Browning/Winchester were good enough to put on a range test day yesterday at the NGO deer branch meeting which gave us an opportunity to try out some new models of their rifles and their recently launched Varmint X ammunition. Now I'm one that is not normally easily impressed but I came away thinking positive things about the company and their products so it must have been a bit of a success for them.
Firstly I tried the new Winchester .223rem Varmint-X ammo through my rifle. I now that the rifle is capable of good accuracy with my reloads and in spite of a blustery wind and an unstable shooting table the ammo really performed. Accuracy was on a par with my own ammo and it also appeared to be very consistent. Claimed velocity was also very close to measured velocity that my home loads achieve.
I then shot some of their .22-250 and .243win loads of the same type and they shot every bit as good. I am not sure of the actual bullet used in these loads but it was the “ballistic tip” variety and very streamlined, I have no doubt whatsoever that they will do the job that they were designed for. I’m slightly confused about who actually makes the bullet because at one point we were told that everything is made in house at their new plant in Oxford, Mississippi but later it was mentioned that they buy some bullets in from Nosler. Winchester currently have an offer on and as well as being very reasonable to buy they give you 50% off a second box of ammo. Now if I didn’t reload I would seriously consider taking them up on this offer.
I didn’t see the point in trying out the new .22 subsonic loads made in the Australian plant due to the wind conditions and the rickety bench but we were assured that they are even better than the existing ammo which I have personally always found to shoot very well through my CZ rifle. I shall have to buy some and try them out on my home range.
We also got to try the Browning X-bolt rifles fitted with the new super feather trigger including a X-bolt fitted in a GRS stock. I haven’t been a fan of the X-bolt in the past one of the reasons being the trigger that required some work to make it more user friendly. What a great difference the new trigger made, and the GRS varmint model is just sweet, heavy but real nice to use. The reps told us that the new trigger is factory set at 2.7Lb and can’t be adjusted. So not too heavy, and not silly light.
It’s the sort of trigger that you use and don’t even think about but at the same time are in full control. One thing I noted was that we shot all afternoon and not one glitch or problem occurred with any of the rifles that I saw. Not a bad day all round, I don’t mind attending meetings like that.