More so than most North American big game, pursuing a grizzly bear in the Arctic demands equipment that will work. A poor shot on these massive predators can mean far worse than a lost trophy–it can mean a lost life. So, when I got the invite to hunt Arctic Grizzly in September 2023, I knew I’d need a rifle and setup that I could trust beyond all measure.

Fortunately, Browning was letting me have an early look at the new-for-2024 X-Bolt 2. Specifically, the X-Bolt 2 Pro McMillan SPR Carbon Fiber. With a reconfigured receiver, upgraded bolt, and new DLX Trigger, I found it comfortable, lightweight, and accurate–three things you’re going to want on any hunt. 

The Pro McMillan SPR Carbon Fiber model is meant to live at the top of the X-Bolt 2 line-up, and I can’t disagree with that. Normally reserved for custom rifles, the McMillan Game Warden 2.0 stock is made from lightweight carbon fiber for a rock-solid platform that is built to handle the elements. Machined-in aluminum pillars ensure the action fits perfectly. Bedding at the action screws and recoil lug free-floats the barrel for consistent accuracy. The Game Scout design bridges the gap between a hunting and a target stock, with a vertical grip with top thumb rest, wider fore-end, and raised comb for correct eye alignment with large-diameter optics.

When it came to optics, I landed on Leupold’s venerable VX-5HD 3-15x44mm. A perfect choice for almost any hunt on the planet, the VX-5HD delivers high-definition lenses, extended low-light performance, and industry-leading glare reduction. Though I didn’t wind up needing the feature, I came equipped with a Leupold Custom Dial (CDS) in case I needed to make rapid elevation adjustments before a shot.

When it came to rifle caliber and ammunition, I settled on shooting the 300 PRC in Hornady’s 190-grain CX from the company’s Outfitter line of ammunition. It hit hard and did the trick, breaking down my grizz without much fuss. I’d use it again, anytime.

As grizzly rifles go, I have no complaints.


Joe Ferronato

Petersen's Hunting




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