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Old December 23, 2007, 09:51 PM   #2
James K
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,383
Those older actions were made for cartridges in the 40k psi range, not the 55-60k range of factory .308 Winchester. In effect, every round will be equivalent to a super proof load. They won't "blow up" on the first shot, but what will usually happen is that with much firing, the bolt lugs will peen as will the lug seats in the receiver, and eventually the headspace will grow to the danger point.

First, have the headspace checked. Then if that is OK, load down to the 40k psi level (use loading data for the 7mm Mauser or .30-40 Krag*). I don't know what Kimber did, if anything, to prevent problems, but I would not recommend firing that rifle with full house .308 loads. I think I would also write Kimber (not e-mail or phone call) and see what they say, in writing, about loads for that rifle.

(*For a hunting rifle, you might be surprised at how little real difference there is between .308 Winchester and .30-40 Krag. The gun magazines and ammo makers keep hyping high velocities, but a bullet from either, put in the right place, will kill a deer quite dead.)

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