moose I took last fall took three steps and fell dead. The cow and calf with him didn't even get up from their beds.

I cover a lot of ground when hunting and carrying a lightweight rifle is a joy. With scope, suppressor, sling and a full magazine it's right at 7 lbs. 0 oz. With the SilencerCo quick detach ASR mount I can move the suppressor to my 5.56 & .300 BLK AR's in seconds. The Omega 300 is very versatile, magnum and full auto rated. It balances beautifully with the short barrelled Adirondack.

My Kimber is 1 MOA accurate with and without the suppressor and with very little difference in point of impact, on or off. A better shooter with better eyesight might do better.

I would say that the spiraled bolt with hollow handle isn't butter smooth like my old Winchester. I miss that feature but it isn't a problem because the Kimber bolt does slide quickly and accurately in the action. My only real disappointment is that the soft stock finish is soft and thin enough to be easily scratched and worn from abrasion. I'm concerned about it's cosmetic durability. I don't know if Kimber could deepen the finish to improve that but buyers should be aware of it.

Also, I think Kimber could easily make the various Gore optifade finishes interchangeable between the Mountain Ascent, Adirondack, and other models. They could start thinking bigger. But at $1500-$1600, I think these specialized light rifles are a bargain for the weight-conscious hunter.

I love the package and look forward to carrying it again in the upcoming big game seasons.


Kimber-Sight-in.jpgOmega-300-ASR-brake.jpg
 
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dragginwood

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I have admired (lusted for) the Mountain Ascent since it first came on the market. I am not a big guy, and careening to age 69, any lightweight rifle and hunting gear gets my full attention. The stock fits my small frame well and it feels sexy as hell.

Last year I settled on the Kimber Adirondack instead because the shorter 18" threaded barrel was ideal for use with a suppressor. Most of my hunting is at close distance in the forest and the short barrel with a suppressor really isn't a liability even on pronghorn at 300+ yards. At the last minute I chose 7mm-08 over .308 for the reduced recoil and I'm glad I did. It's a dream shooting this rifle and I can't imagine a better combination. The recoil, muzzle rise and sound from the shot is amazingly soft. The bull moose I took last fall took three steps and fell dead. The cow and calf with him didn't even get up from their beds.

I cover a lot of ground when hunting and carrying a lightweight rifle is a joy. With scope, suppressor, sling and a full magazine it's right at 7 lbs. 0 oz. With the SilencerCo quick detach ASR mount I can move the suppressor to my 5.56 & .300 BLK AR's in seconds. The Omega 300 is very versatile, magnum and full auto rated. It balances beautifully with the short barrelled Adirondack.

My Kimber is 1 MOA accurate with and without the suppressor and with very little difference in point of impact, on or off. A better shooter with better eyesight might do better.

I would say that the spiraled bolt with hollow handle isn't butter smooth like my old Winchester. I miss that feature but it isn't a problem because the Kimber bolt does slide quickly and accurately in the action. My only real disappointment is that the soft stock finish is soft and thin enough to be easily scratched and worn from abrasion. I'm concerned about it's cosmetic durability. I don't know if Kimber could deepen the finish to improve that but buyers should be aware of it.

Also, I think Kimber could easily make the various Gore optifade finishes interchangeable between the Mountain Ascent, Adirondack, and other models. They could start thinking bigger. But at $1500-$1600, I think these specialized light rifles are a bargain for the weight-conscious hunter.

I love the package and look forward to carrying it again in the upcoming big game seasons.


View attachment 113394View attachment 113395
Great write up. If you start regretting your choice and want to swap for a .308 let me know. ;)
 

Hummer

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Thanks. I appreciate the value of having hunting rifles chambered in common military caliber. I have a lot of .30-06 ammo in a variety of loadings but none in .308. I was influenced to try 7mm-08 partly because both Randy Newberg and Ron Spomer advocated for it. There is also the advantage in ballistics and reduced recoil. See: https://ronspomeroutdoors.com/blog/7mm-08-defeats-308/ But, I don't think it's a big enough difference from .308 if that's what you already have.

When I ordered my Adirondack in 7mm-08, I was told there would be a wait of 7-10 weeks. It arrived in ten days. The Zeiss scope, Talley rings, muzzle adapter and sling came from Kimber in six days and I was off and running.... Sighted it in the next day at minute of moose eye.





Kimber-Adirondack-7mm-08.jpg



Moose-Eye.jpg
 
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lifeisgoodsteve

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My only real disappointment is that the soft stock finish is soft and thin enough to be easily scratched and worn from abrasion. I'm concerned about it's cosmetic durability. I don't know if Kimber could deepen the finish to improve that but buyers should be aware of it.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's interesting you mention this because I'm just starting to see signs of wear and began to wonder what kind of warranty policy Kimber might have on the soft touch finish. It is a strong positive in my book for the feel when carrying, especially with sweat in the heat of hiking hills. Curious to hear if you ever have need to replace/repair or find out about the warranty.

Mine is just a tiny bit of wear now, so not a big deal, but will monitor moving forward.

Cheers,

Steve
 
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