vanguard or x-bolt


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gonefishin1
September 23, 2013, 10:57 PM
I am going to buy another rifle this year and I think its going to be in 30-06 since i am hoping to go on a mule deer hunt this year and possibly elk one day. I am not really recoil sensitive and i don't think i will ever need anything bigger than 30-06. Anyway i have narrowed it down to either the x-bolt or the vanguard both in synthetic stock trim. I am a browning junkie but i like the looks of both rifles and the vanguards seem to be a little cheaper. I also like the sub moa advertisement of the vanguard. But the browning is lighter and has the 60 degree lift. Which of these has a stronger bolt?

I will mostly use this at the range and the occasional hunting trip. I normally use a 223 for hog hunting and sometimes deer. I want something accurate and from what i have read both of these seem to do well. Does anyone have any advice for either of these?
thanks guys

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adelbridge
September 23, 2013, 11:34 PM
They are two different guns as the vanguard is an entry level rifle. The x-bolt is almost double the price but it won't shoot twice as good. I seriously doubt bolt strength is going to be an issue on either of these rifles.

MinnesotaFats
September 23, 2013, 11:47 PM
not sure exactly what your looking for in a rifle being the price difference of the two you listed are pretty far apart. that being said, if i had to choose between the two for the purposes you listed id go with the weatherby hands down. but for the price of an x-bolt i can think of a few rifles id rather have than the two you listed...

gonefishin1
September 24, 2013, 01:47 AM
well I found an x bolt locally for $600 and I have been seeing the vanguard s2 for about 450-550 on gunbroker so not that big of a price difference between them. I think the vanguard is probably the better deal but I have never owned one. I have only owned a few brownings and I have had great luck with them.

ArchAngelCD
September 24, 2013, 06:21 AM
If you like the Vanguard why not save even more money and buy the Howa 1500 which is the same action? I bought 2X Howa 1500 rifles, one in 30-06 and the other in .223. Both are extremely accurate and the combined cost was less than the X-Bolt and cheaper than the Vanguard. (Howa 1500 is ~$400 and the Vanguard is ~$525) I bought my 2 Howa 1500 rifles used for a total of $450 and both had scopes on them. (but nothing special)

Gtscotty
September 24, 2013, 07:18 AM
If you like the Vanguard why not save even more money and buy the Howa 1500 which is the same action?

I don't think they make a Vanguard S2 equivalent Howa do they? From everything I've read, the S2's appear to be a step up from the original vanguard.

Either way, I'll toss my vote in for the x-bolt. I have a stainless stalker x-bolt in 30-06 and it is a nicer rifle than any of the stock Howas or Vanguards I've run across. One of the big draws of the x-bolt is that it is quite light, a full pound lighter than the comparable Vanguard.

I also personally think that the x-bolts ergonomics are a step above the Vanguards, but that is largely a personal observation. For me, the 60 degree bolt lift is a great feature and keeps my hand from getting tangled up in the scope while i'm cycling the action (one of the main annoyances of my Rem 700). Also, I personally believe that the bolt release button used to allow bolt cycling with the safety on is by far the best "3-way safety" design I've ever used on a rifle. Additionally, the trigger is nice, and the accuracy is superb, the x-bolt really is a very solid rifle on all fronts.

I believe that if I were in your shoes, I'd see if I could find a new production Winchester M70 in the same price range as the x-bolt, and narrow the decision down to those two.

jmr40
September 24, 2013, 10:55 AM
If you like the Vanguard why not save even more money and buy the Howa 1500 which is the same action?

Last ones I priced had the Howa more expensive than the original Vanguard. While they build from the same actions the original Vanguard used a different barrrel ,stock, trigger, safety, and bolt. They were quite different, and I prefered the Howa options.

The S2 is a much different gun with features more like the Howa.

The Browning is a far different design. The Vanguard/Howa is the heaviest bolt rifle action made. The Browning is among the lightest and if both are in synthetic stocks the Browning is less than $100 more.

The Vanguard is very traditional, the Browning very modern. I've owned both Vanguard and Howa's in the past. Both are solid guns, but because of the weight wouldn't buy another except in a hard kicking magnum caliber to help tame recoil. In a standard chambering I'd opt for a much lighter gun. In this case I'd lean toward the Browning.

Captcurt
September 24, 2013, 11:34 AM
I have an early Vanguard in 257 WM and an S2 in 223. Both shot sub-MOA out of the box with factory ammo off of sandbags. The action is smooth, the triggers break clean and I know that when I miss it is my fault. I like the old Howas with wood or synthetic stock but they can keep their Hogues.

The only drawback that I can see between the X-bolt and the S2 is the weight difference. The S2 is heavy.

Geno
September 24, 2013, 11:47 AM
The Vanguard is an excellent rifle, and you will never break that bolt with normal loads. I have put some pretty hot reloads through my Vanguards, and never had any issues.

I don't know anything about the X-bolt. For that very reason, if I were making this same purchase, I would go with the Vanguard. Let us know what you decide, and post some photos of your trophy. :D

Geno

gonefishin1
September 24, 2013, 11:49 AM
I might look at the Winchester a little more i dismissed it because of the price being so close to the x bolt.

do you think that the difference in barrel length matters much (22 vs 24 inch) if i am shooting 300-400 yards at paper maybe more eventually? i doubt i ever shoot over 250 to kill something but i would like to get a little more confident shooting longer ranges. so far longest i have taken was a pig was 180 yards.

I do handload and i wonder if i will miss the little bit of extra velocity from the longer barrel?

jmr40
September 24, 2013, 12:33 PM
If you put Winchester into the mix, then it is my #1 recommendation in new production rifles.

The difference 2" of barrel length makes is more about how the gun looks and balances than velocity. Generally longer is faster, but you need a lot more than 2" to matter. In this case no more than 40-50 fps and you will often see greater differences than that among barrels of the same length. It is not unheard of to find individual guns with 22" barrels shoot the same ammo faster than other guns with 24" barrels.

I handload and get 3050+ fps from my 22" 30-06 rifles with 150's. I get better accuracy at 3000, so that is where I load em. The 40-50 extra fps I could get from a 24" barrel isn't worth the longer, heavier barrels to me.

Gtscotty
September 24, 2013, 12:54 PM
The new Winchesters are very nice rifles for the money. I was so impressed with my first that I bought a second. After the new (to me) Winchester gets here, my main two "cards are down" hunting rifles will be an x-bolt stainless in 30-06, and a Winchester M70 Extreme Weather in 30-06... so I might be a little biased. If you're looking in the $600 range, the M70 Featherweight would be an excellent option, not super light, but not heavy and the trigger, action and balance are all quite nice.

I don't think you'll miss the extra 2 inches of barrel, my accuracy load for the x-bolt, which wound up being pretty warm, sends a 165 SGK down range at around 2920 fps. If you need more velocity than that, it's probably time to step up to a larger cartridge.

Arkansas Paul
September 24, 2013, 12:56 PM
I don't think you'll go wrong either way. I have a .30-06 Vanguard and love it. I'm sure the X-Bolt is a nice rifle as well.

If you go with the Vanguard, you'll have more money for optics and ammo.

Geno
September 24, 2013, 01:05 PM
I'd have to change my vote to a current manufacture M70 if you add that to your choices...hands down the M70.

I have several of them, and they all shoot well. In fair disclosure, the first M70 Super Grade that I ordered was defective. The factory replaced it, and did so very quickly. Take a look at the Ultimate Shadow. My latest one cost me about $625.00. So:

First choice: M70 Ultimate Shadow
Second choice: Weatherby Vanguard G2
Third choice: Browning X-bolt

Geno

dvdcrr
September 24, 2013, 01:11 PM
Never had an xbolt or s2 vanguard. Mine is the original stainless vanguard. I really like my stainless Vanguard 257. As good as my kimber but a little longer.

The_Armed_Therapist
September 24, 2013, 02:33 PM
The Vanguard Series 2 rifles are THE BEST deal on the market. However, the X-bolts are pretty darn nice, and if you found one for $600, I'd probably go that route. That price is an exception to the rule. I am not sure about bolt strength, but the X-bolt's bolt seems smoother and nicer.

rule303
September 24, 2013, 02:47 PM
The Vanguard S2's are great guns, but they are heavy. The weight difference is a major factor for me on a rifle that is going to be used for mulies, since you will probably be carrying the gun for miles and miles and only shoot it once (hopefully). I like the new M70's, I would also throw the Tikka T3 in because of the weight factor. Almost all of the new bolt guns are shooting MOA or better out of the box, just find something that feels good to you, and will be comfortable to carry a lot.

Bio-Chem
September 24, 2013, 03:15 PM
It's funny to me how often, and how quickly the discussion moves away from the original question and specifics given.

Of the two strength of bolt will not be a factor. Both actions are more than adequate for a lifetime of shooting. If weight is a consideration you may want to take that into your decision. Getting the Vanguard S2 will save you money that you can roll into getting better glass if cost is part of your consideration. I've never owned a browning so I can't comment on that, but I own a Vanguard s2 in 25-06 and I can vouch that it holds to it's MOA promise. With it's pet load mine will stay under an inch for an average of 3 groups for 5 shots each.

Great selection on caliber as well. the 30-06 will do everything you want it to do.

Geno
September 24, 2013, 04:37 PM
Bio-Chem:

Quarter-bore! Nice choice! :cool:

Geno

jogar80
September 24, 2013, 04:59 PM
I have an X-bolt in .308 and I LOVE it. Its extremely accurate, has nice lines, and the trigger is awesome. HOWEVER.....it is also extremely light, which is great, except the .308 was kickin me around pretty bad. I ended up having to put a muzzle brake on it.

bearman49709
September 24, 2013, 07:04 PM
I own a Weatherby Vangard.223 Rem SUB MOA and used to own a regular Vangard in .308 Win, I also own a Browning X-Bolt in .308 Win. The X-Bolt outshoots both Vangards and is hands down a much better rifle, yes it cost more but it's well worth it. The SUB MOA is waiting for the right trade to come along and it will be history and the last Vangard I ever buy!:barf:

NORA
September 24, 2013, 09:46 PM
I own a X bolt in 06 it is one great rifle!! It shot 5/8" 5 shot groups out of the box. Now after some meticulous reloading it goes into 1/2" with 5 shots that's at 100 yards. If you can get one for only $600:00 buy it and run cause you just stole it! By the way all I did to mine was install a scope and adjust the factory adjustable trigger. It was ready to shoot out of the box.

SlowFuse
September 24, 2013, 09:55 PM
I vote for the Vanguard. Spend the money you save on glass.

I have one in 25-06 and its more than accurate enough for hunting. The test target mine came with had a 1" group roughly. That made me feel good as I was filling out the paperwork. My home range is set up for 160 yards, I've kept the 1" accuracy at that distance with handloads. The weak spot IMO is the stock. For a synthetic its pretty heavy. The mold seams bothered me so I smoothed them out. I haven't felt the need to replace it however.

Either way you go you'll have a good hunting rifle.

cdb1
September 25, 2013, 02:55 AM
I have an S2 and like it b/c of the weight. I have a bad shoulder so the extra weight helps with recoil. Accuracy is as advertised. I also feel Weatherby has the best customer service in the business.

gonefishin1
October 5, 2013, 01:36 AM
Well guys I ended up buying a nib gray x-bolt 30-06 for $475.. great price. I will post pics of it when I get it in my hands. Also bought a new nikon monarch 4-16x42 scope for it. I think it should be a great combo.

hipoint
October 5, 2013, 01:43 AM
I've owned alot of rifles over the years, none have been "tricked out", they've all been "out of the box" rifles. After acquiring a browning in .30-06, that will be one of the last guns I would consider selling and then only in dire circumstances. I shot less than 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards with this gun, it surprised me so much that I ran around showing the target to everyone who would sit still long enough.

For that price, BUY THE BROWNING. If it isn't what you want, you'll have no trouble selling it and buying the vanguard. You will have a hard time selling a used vanguard and purchasing a browning with the funds.

Captcurt
October 5, 2013, 10:55 AM
Well guys I ended up buying a nib gray x-bolt 30-06 for $475.. great price. I will post pics of it when I get it in my hands. Also bought a new nikon monarch 4-16x42 scope for it. I think it should be a great combo.
Sounds like you have your head on straight. I am a Vanguard fan but an X-bolt at $475 is a no brainer. The Monarchs are nice too. Congrates.

Kachok
October 5, 2013, 01:34 PM
I've owned alot of rifles over the years, none have been "tricked out", they've all been "out of the box" rifles. After acquiring a browning in .30-06, that will be one of the last guns I would consider selling and then only in dire circumstances. I shot less than 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards with this gun, it surprised me so much that I ran around showing the target to everyone who would sit still long enough.

For that price, BUY THE BROWNING. If it isn't what you want, you'll have no trouble selling it and buying the vanguard. You will have a hard time selling a used vanguard and purchasing a browning with the funds.
I had the opposite experience with Browning. Bought my first one ever last year and it is easily the second worst shooting rifle I have ever held. Factory ammo sprayed into 5-7" patterns at 100yards not a single decent groups out of four boxes of factory ammo. Several months of trial and error on the reloading bench finally got me below an inch but it was the biggest pain the in the @$$ of any rifle I have ever developed a load for. Not impressed my $300 Savages easily bested it I have no plans on ever buying a Browning again though I do like the overall feel of it alot and now that I found the magic recipe for this one I have no plans on getting rid of it.
Edit: I am not alone in this either, my friend who runs the gun counter at my local Bass Pro has told me he has had several customers come back recently saying they have an accuracy problem with their Browning.

Uncle Mike
October 5, 2013, 03:47 PM
First choice: M70 Ultimate Shadow
Second choice: Weatherby Vanguard G2
Third choice: Browning X-bolt
I'll say this is pretty soild a decision, just like this!

I had the opposite experience with Browning. Bought my first one ever last year and it is easily the second worst shooting rifle I have ever held
Agree with this...I shoot rifles in for customers who buy the "complete' packages, and on average, the Brownings we have been associated with provide the 'least' in accuracy.
I'll apologise right now if this causes any heartburn, but the numbers don't lie!

Gtscotty
October 5, 2013, 04:01 PM
Congrats on your purchase, you got a bangin deal! I put 40 rounds through my x-bolt last week and was reminded of just how much of a tack driver it is, really a great rifle. Just out of curiosity, did you get that awesome deal buying from an individual or was some store running a sale?

Uncle Mike, have most of your bad experiences been with the A-bolt or the X-bolt? I know Kachock and others have voiced displeasure with A-bolts, but most opinions i've read on X-bolts from those who own them have been strongly favorable. It's important to note that the X-bolt and the A-bolt are two totally different rifles, condemning one because of the other would be like warning people away from the Savage 12 because the axis isn't too hot.

Uncle Mike
October 5, 2013, 04:15 PM
Uncle Mike, have most of your bad experiences been with the A-bolt or the X-bolt
My bad, and you sir are correct that I should have distinguished between the X and A bolts.

Most, or I'll go as far as to say, 80% of the Brownings showing lesser accuracy have been the A-Bolts, but only the ones produced towards the end of the run.
Now, that is not to say the X-Bolt is an angel. You know, these rifles have not been any worse than a particular run of Winchesters as I remember it, but on the whole, the Brownings just don't shoot as tight as most of the other brands of rifles we sell.

I had a customer bring a target to us showing a 1" group he had shot at 200m with his new X-Bolt he had purchased from us, I remember this rifle as it was simply beautiful with regards to the wood.

Anyway, the rifle did its best to shoot 1.5" groups at 100y with Federal Premium factory ammo. What happened?

This guy hand lapped the bore with JB and was using a load he had worked up for the rifle...so, the Brownings will shoot, one just has to massage them a bit.

ttheel
October 5, 2013, 09:09 PM
You made a great decision, especially for that price. Browning builds solid, good shooting rifles.

Arkansas Paul
October 5, 2013, 10:01 PM
I am a Vanguard fan but an X-bolt at $475 is a no brainer.

I concur. That seems like a really good price. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

gonefishin1
October 19, 2013, 07:46 PM
well I got her yesterday... also I picked up a monarch 4-16x42 to go along with it. now to figure out which rings I need. I tried the medium height Leopold's std rings and bases and my lens covers hit the bolt. I am looking at the dnz bases should I get the tall ones?

gspn
October 19, 2013, 07:51 PM
deleted.

After I posted I read that you already made your purchase. Looks good...let us know how it shoots.

pbrktrt
October 20, 2013, 12:44 PM
I have a Leupold 3x9x50mm on my Vanguard with the medium DNZ mount. I would think the Browning would be similar in construction.

iXanadu
December 1, 2013, 08:58 PM
Well guys I ended up buying a nib gray x-bolt 30-06 for $475.. great price. I will post pics of it when I get it in my hands. Also bought a new nikon monarch 4-16x42 scope for it. I think it should be a great combo.
Congratulations. If you don't mind, where did you find the gun for $475? I just took delivery of the White Gold Medallion in .270 cal, but it set me back $1320. I know I way over bought, but I wanted to do business with a local gun shop on this weapon, and wanted something pretty to hand down to the kids some day. Getting a base X-Bolt for $475 puts this pretty close to a combined Christmas/Birthday present for my son. Well maybe 2 Birthdays and Christmas' but I'm sure he wouldn't complain. At that point, the scope would easily be twice the cost of the gun. (I put a Leopold VX6 2x12 42 on mine).

gonefishin1
December 2, 2013, 07:11 PM
I bought it off of gunbroker from seller guns -5 and ware here is a link http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=369279369

Hopefully it works. I found an old auction of his that ended so I emailed him about another x bolt and he got another one in and listed it. Good luck.
Only thing about it I don't like it will string shots after some shooting

huntinfool87
December 3, 2013, 11:52 AM
I own a vanguard s2 in a 257. I love the gun and by far the best factory stock I have ever known. They do soot moa right out of the box with a good scope I'm getting 1/2 moa with mine. I'm not a fan of the 30-06 if elk is the biggest game your going to chase if it was me I would go with a 270 win. But that's just me to each their own.

My vanguard s2 is the best factory hunting rifle I have ever owened hands down.

Corn-Picker
December 3, 2013, 10:46 PM
I know that the original poster has made their decision, but I was faced with this same choice about a month ago so I thought I would throw in my two cents. Based on all the information I could collect on many rifles it came down to the x-bolt Micro Midas and Weatherby Vanguard S2 youth, both in 308 (I prefer youth rifles for their short length of pull, short barrels, and light weight.)

The best advice I can give is to try both rifles in a brick and mortar store before making a choice, because there's a big difference in fit and feel between the two.

Neither has the standard American style stock. The Vanguard S2 has a California style stock, and the x-bolt has a Euro style stock. I did not care for the x-bolt stock, when I mounted the rifle the only way to get a cheek weld was to put the butt pad very high, to the point where half the butt pad was at my collar bone or above. The only way I could see the x-bolt stock working is with a very heads up (chin weld) shooting style, which would require higher scope rings. By contrast the Vanguard S2 has a lot of drop right at the butt, which allows for a good cheek weld while simultaneously keeping the butt pad below the collar bone and in the meat of my pocket. All this being said, the way these rifles fit me may be different than the way they would fit you, so you should try both.

The triggers are also different and a matter of personal preference, though both were excellent. The x-bolt has a single stage trigger and the Vanguard S2 has a two stage trigger. I prefer two stage triggers, though I'm fine with a good single stage trigger, so this wasn't a big deal for me (but it may be for you).

I don't know about the accuracy of the x-bolt, but I do know that if my Weatherby wasn't a shooter I could have sent it back because Weatherby has an accuracy guarantee. Browning does not have such a guarantee. I suspect that the x-bolt would be a great shooter because most rifles today are, but the Weatherby guarantee provided me with some peace of mind over the Browning.

As you can predict from my observations I went with the Vanguard S2 youth in 308, which cost me about $480. I topped it with a Bushnell Elite 6500 in 2.5-16x42 (30mm tube) on Burris Signature Zee "medium" rings. It provides a wide zoom ratio (groundhogs to deer) in a package that's light enough to carry around but not too punishing to shoot (the rifle is 6.5 pounds naked, and under 8 pounds with scope, ammo, and sling.)

Lloyd Smale
December 5, 2013, 09:58 AM
dont really have an opinion on to which is best. there both good guns. Ill say this about weatherbys gurantee though. Has anyone had anything done by this warantee. I sent back a older vanguard stainless 257 because it wouldnt shoot any better then 2 inch with any load i tried in it and believe me I tried a bunch. it also coppered up so bad after ten shots the you couldnt keep bullets on paper. the bore was rough and you could see it with your naked eye. I called weatherby and they gave me a run around. they wouldnt let me send it to them i had to send it to an authorized repair shop on my dime. Well lucky for me the local gander mountain was an authourized repair shop so i brought it to them. the gunsmith said, YUP the barrels bad and i have to send it to weatherby and it will cost you 50 dollars for me to send it. Now that didnt even make sense as i thought id done my part when i brought it to a repair center. Well i bucked up the 50 dollars and the gun was sent to weatherby. About two months later it came back in the mail and when i opened it it was obvious they hadnt did a thing. they sent me a photo printed target of a 3/4 inch group. Not even an actual shot target so im sure they have a stack of those printed. Said with there factory load it shot 3/4s of an inch. Well boys id shot a box of those factory loads allready and they shot miserably. When i called and told them that they about said tough **** we shot a 3/4 inch group and he told me that without looking up any records of my gun. how would he know it shot a 3/4 inch group. When i mentioned the target theys sent was a photo copy of a target the guy hung up on me. So dont be so nieve to think that that accuracy guarantee is a deciding factor on which to buy

HexHead
December 5, 2013, 10:42 AM
I've got three Vanguard S2s. All shoot well beyond their sub-MOA guarantee at 100 yards. Last time I shot my .308, it shot a 5-shot group of 1.5", at 200 yards. They are IMO the very best value in a $500 rifle.

As to the weight, some of you guys act like it's a 9lb. rifle. The 30-06 Synthetic is 7 1/2 lbs.

Howa makes the receiver/ action to Weatherby specs, they are assembled by Weatherby. It's not the same rifle.

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