Browning made a really bad error by using wood that had been soaked in salt water. The wood absorbed the salt. Any moisture would leech the salt out, causing corrosion of any metal it came in contact with. I do not remember the years of production, but this goes back a ways.
The way that I understood it was Browning (FN Belgium) back in the mid sixties to early seventies used a salt curing process versus dry kiln or in combination with dry kiln on some shouguns including the Browning Superpose. It was hit or miss that one model or gauge had salt wood. I had a friend that had one but mine fortunately did not. A couple of ways to tell: take off the original recoil pad and check to see if the screws are rusted; and, look very close at where the tight wood to metal fit and check to see if pitting or rusting has occurred. Of course you could remove the stock. I beleive that Browning stood good for the guns that were affected and I don't believe they ever made that mistake again. I checked my Browning pistol but no evidence that the grips (nor have I heard of any pistols) had salt wood. Darrell
Look at the bottom of web page for video of salt gun repair.
FROM ART'S WEBSITE
Browning was enjoying great sales in the 60’s and they were supplying wood to the FN plant in Belgium as we had a ready supply of it here in the states. The problem was they could not supply enough to meet the demand. The tried and proven method of curing wood was with kiln drying. It removed the right amount of moisture which seasoned the wood and made it useful as a gun stock. The wood was put in large kilns and would remain there for several months to get the moisture content to the desired level. The bottom line was that it worked well, but it just took too long and thus the gun manufacturing process was being held up while waiting for the wood to dry. A new process was being introduced in the country by which wood could have salt packed around it and thus the moisture would quickly be removed and the wood was ready to be sent to Belgium. As old Browning retiree recently informed me that one of his jobs was to go out into the field and locate cured gunstock blanks. He visited with a supplier in California and Missouri and he was taken on a tour of these facilities. He told me how surprised he was to see pallets of wood blanks stacked high, and amazingly enough they had salt packed between each layer of blanks. Water was running from the blanks as moisture was being pulled from the wood. The suppliers informed him that this greatly accelerated the curing process and they could supply as many of these blanks as was need. It seemed harmless enough. Deals were made and soon many blanks of wood were on the way to the plant at FN. Production increased and everyone was happy but trouble was around the corner. This salt curing process began in 1966 and continued until around 1971. In those few short years thousands of Browning’s were fit with salt cured wood. Now, I didn’t say they all were, but a good many were. It wasn’t too long after the salt wood installation process began, when a few guns started appearing in the repair shop and then it became a full-fledged epidemic as they began to pour into the St. Louis repair facility. When I arrived in 1971, there was no shortage of work in the gun shop. I guess I should have been grateful for this situation as it gave me and some other men a good job, but those poor souls who owned these guns had my sympathy. Damaged guns were always repaired at no charge, but the owners were without a gun for a long period of time. Browning was really in a financial pinch over the situation and it would dog them for years to come and still does to this day. Many guns would have to be replaced as they were just too far gone for repair. Replacing Olympians, Medallions, Midas, Diana grades, and everything in between was a terribly costly situation for Browning. Thousands of man hours were spent on the repair of salt guns.