At SHOT Show 2016, Browning showed off its newest long gun, the lightweight X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed rifle. Built on the popular Browning X-Bolt platform, the Hell’s Canyon Speed offers some significant upgrades, including a rugged composite stock done in the new Browning Speed AU pattern.
The barrel is fluted, while the receiver and bolt are Cerakoted in Burnt Bronze. The rifle comes standard with a threaded muzzle brake, and will be chambered in all standard calibers from .243 to .300 Win Mag, including 6.5 Creedmoor and 26 Nosler. The rifle looks cool and should appeal to many younger shooters. The better news? It actually shoots great.
I had the chance to try out a Hell’s Canyon Speed chambered in .30-06 SPRG on a recent deer hunt. Once sighted in, the rifle pegged three shot groups at SUB-MOA all day long, at 100 yards. Then, after four days if hunting, I bagged a 200-pound mule deer with the rifle at about 125 yards with a single shoulder shot. The mulie dropped where he stood.
The bolt came up easily and racked back smoothly, while the 60° bolt lift kept my thumb and fingers clear of the scope when cycling the action. The Inflex recoil pad redirects recoil down and away from your cheek, while the muzzle brake further reduces felt recoil. I’d guestimate that the combination of the recoil pad plus brake reduced the usual 30-06 recoil by 30-percent. The flat, Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish aids in concealment while protecting the barrel from the elements. The stock is textured for a secure grip from forearm to pistol grip.
The rifle is magazine fed, so hunters can carry an extra loaded magazine for a fast reload. Magazine capacity is four rounds for standard calibers, three for magnums. The Hell’s Canyon Speed does not come with sights, but it is drilled and tapped for optics.
The rifle weighs from 6 pounds 3 ounces up to 6 pounds and 13 ounces for heavier magnum calibers. Barrel lengths from 22 to 26 inches. MSRP is $1,199.99 for standard calibers, and $1,239.99 for magnums.