Browning A-Bolt


July 27, 2012, 10:54 PM
OK so I have no need for another rifle seeing as I have quite a few on hand already. But I have never owned a Browning of any variety and I have always wanted one, my salesman today told me that they are having a sale on A-Bolt composite stalker rifles next month for $499! And just so happens that they will be carrying the Brownings in 7mm-08 which I have been wanting for some time as well. Just a few quick questions for the Browning crowd I know the A-bolt was built with the barrel "glued" to the receiver in the past making any attempt to re barrel the rifle nearly imposable, is this still the case? What are your feelings on the A-Bolt vs the X-Bolt as far as accuracy, overall feel, and reliability go? Are Browning synthetic stocks crappy molded injection turds like Remington/Marlin or are they a higher grade like the Sako/Tikka/Kimber? How is the trigger on the modern A-bolt?

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July 27, 2012, 11:11 PM
I own two A-bolts and they are both excellent rifles. The stocks aren't as good as a Sako, but you're not paying Sako $$ either now are you.

.300 Win Mag HS precision stock

.338 Win Mag Original stock

July 27, 2012, 11:31 PM
The A-Bolt can be rebarreled with some difficulty. The barrel threads are very fine and generous amounts of Loc-Tite are used. The factory trigger leaves much to be desired. Moyers makes an excellent, fully adjustable trigger out of steel. The factory trigger is aluminum with a steel sear bolted on.

July 27, 2012, 11:34 PM
What is wrong with the trigger? Supposedly it is adjustable now so is it the creep or the grit that make it below par?

July 28, 2012, 12:02 AM
I have a a-bolt stainless boss 7mm rem mag and it is the best off the shelf rifle I have ever shot. With a caldwell fire control rest I can shoot 1/2 moa all day with winchester super x and ballistic silver tips. The barrel is not glued to the stock, rather it is glass bedded. The stock isnt bad and there is no need to replace it considered each barreled action is hand bedded. The trigger is creep free and adjustable down to 3 lbs. I had a Kimber 8400 and that gun shot well but the Kimber trigger couldnt hold a candle to the A-Bolt. The verdict is still out if the boss does anything but since you are looking at a different model it is a none issue. For $499 your choices are walmart grade 700's and weatherby vanguards. The A-bolt is in a different league. The only bad thing I have to say about the gun is that it is not made in America. Browning has been using Miroku for decades and guys are still paying big money for old Japanese brownings.

July 28, 2012, 12:10 AM
Cool, I figure even with the re-barreling issue that a 7mm-08 will give even me many good years of service before that even becomes an issue, 7mm-08s are not known for being hard on barrels at all.

how is the recoil pad on the new A-bolt?

July 28, 2012, 12:21 AM
you should get at least 6000 rounds thru that gun before there is any serious wear and that doesnt mean the gun stops shooting, your groups will start to open up a little. Thats 300 boxes of ammo at todays price of $20+ a box. Ammo will probably inflate to $40 per box long before that gun is shot out.

July 28, 2012, 12:35 AM
Well I shoot mostly handlaods but even at $0.50 a pop that is $3000 worth of ammo! If browning would get rid of the stupid lock-tight I would consider one in a hotter caliber too (25-06 :D ) any input on the recoil pad? Not that a 7-08 needs a limbsaver or anything but always nice to have a well built pad on any rifle IMHO, it makes a less then painful rifle into a truly enjoyable rifle.

July 28, 2012, 01:00 AM
I've had an A-Bolt II in 30-06 w/Boss for about two months now and have decided it will become my main hunting rifle. I've got the Boss-CR (non-ported) Installed and once I got it dialed in it groups a little bit better than my Tikka T3 at 100 yards, both being under 1/2 MOA shooters. The action isn't going to be quite as smooth as the Tikka, but what is? I do however like the short 60 degree bolt lift, helps with getting the next round in the chamber faster and scope clearance. They're glass bedded from the factory and the synthetic stocks are actually pretty good quality, compared to other factory offerings. Also completely free floated to the receiver, spaciously might I add. I can't really say one bad thing about these rifles. Also, the triggers are great, right up there with the accutrigger and Tikka trigger.

At $500 I would definitely jump on one. I wouldn't worry to much about re-barreling it, any reputable & competent gunsmith can easily change out the barrels on one.

I like the 30-06 so much just recently I picked up a older A-bolt I in .280 Rem for $300. The guy had it professionally Cerakoted and then spray painted the WOOD stock. He couldn't move it after he customized it, offered him $300 and now it's sitting in the safe. Just found a factory synthetic stock for it for $60. So now I've got an absolutely amazing rifle for about the price of an entry disposable rifle. It shoots around 1 1/2" at 100 yards, but I'm sure the groups will shrink when I put it in the new stock since the stock that's on it now touches the barrel a little bit on one side.

Like I said earlier, I've got now 2 different A-bolt's and I'm thoroughly satisfied with both.

Here's a pic of the .280 Rem in it's current state, it'll look much better next week sitting in a OEM synthetic stock.


Forgot to mention, the recoil pads are good and soft, better than most factory offerings. To me the pads seem almost like a pachmayr decelerator pad. Also like I said any good gunsmith can swap out the barrels for you, so I wouldn't let that dictate your decision.

July 28, 2012, 01:18 AM
Anyone have any experience with the A-bolt and the X-bolt to give me a real world comparison? It seems like the old Browning guys like the A-bolt better and the new to the party guys like the X-bolt why is that you think? I have handled the X-Bolt and I do like the world class ergonomics ( it is very curvy in all the right places) but even in wood seems to lack a traditional feel.

July 28, 2012, 09:32 AM
The x bolt feels too skinny to me. My nephew got one in 22-50 and we went and shot it. It shoots real good but I like the feel of my a-bolt. It is a White Gold Medallion in 325 WSM. It shoots real good too. It has a beefier feel to it to me that I like. I think either way you go you'll be happy. It's a Browning....


July 28, 2012, 07:29 PM
I have an a-bolt and my brother has an x-bolt.
Both were gifts from our grandfather. I like mine better and my brother likes his better so it's definitely a toss up.
His does have a better recoil pad than mine though.

It also handles just about anything I put through it accurately.
It will be in my collection until I need to hand it down to someone.

July 28, 2012, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the input guys, I am looking forward to getting one, I hope they get a 7mm-08 in (it is listed on their sale add) if not I might get one in 243 or 270 win I like both and have neither in my arsenal at the moment.

July 29, 2012, 02:00 PM
Just wanted to say good luck for getting the 7mm-08. It is a great all around medium game cartridge that shoots flat and accurate, with good distance. I had an A-Bolt myself, but it's now hubby's, as length of pull was too much for me. I've now gone to a Ruger Compact, but still in the 7mm-08.

July 29, 2012, 08:53 PM
Yeah I really like 7-08 you get 98% of 270 win performance in a short action cartrage burning about 5-8gr less powder which makes for a noticeable decrease in recoil and muzzle blast especially in short 22" barrels like the A-Bolt has.

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