Just bought a 1964 (based on what I can find about the serial number – 27xxx S4) Browning Lightning 30″ from Cabela’s. When I picked it up I didn’t realize how old it was although it looks great. Would it be safe to take it onto the trap range without having someone look at it?
You own one of the best and strongest guns ever made. I’ve put over 100K through a Belgian Browning and it was just starting to loosen up a tiny bit after that. But it still worked perfectly. I put 80K through another and it was as tight as new and never had a repair. I currently have three FNs (the Belgian Browning made for the European market) and they are correct in all respects though they are about as old as your gun.
That’s not to say that things can’t go wrong. They can with anything. But the gun you just bought is as good as you can get and easily as good as anything made today. Probably better.
However, since I can’t see the gun, I really can’t offer an opinion as to whether it is safe to shoot. If you are worried, take it to a gunsmith and have him check it out. That will put your mind to rest and set you up for many, many years of enjoyment.
You were very wise to buy the gun. Today’s prices for older used Belgian Brownings in excellent shape are ridiculously low. A new Belgian Browning from the Browning Custom Shop starts at well over $15,000.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid