NGD (New Gun Day)!!!


May 13, 2020
Yesterday I picked up a Browning X-Bolt composite stalker in 7-08 that is going to be my sons Christmas present and his rifle to use until he can buy his own. While I was picking it up I noticed a 6.5 creedmoor in the same model. So I walked out with both rifles. I had always wanted a Browning X bolt so I now I have one in a caliber that is allegedly really accurate and really fun to shoot. I have no experience with the 6.5 CM so it will be fun for me to learn a new rifle and caliber. I had a Vortex crossfire 2 laying around so I went ahead and mounted that on it just so I could get rolling. Couple of questions; I have researched the barrel break in procedure that Browning suggests, how important is this procedure? I really do not want to waste a lot of components. I will of course use the shots to bore sight / get on paper etc.

Second question; what are the best scope bases / rings for the X-bolt. I am not seeing a ton of options. On my x-Bolt I put leupold std rings.
Third question; what scope should I get her (Suzy the 6.5 is what she will be called, lol). It will either be a vortex or a leupold. Looking at Diamondback 4x12 or Leupold VX Freedom Firedot or Freedom CDS.
I had one X-bolt in .280 Remington that shot lights out. Like an idiot I traded it to a buddy for a Winchester model 70 in .280. That rifle was finicky and went down the road, while he still has the X-bolt. I really like the slimmer lines of the Leupold scopes and think they look good on that rifle. Given that it’s also a tool so I’d say go with your preference. Either way, they are sweet rifles. I don’t know about Brownings break in procedure but I did break mine in by firing one, cleaning, firing one, cleaning, etc…for 10 rounds then shot a few and cleaned for about 25 rounds or so. Don’t know if it helped but that rifle is accurate.
Always a fan of Leupold, only a little experience with the freedom line but they seem reliable. I have one on my 375 HH for four or five years I believe. I shoot that rifle a lot, spent a few days elk hunting, the scope is just fine.
I have a number of friends with the XBolt. They all like them and they are accurate. I haven’t bought one because i figure I’m the guy who will get the one that was barreled by the guy who quit Browning the next day.
Congratulations on the x bolt rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a fun round and you shouldn't have any problem finding a load quickly.
Scope power will depend on what you are going to use the rifle for. I mounted a VX-6 3-18 x44mm on my wife's Kimber Hunter and we've both shot it out to 800 yards. It now wears a VX-3 2.5-8x36mm with M1 dials in std Leupold bases. It's perfect for our hunting which is woods and agriculture fields where most shots are 50-300 yards.

If you’re looking for a diamondback , kinda hard to beat this deal.
If prefer a pic rail setup for eye relief adjustability.
As far as break in , I try to shoot 20 rounds slow and then scrub the barrel clean and move on.
I contracted out to a major rifle maker here in Canada to do barrel break-in for some years. It really seemed to make a difference to a wide variety of rifles. To be sure, modern rifles will allow us to get away with ignoring this step, but in my experience, taking the time to do a proper break-in did ensure a trouble free experience with the rifle and did appear to give just a little better accuracy.
I like what vortex has too offer and do have several of their optics. I have an accupoint 2.5-10x56 that has very good glass and bought at a good price also.
I agree with DrMike and take the time to properly break-in the barrel. When it comes to scopes, pick a name brand (Leupold, Vortex, Zeiss, etc.) that has the clarity, magnification, and features you want at a price point that you can afford (budget enough). You bought a quality rifle and top it with quality scope and mounts. Nothing worse than a quality rifle topped with a scope that doesn't hold zero.
I have followed the break in routine on some new rifles, while others I have shot and used and cleaned after the end I have not seen a big difference. But, I also shoot slow (1-2 minutes between shots for the most part) and do not allow the barrels tro get hot, and allow to cool completely between groups.
To simulate hunting scenarios and test for groups opening up, I will also test a rifle and load with 3 shots at shorter intervals just to see how the barrel heats up and how groups open up, yet not allowing the barrels to get hotter by shooting long string (e.g., 5 or more shots).

X Bolts are great rifles and I wish I had a couple more! Perhaps a rebarreled LH X Bolt in 257 Roberts...hmmm! :cool:
My 6.5 Creedmoor is a LH All Weather that I had rebarreled after Browning announced it wasn't going to issue the LH All Weather in 6.5 CM as originally announced. It is a sub MOA rifle. I am rebarreling a X Bolt Micro Hunter in 270 WSM to 6.5 PRC and will be putting on a regular LH Hunter stock to get the proper LOP.

Browning X Bolt 1 pc rings and bases are made by Talley and work well, as does the regular Talley Lightweight 1 pc rings and bases. I also use them on other rifles; so buy and use with confidence. Only recommend lapping for trueness to mount scope.

While some have had good luck with Vortex, I saw too many scopes returned for warranty replacement to want one myself.
Leupold is a good choice; lighter and shorter than most other makes/models...although my experience is mostly with the older VX-III/3's which have proved reliable and robust. My 6.5 Cm has a VX-3 4.5-14 x 40 w/ Varmint reticle for longer range target shooting and hunting (out to 500 yards) for me. It provides the hash marks for drop out to 500 yards, and windage for 10 and 20 mph crosswinds.

My X Bolt 6.5 CM is going with us to New Zealand at the end of April for red stag, Fallow deer and Arapawa ram, for the wife (Susan) and I. We will be using the Federal 130 gr Terminal Ascent ammo if it will group MOA or better in this rifle.Otherwise, it will be the 143 gr ELD-X ammo which shoots 1/2 MOA.

Hope your son enjoys his gift, and you enjoy huntin' w/ Suzy!
I see many memorable adventures in your futures!
I have never broken in a rifle in my life. Additionally there is no evidence (nor can we ever get any) that the procedure works.
Once you have broken in a rifle barrel and it shoots great (or not) how do you know it would not have shot the same way without break in?

As far as loads go