The Tipton Action & Chamber Cleaning Set: A Review

tipton-action-kit2

It’s no secret that keeping the barrel of a rifle in tip-top shape is a key step in maintaining a safe and accurate rifle. Unfortunately, most shooters spend all their time cleaning the barrel and forget (or just don’t know how) to clean the action. It certainly isn’t the easiest chore, since the action has many small nooks and recesses that accumulate debris in the course of firing a round and working the bolt.

Several months ago, I finally got fed up with using q-tips and dental picks. While investigating my options, I came across the Action & Chamber Cleaning Tool Set manufactured by Tipton. At a price of only $9.29 from Midway USA, I decided it was worth a shot.

The kit includes a glass-filled nylon action cleaning tool that, when equipped with one of the included cylindrical cotton swabs, is designed to clean grit from the bolt raceways and locking lug surfaces. Also included is a chamber cleaning tool and two chamber mops (one for calibers .223 and under and another for .24 and up). Finally, the kit also includes a standard nylon brush and instructions on how to use the tools.

While the instructions may be evident to someone who is very familiar with rifles, they could be more descriptive. Fortunately, Larry Potterfield from Midway USA does a fantastic video “how-to” on cleaning the action of a bolt-action rifle using this set on the Midway USA website.

To access this video and learn the proper way to clean an action and chamber, click here.

Under the picture of the product, click on the “Product Videos” tab and click “play”.

Having used this kit multiple times to clean several different rifles, I can say now it’s well worth the $10. I would suggest also ordering extra cotton cleaning swabs since only 10 are supplied with the kit (they sell for $5.59 per 100 – also from Midway USA).

Sometimes it’s the little things that make life a whole lot easier. This is definitely the case with the Tipton Action and Chamber Cleaning Tool Set.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

The Otis Cleaning System: A Review

Otis Tactical Cleaning Kit

As an avid shooter, I spend a lot of time cleaning and caring for my rifles. While it seems that everyone who’s ever taken a shot has an opinion on the best way to clean a rifle, when it comes to cleaning the barrel, the traditional rod and jag continue to be the tool of choice for most rifle shooters.

I’m no different than most shooters and have always preferred a good rod for the majority of my cleaning duties. Several years ago, however, after bending several .17 caliber rods, I decided to investigate the Otis Technology Breech-to-Muzzle Cleaning System.

Each Otis System kit consists of a nylon-coated aircraft grade cable with compression welded fittings called a Memory-Flex rod. Providing over 750 lbs. of pull strength, the Memory-Flex rod can be fitted with a number of included caliber specific slotted brass tips and brass brushes. Each kit comes with the patented all-caliber 100% cotton patches allowing the user to clean any bore size from .22 to .50 caliber. Also available is a .17 caliber Memory-Flex rod with a permanently attached slotted brass tip and small caliber patches.

The Otis cable is designed to be inserted into the chamber and pulled out the muzzle, allowing the patch to be tightly formed to the bore. According to Otis, each patch has up to 6 cleaning surfaces, although I think 6 passes may be pushing it depending on how much solvent you’re using.

Finally, each kit includes the Otis O85 Ultra Bore Solvent. O85 is designed as an “all-purpose” cleaner/solvent that penetrates, lubricates, and prevents rust.

After reviewing the different kits offered by Otis, and taking into consideration the wide range of calibers in my gun collection, I decided on the Tactical Cleaning System. This kit has all the necessary tools to clean rifles and handguns .17 to .50 caliber, shotguns 410 to 12/10 gauge, and all in-line muzzleloaders. Included in the kit are three Memory-Flex cleaning rods (small caliber, .22 – .50 caliber, and handgun), three forged slotted brass tips, two obstruction removers with a T-handle for added ease of pull, six brass brushes, all-caliber and small caliber patches, several shotgun barrel adapters, as well as a 0.5oz tube of O85 Ultra Bore Cleaner.

The entire kit is contained in a belt pack case made of ballistic nylon with heavy-duty zippers and includes an instructional DVD on how to use the system.

After two years of testing, the Otis System has found a permanent place in my cleaning kit. While I haven’t thrown out my one-piece rods, I have found several cleaning duties where the Otis shines.

First and foremost, the Otis flexible rod is now the only rod I will use to clean a lever action or auto rifle. Since these two action types require cleaning from the muzzle end with a traditional rod, the Memory-Flex cable of the Otis system allows cleaning from breech to muzzle, protecting the crown from accuracy-robbing dings and scratches.

The Otis System is also ideal for cleaning the delicate barrels of rimfire rifles. While I fall in the camp of minimal barrel cleaning for my .22 rifles, I do clean my .17 HMR diligently after each shooting session. The small caliber Memory-Flex rod allows running very tight patches through the .17 caliber bore without fear of bending a rod and damaging the rifling.

Finally, considering the compactness of the kit and the ease by which it can be carried, the Otis System is an excellent choice for a field cleaning kit.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with the Otis kit. The components are extremely well made and work as promised. While I continue to prefer a high quality one piece rod for my centerfire bolt action rifles, I think the Otis kit would serve most shooters well as a stand alone cleaning system.

If you own a lever action, rimfire, or have any need to clean a firearm in the field, the Otis system would be well worth the investment – even if you aren’t ready to throw out your one piece rod.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

The CZ 452 American in .17 HMR: A Review

cz-452

It’s amazing to think only a few years ago the name CZ would have brought blank stares at your local shooting range. How quickly things have changed. Today, CZ is widely known amongst serious shooters as a manufacturer of top quality firearms, especially rimfire rifles.

While their products were basically unknown (and unavailable) to American consumers until 1991, Ceska Zbrojovka a.s. Uhersky Brod (CZUB) has been manufacturing rimfire rifles in what is now the Czech Republic since 1936. Initially imported and distributed by firms like Bauska, Action Arms, and Magnum research, CZUB quickly realized the need to have a corporate presence in such a significant firearms market. In 1997, CZ-USA was founded in Oakhurst, California and shortly thereafter was relocated to its present location in Kansas City, Kansas.

The CZ 452 action, manufactured since the late 1940′s, was originally offered in numerous stock configurations ranging from a basic beech to full-length walnut Mannlicher. Unfortunately, most of these models shared a very distinct European styling with a rounded comb profile and thick pistol grip. Just as CZ recognized the significance of having a storefront in the U.S., they quickly realized most Americans prefer sporting rifles with classic American lines – regardless of how well the rifle shoots.

In 1999, CZ-USA launched the 452 American Classic. Chambered in .22 LR, the American Classic featured a sporter-style premium Circassien walnut stock with 18 LPI checkering, slim pistol grip, and near straight comb profile. Instead of iron sights like those found on the European models, the 452 American Classic was sold without sights and featured a full-length receiver dovetail in 3/8″ for mounting a scope. Shortly after the release, CZ dropped the moniker “Classic” and the rifle has since been known as the 452 American.

It didn’t take long for word to spread that this new rifle from CZ wasn’t just a “looker”. In the initial review by Field & Stream (12/1999), the average group from all testers and ammunition was 0.642 inches at 50 yards, with several brands of ammo turning in groups under a half-inch. Not only did the American look good, it could shoot.

Take the above at an initial street price of less than $300 (as of January 2009 it is approximately $350), and you’ve got a rimfire that can compete with rifles twice its cost.

By 2003, the 452 American had established a solid foundation for the success of CZ in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, with the introduction of new loads by Federal and CCI, it was becoming evident the hot, little .17 caliber rimfire introduced by Hornady just over a year earlier was going to be a big success. Designed around the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (.22 WMR) case, the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (.17 HMR) provided better velocity, trajectory, accuracy and wind-bucking ability than its predecessor.

In another excellent business decision, CZ quickly jumped on the .17 HMR bandwagon. By mid-2003, CZ 452 American rifles in .17 HMR were on the shelves of American dealers.

I’m a traditionalist. I love my .270 Winchester, .30’06 Springfield and .22 LR. I try to buy American – especially when it comes to guns. With that said, I can appreciate quality and value, regardless of where it comes from. By 2006, I’d heard enough about the CZ 452 American and the .17 HMR to make up my mind.

The first thing I noticed about the CZ 452 American is the outstanding fit and finish of the external parts. From the seamlessly mated buttplate to the deep bluing of all metal surfaces, the American looks and feels like a rifle well above its price point.

The Turkish walnut stock is nicely figured and well finished. Although not as sharp or well done as what can be expected on a more expensive rifle, the checkering on the 452 is excellent for a rifle in its price range.

While the 452 American is clearly above its class in most areas, it does fall short in several others. It amazes me that such a well made rifle would have a cheap piece of sheet steel as a trigger guard. Obviously, this piece has no impact on the functionality of the rifle. Unfortunately, it does detract from the appearance. Although I can’t speak for others, I’d certainly be willing to pay a higher price for the American if it were fitted with a solid steel trigger guard.

Another issue I had with this rifle out of the box was the trigger. Although adjustable for weight of pull, the trigger on my American had a tremendous amount creep. Luckily, due to the popularity of CZ rifles, there are several aftermarket options available to remedy this problem. Even though there were cheaper options offered, I chose to install a Rifle Basix Adjustable Trigger.

For a product that can be installed at the kitchen table in less than 30 minutes and is priced around $80, the improvement is significant. The trigger now breaks like glass at less than 3 lbs, rivaling triggers offered on high-end sporting rimfires like Kimber and Anschutz.

My final gripe with the 452 is the operation of the safety. Unlike most rifles, in which the safety is engaged by pulling back toward the shooter, the safety on the 452 is actually off when in the rear position. For a shooter who is used to a “forward to fire, back for safe” safety, this takes some getting used to and could possibly lead to an accident. In my opinion, CZ should change the operation of the safety to work in a manner consistent with the vast majority of other rifles. 

At the end of the day, no matter what a rifle looks like, it’s not going to leave the safe unless it shoots. As Col. Townsend Whelen so aptly put it, “only accurate rifles are interesting.” There’s no question my 452 American is interesting.

After two years of shooting every .17 HMR load available, I’m confident the 452 American can handle any small game chore it’s given out to the maximum point blank range of 150 yards – regardless of the ammunition used. With that said, my particular rifle definitely prefers Winchester Supreme 17 grain V-Max and Federal 17 grain V-Shok, grouping five shots of each consistently under 1-inch at 100 yards.

It’s important to note here that the American is designed to be a sporting rifle and not a varmint rifle. With its light, sporter-weight barrel, it tends to heat up pretty quickly which can negatively affect accuracy. If you’re looking for a rifle to handle a day of shooting over the local prairie dog town, I would suggest the CZ 452 Varmint. The Varmint has a similar American-style stock profile, but is fitted with a heavy barrel for the more intense shooting duties.

Although it’s not perfect, the CZ 452 American has been a favorite of mine since I purchased it.  In fact, I like the American so much I find myself comparing it to significantly higher priced rifles.  That may not be fair, but it speaks to the overall quality of this rifle.  Even with the addition of a new trigger, the American is priced $200-$300 less than comparable mid- to high-end rifles.   For this, I can readily accept its minor shortcomings.

With its classic good looks, tack-driving accuracy and excellent fit and finish, the 452 American is a great value anyone can appreciate.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 9:46 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Winchester Model 70 Classic

model-70

In 1992, U.S. Repeating Arms, the manufacturer of Winchester rifles and shotguns since 1981, set a plan in place for an entirely new production facility located near the original plant in New Haven, Connecticut. With the new facility, USRA replaced its old manufacturing equipment with modern machinery capable of producing with cost-efficiency the receivers and bolts for an improved version of the Pre-‘64 action.

Although available on a limited basis in 1992, the official return of the Pre-‘64 type action Model 70 was 1994. Dubbed the “Classic”, this action was a return to the things that made the Model 70 famous. Featuring a full-length claw extractor, receiver mounted ejector, coned breech and controlled round feeding (CRF), the Classic had the look, feel, and function of its revered forefather. It wasn’t an exact copy, however, and actually offered several improvements over the Pre-’64 action.

While it remains a measuring stick for all bolt-action rifles, the Pre-’64 Model 70 action wasn’t perfect.  Many expert rifleman agree one of the weak points of the original action was a lack of shooter protection against gas in the event of a ruptured case. The Classic action offers a significant improvement. Unlike the Pre-’64 action, the bolt body of the Classic Model 70 is drilled in two places to divert gases safely down into the magazine and has a gas block mounted to the extractor collar to prevent gas from entering the left lug raceway. This system is widely considered the best gas system of any Model 70, and offers the shooter unparalleled protection.

The Classic action also retained the anti-bind slot added to the right lug of all Model 70′s made after 1968. Obviously not found on the Pre-’64, this anti-bind slot assisted in reliable function and feeding and was considered an improvement over the original action. Combine this with the coned breech, massive claw extractor, and controlled round feeding, the Classic Model 70 action ensures smooth and reliable feeding a shooter can count on. As a testament to this, the Classic Model 70 was recently the only American made rifle to be recommended for the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter Proficiency Exam.

It is important to note here that during the infancy of the Winchester Short Magnums (WSM) and the Winchester Super Short Magnums (WSSM) there were some reported issues of feeding with these cartridges only. It’s my understanding that this issue was an easy fix for the factory or local gunsmith, and was remedied after the first production runs.

In addition to the above, another significant change was made with the new Classic. For the first time, a short-action CRF version designed for the .308 family of cartridges appeared. While the Pre-’64 Model 70 came in only one receiver length and used a bolt stop extension and magazine partition for smaller cartridges, the Classic offered a true short-action receiver reducing weight and length. Coupled with the Featherweight stock and 22″ barrel, these short-actions made a wonderful mountain rifle which proved easy to carry and handle.

The ultra-reliable trigger and often copied 3-position safety that helped make the Pre-’64 Model 70 famous remained on the Classic Model 70. Like most production rifles manufactured in today’s litigious society, the Classic was known for terribly heavy triggers out of the box. Fortunately, the simplicity of the Classic Model 70 trigger enabled owners to tweak and adjust their Model 70 to suit their needs.

During the 14 years of production, Winchester offered the Classic action in numerous variations ranging from the Safari Express to the stainless, synthetic-stocked Shadow Elite. Three versions, however, stood the test of time and deserve mention above the rest.

At the top of the Classic line was the Super Grade. Featuring a trim, sporter-style select walnut stock with black fore-end tip and cut checkering, the Super Grade was also fitted with an etched steel stock crossbolt and inletted swivel studs for a custom look. The Super Grade was available in a short or long action, and was fitted with a 24″ barrel except for magnum chamberings, which wore a 26″ barrel. Surprisingly, the Super Grade was priced within the reach of most riflemen. With an MSRP of $1036, the Super Grade could be found at most large retailers for prices in the $800 range depending on caliber.

For the traditionalist, Winchester offered the Sporter. Featuring a satin finished walnut stock with cut checkering and pistol grip, the Sporter had the classic lines that made the Model 70 famous. Like the Super Grade, the Sporter was offered in a short or long action and fitted with a 24″ or 26″ barrel depending on chambering. Finally, the Sporter was offered in right and left-hand versions.

At the heart of the Classic line was the Featherweight. Named “Bolt Action of the Century” by Shooting Times, the Featherweight is arguably one of the most attractive rifles ever manufactured. Featuring a light and trim satin finished walnut stock with a Schnable fore-end and cut checkering, the Featherweight was offered in either a short or long action. Until the introduction of the WSM calibers (which wore a 24″ barrel), all Featherweights were fitted with a heavily-tapered 22″ barrel. At the end of production, the Featherweight was also offered in a walnut-stocked stainless version.

In 2006, the Model 70 was set to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Unfortunately, the party never got started. On January 17th of 2006, USRA announced it would be closing the doors on the New Haven facility, ending production of the legendary Model 70 and Model 94 rifles (the Model 1300 shotgun was also discontinued).

After the announcement, many articles were written about the Model 70. Many gun writers, in retrospect, indicated they had seen the writing on the wall for the Model 70. In the later years of production, they had noticed a lack of fit and finish, accuracy issues, as well as other quality control problems. While I don’t doubt their experiences, I can only speak from my own.

I own five Classic Model 70′s; two are Sporters and three are Featherweights. All but one of these rifles was manufactured in the final years of New Haven production, with the lone exception being manufactured in the mid-1990s. Each of these rifles is wonderfully accurate with factory ammunition and has good fit and finish. The least accurate of the five is a Featherweight in .243 Winchester that averages 1.25″ 3-shot groups at 100 yards. The most accurate is a late-model Featherweight in .270 Winchester which consistently puts 3 shots into 0.5″ to 0.75″ groups with 150 grain Winchester Power Points and 130 grain Sierra Pro Hunter handloads. The other three rifles put three shots into 1″ groups all day long. Needless to say, I’m sold on the USRA Classic Model 70.

In October 2007, Fabrique Nationale of Belguim (FN), owner of Winchester Repeating Arms (WRA), announced that the Winchester Model 70 would be back. Using their U.S. military machine gun manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina, FN began production on the new Model 70. While maintaining the Classic action, FN redesigned the trigger mechanism.   According to many reports, the new trigger mechanism is an improvement over the original design and is actually easier to adjust.  Since I haven’t adjusted one of these new triggers, I can’t comment on their ease of use.   

Initially offered in Super Grade, Featherweight Deluxe, and Sporter Deluxe models, the new Model 70 started arriving in stores in September of 2008 and carried a premium price tag. I’ve handled several and can say they are beautiful rifles, nearly indistinguishable from those made in New Haven.  According to Winchesters 2009 catalog, the Classic Model 70 will again be offered in non-deluxe Sporter and Featherweight versions, bringing the price down to what shooters were accustomed to prior to the announcement of the closure of the New Haven facility.

Regardless of where the Classic Model 70 is being manufactured, it’s sure to be a classic.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm  Comments (61)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Remington Model Five: A Review

rem-mod-52

Several years ago, Remington began importing Serbian-made .22 rimfires manufactured by Zastava. Remington, however, wasn’t the first American company to stamp their name on this Zastava rimfire. Previously, both Interarms and Charles Daly had imported the Model Five (under different names) for the American Market.

Remington did, however, give the rifle a new look by having the imported barreled-action stocked in the U.S. They chose a full-sized laminated stock with plastic buttplate and grip cap.

While I’m convinced laminate stocks offer advantages over their solid hardwood counterparts, I’ve never warmed to their appearance. This rifle was no different. In fact, I was disappointed that Remington didn’t initially offer the Model Five in walnut. In 2008, Remington did start offering a walnut stock version, although I’ve never actually handled one.

When I saw a Model Five wearing a hardwood stock (most likely beech) in a Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2006, I figured I was obligated to bring it home. It appears that Dick’s was the only dealer to initially offer this configuration. While the stock was very poorly finished, at a price of about $200 it was a perfect project rifle.

There’s a lot to like about the Model Five. It has a “big boy” centerfire feel with a very nicely blued 22″ barrel and an almost-flush fitting 5 shot magazine. All the parts on this rifle that should be solid steel are, including the floorplate and trigger guard. The finish on all metal parts is nicely polished and deeply blued – almost black in appearance.

Unlike many rimfire bolt-actions manufactured today, the Model Five is equipped with an adjustable, flip-up rear sight, and a solid ramp with blade front sight. Although most buyers will probably mount a scope using the grooved receiver, it’s nice to have the open sights as an option.

The fully adjustable, single-stage trigger, which had terrible creep out of the box, actually turned out nicely after some work. It certainly doesn’t break like glass, but by adjusting the sear I was able to eliminate most creep. For a budget rifle, I’m pleased with how it functions now. There’s a possibility a good gunsmith (which I am not) might be able to squeeze even more from it.

The hardwood stock of my Model Five left a lot to be desired. With average checkering and numerous runs in the finish, I made a refinish job my top priority. After stripping and sanding the original finish from the rifle, I used the Birchwood Casey Tru-oil Finish Kit to refinish the stock with good results.

From an accuracy standpoint, I was pleasantly surprised. While not a tack-driver, my example is accurate with a variety of ammunition, including most offerings from Federal, CCI and Winchester. I’ve consistently averaged 0.75″ 5-shot groups at 50 yards since the rifle was purchased over two years ago, making the Model Five an excellent plinking and small game gun.

After 2 ½ years and a couple thousand rounds, I’m happy with the Model Five. It’s a rifle I can throw in the back of my Jeep for a day in the backcountry and not worry about dinging or denting.  I’d recommend this rifle to anyone with only one caveat: price.

As of January 2009, Remington lists the MSRP of the laminate version of the Model Five at $349 and the European walnut version at $279. In my opinion, this is just too much for the Model Five. At this price point, Remington has stiff competition with some excellent rifles offered by CZ and Savage.  Using gunbroker.com as a reference, it appears the laminate version is actually selling in the high $200′s, with the walnut in the mid-$200 range.

At the prices closer to $200, it’s definitely worth pulling the trigger on the Model Five.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

Published in: on January 18, 2009 at 8:07 pm  Comments (21)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Modern Kimber Rimfire

Kimber 22 Classic

 

For many, the name Kimber immediately conjures visions of an Oregon made, high-quality, semi-custom rimfire – the Model 82. This isn’t the case for me. The Model 82 was long gone by the time my love affair with rifles started.

Instead, my first introduction to the name Kimber came at a local sporting goods store and was in the form of a 1911 pistol. It was a beautiful handgun, but I’m not a pistol guy. I love rifles. I suppose it was my lack of experience with the original Kimber rifle that allowed me to fully appreciate their more current offering.

In 1999, the new Kimber, based in New York, and an entirely different animal from their Oregon roots, introduced a newly designed rimfire rifle. The Kimber 22 Classic, while maintaining the classic appearance of the Model 82, had an entirely redesigned action. The K22 was built with a Mauser-style bolt with full-length claw extractor and controlled-round feeding. The outstanding trigger was adjustable and factory set to break like glass at 3-3.5 lbs.

The wing safety was almost a dead-ringer for the famous safety found on the Winchester Model 70. The only difference being two positions – safe and fire – rather than the far superior three positions found on the Model 70. Kimber later realized their error and began including the 3-position safety on all models of the K22 rifle.

During the eight years of production (1999-2007), Kimber offered nine different versions of the rifle, ranging from the base model Hunter, with a clear finished walnut stock, to the SuperAmerica, with a highly polished blue metal finish and AAA-grade walnut stock with 24 LPI wrap hand-checkering and ebony forend tip.

Of the nine models produced, seven were sporters with the classic lines of a full-sized centerfire. The other two, the HS (Hunter-Silhouette) and SVT (Short Varmint/Target), were special purpose rifles, each wearing a high comb target style stock.

All K22 models had a free floated match grade barrel with a tapered match grade chamber and target crown. With the exception of the SuperAmerica, all barrels were finished in either a matte blue or satin stainless steel. All receivers were drilled and tapped for Kimber scalloped base sets and, with the exception of the SuperAmerica, were finished in a matte blue.

By 2006, Kimber was chambering four of the eight offered models for the 17 Mach 2 round. These rifles were designated as the K17. Each of these rifles, like their 22 counterparts, was tested for accuracy. Prior to being shipped, every Kimber rimfire was fired with match-grade ammunition and had to shoot a 50 yard, five-shot group, measuring .400-inch or less. The actual test target was included in the packaging.

During the time of their production, there is no question the Kimber 22 was the finest mass-produced, American-made, rimfire rifle on the market. With prices ranging from approximately $600 to $2000 depending on level of refinement, the K22 offered a “semi-custom” package at a fraction of the cost of a true semi-custom rifle.

There were and are several European-made sporters that compare well with the K22. The Sako Finnfire (now discontinued) and the Anschutz Model 1400, 1500 and 1700 series rifles are all terrific choices. I would even include the CZ 452 and 453 rifles in this group of deluxe, production-grade rimfires. Each of these rifles, however, shares a distinct European styling – even those designed specifically for the American market, like the CZ 452 & 453 American, fall short in delivering the classic lines associated with a true American sporting rifle.

Due to this lack of high-end American rimfires, there have been several articles comparing the K22 to the Cooper Firearms of Montana Model 57-M. While the K22 compares well in many ways with the Cooper 57-M (in similar versions), the Cooper is clearly a semi-custom rifle and is priced accordingly. The base model Cooper M57-M,without any custom options and stocked in AA claro walnut, matches up nicely to the K22 Classic (also stocked in AA claro walnut), but is priced nearly double what the Classic cost at the end of its production ($1,400 vs. approximately $800). A flattering comparison for Kimber, but not exactly fair.

If you don’t own a K22 and you happen to see one around, be sure to pick it up and give it a good look over. Notice the fit and finish of the parts and how the magazine sits flush with the floorplate. Make certain you test the trigger to see if it really breaks like glass at 3 lbs (it does). Don’t worry about dry-firing, the firing pin is actually centered in the bolt body so it works just like a centerfire (the receiver is drilled offset from the axis of the bore). Take note of the hand-rubbed oil finish and sharp checkering. Who knows, it just may remind you of your favorite classic centerfire.

I’m sure glad I own one…they just don’t make .22′s like that anymore.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Western Rifleman

The Western Rifleman is intended to be a resource for sporting rifle and shooting enthusiasts.  Topics will primarily focus on sporting rifles and related products, but may wander every now and then into other areas.

It’s important to note that I’m only a rifle enthusiast, not an expert.  While I will take great pains to insure the technical or historical information provided is correct, it’s possible I may make a mistake here or there.  Please let me know if I’ve goofed.

Lastly, my opinion is just that - an opinion – and is based on a number of biases that I’ve aquired during my time behind the trigger.  I promise to give you the most objective review of a product that I can, but it’s still my opinion.  Keep that in mind when you’re reading and feel free to comment on anything I post.  Enjoy!

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.