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 Post subject: What to look for in used BT-99 2 barrel set?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:41 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:35 pm
Posts: 95
Hello all.

I know someone who has a nice old fixed choke 2 barrel BT-99 set with case that they may sell me. It was made in Japan if it makes a difference on the older BT's ( The BT-99's iirc where only made in japan right? )

He said it was a 34 inch full choke, and a 32 inch mod. I looked at it and it is really nice, standard wood iirc, Just an over all nice and clean shotgun.

So that said, what should I look for on this gun pre buy inspection aside from loose lock up, wobbling when open, cracks in wood, and a right of center locking arm?

What type of maintance costs and parts can I expect? is a lot of it user changeable, or does it mostly all have to be fitted by a gun smith? ( for example I just got a berretta 687 and totally due to bad luck immediately had to replace one ejector. which is something that is gun smith fitted, turned out to be cheaper then expected but... )

Thanks all!
George Z.




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 Post subject: Re: What to look for in used BT-99 2 barrel set?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:20 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:15 pm
Posts: 439
Hi George:

You're correct, all BT-99s were (and still are) made in Japan. This is true for the original ("Generation 1") BT-99, and the current production ("Generation 2") BT-99s.

For things to check, your list is quite good. In addition, I recommend the following:

- ensure that nobody altered the fixed chokes sometime in the past. If you have access to a bore micrometer to measure bore and choke on each barrel, that would be ideal.

- since this is a 2-barrel set, check that the forearm assembly latches onto both barrels properly when the gun is fully assembled.

- and also since this is a 2-barrel set, check that the lock-up (Top Lever position) is close to the same no matter which barrel is installed. If one barrel's lock-up is greatly different than the other, some maintenance is likely required.

- verify that the ejector functions properly for each barrel, and that the ejector "timing" is correct for each barrel too.

The BT-99 is a very bullet-proof design. Common periodic maintenance items are basically only the Top Lever Spring . . . and less frequently, the Hammer Spring, and even less frequently, the Forearm Latch Spring, and the Firing Pin and its small spring. [FYI: instructions for all of this are in my BT-99 gunsmithing book . . . see my signature line].

And if this gun still has its original (40 year old) recoil pad, it's likely kinda hard by now, so that might be the first item you replace.

All other BT-99 parts are big, beefy, and rarely need replacement, but if they do, professional installation (polishing, hand-fitting) is required for many of them.

And like most break-open guns, tightening the locking block engagement (usually via TIG welding and precision grinding) is required if the gun's lock-up is loose after many tens of thousands of shots. Not a big deal for those that specialize in such work.

Beware that the Gen 1 BT-99s (like the one you're considering) have several parts that are not the same as the newer Gen 2 BT-99s. Some of these older parts are obsolete and difficult to find, or at best, their availability is spotty. Examples: Ejector Extension, Mainspring Sleeve, Gen 1 long-tailed Trigger Guard, Ejector Trip Rod.

Sounds like a great BT-99 you've got your eye on. I think you'll like it!

_________________
Author of:
- Understanding Shotgun Stocks for better shooting: Features, Fit, Fixes, Fables, and Facts,
- The Browning BT-99 Single Barrel Trap Shotgun.
both available direct from the publisher: http://www.gunshowbooks.com/


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 Post subject: Re: What to look for in used BT-99 2 barrel set?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:54 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:35 pm
Posts: 95
Thanks for all the info! Sorry about replying so late.

Another question I had is about salt wood? Was that an issue for bt-99's or only the superposed? I have been reading about it and could not get a clear answer. It seems to not effect the 99, but I heard a couple outlying comments that it did, so was not sure and wanted to confirm.

Thanks again for all the info! When I get the set I will definitely buy the book!


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 Post subject: Re: What to look for in used BT-99 2 barrel set?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:47 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:15 pm
Posts: 439
Re: salt wood. Like you, I've heard Browning's infamous salt wood problem discussed mostly with the Superposed, the T-bolt rifle, and a couple of other Browning guns, but never with the BT-99. I guess it's possible that a BT-99 from that era could have salt wood, but I've never heard anyone mention a BT-99 with that issue -- ever. Maybe someone else knows for sure.

According to available information, the salt wood problem existed from 1966 to 1972 or so. The BT-99 didn't hit the market until 1968. The BT-99 2-barrel sets were made all the way up until 1983. So, if your gun's serial number indicates a manufacturing date anytime after 1972, I think it's a good bet that is does not have salt wood.

Of course, check for rust on the gun you're buying (as you would likely do anyway).

_________________
Author of:
- Understanding Shotgun Stocks for better shooting: Features, Fit, Fixes, Fables, and Facts,
- The Browning BT-99 Single Barrel Trap Shotgun.
both available direct from the publisher: http://www.gunshowbooks.com/


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