Browning’s X-Bolt Hunter is a bolt action rifle under the popular X-Bolt series. It features a short 60-degree bolt lift for fast follow-up shots, which makes this rifle very good for hunting. Its solid steel receiver has a matte, blued finish which goes very well with the rifle’s Walnut stock.
Basic Specifications (based on calibre):
- Length – 41.5 inches
- Barrel Length – 22 to 26 inches
- Weight – 6.6 to 7 pounds
- Rate of Twist – 9 inches
- Magazine Capacity – 4 in detachable rotary magazine
Browning’s benchmark firearm forever changed the face of bolt-action rifles because it has been built on the previous successes of Browning rifles, but also because of the numerous improvements it has. The result? A rifle that is one of the most reliable and accurate in the market today.
Today, the Browning X-Bolt Hunter comes in more than 10 calibres for a wide range of uses. These are:
- 22-250 Rem
- 223 Rem
- 243 Win
- 25-06 Rem
- 270 Win
- 270 WSM
- 280 Rem
- 30-06 Spfld
- 300 Win Mag
- 300 WSM
- 308 Win
- 325 WSM
- 338 Win Mag
- 375 HH Mag
- 7mm Rem Mag
- 7mm-08 Rem
This high-powered rifle features a solid steel receiver and barrel with a low-lustre finish to prevent glare and reflection. This is important when stalking a prey in the wild. The barrel is free floated to eliminate contact with the fore-end and triple-checked for quality. In addition, the barrel is hand chambered and air gauged to keep the rifle’s pinpoint accuracy.
The stock is made of Walnut, a hardwood material used in many high-end rifles for its durability. The stock also sports detailed checkering and finished in satin gloss, which enhances the wood’s natural grain and beauty, as well as protect it from all weather conditions.
One of the X-Bolt’s special features, which can also be found on the Hunter version, is the adjustable Feather Trigger. This 3-lever trigger system provides a crisp, clean pull with no creep or take up. The trigger housing is made of chromed steel components which are highly polished on all important contact surfaces. This is what makes the Feather Trigger feel light even through thousands of rounds. The trigger is also adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds and comes with the factory setting of approximately 3.5 pounds.
Another feature of the X-Bolt Hunter that makes it a favourite rifle for many hunters, is the 60-degree bolt lift which keeps the thumb and fingers from blocking the scope and allows the for the quicker and smoother reloading of the rifle.
The bolt unlock button works in tandem with the top-tang safety providing an additional measure of safety when checking and unloading the chamber. What this means is that the bolt can be unlocked and opened even on the safe position. It probably is one of the most overlooked features of the Browning X-Bolt, but is actually very integral to the operation of any rifle.
Another X-Bolt feature is the rotary magazine. It is detachable and made of a lightweight but tough polymer material, which is a plus for many users. The magazine is designed to prevent the deformation of the bullet tips and bullet seating due to recoil. Not only that, the release system allows for the magazine to rotate directly into your hand. For a more streamlined appearance, the magazine sits flush with the rifle bottom.
The recoil pad uses the new Inflex Technology which features an internal skeleton that follows directional deflection. What this means is that when the rifle is fired, the pad collapses and directional ribs steer the comb away from your face for shooting comfort and quicker follow ups.
As a summary, there is very little negative that you can say about the Browning X-Bolt Hunter. It’s just a matter of preference, really. Some would complain that stocks made of wood are heavier and therefore not that very convenient to carry around on a hunt. Some would say that the price is a big turn off. But whatever the complaints are, no one can argue the fact that the Browning X-Bolts are one of the best rifles out in the market today. And that includes the Hunter model.