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Considering a Browning BLR...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Crashbox, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Crashbox

    Crashbox Well-Known Member

    I'm getting a real hankerin' for purchasing a Browning BLR, preferably in .30-06 since it is a fairly common chambering as opposed to my three other long guns which are not. Will probably purchase new, and do not plan on mounting a scope.

    I was wondering if there are any owners of BLR's out there, and what sort of likes or dislikes you have about the rifle. Thank you very much in advance.
  2. soloban

    soloban Well-Known Member

    For what's its worth I owned a BL-22 and it was a great gun. Hard to go wrong with a Browning.
  3. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    BLR's are an excellent gun. The only problem I have with them is their heavy trigger. I'm spoiled I guess.
  4. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Well-Known Member

    My "go to" field gun is an older BLR w/all steel receiver in 308. It's a fantastic gun.

    Unlike the competition's lever actions, the Browning has a detachable mag. That's nice for a number of reasons.

    Also, the entire trigger assembly follows the lever down when you eject a cartridge. Mr. Browning knew what he was doing with that one. I've also owned both Marlin and Winchester, and pinched my fingers when ejecting spent rounds from those, because the only thing that moves is the lever.

    Mostly I like the weight. It's right around six pounds which feels no heavier than the Ruger Redhawk w/scope (that I used to carry in the field).

    Here's a website with considerable information.

  5. Crashbox

    Crashbox Well-Known Member

    I consider John Moses Browning to be the Nikola Tesla of firearms- he was indeed a true genius.

    Thank you for the responses so far- please keep 'em coming.
  6. DPris

    DPris Well-Known Member

    Browning had nothing to do with the BLR.
    The rifles are accurate and generally reliable. With an alloy receiver they can be fairly light to carry.
    The only real complaint I have about them is that the action is difficult to take apart & get back together again.
  7. wv109323

    wv109323 Well-Known Member

    I would consider the .308 over the 30-06. The cartridges are about equal and the .308 makes for a shorter action and lighter weight.
    I have an older (steel frame) one in .308. The detachable magazine is extremely rare and expensive. Don't fall into that trap if you go used.
    Accurate and light enough to carry.
  8. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Well-Known Member

    Wrong. Who said it was JM Browning? It was his grandson, Bruce Browning, who obviously inherited his grandfather's intelligence.
  9. bjs1187

    bjs1187 Well-Known Member

    Gave one in .308 as a wedding gift to my best friend. Awesome rifle. I would like one myself one day. +1 on the .308. Shorter action in this instance seems logical.
  10. DPris

    DPris Well-Known Member

    Unconfirmed on Bruce, and Crash was talking about John Moses.
  11. Crashbox

    Crashbox Well-Known Member

    My comment about JMB was intended to be a general one regarding his talents, not whether or not he was intimately involved with the BLR design.

    Anyway, back to the program...

    I'll look into the .308 some more. I should add that I will be reloading and probably casting for whatever chambering I choose, so some added flexibility may be desirable. I honestly don't have any intended initial purpose for a BLR other than I would like to get one if there are no serious issues with them, which it sounds like that's the case...
  12. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Well-Known Member

    One other thing to consider is how tightly the action locks up on the respective lever actions. The Browning has actual locking lugs on the bolt similar to many bolt actions. Very strong.

    Winchester and Marlin have no such action.
  13. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    I have found the blr to have too much lop for my likings. You might want to shoulder it a few times before you comitt. Other than that and the cheap alloy receiver I can find no fault with them. They are truly excellent rifles.
  14. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Well-Known Member

    I couldn't figure out what "lop" was. Like, "Lop off an inch Charlie."

    But you mean length of pull. I'm 6'6" tall and that's not a problem. Plus, my BLR is older and has the steel receiver. The OP could do some shopping and find an older model.
  15. Crashbox

    Crashbox Well-Known Member

    Have the newer aluminum-alloy receivers been prone to failure? That would certainly be a deal-breaker for me.
  16. Jasper1573

    Jasper1573 Well-Known Member

    I have a BLR in .308 that is 3 years old...has the aluminum receiver...no issues with failure on the receiver to my knowledge.

    Great rifle for deer hunting, etc., especially in the woods of Alabama and the Southeast in general. Accurate enough, but it is not a target rifle; however, my BLR will shoot 1 inch groups at 100 yards plus or minus a 1/4 inch with Federal Fusion ammo in 165 grain.

    Only issue I have is that the cocking mechanism (the hammer) is the only safety, so the hammer has to remain uncocked or half-cocked and folded while in the deer stand, and cocking the thing with a deer within 30 or 40 yards is a delicate maneuver to remain quiet enough not too scare the animal away. Having said that, the few that I have shot with the Browning BLR were neither scared away and they didn't run after the shot.

    If I had to do it over again, I would still buy the BLR.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  17. DPris

    DPris Well-Known Member

    I've heard of no failures in the alloy frames.
    One of the Browning project managers told me a couple years back that with the bolt head locking into steel in the barrel extension, the frame "could be made out of cardboard", it's that un-stressed.

    The frame is mostly there to hold the guts in & connect the front end to the back end on the BLR.
    It doesn't provide any lockup function, and moving parts don't abrade or stress it unduly in operation.
  18. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Well-Known Member

    Not unlike the plastic lowers for Plum brand ARs?
  19. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    I love my .308 BLR. As a lefty, it's a great alternative to a bolt gun. Topped with an older Weaver 4x it is my "go to" deer rifle.

    As an earlier poster mentioned, pay attention to the availability of magazines if you buy an older one. I've seen mags go for well over $100.

    BTW, at least in my .308, any of the short action gas will work, it doesn't need to be caliber specific. I.e, the .243 stamped mag loads .308s with no trouble.
  20. Crashbox

    Crashbox Well-Known Member

    This is a major reason why I prefer amphibious firearms; I'm a southpaw myself.

    ETA: Yogi Berra used the term 'amphibious' when he meant 'ambidextrous' ;)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012

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