Browning A Bolt v. Ruger Guide Gun?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Patton63, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Patton63

    Patton63 AH Senior Member

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    Gents -

    I'm a lefty and will be picking up a .375 sooner than later (I've been pondering it for a long time and am finally going to pull the trigger - no pun intended). With the more limited selection available to lefty's, I'm considering picking up either a Browning A Bolt in .375 H&H or a Ruger Alaska Guide Gun in .375 Ruger. Setting aside the relative merits of the the respective cartridges, I'm curious as to experiences with the rifles themselves; in particular, their reliability, feeding problems, trigger quality, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your insights, and happy holidays.
     

  2. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    dont have hardly any experience with either, but my son used one of those brownings in moz recently when a client i booked a buff hunt had to cancel at last moment and said you let your son have the two buff (very generous as 2 buff and day rate paid for) as we had just flown from zambia to meet him and accompany him on the hunt hadnt arranged to take rifles, so my son borrowed my ph mates spare rifle which was one of those brownings. it was ok but i found the magazine a total pain trying to load it or even replace it in the rifle....so i would go for the ruger as from looking at them i like them....but as i said very little experience, but that mag issue put me off
     

  3. dwboso

    dwboso AH Member

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    RUGER...smooth action,good trigger,tough...A bolt like all modern Brownings,shiny and gimmicky,but no substantive advantage over anything..JMO
     
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  4. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    The main advantage I see that the Ruger has over the browning is that it is Controlled Round Feed. In my opinion, the Guide gun is built to work and it is beautiful in it's simplicity. Integral steel scope bases, express V sights standard and a rugged checkered laminate stock for weather resistance. Rugers are tough. Bownings are nice but for a potentially dangerous game rifle, the ruger has it in spades. The only downside is that Ruger has let their fit and finish slip in recent years. My M77 MarkII is beautiful in execution. All the surfaces smoothed and polished. My Hawkeye has cast lines left all over the place. It still works flawlessly, its just that, for $1000 I would have expected a rifle that was at least finished nicely. That is my only quam with the Ruger.
     
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  5. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Enthusiast

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    For what it’s worth-I am a lefty and have an original abolt stainless stalker in 7mm rem mag. Shot 60 plus whitetail since 1994 and two trips for plains game. One shot kills in South Africa on kudu, gemsbok, etc. with a clean smooth action and crisp trigger. I’ve never had a problem with the magazine as mentioned previously. I found a 375 stainless stalker about ten years ago and hunted this past June in South Africa. Same story with a different gun. No issues whatsoever. If you like the fit and feel of the Ruger, but it. The brownings have served me well.
     

  6. Crazycanuck grizman

    Crazycanuck grizman AH Member

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    Browning makes a good mid-line gun, they're barrels are very consistent and personally love the B.O.S.S. system. I would always go for the classic .375 H&H. Enjoy the gun hunting.
     

  7. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Enthusiast

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    I have owned a couple of A-Bolts in the past, and many Ruger M77 rifles. I currently own a guide gun in 416 Ruger. It's a very nice, smooth feeding rifle.
    I like being able to load from the top, especially on a DG rifle. I don't remember if you can do that on an ABolt or not. Alot of detachable magazines can't be loaded without taking the magazine out. Definitely not optimal for DG.
     

  8. Crazycanuck grizman

    Crazycanuck grizman AH Member

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    Yes you can load the A-bolts from the top. Thanks
     
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  9. GuttormG

    GuttormG AH Veteran

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    I did choose the a-bolt (375hh stainless stalker) over the ruger.
    Main reason was I am not really convinced thr 375Ruger will be around for very long.
    If Ruger had a lefthanded 375hh...
     

  10. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    Don't have any experience with the Ruger Guide gun, others on here do. I absolutely love my A-bolt .375. I have carried it in Africa 4x, Alaska once, when I pull it out of the safe and put three rounds into a cloverleaf at 100 yds, it's like an old friend. I was able to brain shoot a croc at 80 yds, I really like the 60degree throw, it is fast and smooth. I suggest trying out both before you decide, one brand might fit your style better than the other. Good luck with whatever you decide
     
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  11. Patton63

    Patton63 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the input. I decided to pick up a Ruger and am looking forward to breaking it in.
     
    375 Ruger Fan and jduckhunter like this.

  12. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    I love the feel of an A Bolt but I hate the actual bolt and the magazine is a POS. Still, they can be found used at a very good price.
     

  13. Eddie P

    Eddie P AH Veteran

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    My guide gun had a few niggles which the UK importer are sorting out at the moment. Due to this I had grounds to easily get a refund, but presuming that the problems go away I love the gun and wouldn't entertain a refund. Nice and compact, great sights (comes up like a shotgun).
    If you reload, just stockpile some brass and you are future proofed in case the round dies (looking less likely now).
     

  14. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Enthusiast

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    Never found a Ruger with a smooth action yet. Triggers all need work and you have to make sure the Ruger action is true and not one of the ones that deformed a smidge during casting. Yes I have been burnt by all these points with Ruger. Find a true one, smooth it up and work the trigger or replace it and you have a good rifle.

    What do you find gimmicky about the Browning's and which ones. My X Bolt works well and reliably, mind you it is in 308. Wouldn't mind an A Bolt in 375H&H but have a Rem 700 in that.
     

  15. geoff rath

    geoff rath AH Enthusiast

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    Did I see somewhere that Browning might be discontinuing the A-Bolts/X-bolts soon? Hope not. I'd go Ruger.
     

  16. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Veteran

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    Patton,

    the ruger is probably not as nicely finished. i use a 375 ruger in a stainless guide gun. a friend of mine is also a brown bear guide, had his browning a bolt jam twice. also, a friend that hunts in my moose camp had a 338 win in a browning a bolt. i was there when his a bolt jammed. he put a cross load on it, torqued the bolt and it jammed up. my son in law killed the moose that he was hunting. he says he has it fixed. so, my ruger has run fine, if it is not finished enough for you, put a little polishing compound on the rails and rack the action a few hundred times.

    i have no faith in the a bolt, and the failure my guide buddy had has happened to others (according to him) he sold it and has used a 375 hh in stainless win mod 70 for several years. i like my rugers compact form, it is sticky in the rain, shoots well, controlled feed, integral sights and rings. not much to dislike. and very reasonably priced.
     
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  17. Sika98k

    Sika98k AH Veteran

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  18. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I have thought from the beginning that the Guide Gun was a great value for the money.

    DED83FF1-25D1-45FE-85FD-714DD9C6F6BD.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2018

  19. Patton63

    Patton63 AH Senior Member

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    So - I have the Ruger in hand and topped it with a Trijicon 1-6x24 Accupoint. I was getting slightly larger than MOA groups at 100 yards during the first range session, but much of that was spend breaking in the barrel. I'll play with different ammo and see what it likes the best. Overall, I have to say, that I like the rifle. The trigger is a bit heavy for me (I prefer mine in 1.5-2 lb range), but it shoulders well and, with the brake, the recoil isn't any worse than a .300 Win mag or a lightweight .30-06.

    375 Ruger.jpg
     
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  20. Abeln

    Abeln AH Veteran

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    That makes a very practical and good looking combo!

    How does the Trijicon work out for you? Any pros/cons?
     

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