December 16, 2009

Gun Tests Magazine Selects Browning X-Bolt Medallion

NORWALK, CT (Dec. 22, 2009)--Gun Tests Magazine has named the Browning X-Bolt Medallion as the publication’s “Best in Class” Rifle for 2009.

The bolt action joins a Taurus wheelgun, a 9mm pistol from S&W, and a 12-gauge shotgun from Benelli as the magazine’s “Best in Class” 2009 honorees.

Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard said, “Every December, I survey the work of the testing staff to select the best guns of the year. These ‘best of’ choices are a mixture of the original Gun Tests evaluation and other information the staff compiles during long-term testing.”

The “Best in Class” Rifle for 2009 was the Browning X-Bolt Medallion No. 035200227 7mm Rem. Mag., $1019. It was originally reviewed in the November 2009 issue of Gun Tests.

“All the Best guns are A or A+ choices,” said Woodard, referring to the magazine’s Report Card scoring system, which ranks guns from A+ down to a failing grade of F. Only about 20% of all guns tested by the magazine get a “buy it” grade of A or B.

Contributing Editor Roger Eckstine wrote and photographed the evalution, which is based on data collected from a team of testers. The team summed up: “The Medallion was a beautiful rifle that inspired confidence with each shot.”

The review continued, “Lockup was accomplished by three visible lugs forming an A-pattern, which had us wondering why this rifle was referred to as an X-Bolt. According to Browning the term X-bolt does not refer to a physical attribute such as the shape of the bolt or a pattern formed by its lugs. It was more a matter of marketing a rifle with a collection of extra features, including the new X-Lock Scope Mounting System.

“The X-Lock was a two-piece mounting system consisting of CNC-machined scope rings with an integral base that bolted directly to the drilled and tapped receiver of the X-Bolt rifle. Made for Browning by Talley, a widely respected name, each mount connected to the receivers with four Torx screws. The X-Lock mounts proved to be an excellent fit.”

Other comments included:

  • “The X-Bolt Hunter Medallion cut a slender profile with tapered barrel and a glass-like finish upon its stock. We learned throughout our tests that the sleek finish was as durable as it was refined.”

  • “Currently there are no left-handed X-Bolt rifles, but the safety was easily accessible to both right- and left-handed shooters.”

  • “A cushy rubber buttstock measuring about 0.8 inch thick at its center was in place. This was Browning’s Inflex Technology butt pad. The Inflex recoil pad did a good job of moderating recoil.”

  • “The action was accented by a gold-colored trigger. This was Browning’s adjustable Feather Trigger. We left it at its factory setting of about 4.75 pounds.”

  • “At the range we learned that the X-Bolt Medallion was consistent when firing the Winchester 150-grain rounds, but much more accurate firing the heavier 160-grain bullets found atop the Federal ammunition. The Federal Vital Shok ammunition fired a 0.8-inch group on the way to a computed 1.1-inch average. The Federal Classic ammunition kept all groups within the 1.1-inch to 1.3-inch range. We think the free-floated barrel on the X-Bolt helped it maintain accuracy throughout the extreme heat.”

“We don’t accept advertising,” said Gun Tests Publisher Timothy H. Cole, “so consumers have confidence that our Best in Class picks are the results of head-to-head evaluations by our teams, and that the results aren’t influenced by anything else.”

Browning X-Bolt Medallion

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