View Full Version : Browning Superposed 12 ga. 1931
August 30, 2001, 11:18 AM
A pawn shop owner friend of mine called me out of the blue yesterday and said he had a "Browning Superposed 12 ga. manufactured in 1931 in beautiful shape." He wanted to know if I might be interested in buying it. He has an old Blue Book of Gun Values that tells him it's worth $1,400. My current Blue Book has a lot of info and variations. I'm going to go take a look at the gun later today. What specifically should I look for? Anybody have a checklist that might be helpful? I'd like to collect data and then evaluate it before I make an offer. Thanks for your help.
August 30, 2001, 12:05 PM
The Superposed is a classic, but like any old gun should be checked out by a qualified smith.
OTOH, IMO, it's the least likely shotgun out there to glitch. JMB overengineered everything, and the Superposed was one of the last designs he had.
I'm not up on the market values, but unless it was owned by an advanced trapshooter or abused, it's got a couple more generations of use in it.
August 30, 2001, 04:36 PM
Please check to see if the gun is one of those that came with "Salt Wood". If it is in that serial number range you may have to check for rust where the wood touches the metal. The Blue Book should give the serial numbers to look out for. I had the list somewhere but can't find it now :confused:
The superposed was the first really effective O/U and is still one of the best guns out there. In europe the Super is considered a "best" gun and right up there with the high grade Berettas and other top guns. For some reason here in the US the prices for used Supers is very low. If you find the gun is sound grab it and thank your favorite diety for the blessing bestowed on you.
Here is a website with the manual for the gun if you need it:
August 31, 2001, 12:15 PM
I had an opportunity to review and evaluate the gun yesterday afternoon. Briefly, here's what I observed:
1) Belgian made (FN), S/N 874 (near the middle of first year production, 1931.
2) Rosette and leaf engraving adorning receiver and breech borders. (Fjestad says this didn't occur until 1938! Inconsistent with S/N.)
3) Hawkins butt pad (factory installed).
4) Pitting in the center of the right side of the receiver. Looks like someone tried to steel wool it off and only succeeded in removing what bluing was there.
5) Pitting at end of lower bbl at the muzzle.
6) Stock is scuffed and scratched in some areas.
7) Forend stock is dented on right side and has hairline cracks fore and aft where it meets the bbls.
8) Receiver is 70% blue, bbls are 90% (not reblue since all tiny bbl markings are sharp and legible. Bores are shiney bright with no obvious corrosion.
9) Overall estimate 60%+
10) I'd say valuation is $825 less 20% for butt pad ($165) less $150 for obvious damage = $510 total.
What do you guys think?
August 31, 2001, 05:09 PM
Depends on what you want the gun for. For high volume clay targets I'd put my money into something more modern possibly with choke tubes. For waterfowling I'd pass because the Browning does not recommend using steel in older Superposeds. The Superposed is a little heavy for upland game IMHO.
What are the chokes? Does it have a single or double trigger? The early versions had a couple of different trigger configurations including a double/single arrangement. Does the top lever rest in the center or right of center. If it rests on the left that's an indication of locking wear. It won't have salt wood because it is well before that era which was in the late 60's to mid 70's.
If you want an early specimen for a collection with what sounds like good honest use and the privelege of owning a gun that was might have been worked on by JMB's son Val then it is a worthy purchase.
August 31, 2001, 06:11 PM
Thanks for your comments, PJR. I don't know if I really want it at all. I'm more a handgun and rifle guy. Although I have a Baker Bros. SBS from the 1870's (Gift from Mother-in-law; found under her 94 year old uncle's bed after his passing.), I'm not in to wall hangers. Got a Remington Marine Magnum pump for fun 12 ga. blasting. Were I to get into bird hunting or trap and skeet, think I'd buy a contemporary arm.
Still, the gun may have collector value for some and I can help my friend find a buyer over the net. He's not yet net savvy.
November 3, 2002, 11:22 AM
If he'll sell it for $550, email me at email@example.com and I'll buy it.
November 4, 2002, 01:16 AM
Hey I got salt wood gun and it does have some under forearm corrosion but I carded it off and "Rigged" this area is there some catastrophic deal with 60's "saltwood guns" is there a simple cure? Maybe thats why this "lightning" was $800 in the browning hard case 10 years ago.:confused:
November 4, 2002, 07:59 AM
Browning supposedly replaced the "Salt Wood" on the affected guns, and repaired the damage to the guns caused by the wood to metal contact.
If you have suspect wood contact Browning for advice.
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