KIMBER MODEL 84M CLASSIC
The standard 84M Classic is a conventional bolt-action mountain rifle. But at the same time, it’s a new breed of mass-produced ultra-light, centerfire hunting rifle that gives the impression that it is semi-customized to suit the individual shooter. It is chambered in short-action .243 Win., .7mm-08 Rem. and the .308 Win., including .338 Federal, with a 5-round magazine. It features an adjustable trigger set to release at 3.5-4 pounds. Its overall length is 41 1/4 inches with a 22-inch light contour barrel. With scope and mount, it weighs 7 pounds and comes in a traditional matte-blued steel, walnut stock.
Good bet on a long backcountry hunt, where its light weight, short barrel-length, steady balance and easy loading make it a superior bolt-action rifle. Since elk hunters tend to carry their rifles much more than actually shoot them, the light weight and short barrel are critical assets. Its light frame and contour barrel means you can expect some recoil and it’s not a good fit for the inexperienced or undersized shooter. But for veteran hunters, its adjustable trigger is one of the reasons why this hard-hitting ultralight has earned a reputation for accuracy. Its suggested retail price of $1,225 keeps it within the mid-range of affordable rifles.
RUGER No. 1-S MEDIUM SPORTER
This is the medium weight version of the Ruger No. 1 falling block, single-shot rifle fitted with a heavier contour barrel for bigger bore cartridges. The 1-S is chambered for only two cartridges: the 9.3x74R and .45-70. These are two classic cartridges that haven’t outlived their usefulness. It features a simple, two position, sliding, shotgun-style tang safety and a traditional walnut stock. It is 38 1/4-inches long with a 22-inch barrel and weighs about 9 pounds when fitted with quarter-rib integral scope mounts.
A very good stalking rifle, the 1-S’s short falling block action and flat receiver make it comfortable to carry by hand or slung over the shoulder, though it’s a little heavy for long hikes. As a single-cartridge rifle, it can be carried unloaded and made ready for action quickly. While it is marginally heavier than many other rifles on this list, it handles quickly and the weight helps maintain balance when shooting. Its suggested retail price of $1,250 makes it an affordable investment.