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The Kimber Talkeetna (Page 2)

Neither a mountain rifle nor a heavyweight, it may be just right.

The problem bull was taken by Kimber's Dwight Van Brunt with a Caprivi chambered in .458 Lott, and I followed with a camera and the slung Talkeetna for most of the stalk. The Caprivi is a light rifle for a .458 Lott, weighing about a pound and a half more than the Talkeetna, but under the blistering Namibian sun, I was grateful to be carrying the lightest weight stopping rifle present. Van Brunt and professional hunter Jamy Traut dispatched the problem creature without the need for my help, so that day anyway, the Talkeetna was carried a lot and shot not at all.

But I fired it extensively at the bench, and found it to be nearly as accurate as the Caprivi evaluated here two years ago, which was the most accurate .375 we've ever tested. The groups in the accompanying table were fired at 100 yds. from a Caldwell Lead Sled II DFT with 30 lbs. of shot on the tray and a sandbag under the back of the rest, which decreased its tendency to wobble. As can be seen, the rifle showed a definite preference, as did the Caprivi, for the Federal 300-gr. Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer load, turning an almost minute-of-angle average for all five groups, but the best measured a mere 0.82". A generous amount of time, about 20 minutes, was allowed between groups for barrel cooling. Overall, accuracy was exceptional with three different loading averaging 1.23". Of more than 250 rounds fired at the range and in the field, there were no malfunctions of any kind. For now, .375 is the only chambering, although I would dearly like the opportunity to own this rifle in .416 Ruger Compact Magnum, which delivers .416 Rigby performance from an 8400-sized action.

We often posit the question here at the office among ourselves, "If you could have only one gun ... " followed by a set of parameters that change with the conversation. If big North American bears or dangerous African game are involved, the Talkeetna, due to its accuracy, excellent handling, weather resistance, and the versatility of the .375 H&H Mag. cartridge, just moved to the top of my "one gun" list. Before we start the next round of such discussions, perhaps we need former Editor Howe to return with his hammer and give us a little "focus adjustment." After all, we have work to do.

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1 Response to The Kimber Talkeetna (Page 2)

Scott wrote:
December 22, 2010

Very nice article; I've been looking for a .375 H&H in stainless. This just might be the ticket.