Browning BPS Recoil

Dear Technoid:

I have a bps,i hate it! Its a great gun i know it is. So stop yellin at me. Anyway,it seems to be that this guns recoil level is higher than any other pump gun i have shot. Even guns that are lighter,seem to have less than this nasty gun! I can no longer enjoy target shooting with this beast. I have even dropped my reloads down to 7/8 oz. It helped but still not what i wish to have kickin my shoulder.

I see no other alternative but to start shooting a .28 gauge gun for skeet.maybe sporting clays also. I dont wanna be banged when i shoot target. When i hunt its a different story, bang away,with the excitement and adrenaline pumpin,who feels it?

Anyway,any experience with these pumps,and can i be right about it ?


Dear M.,

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Browning BPS, even though I have owned one in 28 gauge and shot a bunch in 12. The guns that I shot had pronounced trigger interrupters, so you had to hesitate just a touch before shucking, particularly with the light recoiling 28. Drove me crazy. With the 12 you don’t notice it as much because the recoil does a bit of the pumping for you. Many of the newer pumps I have owned (Remington 870s and Winchester M12 repros) have the same problem, but the older guns don’t. The current Mossberg is a smooth shucker.

The BPS guns I shot also had arched ribs which were higher at the rear than at the front. I don’t shoot these ribs well and prefer to see a bit of rib, rather than look flat down it. This is strictly personal taste and many shooters like an arched rib.

The other thing that drove me absolutely crazy about the BPS was the bottom loading. I used that 28 gauge mostly for clay targets (it weighed as much as most 12s, so it was pointless in the field). I was always spinning that gun upside down and shucking it to load it. A hunter wouldn’t ever notice, but a clay target shooter will soon find loading his BPS to be quite tiring if he shoots a lot. This isn’t really a knock on the BPS/Ithaca 37 design because it was designed for the field, not clays.

Now for the recoil: My impression of the BPS is that it didn’t kick any more or less than any other fixed breech gun of the same weight using the same shell. Once you are dealing with a fixed breech gun, the physics of recoil remain pretty constant.

What really makes one gun kick more than another is the way the stock fits you. I am above average in size and found the BPS stock to be short and low for me. It may well be for you too. Still, there are some people out there that it fits perfectly. Also, stock fitting has a just as much to do with shooting style as it does with the shooter’s stature. One of the nice things about pumps and autos is that it is relatively easy to alter the stock. It’s harder on O/Us and SxS due to the more complicated jointure at the head of the stock.

If you have a gun that you find comfortable to shoot, you might compare it’s stock to that of the BPS and modify the BPS accordingly. The dimensions never translate from one gun to another completely, but it will be a start.

As to shooting clays with a 28, have at it! The 28 is my favorite gauge after the 12. One of those new Browning Citori XS 30″ 28 gauge sporters would be a sweetheart. I did a gun review on that gun for The Clay Pigeon. Going away it was the nicest sporting clays 28 gauge I have ever shot, though it might be a bit heavy for pure field use.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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1 Response to Browning BPS Recoil

  1. Joel says:

    I use a 28 gauge BPS regularly to shoot skeet. This gun fits me very well – I need a lower stock. Recoil is very low, I like the rib style a lot. I agree fit is the key to any gun selection. I don’t have a problem with loading it without turning the gun over. This is not a difficult maneuver to master. I also catch the hull on all the singles (hold stock under trigger arm or against hip, put trigger hand under gun where the hull ejects, slide pump back). The only hulls to hit the ground are 4 hulls from the second shot on doubles 1, 2, 6, and 7. In the local club’s summer league I shot 467/500, 6th place.


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