The DIY Hunter

Recently I picked up a red dot optic for my son Landen's BL-22 rifle. The Red dot scope looked to be a fun sight to shoot with on his rifle. The scope came ready to mount on a Weaver-style Picatinny rail. I found a couple of options to convert the 3/8" mounting groove on the top of the receiver to a Picatinny Rail.

After looking the options over I decided to go with a the Ironsighter adapter. The base did, however, require a little modification to get it to work on the Browning BL-22. The problem I ran into was that the groove on top of the receiver does not extend all the way to the front edge of the receiver. With the base being longer than the receiver the groove on the base had to be milled off to match the ending point of the groove in the receiver.

Browning BL-22 Picatinny rail red dot sight

Getting the 3/8" groove to Weaver Picatinny rail conversion base to work on a BL-22 required milling off the lower groove on the front portion of the base. You can see that the bottom edge of the base is milled off for about an inch back along the front of the receiver and barrel area.


3/8 scope mount groove BL-22 rifle

The 3/8" scope mount groove on the Browning BL-22 rifle tapers out before reaching the front edge of the receiver. Because of this, the base had to have the groove milled off because it would not hang over the front edge of the receiver.


Landen and KB Shooting BB gun and BL-22 rifles

KB and Landen shooting a BB gun and BL-22 rifle at pop cans while camping.


Pop can shot by BL-22 and BB gun

Shot up pop can the boys were shooting at.


Ironsighter 22 rifle picatinny rail adapter

Ironsighter 3/8" mount to Picatinny rail adapter I used on my son's BL-22 rifle.

Update March 2015
A friend of mine pointed out some really cool little Dovetail to Picatinny Rail Adaptors from UTG, MNT-DT2PW01. There are two of these adapters in the packet with only one needed to mount our red dot sight. With one of these small adapters, we are able to lower the scope by a good half-inch putting the scope in a more comfortable alignment for shooting the rifle.

UTG Dovetail to Picatinny Rail adapter

Dovetail to Picatinny Rail Adaptors from UTG, MNT-DT2PW01 (pictured one of two that come in the package)


BL-22 with Dovetail to Picatinny Rail Adaptors from UTG, MNT-DT2PW01

Dovetail to Picatinny Rail Adaptor clamps inside of the Weaver-style mount built into this red dot scope. This system fits nicely to the 3/8" scope mount groove on the Browning BL-22.


Shims in A-Bolt 243 WSSM magazine to help feeding issues.

This is the best method to tweak your A-Bolt 243 WSSM magazine so that it feeds reliably.

For my two A-Bolt 243 WSSM rifles I took an old credit card and cut a couple of strips that I then slid between the plastic insert and the outer metal wall of the magazine.

A good friend of mine Rick Camuglia is an avid long range target shooter. He has a 243 WSSM and recently had some issues with is Browning A-Bolt feeding a new load with Berger VLDs that he was working up. He tried bending the magazine shell holding lips on the top of the magazine and he still could not get his rifle to feed reliably. Rick found the following simple solution that I have tried and it works really well. Thanks for passing this along Rick.

Here are some of his comments: "...the ENTIRE problem with the feeding in these WSSMs is that “shoulder bump” thing in the magazine. This is what I saw you call it on your site when referring to the X-Bolt's magazine design... Simply shim the plastic shoulder bump portion away from the side metal and closer to the front portion of the follower with something as simple as folded paper. The plastic insert in the magazine for the WSSM’s that is the “shoulder bump” portion does not ‘hug’ the front portion of the follower. It needs to so that the shoulder is actually bumped, forcing the case upward and toward the center of the chamber for a perfect feed."

243 WSSM Magazine Adjustment

This is my old method. It works well until you switch to a different load then it might not feed well and require tweaking again.

I had to ever so slightly bend, probably only 1/32nd of an inch (originally I bent them slightly down which worked. I have now found that bending them slightly upward feeds even smoother), the top shell holding arms (see red circled areas in the photo above) on my A-Bolt's magazines to get shells to feed smoothly. This tips the cartridge tips upward slightly and I have never had a feeding problem since.

I have also heard that a gunsmith can polishing areas of the magazine and action that can help shells feed reliably.

Using the methods I describe on my 243 WSSM vs 243 Win. page I have noticed that different bullets that I have shot have required slightly different angles on the shell holding arms on the top of the magazine to get the cartridge to feed reliably. Rick's solution is easier and I believe offers a better overall solution that should work with any load/bullet. Another thing I also like with this solution is that the "Shoulder Bumpers" now hold the cartridges better assuring that the tips of the bullet do not get damaged from recoil.


I love my X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM however recently I found an issue with shells not being ejected due to the long windage turret on the Nikon Monarch scope that deflects the shells right back into the rifle. It happens so quickly that it is difficult to even see that the shell has left the ejection port and has hit the turret. I had to use my camera in slow motion to see what was happening. After checking around I found that the problem apparently is most common with WSM calibers and is also common with other companies' bolt action rifles.

The Browning X-Bolt rifle has been designed with a wonderful sleek low profile. Unfortunately with a low profile comes difficulty having enough room for the short, fat WSM shells to clear the bottom of the receiver and a long windage turret right above the ejection port.

I found that the ejecting shells hit directly into the teeth on the bottom of the turret. To solve the problem I filed off the teeth on the turret. Shells still hit the turret however now they are deflected out of the rifle.

Shown in the video here is what I did to allow my 270 WSM to eject shells with a Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC rifle scope on my Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker.

Other ways to solve the problem are higher bases and rings or choosing a rifle scope that has a shorter windage turret. I've had my eye on a Vortex Viper scope for sometime now. Maybe this is my excuse to get one. Hmm...

Here is my X-Bolt setup with the Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC rifle scope.

In 2013 I changed my X-Bolt rifle scope setup and am now using a Vortex Viper HS LR with a 20 MOA picatinny rail on my X-Bolt and love it. This setup has the scope higher and ejected shells do not contact the turret during ejection.

X-Bolt Loaded Ammo Malfunction? I know there is a popular YouTube video with a shirtless X-Bolt owner stating that the X-Bolt malfunctions ejecting loaded ammunition. I have reviewed the videos and read the guys blog about it. Apparently if you like to eject loaded Federal Premium Vital Shok ammo, in a 300 WSM as fast as you can possibly work the action, the first shell may not eject if you have two other shells in the magazine. 

There has never been a time in my life where I have wanted to eject a LOADED round and have it fly out hitting the ground potentially damaging the bullet and or seating the bullet deeper into the case. I always take special care of my loaded ammunition to make sure it shoots accurately when I need to use it. I like to eject loaded rounds really slow and block the ejection with my off hand so that I can then tip the rifle and drop the shell into my hand or grab it with my fingers. If my rifle were to have this "malfunction" it would be a non-issue for me. I never want my loaded ammo flying out. Other than this guy and his YouTube videos I have never heard any of the guys I know that have X-Bolts ever complaining about loaded ammo ejection problems.

The only time where I might want to have a loaded round eject is after a misfire. In the thousands of rounds I have put through my Browning A-Bolt's and X-Bolt I have only had one misfire in one of my A-Bolt rifles. Incidentally if you are having "misfires" in a X-Bolt or A-Bolt most likely the bolt is not fully closed. I believe it is a safety feature preventing the firing pin from traveling far enough to discharge the rifle if the bolt isn't fully closed. Always make sure you close and drop the bolt handle all the way down. I learned about this type of "misfire" when helping some novice shooters that weren't closing the bolt.

I love my X-Bolt especially now that I have it setup with the Vortex Viper HS LR and a 20 MOA picatinny rail.