Handloading For The Kimber 84L

Handloading For The Kimber 84L

My favorite powder for the .30-06 is H4831, but Richard Folsland, Norma's representative here in the U.S., told me that Norma's URP powder happens to perform magic with bullets of the 180-grain persuasion. I decided I'd better prove him out, as I've long been a fan of 180-grain bullets in the '06--a result of growing up in elk country where a deer load that wasn't also an elk load was generally considered a waste of time. So I selected a 180-grain hunting bullet I trust for its inherent accuracy, dug out some of the empty brass that I'd fired through the Kimber 84L, and dedicated a Saturday to discovering whether URP could match my old favorite.

I neck-sized the brass, intending to pull out every accuracy-enhancing trick I had in an attempt to beat the accuracy results I'd gotten with factory ammo. After uniforming primer pockets and chamfering, deburring, and brushing the inside of the case necks, I primed 40 cases with CCI Large Rifle Benchrest primers and, using my Lyman 1200 DPS II powder system, charged 20 of them with 54 grains of Norma URP and another 20 with 58 grains of H4831SC.


When I went to seat the 180-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets, I made an interesting discovery: The magazine box of the 84L is just barely longer than standard .30-06 overall cartridge length. Makes sense. Why make it any longer in a rifle designed for trimness and light weight? But in practical terms, it prevented me from seating bullets out to kiss the rifling--a trick that has often gained me better accuracy. In fact, with bullets seated to just touch the rifling, my handloads were roughly a quarter-inch too long for the magazine box.



Sure, I could have single-loaded cartridges for an accuracy test, but in a big-game rifle, what's the point? Handloads need to fit the magazine and feed flawlessly from it. So I just seated all my handloads to standard overall length.

Results at the range were neither more or less accurate than the average factory load. Interestingly, though I got somewhat better groups with the H4831 loads, I found that the loads charged with Norma URP powder turned in much lower standard deviation and extreme spread numbers as well as better velocity. With more time and a bit of tinkering, I could have played with various charge weights and, I'm sure, found a load the Kimber really liked.


Mike Schoby--who recently went hunting in Africa with a Kimber 84L--allowed me to test some handloads in his rifle, too. This time I used only Norma powder and topped it with 168-grain Sierra MatchKings, and one load turned in MOA performance. It was clear that with a little further load development Schoby's rifle would shoot sub-minute groups.


Recommended for You

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and hammering hogs, deer, and coyotes. Rifles

Remington Model 700 PCR Review

Sam Wolfenberger - April 15, 2019

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and...

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at safe, standard-level pressures are possible. Reloading

45 ACP Fast Loads

Brad Miller, Ph.D. - January 02, 2018

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at...

The 6mm Creedmoor is a new member of a wonderful family of 6mm-caliber (.243) cartridges; it's easy to handload and should make its mark in the hunting fields, just as it has in competitive shooting. Reloading

6mm Creedmoor Load Data

Layne Simpson - August 19, 2019

The 6mm Creedmoor is a new member of a wonderful family of 6mm-caliber (.243) cartridges; it's...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Is the SIG P320 modular pistol the best polymer-framed high-capacity sidearm ever designed? Handguns

SIG SAUER P320 Review

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is the SIG P320 modular pistol the best polymer-framed high-capacity sidearm ever designed?

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.” Optics

Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled semiautomatic pistol? Handguns

Revolver vs. Semiautomatic Pistol: A Ballistic Oddity

Allan Jones - May 15, 2019

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled...

See More Stories

More Ammo

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270 caliber (6.8mm) rifle cartridges  have not been introduced. Ammo

5 Great .270 Rifle Cartridges

Layne Simpson - May 28, 2019

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270...

A close look at this fun little round reveals that some “magnum” cartridges aren't really magnums at all. Ammo

A Magnum Only by Heritage

Terry Wieland - June 07, 2019

A close look at this fun little round reveals that some “magnum” cartridges aren't really...

Umarex is partnering with Inceptor Ammunition to offer the new 180-grain SpeedBelt ARX Muzzleloader Bullets. Ammo

Umarex SpeedBelt ARX Muzzleloader Bullets

Jake Edmondson - March 11, 2019

Umarex is partnering with Inceptor Ammunition to offer the new 180-grain SpeedBelt ARX...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.