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.


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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

James Tarr runs through the 3-Second Headshot drill.

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.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

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.”

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed? Let's find out. Handguns

SIG P320 9mm Review

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed?...

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable, ergonomic, accurate, and priced right. Handguns

Stoeger STR-9 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 17, 2019

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable,...

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm and 3-15X 50mm RFP (rear focal plane) models. Optics

Burris Veracity RFP Riflescopes

Jake Edmondson - June 04, 2019

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

In single-shot firearms, .35-caliber rifle bullets are great performers in the .357 Maximum cartridge. Ammo

Put the .357 Maximum Where It Works

Allan Jones - March 06, 2020

In single-shot firearms, .35-caliber rifle bullets are great performers in the .357 Maximum...

Winchester's new semiautomatic pistol ammo, named USA Ready, is currently offered in 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Ammo

Winchester USA Ready Handgun Ammo

Brad Miller, PhD - March 20, 2020

Winchester's new semiautomatic pistol ammo, named USA Ready, is currently offered in 9mm...

Federal's recently introduced Terminal Ascent bullet could very well prove to be the best all-around hunting bullet made by anyone. Ammo

Federal Premium Terminal Ascent Bullet Review

Joseph von Benedikt - April 15, 2020

Federal's recently introduced Terminal Ascent bullet could very well prove to be the best...

The new aluminum-tipped ultra-low-drag Hornady A-Tip match bullet provides unprecedented performance. Ammo

Hornady A-Tip Bullet Review

Jospeh von Benedikt - February 28, 2020

The new aluminum-tipped ultra-low-drag Hornady A-Tip match bullet provides unprecedented...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now