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Which to buy?? Old vs New BT-99's

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Redbone311, Oct 19, 2012.

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  1. Redbone311

    Redbone311 TS Member

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    Which to buy?? Old vs New BT-99

    I'm reading on here that the fit and finish of the older BT-99's is much better. And one person's view was that if buying, one should buy an older one.
    But I'm thinking that the newer ones have the invector back bored barrels, and the interchangeable choke tubes.
    Wouldn't that make them a much better choice?
    I'm pretty new at this Trap game, so I need to know.
    I am seriously thinking of buying a BT-99.
    Thanks to all for your help and guidance,
    Dave
     
  2. trapshootin hippie

    trapshootin hippie Well-Known Member

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    Choke tubes are just something to screw with the shooters mind when they miss. Shoot full and forget it.

    GneJ
     
  3. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Learn how to shoot the older one, with the fixed full choke first. Then you won't have to bother with the chokes, and the newer version, which to me does not even come close as far as looks, and maybe quality. The one you asked about in the for sale section, all you have to do is read the posts.
     
  4. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're shooting sporting or skeet (unlikely with a single bbl. trap gun) I tend to agree with "hippie"...full is good....

    Ron Burr
     
  5. Oldgunsarebetter

    Oldgunsarebetter TS Member

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    I had this same question, everbody said the same thing. Get an older one, made better,and nicer looking. Also if you get a new one and it needs repair word is you'll wait a while till Browning gets to it.
     
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  6. Rem870TB

    Rem870TB Active Member

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    I don't always jump on the "they don't make them like they used to" band wagon, but my experience indicates with BT-99's, that is the way it is.

    I have shot trap for the past 40+ years but only got around to getting a BT-99 in 2007.

    My particular gun was made in 2005, I received it NIB in Feb 2007. When I got it, it had a 4 pound trigger pull, this went to 28 oz.'s in under 7,000 rounds. This was due to sear wear. The lever also went to center in this time-frame but it still locks up tight, at least for now, how long it will stay that way is open to guessing.

    This is not typical of the older guns. I have observed BT-99's in use for 4 decades and have not seen this kind of rapid wear. I have seen them loosen up quicker than they should but this was usually due to "gun slammers", bad lube, no lube, "fist of God" reloads, zero cleaning etc.

    The new BT-99's made after 2000 do not have the "Forearm Bolt" (Part PO93780) this is the long screw that goes in the front of the forearm, on older guns, and engages the Forearm Bracket; it helps secure the forearm. There appear to be more reports of split forearms and sheared forearm screws since this has been eliminated. At least mine hasn't split, so far.


    Oldgunsarebetter wrote; "Also if you get a new one and it needs repair word is you'll wait a while till Browning gets to it."

    That's in the U.S., here in Canada, its worse, we deal with Browning Canada, they tell you the "3 don'ts"

    1.) They DON'T know much about their guns.

    2.) They DON'T care they DON'T know much about the guns.

    3.) They DON'T care about your problem.

    I had the sear replaced, by a local shop, on this gun at my own expense, it has maintained a 4 pound pull since then.

    30 to 40 years ago, it was not like this, but to my disappointment, that is the way it is, now.
     
  7. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Well-Known Member

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    My 2 cents..

    The "feel" of the older BT-99's is somewhat different...can't put my finger on it exactly, but different. The old guns had balance, fore grip, and heft of a a finely tuned instrument. Like a very good band instrument vs a cheap one if you were in band.

    Rearding chokes....a fixed choke barrell is easier to clean and I believe pattern better. Simple is good there ...and one less thing to be worrying about...

    I really wish all my trap guns were fixed tubes.

    Someone in your club will have a fixed choke Bt-99...ask to shoot it. It's hard to beat that first feel of an early BT-99. They are a masterpiece.

    Happy trails...Stan
     
  8. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Shoot it before you descide to buy it. HMB
     
  9. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty simple - just watch the resale on the newer ones vs the older ones, no comparison. Persoanlly I prefer tubes. Browning Inv + tubes are hard to beat
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I have owned over 20 BT 99's, the first one I purchased was in 1968 or 69 can't remember the year, but paid $258.50. The first one had a reddish tint on the wood with a dull bluing finish.

    In 1972, the wood was a darker prettier wood with high gloss deep bluing. In my opinion Browning ruined this gun in 1976 when they redesigned the gun placing a monte Carlo stock on the gun, and changing the poi from shooting 3 inches above point of aim to any where from 12 to 19 inches.

    At that time, Browning asked the top shooters what they wanted in a newly designed BT99, and most wanted a high shooting handicap gun to be shot mostly from 27 yards. Problem was that most shooters could not shoot a gun that shot that high, as these guns are well known due to the serial #'s as "the high shooting BT99's".

    Before I forget to mention, in all the years of searching for a left handed cast BT99 for myself, I have only found one of them. It was my first one purchased. All others mostly had no cast, or were cast right, for the right hand shooter.

    Over the years, Browning has made numerous changes to this gun, some good, some bad. The new guns do have good long choke tubes in them, but other than the barrel, I would purchase a BT99 made prior to 1976 with the slender forearm, as it is a better quality gun over all. The BT99 made prior to 1976 is known as " an old style, BT99".

    Browning wanted the BT99 to be an affordable single barrel break open trap gun for most to be able to afford as they wanted the gun to look like the old Ithaca 4 E.

    Regardless, the BT99 will go down in trapshooting history as one of the great afforable guns used by new shooters all the way to all American shooters. It takes it's place in the history of trapshooting next to the famous Model 12, Remington 870, and Remington 1100.

    Plain and simple, it's part of trapshooting history, end of story.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  11. warren

    warren Member

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    I agree with hmb shoot it first I had an older BT99 and really liked it but it was loose and I got a chance to get a new one cheap so I bought one with an adjustable comb and I really like to shoot it and do well with it, however the trigger is different and I get a blister from the bottom curve of the trigger and I can't continue to shoot it that way. I finally sent it to Phillips in Tex but haven't got it back yet so don't know the outcome yet. The gun is tight and works well but something is wrong with that trigger and nobody seems to know, I've shot numerous guns over the years and never had that problem.

    warren
     
  12. coveybuster

    coveybuster Member

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    My definition of an "old" BT-99 is the long Tang model made between 1968 - 1994. Old doesn't necessarily mean Fixed Choke on a BT to me.

    Within these years there are 3 basic groups; Fixed Choke (1968-1986), Invector Choke (1984-1989), and Invector Plus choke (1990-1994). These guns would eject the empties or the could be set to extract only like the "new" (2001-2012) short tang models.

    IMO you can get an "old" BT-99 in multiple configurations.

    Everyone has a favorite.
     
  13. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    I've had many over the years and found that the back-bored barrels with Invector+ tubes put a higher percentage of pellets in a thirty inch circle then any fixed or Invector choked BT I ever had. IMO a back-bored, non-ported barrel is way easier to clean then a standard bore.

    I never liked the competition forearm on my stainless, or the ported barrels.

    My latest is a 2007 Shot Show Special, and have had zero problems with it.

    Wayne


    wayneo_2008_030338.jpg
     
  14. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Dave:

    The older ones often had nicer wood and the engraving made them look a little nicer. The best thing about the older ones is that they are more likely to have a true Monte Carlo trap stock. I've seen one newer BT-99 with horrible fit because of an obvious machning error on the side where the barrel mates with the receiver. The vast majority of the modern CNC machined ones, however, seem to have good fit/finish. Fixed FULL choke BT99s are fine if they pattern well (and most do), although the non "high shooting years" shoot kinda flat. If by chance it does NOT pattern well, then it's more costly to deal with.

    In any case, don't let anybody hose you on price. There are lots of very nice looking older BT99s which have had tens of thousands of rounds thru them, and yet the seller wants NIB money for them. It's always a bit of a gamble when buying used online from somebody you don't know.

    You can get a brand new one with factory warranty, delivered to your door for $1219 (click the link), so don't let anybody tell you their old one is worth much more than that unless it's NIB or they are the original owner and can attest to the true round count (and it should be be < 5,000 if they want more than a new one costs, in my opinion).

    Good luck.

    -Gary
     
  15. BTDD

    BTDD TS Member

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    Go with an old one, pre 1976. You should be able to pick one up under $600.oo bucks or cheaper. There more dependable. The newer models have had problems with the forearms splitting. They do not come with ejectors. If it turns out you do not like it or connot shoot it, you have little money invested. I have had one my father shot from 72 to 79,he was AA/27 yards. I started shooting again with it in 2000 after kids grew up. I have achieved AA/27 yards. Its had a minimum of 200000 rounds shot thru it. I have had to replace a some parts, springs, ejectors, lever dogs. Started shooting a perazzi this summer but the old BT goes to all the shoots just in case. Buy one you wont be sorry, good gun.
    Double D.
     
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  16. Snowjet

    Snowjet Member

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    Well, I was going to put my BT99 with 2 ported barrels, one full and one improved mod with adjustable comb, and case on here to sell. But since it's a 1977 model. I guess I'll have to give it away. I was selling it for $850.00
    Bob
     
  17. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I also live in Canada and starting in 1973 I have owned 5 different BT-99s but never had a new one. All my guns were fixed choke but I did a lot of shooting and pattern comparisons with IM versus Full and found through experience that my best averages were with Full choke. On the older fixed choke guns IM would be considered a Light Full today. I bought my TMX used in 1987 but would probably have bought a BT-100 with the high rib instead if it was available in 87.
     
  18. VAMiket

    VAMiket Member

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    What are the serial number identifiers for the "hi shooter" BTs and how high did they shoot?
     
  19. Perazzi_MX8

    Perazzi_MX8 Well-Known Member

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    I bought a new BT-99 in 1978 with a 34" Full choke. These old guns had incredibly tight chokes and I could smoke ball targets from the 27. I still shoot it today, and after over 300 pounds of powder through it, I have yet to replace a part in it. There wasn't much room for error with the extremely tight patterns. I finally sent it to Seitz in the mid-80's for barrel work. He back-bored, ported and opened the choke to .031" vastly improving the patterns like Ray Stafford had promised me. I have never regretted getting the barrel work done. The new ones come Back-Bored, Ported and have the choke tubes out of the box. I wouldn't hesitate buying a new one today.


    It always amuses me how some trap shooters will spend 20K shooting for years and complain when a gun needs a hundred bucks in repairs. Duane
     
  20. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    The high shooters were made in 1976 and 1977 with RR and RT in the serial numbers. I always built up my comb to see a little rib between the beads for my POI but I never owned a real high shooter.
     
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