browningblr_header

Browning BLR

Jono Gun Reviews Leave a Comment

Basic Specifications

Calibre reviewed: .308Win
Magazine capacity: 4
Sights: Open, but receiver tapped and drilled
Action: Lever
Stock on reviewed rifle: Walnut (others available)
Finish on reviewed rifle: Blued (others available)
Weight: 2.95kg
Barrel Length: 508mm
Overall Length: 1016mm

Calibres

  • .22-250 Remington
  • .223 Remington
  • .243 Winchester
  • .270 Winchester
  • .30-06 Springfield
  • .308 Winchester
  • .358 Winchester
  • .450 Marlin
  • 7mm-08 Remington

Browning BLR Variants

Browning BLR Lightweight PG
Browning BLR Black Label Takedown
Browning BLR Takedown Stainless
Browning BLR White Gold Medallion

Introduction

The Browning BLR lever gun: the lever gun with all the accuracy and strength of your standard bolt action, but in the convenient package of a compact lever gun and hailing from the well known Browning stables, you know the quality, fit and finish will be A class.

I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that I have not had much to do with these models up until I came to do this review, but I must say I am pleasantly surprised. Having been around since the end of the 1960’s, these guns have stood out for many good reasons, but one in particular is blatantly obvious: the detachable box magazine. “What’s so special about this?” I hear you ask me from your computer chair. Well, let’s remember, this is a lever gun we are talking about.

It’s everything every keen lever gun hunter trying to load a tube magazine quickly in the bush and dropping bullets everywhere has ever dreamed of, not to mention the added convenience of being able to use pointed bullets in place of flat noses. Ah, the possibilities, no more buying two different types of projectiles for re-loading or two separate packets of pre loads, one for the box magazines, one for the tube. Just imagine that.


More Details

Another outstanding aspect of this rifle is the extremely strong action, leading to the ability to use the larger, more modern magnum cartridges if needed. However, this does have its setbacks, these being the complexity of the action itself. This reviewer would suggest that unless well versed in rifle reconstruction, I would be leaving the disassembly and reassembly of this action to the experts. Too many tiny parts to go flying through the air in the gun room, ending up in the same place as that misplaced skinning knife of camo shirt that will never be seen again.

This rifle comes standard with open iron adjustable sights, but the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope. Unlike many other lever action sights, I found these to be quite acceptable and easy to use, as well as accurate. However, if I was to acquire one of these rifles, a snazzy red dot sight would be fitted in no time. Also unlike other lever guns, the clever fore end design eliminates the need for barrel bands, adding further to this rifles aesthetic appeal.

As for safety, a clever half cock hammer position has been incorporated into the design and I must say it works. Unlike other safety designs, this half cock position can be almost silently moved to full cock, a convenient feature when you have just spent the last hour stalking that deer in thick cover or that big sleeping grunter over cornflakes in the middle of summer.

As well, we can look at the quick follow up shots that this gun allows. Since we are all aware that under our current gun laws, normal recreational shooters don’t have access to the semi autos of pre 1996, a lever gun with a detachable box magazine makes since. One of the only disadvantages to be seen is the small magazine capacity, but as with other rifles, this could change over time. My fingers are crossed.

There are also many different options available to the hunter in regards to finish and stock type, including blued, stainless, walnut stock, pistol grip and straight stock as well as takedown and lightweight models. The availabilities of these vary from area to area, so the safest bet would be to check with your local gun shop for what is around.

Conclusion

All in all, the BLR in .308 has enough power to get the job done in the Australian bush, whether it be hunting porkers, deer, or even goats and the like in thick cover, the short, fast pointing, quick shooting Browning BLR has become a favourite with many. I reviewed this gun in .308 because it is a very popular calibre for Aussie conditions, as well as being readily available and reasonably priced.

So, if you are looking for a long range head shooter, buy a bolt action. But if you are looking for a reliable lever action rifle for hunting mid range and close in, with the added convenience of a detachable box magazine, look no further, the Browning BLR is your gun.

Leave a Reply