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ddjchemist

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For the last months or so I was in search of a range/hunting rifle in 308 Win, and after few failed near-purchases, I got a Browning X-Bolt Stalker (stainless steel 22in barrel) with Vortex Viper HS-T scope. Rifle is less than a year old and has never been fired. I did some extensive research about X-bolts and watched countless videos and I am aware of what to expect of the rifle. However, I do need one advice. How often should I completely disassembly, clean and lube the bolt? Keep in mind that I shoot factory ammo. When I think about a bolt in a rifle, my brain always thinks about Mausers bolt and they are easy to disassembly, clean, lube and assembly. I got user manual for the X-Bolt, but the manual does not show how to disassembly the bolt. I found instructions on-line (YouTube and other sources).

Thank you very much,

Dan
 
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Well, it’s odd. I took mine apart. Once i put it back together the bolt wouldn’t close. Took it to gunsmith. They could fix it. Gun went back to Browning. They thread in a weird way and have be exact. Not like other bolts. At least not like Nosler or Remington. It’s different. Hard to explain.
 

ddjchemist

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Thank for the advice. It looks like I have to be very careful if I decide to internally clean and lube the bolt in my X-Bolt. Luckily, the bolt in my rifle is new-like, so cleaning and lubing won't be needed in near future. How long have you used your x-bolt (in term of shots) before you tried to disassembly the bolt?
I guess there is a reason Mausers are the best bolt-action rifles ever designed. They got simple bolts and are very easy to clean and lube. That is the reason they never break down and will probably last for hundreds of years.
 

ddjchemist

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I never did. Just let it soak and dip it in and out. The brake cleaner will get everywhere.
Then I got a better solution. I have a chemistry lab (my avatar picture is from the lab) and I can fill a beaker with solvent, put the whole bolt inside that beaker and sonicate in sonicating bath (that is how we clean stainless steel components of our lab equipment). I am just not sure if sonicating frequency could pop some internal springs or other small components inside the bolt. Do you have any particular break cleaner that you like? I got a lot of methanol, acetonitrile, 2-propanol (iso-propanol) and many other solvents. I think methanol (MeOH) should do a great job and should be safe for the bolt components. Moreover, methanol evaporates quickly and I can blow it with nitrogen. We clean all our stainless steel analytical machines (components of those machines) with methanol.
 

BigDog67

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No special brand, just something off the shelf at the parts house. And frankly, just soaking it for a few hours is all that's needed, I believe you're overthinking this and making it far more complex than it needs to be.
 
Dont use liquid/petroleum lube in the firing pin channel. It can cause buildup or will thicken when it’s cold and cause light strikes.
 

ddjchemist

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Dont use liquid/petroleum lube in the firing pin channel. It can cause buildup or will thicken when it’s cold and cause light strikes.
Yes, I absolutely keep any lube away from the firing pin. I only dry clean area around firing pin. Since I clean my guns after every shooting session, my bolt never gets too dirty. I made an interesting observation. I currently own Henry Lever Action 45-70 Gov, old sporting Mauser 98 in 30-06 Sprng, and Two Brownings X-Bolts (Stalker and Hell's Canyon Speed) both in 308 Win. The rifle that gets least dirty after a shooting session (around 50 rounds) is the old Mauser while the Henry lever action get most dirty. I only use factory loaded ammo.
 
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