Guns & Ammo Names Browning X-Bolt Pro their 2018 Rifle of the Year

Anyone with a passing familiarity of the shooting sports media knows the name and reputation of Guns & Ammo magazine. For the last 60 years, Guns & Ammo (often simply G&A to its legions of avid readers) is often the first reference cited and the last word on any given firearm-related subject. If Guns & Ammo says so, well, end of discussion.

If Guns & Ammo says so, well, end of discussion.

One thing that endears G&A to its readers is their annual gear issue, wherein they name the year’s most outstanding product in every major category – rifle, handgun, shotgun, optic and so on. To win the coveted G&A award, your product has to be better than just good. And better than just great. It has to be the very best of the best

“Without a doubt, this is 2018’s best rifle.”

And so we were very pleased to discover that the Browning X-Bolt Pro has just been named G&A’s Rifle of the Year for 2018. As G&A said: “Without a doubt, this is 2018’s best rifle.” 

“…It must have demonstrated quality and reliability to a degree that met or exceeded its design objective.”

G&A acquired several samples of each nominee throughout 2018 for a comprehensive evaluation,” noted the publication’s editors. “…First, the product must have been new and available for purchase in 2018….Second, it must have demonstrated quality and reliability to a degree that met or exceeded its design objective. Lastly, the winner must offer the greatest appeal to the masses… .”

“…The winner must offer the greatest appeal to the masses.”

(And lest you think this award has been sitting on our shelves just awaiting a holiday shopping season announcement, we at Browning heard about it when everyone else did.)

“To protect the credibility of the Guns & Ammo (Product) of the Year awards, no manufacturers, advertisers or sales representatives were informed of our selection,” states G&A’s staff. 

Here’s what G&A had to say about the X-Bolt Pro in more detail:

“(The) Browning X-Bolt Pro features a second-generation, carbon-fiber stock. It was this configuration that moved G&A’s editors and contributors to select it as this year’s award winner.”

“The X-Bolt has been on the market for 10 years, and has been an increasingly popular rifle with its short, 60-degree bolt throw and tang-mounted safety that’s intuitive to find under your firing hand’s thumb. Plus, you can unload the rifle with the safety engaged using the bolt-unlock button. The center-feed, detachable-box magazine is an excellent design that contributes to the action’s quick cycling and reliable feeding.”

“Sub-MOA accuracy was the norm for our test rifles…”

“In the accuracy department, the X-Bolt features a free-float barrel on a bedded action and a unique, carbon-fiber action block. Sub-MOA accuracy was the norm for our test rifles due to its bedding and the 3-pound-average trigger pull.”

“The new X-Bolt Pro is an achievement that negates our desire for aftermarket treatments.”

“The new X-Bolt Pro is an achievement that negates our desire for aftermarket treatments. It already sports a lightweight, sound-deadening, compressed foam-core stock that’s wrapped in two layers of carbon fiber. Why make such a big deal about this versus a plastic composite stock? You’ve got to watch Browning’s deflection test in a video on the X-Bolt Pro at browning.com. There, you will see how this stock protects accuracy potential.” 

“…Watch Browning’s (carbon stock) deflection test in a video on the X-Bolt Pro at browning.com”

“Fluting ornaments the X-Bolt Pro. It’s not only on the barrel, but the bolt and bolt handle. The appearance is corrosion resistant given its stainless-steel substrate that’s shielded by a Burnt Bronze-color Cerakote finish that’s applied to both the stock and barreled action.”

“Without a doubt, this is 2018’s best rifle.”

G&A closed their review by saying, “Without a doubt, this is 2018’s best rifle.”

We’re obviously biased, but we tend to agree. When you check out the new X-Bolt Pro at your local Browning retailer, we think you’ll agree, too.

And be sure to pick up a copy of the December 2018 Products of the Year issue of Guns & Ammo magazine at your local newsstand, or you can subscribe at www.gunsandammo.com

Original article copyright Guns & Ammo 2018. Photos are copyright Guns & Ammo, Browning and/or used with attribution or permission or are in the public domain. Review written by Browning staff writer Scott Engen. Copyright Browning 2018.