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Thread: X-Bolt experience?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default X-Bolt experience?

    In my far ranging (and frusrating) search for a lefty, youth rifle- I've come across a Browning X-bolt Micro Midas in left-hand.

    Made in the usual host of SA youth calibers- .243, 7-08, and .308- with a 12.5" LOP it certainly has the right specs but I'm not familiar with the X-bolt at all and I've only had passing experience with the A-bolt

    Does anyone have any experiences with one?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Being the Browning service center I will say that I have never, ever had one in for service. I did pull the stock off of one on the shelf last week to swap it out, a potential buyer pointed out that the rubberized finish was scratched so I was going to pull the stock off another rifle in a different caliber and put it on the one he wanted to purchase. Only after disassembling both rifles did I notice that the offending scratch was actually bedding compound that the factory had let get on the outside of the stock, a flick with a thumbnail and it was good as new. So far that is the one and only complaint I've fielded to date. Customers also report very good accuracy.

    Hope this helps.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I have had an A Bolt in 300wm for many years and it has performed flawlessly, and a very accurate shooter. I bought a new X Bolt last fall in 308 SS and have yet to fire it - waiting on some scope mts as it came with 30mm rings and I have no 30mm scopes... I can find no fault with the new XBOLT in looks or feel, fit is very good and is very smooth to cycle. Feel of the stock is excellent. Should have some rounds downrange this month yet as I have the loads all worked up just need to mount some glass on it. Very lightweight pkg under 7 lbs....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    love that little x-bolt. I've shot one in 243 winchester. Only problem with your frustrating situation, is that now there is no open sights for your young-un to use. You've always been a big advocate of open sights (if I recall correctly). Like posted in your other thread consider this: The BLR is a truly ambidextrous rifle. It comes in every flavor, and has great open sights. It has one of the most safest of all safeties in any rifle I've used. The hinged trigger was a genius idea. If you'd like to try your son with a BLR, let me know.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    love that little x-bolt. I've shot one in 243 winchester. Only problem with your frustrating situation, is that now there is no open sights for your young-un to use. You've always been a big advocate of open sights (if I recall correctly). Like posted in your other thread consider this: The BLR is a truly ambidextrous rifle. It comes in every flavor, and has great open sights. It has one of the most safest of all safeties in any rifle I've used. The hinged trigger was a genius idea. If you'd like to try your son with a BLR, let me know.

    Thanks for the offer on the BLR Mainer, may take you up on it if I ever get down your way... I keep looking at them.

    Yes, I am a dyed in the wool fan of open sighted rifles. Looking at that little X-bolt I wondered what it would be like with a receiver sight and an add on front. Maybe not sensible and I'd probably would have more $$$ than makes sense tied into it. But heck...never seen a hearse tow a U-Haul and they're only munchkins once.

    I'm hoping to narrow this down and get the rifle in the spring so we can practice all summer. Hoping he can punch our Tier I tag this fall.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Won't be 308 though. You're boy should have no problem shooting 140 grain pistol bullets at about 2,500 fps. The dirt-cheap 358 winchester target rounds should approximate the felt recoil of a reduced power 308 load.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Hodgeman, I got out this weekend for a little "Recoil" therapy and broke in my XBOLT 308. It was too windy to give you a good feel for accuracy and since I just started to work up loads it may take a bit. However, even with 10 - 15 mph cross winds I shot 2 SUB MOA groups so I am very happy so far.
    Now for the meaningful stuff. I mounted a Leupold 2x7x33 on it and came in at 7lbs - very nice to carry. +1
    Recoil of the new stock material and pad was VERY nice - stock is not slick feeling and recoil great! +1
    Trigger came set at 2.8 lbs - is crisp but I rotated shooting a 50cal Encore I just did a trigger job on and it was 3.7lbs and felt noticeably lighter and crisper than the XBolt - ??? Not sure I have a good explanation of that except ergo design of Encores may be a factor ? OK
    This is a detachable clip model and the clip works great - installs easy and I like. +1
    You must bring bolt back all the way to consistently feed next round - not a problem but I short stroked it twice over 30 rounds off a bench. +0
    Overall it seems to be a very nice gun and the 308 or a 7mm 08 would be a great choice in it...

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    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I have an Xbolt Stainless in 308.

    PROS:
    - Light weight, good as a backpacking/"mountain rifle"
    - Stainless & synthetic are very practical
    - Short bolt lift and easy bolt throw
    - Good out of the box trigger; it is technically adjustable but I actually like mine as it came out of the box
    - Large chamber makes it easy to clear malfunctions (never had one though) and facilitates cleaning

    CONS:
    - Lacks super overengineered mauser extracter. I've never had a FTE, but the internets told me that you need the Mauser design for maximum reliability.
    - A bit pricey
    - No iron sights
    - Removable magazine; I consider it a bad thing, I'd prefer a simple box mag with hinged floorplate myself. Still, the mags are a reliable rotary polymer type so they're ok.


    Here's some groups I shot out of my xbolt at Birchwood from the bench shortly after purchase (as a fairly novice shooter, too):

    • Remington Core-Lokt 150 gr: 1.5" or less
    • Federal Vital-Shok 150 gr: 2.5" (although three shots were within 1.5", with one flier -- I might have flinched)
    • Federal Power-Shok 180 gr: 2"
    • Hornaday Interlock 150 gr: 1.5"
    • Federal Fusion "Lite" Reduced Recoil 170 gr: About 2"



    I've shot out to 300 yards and have confidence that the rifle will do its part if I do mine. Overall I am satisfied with the choice.

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    for many years and hunts I shot ONLY ABolts and swore by them (and probably still should) I had 2 cold weather freeze ups that I could not blame on myself so I switched - I looked the XBolt over at the counter and didn't like the "feel" of the trigger but I've heard alot of praise and little complaint about them since then which tells me I should look again - I love the swing down mag of the ABolt for function and I shoot T3's alot so can't malign drop out box magazines either (many states have outlawed riding ATV's with a loaded magazine so a drop out or detachable makes sense in that venue) Browning accuracy is legendary - the XBolt should be a good choice for you

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    They make a bunch of models in lefty, but not a stainless/composite, much to my dismay.

    I love my a bolt, wouldn't hesitate to go with the X.
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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Personally I have a hard time getting past the polymer magazine and bolt release button. I like the a-bolt II for the reasons mentioned above.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  12. #12

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    Browning makes good shotguns.. or at least they used to....

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