RifleShooter Magazine Tests the X-Bolt Eclipse.

Review of article in Rifle Magazine, December 2014, by John Sundra. Review by Browning.

In the November/December 2014 issue of RifleShooter Magazine, veteran gun scribe Jon R. Sundra tested the Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Hunter in 270 WSM. In short, he found plenty to like about this reliable and accurate game-slaying bolt-action rifle.

"This three lug, short-stroke bolt action has been a winner."

To offer a bit of background, the X-Bolt Eclipse is a recent addition to the Browning product line featuring a highly ergonomic laminated wood stock with a thumbhole design similar to that found on many high-end match rifles. The upright grip angle of the thumbhole stock allows more precise control in aiming, enhances trigger control, and many shooters feel that it (along with a good recoil pad) helps in managing felt recoil.

“This three lug, short-stroke bolt action has been a winner for the company since it was introduced…” writes Sundra. “Defining (the X-Bolt Eclipse) is its black-wood laminate thumbhole stock.”

“The fire control system consists of…Browning’s three-lever Feather Trigger,” opined Sundra. “The trigger is user-adjustable from three to five pounds and is factory set at 3.5. Browning claims there is no discernable take-up or creep, and I can’t argue with that; it is an excellent trigger. “

 " . . . the X-Bolt is surely one of the best detachable magazines . . . "

“Feeding the X-Bolt is surely one of the best detachable magazines extant, fully the equal to those of several European manufacturers I could name,” observed Sundra of the gun’s innovative polymer ammo box. “This one happens to be a rotary box in that the spring-loaded follower, also of polycarbonate, rotates around a shaft. It’s easy to change, and it fits absolutely flush with the belly of the stock. It also has the release latch as part of the box itself, rather than the rifle, which I greatly prefer.”

"It is an excellent trigger." 

In a nod to both avid reloaders and long-range accuracy buffs, Sundra cited the greater interior length of the X-Bolt’s polymer magazine. “Handloaders will be glad to know that cartridges loaded to an overall length of 2.985 inches can be accommodated. As for accuracy, the (X-Bolt’s) performance…was more than acceptable, especially with the Winchester 150-grain Power-Point load.”

“The X-Bolt has already established itself as one of the premium players in the high-end production rifle market,” concluded Sundra. “With the Eclipse, all you have to do is decide whether a thumbhole’s for you. If not, you can have the exact same rifle with a conventional straight comb classic stock in walnut in the X-Bolt Hunter.”

If you’re ready to experience the ergonomics, accuracy and performance of the X-Bolt Eclipse for yourself, drop by your Browning retailer today. You can learn more about all the great models of the X-Bolt at browning.com

You can pick up the November/December 2014 issue of RifleShooter Magazine at your local newsstand, or you can visit rifleshootermag.com to subscribe.

Original article copyright Rifle Shooter Magazine, 2014. Click here to subscribe to RifleShooter Magazine.  Review copyright Browning 2014, written by Browning staff writer Scott Engen.