The DIY Hunter

Dallen Shooting Remington Fieldmaster Model 572

Dallen came with me and shot his 22 LR, Remington Fieldmaster Model 572 at clay pigeons on the hill while I worked with my rifle.

With drawing the buck/bull combo tag for 2010 I really wanted to get a lighter weight rifle that could pack a real solid punch out to 600 yards. I feel plenty confident with my 243 WSSM A-Bolts out to that range but, with the Triple shocks bullets I'm using I would feel more comfortable if I was shooting 400 yards or less. I would rather have a plain vanilla bullet out past 400 yards with the 243 WSSM to get the bullet expansion I would like to have. I could take my 270 WSM, Model 1885 and I have in the past. It has plenty to offer out to 600 yards and beyond. It fact my 140g Nosler AccuBond handload in this rifle is going 3450 fps. With this rifle and load at 600 yards there would be plenty of bullet penetration and expansion but, this rifle is on the heavy side.

View down range from my New 270 WSM X-Bolt

View down range from my New 270 WSM X-Bolt

I have shot the X-Bolt a time or two and have just loved the accuracy. The factory trigger has just been amazing and as I have learned from my A-Bolts and Model 1885s, Miroku knows how to make a barrel. The X-Bolt magazine has a couple of features I really like also. It has shoulder stops that prevent the tips of the bullet from getting smashed into the front of the magazine when the gun recoils. The magazine also aligns the bullet straight with the bore unlike many others that stack bullets in a alternating fashion. The rifle is also very light. Just perfect for the backpacking hunts that I so enjoy taking. I kind of wish it had a 24 or 25 inch barrel. I will admit that I enjoy getting as much velocity as I can and barrel length will give or take away that velocity. However I also understand that this rifle would weigh more because of the length. The barrel would also be less rigid unless the barrel contour were enhanced. Stiffer barrels make for less vibration which equals better accuracy. If the barrel were longer like I would like then it would need a heavier contour to make up for the added vibration to get the same stiffness and accuracy.

First shots through my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker

First shots through my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker

This year happens to be my 10th year working for Browning. Human Resources contacted me a month or so ago and informed me of the fact and that I could choose a gift for my service award. There were various prizes like a MAC "i" something or other, jewelery and the like, towards a Browning purchase. Well, that's a no brainer. I couldn't even argue with myself about getting an X-Bolt, I'll just worry about having money to feed the family later... The planets had aligned and I had to get the X-Bolt, although strangely my wife doesn't see nor understand the alignment thing. Before the end of the next day I had my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker on order.

Two weeks later my rifle came in. I had decided to swap some rifle scopes around on my rifles. I wanted my favorite scope to go on my new rifle. The Bushnell Elite 6500 that I just placed on my 270 WSM Model 1885 for the cow elk hunt. I wanted that scope to be on my new X-Bolt. A Bushnell Elite 4200 would go on my Model 1885.

When I mounted my scopes I bore sighted my rifles a little different than I normally do. You will see in a minute the technique worked great.

Across the hall from my work office is a bathroom of sorts, really only a shower room with a sink and mirror. Anyway, as I mounted the scopes I would look across the hall into this mirror. In the mirror I could see exactly where the barrel was pointing. So I just started adjusting the scope until the barrel was pointing straight in-line with itself and the crosshairs. It worked really good for my Model 1885, because I have to adjust the windage by a fair amount with the rear base, before I lock the base into position.

270 WSM X-Bolt, Bushnell Elite 6500, and 140 AccuBond Load

270 WSM X-Bolt, Bushnell Elite 6500, and 140g AccuBond Handload

In case my boss were to ever read this. The scope mounting was of course, all accomplished while on my breaks. I just love working in an environment where firearms are the norm at work!

Next, I spent a couple of hours off and on cleaning the bore by running Bore Tech's Eliminator through the barrel. It took a while to get all the copper fouling out from the proofing rounds that were fired through it at the factory.

Now it was time to get it on the range. I was going to try my 140g Nolser AccuBond loads that I worked up for my Model 1885. The load wasn't hot at all on my Model 1885 so I felt safe in using it in my X-Bolt. It was a windy, partly cloudy day with the temperature right around 50-55 degrees. The wind was blowing left to right across the target.

270 WSM, 140 AccuBond Load, First Three Shot Group

270 WSM, 140g AccuBond Handload, First Three Shot Group with a L-R wind.

As the barrel was squeaky clean and still had remnants of Kroil in it, I took three quick shots to get the barrel fouled up good. These shots placed on the target within just a few clicks of being right where I wanted. The mirror bore sighting technique worked very well.

I made a couple adjustments to the scope and then concentrated on being as steady as possible and fired three more shots. As you can see in the photos my first two shot were right on top of one another and the third was just to the side of them. Not too bad, for a magnum rifle, on a windy day. Even though I like longer barrels, I'll take a shorter barrel that shoots this good any day, because when it's all said and done the deer really isn't going to know the difference.

  • You can download printable targets for sighting in your rifle just like the targets I use.
  • Thanks to the passing clouds my chronograph only recorded three velocities from the six fired shots 3254, 3191, and 3184 fps. So roughly 3200 fps from a 23 inch barrel on a 50 degree day. I'll chronograph the load some more to get a little better data. Update: I have shot this load several more times at the range and the velocities have all been in the 3300 fps range. The clouds or something was making the chronograph give incorrect readings this day. This handload can be found in my 270 WSM Handloads and Ballistics article.
  • Learn more about the X-Bolt Features in my entry X-Bolt vs A-Bolt Comparison.
  • August 28, 2010, I now have better data on the velocity of the 140g Nosler Accubond from my 23" barrel X-Bolt in my journal entry: At the Range with My X-Bolt 270 WSM and 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition
  • September 19, 2010: At the range with My X-Bolt 270 WSM at 300 Yards
  • June 2013: I now have my X-Bolt setup with a 20 MOA rail and Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50 rifle scope.

Here are my first hunts with my X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM