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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in getting back into trap shooting. I started a few years ago with a field gun but want to upgrade to a BT99. Is there any reason to stay away from the older 70's guns? Have they upgraded the new BTs so that I should wait until I can find one of those? I need a 32" barrel, but when did they start back-boring? Is it important and can I have it done later? How much does it cost? What features are the most important for trap shooting? I could sure use some advise and of course a BT99.
 

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An older BT-99 will serve you just fine....they are still desired by many for their good looks and shootability.

The newer style BT-99's are also gaining in popularity as well, and the general opinion seems to be that they are the equal of the older guns performance wise.

The newer guns have some features that were not available on the older models....adjustable combs, screw in chokes, barrel porting.

Unsure about when they started back-boring....I myself have little regard for the practice, but others will certainly disagree with me.

Having said that, the level of finish is different on the newer guns, partly to save costs, partly to relect changing tastes.

A BT-99 has all the features you need to shoot singles/handicap trap...just the way it comes out of the box.

You won't go wrong with either.
 

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The only down side to the older BT-99 is condition. With this I mean the lockup. If the lever is center or very near center, plan on a $250.00 rebuild in the near future. I have both new and older and I prefer the older gun.........Roger
 

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Roger:
Skeets Gun Shop in Telequah, Oklahoma will rebuild an older BT-99 for $95.00 plus shipping (that depends on where you live). I had mine redone sometime ago and they did a wonderful job. Total cost was $125.00. Dean Harris is the gunsmith and a wonderful fella to do business with. Yes, I like the older vs the junky looking new ones. Besides the new don't have any ejectors and the machining is horrible. I bought one and sent it back right after they first came out and spent 2 hours on the telephone with a Browning Rep. explaining what was wrong with the gun. After that I sent my old BT-99 to Skeet's and had it rebuilt.
Ellen
 

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Kim, Browning starting backboring there guns the year they came out with the invector PLUS chokes(Unsure of year). They are threaded different than the stanard invector chokes that are not backbored. When you backbore a shotgun with fixed chokes it just changed the choke you had. Choke is the difference from barrel dia. right after chamber to the end of barrel. You open the barrel after chamber you must open end of barrel the same amount to keep the same choke. Cost is to high to port,backbore,and reduce forcing cones for older gun.
Older guns have fixed chokes.downside is cannot change chokes for different yardages or shooting styles.Hard to find one in real good condition. You will pay only a few hundred less than a new one. upside is the guns were built with more pride in crafsmanship(misspelled). Better blueing, sometimes nicer wood. I think that you might be happier with a brand new one. The back-boring, reducded forcing cones(slightly), porting combined help reduce recoil by 10-15%. Every little bit helps.Its still your choice, look at some of the guns at your club. Be sure of what you want before you get one. Hope this helps. Break-em all. Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, thank you. Your information is very helpful. I am trying to take my time and make the best decision. I am getting a little impatient since league started on the 1st of April but I really want a gun that will last me a long time. Thanks again. Kim
 

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Kim: The "older" BT-99 was made from about 1968-1994. I'd avoid 1966-1972 Browning guns, as some have salt in the wood, which rusts the metal. The 2 years 1977 (RR in serial #) and 1978 (RP) models were a little higher shooting than the other years; that's neither a positive nor a negative, unless you prefer one to the other. Until 1986, they had fixed chokes, without choke tubes. Invector choke tubes came out in 1986. The Invector-Plus tubes and porting came out in 1992, and backboring 1993-1994. The BT-99 was reintroduced in about 2002, referred to as the new model. It (new) has Invector-Plus choke tubes, and backboring (a .740" inside barrel diameter, or "bore," versus the old .723-.730".) The old models had ejectors, new model has extract-only, no eject. My wife and I own both new & old, and I like them equally. I prefer extract-only, but if you get an older one with ejector, a gunsmith can remove that for a few dollars, if you like. If money matters, the "old" will appeal, as you can get them for +/- $550-800, whereas a "new" one will be over $1000, even used, maybe $1200 new. No, there's no reason to avoid an old model, and no, the new ones are a reissue, not an upgrade. The factor that will be most important to you will be looks & feel, when you've found a nice tight gun. The BT has been built to last generations, so really one's the same as another for your purposes, although there are many different variations of them, some costing much more due to special features. We have had the combs on ours cut and made adjustable, to make them fit us perfectly; you might too. You won't notice any difference between BT's with or without backboring, nor will you see any difference in Invector versus Invector-Plus choke tube performance. It's all a non-issue to you; if you get a gun with choke tubes, the tubes you buy or have will accomodate the type of bore your gun has. A pre-'86 fixed-choke gun will be fine, as long as you pattern it and its choke is proper for your shooting. Many prefer fixed chokes, and many prefer choke tubes for their ability to alter pattern size & shape. Phil E
 

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Phil E ...do you know much about the BT 100? ...and along with backboring, are the forcing cones lengthened? I just purchaced (but not yet rec'd)a 1996 BT 100 which sounds to be "like new". Can't wait to try it.
Thanks
D Kusner
 

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Backboring is incresing the bore diameter from the old standard of about .728" to the .735" or larger. It is a major machining job.

Backboring cannot be done "while I shopped around for just a few minutes". The gentleman above was probably refering to barrel porting which can be done quickly. Lot of debate on the merits or value of porting - some like it others do not.

An BT99 will hold it's value. If you decide you want a larger bore gun then trade the older one toward a big bore gun. That would probably be cheaper than having your older one backbored. A BT99 is a very good gun as they come.

My thoughts - your mileage may vary.

George
 
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