Maple T-Bolt...just had to have it!

Discussion in 'Browning T-Bolt Rifle' started by mm6mm6, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. mm6mm6

    mm6mm6 Copper BB

    When I was a kid, my dad had a birdseye maple stocked Winchester Model 62 .22 pump. It had been custom ordered at Marshall Field & Company on State Street in Chicago when my Grandfather was the gun buyer there in the mid-1950s. The buyer put half down but never picked up the gun. My dad asked his father what would happen to the gun. My Grandfather told my Dad that whoever wanted to buy it would only have to pay half since the original purchaser was unreachable and had disappeared. My Dad bought the gun...including a 20% employee discount from my Grandpa. My Dad shot that little .22 but my memories are of its golden stock and polished blue receiver and barrel resting in my father's wood and glass gun cabinet.

    In 1986 my father decided to sell the Winchester. He asked me if I wanted him to keep so that I would inherit it one day. My Dad really wanted a Colt 150th Anniversary Engraved Sampler SAA .45 so we took the Winchester pump to a CADA Gun Show. My Dad showed it to Jeff Faintich who offered $3000 for it. He said he would sell it to a collector in Las Vegas a month later for $3500. My Dad asked me what I thought. I told him that I had no idea what in the world I would do with a $3000 .22 pump except ding the gorgeous wood stock on a tree shooting squirrels with it. My Dad used the money from the Model 62's sale to buy that Colt he wanted.

    I've always had a thing for maple ever since and I've fulfilled my desires with several sets of birdseye maple handgun grips.

    A little over a month and a half ago I walked into my local Bass Pro Shops with a friend. Usually BPS doesn't have anything unusual for sale, but I saw a maple stocked rifle in their rack behind the sales desk. I asked to see it and the salesman acted surprised. He handed it to me and I was stunned at the handsome grain in the bright golden wood. It was a Browning T-Bolt .22 with a 10-shot detachable magazine. The magazine is unique in that it includes a little built-in sprocket wheel that you turn to load each round. The cartridges load in a bizarre manner and can be viewed through the semi-clear plastic body and you can see they form a letter "s" as they stack up. This keeps the profile of the magazine rather thin and allows a 10-shot magazine that doesn't stick out below the bottom of the rifle for a clean appearance.

    I need another .22 like a hole in the head from the little rimfire. But the blue on the barrel of this Browning was as bright and beautiful as the stock. The price tag was $759 and the salesman laughed and said he didn't think this gun would ever sell. "Who would pay that kind of money for a .22?" I kept my thought in my head, but it was saying, "I would. Maybe. I'm thinking about it."

    The cost of a custom maple stock would be easily double, triple, maybe even quadruple the cost of this rifle. For a couple weeks that maple stock kept entering the forefront of my brain. I thought about how good it's yellow stock would look in my Dad's old wood and glass gun cabinet that is now in my basement after his passing more than a decade ago.

    Two weeks ago I stopped in Bass Pro again. I wandered over to the gun sale area. Secretly hoping the rifle would be gone. I had checked prices on Gunbroker and I would save maybe $80-$100 by buying one online. But the wood either didn't look as nice or I would be taking a risk bidding on a rifle that only had a picture off Browning's website that wasn't of the actual gun for sale. The one at BPS that I held in my hands weeks before was the one I would want.

    Thank goodness the Browning was gone when I got to the gun counter. I wouldn't have to worry about buying it anymore. Phew!

    Then I saw a new section around the corner that was deemed "Clearance." And there I saw a gleam of gold.

    Uh-oh. There it was, the same maple stocked Browning T-Bolt .22 rifle. Now the price was $529. And I had a $50 BPS gift card from Christmas. And I had $13 on my BPS Rewards card. So my price would be $466 ($293 off the original price).

    So here it is:

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    I had a Leupold 3-9x40 gloss black scope which I mounted with Talley/Browning rings I bought off the internet. I was excited to try the rifle out and once I had it sighted in, I shot this ten shot group standing offhand at 75 feet at my local indoor range. I used cheap Winchester 36-grain hollow point ammo. Squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits would be in big trouble if I decided to aim this maple stocked beauty in their direction!

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    But for now, I'm super happy to have a maple stocked rifle back in my Dad's gun cabinet!

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    ripjack13, MZ5 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. MZ5

    MZ5 .270 WIN

    Fine-looking rifle! Congratulations!
  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Welcome to the Browning Owners Forum !!

    Enjoy our community....
  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Very nice rifle...
  5. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    Very nice! I have the same exact rifle setup, only mine has a threaded barrel (heavy tatical) with a Leupold 50mm scope. Overkill, I know, but I like it.
  6. Box Car

    Box Car .22LR

    Beauty! Now just be gentle with that stock. Don’t feel bad about how much you spent. I live in Canada and my t-bolt ran me $1050+5% gst naked. Consider yours as a bargain.
  7. This rifle was a steal! As a Tree Farmer I specialize in Sugar Maple, Black Walnut, and rarely American Black Cherry Rifle stocks, plus Pure Maple Syrup. This TBolt was by by the time it was on sale, way cheap. I do NOT know of another single Browning or Winchester with a Maple stock that was anything other than initial price, and they usually sell very well! I attach a photo of just one of the rifles I have with a Tiger stripe stock. Model 70 Supergrade .243 as I do not have all of my Maple stocked rifles on this tiny computer. For what is is worth Sugar Maple stocks can last for centuries.

    The photo I do have on this computer is low res, but the site says it is far too large. This rig will not modify resolution so I can’t send a photo right now. But this Maple T Bolt Rifle has some Tiger stripes and a quilted grain. Very nice!
    I am stunned though Bass Pro Shops could not sell it pronto!
  8. This is my new T Bolt. Tiger Maple Stock,came from this TreeFarm!
    T Bolt Lake Country 17 low res.jpg
    ripjack13 likes this.
  9. Box Car

    Box Car .22LR

    Two thumbs up! The custom stock is amazing.
  10. It is my favorite Walkabout rifle. Perhaps partly due to the lightweight. I have a Nikon Precision EFR Scope on it. In .17 HMR caliber. At 100 yards to 300 which is what I sighted it in for, it is incredibly accurate. Lots of complaints about the trigger but I found it light enough to use as a hunting rifle, and I do not do as much benchrest shooting as some. Much of the shooting I have done is just in amazement as to accuracy. From 100 yards to 300 which is the distances I have fired at it is extremely consistent. All rounds though have been 17 grain Hornady V Max.
  11. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator


    Wow! I love the curl (tiger stripe is just a fancy way of saying it) in that stock. I have a couple of curly claro walnut gunstock blanks that are ridiculously old. One of these days I'll make one. But I would love to have a maple stock. I love the color on it. Nice....did you make it? Or have someone make it for you?
  12. My Tree Farm was purchased over half century ago and a bigger one downstate has been intact since 1790. We have specialized in everything from Maple Syrup to Fiddleback Maple, aka Tiger Maple. The best come from Sugar Maple but some Red Maple also exhibit Tiger Maple grain. Curly Maple is actually a different exhibited grain, as is quilted and Bird’s Eye. Curly and quilted can be found on some maple along with the tiger stripe. I can produce a nicely shaped Gunstock but chose to have these done by a plant as I get a specific shape, pattern, checkering, etc. Wening in Lincoln Missouri does some of my stocks. I never have a very large pile of blanks on hand.Right now we are trying to make maple syrup but are in a excessively cold period. Almost all of the blanks I sent out for gunstocks are selected as AAA Sugar Maple. Exhibition blanks like this one are scarce and I see actually few of them. However I personally own three rifles to date with really nice patterns. I must say to with great pride I also pushed Maple Baseball bats way before they were used in the Major Leagues. Now 54 percent of Major League players use Maple bats. Why? Because they are strong! The best chance someone has of getting a stock like this is buy a AAA Blank and find a custom stock maker to restock a rifle. That said.......I sure have seen a decent percentage of Browning T Bolt rifles exhibiting nice grain. One of the nicest features there is lightweight, lovely color and hardness, and over time a family heirloom! Most of the centerfire rifles I get are in 257 Roberts, down to 243 and Tiger Maple stocks are the target! I have a Winchester Shot Show Special 2018 Dark Maple Featherweight Stainless 243 coming this fall and it is a limited run, not a custom rifle!
    ripjack13 likes this.
  13. To RipJack 13. Your old Claro Walnut blanks should be carefully kept to keep them from checking. We cut our blanks from logs as cants, then much later saw them down towards blank size. For Winchester Model 70 or Browning XBolt I cut blanks to 7x3x33 but make sure they are stable. As your selected ones are pretty old, they should be fine. Claro Walnut can be somewhat softer than Maple but that varies from blank to blank. Some trees will be remarkably soft, some much harder. I have had a Weatherby Mark 5 UltraMark with Tiger Stripe that was quite beautiful, it was in .257 Weatherby Magnum. I sold it to a guy going to Africa. And he plans to keep it forever. Strangely though Sugar Maple with a high gloss varnish looks great, on Claro Walnut stained somewhat brownish, it is a bitch to get a photo due to being too glossy. That is one thing about Maple, it can look great glossy and still show the grain particularly done Native color. But on this upcoming Shot Show Special Dark Maple the Stock has to have a satin finish to look right. That is what I personally would do with your blanks. We are using a Turner Bandmill by the way! As Resident Saw Dust Maker you should appreciate that! Some plain sawn, some quarter sawn. Baseball bats milling requires a different sawing regime. I sure have hand polished a lot of beams.
    Some are well beyond 26 foot long and over 20 inches in diameter.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  14. Waiting for my Winchester Model 70 Shot Show Special Dark Maple Stainless Featherweight in .243. Hopefully with a strongly Tiger Striped Maple Stock.

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