Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 49

Thread: Browning A-Bolts...what do you think?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,461

    Default Browning A-Bolts...what do you think?

    I own a I and several II's. I do like them, although I've heard both good and bad about them over the years. Push feed Vs CRF aside, seems that people either like them or don't with relatively little indifference in the middle.

    I've never had one fail, and they all are typically very accurate. I like the 60 degree bolt lift which makes cycling the action much smoother with a scoped rifle. I like the trigger right out of the box, although I have it adjusted down to 2.5-3.0. The extractor is way stronger than a 700, although Sako style rules in my opinion. The palm swell on the synthetic stalker is a nice touch. I like the hinged floor plate and detachable magazine, which allows easy placement of an extra round after chambering. The safety is reliable, locks the bolt when engaged, and I 've never heard of a malfunction.

    I don't like the complexity of the bolt. Disassembly is more a chore with this one than others. The bolt sleeve on the A-Bolt II is also a major hassel when cleaning after returning from the field. However, those are my only real beefs. I admit to these short-comings, but I still like and even prefer A-Bolts to some other rifles.

    So what else makes them so disliked by some?

    Doc

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In an easy chair in Cyberspace
    Posts
    2,316

    Default

    We are the warranty station for Browning and have done one A Bolt warranty claim in 18 months.

    Thats QC!

  3. #3
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    A big thumbs up. Much better than that new X bolt thingy...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  4. #4
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    572

    Default

    I almost bought one this year because they are pretty lightweight for the price and quality, but the wife eventually gave me the green light to spend the big bucks on the Weatherby Ultra Lightweight. I think the A Bolts are a good rifle. I love the White Gold model. I will own one someday.Funny you should mention the palm swell, because that is the thing I like the LEAST about them (to each their own I guess). And I'm with Float Pilot on the X bolt. I think it is a step back.

  5. #5
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    648

    Default

    I bought one with great enthusiasm in .338wm once and after shooting it for a while could not get rid of it fast enough. It was well made and accurate on the bench but just never "felt right". Pretty subjective, so if they work for you go for it. Some possibly nonsubjective observations:

    I really don't like the clip on the floor plate reloading system.

    Mine initially had too weak a floor plate release spring so it dumped the remaining rounds on the first shot. Bad for AK.

    My first and only muzzle break, the BOSS. Overly complicated, unnecessary and painful for everybody. brings to mind one word..Hacksaw.

    As I mentioned though, difference of opinion is what makes a horserace interesting so if you like them, go for it.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    I appreciate the responses thus far guys...thanks.

    Like I said earlier, I like the A-Bolts. I've bought four of them over the years, and I've held on to each one of them.

    Anyone else have experience with them? I'm not planning on arguing with anyone, so please share your experiences with the A-Bolts.

    Keep it coming...good or bad...speculative or actual.

    Doc

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Got one and like it. From the easy bolt release mechensim to the tang safety and 60* bolt throw. I topped it with a zeiss conquest 3x9x40 and will probably never part w/ it.

  8. #8
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    I can't EXACTLY remember how the history of the A-bolt design went down, but I do recall at one point in time Sako made the browning bolt.....when American riflemen were more critical of the weight of a rifle. They designed an A-Bolt of there own design that proved to be much lighter than the expensive ones made by Sako........I believe other Brownings were Made in Belgium too......they were like wise lightenend up a bit. ONE OF THE BEST ATTRIBUTES OF THE BROWNING A-BOLT IS THE SCISSOR STYLE MAGAZINE SPRING. It is a well known fact that this syle of magazine will feed ANY cartridge reliably......specifically the WSM's

  9. #9
    Member Unalakleet yooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Unalakleet
    Posts
    135

    Default

    I've got 3 of them and like the rifles, espicially being left-handed. My 338 is the stainless synthethic and I kind of like the palm swell. The only thing I have considered is cutting down the barrel a bit since it is 26 inches. Over the past 10 years or so, I haven't had any problems with any of the guns. All are very accurate and have good triggers. The first A bolt I purchased was a used 30-06 in a close out area of a gun shop that was there because it was left-handed. I picked it up for $300 and so far it has taken 4 deer, a caribou and a black bear and has traveled from New Foundland to Alaska.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    8 miles down kgb
    Posts
    120

    Default

    I like mine ,I`m a lefty to got on in 25-06 had it 10 plus years and wouldn`t give it up allso have a 375 came with the boss, now no more boss and a great gun

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Interesting trend developing here with the south-paws and A-Bolts...I'm also left-handed, and my A-Bolts are lefty's..

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Well, Doc, I have to be honest here, I don't care for them. Not because they are not well made, they are. Not because they have poor quality control, they do. It is just the looks......not so much the looks of the gun, even though I don't like it but the looks I get from my hunting buddys. It is like taking your step sister to the senior prom, folks turn their backs to you so you can't see them snicker.

    Sorry, I just had to do that!! I don't like the smashed flat bolt grasping ....ball. It reminds of a milk dud left on the theater floor. I don't like the Mannlicher's funky butter knife bolt either. Nor do I care for the aesthetics of the three sided receiver. The Sako 75/85 receiver is the same eye sore.

    They are light weight and well balanced but don't fit me, with the stock design, very well. I know of no problems with them except that some gunsmiths don't care for them becasue they are not generic enough to accept other manufacturers accessories. The do share the receiver top with an equally ugly Steyr SBS and takes the same scope bases, since I do own Steyrs it is nice to draw upon the popularity of the A-Bolt for scope mounts.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  13. #13

    Default

    Abolts are great for lefties. My cousin and my father both have abolts and they love them.
    My cousin has taken 4 dall sheep over 40 inches the biggest was 44.75 X13.88. He has used a righthand stainless abolt 308 win with a McMillan stock. He loves the browning and has taken Brown Bear, moose, caribou, goats and many sheep with this gun. He uses it as a tool but he dotes on it.
    In many ways, he went to the abolt not by choice. He was originally left handed and used a BAR 338 for everything.

    Twelve years ago, He was dropping bear bait to different bait stations with a paraglider and got nailed by a mountain gust, gunned it and wound up crashing. He ended up cutting his left arm off half way between his elbow and his shoulder. Gods take care of fools and madmen and his hunting partner and daughter were flying next to him in a supercub. They rushed Dr. Embick who was a wildman himself but a supreb ortho trauma surgeon and he worked to re-attach the arm and saved Doug's life. Doug went through about a year of pt until he regained full use of it.

    Doug was a great athlete but he had brittle bone disease as a young person and this helped because he had a superb healing factor. Doug never let anything slow him down and is a world class kayaker(Kotsina, Kuskalana, Tsaina), Mountain and Ice Climber and pilot.

    Doug went with the Abolt after his accident and used it as his goto gun ever since.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    I already knew that you didn't like them Professor Murphy, but I'm glad that you weighed-in with your opinion which I do value.

    So, let me see if I can summarize your comments on the A-Bolt: You think that they are well made with good quality control, light-weight and well balanced...(I call that high praise from a person with high standards). However, they don't fit you well, and you really don't like the looks of them for several reasons..."milk-dud on a theatre floor" is really funny (however, it's more like a Junior Mint, but I already said that I didn't plan on arguing with anyone's comments). Oh, I almost forgot, for some inexplicable (and most likely bizarre) reason, the A-Bolt causes you flash-backs of images from high school, your step-sister and your senior prom.

    Does that about summarize it?

    Doc

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Pretty close...except she wasn't my step siter, she was.....well that's for another session, hows Tuesday for you?

    Oh, and you're right is is more squishy like a jr mint. Are milk duds and jr mints sold anywhere besides theaters?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  16. #16

    Default

    I have a 300 wsm titanium and a much older 338 wm hunter. Both of my guns are exceptionally accurate. Neither gun is finicky about ammuntion. They shoot anything I have tried well. I have never had a problem with either. The light weight titanium model does have a fair amount of muzzle jump at the bench. However, it is a great gun to carry all day.

    I guess the biggest problem I have had is.....they are so reliable they are boring.

  17. #17
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Are milk duds and jr mints sold anywhere besides theaters?
    I did not think so until about 18 years back, the first Christmas together with my wife. I would always buy 5 boxed of duds when we went to the movies on Friday nights to keep in the truck for the drive home after work. So that Christmas morning I got 3 cases of duds she picked up at Costco for the price of 2 months worth from the movie house. Them things got hard enough to be A-bolt knobs long before they were gone.

    Murphy funny how you think the guys in your camps snicker at you for having an A-bolt, most of the camps I have been guys will always find some way to poke fun. So may as well take the gun that makes ya happy and just laugh right with them, it's all about haveing fun anyway!

    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  18. #18
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    ............
    Murphy funny how you think the guys in your camps snicker at you for having an A-bolt, most of the camps I have been guys will always find some way to poke fun. So may as well take the gun that makes ya happy and just laugh right with them, it's all about haveing fun anyway!


    Hey, no doubt sort of a love the one your with kinda thing. Speaking of which, I think it's important for everyone to know, she wasn't my step sister!

    Hey, I'd poke fun at guys no matter what rifle they carried in camp but hardly ever the women they date. That can really cut deep.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  19. #19

    Default

    A-BOLT!!!! Have had them and one was done up real nice with my name one the bolt. I thought back then I had the cat's meow for sure. My last one was a 300WSM Stainless with synthetic stock and topped with a Zeiss. After working with it for three years doing load work, shooting it at the range and hunting with it, I never could bond with that rifle.

    Just something about it. It was not the most accurate rifle I own but shot good. Was not the best feeling rifle I own but handled ok. Was not the best looking but it was not that ugly either. I don't know????? I guess the best way to put it was that it was a Browning!! That's it!!!! That's why it never became my favorite go to rifle.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,461

    Default Thanks guys

    I appreciate all the responses, stories and perspectives that you guys shared about the A-Bolts. It was interesting reading for me.

    It's great that we can pursue our individual firearm preferences by selecting from various makes and models...let's all work to make sure that our children can as well.

    Doc

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •