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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are some pics of my "Lightweight" 12 Ga, Standard Grade, 26 inch barrels w/ double triggers, serial # 32xx. I've sent it to Arts to have the wood refinished in Gloss, the checkering recut, and a Browning pad added. I love the double triggers. This gun was sold July 15, 1933 to a banker in New York. He specified the trigger order to be reversed, so that the front trigger fired the over barrel and the rear fired the under, which is reverse of how the trigger guard is marked. Very interesting.
Notice the "Lightning" style forearm, very tapered and lightweight. I can carry this gun all day in the field.
He also requested the gun be "as near as possible to 6 1/2 lbs."
When I get it back next month, I'll post some "After" pics.









 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have a pic with me, and not sure I can get close enuf to show the detail, but on the inside of the guard, there is a "U" stamped under the front trigger and an "O" under the rear trigger. When I noticed the gun did not fire in this order, I thought a gunsmith had tinkered with it, but the Browning letter I recieved from Mr. Jensen confirmed the original owner wanted it that way. Either way, it knocks the snot outa Pheasants.
 

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Scotty,

Those are some good pictures. That wood is great, better than I remember from the earlier pictures. I still think those early gunmakers had easier access to top wood than currently available. Supply and demand has driven the best wood to astronomical prices. I can't wait to see the "after" photos. I would assume you're leaving the metal as is.

DF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes DF, the metal appears to be just fine, only needs some cleaning in the crevices. The top chamber had some very light surface rust but Art will shine that right up. He's also going to straighten out a buggered up screw.

As the top of the line Browning gun back then, I think the FN craftsmen wanted to put as good a piece of wood as they could on the gun to help get it established as a true Gentleman's firearm. Then when the depression hit, my guess is that even the standard grade guns got nice wood stocks in an effort to push product out the door. I think this stock will really show some nice ribbons and figure when it comes back with that high gloss on it.
 

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Outstanding gun. By the way, that wood looks like very high grade American black walnut to me, especially on the buttstock. All that fiddle, especially on the right side.

Do you think it's American black or European?
 

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SuperXOne,

I see what you're saying, the butt stock in particular. It really does look more like a select grade of American Walnut than European Walnut. It would be interesting to know if Browning sent American Walnut to FN vs. FN procuring local walnut in Europe. My 1933 (1932) Super seems to have European Walnut with the black streaks, etc. Scotty's gun does have high grade wood, but from which continent? Interesting!

DF
 

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That is a fine gun! In Europe we use the number denominator and call this the B25.

Once you have handled many guns, especially many OUs you realise how good the B25 is. No other OU has the same balance and very few can touch the Browning for rugged design and construction. If this were an English gun it would cost as much as two houses, than the lord that John Moses Browning found FN and we can dream of owning such a gun!

Looking at the stock it looks dinged, but most of the marks are depressions, not gouges, should be easy to raise the dents and oil finish it. It will be a beauty once done. Definitely want to see the after photos.

Perhaps the original owner hunted (shot more likely) grouse in Scotland and he needed the over first shot. I have seen that kind of setup on grouse guns before where the longest shot is the first one as the birds are closing in all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guru, interesting thought about Grouse. Tho original owner lived in New York City, and while I don't know much about Eastern US grouse hunting, they apparently did it in heavy cover where you had to choose your shots carefully between tree limbs. The choke is Mod over Improved Cylinder, however I think they have been tinkered with. One appears to be full choke now as I can get a dime to rest on the barrel opening, while it slides down the other barrel.

I'll ask Art what he thinks the origin of the wood is. I too think the wood dings will buff right up and look fine in the gloss...it's not a safe queen, nor will it be when I get it back.

The second owner was (according the gun dealer) Brig Gen Telford Taylor, chief prosecutor of the Nuremburg War trials. He was the Law Chair at Columbia Univ in New York in the 50's and 60's, which was a founding participant in the "University Club" that the original owner was a menber of in 1933. I'm still working on acquiring the written provenance about this piece of ownership.
 

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Scotty,

I'm currious about what Art has to say about that wood. It sure does look like American Black Walnut more than European Walnut.

DF
 

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All the early catalogs I have seen refer to European Walnut, on both the Super and the A5. I'll attach images of some real early catalogs, but here is a quote from a Browning factory calalog made in the early firties in the section on the Superposed, "made of selectef French Walnut".

Regarding the finish on the Super it says, " The wood is hand rubbed with a weather resistant laquer five separate times to achieve a clear gleaming finish that brings out the best in the wood".

The word hand was in italics in the catalog.

Now for the older catalog references, sorry about the size but I wanted you to be able to read them:





Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Jeff, as always, you're a wealth of information. My gun was ordered from an Abercrombie & Finch Catalog like you have. I am wondering what the chances are of this wood being Russian Circassian walnut, which was mentioned as an option in the Schwing book. I'll let you know what I found out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dirtfarmer was right, the stock is made of American Black Walnut. I taleked with Art's today and they are done with the rebuild, re-finish, buttpad, bore cleaning, and streightening out some screws.
The checkering was complicated though, so they have shipped it off to a lady who is a checkering expert and used to work for Fager guns before they went under. Apperantly she's "very good" and the gun will look exceptional when I get it back, but it is going to take an extra month. Oh well, quality takes time, and I have another 50 years to shoot this gun.

They said this is only the second pre-war Superposed they've seen with out a rib on it...I don't know how "rare" that makes it, but they see a lot of nice Superposeds come across their workbenches.
 

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Scotty,

There is another early pre-war Super on the Forum. This one may be a single-double trigger. I would hope to see photos and suggested as much to the owner. Check it out.

I'm really excited about seeing photos of your restored Super, hopefully available before too long, when it returns from Art's.

DF
 

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Scotty,

I was reading in Schwing and on pg. 53, he shows a nice early Grade 1 Super and makes the statement, "The majority of the prewar Superposed were of this type." From your experience and the statement from the folks at Art's, I wonder how true this statement really is. I know there weren't that many early
Supers produced, but if the majority of them were the plain barrel option, surely more would be floating around today. I see a lot more solid and vent rib guns.

DF
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think on pg 53 Schwing is referring to the double triggers and Grade 1 engraving, rather than the plain bbls. It is a bit confusing.
Since I've had 2 guys at Art's say my no-rib gun was pretty uncommon, I would have to listen to them. Plus, there is another Cornell Pubs catalog you should keep an eye out for; the 1931 Browning Superposed catalog, with a picture of Gus Becker firing a Super on the cover. On pg 16, it says, "The Hollow rib, standard equipment of the Browning Superposed, follows the usual design of level ribs and we refer to it in this book as a Level Hollow Rib."
They were comparing to the Non-Crossfire Vent Rib, which is not "level" until a few inches out from the barrel shoulders.
So Level Hollow Rib was standard, and the Non-Crossfire Vent Rib was a $20 option. Base price was $107.50, so the non-crossfire rib was an additional 18% in 1931. Not cheap for an option. Now adays to spend an adiitional 18% you are probably getting upgraded wood/engraving, not another rib or trigger type.
 

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How did Ambercromie & Fitch go from selling high quality sporting goods to ratty looking blue jeans for pubescent kids?
Ross
 

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rer,

Very good question. I wonder if it's even the same company, or just the name that's remaining.

Scotty,

I posted a photo of the cover on the 1931 Browning catalog on the 1933 Superposed thread. What catalog shows Gus Becker shooting a Super? And did you ever figure out when the term Superposed replaced Overunder?

DF
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Dirt, here is the 1931 Becker catalog. The title is "Browning Superposed"


Here is the "centerfold" ...pun intended...these days I get as excited about a shotgun centerfold as anything else...


Here is where it gives all the specs, including saying the "Superposed is only supplied with rib barrels."


This is also where I broke the code on the Type F (Field) and Type T (Trap) stocks.
I think the terms "overunder" and "Superposed" were used interchangeably on purpose, since the general public wasn't well aquainted with overunders in 1931, with all the existing O/Us being essentially "bespoke" guns for the wealthy. So IMO Browning wanted the name "Superposed" to be associated with the style overunder, so the public would know what they were.
 
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