Browning BPS vs 870 Wingmaster


October 9, 2006, 06:27 PM
Not familiar with the BPS or its bottom ejection. How does it stack up against the Wingmaster for ease of operation and build design?

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October 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
For hunting purposes I would pick a BPS over any other pump gun. They are a solid gun and look great to. If your a reloader than the bottom ejection is a plus as it leaves the MT's where you were standing not somewhere behind you for you to find. As far as being solid, well, I never knew browning to make anything other than superb guns.

My buddy has one - he bought his the same day I bought my A5. Togeather those guns have killed a ton of pheasant in as many as 5 states across this wonderful country.

Just my 2 cents

John Peddie
October 9, 2006, 07:14 PM
Hi Ed,

I've never owned a Wingmaster, but have a BPS and an Ithaca 37. Both are bottom load / eject.


Love 'em both. I've read that the bottom load / eject is slower to load, and can be a bit of a pain for trap and skeet for that reason. But balance that against the fact that the empties drop at your feet. You don't have to chase them. Not a factor for me as I don't shoot clays, but maybe for others.

The BPS is my pheasant / chukar gun, and the 37 is for ducks and geese. I grew up on doubles, and to me, the only place for a safety is top tang, like the BPS. On waterfowl, you have more time, so finding the safety on the 37 is not as rushed. But when a pheasant busts out of cover, I want the safety right under my thumb.

For me, that was THE deciding factor when I bought it.

I've also read that the BPS is a pain to deep clean, but mine's only 3 years old so hasn't needed that yet less than 1000 shells through it. If I have to send it to a gunsmith once a decade for a deep cleaning, then so be it.

The flat sides of both guns seem to keep out junk, rain and snow better than, say, my buddies' 1100's.

You'd also want to compare the weight. BPS is no wand, and the 870 might be lighter if that's a factor for you.

October 9, 2006, 07:31 PM
I have both ... well, I have a BPS and an 870 Express, so I won't say that the finish is nicer on the BPS ... it ought to be as it cost 30% more than the 870 even though the 870 was purchased 15 years later! As far as I'm concerned, the BPS is just about the perfect pump shotgun ... the only reason that I bought an 870 was that I wanted an HD shotgun and aftermarket stuff (specifically 18"bbls and mag extensions) is abundant for the 870 and almost non-existant for the BPS. When I originally bought the BPS, I had gone into the store to get a wingmaster but the BPS was right next to it and on sale for the same price ... one trip to my shoulder for each and the BPS was sold. As far as I can tell, they are both extremely solid designs, but the 870 is MUCH easier to strip for cleaning as mentioned. If you only shoot it in dry conditions, this may be of little consequence, but I have gotten mine wet and really wished that a detail strip was easy.


October 9, 2006, 07:31 PM
But balance that against the fact that the empties drop at your feet.

With a side-eject, you just catch the empties when they come out, at the trap range. This is only an issue with doubles or a semiauto.

Now a bottom-eject semiauto, I want. I've shot one once, and I've wanted one since.:)

Wingmaster is a good deal lighter, though I think the Ithaca is lighter, still.

I've only seen a few BPS's. Parts would not be as easy to find as 870 parts. On the other hand, you're unlikely to ever need any, for either gun. Accessories, though, like barrels for various types of hunting, favor the Wingmaster.

walking arsenal
October 9, 2006, 08:04 PM
A trick for speed loading the BPS is to flip the gun upside down drop one shell into the receiver and use a second to push the first in. You can reload REALLY quick this way.

I love my BPS. It's acurate and has a smooth action too. Much nicer than any other pump gun i've fired.

October 13, 2006, 02:08 AM

I've got both a 20 and a 12 BPS. Also an 870 HD. As I shoot off the left shoulder, the bottom eject is a real plus. But I thoroughly enjoy using both guns. I'll admit that a full action strip is a PIA, but really, it's not that hard.


October 13, 2006, 01:07 PM
I shoot lefthanded, so the ambidextrous BPS is a no brainer.

Even if I was a righthanded shooter or had a LH Remington 870, I would still opt to have the top tang safety of the BPS. That's the best place to put a safety on either shotgun or rifle.

It looks like the new Ithaca company might give both guns a run for their money in the near future. However, shotugns aren't like women, several of them can share the same closet and take turns going out with you without causing problems...:rolleyes:

October 13, 2006, 01:26 PM
Both are good shotguns that will send a charge of pellets downrange.
The 870, IMO, is the pickup-truck of the shotgun world. They fit me great, and I can shoot them very well.
The BPS, IMO, is the Cadillac of the shotgun world.
As far as I can tell, they are both extremely solid designs, but the 870 is MUCH easier to strip for cleaning as mentioned.
Personally, I'd MUCH rather strip down a BPS than an 870. Barrel removal is 6 of one half a dozen of the other ... but DANG 870's are a PITA to get back together (again, IMO).

October 13, 2006, 02:52 PM
My 870 has been really easy to strip and reassemble. REALLY easy.

The only thing I can imagine that would be hard would be the mag spring without the dimples (I have an 870 Express with the infamous but more convenient dimples). My 1100 has the dimple-free retainer system. It's a bit touchy, but not a massive PITA if you have a sense of humor about things and good eyesight when you're looking through the bushes for the retainer. I'll take the dimples on a field gun, without complaint.

Now if I were trying to decide, it would be between a Wingmaster and an Ithaca Featherlight, the trim, American-made, John-Browning-designed cousin of the rather corpulent Japanese-made BPS. They're making them again, and they're awfully nice, if you have the money budgeted for a nice pump.

October 14, 2006, 01:56 AM
Frankly, I'm surprised there are so many positive responses on the BPS. I've owned one and will never buy another. It was a beautiful gun I shot very well, but it jammed constantly.

I eventually threw it into the Weber River about 5 miles from Browning headquarters in Morgan, UT. I belly crawled up on some geese on the last day of the season and jumped up at 20 yards. What should have been an easy double and a great way to end the season turned into a single downed bird and the final jam for the Browning. :barf:

On the other hand, my very first shotgun was a 20 ga. Wingmaster Magnum. I still have it. There isn't much blueing left on the receiver, but sh'e still as pretty as ever. I've put hundreds of cases of shells through it and it has never once malfunctioned.

To be fair, a buddy has a BPS stalker and has had only a few minor issues with it. The finish has not held up well though, in the salt marshes we hunt in. The finish on the high gloss models is excellent.

October 14, 2006, 02:56 PM
Buy a BPS and never look back. Don't get me wrong, the wingmaster is a good gun, but for my money I would buy the BPS first. Probably why I own one!!!! Hence the name.

October 14, 2006, 04:17 PM
I own both. The finish is a little better on the BPS but it is a little more of a pain to load on the skeet and trap field. I have never had a problem with either gun. In wind blown dirt environments, I feel the BPS keeps clean longer due to bottom eject. The wingmaster is easier (in my opinion) to strip down for major cleaning. Both will be with me until I am on the other side of the grass. And I may collect a few more before that happens.

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