Kimber M82 Government: A fine-tuned sporting rifle

Eric Sof

Kimber Model 82 Government was designed and developed by Greg Warne in 1987 for the U.S. Army needs

Kimber M82 is a bolt action .22 rifle developed by Kimber of Oregon. The bolt action .22 rifle was common in the United States in years gone by, but in the 1980s American makers were extremely scarce, and in order to remedy this the Kimber company was formed for the sole purpose of making and selling its Kimber M82 Government rifle.


The rifle was solely designed to serve as the U.S. Military training rifle. Today, the rifle is available through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CPM), which is a government organization set up to promote firearms training among the US population. More than 20,000 Kimber M82 rifles were made in the late 1980s for the Army’s marksmanship training.

Kimber’s Model 82 Government rimfire is among the few truly accurate rimfire rifles in the world, and of those, one of the least expensive. It is considered as the sporting rifle.

U.S Marines at shooting range aiming with SVD Dragunov combat sniper
U.S. Marines practicing shooting with Soviet-made designated marksman SVD Dragunov rifle (Photo: XY)

In November 1986, the U.S. Army notified Greg Warne, then president of Kimber, of a contract opportunity. The United States and Marine Corps were looking for a new rimfire rifle to be used in three-position indoor matches and to train military marksmen. The contract would be for 10,000 rifles.


The Kimber Model 82 is well finished and elegantly checkered – even the butt-plate. The receiver is tubular, milled from the solid, and attached firmly to the one-piece trigger and magazine housing. The bolt is sturdy and the handle positioned above the trigger, while the trigger is easily adjustable for pressure and over-travel.

Five or ten-round magazines are available, the five-round fits flush with the bottom of the fore-end and are released by a small catch as its rear. Even the trigger guard has been milled from solid metal and not stamped from sheet steel as some sort of an afterthought. The rifle can be supplied with sights to choose from, but the normal case is for it to have no iron sights but grooves from Kimber telescope mounts.

Kimber M82 is chambered in .22 Long Rifle RF
Kimber M82 is chambered in .22 Long Rifle RF (Photo: Precise Shooters)

The barrel is heavy, extremely well finished inside and out, and with the chamber dimensions on the low side of the permitted tolerances Accuracy is excellent; half-inch groups at 50 yards, firing from rest, are easily attained, provided one takes the trouble to try various brands of ammunition to discover that which is best suited.

The Kimber M82 in 22LR has been in and out of production for the last 35 years and so far it is been a very nice and reliable rifle.

Technical specifications: Kimber M82

Manufacturer: Kimber of Oregon, Clackamas, OR 97015, United States
Type: bolt-action, rimfire, magazine
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle RF
Barrel: 22.5 in (572 mm)
Weight (empty): 6.56 lbs (2.97 kg)
Magazine capacity: 5 or 10 rounds

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