Kimber 8400 Tactical

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you wanted…

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you wanted a rifle specifically set up as a tactical/long-range rifle, you had to go to a custom builder. Then, not only did you pay for it with your first born, but you also had to wait about the same amount of time to get it. Things, as they say, have changed. Most companies that manufacture bolt-action rifles are now offering tactical versions, and the competition for this share of the market is fierce. Kimber offers six tactically styled bolt-action rifles, and from a price standpoint, their Model 8400 Tactical falls right in the middle of this range.

The Kimber Model 8400 Tactical, like all but one of the tactically styled Kimber bolt-action rifles, is built on their 8400 action. This is what’s known as a control-round-feed (CRF) action, where the full-length extractor grabs the rim of the cartridge as it begins to exit the magazine box. The validity of a CRF versus a push-feed (PF) style action has been and continues to be debated, and that’s an argument for a later time. However, the CRF-style action made most famous by the Mauser 98 is considered by many rifle aficionados to be the pinnacle of bolt-action design.

Whether you are looking for a long-range tactical or hunting rifle, the Kimber 8400 Tactical should satisfy with its smooth action and excellent trigger

Venerable 8400

For those not completely familiar with the 8400 action, the safety is located on the bolt body as opposed to the trigger mechanism. This means the safety, when fully engaged, locks the firing pin in the bolt, as opposed to blocking the sear on the trigger. When fully engaged, the safety also prevents the bolt from being opened. There’s also a middle position for the safety that will allow you to open the bolt and unload the rifle while the gun is still on safe.

On the left side of the action, you’ll find a small button. If you depress this button you can remove the bolt from the action for cleaning and maintenance. The 8400 action also utilizes a fixed ejector and has a hinged floorplate with a release button just inside the front of the triggerguard. There is an oversized bolt handle and a Mil-Spec Picatinny rail as well.

The barrel on the Model 8400 Tactical is a heavy 24-inch barrel that tapers from 1.15 inches just in front of the action to 0.75 inches at the muzzle. It has a deeply crowned muzzle and a 1-in-12-inch, right-hand twist with four grooves. Surprisingly, Kimber cuts the chamber by hand to the minimum SAAMI specifications. Additionally, the bolt lugs are hand-lapped and perfectly squared. To validate their choice of components and assembly methods, for a Model 8400 Tactical to leave the factory, it must shoot a three-shot group that measures less than half an inch! For a stock, Kimber chose the McMillan A5 Tactical stock. It comes with heavy texturing on the pistol grip and forend, three sling swivel studs and a thick Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. The stock is not painted but comes as delivered from McMillan with a light grey, black and envy green swirl of colors, which provide sort of a pseudo-camouflage. Kimber perfectly glass beds the action to the McMillan stock.

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