Being recognized as “best in class” is much easier said than done, but the companies’ products featured in these stories have outdone themselves, and have truly earned the title.
Rifle of the Year: Kimber Model 84M Hunter
Weighing in at 5.5 pounds, the Model 84M Hunter is Kimber’s new budget offering, but still provides the quality for which Kimber is known. The rifle’s 84M action and stainless barrel are standard Kimber quality; the major change comes in the form of an injection-molded stock, a three-round detachable box magazine, which breaks from the traditional blind box magazine Kimber uses on similar rifles, and a price drop of about $400.
The rifle comes with a sub-MOA guarantee, just like other Kimbers, which, contrary to what you may think "budget" guns are capable of, proves the 84M Hunter can really shoot. “I thought the same thing,” wrote Executive Editor Adam Heggenstaller of the new stock. Then he started punching holes in paper, averaging .88 and .7-inch groups. (“Hardware,” November ’16).
So the only knock on the rifle (if you can even call it a knock) comes from its "utilitarian" look, which, according to Heggenstaller, matters little as its performance, weight and price are what command attention.
"It is the most well-designed polymer stock on any so-called entry-level rifle I’ve tested, but I admit to being partial to Kimber’s signature high comb and open grip. The Hunter has both."
Editor's Note: Winning products must be tested by the editors, meet or exceed expectations on innovation, and provide hunters and shooters with value for their money. NRA Publications will present the annual Golden Bullseye Awards at an invitation-only breakfast during the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Ga., April 28-30.