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vanguard or x-bolt

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gonefishin1, Sep 23, 2013.

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  1. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    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
     
  2. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    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.
     
  3. MinnesotaFats

    MinnesotaFats Member

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    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...
     
  4. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    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.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    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)
     
  6. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    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.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    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.
     
  8. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    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.
     
  9. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    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
     
  10. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    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?
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    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.
     
  12. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    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.
     
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    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.
     
  14. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    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
     
  15. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    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.
     
  16. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    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.
     
  17. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    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.
     
  18. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    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.
     
  19. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    Bio-Chem:

    Quarter-bore! Nice choice! :cool:

    Geno
     
  20. jogar80

    jogar80 Member

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    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.
     
  21. bearman49709

    bearman49709 Member

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    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:
     
  22. NORA

    NORA Member

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    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.
     
  23. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    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.
     
  24. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    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.
     
  25. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    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.
     
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