Browning organises some great press events; this year, it was France. New products included the X-Bolt Chassis and McMillan, along with the Maral and its straight-pull system, the Nomad, QD scope mounts, and Kite optics range! Shotguns consisted of most of their B725 and B525 series in Sport, Pro Trap and Hunter configurations and Winchester’s latest SX4 semi-auto.
Normally you are bombarded with product information, which we’ve already seen at IWA! Browning took a more interactive approach and asked what we really thought about their products? Most refreshing; usually companies don’t like honest feedback? As we laid it down they answered our questions and made copious note, I would like to think for future consideration.
My primary interest is rifles and ever since I had seen the new X-Bolts I was desperate to test them. The Chassis is a tactical design using an adjustable MDT stock with a 24” heavy fluted barrel with muzzle brake. The McMillan shows a 26”, mid-weight, fluted barrel, invisible muzzle brake and Game Scout stock, both shot very well!
The two days were really given over to shooting and we got through some ammo. Adrien Koutny (Browning Event Organiser and author on this blog) said we had 25,000-rounds of rifle and shotgun ammo to cut through; you don’t have to tell me twice! The days were a mix of shotgun and rifle and proved to be both fun and instructive.
With an abundance of shotgun layouts and two rifle ranges we set to work, but this was more than a barrel burner! For me, the opportunity to push the guns to the limit was both interesting and informative. We shot all manner of clay disciplines in teams and singly including loading for each other, which was brilliant. I also gained a greater appreciation of what a well built double can offer!
With running boar and target ranges for the rifles, we wrung the most out of the BARs, Marals and X-Bolts too in similar scenarios. We were also treated to Winchester exhibition shooter Raniero Testa, who holds seven world records for clay shooting. Hats off to him for his showmanship and skill! The Kite optics and Nomad mounts proved practical and I’d be happy to use them on my rifles.
Overall a great event that was as much fun as it was useful!