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Old 09-16-2011, 05:26 PM
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browning a-bolt vs x-bolt

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hey everyone, new to the forum here, just been doing some reading and research on some rifles, looking at something in 30-06, just wondering what the major differences in the browning a bolt rifle and the x bolt.
thanks garrett
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:53 AM
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I don't really know about functional differences, but the A-bolt is prettier!
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:23 AM
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I have an A-Bolt, which I really like, but have not owned an X-Bolt. The X-Bolt is supposed to have a better trigger, a rotary detachable magazine, is tapped for four screws per scope base, and a better recoil pad. The stock on the X-Bolt has a sleeker, more modern pattern than the A-Bolt stock.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:05 AM
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I've owned a couple A-bolts, and still have one. I've only handled X-bolts in stores thus far. I find the X-bolt's actual bolt movement/action to be a bit smoother, but it's kinda rifle-specific, and I would expect them all to smooth out with a session operating the bolt while your favorite re-run is on the tube.

I like the fact that you can now cycle the bolt with the safety on. I don't care for the 4-screw scope base mounting system, as it takes away nearly all choice for scope bases. Hopefully that will be corrected over time, but maybe not since Browning isn't the biggest rifle-maker on the scene. I don't happen to care for the detachable magazine. I prefer floorplates and followers (like Ruger's and some Savages; don't know about other brands). The A-bolt used a magazine, but it was removably attached to a hinged floorplate, which was a decent compromise if you're going to insist on a magazine.

The X-bolt 'comes with' a 'free' jacket right now, whereas the A-bolt does not.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:19 AM
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thanks for the replies guys, sounds like one could save the money with the a bolt and still have a great performing rifle
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:50 AM
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The X-bolt has the bolt unlock button on top. I think you have to push that to do the bolt cycle with safety on that MZ5 mentioned. Not a bad feature. Should make it a little quieter to open and check for a loaded chamber if you are stalking. The 60 operation has always felt good on my A-bolt and should on the X-bolt, too. They should make a Scout version with that action.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:52 AM
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I have one

I own an X-bolt in 7mm Rem Mag SS Stalker, I like the bolt release button on the bolt handle that allows the bolt to be opened while the safety is engaged. It has a very natural feel to it, comes right up to my shoulder. I'll also say the recoil pad works very well, I was a little concerned about recoil given this was the first magnum I had shot. The first time I took it out I put 50 rounds through it and did not experience lasting shoulder soreness. I've left the trigger at it's stock setting ~ 3 lbs, the trigger is perfect no creep, just a crisp predictable short pull. I'm not all that particular about the scope mounting pattern it seems to work well, that's about all you can ask for isn't it? I'll also say this rifle has surprising accuracy and the zero has stayed true. I have come to expect a hole through the center of the bull-eye, I let a buddy shoot it and he was simply amazed at how well it grouped, incidentally this was compared to an '06 (though an old beat-up one).
At some point I plan to get a short action caliber and likely I'll get another x-bolt.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:56 PM
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I just traded a Ruger Mark II stainless in 223 for a Browning A-Bolt II Micro Hunter in 308. It's my first Browning A-Bolt BUT it won't be the last. Love the light weight, easy to carry, fit and function. Love the adjustable trigger. Love the accuracy and the Ruger was no slouch in that department BUT the Browning is better with factory ammo so far. Will try reloads in the near future. I'd say find a used A-Bolt in 30-06 and you will be grinning to and from the range.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:12 AM
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I own a Browning A-Bolt "Hunter" in .308 Win. & it's one of the most accurate rifles I own. It will put the first shot from a cold barrel dead-on. Don't know that much about the X-Bolt, as I've never actually handled one.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:21 AM
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I had a A-bolt in 30.06 felt like a 2x4, got rid of it and bought a X- bolt in .308. I like every thing better on the X-bolt, slimmer,trimmer mag is much easyer to load/unload. If I buy a new one it will be a X-bolt, I do own A-bolt's in .22lr & .22mag but they are slimmer and trimmer than the centerfire rifles.
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