It's been a great summer working with the folks from both Nikon Sports Optics and Browning. After receiving a Monarch 5, 5 x 25 - 50 with Advanced BDC Reticle scope and a Browning X Bolt Varmint Stalker 243 rifle to try, I wasn't long getting the combo put together and sighted in.
Although I have a 243 and high powered scope combo now which I was using almost every day I was anxious to give it a rest and put the Browning/Nikon combo to work. The first things I noticed about the X Bolt where the stock contours and how comfortable it was to handle. The X Bolt also has a heavy barrel which I was a bit apprehensive about because of physical weight given the amount I would use it, however surprisingly the rifle was light. Combining these standard rifle features with the Nikon Monarch 5 scope including its crystal clear clarity, amazing low light capability and Bullet Drop Compensation reticle I could hardly wait to get it into the field.
As you all know after you have used a rifle that's been reliable for a long time, it's tough to just walk away from it and expect the new one will work the same. Offering a nuisance coyote removal service to many of the local farmers in our area the last thing I needed was to start missing coyotes because of the new rifle set up. I've always received a warm welcome from the farming community to help deal with coyotes however word travels fast if you start missing them.
It wasn't long after I sighted it in that I got a chance to use it. I'd be lying to say that after I got a call from a local farmer about a calf killing coyote, I wasn't worried about missing with the new gun. That notion quickly faded after dropping a big male at 282 yards using the Nikon BDC reticle to calculate the bullet drop. I've been using the rifle/scope combo now for about 6 weeks and although I haven't used it as much as I will in the winter the results so far are fantastic. The feature I like the most about the gun is the heavy barrel. The stability on the front end is amazing. Winter will soon be here and with it comes literally hunting almost everyday.
As I said the early results are great but the real test will come with the extensive use it will receive for all the cold winter days ahead.