April 13, 2011
The Model 8400 is best described as the big rifle in the Kimber family.
It is not unusual for companies to build centerfire rifles around actions in several lengths, but Kimber has a knack for scaling an entire rifle to a particular family of cartridges. The Model 84M I used about nine years ago to bump off a magnificent red stag in New Zealand weighed next to nothing, and everything about it was sized to perfection for the .308 Winchester I used on that hunt.
Moving forward to 2010, we have the new Model 84L, which is the same trim, little rifle I used about a decade ago but with its action lengthened for the .30-06, .25-06, and .270 Winchester. Until recently, anytime someone asked me to name a favorite Kimber rifle, I blurted out Model 84M without hesitation, but with the introduction of the Model 84L, I am not so sure anymore.
The Model 8400 is best described as the big rifle in the Kimber family, and while it too is available in standard cartridges like the .30-06 and .270 Winchester, I believe its size makes it more suitable for bigger stuff up to and including the .375 H&H Magnum and .458 Lott of the Talkeetna and Caprivi versions. If I had to pick just one variation in a single caliber for all-around use, it would likely be the Classic Select in .300 Winchester Magnum.
It just so happens that I have a Classic Select in that caliber in my possession, but since my big-game battery already runneth over, I am trying my best to resist buying it. I've been busy looking hard for something about the rifle to dislike, but with no luck so far. In addition to its chambering, there are just too many things to tempt me--like French walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish and 20-line checkering along with balance, feel, and stock dimensions that literally scream, "I was built just for you." At 8.5 pounds with a crystal-clear Swarovski 4-12X scope, the rifle I am trying not to keep weighs almost exactly what a .300 magnum should weigh, and since it averages close enough to an inch for three shots with Federal Premium loaded with the 180-grain AccuBond, I would not have to go to the trouble of handloading for it. Like I said, I am trying my best to ignore all the positives while searching for at least one reason for not buying this rifle, so please wish me luck.