1953 Browning Sweet 16

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Newtosavage, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Handed down from my father who passed last month. I wasn't even aware he had it. I suspect it came from one of his uncles. SN starts with an "X" and is in the 95k range which I suppose makes it a 1953 gun.

    Points great. Unfortunately there is some surface rust on top of the receiver and the first few inches of the barrel, but it's not terrible. There was some on the end of the barrel at one time that someone removed already. Not pitted but bluing missing in some small spots.

    Anyway, I've never handled one of these. I'm familiar with autoloading shotguns somewhat, but any info on this would be appreciated. I guess my first question is the lever on the receiver that seems to hold the shells further (or less far) in the magazine tube? Not sure what that's about. Is that part of the quick load feature of the later sweet 16's I've heard about?

    Also, the muzzle measures 0.62" - not sure if that's a full choke for a 16 or not but I've heard these are full choke barrels. The choke isn't marked.

    Final question is whether other barrels are interchangeable. I wouldn't mind getting a dedicated turkey barrel for it.

    Thanks!

    IMG_0442.JPG IMG_0446.JPG IMG_0445.JPG
     
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    I agree you’re Sweet Sixteen was made in 1953. It’s a long recoil semiautomatic, meaning the barrel reciprocates with the bolt. As such, there are two springs that work in concert, the Recoil Spring around the mag tube, and the Action Spring in the stock. The first returns the barrel to battery, the latter the bolt a millisecond later.

    The Action Spring is probably the most neglected part of the gun. A worn out spring, or a dirty Action Spring Tube, makes for very sluggish operation. Midwest Gun Works has replacements. You’ll need special, thin bladed screwdrivers to service your shotgun. I like the set sold by Brownells.

    https://www.midwestgunworks.com/browning-auto-5/parts.html

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-bit-sets/browning-auto-5-screwdriver-set-prod25476.aspx
     
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  3. natman

    natman Member

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    The choke probably is marked on the barrel, but it's in code:

    * FULL
    *- IM
    ** MOD
    *** IC
    **S SKEET.
    *** CYL
     
  4. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    About that surface rust, before you get out the steel wool, decide what you want to do.

    A conservation involves putting the stripped receiver in boiling water for about 10 minutes. This turns the red iron oxide (rust) to black iron oxide, that can be carded back to a blued finish.




    Or you can have the gun re-blued. I’d suggest Art’s Gun Shop for that.

    https://artsgunshop.com/
     
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  5. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Thanks for all the info so far. Great stuff!
     
  6. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    The lever at the front is the Magazine Cutoff. This traps the shells in the mag and the gun becomes a single shot. The manual states this is is useful if you’re loaded for ducks and you want to quickly change to a goose load. Flip the switch, eject the shell, and load the goose round. I think a better use is to unload the chamber to make the gun safe while crossing a fence without having to unload the entire magazine. Also, if you load the mag, flip the switch, and open the bolt, a round will chamber as soon as you flip the switch again. Pretty cool.

    Speed Load is different. Appearing in late 1953, it uses a 2-piece carrier. On your gun (most likely) you have to hold the Carrier Release button to load the mag. With Speed Load you don’t. What’s more, if you load the first round with the bolt open, it gets whisked up into the chamber, just like the example above.
     
  7. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Yes, it has the single asterisk so it must be a full choke. That squares with the ID measurement of the bore too. Thank you.

    Looks like I have my turkey, duck and pheasant gun now!
     
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  8. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I just read about that and went and tried it. That's very convenient. I was trying to figure out how to unload the magazine tube without cycling the rounds, and I did that too. Great stuff to know in the field for safety.

    I do like how the round loads as soon as you flip the switch.

    Thank you!
     
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  9. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    One more question - do you always have to push the release button to load the magazine? The ramp doesn't seem to want to flip out of the way without pushing the button. I read somewhere the later models didn't require this step?
     
  10. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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  11. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    I edited my answer to cover Speed Load, but evidently not before you read it. But yes, few guns made in ‘53 have Speed Load, so you’ll have to push the button.
     
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  12. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Ah, yes. That's what they called it - speed load. Thank you. I'll manage to push the button. :D I'm never in that much of a hurry to load anyway. But sometimes I'm too fast at unloading through the bore! LOL
     
  13. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    My Dad had one too. He had his Re-Blued and it came out Beautiful .Just make sure to have a competent gun smith do it!!!
     
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  14. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Sure thing. Just watched Art's video and now I'm thinking about sending it to him for a complete overhaul.
     
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  15. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Next question -

    Would you just hunt with this full choke barrel and keep it as-is, or would you try and find extra barrels for it?

    I honestly don't do that much shotgun hunting, but I used to. However with this in my collection, I can see myself doing more bird hunting.
     
  16. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Full Choke 16 gauge has always been my Favorite hunting set up.
     
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  17. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I think it will fill a niche for me. I have an O/U 20 gauge for dove already. I think this gun will work for all my bigger birds.
     
  18. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Do you enjoy any clay games? IC for Skeet, and I understand it’s good for upland bird hunting. If you plan on hunting waterfowl, be advised that your Belgian barrel isn’t safe for steel shot.
     
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  19. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Roger that. I don't shoot clay much, but I might when I retire. I figured no steel in that barrel, but for turkey and upland birds it should work fine. If I decide to waterfowl hunt with it, I can find another barrel.

    This thing balances and feels much like my Winchester 94 - another of Browning's masterpieces that stood the test of time.
     
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  20. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Very sorry to hear about your Dad, but glad you have such a great heirloom from him. Beautiful gun!
     
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  21. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Most Certainly It will.
     
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  22. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Is the barrel thick enough to have it threaded for choke tubes?
     
  23. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Check with Briley I am sure they can thread it if anyone can. If it was mine I would leave it alone. I killed a ton of Pheasant, Squirels, and Rabbits with my 16 gauge full Choke. Actually it was an H&R single shot. Would shoot a mile. Best hunting gun I ever Owned. If I had your gun I would use it primarily for hunting and it would probably do fine for Trap as well. It will also shoot slugs and buckshot very well. And No it will not hurt the Barrels Full choke to shoot slugs out of it.
     
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