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 Post subject: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:38 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 5
Hello everyone,

I recently started hunting and bought myself a Browning Superposed 12 gauge shotgun. As the weapon has already seen a fair bit of life, I have been scrolling through this forum (and some others) for information about this marvelous piece and now a couple of my pictures and questions/clarifications about the gun.

1) the gun's serial number is 3220 C, and as far as I understand this indicates that the weapon is the 3220 superposed built and the C means that it is "Chasse" so for hunting. NRA museum places the time of manufacturing to 1932 and I saw a post here on this forum where a forum member had posted a picture of manufacturing catalogue where the serial number 3220 was also present and it stated that the weapon was shipped out on April 20 1931. Am I in the correct here?

2) The weapon has a double trigger. I haven't yet shot it so I don't know whether you can fire both barrels from either of the triggers or whether both triggers serve only one barrel. To my understanding both configurations exist with these? Does anyone know any more about the trigger configurations for these (assumably) early superposed shotguns? Like do they come as single trigger as well or were all of the earlier versions double triggers? For me a double trigger seems cooler but is that just me or what is the generally desirable trigger configuration for these?

3) There are a plenty of different grades with the Superposed shotguns as far as I can tell and it would be interesting to hear more about them. As far as I know there are Browning Superposed Dianas, Pigeons and so on and so forth and it would be interesting if someone would have some kind of a history of these things. I reckon mine is early Grade 1?

Last a couple of pictures of the gun and as I am not from the U.S. it would be interesting to hear what do these go for in the U.S.?

Image

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Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Cheers!




Last edited by Telmo on Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:10 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:29 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Left Coast
Very nice, I'll take it.

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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:09 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:47 am
Posts: 20
Fantastic gun!

I am far from an expert in this field but I think you got your facts correct. I would say you have an FN A1. Grade 1 is the starting level for the Browning production. Lovely wood, metal finish and original buttplate! We all would appreciate more close-up pictures. I am from Sweden and I am guessing from your nick that you are also from one of the Nordic countries.

Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:41 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:49 am
Posts: 1042
What a fantastic pre-war sample!! I love the English straight stock and the Superlight configuration.

I don't have time to comment much now except to say that the triggers may be either "double" or "twin-single" and that you will need to test it to see which. If you are not familiar with the twin-single triggers, let us know and one of us old-timers will explain.

Congrats! {hs#

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:51 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:27 pm
Posts: 932
Telmo wrote:
Hello everyone,

I recently started hunting and bought myself a Browning Superposed 12 gauge shotgun.
I am curious why you selected a pre-war double-trigger FN Superposed as your first (presumably) hunting weapon?

Quote:
1) ........... I saw a post here on this forum where a forum member had posted a picture of manufacturing catalogue where the serial number 3220 was also present and it stated that the weapon was shipped out on April 20 1931. Am I in the correct here?
Could you post a link to that discussion so I can review those comments in their context? Otherwise, I would say the serial number and shipping date given, seem inconsistent.

There are other posts where the various grades and periods of production are listed and discussed - both FN engraving patterns and Browning engraving patterns. I agree with 'Boudy' - the gun pictured is an FN A1 grade.

Thanks for sharing the photos - nice gun! The solid rib is as nostalgic as the double trigger configuration. I'm not sure why the transverse screw on the forearm is a nitride finish instead of 'noir' like the rest of the metal finishes.

Trigger history and function has also been discussed in other threads on this forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:14 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:03 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: DFW, TEXAS
Telmo, welcome to the forum. Your gun, only 62 digits earlier than my gun, is a "Light Weight" model with the sloped fore end. Most B25s of this era have what is called the "Horse shoe" ring that attaches the fore end, without the silver escutcheon. Light Weight models had a smaller, sloped fore end and used the escutcheon to attach it. This was the predecessor to the "Lightning" model which was officially offered for sale about 1936 and reduced the weight of the gun.
The double triggers are set by inertia, and if it is a "Twin Single" trigger set up, you may fire both barrels with 2 pulls of the same trigger. If the gun had a butt pad, you could dry-fire it, bump the pad on the floor, and see if it dry-fires again with the same trigger. But DON'T do that with your horn buttplate, you don't want to crack it. I also think your butt plate screws have been replaced. They should be black, not silver, and the top screw's slot appears to be off-center. That is not a big deal, just my observation. Compare to this gun: https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewto ... 3&t=520340

The English straight grip is a popular European feature, not too common on American models. Europeans hunting high-driven birds could easily slide their hand back from the front to rear trigger if the gun had an English grip.

The shipping catalogue you reference here https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=401595 shows 3220 C was shipped April 20 1931, so it's build date was obviously prior, but it is very hard to guess. My gun, 3281 C, shipped Sept 10 1931. You can see my finger pointing it out.

Also, the barrels on these guns can't shoot steel shot, only lead or non-toxic like bismuth. Steel shot can harm the barrels.

I will keep looking for a better quality picture of the catalogue page.

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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:29 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1033
Telmo , Just a thought. Ive watched this thread and noticed that you have had replies from some people who are quite knowledgeable with regards to the FN/Browning Superposed.
I have also noticed that you have visited this site since your first post ( 11/9 being the last time ), yet you have not replied nor acknowledged the time or effort these guys have spent in their replies. there is much more information to be gained regarding your shotgun if you would be willing to participate.
Please understand that there are many more knowledgeable gentleman who no longer respond because of "one posters" who get their information and disappear.
I hope this is not the case. Looking forward to hearing from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:04 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 5
Sorry for the late reply, I didn't have access to my laptop in some days and posting from a cellphone is a bit hard. Thank you for all the great answers!

Boudy wrote:
Fantastic gun!

I am far from an expert in this field but I think you got your facts correct. I would say you have an FN A1. Grade 1 is the starting level for the Browning production. Lovely wood, metal finish and original buttplate! We all would appreciate more close-up pictures. I am from Sweden and I am guessing from your nick that you are also from one of the Nordic countries.

Congratulations!


Thank you! I have added a few more pictures of some of the details, there is some wear on the gun, I reckon it has been used for hunting for quite while in Finland where I actually come from so howdy neighbour! Do you have any specific parts of the gun of which you would hope pictures?

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

crazyforbrownings wrote:
What a fantastic pre-war sample!! I love the English straight stock and the Superlight configuration.

I don't have time to comment much now except to say that the triggers may be either "double" or "twin-single" and that you will need to test it to see which. If you are not familiar with the twin-single triggers, let us know and one of us old-timers will explain.

Congrats! {hs#

CFB


Thanks! The gun is sadly not a twin-single but both the triggers are only for one barrel. I did try it out just to be sure. Are the twin-singles more common than the regular single triggers, do you have a view on that?

Anatidae wrote:
Telmo wrote:
Hello everyone,

I recently started hunting and bought myself a Browning Superposed 12 gauge shotgun.
I am curious why you selected a pre-war double-trigger FN Superposed as your first (presumably) hunting weapon?

Quote:
1) ........... I saw a post here on this forum where a forum member had posted a picture of manufacturing catalogue where the serial number 3220 was also present and it stated that the weapon was shipped out on April 20 1931. Am I in the correct here?
Could you post a link to that discussion so I can review those comments in their context? Otherwise, I would say the serial number and shipping date given, seem inconsistent.

There are other posts where the various grades and periods of production are listed and discussed - both FN engraving patterns and Browning engraving patterns. I agree with 'Boudy' - the gun pictured is an FN A1 grade.

Thanks for sharing the photos - nice gun! The solid rib is as nostalgic as the double trigger configuration. I'm not sure why the transverse screw on the forearm is a nitride finish instead of 'noir' like the rest of the metal finishes.

Trigger history and function has also been discussed in other threads on this forum.


To the first question as to why this gun: I live in Helsinki and close to me there is a weaponshop that sells Brownings, Krieghoff, Heym and so on rifles and shotguns. Both new and used. The owner of the store uses a FN Browning Superposed himself for hunting and recommended it. My weapon made it to him not-so-long ago as one of his former customers died and he bought the guns from the estate. He has a few Browning Superposed guns, the earliest has a serial number of 700 something although he didn't remember exactly and didn't have the gun at hand so I couldn't take pictures to share. I'll go and buy some rounds from him from time to time and I might be able to add some pics of that gun as well if need be. Other Brownings Superposeds he uses himself or they are of different grade and thus he has quite a lot steeper asking price for them.

I was aiming for Beretta 686 or perhaps a newer Browning initially but then again, I do like history and find value in owning something that is iconic and that have faced the test of time. In that sense I think a Browning Superposed is a great gun. A classic thing to do in Finland would be to buy something from Valmet or Sako for both weapons and even though they are greatly appreciated weapons in here, I find the history with this weapon more intriguing. Also, the store's owner was quite good at convincing me that Browning Superposed is a brilliant weapon and thus far it seems he was in the correct.

Double trigger adds to the value from my point of view as it is a less common alternative. The gun is indeed my first hunting shotgun, although I have used some other shotguns before to a limit extent in the army and as some friends and relatives have them for hunting.

To the next question, there was a comment from NoDak Scotty who had posted that catalogue page previously. The link is here https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=401595 . I reckon I will contact the Browning Historical Department for an authenticity certificate and that will then clarify it, although I'm not sure if they serve customers outside of the U.S. If anyone has their email that would be greatly appreciated, I only found a phone number to them.

NoDak Scotty wrote:
Telmo, welcome to the forum. Your gun, only 62 digits earlier than my gun, is a "Light Weight" model with the sloped fore end. Most B25s of this era have what is called the "Horse shoe" ring that attaches the fore end, without the silver escutcheon. Light Weight models had a smaller, sloped fore end and used the escutcheon to attach it. This was the predecessor to the "Lightning" model which was officially offered for sale about 1936 and reduced the weight of the gun.
The double triggers are set by inertia, and if it is a "Twin Single" trigger set up, you may fire both barrels with 2 pulls of the same trigger. If the gun had a butt pad, you could dry-fire it, bump the pad on the floor, and see if it dry-fires again with the same trigger. But DON'T do that with your horn buttplate, you don't want to crack it. I also think your butt plate screws have been replaced. They should be black, not silver, and the top screw's slot appears to be off-center. That is not a big deal, just my observation. Compare to this gun: https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewto ... 3&t=520340

The English straight grip is a popular European feature, not too common on American models. Europeans hunting high-driven birds could easily slide their hand back from the front to rear trigger if the gun had an English grip.

The shipping catalogue you reference here https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=401595 shows 3220 C was shipped April 20 1931, so it's build date was obviously prior, but it is very hard to guess. My gun, 3281 C, shipped Sept 10 1931. You can see my finger pointing it out.

Also, the barrels on these guns can't shoot steel shot, only lead or non-toxic like bismuth. Steel shot can harm the barrels.

I will keep looking for a better quality picture of the catalogue page.


Thank you very much for your comments! The screws do seem a bit off and thus are most likely "retrofitted". Do you happen to know whether "leight weight" models were more common than the ones with horseshoes? The store's owner from where I bought the Superposed said that he had only seen one Superposed with a horseshoe but reading the forums I am kind of coming towards a conclusion that horseshoe was initially the standard and things then changed later on? Thank you for the comparison piece as well!

As an additional question, are tungsten shots better or worse for shotgun and if tungsten shots can't be used, do you happen to have recommendations for non-lead shots? Lead shots are illegal in Finland in certain cases...

captjsjr wrote:
Telmo , Just a thought. Ive watched this thread and noticed that you have had replies from some people who are quite knowledgeable with regards to the FN/Browning Superposed.
I have also noticed that you have visited this site since your first post ( 11/9 being the last time ), yet you have not replied nor acknowledged the time or effort these guys have spent in their replies. there is much more information to be gained regarding your shotgun if you would be willing to participate.
Please understand that there are many more knowledgeable gentleman who no longer respond because of "one posters" who get their information and disappear.
I hope this is not the case. Looking forward to hearing from you.


You are indeed correct and I am sorry for the delayed reply. Once again, thank you everyone for your kind words and great comments!


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1033
Telco , No need for an apology. Thank you for your informative replies .
We look forward to hearing more from you. Welcome to the “fold”. {hs#


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:52 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:27 pm
Posts: 932
'Telmo' - very nice reply. Thanks for your acknowledgment and clarifications.

It is refreshing to meet someone else that demonstrates a genuine interest in the history and nostalgia of these iconic 'tests of time'. Our numbers seem to be decreasing - so, you are certainly welcomed in any discussion of the Superposed.

It is unfortunate there is either very little information about the FN's, or access to information is limited here in the United States. As your curiosity about the Superposed leads to information from your part of the world, I hope you will share it with us. Perhaps the owner of the gun shop has a Superposed example that will answer some of my questions about the pre-war and 1950's period.

You have done an impressive job of addressing everyone's specific topics. This is not easy to accomplish in this format, in a short time – and is MORE formidable when you factor-in translation.

I have provided a brief history of the Grades (as I currently understand them), via private message.

The other gentlemen here, are capable of addressing the other topics and respective queries. Welcome aboard!

Coincidentally, several years ago I came into possession of a 1953 FN B1 Grade 71cm solid, tapered rib game gun with a very similar serial number.....
Image
The consecutive '00's were struck on an angle, and resemble 2 consecutive 'C's.

It has 'true' double triggers, but has a round knob pistol-grip stock - (crosse pistolet), so it is a bit awkward, but no-less appealing to nostalgia. It is all-original and has a horn butt plate. I also have a pre-war FN D4 #3115, so this is closer to your gun's serial number, and one reason your topic caught my attention. Thanks for sharing your beautiful game gun with us. Happy Hunting!


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:47 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 5
Anatidae wrote:
'Telmo' - very nice reply. Thanks for your acknowledgment and clarifications.

It is refreshing to meet someone else that demonstrates a genuine interest in the history and nostalgia of these iconic 'tests of time'. Our numbers seem to be decreasing - so, you are certainly welcomed in any discussion of the Superposed.

It is unfortunate there is either very little information about the FN's, or access to information is limited here in the United States. As your curiosity about the Superposed leads to information from your part of the world, I hope you will share it with us. Perhaps the owner of the gun shop has a Superposed example that will answer some of my questions about the pre-war and 1950's period.

You have done an impressive job of addressing everyone's specific topics. This is not easy to accomplish in this format, in a short time – and is MORE formidable when you factor-in translation.

I have provided a brief history of the Grades (as I currently understand them), via private message.

The other gentlemen here, are capable of addressing the other topics and respective queries. Welcome aboard!

Coincidentally, several years ago I came into possession of a 1953 FN B1 Grade 71cm solid, tapered rib game gun with a very similar serial number.....
Image
The consecutive '00's were struck on an angle, and resemble 2 consecutive 'C's.

It has 'true' double triggers, but has a round knob pistol-grip stock - (crosse pistolet), so it is a bit awkward, but no-less appealing to nostalgia. It is all-original and has a horn butt plate. I also have a pre-war FN D4 #3115, so this is closer to your gun's serial number, and one reason your topic caught my attention. Thanks for sharing your beautiful game gun with us. Happy Hunting!


Thanks for the share of that FN B1 Grade, indeed a spectacular find! It is thrilling to notice how many of these guns have made it until our days in excellent condition and that there are devoted collectors around these guns. Thank you also for all of your information!


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:53 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1033
Telmo , that is a beautiful example of an A1 and should bring you a lot of pleasure in the field.
judging by your enthusiasm , I'm hoping you'll become a regular here.
As Anatidae stated , there is very little information available about the FN's on this side of the pond. I hope you will be able to fill some ( rather large ) gaps for us. thanks again for your interest and input.


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:02 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:47 am
Posts: 20
Really nice to see your gun. I do hope you will have a lot of fun with it.

It is my guess that "twin single" triggers are not that common in Europe in favour of the "double trigger". I have a later gun in comparision to yours, a 1939 FN B1 att it has the "double trigger" set up.

I can see that the chocke markings are not on the "usual" place on the left side. I would guess you will find the markings under the forearm. This is not that rare on the early production. My gun is choked full (*) and half (**).


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:09 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 5
Boudy wrote:
Really nice to see your gun. I do hope you will have a lot of fun with it.

It is my guess that "twin single" triggers are not that common in Europe in favour of the "double trigger". I have a later gun in comparision to yours, a 1939 FN B1 att it has the "double trigger" set up.

I can see that the chocke markings are not on the "usual" place on the left side. I would guess you will find the markings under the forearm. This is not that rare on the early production. My gun is choked full (*) and half (**).


Thank you for the reply! I am not fully sure at this point what trigger configurations were mostly made for the European market but that might very well be true.

About the chokes: Here are a couple more pictures of the gun

Image

Image

Image

In the first picture is text that I reckon says "18.4 CHOKE 18.3" and to my understanding there is a z with a star on top of it after that.

In the second picture that is a star and the other barrel has another similar star that is poorly visible in the picture. I reckon this means the gun has "Full Choke" on both barrels?

The third picture has other markings that the gun barrel has, I reckon LG refers to Liege, the province where Herstal is located. On one other post on this forum there is a statement that the P.V. would indicate that the weapon has been proofed for use with smokeless powder. The last letter on top of that is P with a crown on top of it I reckon.


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:46 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:47 am
Posts: 20
Hello,

Looks like your gun is chocked full and full. As you may know the standard later on was to put the choke markings closer to the breach visable without removing the forearm as the example below FN B1 1939.

https://www.bildtagg.se/bild/2hs0hdwqrho8niwqm0f5z6c

I think the *Z is the inspector that did the preassure test of the barrels. This would then be Theodore Degobert working at Liege 1924-1949.

You should also be able to find a second letter with a star ontop and that would be the year for the preassure test. You might expect an i for 1930 or j for 1931. This is perhaps the best way to know when an early gun was manufactured.

At least one of the persons that has comment your question above knows "everything" about markings on the early FN/Brownings. He has helpt me de-coding my gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:41 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 5
Boudy wrote:
Hello,

Looks like your gun is chocked full and full. As you may know the standard later on was to put the choke markings closer to the breach visable without removing the forearm as the example below FN B1 1939.

https://www.bildtagg.se/bild/2hs0hdwqrho8niwqm0f5z6c

I think the *Z is the inspector that did the preassure test of the barrels. This would then be Theodore Degobert working at Liege 1924-1949.

You should also be able to find a second letter with a star ontop and that would be the year for the preassure test. You might expect an i for 1930 or j for 1931. This is perhaps the best way to know when an early gun was manufactured.

At least one of the persons that has comment your question above knows "everything" about markings on the early FN/Brownings. He has helpt me de-coding my gun.


Thanks a lot, tack ska du ha! I didn't see i or j although there is that P with a star on the third picture (above the other markings). There is also a weight which I suppose is the weight of the barrels, maybe that marking will be found alongside that marking. Got to check it again at some point when cleaning the weapon.

I have gotten a bunch of interesting information regarding the weapon already, thank you once again for everyone involved :D !


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 Post subject: Re: Early (?) Browning Superposed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:37 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:27 pm
Posts: 932
Thanks for the additional photos.

Boudy is correct, yet there are usually several different inspectors' marks in various locations on each gun.

In the same area as the line of proof markings is the letter 'P' surmounted with an asterisk (*) - this is the powder proof inspector's code. The mark above it (in orientation of the photo) appears to be a 'scripted' lower-case letter 'j' which coincides with 1931.

On the opposite side of each barrel - the single asterisk (*) near the chamber on each barrel is, in fact, the choke markings for 'Full' - the usual location for chokes on the early guns.....even into the late 1940's. Often, the serial number on the barrels is also hidden under the forearm on the left side of the bottom barrel.




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