Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in .30-06
Any thoughts on/experience with the Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in .30-06? Looking at this and matched with a Leupold 3-9x40 VXII as a primary hunting rifle. Appreciate any comments from those who have shot this gun.
I just bought a Browning 300 win mag "26 inch barrel" stainless with a Leupold 4.5-14x50mm. Prior to buying the rifle I spoke with a ton of custom rifles people, hunters, shooters and read everything I could find. I would say 98% of everyone I talked to said great things about the Browning stalker. Of course a few of them ones that did not say good things just did not like Browning rifles. One complaint I did hear from people that loved the rifle was the trigger is yucky "hard trigger/not smooth etc". So, the day I bought mine I went ahead and sent it off to have a trigger job done to it. Still waiting to get it back.
The A-Bolt stainless stalker is a fine rifle, and it shoots very well. I've owned several for years, and my son also has one. Two are chambered in .30-06, and both are very accurate. You'll like the 60 degree bolt lift, which will give plenty of room to work the action along side the Leupold scope you have in mind, and the palm swell on the synthetic stock feels just right. I've not had one bit of trouble from any of mine, and there is little that a .30-06 can't do...although I primarily take my .375 H&H A-Bolt with me into the field in the fall up here...while my .30-06 is for spring black bear and other callings. I doubt you'll be disappointed with the rifle or the caliber. One suggestion, if you have the extra money, trade up to the Vari-X-III (3.5x10).
I have three A-Bolts; a 7-mag, 338 WM, and a 280 Rem. I've been really happy with all three, but the 280 Rem doesn't shoot bullets heavier than 145 grains worth a darn. I think I'll end up rebarreling the 280 with a PacNor barrel. I don't care for the 22" tube on a 280, or a '06 either, and I wan't to be able to shoot 160 grain bullets if I so chose.
I think Leupold's VX-lll 2.5-8 is a perfect match for an '06. I have one on my 338 and love it.
I installed a trigger spring kit from Brownell's and it works great, smooth and 2.5 lbs pull, and the price is good too. And if you want to switch back it's easy to do, just replace the spring.