The US military has long used rimfire caliber rifles for basic marksmanship training as well as
JROTC/ROTC/CAP programs. These rifles are among some of the best steel you can get and are widely sought after by both collectors and target shooters alike. One of the best and most modern of these, the Kimber 82(Government) series, is now available again for a short time.
What is the Kimber 82?
Produced for the US Army from 1987-1990, more than Kimber of Oregon contracted 20,000 of these single-shot rifles http://www.thecmp.org/Sales/pdfs/KimberManual.pdf . This is a single shot .22 LR (only) heavy target rifle than has an overall weight of 10.75 lbs., a length of 43 inches, an adjustable trigger, three butt plate spacers and a hand stop assembly. They were issued with a very precise Kimber rear aperture sight, a front sight with ten inserts, and are renowned for their accuracy.
Accuracy results showed the Kimber test rifle capable of staying well within the 10ring of the 50-yd. and 50-meter targets used in conventional small-bore competition with standard ammunition.
For whatever reason the Army chose to keep them in arsenal storage for more than a decade and not use them. Most were passed on to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) a non-profit based at Camp Perry, Ohio, for disposal to pre-qualified civilian shooters. As soon as they hit the CMP's shelves, they rapidly sold out. Over the years, a few more rusty and crusty examples have filtered through but the Kimber tidal wave was considered past.
Now it seems another 2,000 are available.
CMP Press Release
"Kimber Model 82 .22LR Available. 20,000 of these rifles were produced for the US Army between 1987 and 1990. Most were sold by the CMP in the past few years, but CMP recently received the remaining 2,000 from Army inventory. Rifles are still in original manufacturer's packaging and have never been used, but many of the stocks, barrels, and receivers may have a few light scratches or razor cuts from when the protective bags were opened to conduct serial number inventory in the mid-90s. This minor cosmetic deficiency detracts slightly from the appearance, but does not affect the functioning of the rifle. NLU is R22M82R and price is $425 + $24.95 S&H. For additional information, please visit the website."
Why the excitement?
Kimber 82 Government models are excellent shooters for at any price and are extremely collectable. A quick search of Gunbroker shows these rifles garnering prices of up to $1600. It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that is about four times the price that CMP is asking.
If nothing else, you would be hard-pressed to find a comparable target rifle for the same price.
It's worth a thought.