Browning BLR Accuracy
I was looking around the archives and didn't really find any information on the question of the accuracy of the BLR's. I like their 20" barrel in the .308 and the newer pistol grip compared to the conventional blr grip. Has anyone used them and what kind of accuracy did you experience in either style? Also they look to be able to alow a nice follow up shot when needed.
I've loaded for them in a variety of calibers and found them very accurate, both with factory loads and hand loads. They're at least as good as th Savage 99, and that's saying something--- 1.25-2" @ 100 yards is pretty typical with factory loads, and you can usually beat that with handloads. Funny coincidence that you refer to the 308. Along with the 243, that's the most accurate I've loaded for in BLR. Try a 165-grain Nosler Partition at max usually breaking an inch. With the 243 I'd have no qualms using an 80-85 grain HP for small varmints at long range.
The challenge is in bench technique. The forend is narrow, so it tends to rock easily from side to side between shots. A very good V-bag on the forend is mandatory. Also you want a fairly tall rest so you can cycle the action without lifting the rifle between shots.
As for action cycling, it's easier and smoother than a well-worn Savage 99. Probably one of it's greatest strengths for quick followup shots.
I'm glad to see the post on the BLR accuracy. I'm thinking of using my BLR in .358 for moose and I was wondering about the mid to long range accuracy of the gun. If anyone has any experience with shooting the BLR or the .358 at 200+ yards please post.
Last edited by eclipse; 01-12-2007 at 17:40.
200+ Yard BLR performance
I've used close to a half dozen Belgian manufactured BLR's.
When I could afford 'A' rifle, 'A' shotgun, and 'A' .22, I loaded the 130 gr. Speer hollow point ahead of 45 gr. of surplus 4895 and have witnesses to paced off hits on pasture poodles in Montana at just shy of 400 yards. Wasn't a once in a blue moon shot, either, that rifle was a sub minute of angle performer with most every reasonable .308 load I ever put in it.
I used that rifle to shoot everything from flies on the target at the range to a Shirras cow moose.
I just can't warm up to the styling or construction of the new guns, I'd even take one of the earlier Miroku produced steel receiver guns before the new one. The things just beg to be treated like a red headed stepchild.....almost as nasty as the 'new' BAR.
I've got a lot of experience with the 358 accumulated in two rifles over the last 20+ years, but neither is a BLR (Savage 99 and Win 88). I've also loaded for a couple in Ruger M77 that belonged to friends. I've shot deer out to around 200 and targets beyond that. I really wouldn't consider it much of a moose round beyond 200 as a result of that. It's dropping pretty fast, plus energy has fallen off a lot too. I love the round, but respect its limits.
Today I paid off my .308 Browning BLR which I had on layaway. It is the Lightweight '81 Lever Action 20" Blued Barrel version. I can't wait to try her out. I am not sure if I'll put a scope on as I would like to try it out with the iron sights.
Try it with the open sights first. You can always scope it later.
If you're not a real experienced open sight shooter, here's a tip for accuracy and for longer range shooting.
Forget about using the whole front bead for sighting!
No matter how small the bead is, it's going to be too big to use the center of the bead for point of impact. Heck, a standard bead will cover a whole deer at around 100 yards.
Instead of using the whole bead, use the top edge of the bead as your aiming point. Basically when you're shooting at smaller targets or targets further away, you put the top edge of the bead where you want to hit while still seeing lots of target and not hiding it behind the bead.
I've got a little Savage 99 in 250 that's sighted in that way. Or should I say that I had the rifle. My wife has always used scopes, and when I explained how the sights worked and let her try it, she completely took over the rifle. The only time I've had it in my hands since has been for cleaning.
Just yesterday we stopped at a quarry after a hunt for another round of offhand practice. Targets were 16 oz plastic soft drink bottles filled with water at 75 yards. She went 9 for 11, missing two times when she tried to shoot the caps off the bottles. Using the whole bead for a sight, you couldn't even see the bottles. Using the top edge, you can call your spot even on small targets.
Thanks BrownBear! I'll definitely give that a try. I used to use open sights as a kid and was ok with it then. I guess it is just a matter of getting reaquainted once again. It may be just a little while to report back the results but I'll let you know how it works out in a week or so.
Rufus I just sold a Brownin BLR in 358 (replaced it with a Marlin guide gun ) it was very accurate like 1 1/2 groups at 100 yards with open sights, trouble I had was reliability, take it out on a wet day and you might not get the action to work unless you really force it open, I tryed everything as the 358 is my favorite cal. The last straw was this fall guideing I bumbed into a sow grizzly with 2 big cubs up in the high country she was close maybe 50 yards and woofed a couple times I tryed to chamber a round and couldnt the bolt was stuck solid! The hunter did have a gun and bear did leave but that was enough for me. At camp I looked at it and found it had some moisture and dirt (not much) If you get one you will like how it shoots just dont use it hard. I also dont like the gears in the action they just dont look very strong. Dave
358 for moose
The 358 is a superb moose round, if you handload you can do anything a 30/06 will do and with a larger bullet. I shot mine out to 300 yards no problem. Look up Jeff Quin article online he gives some good comparisons on his sight. The 358 with 180s shoots very flat certianly flat enough for 300 yard shots at moose, and with 250s it is bear medicine, I shot a Bison last year with 250 noslers one shot and it flattened her. Im biased maybe as its my favorite caliber, good performer and not much recoil!
I have had much experience with BLRs.
My dad had a Japanese Miroku Browning BLR in 308 winchester that he picked up at a guns store called Coons Corner in South Dakota. It was a great gun and accurate within 1 inch at 100 yards.
You need to watch for scope eyebrow if you scope it.
The BLRs can kick if you shoot handloads but it is a very strong action
and points fast and well.
My cousin developed a flinch using it.
He shot a cow caribou a bit further back then he should of near Lake Louise Road and misplaced his shells. I was raised not to let animals suffer or get away. My father and our gear were in the other rig. I ended up cowboying it by jumping off of the back of the 4X4 truck on the side road and I landed on its back and stabbed in the back of the skull.
I know I was young(16) and relatively stupid. I was extremely lucky and didn't get hurt. I was also much smaller than I am now.
The BLR did account for several moose and many caribou. My cousin who was a big guy ended up trading my dad a Remington 700 ADL in 270 for it and was happy.
The Caribou died quickly but somehow it had released adrenaline and it was tough and gamey. We ended up making it into Chili.
Would a synthetic aftermarket stock be an option to consider over the factory? I am sure it would improve the accuracy some and are there any synthetic stocks available for the blr's?
I have seen at least one blr with a synthetic stock but I coudln't tell you what kind. This one had been done by Extreme rifle works out of palmer.
Try MPI stocks at www.mpistocks.com