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Browning Lightning Superposed 20ga.?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dirty Dawg, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    I found one of these guns in a pawn shop today and not knowing much about them, thought I might turn to those of you more knowledgeable. It's in good shape as near as I can tell with the furniture being very good but there is some wear to the bluing. This is a Belgium made gun that the dealer thought was made in the 60's. My only question there is that it has screw-in chokes and it seems like most the older guns I've seen have fixed chokes. I don't know how long the barrels are but overall the gun is in good condition, the dealer called it a 90% gun.

    It's a very nice gun, probably too nice to carry in the field, which is unfortunate since I'm looking for a new dove and skeet gun. Still, if I could get a good deal on it, I'd take it in the field and not worry too much. The dealer is asking $2,500, which seems kind of high from what I can tell on gunbroker. The only knock I've heard on these guns, well, really the Citori, is that they are too heavy to carry all day but this gun seemed very light to me.
  2. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member


    My 3200 did not come with scew in chokes but it has them now.
    Its done all the time. Hope to have a tube set made for it next year.
    If you like the Browning, go for it.
  3. Hornet 6

    Hornet 6 Well-Known Member

    I have never understood this attitude of "To good to carry in the field"
    No matter how expensive a gun is, if you can afford it, buy it and use it, after all it is what they were made for.
    My Miroku cost me well over a months income, should I have bought it, NO, could I afford it, NO.
    I went without decent food for a month, no wine for longer :what:
    and did not pay a few bills that I should have, but 6 months later all that is history.
    It is probably the last decent shotgun I will buy, but it goes out in all weathers, gets wet, including the salt marsh, and gives great satisfaction whenever it is used.
    I try my best not to scratch it, but if it happens I will live with it, and carry on using it.
    After all it doesn't take that long to clean and re-oil a gun, and if it's done properly, and when needed, a good quality gun will last several lifetimes.

    Neil. :)
  4. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Now that's dedication!!!

    I have to say that I agree with you but it is an expensive gun and sooooo pretty. lol That said, I have folding knives that cost several hundred that never leave the safe. Stupid, I know, I ought to sell them and be happy with my edc blades.

    On my way to NYC tomorrow to watch the Yankees play at the House That Ruth Built so will likely be offline for a bit but will check in asap. I'm hoping that gun will still be available next week. I wonder if he'd trade for a knife or two or three. :)
  5. Hornet 6

    Hornet 6 Well-Known Member

    Stay at home, save the money, buy the gun that you like and want, not the one you can "afford" :neener:

    Neil. :)
  6. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Man does not live on shotguns alone, a good dose of baseball is healthy from time to time. And you know, the chance to see a game at Yankee Stadium before they tear it down is priceless. That said, maybe I can skim a few bills off the top of the stack to bring home for a new gun.
  7. Tom Held

    Tom Held Well-Known Member

    A little too high

    I would say that $2,000 would be a better price unless it's an earlier round knob-long tang model, then $2300 IF it's really a 90% gun. Choke tubes were not standard so the guns been altered somewhat and would hurt collector value but this is a shooter and not a collector gun. If it has the original hardcase with it that's a plus a worth a couple of hundred extra. Check the serial number and make certain it was not made when the Browning salt guns were made.
  8. PJR

    PJR Well-Known Member

    In addition to the usual examination of a used gun, here's what else I'd want to know that is specific to a Browning Superposed.

    As Tom Held mentioned is it a salt wood gun? If it is was the wood changed by Browning along the way? They used to do this for original purchasers of salt wood guns.

    Who did the choke tube installation? This would be the big one for me. The installation of aftermarket choke tubes in Superposeds is more challenging than other guns due to the barrel thinness and close proximity at the muzzle. I'd want to know who did the work and whether it was done right. Frankly it is was anyone other than Briley or Teague I'd likely pass.

    IMO, this sounds like a $2,000 gun.
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Superposed and Citori field shotguns become usable in 20 Gauge IMO. Totally different weight/height than 12. Still not the sleekest geometry, but it doesn't really get in the way.

    Superposed are nice shotguns.

    However, for $2500 you can buy a brand new Beretta White Onyx with 5 screw-ins and a case included, handling that's at least equal to the Superposed, barrels that will handle any kind of modern shot, and put $800 back in your pocket. If you want some engraving, the nearly identical more decorated Silver Pigeon series will set you back $2500 or less.

    The old Browning is a neat collector gun for those with cash to spend, but for actual use I'd sure skip it, at $2500.

    And if you must have a Browning, a new Citori Lightning will shoot the same for $1000 less, and it also comes with choke tubes.
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The Citori is a simplified Superposed that is cheaper to make. Size/weight issues are similar. However, the complaints center on the 12 Gauge guns. Since they lock up under the monoblock like some SxS guns, they have an enormous receiver that weighs a lot, shifts the balance, and puts your forward hand very far below the barrels. To get them to balance well, IMHO you need 30" barrels or longer, and you end up with a heavy beast of a gun (standard Citori Lightning comes in around 8 lbs. even with short 26" barrels).

    However, the receiver scales WAY down in 20, a good deal more than you would expect. Going from 12 to 20 you lose about a pound and a half, and even more significantly, you lose a lot of the excessive bulk of the 12.

    There are also alloy-frame lightweight 12 Gauge versions now, that solve the weight issue in the field, though not the bulk or the geometry if you don't like those things.

    So anyway, I've had a chance to shoot an old Superposed with a 20/28 combo set, in near-new condition. A guy inherited it from his grandfather, babies it and takes it to the range now and then. Doesn't feel right doing anything else with it (takes plastic Benellis into the field). It's a wonderful gun.

    However, from a strictly practical point of view, I prefer my sleeker, well-balanced old Ithaca SKB 20 as a bird gun, and I paid $500 for it. You could pick up two brand new ones (now just "SKB" branded) for $2500. An old shotgunner and gun collector I know likes his Superposed (12 Gauge Trap gun I have offered to buy from him), but he has four SKB's that he really loves and actually uses -- a 20 Skeet/Skeet, a 20 with screw-ins, a 20/28 combo, and a 12 Gauge Weatherby Athena V.

    I don't want to sound like an SKB fanatic; I've only got one of them along with some different guns. That wasn't my point. My point is just that, if I had $2500 and wanted a dove and skeet gun to use a lot, there are lots of great choices out there.

    HOWEVER.... If you pick up that gun and everything about you goes "WOW! That thing feels like nothing I've ever handled! I want that gun!" then it's an excellent gun and worth getting.
  11. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member

    shot gun

    Many years ago I looked at a SXS SKB in 28ga. Lots of engraving, fantastic wood, choked S/S. Shop was asking $1500.00.
    I still kick mysekf for leaving it there.
    If you want the Browning, buy it.
  12. gunut

    gunut Well-Known Member

    sounds 700/900 high to me...and the choke tubes just means the guns been messed with..those darn trap/skeet shooters are real good at screwing up nice collector quality guns and then deciding they dont like them anyway...most of a supers value is in its collectability and browning super collectors dont like messed with guns......thats why its in a pawn shop...
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member


    I somehow missed that it had been choked.

    True enough -- which is why I wouldn't bother with one for a field gun. I'd say that most of the price is for the collectability, not the shootability. Kinda like getting a 95% Remington-Rand 1911 for shooting cans. There are better choices, for far less money, and lots of them feel just like a 1911.:)
  14. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. I felt like it was of greater interest as a collector's gun but with the added chokes I also believed that would hurt it's value. Now, if the seller would knock the price down I'd be interested. It's a nice gun and has a good feel to it. But I doubt he's come down to what I think it's worth so I guess I'll keep on looking.

    Thanks again for your input guys. It's great have a resource like this.
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    If you like the balance and feel, a new Citori Lightning off the shelf should be very similar, come with screw-in chokes, and run about $1500 NIB with a warranty

    Again, I wouldn't be at all interested in the 12, but the 20 is a whole different animal.
  16. PJR

    PJR Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's regional variations but I wouldn't consider a standard grade 20 gauge Superposed "collectable" by any stretch of the imagination. They aren't rare and while somewhat desirable they are too often over priced.

    I compared a 20 gauge Superposed against a 20 gauge Citori. I owned the Citori and was thinking about buying the Superposed. The Superposed was slightly better handling but not nearly enough to justify the $1,000 difference in price. The Citori also had much nicer wood.
  17. hinton03

    hinton03 Well-Known Member

    Here is my 1960's era Superposed LTW 20; I would pay the 2500 or more for one in this condition. It is one of the few guns that I have that says "hunt with me" as soon as I pick it up.

    Sorry about the pics, they are for insurance not art.




    Attached Files:

  18. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Beautiful gun and yes THAT one is worth $2500
  19. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The 12 Gauge is a BEAST! The way the receiver is designed, it scales up a LOT with the larger barrels. "Lightning" is the funniest name for a gun I think I've ever heard.

    HOWEVER... In 20 Gauge, the same design scales way DOWN with the bore. The 20s are WONDERFUL guns in the field. They balance differently, handle differently, and carry differently, from the 12s. I can't see using a 12 Gauge Superposed for anything but Trap. The 20, though, is one of those guns that's magic.

    20s are worth more than 12s (I think you can figure out why). However, $2500 might be a bit too high.

    If you can get a good price, though, you'll get a GREAT gun for your money.:)
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009

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