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Opinions on a Browning X-Bolt

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Whale View Drop Down
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    Posted: March/26/2016 at 11:57
Was looking at the White Gold model of a x-bolt at a local gun show. The white gold model was nice eye candy. Does anyone have any experience with the x-bolt by Browning? Any pros or cons? Never owned a Browning rifle. Thanks
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Outrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2016 at 14:58
FWIW just a couple of things you may wish to checkout. Don't own an X-Bolt, but handled 10 different X-rifles in a LGS a couple of years ago. The unloaded clips, after being inserted into the rifles, rattled in all 10 cases. When I called Browning about this the tech indicated they were designed that way for quick removal. Now, having said this, it just may be that the particular "lot" of rifles shipped to this store was that way. It also may be that the clips tend to tighten somewhat when they are filled with ammo. Others can shed light on this. Likewise, I noticed on my A-Bolt raising the bolt handle to the top of its arc following a shot (it cocks on the upstroke) when in a standing shooting position with the gun still shouldered is noticeably harder than with any of my other bolt action rifles of other brands. Some I've heard from have indicated their X-Bolts of similar cocking design are the same way. Please don't construe my comments to mean X-Bolts are not good rifles. IMO they are good. They are light weight, look good and tend to shoot well. The two things I mentioned happen to be characteristics that I don't particularly care for personally. Many folks are very happy with them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2016 at 02:43
Originally posted by Outrider Outrider wrote:

The unloaded clips, after being inserted into the rifles, rattled in all 10 cases. ...It also may be that the clips tend to tighten somewhat when they are filled with ammo. 

Likewise, I noticed on my A-Bolt raising the bolt handle to the top of its arc following a shot (it cocks on the upstroke) when in a standing shooting position with the gun still shouldered is noticeably harder than with any of my other bolt action rifles of other brands. 










Yes, the magazines don't rattle when full of ammo, because when loaded, the top round is pressing against the underside of the bolt, which forces the magazine against the magazine catch and stabilizes it.

On the hard bolt lift, this is always the tradeoff of a multi-lug short bolt lift design like the X-bolt, Sako 75 and 85, Weatherby MK V, etc. Most bolt actions have 2 lugs and the bolt travel on opening is 90-degrees. On a bolt with 3, 6, or 9 lugs (the X Bolt has 3) on 120-deg centers, the bolt unlocks with only a 60-deg rotation. Since the firing pin spring still has to compress the same amount when cocked regardless of bolt lug design, and since the same amount of work is required to load the spring during cocking, a shorter bolt throw requires a steeper cocking cam to compress the spring out of necessity since it has to do the same amount of work in a shorter travel distance. A typical 2-lug action spreads the cocking force over a longer arc, so the cocking cam doesn't have to be as steep. 

The positive side of a short bolt throw action is you never have bolt handle clearance issues with extra low mounted scopes and scopes with large diameter eyepiece housings. 

On the X-bolt itself, I think it's a good rifle overall, but as with most rifles, it has its pluses and minuses. I personally like the action overall. I like the fact the scope bases attach with 4 screws each. I really like the bolt unlatch button on the root of the bolt handle. The X-Bolt action is much more slender than its predecessor, the A-Bolt. The trigger is pretty good, as long as you don't need/want a trigger lighter than around 3 - 4 lbs. All the X-Bolts I've seen shot very well.

As for its negatives, these are of course subjective things. I personally don't care for its magazine, specifically the exaggerated way it is undercut into the sides of the stock. As decent as the trigger is, it is overly complicated for its function, and to my knowledge, Jard is the only manufacturer that offers a replacement trigger for the X-Bolt. I personally don't care for the stock styling aesthetically, but ergonomically, it does feel pretty good to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bugsNbows Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2016 at 08:36
I owned an X-Bolt when they first came out. It shot decently enough and handled well. Visually, I am not a fan of that Euro-styling, but I bought it to play with. I liked it better than an A-Bolt also. You could do worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Outrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2016 at 00:28
Good explanation, R Dude.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2016 at 10:24
I had an older A-bolt stainless stalker and my daughter has an x-bolt micro midas. Between the two I like the x-bolt a lot better. My experience, over all the A-bolt was good looking and fine shooting but the action always felt a little sloppy to me. The x-bolt in comparison has a better action and ours is truly a tac driver. At the time we bought the x-bolt the stainless version looked cheap in comparison to the blued/walnut stock version.

I've always thought the "white gold model" of both rifles extremely sharp looking but not practical for our needs because we hunt and hunt hard (I'd be afraid to scratch it). I just checked the web site and really really like the look of the new x-bolts (western hunter and hell's canyon), I'm betting they'll be coming out with more choices down the road.



Edited by mike650 - March/31/2016 at 18:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2016 at 10:42


They're not a bad looking rifle.  I've seen some reasonable Browning rifles for sale in gun stores, but they may have been A Bolt IIs....  Whatever   

They're light and point well, although a little short on me.  

I still want an old FN Safari....






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2016 at 17:25
Eduardo those oldies had some stock splitting problems but they were pretty.....Thats a long time ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 284winguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2016 at 15:31
I own several A-Bolt rifles and one X-Bolt. They have all served me well, never had any problem with 'mag rattle'.
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