Difference between Browning's A-Bolt and X-Bolt??

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Litehiker, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,445
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    I have a stainless Browning A-Bolt (gen. 1) in .300 Win mag. It's a nice rifle with all the right features and quite accurate when the BOSS brake is adjusted to the load.

    So is there any qualitative or feature difference between my A-Bolt and the X- Bolt?

    Eric B.
     
  2. manitou

    manitou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    X-bolt has a different receiver, different bolt, same style bolt handle. X-bolt has rotary magazine (i like a lot), bolt unlock button (i like a lot) and x- lock mount 4 screw bases. The inflex recoil pad on the X-bolt is amazing and really reduces felt recoil and jump.
    They are two very different rifles but both have quality workmanship IMO.
    I like A-bolts but I REALLY like X-bolts!
     
    257Tony and Creedmoor shooter like this.
  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,522
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I don't like the plastic detachable mags of the X-Bolts... But other than that, they seem like good rifles. I've always been an A-Bolt II fan...Had 2 of them, still have one that's been built into a custom.

    One huge advantage to the X-Bolts is that Timney offers completely replacement triggers for them, and the A-Bolts you can only buy a spring kit that only lessens the pull pressure, and does nothing to reduce the creep or break timing.
     
    just country and Mike 338 like this.
  4. therifleman556

    therifleman556 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2017
    I also like the AB 2 magazines better. I like the fact that the rifle can be top loaded conventionally. The magazine stays with the floor plate, so when the release is pressed the top of the magazine is presented to you for topping off while the bolt remains closed and the rifle shouldered: ready to fire quickly again if needed.

    This gives it an advantage similar to a lever action rifle or a tube feed shotgun. It can stay at the ready while reloading.
     
  5. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    405
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Both are excellent hunting rifles, and each has it's strong points. My experience is that the x-bolt is a more accurate rifle, on average.
     
  6. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,445
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    I posted the same question on the 6.5 Creedmoor site in the "Rifles" forum and got a link to a post from "The DIY Hunter" site that compared the two. I can say after reading it I'd take the X-Bolt over my gen.1 A-Bolt.
    But my .300 Win mag A-Bolt is still an excellent rifle and very accurate.

    Eric B.
     
  7. Creedmoor shooter

    Creedmoor shooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    I prefer the x-bolt. Everything about the x-bolt seems to be alittle better made than the A-bolt minus the magazine which I haven't had any issues with and I actually like it. As far as accuracy, I believe it's a wash. My brothers A-bolt2 in 280 rem shoots the 168 berger vld very well. Definitely sub .5 moa. My x-bolt 7mm rem mag likes the 168 vld and 162 eld-m both as well shooting them into sub .5 moa groups.

    Also, to touch on what Mud said, Romney is now making aftermarket drop in triggers for the x-bolt. My X-bolt will be getting one of these.
     
    Jud96 likes this.
  8. Memberberries

    Memberberries Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Jard offers a drop in trigger for a bolts
     
    Barrelnut likes this.
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,522
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Yes, but I'm not a big fan of the trigger shoe on the Jard... I wish Timney would offer one at a good price. As many millions of A-Bolt and A-Bolt II rifles as there are out there, you'd think they would.
     
    shphtr likes this.
  10. Nieko

    Nieko Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    I had Gentry Custom (Dennis) work over my A-bolt trigger, a crisp 1-1/2lb break. Probably my favorite trigger. I have Timney, Rifle basix, and Trigger Tech for comparison. With that said we couldn't get the x-bolt trigger just right so Timney it is. Tried a Jard on an x-bolt when they first came out and was not impressed (a 250.00 trigger that needed some stone work)
     
  11. manitou

    manitou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    I would recommend the Mcarbo spring kit for 13 bucjs first. Minor investment and could save you a couple hundred. They made a world of difference on my rifles.
     
    Hatrick likes this.
  12. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    405
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Ditto. I have them in both my x-bolt rifles, both break right 2lbs, very cleam break. Definitely worth trying before dropping money on a replacement