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 Post subject: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:59 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:35 am
Posts: 3
I just inherited a few shotguns and am trying to get some information on them. I am new to guns so anything you can tell me is helpful. New to this so sorry if I am incorrect or in the wrong place in this forum.

Info as I understand it:
Maker: Browning
Model: Superposed
Gauge: 12ga
Serial #: 7393
Barrel Engravings: "Made in Belgium - Browning Patents No. 1578G38 - 1578G30 - Other patents applied for" "Browning Arms Company St Louis Mo - 12ga special steel"
Recoil Pad: "Browning Superposed"

I am going to try to attach pictures so lets see if this works,:
Image
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It is a little dirty but I intend to do some detailed cleaning soon.




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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:55 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 953
Location: Moncks Corner, SC
That's a nice one - the engraving is really good - look really, really close and see if you can find the engraver's name on the receiver somewhere. It might be on the left side. You might also find a longer serial number somewhere.

https://www.browning.com/support/date-y ... otgun.html


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:57 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4910
Location: WA/AK
Looks like a nice 1930s vintage Pigeon Grade. Is it plain double triggers or the double-single triggers? That original Superposed butt plate is worth the price of admission.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:12 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:18 am
Posts: 27
Researcher01 wrote:
That original Superposed butt plate is worth the price of admission.

My thoughts exactly.

That is a beautiful gun, rm.hart! Do you know its story by any chance?

I love a Browning super!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:35 am
Posts: 3
Rubberhead wrote:
That's a nice one - the engraving is really good - look really, really close and see if you can find the engraver's name on the receiver somewhere. It might be on the left side. You might also find a longer serial number somewhere.


I will look for an engravers name later today. I cleaned it yesterday and i didn't find a longer serial # but I found the same number on other parts.

Researcher01 wrote:
Looks like a nice 1930s vintage Pigeon Grade. Is it plain double triggers or the double-single triggers? That original Superposed butt plate is worth the price of admission.


How would I be able to figure out what trigger set up it has? I have only shot it a couple of times and we didn't know there was anything other than pull one trigger=shoot one barrel.

Jjgundoges wrote:
Researcher01 wrote:
That original Superposed butt plate is worth the price of admission.

My thoughts exactly.

That is a beautiful gun, rm.hart! Do you know its story by any chance?

I love a Browning super!!!


I don't know its story before my great-grandfather got it. He was a doctor in NY and we think he got it as payment for a house call in the 1940s.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:07 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:18 am
Posts: 27
Very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:49 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Posts: 1031
rm.hart:

Congrats! {hs# You are now the owner of a Pre-War Browning Superposed Pigeon Grade (high grade) possibly with twin-single triggers (although I hear there are a few out there with double triggers, which may or may not be factory triggers, and which may have been installed before the twin-single triggers were invented). You now own a piece of history, and John Moses Browning over/under brilliance.

The first thing you should do is contact Browning in Morgan, Utah and ask/pay for a Letter of Authenticity and any information that they can give you on your Superposed.

Next, try to purchase a copy of the book, The Browning Superposed by Ned Schwing. It is the preeminent text on the Browning Superposed. It is out of print. But you can find an occasional copy on E-Bay or Amazon. It will be expensive. But the history and knowledge contained therein is worth every penny.

Next, you should do a search on this and other forums and threads for "pre-war Browning Superposed" and read everything you can. Here is one such link: https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=366787 Please post more pics of your pre-war.

Welcome to the brotherhood!

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
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Location: Louisiana
Twin single triggers strike me as the best set-up ever for a double barreled gun. I hate double triggers and wonder why it just faded away.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:50 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:03 pm
Posts: 1148
Location: DFW, TEXAS
rm, congratulations on inheriting an heirloom quality piece of art and history.
FIRST...if you are new to shotguns, you should know that Superposeds should only be shot with lead shot or non-toxic shot. Steel pellets can harm the softer barrels that Supers came with back in the day.
OK, you have a circa 1935-ish Browning Superposed Grade 2 aka Pigeon Grade Superposed with an original buffalo horn "Double Circle" buttplate. Very, Very Cool to us Superposed fans. Pigeon Grades were the first of the "high grade" guns; Grade 1 (basic), then Pigeon, Diana, and Midas. If I forgot one someone will chime in. Not rare per-se, but definitely not common.

7393 is the full serial number. Seeing it elsewhere means the gun is basically all original.

Pigeon grades were not always signed by the engraver, but sometimes were.

The Double Trigger was standard until July 1936 -ish, when the Single Selective Trigger or SST became standard for the 1937 year models. (like cars, the 1937 models came out in mid '36, etc).
When you fire the first trigger, if you pull it again and the other barrel fires also, then you have "Twin Single" triggers, a fairly rare and desirable option. If it just goes click on the second pull, you have normal double triggers. NOTE: you can dry-fire to check for this option, but you have to "bump" the butt firmly on the ground, etc, to reset the trigger, and i DO NOT recommend that with your classic and again, desirable Double Circle butt plate.

When the gun is open look for asterisk marks on the left side of the chambers...that will tell you the chokes. Also look for swirls in the polished metal, a feature on high grade guns, although I'm not sure if pre-war guns had this.

NOW...what to do. You have a beautiful, classic, heirloom gun. I recommend having that gorgeous wood refinished to it's original glory. Just like a classic car needs new paint now and then, wood moves and breathes and needs to be cared for. Some folks may howl in disagreement that you should keep it original, etc, and that's fine too. It's up to you. The metal has a nice patina, which is a fancy way of saying it has some surface rust. If you have maybe $1000 and 4-6 months to wait (ballpark, of course), you could send it to Art's Gunshop in Missouri for a wood refresh and MAYBE a metal refinish. It's amazing what they can do. Again, all options for you to consider.
I would though!
P.S. You've got about a $2500 gun there, give or take $250, so don't do anything drastic without getting several informed opinions, which you'll find for free right here. :) Thanks for the pics too!

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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:58 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4910
Location: WA/AK
Here for your viewing pleasure are some pages from the 1931 or 32 Browning Arms Co. catalog introducing the Superposed.

Image

Image

Image

Image

By the 1936 Browning folder the Twin Single Trigger was listed as standard at no extra cost. Likewise for 1937. By the 1938 Browning folder the new Val Browning designed single selective trigger that we all know on the Superposed was standard.


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 Post subject: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 996
+1 on sending it to Art’s !
Or selling it to me.
Those would be my top suggestions.
It’s seen better days. But it looks to be all original at first glance, and is without a doubt a very cool shotgun. Congrats!


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:32 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:35 am
Posts: 3
NoDak Scotty wrote:

When the gun is open look for asterisk marks on the left side of the chambers...that will tell you the chokes. Also look for swirls in the polished metal, a feature on high grade guns, although I'm not sure if pre-war guns had this.


The asterisk pattern is ** on the top and **- on the bottom barrel. I haven’t found an engraver name.

I am still trying to figure out what trigger set up it is. I will test it next time I shoot it. I do t think I am going to want to fix the wood or metal, at least not without a lot of research.

crazyforbrownings wrote:
The first thing you should do is contact Browning in Morgan, Utah and ask/pay for a Letter of Authenticity and any information that they can give you on your Superposed.



I will definitely be calling them first thing Monday morning.

Thanks for all the information and advice! Keep it coming!


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:36 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4910
Location: WA/AK
** = Modified

**_ = Improved Cylinder


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:24 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:27 pm
Posts: 897
You might confirm the serial number on the other parts before requesting information from Browning.

I believe the correct serial number is 7398. By comparison, the 2nd digit (3) has a linear cap and the last digit (8) is rounded.

It is not uncommon that the angle of the stamp was not perpendicular to the metal surface when it is struck resulting in a partial number. I have a gun with a 5-digit serial ending ‘00’ and actually looks like ‘CC’.

I would hate to see you receive information for the wrong gun. Otherwise you might not learn the real story behind this one.

Congratulations.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:04 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 3619
Location: Western Tampa, FL
lossking wrote:
Twin single triggers strike me as the best set-up ever for a double barreled gun. I hate double triggers and wonder why it just faded away.


Although I have never used a twin single trigger equipped gun; I would agree that it had to be super efficient to use. I guess the complexity was the reason it was not adopted by more gun makers. By the way and unlike lossking; I love double triggers but can see how the twin single trigger had tremendous benefits.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach me something: Browning Superposed 12ga O/U
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:22 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:49 am
Posts: 1031
oyeme wrote:
* * * I guess the complexity was the reason it was not adopted by more gun makers. * * *


Excellent comments, as always, oyeme. But I think it may have had more to do with the Browning patent preventing other makers from using it.

I wish Browning still offered it on their O/U. But I think maybe the twin-single concept faded away due to its complexity of use in the heat of the moment . . . When that pheasant flushes in front of you, it's hard to remember "Uuummm, which trigger fires the the upper barrel first, and which fires the lower barrel first. And which barrel is full, and which is modified?" Of course, for those who overcame that complexity by practice, practice, practice, it was a great system.

Respectfully,

CFB



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