Tested: Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC

Shooter prepping his 7mm PRC rifle outside under a blue sky

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

I have a Browning X-Bolt collection, and it’s not because I love the looks of this legendary Browning make. I built my collection because of how well these rifles shoot — because Browning, since launching the X-Bolt platform in 2008, has added many purposeful models to the X-Bolt line. 

My most recent X-Bolt addition was the X-Bolt Speed LR. I have a pair of Colorado elk tags in my pocket this year. Both hunts will be in vast, open country, and this year, I want to reach out and drop a beyond-500-yard bull if need be. I purchased the rifle in Hornady’s new 7mm PRC


I wanted a long-range caliber producing less recoil than a .300 PRC or .300 Win Mag. I also wanted more muzzle velocity than the 7mm Rem. Mag. Plus, when Hornady launches a new cartridge, I always take notice. After doing a lot of research, I concluded that the long, heavy bullets of the 7mm PRC would minimize bullet drop, reduce wind drift, and still hit like a tank at extended ranges.

First Impressions On The 7mm PRC

The 7mm PRC cartridge has a SAAMI spec rifling twist of 1:8″. Naturally, Browing fitted its X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC with a free-floated 26-inch, 1:8″ twist rate barrel that is bedded in the front and the rear of the action for increased stability. 

Always do your cartridge homework beforehand, and then find a rifle that should spit that cartridge uber-accurate downrange.

I immediately cheered the Sporter-style composite stock with an adjustable (up to 1-in) comb. I don’t particularly appreciate lifting my check off the stock to get ideal eye-to-scope alignment. Though I always select low-profile mounts, I never get the cheek weld and eye-to-scope alignment I want unless the stock features an adjustable comb. 

Camouflaged buttstock of Browning's 7mm PRC

The stock’s OVIX camo pattern will surely be a western marvel and blends perfectly with the Smoked Bronze Cerakote metal finishes. 

The receiver is drilled and tapped, and I love the look and sure-to-produce long-range accuracy fluted contour barrel. For a long-range rifle with a 26-inch barrel, this rifle, at 7.3 pounds, is incredibly light. 

You can’t beat the extended bolt handle, and my favorite feature of any X-Bolt is the short, rapid throw the 60-degree bolt lift creates. The trigger guard is sizeable — big enough for gloves — and the adjustable Feather Trigger is screw adjustable from three to five pounds. 

Tested: Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC

The Rotary magazine is a push-button style with a lever-activated release, and it sits firmly with a click once reinserted. Other must-note FI (First Impression) features include sling studs, Inflex Recoil Pad, and a belled muzzle that will allow for standard, suppressor-ready treads to be added. 

The Build

When it comes to glass for my big-game assassins, I’m a Leupold guy. I don’t think you can beat the rugged nature and crystal-clear, light-gathering ability Leupold scopes promise. 

My selection for this build was Leupold’s VX-5HD 3-15×44. I also went with Leupold’s rings and bases. While I’m still gathering data and testing different loads, you can’t top Leupold’s CDS-ZL2 Elevation Dial. Once you collect your Leupold-needed data, send your data with the cap to Leupold, and they will make and send you a laser-marked bullet-drop dial that matches your ballistics perfectly. 

The 7mm PRC on the tool bench having a Leupold scope installed

The scope mounted quickly, and as I looked through the glass to set proper eye relief, its high-definition performance jumped to life. I also immediately appreciated the scope’s 5:1 zoom ratio, which gives the shooter five times more magnification at high power than at low power so that you can find the perfect balance between magnification and field of view. I appreciated the raised metal stud for achieving right-now magnification changes.

The Ammo

I don’t spend much money on different ammo brands for testing purposes. I do my research and select a proven brand that Youtubers, bloggers, and firearm experts are having a lot of luck with. Right, wrong, or indifferent, this has worked well for me and kept more greenbacks in my pocket.

With the 7mm PRC, you have a pair of bullet grain-weight choices: 175 and 180 grains. This factor alone helps narrow your search. I opted for Federal Premium’s ELD-X 175-Grain. Fitted with Hornady’s legendary ELD-X, a bullet renowned for its match-grade accurate, hard-hitting performance, the polymer tip is designed to resist deformation. I’ve had great luck with this bullet at ranges close and far. 

More to come on this, but my second three shots through my chronograph produced an average speed of 2,985 fps. This is excellent velocity from a factory round, and the design/build of the bullet means less downrange drop. 

On The Range With The X-Bolt 7mm PRC

I wish I had a long-range elk story to kick this section off, and in a month or two, I may. For now, you’ll have to settle for some at-the-range intel. 

After removing the bolt and performing a quick boresight at 100 yards, I shot at a 200-yard 6-inch steel plate. I’m not one to waste ammo, and I realize everyone has different sight-in methods. Still, I’ve found if I take my time boresighting and have a friend turn the turret dials while I look down the bore and give him up/down, left/right instructions, I can usually hit a sub-8-inch gong at 200 yards on my first or second shot. 

The first shot hit the gong but was low and at the far right of the 6-inch plate. I was thrilled. Not only with the instant accuracy but also how balanced the rifle felt shooting from a prone position off a backpack with an attached bipod. I don’t like benches. I don’t shoot at animals from benches, so even during the sight-in process, I shoot from positions and with the equipment I plan to have on the hunt.

Shooter in vibrant green grass aiming the Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC

Before dialing the rifle in, I took it to the garage and gave the barrel a quick bath. Then it was back to the range. Removing the windage and elevation turrets, I moved the dial six clicks (1/4 MOA per click) up and eight clicks (1/4 MOA per click) to the right. Then, I sent another round. 

This rifle is so smooth. I love the trigger, which comes set from the factory at 3.5-4 pounds, and the recoil — for such a potent long-range shooter — is remarkably light. There is little barrel jump, and if needed, the short bolt throw will mean rapid follow-up shots. 

Tested: Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC

The 7mm PRC’s Accuracy

The second round hit higher on the plate and more to the right, which I wanted. Next, I moved to a two-inch circumference orange dot on a target face at 200 yards and finished fine-tuning. The X-Bolt Speed LR loved the ammo, and I loved the out-of-box accuracy I was experiencing. 

After 10 rounds, I returned the rifle to the garage and put my Real Avid cleaning products to work again. After using Bore-Max Bore Solvent, my patches could go down the barrel without any copper or powder fouling.

READ MORE: Hornady’s New 7mm PRC

Then it was back to the range. At $80 per box of 20, I’m not one to burn through ammo trying to dial to longer ranges when all I need to do is gather data for Leupold and send in my cap. So for this test, the furthest distance I shot the X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC was 650 yards. After cleaning the rifle and confirming I was dead nuts at 200 yards, I set my elevation dial back to 0, locked down the Allen-head screws, took a guesstimate, and turned the dial. At 650 yards, my shot was four inches low but dead on left and right. The wind was blowing from the south (crosswind) at 7 mph. I made another adjustment and sent one more round. This one clanged a 6-inch diameter steel gong at 650. Remarkable for a factory rifle with factory ammo. 

X-Bolt 7mm PRC FAQs

Q: How do I use the Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PCR?

A: The Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PCR is a precision rifle designed for long-range shooting and hunting.

Q: What is the magazine capacity of the Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PCR?

A: It varies depending on the model but this model has a capacity of 3 rounds.

Q: What is the price for the Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PCR?

A: The current MSRP for the rifle is $1,479.99

Tested: Browning X-Bolt Speed LR 7mm PRC

In the coming weeks, I will do a bit more tinkering and send off my CDS dial to Leupold for final engraving. Then after some practice, no elk will be safe. I can’t wait to report on the rifle’s in-the-field performance soon. 

Browning Speed LR 7mm PRC Specifications

Action Length: Long Action

Caliber: 7 PRC

Barrel Length: 26 in.

Overall Length: 46 3/4 in.

Length of Pull: 13 5/8 in. 

Drop at Comb: 11/16 in.

Drop at Heel: 1/2 in.

Weight: 7 lbs 3 oz

Magazine Capacity: 3

Twist Rate: 8

Barrel Finish: Smoked Bronze Cerakote

Stock Finish: Ovix

Receiver Finish: Smoked Bronze Cerakote

Chamber Finish: Polished

Barrel Material: Steel

Barrel Contour: Sporter SR 

Stock Material: Composite

Recoil Pad: Inflex 1, Small

Checkering: Textured Grip Panels

Sling Swivel Studs: Matte Blued

Receiver Material: Steel

Trigger Finish: Gold Plated

Bolt Slide Finish: High Gloss

Magazine Type: Detachable

Trigger Material: Alloy

Trigger Guard Material: Alloy

Trigger Guard Engraving: Buck Mark in Gold

Floor Plate Material: Composite

Drilled and Tapped for Scope: Yes

MSRP: $1,479.99

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  • b rad September 11, 2023, 10:34 am

    “I want to shoot an Elk at long range”, you sir are an idiot. Hunt the animal get within 300 yds. or closer, use your skills as a hunter. Surprised you don’t sight in your rifle standing up

  • Gordon Hutchinson September 6, 2023, 10:43 pm

    Great article! And it really shows the accuracy of the Browning mated with the Federal ammo and Hornady bullets (with which I have also had great accuracy).
    I am a little confused however–and maybe dense and misreading something–but the article says the initial shot at 200 yards at a 6″ plate was low and to the right of the gong.
    The author says he cleaned the bore, and adjusted the scope 6 clicks up (1.5 inches) and 8 clicks (2 inches)
    to the right (at 100 yards.)
    I boresight exactly the same way at 100 yards when sighting in a bolt gun. But I cannot figure out a shot hitting low and right on a 6″ gong, and an adjustment of 2″ to the right not printing the bullet either off the gong, or to the extreme right side of the gong.
    After all, if the scope will “shoot the square” at 100 yards, it should have moved the bullet approximately 4″ to the right on a dead-center hold on a 6″ gong at 200 yards.
    If I am reading this correctly, moving that bullet 4″ to the right would have hit the extreme right side of the gong in the center, or shot off the side of the gong altogether.
    I never shoot at gongs, I used standard 1″ square sighting-in targets to adjust my rifles.
    Maybe I am confused as to the distances up and down, right and left on the spherical shape of the gong, thus causing the bullets to print somewhere other than where I am assuming it should be–right in the center of the gong (assuming better-than-minute-of-angle accuracy, which is safe to assume with this rifle and bullet?).
    In other words, shouldn’t the scope have been adjusted 8 clicks to the LEFT?
    I need an explanation that won’t make me feel dunce-like:)

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