Hi all, new to this board...have been hunting for awhile and most recently owned a Browning A-bolt in 7mm mag. I've since sold that rifles and now I'm in a toss up. I'm looking at the Browning X-bolt and the Kimber 8400. Earlier today I finally got to see / shoulder the Kimber as well as the X-bolt. (skipping work to get the car a tune up also makes for a great time to visit the gun shop down the road from the car dealership)
So I'm wondering if anyone has owned both, or compared both. The problem is both felt really nice...and I have not fired either. I imagine the X-bolt is a lot like the A-bolt. My A-bolt was the stainless stalker, with the BOSS.
In the 8400 and X-bolt I'd be looking at 7mm WSM. But wait, there's another twist to me being clueless. I'm in VT and deer here aren't too impressive, 100 lbs to 130 is average I think, bigger bucks approaching 200lbs are pretty rare. A 7mm will do serious damage, so I was also kicking around the idea of another A-bolt in .243 wssm. I've got a feeling many will say to not go that route, but figured I'd toss it out there as it's something I'm contemplating.
As for prices, I can get the .243 A-bolt for $620 - 650 and the X-bolt 7mm for a little over 700. The kimber is a lot more at $999.
You've got two issues here...caliber and rifle choice.
Caliber: given that the deer you're chasing are 100-130 pounds, any caliber from .243 and up will do.
In terms of the rifle you're looking at, I have no experience with either and have very little knowledge of either. So my question for you would be...why these two? The conventional wisdom on this board seems to be custome rifles, remington 700 or savages. I'm not made of money, so I personally choose the reminton 700 sps and add/customize them. The other advantage to the Remington and Savage is that aftermarket parts are easily found. This brings me full circle...why browning or kimber?
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
Well I've owned a Savage once and I no longer have it...I didn't like it much. I've fired other Savages, and didn't really like them either BUT that was awhile ago. I'm picky I suppose. I'm also not a fan of the Winchester 70. Also today I was looking at the Remington 700. I have never liked the safety on them, have even heard of accidental discharges..etc.
I tend to look at stuff like that, if I don't like how something works there's a good chance I'm not going to buy it.
As to my choices, well, why not? They're not cheap, I know that, as I just sold my A-bolt and a glock to replace the A-bolt with something lighter.
I know Brownings are accurate and excellent guns. I just don't know much about the Kimber.
I dont have any knowlege of the kimber but I love my a-bolt 270wsm. It shoots really well.
If you are just looking for a hunting rig not something you are going to try and customize then I would say go with the browning.. The kimber seems over priced to me. Also you might want to look at the new TC icon. As far as the 243wsm from what I have researched its not a very good caliber. There are much more accurate calibers that are going just as fast if not faster!! Good luck!
don't worry, you came to the right site to get advice on hunting rifles, you just may not agree with all the advice that is given ;)
No experience w/ the browning x bolt, I like the Abolts, but I'm a fan of Rem 700's and the Tikka T3. I sound like a broken record on this site, but I would urge you to look at the Tikka if you want an accurate inexpensive rifle. The safety is better than the remmy in my opinion, and I am confident the accuracy is going to be just as good if not better than the browning.
I have never shot or handled Kimber so no advice there.
The 243 wssm is a bit of a barrel burner, but if you are just going to hunt big game and shoot a couple dozen rounds a year that is a moot point than. If you don't feel you need the power of a 7wsm, than I'd consider a 7-08 giving you excelent bullet selection, easy to come by ammo, moderate recoil and a very efficient case design. I currently have a 300wsm and you won't hear me complain about the 7wsm or the 300wsm - both on my favorites list. If you want a rifle that you can go to the range and really practice with than I'd reccomend getting something that isn't pushing the limits on velocity so you don't burn up your barrel in a couple years.
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
I did end up looking at the Tikka's online last week or so. Then again earlier today as I noticed they seem to be pretty popular on the board here. I haven't checked into local shops that carry them though. And by local, unfortunately I mean 30-60+ miles. Gotta love it.
I'd also not be shooting much unfortunately...due to ammo cost. But on the other hand, thanks for the warning on the .243. It is a screamer, pretty impressive.
I've been leaning more towards the 7 wsm. Earlier at the shop I joked, "watch, I'll buy the .243 wssm and next year draw a moose tag and have to go buy the 7mm wsm so I can go hunting"
So I'll definitely look into the Tikkas, see what comes up for a dealer search. Maybe I can go check 'em out