I’ve long thought that a Browning Superposed with 32″ barrels…. an older one in perhaps lightning configuration, would make a great clays gun; choked M/M or even the M/IM that so many of the current crop of fixed choke guns carry.
I’ve run across a ’38 version with acceptable stock dimensions which is in excellent, solid condition.
Is an older superposed in such condition viable in today’s world of clays shooting, or has it had it’s day and should be relegated to the gun rack to be seen, but not “heard”?
An old Superposed for sporting? If you like the balance and fit of the gun, it’s an excellent choice. I’d wipe it out to Mod and Mod (.020″/.020″) and never look back. I’ve had Briley put Thinwalls in a few of my Supers and they have always done a perfect job. Still, there’s something about the freedom of fixed chokes. No worry. No fuss. No messing with selectors and calculating. Just jam in the bullets in and yank the string.
A weak point on the Superposed is that some of the ribs (just about all on the early guns) were soft soldered and can shoot loose over time. This is true with lots of other brands of guns too. Any decent gunsmith can reattach them. I’ve had several done without the need for rebluing. Art’s Gun Shop and Midwest Gun Works are THE places to get old Brownings repaired. They are absolutely the best and can repair anything on an old Super. The wider the rib, the less likely it seems to come loose. I’ve never shot a Broadway rib loose.
Locking lugs normally aren’t replaced, but just TIGged back up to size. Again, a simple and common operation. Though things vary on a gun to gun basis, I’ve generally seen the Belgian guns go about twice as long between rebuilds as the Citoris. I’ve never seen a hinge pin replaced on any of my Supers either.
If you don’t end up getting this particular gun, you might also consider a 32″ Miroku from the British market. They had fixed choke barrels and were much better balanced than the overweight 32″ screw choke Citoris I’ve shot. I still prefer the Super, but as a second choice, they are a possibility.
Still, if it were me, I’d jump at a 32″ Superposed that handled the way I wanted it to. There’s nothing on the gun that can’t be repaired or replaced forever. Your gun will only go up in value. I currently use a 30″ FN Superposed from the ’70s for sporting and a second one for bunker trap. The guns are as close to bullet- proof as you can get. I’ve also got a couple of field Superlights in the cabinet with a lot of miles on them and no failures.
Over the years I’ve probably owned two dozen Supers. One or two had problems, but certainly less than the Perazzis I’ve had. Do make sure to check any new gun you get for barrel convergence. I don’t care who made the gun, you want to make sure that both barrels shoot to the same spot.
Other than that, there really isn’t anything special to check out on a ’30s Super. Salt wood isn’t an issue until the late ’60s. The early Super ejectors were the best and didn’t get the cracks the later ’70s ones did. It’s really more a question of mileage than age. And, as I said above, even if you have to repair a few parts, it’s no big deal. Most of my guns have been ’60s and ’70s Supers, so I’m not exactly sure whether the old guns use more out of date parts. Art’s and Midwest will be able to handle that. Brownell’s carries a fairly complete line of Superposed parts too.
Bottom line: 32″ Super for sporting? You lucky dog.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid