March 25, 2019
Browning offers its X-Bolt rifle in a number of configurations, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with one of the more recent ones: the X-Bolt Pro. It features a stainless-steel receiver, a spiral-fluted bolt with enlarged knob, and a stainless-steel fluted barrel in sporter contour. The external surfaces of the metal parts are coated with Cerakote in the Burnt Bronze color.
The stock is a carbon-fiber composite material and finished with a coating of Burnt Bronze Cerakote. Instead of checkering, the stock has textured gripping surfaces. It also has a slight right-hand palmswell and Browning’s Inflex recoil pad. The rifle comes with two sling-swivel studs, also finished in Burnt Bronze Cerakote. Length of pull is 13.63 inches; drop at the comb is 0.69 inch; and drop at the heel is 0.5 inch.
My X-Bolt Pro is chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum, but other calibers are offered, including 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, .270 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, 28 Nosler, .308 Winchester, .30-06, and .300 WSM. Barrel lengths are 22, 23, and 26 inches depending on the chambering. My rifle has a 26-inch barrel, and my rifle’s detachable rotary magazine holds three rounds, but magazine capacity for the non-magnum chamberings is four rounds.
The outside diameter of the removable muzzle brake is 0.61 inch, and it matches the diameter of the barrel. A thread protector is provided if you prefer to not use the muzzle brake.
The action is glass bedded and has a top-tang two-position safety and a bolt-release button that allows the bolt to be opened with the safety engaged. The trigger guard is aluminum alloy.
Using a brand-new Bushnell 4.5-27X FORGE riflescope, I fired five factory loads through the X-Bolt Pro, and overall average accuracy at 100 yards for five, five-shot groups was 1.30 inches. That’s as good as I can shoot with any rifle, and the rifle is probably able of better accuracy in the hands of a more capable shooter. My shooting results are shown in the accompanying chart. As you can see, my best accuracy came with Hornady’s Superformance 150-grain GMX ammo, and it averaged 1.13 inches at 100 yards.
The rifle had a clean and crisp trigger pull, averaging 3 pounds, 12 ounces. The trigger is user-adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds by removing the bottom “metal” from the stock. Actually, in this case it’s not metal but rather a composite material. Because my rifle’s trigger pull was reasonably light as the rifle came out of the box, I fired it with the factory-preset pull. By the way, as the photo shows, the alloy trigger is gold plated.
My shooting session with the new Browning X-Bolt Pro proved it’s capable of excellent accuracy and is comfortable to shoot. The action worked smoothly, and the trigger pull was very good. It’s a nice touch that users can adjust pull weight themselves. And it’s also a nice touch that you can use the included muzzle brake if you like, but if you don’t care for the noisy blast, you can remove the brake and use the provided thread protector.
Browning’s X-Bolt Pro proved to be a downright nice rifle. It looks good, and it shoots great.