View Full Version : Browning Challenger Serial Number ?

September 27, 2002, 12:40 AM
Greetings: I have a first model .22 Challenger (Made in Belgium) with a non-standard serial number. According to the Browning Web Site http://www.browning.com/services/dategun/guns/challngr.htm my Challenger doesn't exist serial number wise!
My Challenger has a (7) diget serial number without a letter in it. #13430XXX The Browning site states that all Challengers have a letter "U" in the serial number that denotes the pistol is a Challenger.
Any help you can give me to explain this anomaly will be appreciated. Thanks.

September 27, 2002, 02:44 AM
According to the book I have by Matt Eastman, the first model was made until 1975. Bbl lengths were 4 1/2 and 6 3/4. Total number of all three models never got beyond @ 218,137, so a seven digit SN doesn't make sense. When did you acquire the piece? Do you have the box it came in? What are the exact markings on the pistol?

You may need to find an experienced Browning collector.

September 27, 2002, 08:40 AM
After reading your question, I went and looked at my old Browning Challenger. Then compared it to the web page you listed. Mine does not "compute" either. It has a 5 digit (all numbers) followed by a "u" and a "3". The Browning page says that the "u" and a number should precede the serial number. All in all, I figure that mine is a 1963 model with a transposed serial number. Maybe a dyslexic worked at the factory in the early years of the Challenger. Quantrill

September 27, 2002, 03:09 PM
I bought the Challenger about 5 years ago. As far as I can tell it's in excellent original condition, other then the magazine and minor issues.
The serial number is on the front grip strap in a vertical alignment. I've gone over it with a glass, there's no added numerals or obvious funny business that I can discern.
Please look at the hyperlinked right and left side views I've included.

September 27, 2002, 04:21 PM
I don't think the correct magazine is in the pistol. My magazine bottom plate is recessed in the opening, not sticking out at an angle like the one in the picture. I have tried to obtain the correct magazine since I bought the pistol 30 years ago. I thought I had one from a local gun store's surplus box but it was a no go. I presently have one on order from a place in Canada but I wonder if I will get the right one there either. Quantrill