FN Herstal Patrol Bolt Rifle (PBR)
||Cold, rotary forged medium heavy contour
18" (432mm), 20" (508mm), 22" (559mm), 24" (609mm)
||9 lbs (4.09 kg) wo/scope (depends on configuration)
||38" (965mm) - 18" barrel version
||Detachable 4 round magazine
||We believe Teflon
||Hogue aluminum bedding block
First off, thanks goes out to Sniper Central Forums member
Caver101 for providing the off the shelf FN Patrol Bolt Rifle with 20" barrel for
A lot of hype has been made about the new FBI HRT contract with FN Herstal for
their new tactical rifles (a special version of the FN SPR rifle line). The FN
was chosen after extensive testing between competing models. The PBR rifle
reviewed here is a lower end tactical rifle that was intended to be carried in
patrol cars (hence the name). But does this rifle have the ability to be used
as an everyday tactical rifle? If so, it would be in direct competition with
the Remington 700P at the $700-800 tactical rifle range.
One of the first things people notice is that the action looks very similar to
a new Winchester M70 with the new pre64 claw extractor. Well, the reason why is
because that is exactly what the action is. So operation is the familiar and
if you like the Winchester action, then you will like the FN action. It is very
smooth operating and cycles as you would expect. The overall finish of the rifle
is probably average, but not more. This test rifle had about 300 rounds through
it when we received it, and the wear was evident on the bolt, but operation
and everything functioned perfect.
The magazine holds four rounds, is well made, feeds very smooth and worked
without a hitch. (Which is more than can be said for most Remington dbm's).
The only thing I did not like was that you cannot easily feed just one round at
a time in the rifle. You had to load each round into the magazine before being
able to chamber it. Detachable magazines are a nice feature for tactical shooting
for when a rapid ammo change is needed as the situation changes (i.e. switching
to glass busting rounds, etc).
The stock on the rifle is a Hogue Overmolded with an aluminum pillar system.
The stocks have a soft rubber overmolding that provides exceptional grip and are
generally comfortable to use. But the fit and finish of the stock is not up to
the same standards as the HS stocks are on the Remington 700P's. The pistol grip
also was not very comfortable to us at SC. It could really benefit from a more
vertical profile instead of the sharp curve, and more girth in the palm area
would be nice also. The gaps between the free floated barrel and stock are
fairly large, which is fine, but looks a bit sloppy. All in all, the rifle
is a serviceable package in terms of ergonomics and works well in all environments.
At the range the rifle performed well. The rifle had a Leupold Mark 4 LR
4.5-14x50mm M1 scope mounted on top, which is a fantastic scope, one of our
gave the rifle the best opportunity to perform well, and it did. We fired both
federal gold medal match 168gr and PMC silver line match 168gr through the rifle.
It seemed to favor the PMC but performed well with both. The overall average group size
at 100yards for all ammo and groups was 0.93". This included some not so good
shooting on our behalf. The best group of the day was a .401" center to center
group pictured above. This was fired with the PMC match ammo. Is the rifle a
.5 MOA rifle? No, its not, at least not the day we were using it. We consider it
a .75-.80 MOA rifle, and that is pretty good for a mass produced off the shelf
Overall the rifle is a good solid package. Would I take it over a 700P? Personally,
probably not. I like the shape and fit of the HS stock better and you get about
the same accuracy for a little less money. The overall fit and finish of the PBR
seems a bit less than on the Remington. But, it is available in more barrel lengths
and the stock does have some merit in terms of its use as an all weather stock.
The rifle performs well and shold be considered when deciding on a tactical rifle
in this price range.