I’ve used a Remington 11 for years with success for birds and ducks. But for some reason I’m drawn to a Browning B-2000 a dealer has for sale. It comes with 2 barrels-a 32″ and a 26″. I’ve read your criticisms of the current gas guns but little on the 2000. What’s it’s story? Good shooter?
Just ran across your site! Excellent reports.
Since you say that you are coming out of a Remington model 11 (a Browning A-5 predecessor made from 1911-1948) I certainly can’t warn you about the old adage of shooting out-of-date semi-autos and a lack of spare parts. The hump back profile of the B-2000 should be appealing. You will definitely like the reduction in recoil when switching to a gas operated gun instead of the recoil operation of the model 11.
If you just have to have the gun- fine, but I don’t recommend it. I never shot a B2000 a whole bunch, but I did shoot it a little and found it nice enough. That said, you are violating one of the primary rules of semi-autos- “Never buy an out of production semi-auto with an unsure supply of parts.”
Semi-autos break. That’s the nature of the beast. The John Browning design recoil-operated Remington 11 and Browning A-5 are almost indestructible workhorses, but gas guns are in a different reliability category. Can you still get parts for the B-2000? Before you even start to consider buying the gun, call Browning Parts and ask them if they still support the gun. Most gun companies stop stocking parts for a gun which has been out of production for a certain length of time. Your B-2000 was imported between 1974 and 1983. That’s a while. Believe it or not, Remington no longer supports the standard weight 20 gauge 1100, even though the 1100 is still in production in a lighter weight 20. Check with Browning. The B-2000 isn’t going to be as breakage free as the model 11 was.
Browning only sold about 115,000 B-2000s. It was never very popular and couldn’t come close to competing against the Remington 1100. Why? There has to be a reason. Think about why Browning couldn’t sell the guns and had to shift to the B-80 (Beretta clone). Think about the longevity of the A-5 design. The B-2000 was not a particularly successful design. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a decent gun, just that it either cost to much to make or didn’t work as well as the competition. Maybe both. The Super-X was a decent gun (though with its flaws), but it cost too much to make compared to the Remington 1100 and wasn’t as reliable (yes, I know everyone else’s were perfect, but MY three weren’t all that reliable), so it died.
Two barrels on your B-2000 is a nice plus, but I don’t believe that the guns came with screw chokes. 32″ is a looong bbl for any semi-auto, so this is the one you would probably cut back and have screw chokes installed in after you thought about it a while. That’s more money into an obsolete gas gun, rather than a new one.
Still, its up to you. If you are drawn to a gun, it is hard to ignore the siren song of that sultry beauty reclining in the dealer’s rack. Just try to think about what it is going to be like when you try to sell it. And don’t compare the reliability of gas gun to that of a recoil operated model 11. It ain’t gonna happen. Especially when it rains/snows/sleets.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)