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Browning x-bolt Max target/varmint 300yd range test.


Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Jul 25, 2018
Last Friday, just one day after my 80th birthday, I took my new Browning x-bolt Max target/varmint rifle to the High Desert Rod and Gun club range. I have been anticipating this for about a year and was finally able to find this rifle in March in caliber 223 Remington. It wears an Athlon Midas Tac 6x24x50mm FFP MIL/MIL on a Talley picatinny rail with Leapers P.O.I made in USA rings. I and all of you know that my equipment is not "high end or state of the art". I would just call it "blue collar" stuff. I was a competitive club shooter in the sport of Olympic Trap when I was in my prime. When my reflexes and eye sight started to fade I switched to hand guns and rifles. I never got really good at long distance rifle because I started too freakin' old and I had bad unbreakable habits as a shotgunner. So, at 80 years old, with declining eyes, asthma, 3 bulging discs and hemorrhoids, I am just a plinker trying to hit small targets at 300yds and beyond. l am grateful when I can do so.
I had previously bore sighted the rifle the old fashion way, in my back yard. After sighting in at 100yds, the groups were not that impressive. I shot several types of 223 ammo including Wolf Gold 55gr, PMC 55gr, Federal Premium Gold Medal 68gr Sierra Match King and Norma Match 223 - 77gr Sierra Match King HPBT. The tightest 3 shot group was with the 68gr bullets. It measure about 1.1 inches at 100yds. The Wolf Gold 3 shot group measured about 1.25 inches. I am not that good of a rifleman so, any one of you guys could probably do better.
With the rifle sighted at 100yds and armed Hornady's ballistic calculator I was able to estimated the 'come up' in MILS at 200 and 300yds. The gun range is located in a canyon and it is always windy there. That day the wind was gusty at about 15 to 20 mph. I needed to holdoff as much 0.5 MILS to compensated for the wind. I dialed up 0.6 MILS to hit targets at 300yds with the 55gr bullets. The height of the target at 300yds was about 0.5 MILS which makes it about 5.4 inches tall. The 68gr bullets and 77gr bullets hit with a greater impact but, I had to holdover about 0.2 MILS. I purchased the 55gr bullets several years ago and they were cheap. The Sierra Match King bullets are really not necessary at 300yds. They are also very expensive and really not within my budget. I may save them for my next range day at 600yds. The Browning's bolt runs smoothly and feeding from the magazine was flawless. The adjustable stock is important for me and works without a hitch. In summary the Browning has met all my expectations but, you already know that my expectations are not high enough to give you a nose bleed. My only regret is that I will not be able to shoot this rifle and scope for the next 25 years. My biggest mistake is not starting in rifle marksmanship 25 years ago.
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