Beretta 68x vs Browning Superposed


Dear Technoid:

I have always admired Browning Superposed guns but never owned one. Currently shooting a Beretta Silver Pigeon III with 30 inch barrels. Seems Broadway ribbed trap guns are generally cheaper than other models. In my local club Broadway ribbed guns are not liked by anyone I know. Are they that bad? Is a trap model generally stocked too straight to make a good sporting clays gun? Would you prefer a Superposed over a Beretta 687 series? Thanks.

Bob

Bob,

The Beretta 68x series are good guns. Whether they are 686 or 687 or Pigeon I, III or IV, they all have the same mechanical in the action. The 68x guns have proven quite durable, having fixed some early ejector issues. Of course, now they are being replaced by the 69x series, but that is something else.

Browning Superposed? Also very good guns. The guns made from about 1965 to 1985 had ejector extensions which tend to crack if you don’t cut off a coil or two from the ejector springs. They crack, but they still work, so it’s not a big deal. The Superposed Lightning models with the narrow ribs could shoot their ribs loose after many rounds- just like Perazzi and some others who soft solder the ribs to maintain barrel integrity on thin barrels. The wide Broadway rib on the American-market trap guns is quite reliable and I’ve not seen one come loose.

I don’t know how long a 68x Beretta will go between rebuilds, but is it a long time and rebuilds are easy. Usually it’s just installing the next size up locking lug, but you can replace the hinge stubs too. Rebuilding a Superposed is a little more involved and the smiths usually TIG the locking lug to add metal rather than replace it. Art’s Gun Shop is the place to go.

I had one Superposed that I used for International Skeet competition for a number of years. I bought it third hand and put a logged 106,000 rounds through it. When I sold it, it was just starting to loosen up, but was quite shootable. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Are the stocks on the Superposed trap guns too high for sporting? Dunno. Depends on your physical structure and shooting style. If a stock is too low, short of bending it up (quite involved and requires someone who really knows stocks), you are pretty much out of luck unless you add a clunky adjustable cheek piece. If a trap stock is too high, just sand it down to what you want and refinish with a couple of coats of Tru-Oil. You will have a true custom stock. In short, too high is much better than too low. You can get old waiting for that stock wood to grow higher.

The guys at your club don’t like the Superposed Broadway trap? They are certainly entitled to their opinion. If you think that they have founded their opinions on a good deal of experience, then go with it and stay with Beretta.

Would I prefer a Belgian Browning Superposed over a Beretta 687? Depends. My wife shoots a 687 Beretta 28 gauge and loves it. My rainy day field 12 is a Beretta Essential, sort of a stripped down Beretta. Nicely balanced gun.

But…. When the weather is good and I am hunting, I use a Belgian-made FN Superposed Superlight. It’s a European version of the Belgian Browning Superposed. It is superlative and I prefer its handling to the Essential.

For sporting, my O/U 12 of choice is… a Belgian-made FN Special Trap No. 6 with 30″ barrels. It’s basically a Belgian Browning Superposed Olympic bunker gun. I simply sanded down the trap stock to make it fit perfectly. In my business as a gun reviewer for some magazines, I get the chance to shoot just about everything out there and have owned a good many different guns. My pick for sporting is that FN trap gun. I even doubled down and bought two of them, but unfortunately, they are very hard to find in the used American market now as they were originally only sold in Europe. The American market Superposed trap guns can be a little heavier up front and you may or may not like that. It’s really up to you. You should be able to buy a really clean Superposed trap gun for $2,000 or under.

I can’t tell you what to pick. Both of the guns you mention are good. So are the Japanese Brownings (especially the lighter barreled new 725), Caesar Guerinis and others. They are all good arrows if you find the right indian. My preference is the Superposed, but that’s just me.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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