As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











April 4th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Browning T-Bolt .17 HMR with AA Maple Stock

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

This story features a unique, American-designed rimfire rifle, chambered for the potent .17 HMR round. The current generation T-Bolt has a tang-mounted ambidextrous safety, a choice of barrel contours, lengths, and finishes, and a variety of stock options. What sets the T-Bolt apart from other rimfire rifles is the way the action cycles. There is not a conventional bolt that requires four distinct motions (lift bolt handle up/pull back/move forward/rotate handle down). With the T-Bolt you simply pull the handle straight back to extract a round, then return it forward to chamber a new round from the Double Helix magazine. The cocking effort is divided between back pull and forward movement so the effort is relatively light and easy.

Among current rimfire rifles, the Browning T-Bolt ranks high for fit and finish. The bluing is very nice and the T-Bolt even boasts a gold-plated trigger shoe. Many different stock types have been offered in recent years including some very nice AA Maple stock models as shown below (click to zoom). These T-Bolt rifles exhibit very fine craftmanship. Current models are made in Japan under license to Browning.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR
Click image for full-screen T-Bolt photo with detail.

Browning T-Bolt Sporter AA Maple Model
RECEIVER – Steel; High polished finish; Drilled and tapped for scope mounts
BARREL – Medium Sporter; Blued finish; Free-floating; Semi-match chamber; Recessed crown
ACTION – Straight pull bolt action; Top-tang safety; Adjustable trigger
STOCK – AA Maple; Gloss finish; Checkered
FEATURES – Sling swivel studs installed
PRODUCTION – Limited quantities

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

T-Bolt Owner Talks about Function and Accuracy
“I have a Browning T-bolt in .17 HMR, but with the maple stock. It is probably my favorite .17 HMR rifle (also the most expensive). The rifle feels smaller than some of my other .17 HMR rifles. I think the length of pull is a little shorter. I do like the light weight and trim handling of the rifle and the straight-pull bolt can be cycled really quickly. Mine is quite accurate and will shoot one-inch groups at 100 yards with both Hornady ammo and the CCI A17 ammo.” — RexRay, Varminter.com Forum member.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Pros and Cons of the Browning T-Bolt

The T-Bolt has a reputation for good accuracy, provided you have a good lot of .17 HMR ammo (we recommend checking for bullet run-out before you shoot for groups). The straight-pull action works as advertised — it is fast, smooth, and easy-to-operate. The Double Helix magazine (covered below) is excellent. It is very compact yet ultra-reliable. Another plus is that the T-Bolt has been produced in many different versions, with a variety of stocks, and even a stainless action version.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LRWhat are the negatives? Some of the stocks have a somewhat short length-of-pull, but this is easily solved with spacers. The main complaint is the factory trigger — some owners say it is too heavy at about 4 pounds, though the break is clean. For varmint work, we could live with the stock trigger and put money saved into optics.

If you prefer a very light trigger, JARD makes a T-Bolt replacement trigger. Featuring an aluminum housing, the JARD T-Bolt trigger can be ordered with 12-, 16-, or 20-ounce pull weights. The JARD trigger offers a crisp, clean break significantly lighter than stock. But at $249.99 the JARD trigger is fairly expensive. Additionally there have been a couple complaints about slam fires at the lowest weights so we recommend the 20-ounce. Here is one owner review, from a Rimfire Central thread: “The new Browning T-Bolt is a great rifle in all aspects except for the trigger. In my case when I received my JARD trigger it was an almost drop-in installation with very little adjusting or fooling around. For me it made a decent little rifle a great little rifle.”

Browning Double Helix 10-Round Magazine

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

The T-Bolt’s patented 10-round rotary Double Helix™ magazine is a unique design that feeds very reliably and is easy to load. The Double Helix magazine uses a torsion drive spring and interlocking gear design to maintain correct timing and exact cartridge alignment for smooth, reliable feeding. The translucent gray body allows for easy verification of the number of remaining cartridges. We like the fact that the Double Helix provides TEN-round capacity while fitting nearly flush with the bottom of the action.

The Browning Double Helix rotary box magazine system is easy to load, easy to carry, and easy to use. The smooth, rounded exterior contours of the Double Helix, along with twin gripping grooves, tapered shape and a slightly extended baseplate design make insertion positive, while the spring-assisted drop-free magazine ejection feature allows for rapid magazine changes. T-bolt owners confirm that feeding and reliability is excellent — the magazine design puts cartridges in perfect alignment with the chamber.

Other Browning T-Bolt Variants

Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LRIn recent years, Browning has produced T-Bolt rifles in a variety of models, with many different stock types and various barrel lengths/contours. Most of the photos above showcase the AA Maple Sporter T-Bolt, which is currently out of production, though still available from some dealers (if you search). We like the looks of the AA Maple T-Bolt, but there many other stock options including dark brown, Black, Green, and various camouflage finishes. Use the links below to see all the T-Bolt configurations.

Here are 4 other T-Bolt variants, first the new-for-2021 T-Bolt Target with muzzle brake, then the Limited Edition Cerakote T-Bolt Speed model, and two discontinued T-Bolts, a composite-stocked carbon finish model and a Varmint Special with stainless action and thumbhole laminated stock. Current production T-Bolts are offered in three rimfire chamberings: .17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR. Barrel contours and lengths (from 16.5″ to 22″) vary from model to model.

T-Bolt Current Production | T-Bolt Limited Editions | T-Bolt Discontinued Models

Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Do you like the T-Bolt? Well there is a 5% Off Rebate Program available right now that covers the T-Bolt and all other Browning firearms.

.17 HMR Cartridge — Fast and Deadly on Small Varmints

We are big fans of the .17 HMR round. It’s just about perfect for ground squirrels, and is effective on prairie dogs out to about 200 yards. The three main .17 HMR producers have been CCI, Federal, and Hornady. Choose from 17gr or 20gr bullets — both work well in the varmint fields. Norma also makes .17 HMR ammo with 17gr V-Max bullets. This Norma .17 HMR ammo has shown very good accuracy.

17 HMR ammunition t-bolt browning rifle

CCI .17 HMR TNT offers 2650 FPS Velocity
For varmint work we like CCI’s latest .17 HMR VNT ammo. This boasts class-leading 2650 FPS muzzle velocity. Engineered to combine good accuracy with high impact energy, this CCI TNT ammo features a 17gr polymer-tipped bullet designed for rapid expansion. We also like the Norma .17 HMR ammo. “With outstanding accuracy and excellent energy transfer… The .17 HMR has a very loyal following among hunters and target shooters alike”, said Paul Lemke, G.M. for Norma/RUAG.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review No Comments »
March 9th, 2021

Accurate, Fast-Cycling Voquartsen .22 LR Summit Rifle

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

Ever shot a straight-pull (aka toggle-link) action rifle? We like these action types, which were developed for Biathlon competitors who needed to shoot fast, but were not allowed to use semi-auto actions. The biathlon-style toggle action features a lever on the side of the action. Pull the lever back with your index figure to open the bolt, then push forward with your finger to close the bolt*. It’s fast and efficient. With some practice, you can cycle the action in a couple of seconds — nearly as fast as a semi-auto.

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

The Volquartsen Summit .22 LR rifle is based on a concept originally developed by Primary Weapons Systems. Designed for both competition shooting as well as small game hunting, this unique rifle features a straight-pull, toggle-style action with a Ruger 10/22 profile. That means you can run 10/22 magazines, swap into stocks inletted for the 10/22, and even use after-market 10/22 barrels. The CNC-machined receiver features an integral 20 MOA Picatinny Rail. The Magpul stock adjusts for length of pull. Weight is 5.8 pounds, so this is easy to carry in the field.

The Summit features a lightweight carbon fiber-wrapped barrel, threaded 1/2×28 at the muzzle to be suppressor-ready. One of our favorite features on this little rifle is the trigger — which has a light, crisp 1.75-lb pull weight. Watch the video above to see the Summit .22 LR in action. The tester, 22 Plinkster, was impressed with the rifle’s ease of use and accuracy. The Summit delivered a 0.277″ group at 50 yards, shot from the bench.

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

Good Field Test of Summit Straight-Pull Rifle by Dustin Ellermann
Past Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellerman demonstrates the Summit’s impressive accuracy by hitting small candies at 50 yards (06:13 start/06:55 impact). In rapid-fire drills, Dustin also shows the ease and speed with which the Summit action can be cycled.


* Biathlon shooters cycle their Fortner toggle actions even faster, using their THUMB to close the bolt. This allows them to get the index finger on to the trigger blade faster. The whole process takes maybe a second — as fast as you can say “snick-snick”. To use the thumb effectively, you need a stock with a more vertical pistol grip. The Magpul stock on the Summit moves your thumb a bit too far back to use comfortably to close the lever without shifting the hand.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review No Comments »