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X-Bolt Hunter -- American Rifleman Editor Jeff Johnston Gets Down to Details.

Release Date: 1/13/2010

The 2008 Golden Bullseye Winner goes afield.

Browning X-Bolt Hunter

In May, Jeff Johnston, Senior Editor of American Rifleman, took a probing look at the Browning X-Bolt rifle. He had just spent a week hunting in "the hills of West Texas" and had learned a few things about the newest Browning bolt action rifle. In his article he quotes heavily from American Rifleman's Editor-in-Chief, Mark Keefe, who early on had been part of awarding the X-Bolt the 2008 Bullseye Award asAmerican Rifleman Rifle of the Year. Below are a few quotes from Johnston's article and a link to American Rifleman where you can download a free PDF of the entire article.  

Here are a few quotes from article by Jeff Johnston, Senior Editor

  • "As the Cynergy is to the Citori, the X-Bolt is to the A-Bolt,"opined Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe in his May 2008 American Rifleman article "A Radical In the Family." This is a great analogy for describing Browning's new X-Bolt rifle,
  • Keefe boldly suggests that the "radically styled" offspring of the Citori and A-Bolt will turn these flagships into classics. I quote Keefe because he knows his stuff and was most impressed with the X-Bolt--American Rifleman just awarded it an NRA Golden Bullseye for 2008 Rifle of the Year--but I digress.
  • At any rate, relegating the venerable A-Bolt to classic status has less to do with the X-Bolt's aesthetics than its performance. Frankly, I wouldn't give a hoot about the X-Bolt's styling or engineering if it didn't shoot well. Fresh looks are dandy in a hunting rifle, but accuracy is paramount, and only after accuracy has met my standards can I be wooed by looks. But you be the judge of the X-Bolt's looks; I'll tell you how it works...
  • While companies across the board have greatly improved their triggers in the past few years, the dual-headed dragon that is creep and over-travel definitely exist in most guns. But you won’t find it on the X-Bolt. Notice how far back the trigger sits in the trigger guard; it only moves back about .0625 of an inch upon pulling it. This gold-plated trigger is adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds; mine broke at 3.5 fresh from its box. It needs no post-factory work.
  • The action’s recoil lug is glass bedded in a metal-reinforced slot in the stock. It is evident that some care was taken to properly bed the action; there is no wiggle between the stock and barrel. I believe this is a major factor in the gun’s accuracy.

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Photo captures taken from the PDF of the article, courtesy of American Rifleman. To learn more or subscribe click here.

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