View Full Version : Kimber Sporter 96 problems

April 2, 2010, 10:29 AM
A year back I picked up off Gunbroker a Carl Gustav M96 sporterized by Kimber of Oregon in 6.5X55. It was pretty much just a D&T nickel plated receiver with the military barrel cut and recrowned, military sites removed, butler creek stock and low swing safety installed.

I've done a lot of load development using 120-140 grain bullets and still can't get this rifle to shoot under 4" groups most of the time it patterns 5 shots around 6". I haven't tried any 160 grain Round Nose bullets but I've got some on order and waiting for them to arrive. However, even if my rifle shoots these well (around 1.5") I don't want to be stuck running just that grain of bullet. The barrel has a lot of free bore and I can't even get close to the lands loading the 140's out to mag length.

This is what I've done to the rifle since I've picked it up. I installed a bold trigger with side safety. Replaced the bolt shroud with a slicked off one, and installed a Dayton Traister speed lock kit to convert to cock on open. The scope is a 4-16X40 AO Bushnell Elite 4200, moutned on Leupold Weaver style two piece bases and Warne PRW rings. I've bedded the recoil lug area of the stock and first couple of inches under the barrel and free floated the barrel.

The scope, rings and bases all check out tight and free of movement or slipage. Can't find where my bedding job is binding in anywhere. All screwes are tight and properly tightened as well. Crown looks good under a magnifing lens as well. I've cleaned it several times with copper cleaners and I'm not showing any kind of fouling in the barrel. To the naked eye everything looks bright and shiny down the barrel.

This takes me to the barrel, do I look at replacing it? I don't have a bore scope to check it but can get access to one. I've been looking at replacement barrels that will not break the bank and here are the two I come up with Numrich (http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=726180B&catid=11699) and Brownells. (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=12528/Product/FITTED_BARRELS_FOR_SMALL_RING_MAUSER_93_96) I'm guessing that either barrel are probably a 1:9 twist as this seems to be the most comon in 6.5x55 which I want to keep this rifle chambered in.

Any other thoughts?

April 2, 2010, 11:06 AM
When in doubt, rebarrel it.

April 2, 2010, 12:46 PM
I agree with Scorch. Every once and a while you hit barrels that just won't shoot, even new ones. Pull the bolt and look up the bore while slowly turning it. I have found a lot of military rifles were not drilled straight and if the bend is near the end of the barrel, they usually don't shoot that well. In the middle doesn't seem to matter that much.

April 2, 2010, 02:04 PM
Scorch, I was looking at the other barrels just because they were 24" long. I have an A&B barrel on my .375 Ruger and it works very well. However, I think I want the little longer barrel.

April 2, 2010, 02:45 PM
The Shilen barrels Brownells sells are nice, very good quality barrels. The barrels Numrich sells are OK, pretty much like the Adams & Bennett barrels (better than factory, not as good as a Douglas) but at a higher price. If you like your A&B barrel, you might try a blank and have it threaded/chambered, it will cost about the same in the long run.

April 8, 2010, 09:00 AM
I had one that was having similar problems. What is the crown like? I recrowned mine myself and got it shooting pretty good with 129 gr hornady SST's. 1- 1.5" groups at 100 yards. I would also check out the ER Shaw barrels as well.


April 8, 2010, 11:57 AM
I do think the problem is the barrel. With the amount of freebore you indicate I'd take the rifle to a quality smith, have him set the barrel back a couple of turns and recut the chamber. Its possible the bullet is launching through too much unsupported area at the throat, and no bullet will fly to a consistent spot if it hits the lands with any type of yaw. While he's at it have him recrown it and I'll bet you'll be in business. And it won't cost anything near the price of a new barrel install.

April 9, 2010, 11:08 PM
I have a sporterized 1914 CG that shoots 0.75-0.5 MOA all day long. My brother has one, also.

They were built from old '96's when they were selling for $120/each in the early 90's. Bought the rifles and then fitted 'new in the white' military barrels for the shorter M38 (about 24 inches I think). They are the 'stepped' contour, and are very good barrels. Bought 3 of them from SARCO back in the early 90's and have one remaining barrel still in-the-white (unblued in white grease) in a box in my basement. It is plain with no sights. Has some proof marks on the chamber area. The muzzle is not threaded and has a nice sharp crown. They polish-up nice and look good when blued. And as I mentioned above, they shoot well, too.

I have a chronic illness and will never use it. I think I paid something like $30-40 each for them 18 yrs ago but would probably want at least $75 plus shipping for it now.

I don't really care if I sell it - but I noticed a few posts where people were looking for a replacement barrel. It's a 7.5" twist barrel.


April 26, 2010, 12:51 PM

Looks like I'll be taking your advice. Just can't find a load that will group better than 2" and it takes 160 grain bullet to get them that good. 120 and 140's still spray into groups no smaller than 4". Sure don't want to be stuck running 160's all the time.