Browning introduced its AB3 bolt-action rifle line at the 2014 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show. Initial chamberings were 7 mm Rem. Mag, .270 Win., 30-’06 Sprg. and .300 Win. Mag. Despite the show’s annual buzz around modern sporting rifles and carry handguns, a budget-conscious offering that carried one of the industry’s foremost names caught the attention of those in attendance.
Sales were brisk, and the line has expanded with that response. Today, it includes rifles capable of chambering both long- and short-action cartridges. The original chamberings are still available, but now enthusiasts can also select from .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7 mm-08 Rem., .308 Win., .270 WSM and .300 WSM.
There are three distinct branches in the Browning AB3 family today—Composite Stalker, Micro Stalker and Hunter. The latter models, which were not available eight years ago, wear provide the kind of warm wood look fans have come to expect from the company. Synthetic stocks come on the other variants.
All Browning AB3s wear a free-floated barrel that measures between 20" and 26", depending on chambering and model. A bolt-lock-override button allows the bolt to be removed without disengaging the tang-mounted safety.
Magazines are detachable, bolt throw is an efficient and fast 60 degrees, and generous recoil pads make shooting a pleasure, regardless of chambering. All are drilled and tapped for scope mounting and feature that famed Browning performance.
Hunter models wear a satin finish on a checkered black walnut stock. They are available in all 10 chamberings, both short and long action, and the blued receiver and barrel give it a classic look. Regardless of cartridge preference, MSRP is $780.
Composite Stalkers have a composite stock—ideal when weather conditions turn poor—and are available in all 10 chamberings. Micro Stalkers also have a composite stock, but are only available in short-action chamberings. Their reduced overall length and length of pull make them an ideal choice for young or shorter-stature shooters. Regardless of selection, MSRP throughout these lines is $700.