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Browning Light 12 - any good?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by rick_reno, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. Jazzyla

    Jazzyla Member

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  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    With that huge humpback, no rib and a polychoke? No.

    With a modern rib, modern chokes, and a less drastic geometry, but the prince-of-wales stock and the same checkering design? Yes.:)

    http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=020B&cat_id=011&type_id=368

    [​IMG]

    It's gas-operated, self-compensating for light or heavy loads, and it doesn't dance a jig every time you pull the trigger.

    If you want a long-recoil gun, Franchi still makes them, but again, with more user-friendly geometry, and a rib.

    http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/48al.php
     
  3. orphanedcowboy

    orphanedcowboy Member

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    I like to dance a jig, besides I prefer mine to go boom each time I pull the trigger.

    You can still find them, and they will outlast any modern gun you can buy new.
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Me, too.

    There are other guns that will do that quite well. This isn't 1948.:)
     
  5. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    My 1911s, Bhps and my Glocks all dance a jig when I shoot them, maybe I should get rid of them and get one of them waltzing revolvers. :rolleyes:
     
  6. orphanedcowboy

    orphanedcowboy Member

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    And it is a shame too! :mad:
     
  7. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I have both Auto5s and 48ALs. I like both very much, but they are different beasts.

    The Auto5 has features that I like, such as the post-war Speed Load capability and oversize cross-bolt safety, that the 48AL does not have. On the other hand, the 48AL is slightly easier to strip, is lighter and trimmer due to its aluminum receiver, and can be bought (at least in the smaller gauges) for far less than a comparable Auto5. The 48AL also has some features that are kinda goofy, like operating the shell release latches off the barrel and not off the bolt (meaning that you can't empty the magazine by cycling the action), and having the bolt release on the left side of the receiver.

    In the end, some folk don't like the long-recoil action - ArmedBear, you are clearly one of 'em. :) I don't find the shooting experience of the long recoil action to be markedly different from that of my other autoloaders (Winchesters and Remingtons, mostly), but I do feel that the Auto5 has a far greater longevity than other gas-loaders.

    It's funny how many gas-loaders I pick up these days that simply don't 'balance right' compared to a long-recoil design. Some do, but many feel overly thick and front-heavy in the off hand (not in the barrel) when compared to a Light12 with a longish non-vent rib barrel....
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I'm with you there, as well.

    Lots of shotguns suck, and suckiness is overrepresented in semiautos. The Auto 5 just isn't the only one that doesn't.:)

    (Yes, some Browning gas guns tend to be some of the worst offenders in the "muzzle-heavy slug" category, though I haven't tried a Silver yet -- the similar SX3 does feel quite good. Fortunately, there's life beyond Browning. It's all sunshine and rainbows out here, I promise.:D And Browning probably shouldn't have dumped the Auto 5 until they had something else that was at least its equal in the handling department.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  9. Daniel B

    Daniel B Member

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    I have my grandad's light twelve in the save. Great gun. its fitted with a vented recoil pad that makes the only bad thing about taking it into the field the weight.

    Unfortunately it isn't a safe queen. It has been a working gun since the day it was purchased in 53. The stock has some wear to it. The finish is worn in a few places. But load it up and pull the trigger it will still go bang every time.

    I tore it down last year for a good deep cleaning. I doubt it had ever been taken down further than removing the barrel for cleaning.

    Great guns. Not as preferred to use as the newer LIGHTER guns currently produced. But who cares. 66 years of use and can still knock just about any bird out of the air.
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    ...but as rbernie notes, there are many current guns that are neither lighter, nor preferable...

    And I'm not even an Auto 5 afficianado.
     
  11. xmanpike

    xmanpike Member

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    I have one that was my great grandfathers and I believe was made in 1931 FN factory in Belgium prior to the Nazi's bombing it. It has original barrel, stock, and forearm. Recently replaced the friction rings and hunted it last weekend for dove in Uvalde, TX Shot my limit Saturday despite torrential pouring of rain. Great gun.
     
  12. HaZnavy

    HaZnavy Member

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    Need Ages for Browning Light 12's

    I have just inherited my fathers Belgium Browning Light 12 (#68G35388) and a Japanese Light 12 (#3G3662) and need an age for insurance purposes.

    If I understand the aging process correctly, the Belgium is a 1968 Model and the Japanese is a 1963 model but just need confirmation from the experts.

    Thank you.

    Tod
     
  13. orphanedcowboy

    orphanedcowboy Member

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    They are both Belgium guns, if the 3G gun has a Japanese barrel, someone added it.

    This gun was actually made in 1963 based on the 3G serial. If the 3G gun has a Japanese barrel, someone added it.

    The 68G gun is a 1968 model


    They started with the #G/M/V style serial designations in March 1958.

    Example:

    Light 12
    8G = 1958
    9G = 1959
    ect.

    Standard 12
    8M = 1958
    9M = 1959
    ect.

    Magnum 12
    8V = 1958
    9V = 1959
    ect.

    and in 1968 they went to a 2 digit year code, 68, 69, ect until the end of Belgian production in 1976.

    This info is directly out of the Shirley and Vanderlinden book, Browning Auto 5 Shotguns, The Belgian FN Production.
     
  14. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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  15. HaZnavy

    HaZnavy Member

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    Orphanedcowboy and rbernie...thank you very much.

    Tod
     
  16. scurbo

    scurbo Member

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    Browning Light Twelve Question

    Orphaned Cowboy. I'm hoping a Tarrant County neighbor can help me identify the year a shotgun was made and what it may be worth (ballpark). Browning Light Twelve - Belgium made. Serial # 37677. It is in immaculate shape. The shotgun belonged to my girl-type-friend's father who passed away last fall. I would like to buy the shotgun from her but want to know what I'm stepping off into.
    Thanks, tuffy d.
     
  17. orphanedcowboy

    orphanedcowboy Member

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    If that is all of the serial # it was made in the last half of 1912. Are there any other letters or digits? Are the screws serial numbered to match? What about the barrel? Wood? Pictures would be a huge help in given a ballpark figure/value.

    I sent you a PM with my cell phone number, give me a shout and I will take a look at it for you.
     
  18. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    Is it just me?

    Even though my eyes and reflexes have been meandering in a southerly direction over the last decade, I occasionally still manage a respectable score on the skeet field and in the game fields.

    However, I have never been able to shoot the Humpback with any consistency at all. For some reason when I shoot low gun (international skeet and in the field) and mount the gun to my shoulder my eye seems to focus on the back of the hump and before I get back on track the target/bird is no longer presenting a reasonable shot.

    Is this just a mental block for me or do other shooters experience the same thing? :confused:
     
  19. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

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    I had a light 12 and it was a caddy of a gun,only dont try to shooot buckhammer remingtons,more like hunter hammer!
     
  20. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I've never had this issue. I also keep both eyes open when mounting the shotgun, and that helps keep me focused on the target.
     
  21. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    No can do. I wear contacts with a mono-vision prescription. This allows me to see relatively near and far without wearing bi-focal glasses or expensive bi-focal contacts that didn't work for me. Most folks can adapt to this prescription, but not everyone. My right eye, my master eye, is set at a focal distance to see the front sight of my pistol the clearest and almost equally clear, the rib and both beads on my shotguns. My left eye is set for distance.

    If I keep both eyes open and I shift my focus to the target my left eye takes over resulting in shooting behind a left-to-right crossing target and ahead of a right-to-left crossing target.

    The downside to this is that the clay target is never really clear when I see it with my master eye, but I've learned to live with it and it doesn't appear to cause me a problem discerning leads. However, for pistol work with open sights it is a great benefit because it just about forces you, at least me, to maintain a focus on the front sight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  22. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I am set for monovision via surgery, but I had my left eye set for close up and my right eye set up for distance. :)
     
  23. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    Sure hope you're a lefty!

    I almost never notice the rather large difference (There is a limit the number of diopters for it to work.) in focal distances - it's just that automatic and I never cease to be amazed at the function of the human brain. Notwithstanding the current political climate! :D

    I might mention one other downside. I'm a former Marine pilot (C-123, C-130 and U-10A) as well as a current General Aviation pilot. I've noticed that when depth perception is really critical, especially on landing, that there has been a problem with the alternating focus (I am not aware of it while it's happening, but the results are obvious.) as my eyes pick out certain reference points. Not a hazard with most tricycle gear airplanes where you are mostly looking over the nose, but in some tailwheel airplanes that require a real high nose attitude you are forced to look on either side for reference it becomes a critical problem. It is solvable - I have special prescription bifocals I put on over my contacts when I'm in landing mode. You might find some parallels like this in some of the specialized things that you do.


    I wish you a successful outcome on your surgery. BTW, if you haven't been warned about aspirin and other drugs that affect platelet aggregation you should have a talk with your surgeon - very important in eye surgery if you want to minimize floaters!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  24. GooMan

    GooMan Member

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    In 1971 my dad and grandfather each bought a brand new Belgium made Light 12. My dad hunted with his the rest of his life but its still in good shape. My grandfather took his hunting a few times and just didn't like it so it stayed wrapped up for years until I got it and it is almost perfect. Since I got my grandfather's my dad bought my brother one made in the late 60s some years back. I love them and love to shoot them. We have all 3 of them in a safe but honestly don't shoot them that much anymore.
     
  25. Jerry68

    Jerry68 Member

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    I have a Browning Light 12 that my Grandfather purchased new in 1953. This gun has not missed a single duck, pheasant or deer hunting season since it was purchased. Say what you will, but I have seen a lot of newer semi shotguns turn into single shots in a muddy goose field, and more than one SBE go belly up in a duck blind, but am hard pressed to remember my A5 failing to go bang and cycle... YMMV.
     
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