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Browning Gold with over 100,000 rounds through it!

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Luckyman, Feb 17, 2009.

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  1. Luckyman

    Luckyman Active Member

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    Look at the end of the article where it mentions how many parts you should keep on hand if you shoot a Beretta....Now which Auto is the best? You decide!

    Maintaining Your Autoloader for High Volume Shooting
    Care and feeding of the high volume autoloader
    by Spencer Tomb


    Several gas operated, autoloading shotguns have become very popular in the shooting sports. Starting with the Remington 1100 almost forty years ago these guns have gained popularity as lighter, less expensive and softer shooting alternatives to over and under shotguns. One drawback is that these guns are internally complex and require more cleaning and maintenance than other types of shotguns.

    Beretta’s 391 and 390 and the Browning Gold are the most frequently used autoloaders in competitive shooting. They are also popular with hunters. The other autoloaders such as the Remington 11-87 and 1100 and two recoil operated guns the venerable Browning A5 and the Benelli Super Black Eagle are widely used solid shotguns and are very popular with hunters. The principals and methods listed here apply to these shotguns as well. Hunters rarely shoot large numbers of shells, but they often subject their shotguns to the worst conditions imaginable and shoot heavier loads. Hunters and high volume shooters both need to know how to maintain their shotgun.

    All of the autoloaders have their up keeping quirks and peculiarities. They have parts that should checked for wear and replaced on a regular basis. Knowing how to keep your gun in good condition and learning the early warning signs of a gun that is about to malfunction are critical knowledge if you want to avoid troubles. These guns hold up very well if you take care of them. Rick Camuglia’s Browning gold has had over a 100,000 rounds through it and Scott Robertson’s Beretta 391 has served him well for three years of shooting in which he has averaged 40,000 rounds per year.

    Timing is everything in the smooth functioning of an autoloader. All autoloading shotguns depend on a precisely timed sequence of events. If one step is slow, it can upset the sequence. A dirty chamber, filthy action, crud in your trigger group or magazine or a weak spring can alter the timing just enough to turn your beloved, soft shooting automatic in to a “jamomatic”.

    There are a number of basic principles of caring for a high volume autoloader. First these guns should be kept clean. That means that they should be taken apart and cleaned on a regular basis. How often the full cleaning is needed will vary. Just cleaning the bore, spraying a little oil on the bolt and into the receiver and wiping the gun down is not cleaning your shotgun. Cleaning the gun means taking it apart using the instructions in the owner’s manual and cleaning all of the parts. You might be able to get by with pulling off the barrel and giving the receiver a heavy squirt of solvent followed by a light spray of gun oil a few minutes later, but that is like putting a band aid on a cut that needs stitches.

    How often you should give your shotgun a through cleaning will depend on the shotgun, your loads and the environment in which you shoot. Keep track of the numbers of shells that you have put through the gun since the last cleaning and make note of when the gun first starts to cycle slowly. A pattern will emerge that will tell you how often the gun should be taken apart and cleaned. It could be as few as 300 rounds or as high as 5,000, but the gun will tell you.

    Browning Gold shooter Cory Kruse says it very well. “You can hear and feel the gun when it needs to be cleaned. It sounds different.”

    When you step into the stand to shoot in competition or crouch a little lower in the blind as a flock of giant Canadas lock in on their final approach you should not be thinking about whether or not your gun is going to cycle. Most autoloader shooters will give their shotguns a full cleaning before they leave home for a big shoot or go on a hunting trip.

    Cleaning any firearm should start with reading the owner’s manual. The general rules about cleaning are mostly common sense. The following information is distilled from conversations with gunsmiths Chuck Webb, Les Gibbons and Jim Greenwood and product representatives Scott Grange, Mountie Mizer and Harm Williams and well known shooters Scott Robertson, Rick Camuglia and Travis Mears and shooting instructors Mike McAlpine and Lonnie Mears. If something has been lost in translation, it is the fault of the author not these sources. If you have any doubts go back to your owner’s manual or consult the gun maker or a qualified gunsmith.

    Cleaning

    Gather all of the things you will need, and find a clean flat surface in a well ventilated area with good light. Reduce all distractions and give yourself the time to do the job without interruptions.

    You will need paper towels, cotton tipped swabs, an old toothbrush, 0000 steel wool or a Scotch Brite scouring pad, a pin punch, rubber gloves to keep your hands clean, a cleaning rod and barrel swabs, chamber brush, canned compressed air, and the tools to remove the stock. The chore of cleaning can be made easier by using a customized cleaning kit like the one made by American Standard Products for the Beretta 390 and 391.

    You will also need a spray can of quality gun oil like Browning Oil or Rem Oil and a bottle of gun oil like Break Free CLP or Slip 2000 Lube that will dispense a small drop at a time and a quality spray solvent like Shooter’s Choice Shotgun and Choke Tube Cleaner or Birchwood Casey’s Gun Scrubber. Break Free CLP can also be used as a cleaner solvent, but the parts need to sit a longer time for Break Free to soften the residue

    Be sure the gun is unloaded and take it apart using the instructions in the owner’s manual. Use canned air spray to spray all parts. Take the choke tubes, gas piston and gas system parts that have burned on powder residue and drench them with a penetrating cleaner or solvent like Shooter’s Choice Shotgun and Choke Tube Cleaner, Slip 2000 Gas Piston Parts and Choke Tube Cleaner, Hoppe #9 or Break Free CLP and put these parts aside to soak. Moisten a paper towel or a clean cotton rag with your cleaner and wipe all of the rest of the gun parts. This removes the surface grime, old oil and powder residue

    The next steps are messy and should be done outside over concrete or gravel. Take each part and spray it with canned air to remove any surface debris and then spray all surfaces with a direct stream of cleaner until it is clean. Pay particular attention to all moving parts and parts with springs Any material left will have to be brushed or removed with a scouring pad. Remove powder residue on the surface over which the gas piston travels with brass brushes, steel wool or a scouring pad. This step includes the inner surface of the Browning piston and the outer surface of the Beretta piston. Excessive powder residue inside of the Beretta gas piston and the piston housing below the barrel should be removed. A number of special tools have been developed for this task. American Standard Products’ Beretta cleaning kit, Briley’s piston brush or a set of Troy Peak’s cleaning brushes all work well for this job.

    Remove most of the cotton from a swab, bend it leaving the end longer than the depth of the ports and push it into the gas ports to clean them. Use other trimmed swabs dipped in cleaner to clean the receiver paying particular attention to the action spring area in the end of the receiver and the bolt rails.

    Repeat the spray cleaner in the receiver as needed, and spray with canned air again.

    Removing the action spring involves removing the stock from the receiver. The tube can be blown out with air and cleaner and then lubricated without removing the spring in most guns. You will be surprised how much dirt and powder residue can get in to the tube. Removing and cleaning the action spring tube and checking the spring is a job that may best be left to a gunsmith. Clean and lightly lubricate the magazine tube and pay particular attention to the cap that separates the shells from the spring.

    Clean the trigger group using canned air first and then a vigorous spray of cleaner. Use several cotton swabs get down into the small areas of the trigger. If the swabs come out dirty, spray it down again after using the swabs. Once the trigger group is clean spray with a light coating of light gun oil and wipe off the excess with swabs or a clean cotton rag.

    For the barrel, you should use canned air to blow out material near posts of the vent rib and spray cleaner down the bore and in the chamber. Clean the chamber with a 10 gauge brass brush on a cordless drill. A 12 gauge brass brush with a few drops of cleaner can be used to clean the choke tube threads and use a Bore Snake or Tico Tool followed by a light coating of oil and wipe the outer surfaces with oil.

    Special considerations for the Beretta 391

    The end cap on the Beretta 391 should be cleaned and lubricated on a regular and frequent basis. The cap has a spring-backed plate that will seize up, making the end cap almost impossible to remove, if it is not kept clean and lubricated. It is a good idea to check the status of the end cap frequently by removing the cap and placing bottom of the cap on a hard flat surface and pressing down to feel that the plate moves. Both Briley and Angle Port have made after market end caps that address this problem. Briley’s end cap comes completely apart for cleaning and Angle Port’s has a stainless steel insert that is less likely to seize up.

    Special Considerations for the Browning Gold

    The Browning Gold needs to be cleaned on a very regular schedule based on the number of rounds fired and the shooting environment. There have been six improvements to the bolt of the Browning Gold prior to 2002 and these minor changes make the pre 2002 bolts non interchangeable. It is best to check with an experienced gunsmith or inquire directly to Browning before you move parts between Browning Golds.

    Replacement parts

    Before you start to reassemble the gun you should examine all parts for cracks, rough spots and burs and wear. Pay particular attention to the connecting rod, bolt, gas system parts, firing pin, firing pin springs and hammer braces. Beretta owners should keep an extra connecting rod, firing pin spring, magazine spring, action spring, hammer braces. Browning Gold owners should have a firing pin, magazine spring, action spring and a complete bolt. Springs in autoloaders should be changed after 5,000 to 10,000 rounds depending on the shooting environment and the loads used.

    If all of this information is overwhelming, find a fellow shooter who has the same gun as you and ask them to lead you through a thorough cleaning of your gun. Once you have done it several times it will be easy. Just listen to your shotgun; it will tell you when it is time to clean it and if you keep track of how many shells you have shot you can even clean it before it starts talking to you.
     
  2. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    So the Brownig Gold actually talks to you? Is there a little string to pull? What does it say ... nice shot ,,, follow through .... clean me ... oh crap pooopy diaps....?
     
  3. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    He just wont give it up, I think he is trying to convince himself on the Browning Gold Ho Hum
     
  4. Luckyman

    Luckyman Active Member

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    Look at all of the parts you need to keep on hand for the Beretta...You may as well have three of them on hand...LOL!!! This is an unbiased article on Auto loaders if you can read!!! I am putting this out there for all of the morons who think Beretta and Benelli's are the best...Again if you can read it mentions all Auto's will " Start talking to you" when they need to be cleaned!!! Beretta's are like Jaguars you may as well buy two maybe three because one of them will always be in the shop! LOL!!!
     
  5. 391 shooter

    391 shooter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post, good info.


    Auto's will " Start talking to you"

    Yes they do,but, the only way to know what you are hearing is to shoot them a lot, I mean a lot.

    I have had excellent results from 391's in every type shooting I do. I have a 391 Teknys Gold trap with a 10's of thousands of rounds through it and have learned how to maintain it, it is easy.

    The main weakness in a 391 for doubles is the shell carrier. The standard carrier will work for about 10,000 rounds and then start to miss feed. On this sight it was recommended to me to put a 390 carrier in and walla, problem solved.

    As far as 16's and caps, you don't have to do anything except lube and basic clean.

    Buy what you want and shoot a lot, it's good fer ya.
     
  6. straightsixes

    straightsixes TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
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    Good for them a Browning Gold that someone actually wanted to shoot 100,000 times.

    In all seriousness, each of the autos mentioned can be a really good gun or a really bad gun. For the 391's lets face it if the carrier issue is present it will jam, if it doesn't have the carrier issue then its rock solid.

    The Browning Golds are known for jamming with little or no reason. A friend's has been back to Browning on 3 separate occasions and it would be a miracle if that thing actually cycled correctly for 100 shells. Browning has no idea what to do with this gun, and its cost my friend a couple of targets at tournaments with multiple jams in an event. Yuck.

    As far as replacement springs every 5000-10,000 rounds... please, you mean to tell me every other month you are changing springs. Not a chance. My main 391 has 60,000 rounds through it, and haven't changed a spring or action component on it yet, and don't plan on it. Bought a backup 391 as a contingency plan while on the road... haven't used it yet and contemplated selling it more than once.

    Yes, semi-autos do require cleaning for optimum performance but for me its about every 3-5000 rounds during the summer and more often in the winter for obvious mud/rust gunning issues.

    Did you read the parts that the Browning "requires"? Get a grip. Just like Perazzi owners who take extra entire trigger groups. Its all about your contigency plan just in case...

    Good luck and enjoy whatever gun is in your hands.
     
  7. Michael Jobe

    Michael Jobe TS Member

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    ??? Only parts I keep on hand for my 391 are an extra piston, a connecting rod (that runs from under the bolt back into the stock) and extra springs for in the stock. Only the latter has had to be replaced.

    ~Michael
     
  8. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I put 180,000 through my first 391 (still own it) and only broke a piston and a hammer brace. The gun will still cycle anything that I put through it, including 7/8oz loads.

    But, if he loves his GOLD, good for him.
     
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    But what does it say to you Tron?
     
  10. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    It says that I used to shoot WAY too much and that I don't even want to guess how much money that I've sent down a barrel of a gun....and for what? A few belt buckles and some trophies. A lot of great memories though and some life long friends along the way.
     
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