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Old May 20, 2009, 08:18 AM   #1
Join Date: June 29, 2006
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browning BLR rifles

I need some info on Browning lever actions. I need a sporter gun with access to quick follow up shots and was thinking this might be the ticket but I don't see them around here very often. I am not a BAR fan. I have also thought about the pump action as well. I assume that with the box magazine you do not have to use round nose bullets in these guns. I sold a gun I was not happy with and have several boxes of 30.06 ammo left. With ammo prices what they are I would like to get this caliber and looks like Browning is my only option in a lever action. Do they feed reliably? Accuracy? What should I expect to pay for the basic blued model with pistol grip? Any recommendations on take down vs non-take down models? All info appreciated.
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Old May 20, 2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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Browning BLR:

I have one in .308 that was made in Belgium many, many years ago.
It is extremely accurate (has a bolt system similar to a bolt action rifle and locks up very tight). You can shoot pointed bullets of all kinds out of the BLR (as it is not tube fed). It would be an excellent choice for you and probably, the finest lever action gun ever made (the older ones).
Good luck.
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Old May 20, 2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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I've owned somewhere around six BLRs total and still have three; a .358, .325 and .450. They are excellent rifles known to be accurate shooters (mine are). You can choose from S/A, which also includes several SM calibers, or L/A which houses '06 sized rounds, including some regular magnums. Just as a comment, the .300WSM and .325WSM are shorter and lighter than the 30/06 L/A, an interesting fact, I think.

A rifle in either of those calibers would make a very nice all-around big game set-up, no doubt. I've not owned a take-down model, but from all I've read, I'd not hesitate buying one in the future. One test of an '06 T/D model showed it averaged, overall, less than 1"@100yds for 10 different loads, excellent accuracy. The scope on this tester was mounted on the receiver and break-down and reassembly showed the zero to stay very close as well.

Two other possibilities for a high-powered lever rifle include the new .308ME and the .338ME. Both are excellent long-range rounds with the .308 coming close to .308Win performance with it's 160gr LE ammo. The .338ME is not based on the same case as the .308ME, and with it's 200grLE ammo it will match a 30/06 with 180gr load out to 400yds. The only problem with these two would be the lack of additional/different loads. The accuracy, from all I've seen, is excellent in these Marlins.
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Old May 20, 2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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I have the BLR Lightening in 7mag, that gets good groups, a little over 1in at 100yds, with Federal premium ammo. Its my back up elk rifle. I had the trigger lightened to 4lbs, which I like, and its been very reliable, never a problem, and action is smooth. The only issues I've heard of with the BLR is a heavy, sometimes gravelly trigger pull. Mine is the lighter frame and its never given me a bit of trouble. Recoil is negligable, not a problem either. That said, I'm really more a fan of the 30-06, for elk, and my 2 main rifles are bolt action 30-06.
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Old May 20, 2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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I got into a discussion with a guy who is a big BLR fan at the club last weekend. He loves the accuracy of all of them. He feels strongly that the best of these rifles are those that are chambered in short-action. He has purged his BLR collection of all long-actions (replaced with bolts), but has several in short; .243, .308, and .358. He claims the balance is much better, they point quicker, and are lighter.
I would like to have a Savage 99 or a BLR in .358, and I shot a few rounds out of his BLR in .358 at the 200yd range, peep-sight equipped. It was pretty awesome.
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Old May 20, 2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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I've heard the ones to avoid are the take-down models. Supposedly, you loose significant accuracy to get the take-down convenience. I love the looks of the '81 model (straight grip) but I don't like the barrel band that comes with those. I can't help but feeling that having a barrel band is not good for accuracy.

I'd love to find a good Lightning pistol grip model in 7mm-08 without having to sell my first-born to fund it.
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Old May 20, 2009, 03:06 PM   #7
James R. Burke
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I had the BLR in .308 with a Leupold 2X7 gave it to my son in law for his first rifle. It is a great rifle. I choose it because of the box magazine, and being able to use any type shaped bullet thru it. I even gave him a extra magazine, and 100 loads made for the gun. Very safe for a lever. Before I reloaded for it the groups where good enough for deer but not really impresive. I might have done better buying, and trying differnt ammo. When I started to reload for it, and got the C.O.L. correct it shot great. It would do 1" or under at 100 yards, and that is pretty good for a lever. Also the bolt lock up is much like a bolt action rifle, that was another reason I bought that. Many times I wish I still had it, but my son in law has a real nice deer rifle, and he did get his first deer with it. Just my feeling on the Browning BLR. Also it did have a pretty strong recoil, but nothing you cant handle.
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Old May 20, 2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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I have a BLR in 7 Mag. I like it pretty well. It shoots pretty accurate and it's been very reliable for me. But for some reason, it has never really been a favorite of mine even though I like lever actions. I don't know why, but it also feels like the recoil on it is stronger than the same cartridge in my Model 70 bolt action. I suspect it has to do with the shape of the stock more than the total weight.
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Old May 20, 2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Someone told me it would be a real hassle to try to take one apart and put it back together.
Other than that, I guess it's a good rifle!
I wanted one in 7mm Rem.Mag. at one time.
"...if you're not havin' fun, you're workin'..."
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