Browning X Blade Review
By The Ole Hedge Creeper.
It all started one Wednesday morning after a telephone call from Armex, they liked my Browning M Blade review so much that they wanted me to review its big brother The X Blade, it’s not often anything excites me much now these days, I have either shot it, warn it, used it, or in many cases helped design it in some way or another, so when something does excite me I am like a kid at Christmas.
Young Sport Ethan and I sat there on the sofa, watching a ferreting DVD whilst waiting for the parcel to turn up on this Saturday morning, the parcel that was containing The Browning X Blade, the delivery driver turned up bright and early as normal to find myself and Ethan bouncing about like a couple of excited pole cats faced with a rat, I don’t think he quite expected a signature, a thank you, and the door shutting that fast.
The Box Opening.
Well as I opened the box on my sofa the excitement grew Ethan had to cross his arms as he said the butterflies in his belly made him giggle, there she was in all her glory a wonderful dark wooden stock spring powered air rifle, she reminded me of the air rifles of my youth but with a modern twist, the barrel was shrouded in a plastic type of coating tapering down to the fore sight, quite stylish I might add, that coupled with a cracking set of iron sight, the dark wood on the gun is quit exquisite and matches the barrel and action beautifully, the safety catch is easy and simple as that of its little brother The M Blade, with ease the thumb effortlessly glides the safety forward to take your shot, of course once depressed the safety wont engage again until the shot is taken and another pellet is cycled by breaking the barrel and re cocking the gun, the trigger was a little long on the pull so I adjusted it with a Philip’s screw driver, this one just needed half a turn anti clock wise and was set just perfect for me, this took less than ten seconds and was dead simple to do.
The Barn Test and Zeroing.
Young Sport Ethan shot alongside myself, with the Browning M Blade junior air rifle, I put a new scope on it and Ethan learned how to zero a gun as he mirrored what I did with its big brother The Browning X Blade, side by side we shot knocking down all the knock down targets with both guns, the weather was raining cats and dogs outside but we were snug as a bug in a rug in my mates barn plinking the afternoon away.
Both guns performed brilliantly Ethan already loving the M Blade as that was the first gun he fired several months earlier and what I had been teaching him to hunt with on open sights, now he had a new lease of life with the new scope added to the gun, I think his smile grew wider and wider with each shot, as for me with The X Blade, she never missed a beat and with every shot I took that gun just got even sweeter. Alas we did not get to go hunting with them that day as the weather got so bad we called it a day when the daylight fell, both of us finished the day like excited kids chattering on our way home in the truck.
The Hunting Field Test.
My ole mucker and fellow Countryman’s Diary writer JT and his ole Dad joined me on the hunting field or well cattle yards this day, the farmer had just muck spread the old maize stubble and there were mixed corvids and pigeons all over it, JT made up a make shift hide in an old Oak Tree copse on the edge of the field, he wanted to give my Walther RM8 a try so armed with my ole girl he took up position, but corvids being a crafty bunch remembered where he was and called their distaste to him high overhead.
JT snr joined me in the cattle yard armed with his Daystate Regal, I knew we would get a chance at some vermin there and indeed I was not wrong as JT snr put his gun to good use on collard doves and feral pigeons alike.
As for me armed with The Browning X Blade spring powered air rifle I tucked in next to my truck well able to cover an old half dead oak tree that birds and squirrels alike favored as well as the gran barns to my left, the first shot came as a collard dove came straight in and landed on the edge of a cattle shed not 25 yards away, I slowly took aim and depressed the trigger as the distinct recoil of a spring powered air rifle released its 177 pellet towards the target, thump the pellet sailed true and in my mind’s eye I was transported back 35 years to this very yard when I shot a feral off that very barn with my ole Webley Vulcan(that I still have) with my Pappy looking on, the collard dove fell to the ground stone dead not even a twitch with a perfect head shot, alas I could not retrieve it as the cattle charged in to see what just feel off the roof into their pen and stamped all over it.
I did not have to wait long as another collard dove flew in to the oak tree some 35 yards away and high in the branches, there was a reasonable South Westerly breeze blowing so calculating my hold over and windage I took my time, the bird had its back to me so I went for a heart and lung shot through the air sack, again I squeezed the trigger and that distinct recoil was felt as the pellet left the barrel and sailed true, there was a big puff of feathers and a thump that sounded like a cricket ball hitting a cricket bat as the collard dove fell to earth with all the grace of a ballerina on swan lake.
Twenty minuet’s went by and the feral pigeon started circling the grain barn, JT snr had taken up position in there and the distinct thumps of shot on targets were heard as he flushed this feral flock out of the mill, now was my chance as one landed on the top of an old grain silo around 40 yards away, it was completely open ground so I could not stalk any closer, nothing else for it hit or miss let’s see what this sweet little gun can really do with me behind the butt, allowing for a good stiff left to right crossing wind I held over just a touch, no I thought just a touch more as I did what my Pappy taught me, a gun is like a woman son it’s all how you hold her, see the shot feel the shot breath take the shot, I could hear his words as clear as if he were whispering them in my ear now not some 35 years passed, I squeezed the trigger and felt that distinct recoil, it was like music to my ears as the pellet sailed true and the feral dropped straight to the floor stone dead.
JT came back to the yard saying nothing happening out on the field so I asked him to film me, now JT is no cameraman so bear with me on the video with this article, as we were filming and talking about the gun a wood pigeon dropped in perfectly not 30 yards away in the oak tree, I thought well not to look a gift horse in the mouth I am having you, so whilst on film I nailed a cracking shot on a woody too, JT snr came back with a few birds in hand smiling like a Cheshire cat as the friendly banter between father and son started, even saying see son even Rob says I am the better shot, but that’s a completely different story on another day with a completely different gun, I will leave JT jnr to tell that story in his scribbles.
It was decided that I would have my Walther RM8 back and JT snr would come with me along the road to a couple of farm yards I knew not a mile away, as I thought a lot of these birds that were flushed from here had gone down there, I would leave JT here with The Browning X Blade for him to have a go with it as he fell in love with it on the Really Wild Adventures range a few days before when the guns were used for a kids shooting birthday party.
JT took up position inside and old cattle feeder, from what he tells me for the half hour myself and his ole Dad were away he took some cracking shots off of the barn on feral pigeons etc, all of which fell in with the bull so they stayed there until farmer came down to clean out and feed later that day, JT snr and I had some great fun on feral and corvids alike before we headed back to see how JT himself was getting on.
JT snr wanted to have a go with the X blade and well what can I say this old snake eyes loved it and didn’t miss a beat as a feral pigeon dropped into the cattle shed, he nailed it old school style from a standing position.
Well there you go we put The Browning X Blade and indeed the M blade through their paces, both guns stood up to everything we threw as them and just ate it up and spat it out saying come on then give us some more.
Like I say The Ole Hedge Creeper will always review each product sent to me on its own merits, and for the limitation of what it is designed for, if its limitations are say out to 25 yards use it to that not try and pull off 40 yard shots with something that it’s not designed for, and don’t compare one product against another, like here with the X blade one fellow tried to compare it against a HW97, sheer madness that’s like comparing a Mini to a Rolls Royce both great cars and both do a great job but the mini is not in the same class as the Rolls and this shows it in its price tag the same with the guns etc.
So for me The Browning M Blade kit or the barn kit as it’s called is a winner for its meagre price tag of £160 and that comes with a scope and pellets, and as for The Browning X Blade kit better known as the farm yard kit is coming in at around a meagre £225 and really does what it says on the tin, so if you want to bicker over that price tag for a cracking gun kit then all I can say is I am not going to argue with you as arguing with a fool only proves there are two.
Proof is in the pudding boys, The Browning X Blade packs a mighty punch for a very meagre price tag, and well with The Ole Hedge Creeper behind the butt it gets my thumbs up seal of approval, guns are available from The Out Post over at www.reallywildadventures.co.uk
Browning X Blade Review
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
aka Rob Collins