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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1955 era Browning Superposed 12 Gauge.

It's all original but has definitely seen better days. The lever is dead center, the bores look good and most of the original blueing is there. However, there is quite a bit of surface rust on the barrels and the blueing on the trigger is just about gone. There's also a small crack in the wood on the lower left hand corner of the left side of the receiver. The wood itself is losing some of it's finish and someone had installed a Pachmayr white line pad on the buttstock. The sight bead also looks like it's been smashed up a little.

I was thinking of having the internals freshened up, the barrels and receiver reblued and the wood refinished. Is it worth it or should I just sell the thing?

Also, I've heards Art's Gunshop and Midwest Gunworks are the places to go for Browning work. Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Just to give you an idea of the cost, I had the same thing done to a French SxS that belonged to my grandfather and had been neglected for decades. I did pretty much all the same things except rebluing the receiver as it was originally case colored so I left it alone.

To have the rust removed from the barrels; reblue; clean, inspect, replace parts, and reassemble the action; a few coats of oil to freshen up the stock; etc. it cost just about $2K. They did also recut the engraved markings on the barrel. To me, it was worth it as the gun has sentimental value. However, on a 12ga Superposed, unless it has sentimental value, I'm not sure it's worth it as an expensive one in excellent condition will run $1800.

I had Doug Turnbull's shop do the work and they did an absolutely first class job. I would recommend them highly. http://turnbullrestoration.com/
 

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My guess is that it is only "worth it" if you like the gun and would like to keep it and use it in its restored condition.

I have seen a gun that was refinished by Arts gun shop and the work was superb.

It sounds like a fine project.
 

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I too suspect you'd easily outspend the value of the gun by restoring it.

Since with this line...
Is it worth it or should I just sell the thing?
you implied no sentimental value, I'd find a buyer. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input gentlemen. Much appreciated.

I should clarify that the rust on the barrel is a light surface rust and I was actually able to remove most of it with a little oil and some steel wool. Not pitted type rust at all.

That being said, what do you think the gun is worth?

I know a nice shape Superposed brings a pretty penny but it seems a lot of people over value these guns. Even those that have been beat to all hell and neglected.
 

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Hello SShooterZ: First off I'm no Browning expert, but, have done the "restoration" thing on a number of Winchesters! Yes it can be expensive.

First off the "Superposed" came in about 7-9 different "Grades" even a Grade I in the condition yours is in can go for a $1000 if marketed correctly.

Anyway here is my rocomendation; I think I would start with getting an estimate for the "internal tune up", getting the crack repaired in the butt stock, and possibly getting the barrels reblued. You don't have to do the whole gun at once.

You may over time find an original "butt stock" that hasn't been cut, with no cracks, then you could have the "replacement butt and forearm restored together to get an even color match.

Finally depending on how much you start using it, you can get the receiver reblued. The key thing, get estimates for doing the minimum, internals, crack repair, barrel blue, receiver blue, possibly a "new" replacement stock etc. If anyone has one Midwest might. You may want to contact Browning to see if their Service dept. can do some or all of the work too. again just a suggestion.

Regards Dave
 

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The higher prices you see on superposed guns is generally for collector specimens. What you will be doing with most of your "restoration" efforts is to create a shooter. Those can be had for $1200 + or -. It does sound like you can get rid of the rust with oil and fine steel wool. The barrels were originally rust blued and will have to be if you go that route to protect the solder in the ribs. Rust bluing can cost around 250 and up for the barrels alone. The recievers were hot tank blued and run a lot less. The best way to stabilize the rust you saw on the barrels is to boil the barrels in water. It is part of the rust bluing process and changes the chemical makeup of the red iron oxide to a stable form. Given that you probably dont have a tank long enough to boil water and immerse your barrels, what you did will help. I would recommend putting a coat of clenzoil on the barrels after you are done. I don't know all of what is in it but it does a great job retarding any further rusting.

The crack is very likely fixable. I have a mid 50's superposed that has a similar crack and has since I got it. It does need some minor internal work but it can limp by as it is for now. It is one of my future project guns so that part can wait.

I have seen superposed "parts guns" go from a low of $365 (an early, double trigger gun with a garbage ugly stock that needed a lot of work) to around $850 for those that needed mostly cosmetic work to make them functional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dave - Thanks again for the advice. You've been extremely helpful and I really appreciate it.

Chic - First off, I have to say WOW!! to your stocks. Just abslolutely gorgeous work. Nice! Secondly, thanks for the information, it really helps me with breaking down all that will need to be done and deciding whether I want to do it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Doing a quick check list, using Art's Gun and Sport Shop here is what I come up with:

Browning Superposed:
Clean and Adjust (hourly) $42.00
Fit ivory sights (set) $60.00 (Don't know if it's any cheaper for a single replacement sight?)
Reblue Comp Gun $325.00
Fit Browning pad $95.00
Refinish stock (high gloss) $160.00
Refinish forearm $120.00
Recut checkering of stock $65.00
Recut checkering of forearm $65.00

All told, I would have close to $1650 into the gun when completed. I was looking on Gunbroker/Gunsamerica and can't seem to find a LNIB 1950's era Superposed for much less than that.

Thoughts?
 

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Hello SShooterZ: to reblue the receiver and barrels for $325. that's a "hot blue". as stated earlier those barrels need to be "rust blued". big cost difference. You want to find a gunsmith who hand polishes, and uses "soap stone". This is very important to keep the engraving looking good.

Did you contact Browning to see what they can do for you?

Personally, IMO it's not worth spending the money, unless you get it done like it was originally.

It's kinda like putting a cheap paint job on a classic car and calling it "restored", in other words do it right or not at all.

Regards Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dave, when I went to Art's page, it said the rebluing was listed under the Superposed section so I was assuming (maybe incorrectly) that it was rust bluing.

If you check out Mike Orlen's pricing for rust bluing it's around $250. I can't see the reciever being that much more?

I think I'll call Arts and see what they have to say.

Also, I 110% agree with you that if you do it, DO IT RIGHT! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I checked Midwest Gun Works also and they charge $300 for rust bluing a O/U Shotgun so that price seems in line.
 

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How is it choked? You might want to get Arts to adjust the chokes to what you want while it is there.

I have a Browning in maybe just a little better condition than you describe. The internals are good because it was not shot much but the stock is beat up a lot. I keep telling myself I am going to refinish the stock, but I use the gun too much to want it to be down for that long. I like shooting it better than my other guns. I have it at a loose IC and a tight modified. I shoot mostly skeet and some sporting clays with it. I don't think I would change chokes even if I had screw ins. And I like the light weight and feel of the thin barrels. I do load 7/8 and 3/4 oz shells for it because it is a pretty light gun for a 12 (lightening model).

The work I saw done at Arts was good. Heck, it was excellent. It was a complete rebuild on a salt wood era pigeon grade 20 gauge. I think Arts is the authorized Browning work center now. I don't think Browning still works on the supers themselves, but I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spoke with Art today. What a gentleman on the phone. Very easy to talk to and willing to answer all my questions with patience and informative answers. Completely impressed.

He said that you must rust blue the barrels on a Superposed as a salt blue will eat away at the solder holding the barrels together as well as the rib on top. He does salt blue the receivers as that is the way they came from the factory. All told, $325.00 for the whole gun.

He said that the older Superposed sometimes have a problem with the ribs coming loose and he will have to check and see if that is the case as that could add significant amount of work to the job.

He wants me to send the gun to him and he will give it a free inspection and estimate as to how much it would take to restore it. Most likely in the $800 range which would put me at about $1550 into the gun. I don't think that would be an absurd price for a like new 1950's era Superposed.

We'll see what he says when he gets the gun and I'll report back here. Thanks again to everyone for their comments and input. Truly appreciated. :)
 

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Hi SShooterZ: Well it certainly sounds as though Art knows his stuff!! You might want him to look at the hinge pin cloese, (the pivot point for opening the barrels). This would be the ideal time to replace it,if it's worn. $1550 investment, the gun will be ready for the next 50 years!!

Regards Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He's gonna look at that too Dave. He pretty much knew everything that might be a problem and said he would check it all.

I do want to chat with you about a possibly restore on a Winchester Model 97 for my father-in-law.
 
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