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Thread: Browning Tbolt stainless laminate target varmint .17 HMR with 16 inch barrel

  1. #1

    Browning Tbolt .17 HMR stainless varmint (16 inch)

    Hi guys, after a recent goose shooting trip to the Orkneys which also involved a few days rabbit shooting. I was very impressed with the performance of my fellow shooters .17 HMR rifles in comparison to my own .22lr. Specifically on longer range shooting and knock down power (which was devastating on the rabbits). I appreciate the ammo is almost 3 times the price of .22lr ammo but I am quite tempted to get a .17 HMR.

    After a bit of research, the browning Tbolt looks to be a top contender (the Sako quad and CZ452 also look to be a good bet) Browning have released a new version of the Tbolt which I very much like the look of. It is the varmint /target version and is in stainless steel with a nickel plated receiver. It has a varmint 16 inch threaded barrel and a laminated stock. These retail new at about 550.

    I Wondered if anyone has any experience of one (or the standard varmint TBolt)

    many thanks.
    Last edited by paultap; 20-09-2015 at 02:32.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by paultap View Post
    Hi guys, after a recent goose shooting trip to the Orkneys which also involved a few days rabbit shooting. I was very impressed with the performance of my fellow shooters .17 HMR rifles in comparison to my own .22lr. Specifically on longer range shooting and knock down power (which was devastating on the rabbits). I appreciate the ammo is almost 3 times the price as .22lr ammo but I am quite tempted to get a .17 HMR.

    After a bit of research, the browning Tbolt looks to be a top contender (the Sako quad and CZ452 also look a good bet) Browning have released a new version of the Tbolt which seems ideal. It is the varmint /target version and is in stainless steel with a nickel plated receiver. It has a varmint 16 inch barrel and a laminated stock. These retail new at about 550.

    I Wondered if anyone has any experience of one (or the standard varmint TBolt)

    many thanks.
    They have a solid reputation for being a pain in the a$$. Triggers aren't good and can't be helped. (Search this site) I'd go with something less flashy and more functional. CZ is a great choice.~Muir

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    They have a solid reputation for being a pain in the a$$. Triggers aren't good and can't be helped. (Search this site) I'd go with something less flashy and more functional. CZ is a great choice.~Muir
    Many thanks for your reply Muir, this surprises me a little as I have looked at a few reviews of the Tbolt in the British shooting press and on youtube and they seem quite favourable. I take your point on the CZ as they have a reputation as being a no nonsense functional and accurate rifle, I have a CZ511 .22 semi auto myself.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by paultap View Post
    Many thanks for your reply Muir, this surprises me a little as I have looked at a few reviews of the Tbolt in the British shooting press and on youtube and they seem quite favourable. I take your point on the CZ as they have a reputation as being a no nonsense functional and accurate rifle, I have a CZ511 .22 semi auto myself.
    Never trust press write-ups. The authors usually have an agenda. They get their freebies/concessions from the importers/agents who commission the articles, so they are not inclined to diss the product under test.
    The T-Bolt is a lovely looking little rifle, BUT the trigger is heavy with poor adjustment and insensitive. In addition the bolt opens very easily. I lost chambered rounds with the safety on whilst carrying it on my shoulder. I got to the stage that I didnt enjoy going out with it anymore. I now have a CZ TH455 and am a happy bunny, unlike the inhabitants of the hill behind the house.
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake

  5. #5
    Personally, at the budget end, I'd recommend either a Savage 93RBTVSS laminate (nice action, good stock and fully floating heavy 16 inch barrel and good 2 stage Acu-Trigger with precise and lightweight break), or one of the CZs although the triggers aren't as nice on the CZ rifles. Further up the price range, Anschutz, or Sako (quad) are really good rifles. I'd personally avoid any rifle in any calibre that used cheap injection moulded non-rigid pure plastic stocks where precision at longer ranges was called for.

    A lot of the inconsistencies with HMR ammo mean that you can get certain batches of sub standard ammo, but a lot of the inconsistencies IME are due (with the more budget offerings) to poor quality stock to barrel fit, with sloppy screw embedment, which has quite a marked effect on accuracy and grouping. Had problems with various batches of ammo, and was on the point of selling my own HMR when I noticed that one of the stock screws was loose by less than half a turn. A little work to increase the free floated gap between stock and barrel plus tightening up of screws has returned sub MOA performance. I wouldn't have believed that such a small detail could have such a marked effect but I've noticed that things like this seem to be critical to maintaining consistency with the HMR.

    Just be careful in the wind as those little bullets are very badly effected. Not a problem once you get experienced for reading the wind and can accurately dial in or hold off for a specific distance but it is more of a consideration than with say a WMR.

  6. #6
    I have posted plenty on the tbolt. Always the same,
    trigger heavy and cannot be adjusted below 3lbs.
    can eject rounds with safety on if it catches your clothing.

    if you are good with the above then buy one certainly. I had one, now I don't. But I'm a sensitive soul with delicate fingers.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  7. #7
    Have you looked at the Anschutz 15/17 in .17hmr? I have had mine for years now, very accurate and reliable, pretty good trigger as standard. CZ are good, you wouldn't go wrong with either to be honest, cheers.

  8. #8
    I haven't played with the varmint (and wouldn't be interested in doing). It seems to me that the T-Bolt is a very handy, light walk-around rifle in .22LR. I have one and like it. I am selling it now, but that really isn't a reflection on the rifle. I just have a few .22LR and prefer the Anschutz. The trigger is heavy(ish), but good technique still means that that gun can be shot accurately at moderate ranges. The magazine system is great, but the action is a poor choice for extended ranges in .17hmr.

    A friend of mine who has recently obtained his FAC asked me for some advice regarding the currently available .17hmr rimfires. I suggested that the CZ are rock solid, but the trigger is 'agricultural'. I steered him clear of the T-Bolt. I believe that the top of the tree is the Anschutz 1517 closely followed by the Weihrauch HW6*. I am a big Sako fan generally and like the Sako Quad, but I think the Anschutz or HW are a better buy.

    He didn't want to spend the extra money, so settled for the CZ. He has had it about a month and spoke to me yesterday saying that he liked the gun overall, but is in search of a trigger kit.

    If I was buying a .17hmr rimfire today, it would be an Anschutz, a Weihrauch or a Sako Quad in that order.

    Hope that helps!

  9. #9
    I am a newbie to this forum and must admit the only experience I have with HMRs is with the T Bolt Laminate Stainless but I can't praise it enough. Love the look, feel and great accuracy. 6 head shots on bunnies between 100 to 150 yards last Sat and 6 down. Like the straight pull and OK the trigger is a tad heavy but it's clean break. If you get yourself to a shop with a good range of HMRs I guess you can lift and try before you buy.

  10. #10
    Was thinking the same go for a T bolt really liked the look / mag and the straight pull, but spoke to a well known rifle specialist and he said don't do it go for a cz or anschutz, he said they were far better and stronger and tune the triggers better

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