The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Thread Tools
Old June 15, 2013, 10:40 PM   #1
.300 Weatherby Mag
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 1,777
Why isn't the Browning BPS more popular??

So after picking up a Browning BPS 16 gauge and taking it out for several range sessions... I'm now asking myself why isn't the Browning BPS more popular in the field and at the range??? They point well, cycle fast and are ambidextrous... They are based on a proven design/patent originating from John Browning and used for many years on the Ithaca Model 37..

I understand that they aren't Mossberg 500 or Remington Express cheap... But they are a better built gun than current production 870 Wingmasters (I've owned three built in the last five years)... The fit and finish is better.. They are also cheaper than a Wingmaster...

The only pumps I have that I hold in higher esteem are my model 12 Winchesters and the 60s vintage Wingmaster I owned... I own 870s and a Mossberg 500..

Other than price being a factor.. I'm scratching my head....
.300 Weatherby Mag is offline  
Old June 15, 2013, 11:28 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,968
They're good guns. I'll take a BPS over a Mossberg or Rem 870 Express. It may be a stigma against Japan (Miroku makes guns for Browning).

That 16 ga of yours will probably be worth some bucks some day.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old June 16, 2013, 02:32 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2012
Location: Williamsburg, Va.
Posts: 1,052
First I will say I think the BPS is as well designed and built as any. I had three and they never bobbled once. But I have also had 6 Wingmasters, and I do not think they are even a hair better than those.
1- They are heavy compared to the competition. I went so far as to machine down a 10 gauge because it was sooooo overbuilt.
2- I do not like having to load thru the magazine rather than throwing the shell in the side for a quick follow up shot.
3- They feel like they have a longer reach to the fore end to a lot of people
4- For a long time they were more expensive than a Wingmaster, and they still are more expensive than a Mossberg 500 or an Express.
I could care less where a gun throws the empty or where the safety is as long as it works.
Virginian is online now  
Old June 16, 2013, 08:07 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 19, 2012
Location: Western, Ny
Posts: 190
I Believe it mostly is due to the price. A Bps in my neck of the woods runs between 550 and 650 new.(handled one at gander yesterday and they wanted 649.00). That's well over the price of a mossy 500 or rem 870. Not to mention it cost more than some semi auto shotguns like my mossberg 930(479.00). Now don't get me wrong they are very nice firearms, however at least in my case why spend so much on a pump action when you can get a semi. I know Browning makes some very nice firearms but am a firm believer in that most of the price difference is just because the name they put on the receiver.
"Si vis pacem, para bellum". If you want peace, Prepare for war!!!!
Backwoodsboy is offline  
Old June 16, 2013, 12:15 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,815
In my opinion, they should be more popular ...and I think Browning gives you a lot of gun for the money /with a quality action and pump gun that is at least equivalent, if not better, than the Rem 870 Wingmaster.

Price is a big deal ....and I think Browning has the BPS priced correctly for what it is.....but it'll never be cheaper than the entry level Mossberg or Remington pump guns.

If for some reason, you're a guy that wants to hang everything off your shotgun - trying to make it into a swiss army knife - then the number of options are not there for the BPS they are for the Mossberg and 870's...but to me, that's a different customer than someone looking for a quality "field gun".

I think the BPS the Hunter a 26" or 28" barrel....makes a great gift as a first shotgun to a 16 yr old they get into shooting clay targets or in hunting live birds / and its a gun they'll probably have for 2 or 3 generations....

I still have a pair of BPS models, I purchased in the mid 80's I think ...both Hunter models at that time ....and one in 12ga and one in 20ga. They'll be passed down to one of my adult kids ...or maybe one of the grandkids....

But everyone should buy what they want / shoot what they want..
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 16, 2013, 03:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 6,931
I've had a couple over the years and generally liked them. I'd have to pretty much agree with the Virginian in LA though. While they are a good gun, I don't think they offer any real advantage over an 870. At least not to me, if I were a lefty it might matter. If they were a touch lighter I'd be more interested. For me, the weight is the biggest negative.
jmr40 is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 09:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,570
I owned a BPS years ago in 12 gauge 3.5". It was built on a 10 gauge frame and could double as a boat anchor with as much as it weighed. I used it for 2 waterfowl seasons and never had any function issues with it but the weight proved to much for me and I sold it. Weight and price are the two most likely reasons it is not more popular.
AllenJ is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 12:03 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,815
All this talk about weight is interesting...when the Hunter model in a 12ga ( only 3" chambers ) ...but weights in at 7 lbs 11 oz....( which is almost a full Lb less that what I like personally in a 12ga ) ....

...../ the 16ga version that the OP bought ...and the 20ga, 28ga, and .410 versions all come in around 7 lbs...which is really light in my view.

The 3 1/2" chamber versions are a little heavier 8 lbs 4 oz ... / but if you're going to shoot a lot of 3 1/2" shells...( waterfowl, turkey or whatever..) the extra weight will be a big plus in reducing recoil .../ but at
8 # 4 oz....its still less than a typical Over Under in 12ga.../ that I prefer in the Field.
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 01:24 PM   #9
.300 Weatherby Mag
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 1,777
All this talk about weight is interesting
What's interesting about my 16 gauge is that its built on the 20 gauge frame.. So it doesn't suffer the weight penalty of most 16 gauge pumps which are generally built on 12 gauge frames.. Its a full 9 ounces lighter than the 12 gauge with a 28" barrel..
.300 Weatherby Mag is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 01:33 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,815
Sure, I understand the BPS Hunter line ...the 16ga, 20ga, 28ga and
.410 are all built on the 20ga receiver.

In the Citori line.....on the XS Skeet model....the 20ga, 28ga and .410 are all built on the 20ga receiver as well.

Personally, rather than a stand alone 16ga....I'd just shoot 1 oz loads in a 12ga or the 20ga..../ but far be it from me, to tell you not to buy another gun..../ but 90% of the time, I'm shooting 3/4 oz loads in a 12ga, 20ga and 28ga ( with the cost of shot up / it just makes sense / and it reduces recoil on my aching re-built shoulder).
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 02:06 PM   #11
.300 Weatherby Mag
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 1,777

From a standpoint of pure practicality I completely agree about a 12 gauge with a 1 oz load... I wanted a 16 for the sake of nostalgia and to have something different.. I have access to the ammunition at reasonable prices..
.300 Weatherby Mag is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 02:35 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,815
Makes sense...../ I reload 12ga, 20ga, 28ga and .410...( so its easy for me to make up whatever load I want).

The only 16ga I have an old Bolt Action / Westernfield that I've had since I was just a pup.../ holds 3 shells ( 2 in the spring fed magazine ...under the bolt & 1 in chamber..../ full choke...30" barrel ??....and it weights about 4 lbs...)...its a cheap gun, sold by Montgomery Wards or Gambels I think ...grandpa gave it to me as a present when I was 9 or 10.../ I still shoot skeet with it once in a while for giggles....but I'm a little slow with that bolt action ...and the last time I bought shells for it they were about $ 18 a box....

I killed a lot of Rough Grouse with that puppy in the 50's and 60's ....
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 04:41 PM   #13
Junior member
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Sorry, Jim, but schlepping 8# uphill after chukar is NOT my idea of a fun day - not when there are 12 gauge guns running 6.5# or so making them a LOT more user friendly.

The BPS is well-made, but they need to lighten field versions about 1# each and put the 16 on the 20 frame and build a 28 and 410 frame model respectively.
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 04:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,815
That's ok, I know I'm just a wimp ....but I'm not walking downhill ....or on the level for that matter after any Chukar.....( I'm a gentleman of leisure these days....)....

and bad knees, etc...../ BPS still works for me in the field if I don't want to carry an O/U.../ a nice leisurely quail hunt more my speed ( and I sure don't need 3 1/2" chambers on a BPS or anything else ).

But you're right ....a heavy gun, chasing Chukar is a bad idea...

But 90% of the time, or more, I'm just a clay target guy ....skeet, sporting clays...( and I don't have to clean them when I get home ). I can take the adult kids ...and some of the grandkids out on the sporting clays course and have a pretty nice day for a couple hundred bucks....( way cheaper and less strain than chasing Chukars around).../ that's right up there with wading rivers in the wintertime up to my "hoo ha's", in sleet and wind...and chasing steelhead.../ when Whole Foods ...has them !!
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 17, 2013, 10:22 PM   #15
Creek Henry
Senior Member
Join Date: October 23, 2009
Location: Dallas
Posts: 385
Yep, it's about price. The 870 is more gun (or the same) for less money.
Creek Henry is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 02:47 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,349
They are based on a proven design/patent originating from John Browning and used for many years on the Ithaca Model 37..

Other than the bottom-ejection feature, the BPS doesn't have much more in common with the Ithaca than any other pump shotgun has. The BPS tends to be heavier than most due to its steel receiver (the Model 37 and the Remington Model 870 also have steel receivers but the Ithaca is significantly lighter in weight). I like the tang-mounted safety of the Browning (like that of the Mossberg Model 500) and appreciate the slick operation of the pump.

The BPS is my favorite pump shotgun but it's a little on the heavy side for much of the upland hunting I do. Mine is pretty much relegated to waterfowl duties. The excess poundage that makes it a chore to haul all day through grouse and woodcock thickets is an advantage when soaking up recoil of heavy goose loads.
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 03:21 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: November 11, 2012
Posts: 459
Weight? I don't know, after shooting 300 (+ hopefully) rounds on Saturday, and another 300 (+ hopefully) rounds on Sunday, I kind of like the weight...
Bake is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 08:03 PM   #18
.300 Weatherby Mag
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 1,777
hat's ok, I know I'm just a wimp ....but I'm not walking downhill ....or on the level for that matter after any Chukar.....( I'm a gentleman of leisure these days....)....
I have other lightweight options available to me if I decide I want to go up and down mountains chasing Satan's Chickens... The 16 would stay home during such an endeavor...
.300 Weatherby Mag is offline  
Old June 28, 2013, 12:36 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: March 23, 2008
Location: Mid Missouri
Posts: 794
Although both weigh almost the same, the Wingmaster has a balance that actually makes it "feel" lighter. With more of them sold than McDonalds hamburgers, more of a fan base grew up with the 870 and associate that balance with what a pump should feel like. First BPS I picked up felt akward in some sort of way. They are an acquired taste. Love the BPS small bores. I own both.
olddrum1 is offline  
Old June 29, 2013, 08:27 PM   #20
Nickel Plated
Senior Member
Join Date: January 17, 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 572
I say it's pretty much just because of price.
Think of the Mossberg and Remington as the Accord and Camry of the gun world. While the Browning and Ithaca are like the Cadillacs. Sure the Cadillac is better, but most people aren't car enthusiasts just like most shooters aren't shotgun enthusiasts. All they want is a shotgun that will not break in half, will go bang when you pull the trigger and will hit what you point it at. And frankly, while the BPS and Model 37 are beautifully crafted guns. The Mossberg and Remington will do those 3 main things just as good for a fraction of the price.

Also availability. How many Ithacas or BPSs do you see on store shelves compared to Mossbergs and Remingtons. People pick the latter just because that's what's in front of them at the moment.
Nickel Plated is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13226 seconds with 9 queries