Browning BPS Pros/Cons


November 3, 2007, 11:15 AM
I haven't owned anything but SxS shotguns for years but now that I live where deer are hunted with scatterguns I have toyed with the idea of getting a pump gun and am drawn to the BPS.
Fortunately I can legally use my Ruger Super Blackhawk here but maybe having a "shucker" to use for variety wouldn't be so bad.
Anyway - would appreciate pro/con input on the BPS from those of you who have, or have had, them and used them for deer and/or waterfowl.
Yes, I know the Rem. 870 is a classic and a very good one but my question is specifically about the Browning BPS.

Many thanks !

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November 3, 2007, 11:30 AM
I own a BPS and it does not seem to point as well for me.

The bottom eject and load is great for lefties but it makes
it a pain to clear up a mess.

When I bought mine they had to open 3 boxes and ended up
taking the stock off anouther one to get one gun that the
finish was not flaking off.:eek:
The blueing is very thin and shows way more wear than my 20 year
old Winchester. (My BPS is 6 years old).:fire:

Mine is for sale going to put it towards a good 1187.:D

November 3, 2007, 11:49 AM
I have a BPS and I am very pleased with it. I like the tang safety and the bottom eject. My blueing is deep and the wood is, while not great figuring is good. I have had mine for some time and it has the 'engraving' on the receiver. If you buy a used one, make sure it has the Invecta + choke system. My only objection is it is heavier than a Remington.

November 3, 2007, 01:02 PM
I have had one for many years and it performance is excellent. As with any shot gun make sure it " fits you " ! Mine has the older invector choke and patterens quite well . It is worth repeating , handle a shot gun and make sure it feels and points well for you before purchasing.


John Peddie
November 3, 2007, 01:04 PM
I also switched from a 12 ga SxS to pumps.

Initially, to a "pre-adored" Ithaca 37, 1958 vintage (now retired to turkey duty exclusively). After growing up with the top tang safety on a double, I found the cross-bolt safety on the 37 hard to manage consistently-my thumb was looking for something that wasn't there.

So when time came for a new pump, and wanting the top tang safety, my choices were BPS or Mossberg. In the end, chose the BPS, and never regretted it.

I'm small, need short barrels to be effective, so I got the 20 ga "micro" with 22" bbls. Works flawlessly, doesn't throw empties in the face of the guy beside me in a duck blind, and drops them neatly at your feet.

The solid sides keep out weather and twigs, too.

(BTW, even a 20 works fine on ducks and Canadas, but I keep all my shots within a measured 35 yards, and don't use steel).

Bottom loading is the trade off, I guess, but since I don't shoot many clays, this is not a big factor for me.

I've been told that the slide action on a BPS has a longer throw than some, but that's never been a factor to me either.

Three potential cautions:

1) Weight: My little 20 comes in a shade under 7 lbs., so not a wand. A 12, and with longer barrels, may feel cumbersome in your hands after a double.
2) I've read that Browning service is a PITA. Don't know first hand.
3) Full dissassembly is possible, and there are instructions on the Net if you look, but it's also said to be a PITA, and not recommended by Browning.

Other concern for you might be the transition from double (really, a 2 shot auto) to pump action. I was lucky-a couple of hours chasing pheasants was all I needed to convince myself that I HAD to work the slide if I wanted a second shot. It quickly became instinctive.

Others have found the transition much harder.

November 3, 2007, 01:19 PM
Hi John...

Yep - that tang safety is "second-nature" and that's one of the main reasons I am drawn to the BPS. I can also understand the forgetting to work the pump after years of double use. I flyfish most of the time and on the rare day I use other equipment I never fail to strip that mono and draw laughter from my fishing accomplices.

Another thing I thought of (for a deer-only shotgun) is to get one of the old Mossberg or New Haven bolt actions with the 3-shot clips and safety-on-top. However I'd want to put a sight on it - probably a RedDot and I don't know if those receivers will stand being tapped for the mount.

Anyone know or have any thoughts about getting such a sight on one of those shotguns ?:confused:

Many thanks !

November 3, 2007, 01:19 PM
I had one for a couple of years. But it was too heavy for my taste in the field and didn't fit me well although it sure was nice looking. Fit and finish were very good. The checkering on the forearm was so sharp that I had to wear shooting gloves when shooting skeet with it or I would end up with a bloody left hand. It never failed me or jammed but when it got a ducking in a swamp, cleaning it was really a pain. Disassembly beyond removing the barrel was tough. I ended up buying an old used 870 and refurbishing it. For the safety, I put on one of the really large buttons and now I automatically push it off as my finger goes into the trigger guard. I also use a SXS and O/U and making the transition to a pump takes getting used to due to both the pumping action and different length and balance.

Dave McCracken
November 3, 2007, 02:46 PM
Never owned one, but have hunted with owners of BPSs and have some input.

Heavy. Better waterfowler than uplander.

Complicated innards. As said before, disassembly best left to PHD gunsmiths with three hands.

While I've not handled any with a truly rough stroke, none have been as slick as an 870, 37 or 12.

Upside, all I've shot feel good and hit well.

The reliability and durability seem to be up there with the 870 and 37.

IMO, get one for deer or geese if it feels good to you.


John Peddie
November 3, 2007, 05:02 PM
Bolt action

I bought a used Mossberg 20 ga bolt action for the purpose you mention.

Still in the thinking stage.

I'm debating cutting the barrel short, which will normally get you a permanent home in a hot and unforgiving place, but I figure I'm rescuing this one, so I'm allowed.

Don't know about sights yet.

Dr. McCracken has some experience with deer and bolt action Mossbergs :-)

November 3, 2007, 06:05 PM
Hi John...

The BPS weight issue keeps getting mentioned and, being genetically lazy, it had caught my notice too when I handled a couple at a gun show. So maybe I'll keep tabs on your Mossy project and perhaps "Dr. McCracken" will drop by and share his experience.

Thanks !

November 4, 2007, 12:32 AM
I bought my first BPS a year ago, in 28ga. I have to say though that I bought it to use exclusively for skeet. I was very pleased with how smooth it operated, and how lefty-friendly it is. I liked it so much I bought another in 20ga a few months later. The 20ga is not nearly as smooth as the 28, but I added some weight to balance it better and I've shot my best skeet scores to date with that shotgun and a light skeet choke. I just got a 410 BPS after searching for a long time, and just got to shoot it yesterday. It's a dream to shoot, and I've never shot a 410 that was as comfortable for me, the BPS's just seem to fit me VERY well. I looked into buying a 410 Wingmaster, but it was priced $200 more expensive, and I would be very surprised if it was any smoother.

I love my BPS shotguns, although I don't have a 12ga. I admit they are a bit hefty, which is great for a skeet shooter, but I don't mind it much when hiking after Chuckar or quail in the mountains.

Dave McCracken
November 4, 2007, 08:29 AM
Jehn, were I doing a Mossberg BA these days as a slug gun I'd....

Prune the barrel to 20" or so, and recrown meticulously.

Glass bed the action.

Shim at the tip of the forend and experiment with the best amount of pressure needed to make the barrel harmonics consistent.

Get the trigger light, CLEAN and install a shoe to make it feel lighter and cleaner.

Install a low power scope, 2X or so. Field of View and light gathering are more crucial here than magnification.

Install sling studs and go shoot it lots.

Under the sort of conditions I hunt in, a fully rifled barrel is not mandatory, though nice to have.


November 4, 2007, 12:34 PM
I bought one around 11 years ago. They are very well built, but like Dave stated it's a pain to take apart.

sixgun MAK
November 5, 2007, 09:53 PM
I bought one 4 weeks ago. Tonight, I had to take it to the gunsmith......FOR THE SECOND TIME!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WILL NEVER OWN A BROWNING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BPS stands for Big Piece of @#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My thoughts, get a Remington 870 instead.

Nothing like having your gun fail you TWICE in the middle of the hunting season. Especially on a South Dakota pheasant hunt.

I HATE BROWNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE BROWNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE BROWNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The older I get, the more irate I become over products that are unreliable and don't work. That is why I no longer drive a Ford, and why I HATE BROWNING!!!!!!!!!

November 5, 2007, 10:34 PM
My brother owns a Browning BPS with a 28" barrel, walnut stock and blued finish. I have had a reasonably amount of time with it.
Things I like:
-Very nice bluing
-Very smooth operation
-Very easy to load magazine tube because it doesn't have a shell carrier
-Wood is reasonably nice
Things I don't like:
-Bottom eject. Its fine for lefties but I don't like it for a couple reasons. I like to be able to quickly load a shell into my shotguns by dropping one in on an open bolt and then quickly closing the bolt. I can't do this with the BPS.
-No mid bead.
-Stock and shotgun in general feel oversized compared to my Wingmaster.

I paid $465 for a brand new Remington Wingmaster with a Realwood "Ultra Walnut" stock that has an R3 recoil pad on it. The stock is extremely nice looking and the R3 pad is about as nice a recoil pad that you can get. It handles great, looks great, shoots great and just has the right feel to it.

IMO, when it comes to pumps made today you start at the Wingmaster and then look to others if it doesn't suite your needs.

November 6, 2007, 12:10 AM
As a slug gun?

Pro: Finish and materials. The Rifled Deer Hunter is sure a nice looking gun, especially for a slug gun.

Top tang safety, if that's what you're used to.

Rain. It won't go in the side port, because there isn't a side port.

Con: Price. Rifled 870 Express slug models are $150-220 cheaper and come in no-hassle laminate or plastic. Mossberg Slugsters can be a bit less, still, and they also have tang safeties and can have very attractive finishes or camo as well. Camo coating is nice and weather-resistant, just don't put the gun where you might not find it again.:)

Geometry. The BPS foreend is a bit farther out than the side-eject guns, not optimal unless you have long arms IMO.

Bottom eject/feed. You can't easily drop a round in the side port like a conventional pump action, or quietly open the action 1/4" and check to make sure a round is chambered by looking in the side.

Complication. A slug gun won't see 50,000 rounds. A simpler action will not break down, and it doesn't matter a bit if it's a bit smoother or not.

I know you said "specifically the BPS", but it doesn't exist in a vacuum. If it were the only slug gun available, and you were legally required to use a slug gun, there would be no "pros and cons." A comparison with its competition is the only way I can think of to make this intelligent. A slug deer gun is a bastardized thing, existing only because the law requires it, so it's hard to compare one with some imaginary ideal, since in an ideal world, the slug deer gun wouldn't exist.

November 6, 2007, 07:35 AM
Actually BPS takedown isn't all that hard---as long as you're patient and resonably mechanical----comes apart easy--putting it back together is the hard part. That said---I had my BPS back together in 15 minutes after I disassembled and cleaned everything-----and that was the first time I ever had taken it apart---using directions found on the net.

Kind of like the Ruger MKII pistol----first time is a PITA---after that its a breeze.

No finer pumpgun made---sorry 870 fans----and I even still own one 870.

I bought my BPS as a beater to keep my Beretta 471 and 687 guns looking pretty.

November 6, 2007, 02:17 PM
15 minutes is not a big deal for a pump gun?

1 minute is more than you need for an 870.

But the question was about a slug gun. For birds or waterfowl, you might consider the BPS' assembly to be well worth the trouble, if the gun fits you and handles well for you, and you just must have the bottom eject.

As a slug gun, though, the pros and cons are a bit different.

By no means does that demean the BPS as a fine shotgun.

November 6, 2007, 03:34 PM
15 minutes was for the first time---now its a snap. Just a little learning curve there----as long as you know that going in---its no big deal.

Mr Kablammo
November 6, 2007, 06:32 PM
Ted Nugent has allowed that he uses the BPS for slugs on deer. He claims very good accuracy to 100 yds.

I have one in 20 ga and it is a great trap/skeet gun. I am too poor to hunt a lease in TX. They are very good looking guns.

November 6, 2007, 06:56 PM
The BPS is a good gun, but you should also check the Ithaca m37 Deerslayer if you can find a good used one. I know they are supposedly back in business, but not 100% sure if they are up and selling yet.

If the safety position isn't important to you, It is also bottom eject and weight a little less than the BPS. It is a very natural pointing shotgun.

November 8, 2007, 11:30 PM
As a shotgun for trap I don't really like the BPS. When you're shooting singles you're supposed to load and shoot one round at a time. The 870 is much better suited for this type of shooting. With the 870 all you have to do is drop one round into the ejection port, slide the forend forward and you're ready to go. No sore thumbs. With the bottom ejecting BPS you have to load one round in the magazine tube and cycle the action back and fourth to load it. This is more complicated and takes more time than if you're using the 870. I also don't like the fact that you can't visually see the chamber from the side on the BPS when you're clearing it like you can on the 870.

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