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Thread: Browning A bolt

  1. #1
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    Default Browning A bolt

    I'm looking at a 338 A bolt. There seems to be some bad rap about these rifles, can't remember what it was specifically, besides being a push feed. Is it just preference or is there something to it? I had one in 7 mag some years back, I never had any problems with it.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NMiller View Post
    I'm looking at a 338 A bolt. There seems to be some bad rap about these rifles, can't remember what it was specifically, besides being a push feed. Is it just preference or is there something to it? I had one in 7 mag some years back, I never had any problems with it.
    I've heard the rap too, and compared to my experience with the A-Bolt it reads like internet myth. I've owned three and all were flawless performers and laser accurate. I have several hunting pards who own them in a variety of calibers, and they're go-to guns for all of them. They have lots of other guns around, but the A-Bolt is the one that goes hunting with them. I'd have no qualms owning another one. Hope you find your 338 soon!

  3. #3
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    IMO it's a matter of preference, but of course individual preference is based upon objective comparisons and/or individual likes and dislikes.

    I like the A-Bolts. I own several of them, each having lots of field time. I like the 60 degree bolt lift, the smoothness of the bolt when cycled, the crispness of the trigger break with little creep, the convenience of a detachable magazine, locking bolt when the safety is engaged, and I like the fact that all of mine shoot very well and have never failed me in the field.

    I also own other rifles whose bolts are far more simpler to disassemble and much less complicated to clean after a week in the rain and snow than the A-Bolts (especially the A-Bolt II with the bolt shroud). These other rifles were also less expensive than my Brownings, and they too shoot very well and have never failed me. I also like them...but not as much. Preference.

    As a final comment, I should mention that I am left-handed, so my range of options for left-handed bolt actions is comparatively limited. Second, I am very comfortable with a push-feed, so the argument of a push-feed Vs a CRF (while certainly valid) is not a factor in my personal choices.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    As a final comment, I should mention that I am left-handed, so my range of options for left-handed bolt actions is comparatively limited. Second, I am very comfortable with a push-feed, so the argument of a push-feed Vs a CRF (while certainly valid) is not a factor in my personal choices.
    Same here, all the way down the line. Faced with rebarreling another gun or buying an A-Bolt, the latter gets lots of extra points in my gun rack. I've got a bunch of Remington 700's (stock and rebarrels), and I've used the model for over 40 years. It's a push feed too, and I've never had a failure, so I don't even consider the "advantage" of CRF in my choices.

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I love my A-bolt. I worked alot of actions before I decided on it and as stated above the 60 degree bolt throw and very positive feed are excellent. My guns are USED I beat them on brush and all the stainless barrels in my inventory are marked from brush busting and multiple day trips in the field. No failures from the A-bolt and it is a reasonable weight. The only (non custom) rifle that I like better than my A-bolt is a Weatherby Mark V and I don't like it enough to pay the extra $$. I would also like the feel of the Sako A7 and would consider it if I was shoping today.

  6. #6
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    A fews years back I bought a Browning A Bolt SS for my wife in caliber 270 Winchester, she really likes her rifle especially after she shot her first caribou with it. 2 out of 3 of my daughters have used it too, to shoot their caribou, no complaints from them. Occassionally either my son or I will borrow it from her since it is an accurate rifle and I too like the 60 degree bolt throw and the convenience of a detachable mag, which detaches from the floorplate. Her rifle also has a 13 3/4" lop which I prefer over the 13 1/2". Maybe I will trade her a Remingtom Model 7 SS in 7mm-08 for her Browning, wonder if she would take the trade, the 7 would fit her better since it has a 13 1/4" lop and is nice and compact.

  7. #7
    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    I just purchased the 338 LH a-bolt and am anxious to get it sighted in ..
    It feels considerably sturdier then its rival (tikkat3) I am very happy with mine (I have yet to shoot it)

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    I've never read or heard anything bad about the A-bolt. From my experience they work better on the arctic hunts than the others when it gets really really cold. I remember one hunt when it was down around -45 that my A-bolt was the only gun that would fire.

  9. #9

    Default A-Bolt

    I purchased my A-Bolt .338 when Browning first produced it in a stainless left hand model in 1989 or 1990.(?) I have been hunting with it ever since. It is a real tack driver. It will shoot less than one inch groups at 100 yards. As far as reliability goes, I trust it all the time. This gun has been beat over the years, It is no safe queen, and still performs excellent. If you do your part by cleaning it, it will do its part. The only drawback I can see, is the 26 inch barrel. It likes to snag on brush and anything else that gets in the way. I have often thought about cutting it down, but it shoots so well that I have not been able to do it. The only other gun on the market right now that I would replace the A-Bolt with is the Sako Kodiak. But, they do not offer it in a left hand model. I don't think the A-Bolt is ready to sit in the safe anyway.

  10. #10
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    Default Thanks guys

    Thanks for the responses. I've got one coming that I picked up for 500 including shipping and ffl fees, it has rings and bases with it, sounds like a decent deal. Now I've got to pick up some dies and reloading components.

  11. #11

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    I won one for a dollar several years ago (.300 Win Mag with a Leupold 3-9 Vari-X II). I have killed a booner shiras moose, giant mule deer, and a bull elk with it. Great, dependable rifle.

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