Gear Review: Browning T-Bolt

Browning T-bolt
Browning T-bolt
Retail: $611
Performance: ***
Design: ***
Price/Value: ***
800-333-3288; Caliber: .22 lr
Trigger pull: 3 lb. 11 oz.
Accuracy* (in.): .761 (avg.) / .350 (smallest)
*At 50 yards
Ammo: Rem.
It's long been something of a mystery that Browning's original 1965 T-Bolt was not more successful. The rifle, made in Belgium's FN Browning plant, offered slickly finished metal and wood, good accuracy and reliable operation, along with all the other nice features of a good Browning. Yet it was discontinued after only nine years. Perhaps the operation of a nonrotating bolt handle was too radical for those times. Well, the T-Bolt is back, and about the only similarity between this one and the original is the T-Bolt locking system. You operate it by simply pulling the bolt handle straight to the rear and then pushing it forward again to feed a fresh cartridge. This latest T-Bolt, made in Japan, differs from the original in several ways. It has a somewhat larger, swept-back handle, a restyled stock (which has good checkering) and a truly innovative "double-helix" 10-shot magazine. It works like Ruger's 10/22 rotary-spool magazine, but with two smaller spools, one on top of the other. As a result, its magazine is 1⁄4 inch narrower than Ruger's, permitting a trimmer stock contour around the action. For this and a number of other reasons, the new T-Bolt should be more popular than the original.
Outdoor Life Online Editor