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Old October 18, 2018, 06:27 PM   #1
stagpanther
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First Impression: Browning Silver Stalker 20 G

Gun came in today as well as some slug shot shells--so I took it home, cleaned and assembled after reading the manual--which true to tradition is written for the whole silver series so it got hard for me to follow in spots. The manufacturing looks excellent--especially the robust gas piston assembly which no doubt goes a long way toward mitigating felt recoil.

I removed the round limiter plug from the magazine--stuffing the spring back in is quite the challenge without launching the plug like a new year's champaign bottle cork. about the only thing that I noticed that gave me pause for thought was the rather flimsy look of the fore-end. I tend to be a bit clumsy and bash things around when creeping through the woods, I'm wondering how long it will last before I crack it--but hopefully it won't come to that.

Fully assembled the bathroom scale says 6 lbs--lighter than most of my AR's. Of course I went out and had to fire a few shots off--even though here on the coast we've had gale-like winds of 30 to 50 mph for 4 days straight. I fired a few each of 250 sst's at 1800 fps, 250 gr monoflex at 1800 fps and remmie's 260 gr accutip at 1900 fps @ 100 yds.

Shots of the hornady stuff tended to land pretty far apart, but I attribute most of that to simply getting a feel for the gun. It is quite light--so not unexpectedly the muzzle wants to flip energetically if you don't have a good hold on it.

As for the felt recoil and semi-auto functioning--I can easily sum that up in one word: fabulous! I'd put the felt recoil of even the remmie round at maybe that of a 308 win rifle--and only maybe 60% of what a slug in my pump 870 feels like. The extra speed of the remmie slugs oddly enough translated to the spent hulls being thrown twice as far as the slightly slower hornady shells. The first two shots of the remmie accutips went through the same hole; though the subsequent ones didn't. I suspect a loose mount/ring in the scope set-up.

I can already tell this is going to be one fun shotgun to shoot!

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Old October 18, 2018, 08:21 PM   #2
Drm50
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I'm a Browning man myself, from Ohio. I am sure you have just got a fine shot
gun. My question is are you required to use slugs were you hunt?
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Old October 18, 2018, 10:54 PM   #3
stagpanther
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Quote:
I'm a Browning man myself, from Ohio. I am sure you have just got a fine shot
gun. My question is are you required to use slugs were you hunt?
A couple of the islands near where I live do have shotgun-only hunts--but down south there are many other areas that have "primitive" weapons hunting seasons that do include shotguns--so those are the reasons (aka excuses) for my buying the gun,

Here is a picture of the ingenious piston system which actually rides around the magazine and has something akin to a recoil spring where it meets the receiver. The cantilevered scope mount is on the barrel.



I may also get a couple of bird/trap barrels in the future if I really get into it. I also reload virtually all of my ammunition for rifles and handguns--and am toying with doing the same for shotguns. I recently stumbled upon the "schrifle" shells which look very interesting to me--they appeal to my OCD tendencies to chase after the smallest group I can get with a handload.
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Last edited by stagpanther; October 18, 2018 at 11:02 PM.
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Old October 19, 2018, 02:16 PM   #4
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Went out again today and blew through 6 boxes of shells--an expensive day when you consider each box is the equivalent of a case of good beer! Got to know the gun better and have a few more comments/criticisms--but readily admit I'm not very savvy about shotguns so you more experienced guys don't hesitate to jump in and set me straight.

I decided to take the 3 x 9 Nikon slug hunter off and replace it with a loopy 1.5 x 4 scout scope. The reason for that is that the magnification is more than enough t o hit anything within reasonable range of the slug, the reticle is simpler but sharper and is easier for a a "quick snap shot" at any magnification and can be used with both eyes open.



Few more lessons learned today. Like my BLR--browning seems to like narrow profile shotguns--so it's easy to roll to the side and throw your shot if you're not careful. Like my BLR--it favors a firm grip on the foreend. The force of the shot like any shotgun will cause a "lever moment" to pitch the muzzle up--the difference is is that the recoil force is dissipated so that what actually hits you on the buttpad is far less than what you might expect on a typical pump shotgun. A "gotcha" to look out for--the reciprocating side charge handle is relatively low on the side of the receiver--prepare for a finger-stinger if your grip is far enough back. I prefer to hold the foreend--but I still don't like how flimsy it is--I'm going to look at ways to improving that if possible.

The biggest problem I had was the shooting of the different slugs--no matter what I tried I couldn't get the sst's or monoflex slugs to group worth a hoot--surprising to me since the sst's do great in my 12 g slug gun.

The remmie accutips, on the other hand were consistently accurate and blew away the other slugs by a very wide margin. I'm not really sure why that is--they are only 10 grs heavier and travel at 100 fps faster.

Here is a 3 shot group of the accutips at 100 yds. I can't exactly figure out the boundaries of the shots for measurement--but I'm pretty sure it's sub-MOA.

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Last edited by stagpanther; October 22, 2018 at 06:57 AM.
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Old October 21, 2018, 11:53 AM   #5
MarkCO
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Looks pretty good to me. I think the lower mag optic is a good choice.

As for the differences in slug accuracy, I would not bother chasing the ones that don't print good groups. I have found that shotguns, smooth and rifled bores, are pickier about slugs than even rifles. If you found a good one, buy a case and stick with it.

Your grip/hold/etc. will have a larger impact on group size than the same issues in a high powered rifle. With my rifled 12g Benelli, when I have tested it, I can drive the groups around by changing hold/grip location and pressure amounting to as much as 3 or 4 inches at 100 yards.
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Old October 21, 2018, 12:37 PM   #6
stagpanther
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Quote:
Your grip/hold/etc. will have a larger impact on group size than the same issues in a high powered rifle. With my rifled 12g Benelli, when I have tested it, I can drive the groups around by changing hold/grip location and pressure amounting to as much as 3 or 4 inches at 100 yards.
I really did try my best with the sst's because they are what my 12g 870 like best--but no matter what I did they could not even come close to what the accutips can do. I finally said to myself; why bother, I found the slug it likes best.

It was expensive--but it sure is a pleasure to shoot--and it shoots very well.
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