New hunting rifle...Browning A-Bolt (info)?

New hunting rifle...Browning A-Bolt (info)?

This is a discussion on New hunting rifle...Browning A-Bolt (info)? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I found out last week that I was going to be going on an elk and bear (black, maybe a few brown) hunting trip in ...

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Thread: New hunting rifle...Browning A-Bolt (info)?

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    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    New hunting rifle...Browning A-Bolt (info)?

    I found out last week that I was going to be going on an elk and bear (black, maybe a few brown) hunting trip in a couple of months. I've hunted bambi around here before but have always used my ex-sniper Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R in original milsurp condition (iron sights) as it's been enough for my needs. But for this trip, I was faced with either significantly altering the gun (new stock + scope) to get the most out if it or getting an actual dedicated hunting rifle, and I chose the latter.

    I'll post pics later as I'm at work, but the gun I chose is a barely used Browning A-Bolt in .300 Winchester Magnum. I feel pretty confident that it can handle just about anything I'll be hunting. It's the Hunter version with a gold trigger, matte blue finish and walnut stock. Has a Bushnell 3-9x (not sure of the mm) scope on it too. Very nice looking, and the scope is solid, tight, and seems to work well. When I looked down the bore with the light at the shop it looked awful, which is why I got a heck of a deal on it. If I'm not mistaken, don't these guns sell for over $1000 new, without a scope? I got it for $499 for the gun, scope, and sling.

    BUT, I could tell the difference between extreme dirt and rust when I saw it...so I took it home and gave it a good scrubbing with a bore brush and some Hoppes, then followed up with a light coat of gun oil. Sure enough, the bore turned out to be mirror shiny with no spots of corrosion and sharp rifling. Like new condition. Success!

    Otherwise the rest of the gun is also in like new condition. No corrosion, just hadn't been cleaned. A little work with some Hoppes, rags, and gun oil revealed a super smooth, like new shiny action. Stock has some very minor scratches from field use but is in overall excellent condition.

    I have to say I really like the smooth action, great trigger (adjustable too, correct?) and detachable box magazine. I'm going to love taking this one to the range and sighting it in. About the only thing I don't like is the cost of .300 Win. Mag, but I want to be able to hunt anything in N.A. with this gun.

    As I said I'll post pics later today, but for those of you who own or have shot one, how did I do on price for the condition? And can you share any information on the accuracy and quality of these Brownings? Or any other thoughts on them? I'm not new to guns obviously but I am new to guns explicitly for hunting, as I mentioned previously I used to use my milsurps in that capacity but I felt like it was time to step up.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.


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    I think you did OK. You paid a fair price for a used A Bolt. The price wasn't "the best deal ever", it was just about right. As far as what you bought though, you did great. Browning makes excellent firearms and I love my a Bolt. Good job.
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    I have an A-Bolt .270 and love it. Very smooth and accurate, I shot about a 2 inch group at 100 yards year after year.

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    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Awesome, that's what I was hoping to hear!

    I suppose it makes sense that it wasn't a steal of a price, since shops for the most part do know what they're doing. Although, the same shop sold me a nickel S&W model 13 for under $400...and those usually command a premium of a couple hundred over that.

    Either way, sounds like I got what I was looking for, which is a rifle I can have pride and confidence in while on a unique hunting trip. I felt at the time of purchase that Browning could deliver that.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

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    I had an A Bolt Stalker in 30-06 that would consistently shoot a sub MOA 3 shot group with Winchester 165 psp ammo. They're very nice shooting rifles.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    Good choice. I love my A-Bolt 300WM SS. Adjustable trigger is sweet, with a beautiful break no matter how you set it. I think I paid pretty close to the same (used) with a new VXII scope and rings, but many many years ago.

    Overkill for deer unless you're shooting at long ranges, but good choice for the game you're talking about. Go with the heaviest bullets possible if you're moving up to brownies (I think Federal still makes their 200g vital shok), but for all-around use, the various 165g loads (I like the Hornady SST) are really nice. You can sight it in at 300yds (about 3" high at 100yds), and it would stay +/-3" circle from ~0-350 yds and you're good for just about any game from deer to pigs to elk.

    I'm not a handloader, so it's definitely not cheap to shoot!

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    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Thanks for the load info...my dealer set me up with some 180 gr. Federal Premium Vital Shok to try out. $50 for a box of 20...ouch!

    Here's some pics and extra info:



    I looked up the serial number on Browning's website and my A-Bolt was apparently made in 1992.







    I can't find anything out about the scope, however. There is nothing written on it that I can find that gives me a model, unless it's hidden under the rings somewhere. All I can tell about it is that it has as good or better of a view in terms of clarity and focus as my other scopes so there's that. I guess I'll have to see how well it works and holds it's aim at the range. It looks like it's been on this rifle for a while.
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    sgb
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    Looks like it's an older inexpensive Bushnell 3x9x40. I'd replace it with a Leupold.
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    A little tip. In the field a rifle zeroed 1 inch high at 100yds will hit within an inch or two of point of aim all the way out to about 225 yds. After 225 the bullet drop needs to be calculated. At 300 yds you're probably going to be around 6 inche of drop. So any shot 300 and under shouldn't be too hard.

    After 300 yds the drop really starts to add up and you need to practice at long ranges if you expect to hit anything.

    As for me I've never shot anything past 300 yds. IMO 99% of game can be taken at didtances less than 300 yds.
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    A little tip. In the field a rifle zeroed 1 inch high at 100yds will hit within an inch or two of point of aim all the way out to about 225 yds. After 225 the bullet drop needs to be calculated. At 300 yds you're probably going to be around 6 inche of drop. So any shot 300 and under shouldn't be too hard.

    After 300 yds the drop really starts to add up and you need to practice at long ranges if you expect to hit anything.

    As for me I've never shot anything past 300 yds. IMO 99% of game can be taken at didtances less than 300 yds.
    Thanks, that's exactly what I sighted it in for!

    Shot it at the range today. It really is a sweet rifle, it makes taking accurate shots seem ridiculously easy. The Bushnell actually did really well...it held it's aim (was already aimed pretty well to start with, was shooting a couple inches low and to the right at first). It also resisted fogging when the skies fell during some extremely hot and humid weather. If it was going to fog, I think it would have done so then.

    My only gripe? Man that thing kicks HARD. I used a folded towel as a recoil buffer and it helped but after shooting 17 rounds through it my shoulder is very sore. But I feel very confident that I can bag myself an elk or bear if I come across one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 380ACP View Post
    The Bushnell actually did really well...it held it's aim (was already aimed pretty well to start with, was shooting a couple inches low and to the right at first). It also resisted fogging when the skies fell during some extremely hot and humid weather. If it was going to fog, I think it would have done so then.
    Actually, big temperature swings and changes in altitude are more likely to make the scope fog internally, but it's nowhere near the problem it was a generation ago.

    My only gripe? Man that thing kicks HARD. I used a folded towel as a recoil buffer and it helped but after shooting 17 rounds through it my shoulder is very sore. But I feel very confident that I can bag myself an elk or bear if I come across one!
    Chances are you won't need 17 rounds to nail your trophy! Just that first, cold-barrel shot. But remember, shooting seated at a bench puts all that recoil into your shoulder. When you squeeze the trigger on that elk or bear, chances are you won't even notice the recoil.
    Smitty
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