T-Bolt: the right tool for pest control

Published on 22 November 2019
Author: Aleksejs Vankovs
Varmint Advice
In 2011, I bagged my very first deer in the UK and that was when I made up my mind that I wanted hunting to be a full-time hobby. And what better way to do that than with a T-Bolt! Going back to my hunting roots wasn’t easy and there were a few obstacles on the way. But with the help of a good friend and a few other people I got there in the end, and I finally received all my licenses and qualifications. I began to be less of a recreational hunter and more a semi-professional wildlife manager.

Why did you buy a T-Bolt ?

Many request for territory management

Before I knew it, I was receiving requests from local farmers to control reasonably large areas of farm land.

At that time, the main focus of the management was on rabbits: as you know, they are small creatures which move VERY fast, their heads popping up and down all the time and it isn’t that easy to get close to them.

A weapon for long distance shooting

At the time I had a .22lr semi-automatic rifle from very well-known brand and it sort of worked for me on short distances and ground like apple orchards, but when I started to get calls from arable and livestock farmers, I found that the distances dramatically increased from 50-70m up to 140-150m.

That was the point when I realised I needed a new tool for a very specific job, a very precise job for that matter.

I’m not sure how many of you have tried to get a head shot on a rabbit  at distance of over 100m from the sticks, but trust me, it’s not that easy: especially when you need to do it 45-50 times (sometimes close to a hundred)  per night and 3-4 times in a given week.

Many tests but only one conclusive one!

I was dead set on a .17HMR, luckily having an option to try a few different rifle makers before buying one. 

Finally, I made my decision – two weeks later my Browning T-bolt  Composite Target Varmint in black synthetic stock was waiting for me in the local gun shop.

The advantages of the T-Bolt

This little rifle performs like no other, it hasn’t let me down once from the moment I zeroed it. I get shots dead on the bullseye from 10m to 200m every time I pull the trigger. The Kite Optics KSP HD2 2-12×50 scope helps me a lot on long range shots.

The straight pull system is fast, easy to use and with enough practice, reloading speed is almost as quick as a semi-automatic rifle.

The 10-round rotary magazine is very well designed and there’s no problem sending rounds in to the chamber, no matter how quick you yank that bolt back and forward. In addition, there are two magazines overall and the second sits nicely at the back of the stock as it gives you the option of having 20 shots without carrying an ammunition box or having rounds in your pockets.

And I must say this:

Once you have used your T-bolt for a while (like I did with mine), there is no going back!

Browning T-bolt is the one I would choose all day – every day. This rifle is a perfect hunting companion,

And you? 
What do you use as a weapon and caliber for destruction?