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Old October 4, 2023, 11:38 PM   #1
jason.h
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Join Date: January 20, 2016
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Browning t-bolt Belgium vs Japan straight pull

Howdy,
I've been looking to pick up a straight pull .22 rifle mainly the Browning t-bolt. I know the old ones were built in Belgium and the new ones are from Japan. Which rifle would be considered better in terms of build quality and accuracy? I plan on putting a scope on it and doing longer range shooting up to 300 yards.

Also are there any other straight pull 22s at a comparable price point? (Under a grand) I know of the summit rifle but I heard it's built off a Ruger 10/22 receiver. So I'd feel we're dropping over a grand to buy a souped up 10/22.

I've also seen some made by anschutz but they seem really pricey.

Thanks
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Old October 5, 2023, 11:34 AM   #2
tangolima
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Join Date: September 28, 2013
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Member here Stagpanther shoots 22lr beyond 300yd. He may have good suggestions for you.

I shoot mostly 150yd to 200yd. Mine is a <$100 marlin 81 + no name fixed 4x scope. A think $1k will buy you pretty good setup.

-TL

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Old October 5, 2023, 01:51 PM   #3
hammie
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Join Date: March 18, 2009
Location: Temple, TX
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@jason: I have owned the belgium T-bolt and currently own the japanese T-bolt. My belgium T-bolt was sold decades ago, and my memory may not be perfect, but I would say that there is no significant difference in accuracy or build quality between the two rifles. I do have some specific opinions about the two rifles.

In the late 60's browning had trouble getting enought claro walnut for ther stocks. Consequently, they switched from a kiln drying process to a much faster brine process. Stocks cured that way were known as saltwood stocks. After a few years, some of the saltwood stocks would cause rust on the steel action. My old belgium T-bolt was a saltwood gun, and it developed pitting and rust on the bottom of the barrel where it contacted the stock. I lightly sanded the barrel channel and then coated the entire interior of the stock with two coats of rub-on polyurethane. That seemed to cure the problem. Just be aware that some of the belgium T-bolts have a potential for that damage.

One other thing to consider-- Finding spare magazines for the older belgium T-bolts may be challenging.

I have only one complaint about the new japanese T-bolts, but it is only a personal aesthetic issue. The thin trigger guard, trigger housing, and action tang are plastic. I find it irritating that browning would build a fine rifle and then cheap out on those parts. It is not easy to upgrade, because the trigger guard, trigger and tang and safety are all a single, integral unit. Jard does make a machined, aluminum trigger guard, trigger housing and tang, with a match quality trigger. The Jard replacement is expensive, though...close to 300$.

If I had to choose between the two T-bolts, I would take the new japanese version without hesitation. The accuracy and trigger on my newer T-bolt is good enough and better than I am. However, if I was seriously thinking about getting into the long range, precision rifle shooting with a .22 LR, I would choose another rifle. A CZ 457, with a heavy match barrel, a match trigger, and bedded in an aluminum chassis, comes to mind.

Last edited by hammie; October 6, 2023 at 08:43 AM.
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