View Full Version : Need help dating this Browning Shotgun?

January 19, 2011, 06:47 PM
2"3/4" AND 3" CHAMBERS

SIN# 15681RN153

January 19, 2011, 07:08 PM
From the information I have at hand your gun was made in 1979 and was classed as a Grade I Hunting Citori.

The two letters denote the year of manufacture and the last three numbers are a code number denoting what type of Citori it is.

Please note there are about 25 different varaitions (grade & type) of the Browning Citori, just in 12 gauge.

Willie Lowman
January 19, 2011, 08:18 PM
Need help dating this Browning Shotgun

I would recommend taking her out to eat somewhere Belgian. ;)

January 19, 2011, 10:27 PM
With the gun in question, he might have better luck at a Sushi bar. :rolleyes:

January 20, 2011, 01:36 PM
:) :) :) :) :)

This gun is in excellent condition, what estimated value does it have? :confused:

January 20, 2011, 01:54 PM
Since it ain't a cool pump or awesome auto loader, I will give you $200 for the old antique 2 shooter... And I think that is more than fair for a gun of such old design and barbaric nature.

I am feeling generous so I will pay the freight and ffl fee.

January 20, 2011, 02:01 PM
2"3/4" AND 3" CHOKES.............?????

I know you mean 2-3/4 and 3" chambers, are we assuming this has choke tubes?

A 30" barrel is somewhat desirable today for target shooters, but not as much for field shooters.

If in good condition, $1,000+ could be reasonable - depending on your location.

Pics would help

January 20, 2011, 03:12 PM
Like others advised its a 1979 Citori, 12ga, Grade 1, with 3"chambers... You can get the info from Browning web site.

Its the 1979 version of today's Lightning model - that lists new for $ 1,900


But I have a couple of issues / questions on your gun .....

1. Browning introduced their first Invector screw in choke system in about 1983 ....so its not likely a gun built in 1979 has factory screw in chokes ?? If it doesn't have screw in changeable chokes - the barrels will each be marked / on the sides - where they connect to the receiver - with a star pattern... If it in fact has screw in chokes in it - take one out / and tell us what they say on them - who made them, etc ...

2. The older Citori Grade 1's / and the newer Lightning versions - are primarily mfg'd and marketed as "field" guns ....with angled stocks and 26" or 28" barrels. A 30" barrel on a "field grade" Citori in 1979 - would be very unusal. Are you sure its factory marked as a 30" barrel.

I have a few Citori Grade 1's - bought one new in 1988 - that has the Invector screw in chokes for about $ 700. I've also bought a couple more of the same vintage used. We need to know more about your gun ....

If it does not have screw in chokes - value will depend on how its choked ---but value is about $ 500 - $ 600 on a fixed choke gun in good condition.

If it has screw in chokes - it depends on what they are - but value in excellent condition can be around $1,000. If it has some scratches and some handling marks - value can drop $100 or $ 200 ...a photo would help.

But if you can answer the above questions - it will help us tell you what you have.

January 21, 2011, 01:39 AM





January 21, 2011, 01:48 AM
Stamped 2.75" & 3.00", 30" Barrel.
The bluing is near perfect showing very minor wear if any at all.
There are several fine finger nail scratches on the stock.
The bore shows no wear or pitting.
It does not have choke tubes.
Scuffs on the muzzel in the right side picture are a reflection from the flash.
On a scale of 1 to 10 this 31 year old beauty is a 8.75!

January 21, 2011, 09:25 AM
Does it has removable choke tubes, or are the constrictions fixed?

January 21, 2011, 12:30 PM
+1 --- what he said ....

January 21, 2011, 12:41 PM
I based my original post on 2nd person information. I now have the gun in my possession and it is as pictured and described above. It is in original factory condition and does not have choke tubes. At this point I'm looking for a approximate value. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :rolleyes:

January 21, 2011, 12:48 PM
You didn't tell us what the barrels are choked at ....and it might make a difference ....

.. but I'm still at $ 500 - $ 600 on a fixed choke, field grade Citori ...primarily because it would cost at least $ 300 to have screw in chokes fitted to the gun in my opinion.

Its a nice gun ...

Here is a photo of one of my old field grade Citori's - this is the one I bought new in 1988 for about $ 700. I think its at about 90% now - maybe 95% / with screw in chokes - retail or replacement value on mine is probably between $ 900 - $1,000. ( but its not for sale ...) I have 2 others I've picked up used and reconditioned the stocks - and have them ready as gifts for some of the grankids one of these days...


All 3 of mine have 28" barrels ....and although, in my target guns today, I have moved on to 30" barrels on all of my O/U's ....the 28" in a field gun is still ok. The 30" barrels might make your gun a little more desireable - depending on how its choked ...but probably not increase the value in my opinion.

January 21, 2011, 01:22 PM
I'm betting, Jim, that at 30", it is M/F

The older brownings use an asterisk (*) or a set of them to determine the choke of the barrel. (one) * is Full, (Two) ** is Modified, and (three) *** is improved cylinder. This marking is usually located on the side of the barrel along the same line as the mfg's name.


'*' designates full choke (F).

'*-' designates improved modified choke (IM).

'**' designates modified choke (M).

'**-' designates improved cylinder choke (IC).

'**$' designates skeet (SK).

'***' designates cylinder bore (CYL).


January 21, 2011, 02:37 PM
I think you're probably right ....but I've seen then Skeet, Skeet too ....and a few that were IC / Mod ....

It just depends on whether someone ordered it / or it was a dealer that ordered some "standard guns" for his inventory ...and what his customers were looking for ......quail guns, grouse guns, pheasant guns, chukar guns ....??? who knows ....

But hopefully the OP will tell us ....nice job, giving him the marks ...my friend...so he can figure it out. I'm still surprised its a 30" barrel vs a 28" or even a 26" in those days ....

Its amazing how much barrel lengths and philosophy on chokes have changed - with the diversity of shotshells out there commercially now. I know you and I, OneOunce, differ a little on choke selection... Where I like changing them pretty often ...and you like leaving them alone ... but 25 - 30 yrs ago a 30" barrel for a field gun ...would have been a relatively unusual thing.

Today, I hunt with a 30" on a semi-auto ( which is 2" longer than an Over Under ) ....and 30" Over Unders all the time... Its only the "old guys" ..like my skeet buddy ....that still like those little whippy 26" barrels ...

What do you think the range is - on a retail value on a fixed choke Citori field gun over there in the South East .... ???

January 21, 2011, 02:47 PM
With no rust and being Japanese, not Belgian, with fixed chokes, in good condition, I would wager 800+.

I do not see not having choke tubes a problem, because they can always be added, especially on the thicker Jap barrels.

If that were MY gun, and I knew that I was only shooting sporting clays, I would simply have the chokes opened a little to something like .012 and .024 - that's cheaper than having tubes installed and more than enough choke for most sporting clay targets. If I was shooting Skeet, Trap AND sporting with one gun, then tubes makes more sense and spending the money would be justified

That sure looks like the Belgian style action though.....nice gun

And I hear ya about barrel lengths - my first O/U was a Browning Citori with the POW grip and 26" barrels - dang thing was still as heavy as the 30", but the swing wasn't as smooth. Now I have 32" with almost 1" of choke tube extension.....might have to try a 30 and see if I like that better

January 21, 2011, 03:07 PM
Interesting ....maybe there are just more of them around here ....so the price is down up here ....( or we're just cheaper ...) ...or maybe its my bias ...

Since its a fixed choke gun - I'd pass on it for anything over $ 500 probably ...even though its in decent shape if it were for sale locally.

( now watch that JAP remark / or we'll have to send you to sensitivity training ) ...:D There isn't anything wrong with my stable of Japanese made Brownings .../but then, like we've discussed, you like those Belgian made guns more than I do anyway ...

My buddy's used gun shop in my area - will take all the used Browning O/U's he can get ...says he can always make a buck off of them. I called him this morning - and he said he'd offer $ 500 tops for it / depending on how its choked - but it would be ok to him if it were IC/Mod or Mod / Full ...if it was something else - he'd deduct for it. He thinks he'd put a $ 750 price tag on it .... and maybe go down to $ 650 or $ 700 to make a deal for a good customer....so I'm probably a little low ...

January 21, 2011, 03:21 PM
( now watch that JAP remark / or we'll have to send you to sensitivity training ) ... There isn't anything wrong with my stable of Japanese made Brownings .../but then, like we've discussed, you like those Belgian made guns more than I do anyway ...

Not ragging on Japanese quality - they make excellent stuff............but there IS a difference between the barrels as we have mentioned on prior threads - the Belgian ones seem more "lively" because of the way they seem to be struck - can make them a little more susceptible to dents from misuse, but they do a wonderful job when swinging.

Been selling a few guns and if momma doesn't snag the money for something, I might have to look around for a backup to my Gti - and something like this would definitely be on my look-at list, as would one of those Belgian ones - like you I like Brownings (the lotto would mean something different though! :D)

January 21, 2011, 04:15 PM
Hey, I understand ....

I can stand giving things away to members of the family - at least a few of them ( and HogDogs wants me to adopt him now ...!!) ....but I can't bring myself to sell hardly anything...even shotguns I haven't shot in 10 or 15 yrs ....I still hang onto.

But these old Citori field guns - are really pretty nice guns / and they're so sturdily built that they'll almost never wear out ... (even though I haven't shot any of the ones I own for probably 10 yrs ).... but they'll make nice presents for some of the grandkids...
Come on Blacksky - what is that gun choked at ....???

January 22, 2011, 02:47 AM
Sorry guys! Picked up my new S&W M&P .40 today, took my Savage BTCSS .223 spend some time at the gun shop then off to the range. The top barrel is stamped with one * the bottom has two **. You have to break it down to see the stampings. They're on the side of the chambers below the barrels. The fit, feel and balance of this gun is a perfect fit for me. I turned down $850 today at the shop, I might let it go for $1000. ;)

January 22, 2011, 09:54 AM
Its a nice gun - I hope you enjoy it ....

its choked Mod / Full ....

January 23, 2011, 10:31 PM
Thanks to all for you info and help here! :)

January 24, 2011, 07:08 PM
In my area which is in the NE I would be asking $850 -$900 for one in nice shape like your appears.
The Citori is well made O/U- enjoy.