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Looking for information on the salt wood stocks used by Browning in the early 70's -- any information, pluses, minuses -- would be appreciated. Even if you send me some links or PM me with "stuff" == I'm happy to wade through it.

A friend is thinking of buying one and I'm doing the research.

BTW, this is my first post here. It's really interested and I've learned a lot and enjoyed the rest <smile>
 

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During late 1966, Browning´s salt wood problems began to emerge, and continued until 1972. Most experts have never seen a long tang salt gun, and therefore believe that almost 100% of the salt guns had short tangs. Depending on the damage (it can vary a lot), values for salt damaged guns can be reduced as much as 50% (heavy pitting and original salt wood). Those salt guns that have been restocked by Browning are accepted by the shooting fraternity, and can command as much as 90% of the value of non-salt original guns. To determine if a shotgun has salt damage, examine carefully any gun where the serial number is within the 1966-71 production range, and carefully inspect the wood around the buttplate, forearm, and where the wood joins the receiver metal for any telltale rusting or pitting
 

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I think it was a wood preservation technique, probably the latest greatest way to save money.
 

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They used the salt to speed the drying of the wood. I still cant believe Browning did this.... Bone heads!

Nylo
 

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Nylo, Don't be so disparaging (Boneheads) the wizz kid who thought up the salting idea may have been fresh out of Uni, and his offspring is now telling you to use #*+ or some such gobbledegook as your default.Such is the price of progress.
 

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Not only did Browning have problems with salt wood but other companies did too. The Browning satl guns were not limited to their shotguns but the problem was seen through out int line. Especialy in high grade guns. Some of the models that I am aware of are the BAR,.22 Auto,A5 and,of course the Superposed. Nikko,ERA, and Miroku also had a dose of the saltwood fever.
 

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I recently restocked a FN Browning rifle for a customer. It had belonged to his father in law who gave it to him. The rust pitting had been arrested and the stock had been glass bedded from stem to stern by Browning. He had used it for his main hunting gun and now after I completed the work, he gave it back to his father in law. It was chambered in .270 Winchester and shot very well. I put Jerry Fisher bottom metal on it to dress it up and rust blued the metal.





 

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I have read that there was a severe shortage of walnut for stocks at the time and that Browning used the salt cured wood because it could be dried in a much shorter time.

The wood is not supposed to be exposed to the salt in salt curing. The salt is simply used as a dessicant to reduce the humidity. I have also read that there were some flooding problems and the salt got into the wood because of essentially a failure in the curing process.
 
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