Browning X-bolt


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HawkeyeBob
January 12, 2013, 12:36 PM
I own one rifle in 30-06. I have hunted with it for more than 30 years. I have decided I would like to purchase a new out of the box rifle. I am thinking about the X-bolt in a 7mm mag. I would like to hear some reviews from X-bolt owners.

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Lupinus
January 12, 2013, 07:07 PM
I have one in .243. I haven't had a chance to take it out hunting, only range work.

I like it a lot. Fit and finish are excellent, very accurate, handles extremely well, and is well balanced. The trigger is excellent and the bolt was very smooth after removing the protective goo and giving it a proper lubing. The detachable mag is also nice. Granted it's only .243win so not exactly a lot of recoil to start with, but the recoil pad is very nice at reducing recoil. Reviews on the magnums seem to indicate it does well with the heavier kicking rounds as well.

All in all, nothing about it that I don't like. About the only con I can think of is the lack of pretty much ANY after market parts. But that's not the rifles fault and there is absolutely nothing on the rifle that I would feel inclined to change.

xfyrfiter
January 12, 2013, 07:11 PM
I might take a look at the Ruger American if I was looking. X bolt is nice but don't limit yourself.

helotaxi
January 13, 2013, 08:22 AM
I have one in 7mm WSM. It is an incredibly light rifle but between the stock design and the excellent recoil pad, the recoil isn't that bad at all. I have a Hunter model and IMO it is a beautiful rifle. The lines are much better than a Rem 700 to me.

Mine is accurate enough. It has a very light weight barrel so groups open up quickly unless you let it cool for a decent while, but it is a hunting rifle that puts the first round where I point it. Can't complain about that for the intended use.

As far as the Ruger American goes, totally different class of rifle.

Abel
January 13, 2013, 10:37 AM
A Ruger American is a couple of steps down fron an X-Bolt. I don't see how one could be limiting their self by going with X over the Amer.

tc54
January 13, 2013, 10:42 AM
a bud of mine bought an x-bolt about 4 months ago. his is very accurate with the 2 factory loads he has tried. the rifle itself looks good and has functioned as expected. fit and finish are typical browning (great). all in all a fine rifle that will last him another 25 years. i'd say you are making a good decision when purchasing an x-bolt.

Gtscotty
January 13, 2013, 10:55 PM
I have an X-bolt stainless in 30-06, and am very happy with it. The only loads I've worked up for it (bought it during hunting season and wanted to get my load worked out and get back in the woods) involved H4350 and 165gr SGKs. Maybe I got lucky with the components, but my X-bolt shoots very well with several different powder weights in this combination. The final load I settled on posted a 3 shot .48" group, and a 5 shot .7" group... that is honestly about as well as I can shoot anything. Aside from being accurate, I also find the rifle to be very ergonomic and user friendly. I really dig the safety mechanism that allows you to press a button on the bolt lever and operate the bolt while the safety is on. It seems much smoother and more intuitive than a standard 3 position safety. The lightweight of the x-bolt is great for all day carry in the woods, but as another poster said, the stock design and recoil pad really dampen the recoil for such a light rifle. I think you're making a good choice. One question about your cartridge choice though, why 7mm Mag? Are you mostly going to be hunting deer and hogs? If so, the 7mm Mag is probably a little overkill, you could do the same job with less recoil using the '06, .308, 7mm-08 or 270... just a thought.

elktrout
January 13, 2013, 11:08 PM
I don't own one, but I sure do admire them. I have handled the wooden stock model several times and found it just fits me perfectly and feels so great in the hands. It seems to come naturally to the shoulder and into shooting position as if I have had it for years.

I am sure it shoots great, as others have attested. I have only two objections to it. The clip does not seem very securely held. I picture catching some brush on the clip release and having it fall out of the gun without me knowing it. Also, the bolt knob just does not work for me. It feels like I am trying to hold onto the butt end of butter knife and then work the bolt. I like a big bolt knob.

If it works for you, though, go for it. Great gun.

lovethosesooners
January 13, 2013, 11:12 PM
Have a .308 Medallion-shot it yesterday and it is very accurate, fit and finish are excellent.
Would be my favorite bolt actions if it weren't for the "other" FN owned mfr of bolt actions (Winchester Model 70)
Can't go wrong with an x bolt and you'd be very happy with one for a long time to come

Dthunter
January 16, 2013, 12:01 PM
The X bolt is a fine looking "Hunting" rifle. I have handled them a fair
Bit, but dont own one.

Why is it that we dont see "ANY" X Bolt varient at a target match or
A Long Range match? Every one I talk to says that thier X bolt rifle shoots very well. I am not flaming the X bolt, just so we are clear! Maybe the rifle platform is just not upgradeable? Is the action too light for serious benchrest shooting? Maybe an experienced gunsmith can shed some light on this.

helotaxi
January 16, 2013, 02:08 PM
It's not designed to be a target action. It isn't this super strong, super stiff action with a light bolt lift. It's a lightweight action made to be a hunting rifle that is carried a lot and shot a little. At that, it excels.

jogar80
January 16, 2013, 02:29 PM
Have one in .308win. I love it. Shoots 3/4" groups with factory ammo. Handles great. Very very light. So light I had to put a brake on it so it wouldn't kick as much. Feels like a .223 now. Excellent rifle.

Lupinus
January 16, 2013, 08:56 PM
Why is it that we dont see "ANY" X Bolt varient at a target match or
A Long Range match? Every one I talk to says that thier X bolt rifle shoots very well. I am not flaming the X bolt, just so we are clear! Maybe the rifle platform is just not upgradeable? Is the action too light for serious benchrest shooting? Maybe an experienced gunsmith can shed some light on this.
You got it.

Try looking around for aftermarket parts, they are virtually non-existent for the most part.

They are very much a hunting rifle and have no delusions of grandeur to be uber tactical bench rest guns (not that there is anything wrong with that, of course). The flip side of that is that the quality out of the box, the fit and finish, accuracy, and trigger are all VERY good and more than suitable for the role they were created for.

The fit and finish in all respects is excellent, the trigger is a dream, the stock is very good for a composite factory stock, the bolt is smooth, and it has very good accuracy. Don't get me wrong, it's not a custom job built by a good gun smith, or a multi thousand dollar production rifle, but it is VERY good. There is always something you can tinker if you are the tinkering sort but I can't think of one single part of this rifle that stands up and shouts "CHANGE ME I SUCK!!!" There is not one part on the thing I think to myself "I need to change that to something better."

Craigman
January 16, 2013, 11:17 PM
The fit and finish in all respects is excellent, the trigger is a dream, the stock is very good for a composite factory stock, the bolt is smooth, and it has very good accuracy


I agree with this. I have a blued/syn one in .338 Of all the loads I put through it, all have been very accurate. The recoil is very managable with the squishy recoil pad even on this light gun in large caliber.

The detachable mag is key on a good hunting rifle IMO, because you can just remove the mag a have only one round to extract. Then you just throw them in the cupholder of the truck and your ready for the morning hunt or the next spot. yeah, its plastic but it seems to be very sturdy in all weather

ttheel
January 17, 2013, 09:40 PM
The Browning X-bolt is a fine weapon. Nice quality, ergonomics and style with a great adjustable trigger. Also can't beat the 60 degree bolt.

ShortFatHokie
January 18, 2013, 01:38 PM
I own X-bolts in 30-06 and .243. Wouldn't have any other rifle for hunting. Both are very accurate, with the .243 shooting dime holes @ 100 yards with both factory and handloaded ammo.

Kachok
January 18, 2013, 08:45 PM
Just a thought, if I were to get an X-Bolt it would not be in a magnum caliber, Brownings historically are hella hard to re-barrel (many gunsmiths won't even try) and I could shoot the throat out of a 7mm Rem Mag in only a couple years.
I have a Browning A-Bolt in 7mm-08 that barrel should last me many years since it is not a highly overbore cartrage.
Any cartrage that fierce I want in a Savage because you don't even need a gunsmith to re-barrel it they are designed to be very friendly to the DIY guys.
I used 7mm Rem Mags for over a decade, nothing at all wrong with them but unless you are hunting at a very long range they don't have any real advantage over a 30-06.
If you do need 3300fps speeds you might want to give the 270 WSM a look too, slightly faster and flatter then my 7mm Rem Mag and it fits into a lighter short action package. I have one of those too, noticeably less recoil then the big 7 as well.

utbrowningman
January 18, 2013, 10:41 PM
I bought the X-Bolt Medallion .30-06 this last spring. Went from a Savage 114 to the X. Love the look and feel. Great recoil pad, too. Dropped my first mule deer at 100 yards with Federal blue box soft point. I know any .30-06 would have dropped him when hit in the right spot, but it worked for me.

Kachok
January 18, 2013, 11:58 PM
Browning nailed the ergonomics with their X-Bolt, that is the one area they beat everyone except their Winchester brethren on. IMHO no rifle exept maybe the Model 70 Featherweight feels as good in the hands as an X-Bolt. My only hesitation to buying one is my Browning A-Bolt has been a pain in the @$$ trying to stroke any accuracy out of, took me four trips to the range and many experimental loads to get acceptable accuracy out of it, but when I did find something it shot right it just so happened to be the fastest published load anywhere, it does not feel like a 7mm-08 anymore but it should hit like a 280 Rem :) Should make for a dandy little hunting rifle.

Coltdriver
January 19, 2013, 12:28 AM
I have been out comparing rifles and have recently taken a good look a couple of times now at the x bolt.

The one thing I really like is that short fast bolt throw. They are nice looking and well fitted rifles. Definitely a first class rifle.

That shorter bolt throw lets you mount your scope as low as it can go over the barrel instead of having to accommodate a 90 degree bolt like some other rifles.

ttheel
January 19, 2013, 04:32 PM
I have been out comparing rifles and have recently taken a good look a couple of times now at the x bolt.

The one thing I really like is that short fast bolt throw. They are nice looking and well fitted rifles. Definitely a first class rifle.

That shorter bolt throw lets you mount your scope as low as it can go over the barrel instead of having to accommodate a 90 degree bolt like some other rifles.


The 60 degree bolt is one of the best features on Browning rifles. It allows for quick follow ups without banging your fingers against your scope.

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