I inherited a couple Browning shotguns from a sporting clays shooting In-Law. I've been looking online for their value, but I realize I don't know exactly what I have.
The receivers are stamped Lightning, but one of them came in a box that says Superposed.
I've checked the serial numbers, as best as I could, and the #15333 S3 may be DOM of 1931-1939. The #72104 S7 may be DOM of 1949.
I haven't included pictures, because I'm not that far along in my research. Once I know what I have, I can search intelligently.
Both shotguns are superposed. The S7 DOM was '67, the S3 was '63. Browning called the lightweight version of their superposed a Lightening.
Here's a pic of a grade I circa 1969:
There are a few variations for you to research and lots of history to learn about your new shotguns. I don't want to take all the fun out of it for you, but here's a list of things you may want to research. Let me know if you have any questions later down the road.
superposed grades (diana, midas, pointer, pigeon)
john moses browning
superposed choke codes
Have fun and don't forget to check back in!
Thanks, Kerry, now I'm rounding first base.
Here are some pics of the two. Note the differences in the grips, and the Vent ribs. Which features are more desirable? The one with the squared grip and the wide rib has some rust where the stock meets the receiver, which I've read may be the result of Browning curing their wood stocks with salt for a few years.?
There were a few variations on the superposed.
Research Broadway trap - I believe the wide rib/square grip gun is likely one. I'm sure it's also the one that was made in '67 (you're correct on the salt wood problem - a shortage of quality wood spurred Browning and others to try salt curing the wood to speed up the drying time which resulted in corrosion of the metal where it came into contact with the wood). Your flat knob gun looks like a typical salt gun.
As you look at superposed made in the late 60's and early 70's you'll see guns being noted as having either a long tang or short tang, and either a round knob or flat knob. The salt guns were generally FKST guns. Desirability (and therefore value) of the FKST guns is very low, at least for a vintage superposed, because no one wants to end up with a salt gun even if it shows no signs of corrosion. Folks looking at superposed during the salt wood era want RKLT guns.
Superposed were available with a hard butt plate or a recoil pad. The length of pull should be 14 1/4" with or without a pad (except trap and skeet guns which had a 14 1/2" LOP). I believe the RK gun has an aftermarket pad. If it is longer than 14 1/4" you should probably keep your eyes open for an original pad or butt plate to keep the LOP correct. If it has the correct LOP as it sits, don't worry about it - the stock has likely been cut down.
If I'm not mistaken, the stocks are numbered to the reciever (at least the older ones are - I'm not sure about 60's guns). You might want to take the wood off and see if they match the receiver - the colors of the forend and butt stocks don't match very well....could just be the lighting.
So to sum it up, the flat knob gun is a salt gun and really has no collector value. It's value is as a shooter ($600?). If you have money to burn, it would be a good canditate for new stocks and a refinish.
The 1963 gun is very collectible providing the numbers all match and the gun is original. If the pad is aftermarket but the LOP is correct I don't believe it's too big of a deal. I see some bluing loss and I'd guess the wood has a few nicks and dings. If the gun is correct and original, you've got a $1500 shotgun that will only go up in value, so take care of it (I'm not up on all the idiosyncrasies of superposed collecting - there may be rare choke combos or other things that may affect value).
Nice shotgun - too bad about the salt problems on the other one.
Thanks Kerry. I really appreciate your time and effort. Thanks to you, I'm rounding second base now, on my way to understanding what I've got.
You know, the best way to understand them is to go the trap range and enjoy them!
great guns, I collect pre war superposed. Your guns are from the the late 60's enjoy them. P.S. a good rule of thumb, 0-6,000 SN# are pre war.
is the salt one the one with flat grip stock?