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Dear Bibliophile of Brownings :
How can I tell when it is near time to have the hinge pin re-tightened on my Superposed Lightning ? It seems to have a very slight side play when open and it drops open with ease when the lever is actuated. I will be awaiting your elucidation with bated breath .
Two things go on old Superposed guns. Usually, what wears is the locking tongue. You can spot this because the opening lever is so far to the left that the trigger often doesn’t engage. The locking tongue is a sacrificial part and is meant to wear out first.
When the hinge pin wears, you will notice that the gun does not close tight where the monobloc meets the standing breech right at the top. You will start to see a little bit of light in there. I have shot Superposeds until I could close the gun on a business card, but you don’t need to go that far and I don’t recommend it.
A little bit of sloppiness when the gun is open doesn’t matter. Some of the early Superposeds were designed with eccentric receiver shoulders so that they dropped open almost like a self-opener even when new. The later guns went back to a concentric shoulder which gives more resistance when opening.
The best way to test for looseness in a Superposed is to close the gun in the normal way and then unlatch the forend iron. Then shake the gun lightly. If it is loose in the hinge pin you will be able to feel it. A little loose is probably OK, but once it starts to loosen up the looseness will accelerate.
I have had a Superposed which needed a new tongue at 25,000 and one that was still reasonably solid in tongue and pin at 100,000. Tightening up a Superposed is not a big deal. The gun was built to wear in tongue and pin and these parts are replaceable. Art’s Gun Shop in Hillsboro, MO (tel: 314-944-3630) does a lot of Browning factory repair work and is recommended by the Browning Collector’s Society as one of the “approved” Superposed repair shops. If your gun needs work, they should be able to handle it.
Technoid (Often in error, never in doubt.)