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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Charlie, don't mean to be negative but anytime you disfigure a grade gun you hurt the value unless whatever was done to it is exactly what a perspective buyer wants. Unfortunately, most buyers don't indicate the desire for the addition.
Unfortunately, that was my thoughts also.
 

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Charlie, nice piece of work. A long time ago I shot a Grade 1 Broadway with positive results. You too will find out for yourself. I think some of the previous posts have done a great job of identifying the model. I had not seen that engraving before.
 

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Numbers below top lever:
20011 S73B2. (B2 were small letter and number, I can't make them small)
Barrels are 30 inches
Rib is 1.5 cm wide

Also, someone had Thin wall Briley chokes installed, will this help, hurt, or make no difference in the value?
In this period from 1971 to 1975 F/N actually kept two concurrent shipping journals (journal no. 8 and no. 9) with gun serializations running concurrently; they are called "old" serialization from 1/1/70 to 1975 and the "new" series from 11/1/71 to 1977 guns. In 1977 the production of the traditional superposed ended. This "new" series and "old" series have nothing to do with the gun itself, just the serialization process and record. This serial number puts this to be a "new Series" 12 gage (S = 12 ga.), 1973 (73) superposed towards more of the end of the 1973 production. 1973 new series numbers ran from 11476S73 to 21275S73. Not sure what the B2 was for but it's not part of the gun serialization.

If this was a collector gun, the Briley chokes certainly would certainly diminish its value! It looks well used so it is not a collector's item I guess..
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Does the gun have any markings on the receiver left side shelf (where the receiver meets the barrels)? I've seen some additional information engraved there on FN guns.
I'll look.
Another question since I'm both neophyte and ignorant, would this be a "salt" gun?
 

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No- you should be in the clear for salt problems. This should be after the salt problems were resolved
Hopefully ... it's a late 1973 production so likely okay .... but even though F/N destroyed all salt-cured walnut blanks in 1972, there were still some salt stocks in the chain in 1973. Funny enough, the higher the grade of the stock wood quality, the more likely it was to have salt issues because the high-grade European walnut was scarce and so salt-cured at a much higher percentage than run of the mill low grade wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Salt wood explained

Shotgun Report®
Browning Salt Wood Explained
bcbuck bcbuck
9 years ago
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Dear Technoid,

Please discuss the Browning Superposed salt problem and how to detect this defect. I have not been able to find any reference to it in the shotgun literature.

Bill

Dear Bill,

The best discussion of the Browning salt wood issue is in Ned Schwing’s “Browning Superposed” book (Krause Press, 1996). According to Schwing, in the mid ’60s Browning needed a better supply of high grade walnut for it’s guns. A California contractor had a large inventory of good walnut taken from clearing power line right of ways. Demand for Browning guns was at an all time high and the usual kiln drying process for walnut was too slow to produce what was needed. Rapid kiln drying also produced cracks in the California walnut.

Morton Salt had developed a salt solution drying process successfully used in the furniture industry with good results. This cured the walnut much faster than the kiln method. Browning tested it and there were no problems, so Browning bought the process in 1965. “In an area roughly the size of a football field, five-foot by five-foot by eight-foot stacks of stock blanks were covered with salt. The salt was supposed to leach out the moisture and dry the wood quickly. The process did accomplish its purpose but the moisture that was drawn out of the blanks on top of the stacks ran down into the blanks below, resulting in a brine solution that soaked the lower wood blanks.” (Schwing, pp 246) The retained salt reacted with the gun metal with the finished stock was installed. This caused the rust associated with “the salt wood problem”.

According to Schwing’s interviews with Browning’s Harm Williams and Val Browning, all the salt curing was done in the US and affected at least 90% of all Browning stocks from made from 1967 to 1969. The problem continued to show up until 1972, but in smaller numbers. It was then that the entire supply of walnut blanks was burned and replaced with traditional kiln dried wood.

To detect salt wood on 1966 to 1972 guns, first check for outward appearance of dark or discolored spots. Check every place that wood meets metal, as on the rear of the forend and at the head of the stock. Rust on the metal will be apparent if there is a problem. According to Schwing, the definitive test is to remove the butt pad/plate, scrape away a little wood from the exposed butt and apply a 1% solution of silver nitrate to the fresh wood. If the silver nitrate remains light purple, there is no salt. If the silver nitrate turns white, you have a salt gun.

If you can prove that you are the original owner of the salt gun, Browning used to replace the wood for free and will probably still do so. If you bought the gun used, you are on your own. I got a used Superposed 410 with salt wood some time ago. Browning charged me about $250, if memory serves, to replace the wood. It wasn’t free, but it was certainly a bargain price. I don’t know what the numbers today are.

By the way, Browning wasn’t the only one to get taken in by the salt wood walnut curing process. I’ve heard that some other gun companies did also, but weren’t quite as up front about dealing with it.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I can get the barrels off but I'm stuck on getting the forearm off the barrels.
 

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I can get the barrels off but I'm stuck on getting the forearm off the barrels.
Stops screwing with the forearm... It stays on the barrels and moves slightly forward and back. If you take the damn thing apart you may never get it back together... please don't mess it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
You better quit monkeying around with that forearm before you crack it.

It stays on.
Stops screwing with the forearm... It stays on the barrels and moves slightly forward and back. If you take the damn thing apart you may never get it back together... please don't mess it up.
No danger of me taking it off unless I'm sure I can do it correctly. The forearm will stay safely snuggled to the barrels.
 

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I'm a big fan of Superposed shotguns and have several, all Grade 1. Nothing of great value but I enjoy shooting them. Two of my guns had salt wood, nicely repaired by Browning with the wood replaced. Unless the wood is removed, there is no visible evidence of the corrosion. But as such, I'm sure their value is diminished although they look and shoot as well as a non-salt gun. My point is that I'm familiar with the issue.

The subject gun of this thread looks suspiciously like a salt gun. Notice the dark wood at the head of the stock where it contacts the receiver and the same where the forend wood touches the receiver. Has this gun been checked for salt wood? I've heard that if the metal hasn't rusted by now, probably no salt. If no salt, then it appears that the wood is soaked with excess oil from lubrication.

Has the wood been removed to see what's going on?
 

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I'm a big fan of Superposed shotguns and have several, all Grade 1. Nothing of great value but I enjoy shooting them. Two of my guns had salt wood, nicely repaired by Browning with the wood replaced. Unless the wood is removed, there is no visible evidence of the corrosion. But as such, I'm sure their value is diminished although they look and shoot as well as a non-salt gun. My point is that I'm familiar with the issue.

The subject gun of this thread looks suspiciously like a salt gun. Notice the dark wood at the head of the stock where it contacts the receiver and the same where the forend wood touches the receiver. Has this gun been checked for salt wood? I've heard that if the metal hasn't rusted by now, probably no salt. If no salt, then it appears that the wood is soaked with excess oil from lubrication.

Has the wood been removed to see what's going on?
It being a late 1973 gun the likelyhood of salt wood is very, very low. Discoloration at this age can well come from gun oil introgression into the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I'm a big fan of Superposed shotguns and have several, all Grade 1. Nothing of great value but I enjoy shooting them. Two of my guns had salt wood, nicely repaired by Browning with the wood replaced. Unless the wood is removed, there is no visible evidence of the corrosion. But as such, I'm sure their value is diminished although they look and shoot as well as a non-salt gun. My point is that I'm familiar with the issue.

The subject gun of this thread looks suspiciously like a salt gun. Notice the dark wood at the head of the stock where it contacts the receiver and the same where the forend wood touches the receiver. Has this gun been checked for salt wood? I've heard that if the metal hasn't rusted by now, probably no salt. If no salt, then it appears that the wood is soaked with excess oil from lubrication.

Has the wood been removed to see what's going on?
It being a late 1973 gun the likelyhood of salt wood is very, very low. Discoloration at this age can well come from gun oil introgression into the wood.
I called Browning today,they agree, this model should not be a "salt wood". While talking with them, as some of my learned TS.COM colleagues said, leave the forearm wood on unless removed by a gunsmith. I'm not the brightest bulb but I know when to leave well enough alone. However, the design sucksand it still bugs me. Fortunately, I've been married long enough to know to do what I'm told, and when I'm told, what to do . Frustrating but that is life.
 
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