Browning X Bolts must be crap according to article - THR

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Old November 7, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1
Join Date: July 20, 2009
Posts: 211
Browning X Bolts must be crap according to article

I just bought one but, had I known the receivers were made with pressed in hard inserts I would never have bought it. Just thought I'd pass this article along. No wonder they are so light and gunsmiths don't want to replace the barrel on one!. http://www.gunreports.com/gow/long_g...le_1752-1.html
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Old November 7, 2011, 10:48 AM   #2
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I've been in this game for a very short period of time compared to most of the members of this forum, and I'm quickly seeing that there are people who will think of a reason to call any rifle "crap." For my money, I don't know of a single rifle that hasn't been called junk by someone. The same goes for pistols and shotguns. And bows, knives, cars, shoes, etc, etc.

Is that X-Bolt really junk? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I've never owned one, so I can't say. Point is, if it works for you, if you're happy with the reliability, accuracy, trigger, etc, its not crap. If I decided to base all my buying on expert advice I learned (online or elsewhere), I wouldn't even own the clothes on my back, much less any firearms.
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:10
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Old November 7, 2011, 10:57 AM   #3
Join Date: July 20, 2009
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Just a kindly, gesture of passing this info along to those who own one or, thinking about buying one and the can make their own case. Thanks!
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Old November 7, 2011, 11:35 AM   #4
Sako Shooter
Join Date: April 14, 2011
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I own 3 Belgium Browning 12 guage shotguns and 1 newer Golden Hunter edition. The Belgium made Browings are built like tanks and are far heavier that the Golden Hunter. But I rather the Golden Hunter by far, even though it is obviously not built as well. That's the point with the X-bolt. Even if what that individual says is true, my X-bolt works fine for me. Will it last 30 years? Who knows. Most old guns are built like tanks, but I have migrated to newer rifles, even though most are admittedly not built as solid as the older ones.
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Old November 7, 2011, 11:49 AM   #5
Join Date: July 20, 2009
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I've been trying to get through to Browning Tech. for a while now and their Techs remain tied up so far.
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Old November 7, 2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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And the problems with pressed in hardened steel inserts are? Heat treating a whole receiver is complex and can lead to brittle conditions if the controls are off a bit. Heavy industries have been using pressed in inserts for many, many decades - if not the whole last century?

The idea of heat treating is to make a hard surface with softer metal underneath. Seems this is the same result? If it works, it works.

I'm pretty sure Browning would not put anything dangerous on the street? My guess is it allows them to build a lighter and maybe stronger action with a change in manufacturing techniques? It's like investment casting, metal spinning, and other techniques - if it can be done well it should work.

Why do you want to change the barrel on a new rifle? If you want to hot-rod a gun, try another brand or use and older chassis?
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Old November 7, 2011, 12:03 PM   #7
Join Date: July 20, 2009
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Not looking to argue, but I just looked at the Browning site and they are listed as having solid steel receivers just seems like deception to me.
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Old November 7, 2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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My guess is it allows them to build a lighter and maybe stronger action with a change in manufacturing techniques?
I agree.

Browning didn't use hard steel inserts for the heck of it.
It is one reason the bolt slides in and out like it is on greased rails.

As for Frank Barnes quotes you linked too.

Mr. Barnes was perhaps one of the best students of bolt-action & single shot rifle actions to come down the pike and, write books about them.

But he was also very old school.

If it wasn't built like a fine 98 Mauser, or Mr. Barnes idea of a possible improvement, it was just wrong!

In todays competitive rifle market there are two schools of thought.
You do what you do to either make and sell a rifle as cheaply as possible.
Or make it the best you know how to make it in the price range of the market you are in, and charge the going rate.

Browning follows the second school.

If you don't like hard steel inserts, you could trade it for a Remington 710.
They use plastic inserts!

As for replacing the barrel?
How soon do you plan to need a new barrel?
That much ammo will cost you way more then you paid for the rifle.

So you can probably afford to send it back to Browning for a new barrel when & if it ever needs one.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!

Time has finally taken over, and we can't fight getting older! 'Kid Rock'
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Old November 7, 2011, 04:31 PM   #9
Join Date: July 20, 2009
Posts: 211
I guess I just freaked out when I read the article I mean I'm sure the gun will out last me I just never heard of it being done that way. As far as the Remington 710, no thank you I've had a few older model 700s but I've heard a lot about the 710 and I believe, correct me if I'm wrong the 770 model.
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Old November 10, 2011, 08:23 PM   #10
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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They're junk:

Went to the farm a few weeks ago with the daughter, after we filled feeders and built some duck blinds, we decided to check the zero on our hunting rifles and zero the '06 I had listed on here. I bought some cheap Fiocchi 223 55gr PSP for general coyote control and was pleasantly surprised:

The TSX 55gr was good but not as good as the Fiocchi:

1" exactly

The '06 was equally as impressive with the Fiocchi 168gr Sierra Game King:

I am actually glad no one bought it........

The pressed in comment is in the readers comments section:

Reader Comments

I have an x-bolt in .308 that, when using Hornady 168gr. BTSP keeps groups of 0.5. inch. I also have an x-bolt in 7mm08 that does not like the heavier loads, but when using Wincheser Ballistic Silvertips in the 140 grain will maintain a 0.5 inch group and with 6 3-shot groups averages 0.8 inch. Both weapons have Carl Zeiss scopes 3X9 by 50MC. The X-Bolts are great weapons and the Zeiss scopes are the best for light gathering (IMO).

Comment by: 7mag | December 31, 2009

browning x bolt

Comment by: wild romanian | January 1, 2010

Frank Dehass in his book "Bolt Action Rifles" gave a scathing review of the Japanese Browning when it was first introduced. He stated it was a far cry from the "quality FN 98" sporter rifle.

The receiver was made of soft drawn tubing. Browning was able to use this "mass produced" receiver by using hardened inserts that were "pressed into the soft receiver". As anyone knows, who has used "pressed in inserts" in any machinery, the pressed in inserts can move, especially with some of today's hot magnum calibers that the inexperienced, once a year hunter, so often demands.

The barrel is a massed produced one that is a far cry from the "hand cut" and "hand lapped" original FN Barrels which were know as the most consistently accurate barrels in the world.

The trigger on the Japanese Browning is of the enclosed type that traps dirt and moisture, unlike the open faced trigger found on many of the early FN98 sporters that allowed the dirt and debris to fall away from the mechanism.

The checkering on the Japanese Browning is machine made, not the quality "hand checkering" found on the early FN 98 rifles.

The finish on the Japanese Browning is usually of the Plastic Poly-Urethane type which is about impossible to touch up when it is scratched as compared to the "hand rubbed and elegant oil finish found on the original FN 98 rifles.

Today the consumer cannot expect much from todays modern made rifles as the quality rifle of the past will never be made again. The "old foxes" who are most knowledgeable about rifles and demand only the best quality often go to great lengths to purchase the older quality firearms even it means spending some money on restoration as they are far more reliable and escalate far more quickly in value than today's plastic, cast steel and stamped sheet metal junkers.
Frank De Haas died in 1994 if anyone is interested

Last edited by orphanedcowboy; November 10, 2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old November 11, 2011, 12:54 PM   #11
Join Date: July 16, 2011
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I have both an A and an X in 3006 and both shoot better than I can right out of the box!!!!! Both will hold less than an inch all day long and since I only use Barnes TSX bullets I'm sure I could get even better if really small groups were my only desire. I sure dont plan on rebarreling either one of them and don't care what their value is once I'm dead. Great rifles, be happy you were smart enough to buy one. FRJ
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Old July 12, 2016, 11:44 AM   #12
Join Date: July 12, 2016
Posts: 3

Oh yea, "crap".... 5 years later...

My Xbolt in 243 will shoot 1" groups all day at 300 yards with 85gr SGKs, 85gr TSX, and 100gr Interlocks. High Sierras, rarely any windless days spring through fall. Best group is 3 of 5 rounds in 1 slightly enlarged hole, and 2 rounds .25" away. I have hit .125" from center of bullseye with 1 shot in light snow up to a hilltop target at 345 yards. Shooting skinny 10 oz water bottles half filled @ 300 is fun. All bipod and rear bag rest either prone or on a wood table.

I absolutely love the palm swell and the whole ergonomics of the gun. I've hiked 10 miles a day with it in the mountains, and I'm over 60. So it's light, the balance is perfect, and it's and easy to carry. I wish they made it with a medium fluted 24" barrel in 260 Rem. That would be a great long range target rig or effective medium range hunting rifle.

It makes me wonder if I just got a good one or the only thing that's crap is what spewed out of the author's keyboard.
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Old July 12, 2016, 06:40 PM   #13
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My xbolt in .308 is fantastic and extremely accurate. Love it so much im getting one in .243 as well.
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Old July 12, 2016, 07:43 PM   #14
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RC nails it, as usual.

I own several browning shotguns and a couple of rifles. Let me quote Mr. Heston when I say.......

"My cold dead hands!"
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Old July 13, 2016, 08:32 PM   #15
Welding Rod
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I bought an X-bolt. After a short time with it I was really impressed and bought two more. Only bolt actions I own now. I used to have an A-bolt, a M70 (which are also fine rifles - just don't like the stock ergonomics), a few Rem 700s, and lots of Hawkeyes.

My only complaint with the X-bolt is the minimal thread engagement of the 2 front - front scope mount screws. The holes for these are very shallow, only about 1 1/2 turns of engagement possible before the screw ends hit the barrel threads if I recall. This was just poor engineering, and if you don't carefully fit the screws to optimum length they will provide no clamping force when they bottom out against the barrel threads a partial turn too soon. The other 6 screws holes are fine.
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Old July 13, 2016, 10:18 PM   #16
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As anyone knows, who has used "pressed in inserts" in any machinery, the pressed in inserts can move
"As anyone knows," this is entirely dependent upon the design & installation tolerances
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Old July 14, 2016, 12:07 PM   #17
Join Date: September 6, 2009
Posts: 737
Bought one a while back. Then I bought another.

I love the four mounting screws for each scope base. Love the short bolt throw. Love the light weight.

These are hunting rifles. Light weight is good. If you want a tank that is going to see competition use, 20k rounds and multiple barrels, then yes, I imagine there is something out there that's better (I have one of those too).

I like them and certainly don't consider them crap.
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Old July 14, 2016, 12:38 PM   #18
Join Date: February 11, 2013
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Uhhhh....anyone else notice this is almost a 5 year old thread??
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Old July 14, 2016, 01:05 PM   #19
Join Date: September 19, 2014
Location: Kansas
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It's an old thread but did anyone actually read the link from the op
It states it was gun of the year in 2011 and has a rather glowing review. Not sure what the op was on about with poor quality and a mention of inserts.
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Old July 15, 2016, 02:08 PM   #20
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The steel insert was mentioned in the comment section of that article. It referred to the first generation of Japanese Browning bolt guns. I'm not sure if that was true but the XBolt doesn't have anything like that. If it did I wouldn't worry about it or see it as a corner cutting measure anyway. The Miroku made Brownings are some of the best quality factory guns made.
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