Browning X bolt experience?

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by joshb, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    I bought an X bolt Varmint Special in .223. Stainless with laminate stock. 1/9 twist. Has any one owned one? Mine won't shoot under an inch at 100. I've tried various powders and bullets. I think I have a bum barrel. My question is about the action. Would it be good for a rebarrel or not worth the effort and expense?
     
  2. Ironworker

    Ironworker

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    Wow ! I was thinking of getting their Predator model in 22/250 with 9"twist bbl . Hope you get this problem resolved .
     
  3. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    The Browning looked real purdy in the LGS. Figured I'd try it. I have an older Tikka 22-250 that outshoots the Browning, with factory ammo. Maybe not a fair comparison. My Rock River "plain jane" AR out shoots it, too.
     
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  4. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not sure if browning changed something in their barrels with the X-bolt, but the old A-bolts are well known for their accuracy. I have never witnessed a browning first hand that was not very accurate, whether i owned it or someone else did. I just bought an A-Bolt Medallion 7mm Mag from a fella on here. Im sure it will be just as accurate as any other browning ive seen.

    I dont know from experience because ive never had to use it, but Browning supposedly has pretty good customer service. If all else has failed, give them a call and talk it over. Im sure they'll make it right.

    Problem is theres so many variables to accuracy that this could turn into a 5+ page thread to determine the solution.

    I know this may sound dumb, but have you gone through the rifle and checked it for action and barrel stress points and proper torquing of all screws? New factory rifles are the worst for that. Never know what they do to those action screws or if the stock inletting is worth a damn.

    Id slap some bedding in it before resorting to re-barreling. Cheap and easy to do
     
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  5. jimbires

    jimbires Silver $$ Contributor

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    I bought a 7mm-08 X-bolt for my girlfriend . it shoots pretty darn good . I 'm very pleased with it .
     
  6. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    Good ideas, Ledd. I owned a few Brownings in the past that shot well, and still have a 308 BAR. I'll pull it apart and bed it and see. I kinda go round robin with my guns. I pulled this one out and tried some more loads. Got the same results. Guess I'm a little tired of pulling guns apart and was looking for an easier answer. Maybe the Tikkas spoiled me. I recently got a 595 that shot 3/4 and under, first time at the range.
     
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  7. COhunter

    COhunter

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    I have an X-Bolt Varmint special, but it is in .204. Any how, it is a honest to god 1/4 shooter all day long if I do my part and that is with any load that I have tried. Maybe you did get a bum barrel, hope you get it figured out.
     
  8. Coleridge

    Coleridge Silver $$ Contributor

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    You should take it to a local benchrest match. You would whip some azz with that thing.
     
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  9. K22

    K22

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    I have two Browning X bolts, a 223 Varmint Stalker and a 243 Hunter model. The main issue I had with them were the triggers.

    Despite their claims that the triggers are adjustable, I wasn't able to get mine down below 4 - 5 lbs on either rifle which is totally unacceptable for me for a varmint / predator rifle. Fortunately my rifle smith was able to rework them getting them down to 2 3/4 pounds. Before that was done, accuracy testing and load development was a useless exercise.

    Once the triggers were fixed I began load development. I was able to get the 223 to group in the 1/2 moa range with H4895, 50 grain Noslers, and Federal 205 match primers which is acceptable to me for a sporter.

    The 243 was eaiser, it responded well to IMR 4350, Sierra 85 BTHP's, and Federal 210 match primers like all my 243's. Groups in the 5/8" range were achieved. Not too bad for a factory sporter weight rifle in my opinion.

    The rifles handled well in the field with their slim design.

    After about two seasons however the polymer magazine in the 223 began to produce failures to feed. Browning replaced it free of charge when I called them and complained.

    BOTTOM LINE; I think the X bolts are over priced for the value they provide. If I had it do over again I would have went for Tikka's. The trigger on my Tikka 243 is outstanding, can be adjusted with taking the rifle apart. The action is the smoothest I ever had and accuracy is excellent. I got a stainless Tikka considerably cheaper than an X Bolt blued model.
     
  10. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you fellas like Tikka, you should try out the Sako A7. Its the next step up that fills the price gap between Tikka and the real nice Sako $1500-$2000 rifles. The A7 is all around a better action than the Tikka in my opinion. Its smoother, good trigger, and better features.
     
  11. NickB1075

    NickB1075 Silver $$ Contributor

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    This is just my opinion based from mine and my friends experiences. but I just think your accuracy is normal for a factory rifle. Unless you purchase one with a MOA garuntee I don't think a factory will really do anything. If you can't get it under 3 MOA then that's a different story.

    That's why many of us get aftermarket barrels. I have had some factory rifles shoot great out of the box then others not better then an inch. And yes today many more shoot better due to better manufacturing processes, but it is still a factory rifle.

    Nick
     
  12. stacy

    stacy 2 TIMOTHY 2 VERUS 15 Silver $$ Contributor

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    WITH SOME BEDDING AND A TORQUE WRENCH AND SOME H-4895 68GR BTHP AND YOUR BE ON YOUR WAY, THOSE RIFLES WILL SHOOT!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. LHSmith

    LHSmith

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    +2....I'll give you the 1/4"and if I do my part qualifier , but call you on the all day long and with any load tried. Been around way too long to know that ain't happening even with the top 10 finishers from the SuperShoot (both shooters and their guns). What you're claiming is you possess the mother of all the hummer barrels ever made. It belongs in the Smithsonian after MIT's finished studying it.
     
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  14. K22

    K22

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    The X-Bolts are factory bedded. One can debate the quality of the bedding but they are bedded.

    In 50+ years of shooting the only factory rifle that I ever owned that shot 1/4 moa group out of the box with custom hand loads is my Weatherby Supervarmint Master 223 Rem. However it is NOT close to being a competition bench rest quality rifle.

    What I've learned is at best, factory rifles are a crap shoot, some group really well, some struggle to hold an 1 1/2 group. Almost all can be helped with bedding the action and free floating the barrel and using custom reloads tuned to that rifle. Poor triggers will magnify the problem. This is my problems with both the Browning A and X Bolts, the trigger are terrible and after market triggers are not available the last time I looked.
     
  15. roscoe69

    roscoe69 i may be wrong, i have been wrong before.

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    my brother has a x bolt 308 and it shoots about 5/16 moa at 100 yards less then a inch at 200 yards. my daughter in laws 308, semi bull shoot about a inch at 200. with hand loads. my sons 270 shoots about a inch at 200 with Winchester premium loads. I think they are the best of value for the money
     
  16. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I dont know know if i can agree with the factory rifle "crap shoot" theory. I suppose they are, but theres a LOT of very accurate factory rifles out there. The absolute worst accuracy i ever got from a factory rifle was about 3/4" @ 100 yards after extensive hand load testing. Rifle was a Ruger MKII stainless 300 WM. Most other factory rifles i own, or have owned in the past, are/were shooting much better after careful handloading.

    The two most difficult rifles ive ever dealt with in achieving 1/2 MOA accuracy was a factory Rem 700 SPS in 204R and a custom barreled Ruger M77 tang with a Lilja barrel. So even the rifles with custom barrels can be a pain.
     
  17. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    Recent update. I put a scope on an old Swedish m38 and shot a1 1/4 in group with factory PPU. I have high hopes for that gun. I'll pull the browning apart and check everything. The guys at the LGS were really selling hard on the Browning. "Special shotshow run" , "great barrel" , "always good shooters". I guess I got caught up in the sales pitch. I expected a little better than what I got. Seems I have a challenge on my hands.
     
  18. Lenard

    Lenard

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    My shooting partner bought the same gun in 223. It was a nightmare with the trigger but we finally got it reduced in weight. Secondly, the rear tang area of the stock was over inletted which put a bind in the action when the rear screw was tightened. Using a dial indicator, we determined the problem and bedded the action.
     
  19. Ironworker

    Ironworker

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    So glad this thread was posted ! Hope your next report is about you turning it into a tac driver.
     
  20. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    Pulled the Browning apart. I did notice an over-inletting of the rear. The factory bedding was almost nonexistent in the rear. A 3/4 wide x1/2 inch smear behind the rear bolt. The front wasn't much better, but they got a whole bunch of compound around the first 1 1/2 inches of the barrel. Might have found part of the problem. Rebed, tomorrow.
     

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