GUN First Look: The Browning X-Bolt and Winchester Model 70

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by 7, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. 7

    7 First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.

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    Taken from http://fieldandstream.blogs.com/gunnut/2007/10/first-look-the-.html#more

    Well after much chatter and rumor, the real story is out. Winchester has resurrected the legendary Model 70, and Browning has surprised the shooting world with a brand new bolt-action rifle called the X-Bolt.

    I got an early look at both rifles on a Caribou hunt in Northern Quebec in late September, taking a bull with each rifle. Here’s the scoop:

    Browning X-Bolt.
    The first thing you notice when you shoulder the X-bolt is how sleek it feels. It’s a handy little number and weighs 7 pounds in long-action, wood-stocked versions, 6.5 in the short-action composite. It comes to the shoulder like a fine shotgun and was easy to carry around the tundra all day.

    But pulling the trigger was what really made me smile. It’s superb. There’s been a trigger renaissance among factory rifles, and Browning calls their version the “Feather Trigger.” Sounds about right to me. I felt like I only had to think about it, and it fired. It’s adjustable with a turn of a screw from 3 to 5 pounds, and broke crisply. Other nifty extras on this gun include: a bolt-unlock button that allows you to open the bolt with the tang safety still engaged; a completely new scope mounting system that uses four screws per base, and a detachable rotary magazine that feeds cartridges in line with the bolt. The barrel is free floated, and the bolt has three locking lugs and a 60-degree lift.

    The X-bolt has a classic American style stock, but with some subtle lines that give it a modern look. Note that the checkering above the trigger guard on the early prototype shown in these photos has been eliminated in the final version. Price will be $800 to $1050 and comes in calibers from .243 Win to .375 H&H.



    Winchester Model 70.
    Yes, it’s back, and no it’s not made in Japan. U.S. Repeating Arms’ FN Manufacturing plant in Columbia, S.C., will produce this American classic along with the rifles it currently makes for the military. This new Model 70 is still the “Rifleman’s Rifle” that so many shooters missed when it ceased production last year, but there are some notable improvements.
    First, the trigger is the new “M.O.A Trigger System,” which is marketing speak for a completely redesigned three-lever trigger. Like the X-Bolt, it was very fine, with zero creep. It is factory set at 3 ¾ pounds and ranges from 3 to 5 pounds.

    The other big improvement on this gun is its accuracy. Some of the guns coming out of the Connecticut factory toward the end of the original Model 70’s run were downright awful, and Winchester is very serious about correcting that problem. The barrels are hammer forged, and the goal is 1-MOA accuracy for 3-shot groups. All of the new Model 70s I shot in Quebec were very accurate. The 3-position safety, stock styling, and ejector are all classic Model 70.

    The rifle will come in several versions including: Super Grade, Featherweight Deluxe, Sporter Deluxe, and Extreme Weather SS models. Prices from $1,000 to $1,200.

    X-Bolt
    [​IMG]

    M-70
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    Neat looking rifles. 3lbs is still a good bit of heft for a precision rifle trigger though. We can't all have dual stagers, but a factory Remington 700 trigger can be adjusted to less than that safely. I have a $230 rifle package with a scope that does sub M.O.A. groupings, I would expect a fair amount more than a "1 M.O.A." rifle for $1200.

    I'm glad someone is bringing back the Model 70 though, that is a true piece of American rifle history there. Not to mention, several other rifles (like the FN patrol rifle) are based on it's action. I was unhappy that Winchester had claimed they were not making firearms anymore a while back.
     
  3. Aequitas

    Aequitas If it keeps on raining, levee's going to break.

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  4. 7

    7 First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.

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    In a hunting rifle that is going to be carried around 3lbs is a good weight, you don't want an extremely light pull as theres always the danger of trigger snags and nervous people :mamoru:

    Really a factory expecting MOA from a production rifle isn't as horrendous as it seems since most companies (probably including whoever makes your package) deem 1.5" groups as perfectly acceptable.
     
  5. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    That is true. I forget about nervous people. My rifle is actually a cheap New England single shot with a heavy barrel in .308. I say package, I should have said setup. I bought it for $160, it has maybe $25 rings, and a $40 scope on it. Hunting deer at 100 yards, 1.5 inches is totally acceptable. That's what most people would be doing with that rifle anyway.
     
  6. 7

    7 First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.

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    I was going to get an NEF/H&R/whatever ultra varmint in 223 a while back but never did. They're a great deal, I think it was $240 or something.
     
  7. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    Aside from the ease of a second shot, they are fantastic for a hunter on a budget. But with being able to put 3 shots in a quarter at 100 yards, a second shot would rarely be necessary.
     
  8. Goat

    Goat That crack is really moreish

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    Unless you miss
     
  9. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    True, you have to be a decent enough shot to make the first one count.
     
  10. 7

    7 First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.

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    More M70 pics

    [​IMG]

    New Trigger
    [​IMG]
     

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