Browning X-Bolt (review)

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Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby apexhunter » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:48 pm

I got a deal too good to pass up at the gun show on a .308 win Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker w/ fluted barrel and carbon fiber overlay stock. My dealer said they were SHOT show specials that he got from his wholesaler on a special buy and he was selling them for $550 below MSRP.

I got home and mounted my best Leupold scope and headed to the local indoor range to see what she would do. After sighting it in and settling down for a test group I was amazed to see a tiny cloverleaf 1-3/4" high and dead center through the spotting scope. I'm an average to lightly better than average rifle shot at best but when I retrieved the target and measured it with calipers it was a .517" cloverleaf group. Over the years I've shot many A-Bolts and found them to be pretty accurate and the X-Bolt has an updated trigger which definitely helps out a bit, but I never expected it to be a half MOA rifle straight out of the box. Needless to say I'm definitely ready for gun season to come in 9 weeks.
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby ajmorell » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:20 am

Yep, they are sweet shooters. I've got an X-Bolt Hunter in 30-06 and my best group thus far is right around 0.3" at 100 yards.
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby waterfowlhunter » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:11 am

Brownings have great accuracy, My A-Bolt in 300WSM will shoot .5moa with some of my 200gr reloads but sitll under 1moa with 180gr's. I am looking at an X-Bolt in 325WSM, I have already purchased the scope and mounts :biggrin:
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby ajmorell » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:53 am

325WSM is a sexy little 'niche' caliber that I wouldn't mind having myself, especially now that I'm out in NM....I think it would make a great elk caliber....not that a 180gr or 200gr out of my 30-06 wouldn't handle the task....
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby cazwester@yahoo.com » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:38 pm

Where do they make the X-bolt? Thanks
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby ajmorell » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:03 pm

Mine is stamped Japan
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby apexhunter » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:57 am

I can't wait to see what it will do with different ammo and am going to have some more bench time with it over the Labor Day weekend. Not that there's anything wrong with a 5 shot, 1/2 MOA group with 165gr fodder but I'm just curious what it'll do with 150 and 168gr projectiles.

Except for the custom guns most all Brownings are made in Japan by Miruko (sp?).
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby ajmorell » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:59 am

apexhunter wrote:I can't wait to see what it will do with different ammo and am going to have some more bench time with it over the Labor Day weekend. Not that there's anything wrong with a 5 shot, 1/2 MOA group with 165gr fodder but I'm just curious what it'll do with 150 and 168gr projectiles.

Except for the custom guns most all Brownings are made in Japan by Miruko (sp?).


165 is the sweet spot for mine. I'm not sure if the barrels on the 30-06 and 308 are the same though. I haven't worked much with 180gr bullets but I tried quite a few 150gr loads and the best I could get was around 3/4" @ 100 (not that that is bad, but it's twice what it shoots with 165s).
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby waterfowlhunter » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:30 pm

ajmorell wrote:
apexhunter wrote:I can't wait to see what it will do with different ammo and am going to have some more bench time with it over the Labor Day weekend. Not that there's anything wrong with a 5 shot, 1/2 MOA group with 165gr fodder but I'm just curious what it'll do with 150 and 168gr projectiles.

Except for the custom guns most all Brownings are made in Japan by Miruko (sp?).


165 is the sweet spot for mine. I'm not sure if the barrels on the 30-06 and 308 are the same though. I haven't worked much with 180gr bullets but I tried quite a few 150gr loads and the best I could get was around 3/4" @ 100 (not that that is bad, but it's twice what it shoots with 165s).



Generally a 30-06 has a 1 in 10 twist and a 308 is a 1 in 12 so the 30-06 tends to stablize longer bullets better than a 308. A lot of 308's are pretty happy in the 165 to 168 range.
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby apexhunter » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:35 pm

I've historically shot 150gr loads in .308 but decided to try 165 this time. With 168 being the "magic" number for the .308 (assuming the 1 in 12" twist that wterfowl mentioned) and few choices in 168gr hunting bullets(versus match) I figured what the heck. I will break out some of my old 150gr loads just for comparison but am going to stay away from anything over 168 as there just isn't enough trist rate to stabilize such a heavy projectile.

My 165gr loads leave the muzzle at 162,000RPM and a 180gr load would only be 154,200RPM which may or may not be enough to prevent wobbling at or around 300yds with such a heavy and long projectile.
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby Wolfe » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:05 am

On an indoor range - what distance? A half inch group on a 40 yard indoor range translates to what at 100 or 150 yards?
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby apexhunter » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:56 pm

100 yard range.
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Re: Browning X-Bolt (review)

Postby Wolfe » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:05 am

apexhunter wrote:100 yard range.

Wow, that's awesome! I wish we had an indoor range worth a crap around here.
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