It was 1965 when Browning introduced a new bolt-action rimfire rifle, one with classic looks and performance to match. Small-caliber offerings were plentiful at the time, which played a big role in sales figures for those early Belgium-made T-Bolts coming in lower than expected. The company quit offering it stateside sometime around 1974.
It came back nearly 30 years later, and while the current models maintain the original’s quality build, they add the kind of innovation that quickly gained favor among rimfire fans. The rifle is fast, accurate and carries all the looks and feel that enamor enthusiasts to the Browning name.
As for speed, the bolt is push straight and directly into full lockup After the shot, a straight pull back is all thats needed to extract and eject. No twists and turns required to get the next cartridge into battery. This allows the user to maintain check weld during cycling, which is noticeably faster than tradition bolt actions.
T-Bolts also use Browning’s rotary, 10-round capacity Double Helix box magazine. An interlocking gear with torsion spring drive inside the design maintain timing for reliable and smooth feeding. They are easy to load magazines and translucent, allowing users to readily determine when it’s time to reload.
Each receiver is machined from a solid bar of steel, and come from the factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting. The two-position safety is mounted on the tang. Triggers aren’t what you find on the average rimfire, either. For one thing, they wear a light gold tone in Browning style, and let-off weight of the three-lever trigger is light and crisp. American Rifleman did a more in-depth video review of the gun in 2009 that’s worth watching.
Four models currently in production wear either 16", 16.5" or 22" free-floated barrels, depending on version. Chamberings include .17 HMR, .22 LR and .22 WMR. Stocks are all wood with checkering, and either a gray laminate or walnut with a satin finish.
The T-Bolt Target With Muzzle Brake comes with an accuracy enhancing, 16.5" bull barrel. The brake is removable. MSRPs run from $700 to $740.
The Laminated Varmint will set you back $960 to $1,019, depending on cartridge. It’s threaded barrel length, regardless, is 22 inches. A Target/Varmint starts at $700 and Sporter models begin at $750. Both have 22" barrels.