T-Bolt review & accuracy.

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MGP
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T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby MGP » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:16 pm

Just finished shooting & testing a new Browning T-Bolt Varmint in 22 WMR. Fit & finish are very nice & the raised cheekpiece (which the sporter doesn't have) is conducive to good check weld. The double helix magazine is the best mag design I have ever used, it is super easy to load & unload, & fits flush with the stock. Stock was a nice straight grain walnut with a "satin" finish. Checkering wasn't as clean I expect & needed some checkering oil to properly seal. Inletting was not sealed (which I did), but it had the best "factory" bedding job I have seen & the stock fits the action like a glove. Although this is a Varmint/Target model it is not a heavy rifle by any means. Total weight with scope, mounts, loaded mag, & sling is under 6.5 lbs. It is very nicely balanced & the beavertail forearm fits the hand or bags well. I thought the sporter too light & whippy for my taste & didn't see where 8 oz. less weight would have any carry advantage. Function of the action is positive, smooth & flawless. From the bags I could eject & chamber without dropping my sight picture through the scope. Found that I much prefer this straight pull design over my conventional bolt 22's. The scope mounts are a one piece ringmount made for Browning by Talley which screw directly to the receiver without the use of bases, although one could use a conventional base/ring combo if desired. I initially mounted a 12X Leupy 40mm objective with AO for accuracy testing & I could still slide a playing card between the barrel & scope bell. It now sports a 3-9X- 32mm Leupy ERF with a CDS turret & barrel clearance is enough to use a scope cover. Might add this is one of the nicest little rimfire scopes I've ever played with & fits this rifle perfectly. Rifle came with the trigger pull @ 4.5 lbs, but it was adjustable down to 3.25 lbs, which is what the manual says is the lower limit. Trigger was VERY crisp & had ZERO overtravel & although heavier than I like, I didn't feel it was a detriment to accuracy from the bench once I got used to it. Shooting offhand may prove different. In researching this rifle I found the trigger was the main complaint with some experiencing creep & heavier pull weights than advertised. I'm sure they will vary rifle to rifle & I think I was fortunate to get one with an "acceptable" trigger. I recommend you try the trigger at the store if you have that option & pick one with no creep. The weight of pull is a simple external screw adjustment. This is a very complex trigger design & not easily modified. Seems the trigger is integral with the bolt stop & too light of trigger spring with allow the bolt stop to fail & the bolt will fall out the back of the action when cycled. There are some threads out there discussing trigger modification, but I decided to live with mine. I emailed Timney & Rifle Basix & neither have plans to offer a trigger @ this time. After finally finding ammo (that's another story) I was able to see what it would do. Shot Hornady 30 V-Max, CCI 30 & 40 grain HPs, Rem 30 gr. Accu-tip, & Win Super-X 40 gr. JHPs. Didn't shoot anything terribly bad, but the best groups were with the 40 Win Super-X. All groups were 5 shots. 25 yards-.24", 50 yards-.5", 100 yards- 1.75". I think not being able to aim as precisely at 100 yards is maybe why things opened up, as most groups would have 3 or 4 shots around an inch with 1 or 2 shots that I refer to as "rimfire flyers". All in all acceptable accuracy for a rifle with a 125 yard effective range. Might even play at longer distances with the CDS turret. A better trigger is the only improvement this rifle needs. Just wanted to pass on my experiences with this rifle/round combo in case anyone was considering one.

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Virginian
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Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby Virginian » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write a review of your rifle. This is really good stuff for someone in the market for one!

Eric
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bullseye-69
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Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby bullseye-69 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:14 pm

Thanks for the review.
I have been kicking it around about getting one in 22 lr. :?:
This will help my decision process. 8-)
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Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby rimfiremike » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:34 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write up this review on the T-Bolt!

I have always been intrigued and keep thinking that I should pick one up if I stumble across a deal.

This spring there was one in the hunter ed class that I took my 12 yr old son to. I didn't say anything to him about it, but after the class, he tells me that he thought the T-bolt was one of the coolest guns there and that we should get one.

... hard to argue with that.

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bullseye-69
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Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby bullseye-69 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:13 pm

yep.....can't argue with that!

He's learning, teach him well.
“Government has no wealth, and when a politician promises to give you something for nothing, he must first confiscate that wealth from you -- either by direct taxes, or by the cruelly indirect tax of inflation.”
― John Wayne

SShooterZ

Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby SShooterZ » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:45 pm

MGP, nice write-up.

I had a T-Bolt Varmint in .22LR and my thoughts echo yours in just about everything.

I did have less than an excellent trigger though. In fact, mine was pretty poor regardless of how I adjusted it.
Second, it never shot as well as my CZs. I shot everything from bulk to match ammo through it and while I wouldn't say it was inaccurate, sub 1" groups at 50 yards seemed to be about as good as it could do.

Looks wise, it was by far my favorite gun. Just looks so cool! But alas, I sent it down the river so to speak.

Glad to hear there are some shooters out there because I think it is a really amazing piece.

MGP
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Re: T-Bolt review & accuracy.

Postby MGP » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:03 pm

I had a chance to put about 400 rounds thru it since my review in April & have found it shoots better now that the barrel is breaking in. It can stay right around an inch @ 100 yards pretty consistently, but it doesn't like me to clean the barrel. If I clean it groups open up. I'm on about 150 rounds now without cleaning & it still shoots tight. I not going to clean until groups open up to see what the cleaning schedule will be. Dang shame Browning's have lawyer triggers. Nice gun otherwise.


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