Browning B-2000


Dear Technoid,

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.

Tom

Dear Tom,

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model 11 (a Browning A-5 predecessor made from 1911-1948) I certainly can’t warn you about the old adage of shooting out-of-date semi-autos and a lack of spare parts.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.

But….

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.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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2 Responses to Browning B-2000

  1. Bill Davis says:

    I’ve owned many B2000’s over the years and still have a 12 and 3 20’s. I shot a Trap Grade for years with good success. There were all steel and hand checkered French walnut. Parts were produced in Belgium and they were assembled in Portugal. Soft shooters and reliable. But–you’ve been given good advice. Unless you just gotta have it–and I understand that—buy the new Remington V3 and never look back. American made–soft shooter–reliable and lifetime warranty!! AND–you can get it for under $700 in Walnut or synthetic.

  2. William Eddleman says:

    I have had quite a bit of experience in keeping older shotguns in parts and The Technoid is right (as usual) that once a manufacturer drops the supply of parts from their inventory it makes it somewhat more difficult. Howerver, there are a few other sources for “obsolete” parts and they usually can provide parts for many out of production shotguns. For example Midwest Gun Works and Numrich Gun Parts still list nearly all parts for the B2000 and many much older guns. I am not certain but Midwest Gun Works I think was a spin off from the Browning repair center so that is why they have such a supply of Browning parts. Arts Gun Shop is also well known to specialize in repair and restoration of anything Browning. My only experience with a B2000 has been in cleaning several for friends and I think from that experience it was obvious to me that a) Browning quality throughout b) if one was not careful in the reassembly of the gas system; the gun would not function properly. Several parts in that gas system and of course they had to be replaced in proper order. Only guessing but maybe why they did not last for long. However, I can say that “friends” of mine that “allowed” me to clean their B2000 never complained of any issues. That is all I know and I think The Technoid is right. IMO, there are so many good, and inexpensive gas autos currently on the market that older guns like the B2000 should only be purchased if in near new condition and if they are a “steal”. Believe it or not, Mossberg, Weatherby and Tristar are marketing very inexpensive, reliable gas autos that simply work. Parts are provided by the manufacturer as well as solid warrenties. Maybe something to consider first. Good luck.

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