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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2014, 8:09 AM
Ninask Ninask is offline
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Default Browning BOSS System

I have been reading about the Browning BOSS (Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System) and similiar devices used to improve accuracy for many years, but just never have gotten around to trying one,
looking at a nice Browning with a BOSS and thought I might get a few reviews from shooters who use the BOSS or similar device for tuning your barrel,
and see if it has worked for you, what the downside might be, etc.,
Thanks
Ninask
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2014, 12:08 PM
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I don't have one myself but my friends that do love it.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2014, 7:02 PM
NordicDave NordicDave is offline
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I have a Browning A-Bolt II heavy Varmint in .223 with the BOSS system. It's fantastic for those who want hand load accuracy with factory ammo. It actually does tune barrel harmonics, with a similar effect a hand loader accomplishes by tuning powder levels.

Here's a target I posted recently in another thread. The rifle shoots like this all day long. Consistent 100 yard 3 shot groups smaller than a dime with the BOSS slightly adjusted for Fiocchi VAMX 40 or 50gr ammo.

I remember when I first got the rifle back in the mid 90's on sale at Mel Cotton's in San Jose.

The first afternoon on the range I shot Winchester USA white box at about 1". Tuned the BOSS as per the instructions and fiddled around a bit more and went home shooting consistent groups the size of a quarter at 100 yards.


Last edited by NordicDave; 02-06-2014 at 7:06 PM.. Reason: Spelling :)
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2014, 7:28 PM
Sashaalexander Sashaalexander is offline
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Here is some discussion:
http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...pics/3526604/1
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2014, 7:39 PM
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I've had one for almost 20 years. It works as advertised, but I wouldn't consider it a game-changer.

Details: Mine is on a BARII in .270 Winchester, intended to be a solid all-around hunting piece, but good enough for a decent range toy as well. Not a safe queen. In all the years I've had it, the rifle has never let me down.

As you probably know the BOSS does two things. The first is to allow you to tune barrel harmonics in a repeatable way by gently extending or retracting a threaded weight on the end of the barrel. The other is that the weight assembly also acts as a muzzle brake, though you can get a solid weight if you get tired of eating shockwaves.

The advantage is that you can tune the rifle to get good to excellent accuracy with virtually any factory load. If you handload, you have the option to tune the load to your rifle, so the BOSS would be superfluous. But if you only intend to shoot factory ammunition or if you have a "favorite" load that you insist on using, the BOSS gives you the ability to tune the rifle. It can't correct for every source of inaccuracy, but I never found a load that my rifle just "didn't like."

I've only shot 130 gr and 150 gr, but several types and brands of each. Every load without exception I was able to get under 1.5 MOA, which is more than acceptable for hunting. Most came in under 1 MOA, and a couple reliably print groups in the 0.6-0.7 MOA range. For factory ammunition out of a sporter-weight barrel, I'd call that exceptional.

The loads mine particularly likes are all 130 gr, its favorites being Barnes X-bullets and Winchester Silvertips. My "usual" load is Federal Fusion which is sub-MOA and cheaper... Its least favorites were Federal 150 gr SP and Remington Core-Lokt 150 gr SP, but again, even those gave quite good groups.

It takes a while to get the BOSS dialed in, and you have to do it for each load. Plan to go through 30 rounds the first time (10 3-shot groups). After that, loads of similar weight should require only a small adjustment and, oh, 12 rounds. This gets expensive if you want to build a catalogue for many different types of ammunition. I recommend you standardize on only a couple.

Changing the BOSS setting also may change your point of impact, so while you're logging BOSS values, log your scope zeros as well.

The muzzle brake is quite effective. My .270 recoil is gentle. However, it is also insanely loud. If you want to set off car alarms every time you shoot but can't afford a .50 BMG, this is the rifle for you. Please do not touch off a BOSS-equipped rifle without earplugs, not even once. The solid brake-free counterweight might not be a bad idea, depending on how you plan to use the rifle.

In total, it works, but you should figure out how much it's worth to you. A Browning without BOSS will shoot pretty well, if you're not picky about a particular brand of ammo, and the fraction of an MOA this gives you might never make a difference. If you handload, you have other ways to tune the system that makes this a solution looking for a problem. But for its target audience it does indeed provide a performance edge. My own rifle is hardly a challenge to a true precision rig, but it's pretty darn good for an out-of-the-box hunting iron.

So to summarize --

Pros:
Works as advertised
Guarantees acceptable accuracy with virtually any factory load
Provides exceptional accuracy with a few loads
Adjustable in the field with "no" tools
Substantially reduces felt recoil
Protects the muzzle crown
Comes with a free threaded barrel, in case that matters to you

Cons:
Expensive to dial in
Stupid loud
Adds weight and length to the end of the barrel
Can come loose on you if you're not paying attention
Exposes two more parts to the elements
Not necessary if you handload

Hope that helps!
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2014, 8:08 PM
Ninask Ninask is offline
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Great responses
Than
Surprising more people don't use it
N
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2014, 8:12 PM
NordicDave NordicDave is offline
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Follow-up to Rocketman,

It's reduced groups for me by a quarter inch (1ish to .75ish). made range time more fun and possibly tuning the varmint rifle in .223 for ground hogs is helpful. Hunting a mule deer with a 30 cal round probably not so useful considering the extra weight, length, and noise.

The extra loud part is more proportional to the round used. I found my BOSS not as loud as an AR.

Agree with his pro/con list, though the BOSS coming lose was never an issue for me. The rifle comes with a hex wrench and a locking nut. To his point, it's something to watch.
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Old 02-06-2014, 8:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicDave View Post
It's reduced groups for me by a quarter inch (1ish to .75ish). made range time more fun and possibly tuning the varmint rifle in .223 for ground hogs is helpful. Hunting a mule deer with a 30 cal round probably not so useful considering the extra weight, length, and noise.
That's consistent with my experience. Without the BOSS and with judicious ammo choice, my BAR is probably a 1 MOA rifle, with it it's a 0.7 MOA rifle. I don't shoot chucks with my .270... but I could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicDave View Post
The extra loud part is more proportional to the round used. I found my BOSS not as loud as an AR.
Yeah, there are some obnoxious AR-15 brakes out there.

I had mine out at a Calguns shoot at Burro Canyon last year. It won the unofficial loudest rifle contest going away. Surprised the heck out of the guy with a .50 Beowulf and aggressive brake.

I always wear double plugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicDave View Post
Agree with his pro/con list, though the BOSS coming lose was never an issue for me. The rifle comes with a hex wrench and a locking nut. To his point, it's something to watch.
Mine didn't come with a hex wrench -- may have been the first batch they produced (c. 1994). But yeah, I learned pretty quick to snug it down TIGHT and check after getting the barrel hot. Hasn't been an issue. Just something to be aware of.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2014, 4:24 PM
SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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I bought a Browning A-Bolt heavy barrel with BOSS in .308 about 10-15 years ago. Rough tuning was pretty quick. I planned on shooting only Federal Gold Medal Match 168 gr so I used the recommended number. Then I tweaked it a bit by dialing it up, dialing it down, figuring out which shot better, and then kept dialing it in that direction until optimum accuracy was achieved. I then locked it down.

This was my most accurate rifle for a very, very long time. Between the heavy barrel, the long barrel, the free float, the muzzle break, and the BOSS system, it was a very accurate rifle. At 100 yards at Angeles, under optimal conditions with a bench rest and Leupold high magnification optics, I could shoot three round groups less than the size of a dime. I had a couple of groups that looked like I'd fired only a single round.

As a target rifle, the only real con was noise, weight, and difficulty in re-adjusting if I wanted to shoot a different load.

It still gives my current favorite precision rifle, a Sako TRG-21, a good run for the money.
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Old 02-08-2014, 6:26 PM
NordicDave NordicDave is offline
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SamIAm's experience above with Browning A-Bolt rifles is very similar to mine and other people I know.


Slight thread departure.... These rifles don't seem as common or popular as other brands. Maybe it because they don't have more traditional American rifle type lines, kind of expensive, and made in Japan by Miroku.

Savage is inexpensive, Remington is American made, Winchester 70 is steeped in tradition, etc.

The Browning rifles are great and I'm kind of a lone sole in the wilderness in stating the browning products from Miroku in Japan are better shooting products than those made in Belgium. I'll probably get flamed for this perspective, but I've owned Browning shotguns and rifles from both Belgium and Japan. I like the Miroku products a lot.

IMHO the Miroku made Brownings perform more accurately, but the Belgium versions are superior collector items.
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Old 02-09-2014, 8:09 AM
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The BOSS assurss me that, regardless of bullet type or bullet weight, I can choose whatever ammo I want and I will be able to accurize my rifle to shoot it well.

And tuning only takes one session to the range to accurize any ammo.

Although I lack the time to build up custom handloads, I can still have custom-ammo accuracy with off-the-shelf factory loads.
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Old 02-10-2014, 1:25 PM
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What is killing me that every time you want to use different ammo, you need to waist time and money for readjusting it...
One ammo gun.. Does not look very practical.
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Old 02-10-2014, 1:43 PM
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Don't you just record the micrometer setting for a particular load and just dial it back? Takes like 30 seconds to change ...
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Old 02-10-2014, 2:26 PM
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I get along well with the ABolts in 338 Win Mag and 280 Remington.I also have the closed BOSS screw on piece,s for just hunting.They kind of throw the noise down range.
Like others said,the ported model is loud,really loud.
The 338 Winchester recoil is tamed down a great deal.The 280 feels like shooting a 223.Accuracy,well,I reload anyway.It worked as advertised pretty well,when I did shoot some factory loads in 210gr Nosler Partition/Federal premium.
Good luck
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epaphroditus View Post
Don't you just record the micrometer setting for a particular load and just dial it back? Takes like 30 seconds to change ...
Yep. It's not a big deal, but there are tools involved.
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Old 02-12-2014, 2:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sashaalexander View Post
What is killing me that every time you want to use different ammo, you need to waist time and money for readjusting it...
One ammo gun.. Does not look very practical.
Other than the guy below pointing out that you can just take measurements for different loads, any gun without a tuner is going to be a "one ammo gun" without a tuner installed(which is what this BOSS thing appears to be) since you can't tune the rifle at all.
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Old 02-12-2014, 6:33 PM
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Personally I only use two loads in my BOSS BAR -- the "usual" (Fed Fusion 130 gr) and a lead-free formula (Barnes Vor-Tx, also 130 gr) for when that matters. Switching settings from one to the other takes about ten seconds, so long as the bore is cold! I've shot lots of others out of curiosity, but if I'm honest, this is enough for what I need to do.

If I were to build more of a range toy, say a .308, I'd probably feed it a steady diet of Federal 175 gr SMK and be done with it. For this kind of use the BOSS really isn't much of a penalty. If it's a rifle I'm shooting from the bench, away from inclement weather, with nothing stopping me from wearing double plugs... the disadvantages don't add up to much anymore.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by as_rocketman View Post
.. Switching settings from one to the other takes about ten seconds....
I'm a slow poke and it takes me 20-30 seconds to adjust my BOSS.

It's quick just like as_rocketman says.
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