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Browning X Bolt Max long range 6.5 PRC

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Local Sportsmans warehouse had a sale on the Browning X Bolt Max long range .I shot another shooters max at the range,his was 6.5 Creedmoor. I hit a bullseye easily. So I bought one ,with book accuracy loads and using powders that other shooters are saying is the stuff. Hornady 140gr ELD and Sierra 150gr MK I found I could place 5 shots within a 5" circle at 100 yds and that was the best with VLD and about 3" with Hornady ELD . I seated bullets to book recommendations for both bullets . The sierra bullet is a VLD so it was just a few thousands off the lands . My Savage A17 shoots better at a 100yds than this rifle !Gunsmith thinks it's the poor factory bedding. Another shooter has the more expensive X bolt long range in a Carbon stock and he's getting same results . He places the action in another stock that was known for 1/2 MOA and he said its decreased the groups sizes marginally ,he notices it was a few 3 shot groups spread in a larger circle ,so it was a wandering zero ??? Browning doesn't guarantee MOA with this gun . Do you think a new bbl would fix this ?
 
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What twist barrel on your rifle? I assume yours is chambered in 6.5 creedmoor. I would be trying some factory ammo in addition to trying out some different primer, powder, bullet combinations. Only changing one variable at a time. What brass are you using? Powder used? Primer Used?

Having the rifle bedded isn't a bad thing but I would be looking to resolve your accuracy issue before having the rifle bedded. Bedding a good rifle is likely to make it better and more consistent, bedding a rifle with a problem is just going to verify you have a problem and reduce your bank account. Any modern rifle from a quality manufacturer like Browning should be capable of a 1" group at 100 yards without resorting to bedding, pillars, etc.... Bedding right now is just throwing money at a problem and hoping something sticks. Have you verified the barrel is free floating? All action screws are torqued properly? Scope mount and rings are torqued properly? Scope is verified good? The circular pattern makes me think something is loose. I would be verifying all these things before reaching into your wallet.
 
OP
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It came factory bedded 6.5 PRC ADG new brass Re#25 and #26 bullets Hornady 140gr ELD and Sierra 150gr MK Rifling is 7" twist .Yes barrel is fully free floating Action screws are snug as the manual says. Scope and scope base is properly torque .
 
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What optic do you have on it, brand/model? Has the scope been mounted on another firearm and proven good? Who mounted the scope? I would be tempted to remount the scope, going all the way to removing the bases and then reinstalling everything again.

Less likely but I would make sure that one of the action screws isn't to long and applying undue pressure, same with the scope mount screws.

I wouldn't expect bedding/rebedding the rifle to bring the groups down from 5" to less than 1". Sounds like something else is wrong with the rifle unless Browning really jacked up the factory bedding job. No issues with the crown? Has your smith borescoped the chamber and barrel?
 
OP
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What optic do you have on it, brand/model? Has the scope been mounted on another firearm and proven good? Who mounted the scope? I would be tempted to remount the scope, going all the way to removing the bases and then reinstalling everything again.

Less likely but I would make sure that one of the action screws isn't to long and applying undue pressure, same with the scope mount screws.

I wouldn't expect bedding/rebedding the rifle to bring the groups down from 5" to less than 1". Sounds like something else is wrong with the rifle unless Browning really jacked up the factory bedding job. No issues with the crown? Has your smith borescoped the chamber and barrel?
Yes its been mounted on my known 1/4 MOA rifle. Scope is a Trijicon Accupower 5-50x56mm . I mounted the scope. Rifle is at my gunsmith's now . He has built me two rifles that are both 1/4 MOA rifles. He feels confident he can make it right,without changing the bbl. The rifle comes with a factory bedding job,he looked at that with scepticism. He thinks the problem might start there.
 

DLS

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Your smith may be competent and can improve the rifle, but why would you spend money on it when you can send it back to Browning and have them solve the problem for free?

In addition to no cost, the manufacturer has a full supply of spare parts, tools such as Magnaflux systems etc. that a local smith will not have, and the institutional knowledge that comes from designing, manufacturing and then dealing with the aftermarket issuse the rifle presents.
 
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I know someone else with similar problem and sent it back .Browning sent same rifle back with a target shot at 55 yds saying this rifle meets our standards therefore nothing is wrong with this rifle.
No "Parts" are broken. "Magnaflux" in my former business was used to find micro cracks non destructive testing. There are no cracks . I think its bad bedding,perhaps action needs truing ,maybe barrel needs to be re crowned ?
The problem actually is "Me" . why ? Because I judged a book by its cover,the rifle has the look and feel of a long range shooter,the shape of the stock ,the 7"rifling twist 26"fluted bbl . Oh this rifle has the "Cool Effect " look to it . I watched a few browning videos on this rifle and their reasoning about buying this instead of a 2-3X price custom rifle in same caliber . BUT I didn't do enough objective research ,they don't have even have a MOA guarantee ! For this to be a true long range capable rifle, MOA is a minimum requirement . So I want my gunsmith to accurize this rifle ,because he,and myself believe it has potential. Other's have advised me to sell and cut my losses . So that means pass on a lemon to someone else . No I won't do that. So I'm gonna try and make lemonade out of a lemon.
 

DLS

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It's your rifle and you are certainly welcome to do what you want with it, but I still feel you are putting the cart before the horse.

That's an interesting story from your friend since Browning tests accuracy in a 100 yard, laboratory grade transducer equipped tunnel that can accurately record group size to the fourth decimal place. Firearms are bolted to a vise not unlike the universal receivers ammo producers use and this vise is mounted to a concrete table that is in all effects immovable. This is not just slapping up a paper target and shooting a rifle off a rest. So an accuracy test at 55 yards would cause me to ask a few more questions.

I mention Magnaflux since your handle is Ironworker. As I correctly assumed you know what this does ... finds micro-flaws undetectable to the naked eye. You say your rifle has no cracks ... how do you know? Did you Magnaflux it yourself? This was only one example of the diagnostic tools available to the manufacturer that are not typically available to even the best equipped gunsmith. I doubt your smith has access to air gauging equipment for example, or for high-resolution, high-magnification micro cameras to view things like chamber leades and crowns at 100x + levels of magnification. The manufacture does.

You also say there are no broken parts? How do you know that too? I have an early M77 Ruger (tang safety) in .270 Winchester that shot horribly. A lot of knowledgeable folks looked at it including a couple of well-regarded long-range oriented smiths. None could see a problem. I sent the rifle in, and a few days after Ruger received it I had a phone call saying it was on the way back and repaired. The problem was the safety linkage rod was barely touching the stock in the off position and that set up just enough pressure and vibration to open up the groups. Nobody that looked at the problem would have ever seen or thought of this as causing so much problem. The factory tech saw it within seconds of removing the stock because of his high level of familiarity with the design. So a quick swap with a new linkage and the problem was solved. While it was shooting almost 4 MOA, the rifle still to this day is a true 1.5 MOA rifle with a number of different loads so I've never bothered to do more with it. (no 3-shot cherry-picked groups here, I'm talking 10 shots minimum, cold bore shots included ... but the number will be the same after 50 shots)

If the bedding is truly the problem that is super easy to test. The manufacturer will pull the barreled action from the stock and clamp the rifle in the vise like apparatus I mentioned above. They will fire it with loads developed with laboratory grade equipment and techniques and compare the results with the action fired in the stock, and correct any deficiencies they may find. The crown is the same issue ... they will view it in high resolution and fix it if a problem is found. While I've re-crowned rifles myself with the hand-operated tools easily purchased from Brownell's I'd much rather it be done in a full-blown machinist mill run by a guy who has done this type of thing thousands of times before.

Again, I'm not trying to change your mind, do what you want, it's fun to have a smith do custom work on a gun beyond what we may want to do. And using a local smith saves a bit of hassel in shipping and receiving the rifle but, for me anyway, I would not look at a local smith before I exhausted all possibilities with the manufacture. They all want to put out quality products and they all want to fix problems as customer satisifaction is their life-blood.

Keep us posted regardless of the path you choose, I'm interested in how this ends up for you (hoping that the result is a true sub-MOA rifle).

I hope this helps!
 
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OP
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It's your rifle and you are certainly welcome to do what you want with it, but I still feel you are putting the cart before the horse.

That's an interesting story from your friend since Browning tests accuracy in a 100 yard, laboratory grade transducer equipped tunnel that can accurately record group size to the fourth decimal place. Firearms are bolted to a vise not unlike the universal receivers ammo producers use and this vise is mounted to a concrete table that is in all effects immovable. This is not just slapping up a paper target and shooting a rifle off a rest. So an accuracy test at 55 yards would cause me to ask a few more questions.

I mention Magnaflux since your handle is Ironworker. As I correctly assumed you know what this does ... finds micro-flaws undetectable to the naked eye. You say your rifle has no cracks ... how do you know? Did you Magnaflux it yourself? This was only one example of the diagnostic tools available to the manufacturer that are not typically available to even the best equipped gunsmith. I doubt your smith has access to air gauging equipment for example, or for high-resolution, high-magnification micro cameras to view things like chamber leades and crowns at 100x + levels of magnification. The manufacture does.

You also say there are no broken parts? How do you know that too? I have an early M77 Ruger (tang safety) in .270 Winchester that shot horribly. A lot of knowledgeable folks looked at it including a couple of well-regarded long-range oriented smiths. None could see a problem. I sent the rifle in, and a few days after Ruger received it I had a phone call saying it was on the way back and repaired. The problem was the safety linkage rod was barely touching the stock in the off position and that set up just enough pressure and vibration to open up the groups. Nobody that looked at the problem would have ever seen or thought of this as causing so much problem. The factory tech saw it within seconds of removing the stock because of his high level of familiarity with the design. So a quick swap with a new linkage and the problem was solved. While it was shooting almost 4 MOA, the rifle still to this day is a true 1.5 MOA rifle with a number of different loads so I've never bothered to do more with it. (no 3-shot cherry-picked groups here, I'm talking 10 shots minimum, cold bore shots included ... but the number will be the same after 50 shots)

If the bedding is truly the problem that is super easy to test. The manufacturer will pull the barreled action from the stock and clamp the rifle in the vise like apparatus I mentioned above. They will fire it with loads developed with laboratory grade equipment and techniques and compare the results with the action fired in the stock, and correct any deficiencies they may find. The crown is the same issue ... they will view it in high resolution and fix it if a problem is found. While I've re-crowned rifles myself with the hand-operated tools easily purchased from Brownell's I'd much rather it be done in a full-blown machinist mill run by a guy who has done this type of thing thousands of times before.

Again, I'm not trying to change your mind, do what you want, it's fun to have a smith do custom work on a gun beyond what we may want to do. And using a local smith saves a bit of hassel in shipping and receiving the rifle but, for me anyway, I would not look at a local smith before I exhausted all possibilities with the manufacture. They all want to put out quality products and they all want to fix problems as customer satisifaction is their life-blood.

Keep us posted regardless of the path you choose, I'm interested in how this ends up for you (hoping that the result is a true sub-MOA rifle).

I hope this helps!
Ok I just got off the phone with Browning tech guy. He said they shoot at 50yds. Also that most of the time the problem with my specific model is the bedding,the crown and a good scrubbing of the bbl. I installed an aftermarket trigger spring and they said they will not shoot it with any aftermarket parts for safety reasons,but would install a factory spring to bring it back up to specs and charge me for the installation of factory trigger spring, and then test fire with factory loads at 50yds. They said they had another exact rifle in and examined it,shot factory ammo and produced a 3 shot group that a quarter would fit over . The tech I spoke with was very helpful and I'm glad I called. If they said a 3 shot group at 50yds covered by a dime that's acceptable ,but a quarter at 50yds no.He was ready to give me a shipping label at no cost. But factory trigger was to heavy and aftermarket trigger made it just right. So having to remove they're trigger and re-order and reinstall my aftermarket in it again is a hassle and costly. My gunsmith will do all that plus do a chamber cast and test fire because I'm a regular customer his prices will be reasonable.
 
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OP
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My local gunsmith said "When he tapped the factory bedding with a screwdriver it popped right out,plus contact with recoil lug was wrong. So he used acra glass ,but before applying it he drilled holes in multiple converging spots and forced bedding compound into into those holes to make sure it bonds to stock. So I shot it with same load as before 59.5grs of Re#25 behind Hornady 140gr ELD seated to book recommendation ADG brass and group just under a quarter at 100yds in field conditions. So now I have something to work with !
 
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I'm just happy I don't have to re-barrel it .Already have the MCarbo spring in it , might install a Timney trigger.
 

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