Browning BLR .358 Win. - Straight or Pistol Grip?


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Googleplex
November 21, 2011, 07:53 PM
Alright, so after a great debacle of mind maker-uping, I've decided to purchase a Browning BLR in .358 Win. However, one problem- I don't know which grip to get. I like the looks of them both, but I like the straight grip '81 style more. However, 've heard that this stock config increases felt recoil. Is this true? And if so, by how much?

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rcmodel
November 21, 2011, 08:00 PM
Well, the stock dimensions are identical for both of them.
As is the weight.

Length of pull = 13 3/4"
Drop at comb = 7/8".
Drop at heel = 15/16"
Weight = 6 lb 8oz.

So I really don't see how the recoil could be noticeably different at all.

rc

Googleplex
November 21, 2011, 08:24 PM
Well, the stock dimensions are identical for both of them.
As is the weight.

Length of pull = 13 3/4"
Drop at comb = 7/8".
Drop at heel = 15/16"
Weight = 6 lb 8oz.

So I really don't see how the recoil could be noticeably different at all.


That's what I was thinking, but I want to be sure. If that's the case, then it's gonna be straight stock hands down.:cool:

jerkface11
November 21, 2011, 08:40 PM
Trust me the pistol grip models DO NOT feel right. Get the straight grip.

Googleplex
November 21, 2011, 09:04 PM
I've heard some mixed things about the pistol grip. Some love it, some hate it. I'd probably like the straight feel more, as I've not always been impressed by the feel of some PG rifles. The curve in the grip does kinda long looking- a problem I have with my handi-rifle. I can use it fine, but I don't particularly care for it's feel all that much. The straight is most likely gonna be the better choice.

Maverick223
November 21, 2011, 10:11 PM
In my experience pistol grip stocks mitigate recoil a bit better, but in the BLR it gives an already fairly clumsy rifle even more awkward geometry. I'd choose the straight grip stock hands down. FWIW I have a English style stock on my 1885 and even with loads on the heels of the .458WM the stock doesn't pose a problem...I don't see why you'd have a problem with the .358Win.

One thing to note about the BLR is that the action must be kept reasonably clean or you'll have reliability problems. It's the price you pay for that butter-smooth geared action.

:)

PedalBiker
November 21, 2011, 10:38 PM
Are you getting a take down or fixed barrel?

Googleplex
November 21, 2011, 11:36 PM
In my experience pistol grip stocks mitigate recoil a bit better, but in the BLR it gives an already fairly clumsy rifle even more awkward geometry. I'd choose the straight grip stock hands down. FWIW I have a English style stock on my 1885 and even with loads on the heels of the .458WM the stock doesn't pose a problem...I don't see why you'd have a problem with the .358Win.

One thing to note about the BLR is that the action must be kept reasonably clean or you'll have reliability problems. It's the price you pay for that butter-smooth geared action.


Yeah. And for a rifle that's designed to be competant as both a close range brush gun and open country 200 yard shooter, added awkwardness is not a good thing, even if the gun has slightly more recoil in the process. When the bead is on the animal, you don't even really notice your gun's blast or buck. And off-hand I doubt it'd be that bad anywase. Definately couldn't feel any worse than a mosin-nagant steel buttplate. I hear Browning recoil pads are very nice. Also, the rifle probably wouldn't get too dirty. I don't plan to use it like a Kalashnikov.;)

Are you getting a take down or fixed barrel?

Fixed barrel. I'm not big on the takedown's gradual mechanical wear in disassembly. I wouldn't even use that feature much, anywase. Might as well spend less money and get the more solid platform.:)

Maverick223
November 21, 2011, 11:50 PM
Definately couldn't feel any worse than a mosin-nagant steel buttplate. I hear Browning recoil pads are very nice.Not even close! If you don't mind a MN, I can guarantee that you'll have no problems with a BLR chambered for .358Win. (at least with regards to recoil). They use excellent recoil pads. If Pachayr doesn't make 'em they are a pretty good copy; at any rate I have never found a reason to replace a pad (damage notwithstanding) on a modern Browning rifle.

:)

Googleplex
November 22, 2011, 12:25 AM
Not even close! If you don't mind a MN, I can guarantee that you'll have no problems with a BLR chambered for .358Win. (at least with regards to recoil). They use excellent recoil pads. If Pachayr doesn't make 'em they are a pretty good copy; at any rate I have never found a reason to replace a pad (damage notwithstanding) on a modern Browning rifle.


Then it sounds to me this rifle ought to be a very enjoyable shooting experience. My MN is very manageable, although definately not an all day shooter (I definately would not want to put that steel buttplate on any larger caliber.lol) If the BLR is nicer in delivery than that old tentpole, I foresee a beautiful range experience in the future.:D

Silent Sam
November 22, 2011, 12:31 PM
The difference between the stocks has nothing to do recoil other than what fits you better. The "dimensions" may be the same but they are two different animals. I have both. My 358 is straight stocked and I have a 300 WSM w/ the PG stock. I much prefer the straight stock based on handling, not looks or any difference in recoil management. The PG stock also has a right hand palm swell. Browning puts good pads on the BLR and the 358 is not that big a kicker. I have gravitated to 225gr loads for all my hunting. Perhaps overkill for white-tails but it is enough large game. I have taken elk and moose w/ 225gr loads. If you are not a reloader the 358 is not a good choice. There is but one factory load - Winchester 200gr SP. There are some 'custom' places that make 358 ammo but it will be pricey.

Googleplex
November 23, 2011, 12:59 AM
The difference between the stocks has nothing to do recoil other than what fits you better. The "dimensions" may be the same but they are two different animals. I have both. My 358 is straight stocked and I have a 300 WSM w/ the PG stock. I much prefer the straight stock based on handling, not looks or any difference in recoil management. The PG stock also has a right hand palm swell. Browning puts good pads on the BLR and the 358 is not that big a kicker. I have gravitated to 225gr loads for all my hunting. Perhaps overkill for white-tails but it is enough large game. I have taken elk and moose w/ 225gr loads. If you are not a reloader the 358 is not a good choice. There is but one factory load - Winchester 200gr SP. There are some 'custom' places that make 358 ammo but it will be pricey.

Oh, I'll most definately want to reload for it. My only concern about reloading for it though, is fire forming the brass. That smaller projectile bouncing around inside the bore won't damage the rifling, will it? As for the stock, fast handling will be desired with this rifle, so it does sound like the straight stock will be the better choice, especially if it's cheaper and has no increase in felt recoil. Sounds like a win-win.:)

Maverick223
November 23, 2011, 01:50 AM
That smaller projectile bouncing around inside the bore won't damage the rifling, will it?It's not dangerous, but it certainly does your barrel no favors. I think your best option is to use a bit of pistol powder and cap it with a bit of cotton fabric (no synthetics!) instead of a bullet. The rapidly expanding pistol powder will increase pressures enough to fireform the brass, and reduce the chance of damaging your new rifle...it'll be cheaper to boot (no bullets needed & less powder consumed).

:)

tiwil
November 23, 2011, 07:55 AM
I prefer the strait grip.

Sav .250
November 23, 2011, 08:08 AM
To me there is little or no difference. More of a personal choice.

Googleplex
November 23, 2011, 10:36 PM
It's not dangerous, but it certainly does your barrel no favors. I think your best option is to use a bit of pistol powder and cap it with a bit of cotton fabric (no synthetics!) instead of a bullet. The rapidly expanding pistol powder will increase pressures enough to fireform the brass, and reduce the chance of damaging your new rifle...it'll be cheaper to boot (no bullets needed & less powder consumed).


:what:That's a good idea. I bet I'd have to give the gun a thorough clean out afterwards, but that's with anything. That's probably gonna be my main mode of operation. And the cotton fabric holds up long enough for the pressure to build completely?:eek:
Wow... they shoulda had that on the Red Green show.:cool:

I prefer the strait grip.

That seems to the general consensus. If it's a bit better handling, every bit as manageable in felt recoil, and less expensive, then that's probably the way to go. Looks like all I gotta do is save $$$.

To me there is little or no difference. More of a personal choice.

Yeah, that's probably pretty much what it boils down to. No two people are alike, and they'll probably have their own preference. It sure seems the majority of folks on here like the straight grip, though.;)

Maverick223
November 23, 2011, 10:51 PM
And the cotton fabric holds up long enough for the pressure to build completely?Yep, pistol powder builds pressure pretty quick...don't know if it would work with rifle powder but I doubt it. Don't like cleaning?...use some cream-of-wheat as filler and you won't need to!

:)

Googleplex
November 23, 2011, 10:59 PM
Yep, pistol powder builds pressure pretty quick...don't know if it would work with rifle powder but I doubt it. Don't like cleaning?...use some cream-of-wheat as filler and you won't need to!


Sounds like shooting Martha Stewart style.lol;) The last thing I want to do is shoot at an elk, miss with the bullet and spray it with residual soup. The elk would only die of laughter.:D

BrocLuno
November 24, 2011, 03:17 PM
For those that consider the BLR "chunky" - do you have the same opinion of the Savage 99? If so, put me in the camp that says pistol grip as straight grip stocks always seem awkward to my wrists. I'll take a pistol grip any day. I think the same was true of the US Military as they have all moved away from early straight stocks to pistol grip wrist and now full on pistol grips themselves - easier control.

Fit is personal - a committee like this gun board can't make YOUR decision. Which fits you the best?

k soze
November 24, 2011, 07:55 PM
I like the look of the straight stock, but bought the pistol grip because it mounted and pointed better /quicker for me with a 2X scout scope on the take down model. I would have liked it better with a lightning grip like my o/u citori shotgun.

GooseGestapo
November 25, 2011, 01:17 AM
I don't care for either of the new Aluminum reciever versions. Especially the long action versions.
I'd jump on an older steel reciever gun in .358 or .257Roberts. But, I'll pass on the newer ones. (I have).
I've got several Marlins including a straight stock M1895 in .45/70 and a .338MX. Like them both.
I'd get a .338MX Marlin over the .358 if you can find an earlier version or verify the "Remlin" dosen't have the "issues".... My .338 is very accurate and hits deer as hard as anything .35 to .45 I've used.

Googleplex
November 27, 2011, 07:12 PM
Fit is personal - a committee like this gun board can't make YOUR decision. Which fits you the best?

You got a point, there. In my experience, straight grip/pistol grip doesn't matter, so long as the grip is either full straight, or a well curved pistol grip. If it's halfway between the two, It just won't feel right. That's why I'm thinking straight-grip. The pistol grip on the BLR looks a little long in the curve, which doesn't appeal to me. My handi-rifle is a little long in the curve, and It's not ideal for me as far as grip fit. Usable, but not the best feel. :uhoh:

I don't care for either of the new Aluminum reciever versions. Especially the long action versions.


I've heard the only real difference is weight. Some love 'em.:confused:

rcmodel
November 27, 2011, 07:23 PM
I would not base it on "fits you best" alone.
The stock measurements are exactly the same.

If fast handling in the timber, or snap shots at running game, or comfortable carry at the ready with the gun in your right hand is in the cards?
Straight grip.

If benchrest target shooting, or rested long range shots over shooting sticks are the norm?
Pistol grip.

It all boils down to the angle of the dangle of your wrest during typical use.

rc

Maverick223
November 27, 2011, 09:20 PM
I've heard the only real difference is weight. Some love 'em.Well the steel version is stronger...but I don't know of any particular problems that can be attributed to the Al. receiver. IIRC they don't even make a blued chrome-moly steel receiver, so the steel one doesn't even look better IMO. I'd base the choice on weight...if you can handle a little more, steel...if not, aluminum. Unless you have some crazy things in mind for this levergun, I doubt that you'll be able to tear up either.

:)

GooseGestapo
November 28, 2011, 12:30 AM
With the pre '81's, the recievers were indeed chrome-moly. They were thinner (hence strength of newer ones approaching the older), but the older ones had a different balance (more between the hands, less barrel heavy) and the wood was less "proud" on them. They were indeed trimmer and quicker handling. The two in .308 and one in .358 I've shot were acceptably accurate but not bench-rest accurate. I've missed out on buying both that .358 (sold by widow after death of owner, didn't have the money and relative wanted it....) and a .257Roberts (didn't have money then, either.....). Same problem I've had with Savage M99's too.... missed out on a .250 take-down with engraving at a pawn shop. A coworker snagged it (Major's w/30yrs make more than a probationary officer, fyi). His widow sold it for $$,$$$ after his death. $300 was over my head in 1981......$15,000 in 2003 also.....

My only aversion to them (both BLR and M99) was that it was difficult/impossible to mount the scope low enough to have good ergonomics with the stock which was clearly intended for open-sight use. To me they feel "clunky" and un-balanced (top heavy) with and don't point where you look with scopes mounted.
Also, extra magazines were extreamly expensive.....(BLR'S) 1/4 the cost of the rifle at one point...If you could find one. Availablity is better now, and price more reasonable, but not inexpensive.

I find the Marlins to be much better in the area of ergonomics (fit to shoulder and chin, even when scoped). And no $$$ magazine to lose.

Edited to add: In my 25yr career as a gamewarden, I saw more than one BLR with aluminum recievers that had the screw holes for scope mounts stripped out from over torqueing the screws...... Another reason to be wary of the aluminum recievers.....

BrocLuno
November 28, 2011, 12:40 PM
And the above explains my like of the 99 with a scope and pistol grip. It does fit me precisely correct. It is the right ergonomics for a fat head like me.

Getting down on irons on most rifles is a real pain in the cheek bone for me. I've been bruised by enough rifles that folks with thinner angular facial structures think are just fine. So for some of us, fit is really critical. Most others may not notice?

How round is your face? Once that face is behind the sights, which wrist feels better?

northwoods99
November 28, 2011, 12:49 PM
I like the straight grip in the BLR. I have BLRs in the 358, 284 and 243. All are in straight grip. Like GooseGestapo said there are some balance issue. I have the 243 in the older Belguim style and it is very well balance. The 358 and 284 took some working with and getting the right scope to have a proper blance.

Balance is everything.

sharps59
November 28, 2011, 01:02 PM
I like my straight stock. But then again I grew up on a win 94. my nephew has the pistol grip w. the heave forearm. tried it Still like mine better. I do have one problem w/ my .358 81. It will not shot a group smaller the 10" at 100yrds off a bench.:banghead: Browning did say to send it back.
For Brass Just run your 308 brass thru the 358 sizer use enough lube on the inside the neck. no need to fire from w/ a .308 bullet.

Googleplex
November 30, 2011, 12:40 PM
I would not base it on "fits you best" alone.
The stock measurements are exactly the same.

If fast handling in the timber, or snap shots at running game, or comfortable carry at the ready with the gun in your right hand is in the cards?
Straight grip.

If benchrest target shooting, or rested long range shots over shooting sticks are the norm?
Pistol grip.

It all boils down to the angle of the dangle of your wrest during typical use.


Makes sense. This gun wll probably end up doing both rested shooting and quick shots at fleeting hogs in brush country. It seems the straight grip is the more logical choice.

Well the steel version is stronger...but I don't know of any particular problems that can be attributed to the Al. receiver. IIRC they don't even make a blued chrome-moly steel receiver, so the steel one doesn't even look better IMO. I'd base the choice on weight...if you can handle a little more, steel...if not, aluminum. Unless you have some crazy things in mind for this levergun, I doubt that you'll be able to tear up either.


I bet either way won't make much difference for my purposes. Like I said earlier, I don't plan to use it like a kalashnikov.;) Light weight would be nice, but in all honesty balance would mak more difference. I know steel reciver rifles are available on GB for about the same price, sometimes less, sometimes more. I'd have to feel for myself, I guess, but I don't see that happening. I'm a little wary about buying an used rifle, though. In the end quality beats out even balance. If the thing can't hold a wal-mart size group at 5 feet, it desn't matter how it handles, junk is junk. Or a group of less than two inches at 100 yards, for that matter.

They were thinner (hence strength of newer ones approaching the older), but the older ones had a different balance (more between the hands, less barrel heavy) and the wood was less "proud" on them. They were indeed trimmer and quicker handling.

If that's the case, then I'll have to investigate some GB auctions that have gone unbidden.

Getting down on irons on most rifles is a real pain in the cheek bone for me. I've been bruised by enough rifles that folks with thinner angular facial structures think are just fine. So for some of us, fit is really critical. Most others may not notice?

How round is your face? Once that face is behind the sights, which wrist feels better?

I have a melon for a head as well, but I've never had a problem getting down on the irons of any rifle at this point. As far as wrist comfort, I've never had a problem with straight grips, though a very tight curve like on most commercial bolt is slightly more natural. However, a curve with any wider circumfrence, and it gets awkward as all get-out. The straight grip has never given me trouble, but the wrong curved grip has posed some problems. I still find wide circumfrence pistol grips usable, but far from ideal. That curved BLR grip looks a little long, to me.:scrutiny:

I like the straight grip in the BLR. I have BLRs in the 358, 284 and 243. All are in straight grip. Like GooseGestapo said there are some balance issue. I have the 243 in the older Belguim style and it is very well balance. The 358 and 284 took some working with and getting the right scope to have a proper blance.

Balance is everything.

Noted. It seems like the steel reciever is preferred by many. I want to know if there any who are strong proponents of the aluminum on THR. I'd like to weigh both sides of the stroy, so to speak.:confused:

I do have one problem w/ my .358 81. It will not shot a group smaller the 10" at 100yrds off a bench. Browning did say to send it back.


Is this the aluminum model? If so, how do you feel it handles? Sucks about the grouping though. How is Browning's CS?

Maverick223
November 30, 2011, 11:43 PM
Personally I find that the Steel receiver models balance a bit better, but add a fair bit of weight...in a .358Win. I'd take the added weight and go with steel...for chamberings .308Win. (the tipping point IMO) and smaller, I'd opt for the lightweight version to shave as much as possible.

IME with Browning's CS, they have been pretty good. There are arms manufacturers with better CS, but there exists some that are a great deal worse to deal with too. In other words, I'd not hesitate (be it used or new) based upon that criteria.

:)

Googleplex
December 1, 2011, 09:40 PM
Personally I find that the Steel receiver models balance a bit better, but add a fair bit of weight...in a .358Win. I'd take the added weight and go with steel...for chamberings .308Win. (the tipping point IMO) and smaller, I'd opt for the lightweight version to shave as much as possible.

IME with Browning's CS, they have been pretty good. There are arms manufacturers with better CS, but there exists some that are a great deal worse to deal with too. In other words, I'd not hesitate (be it used or new) based upon that criteria.


Then the steel will be my first bet. I bet I can find one on GB for a reasonable price. Definately doesn't hurt to look.:uhoh:

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