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  • .22 Browning semi-auto--need advice

    Last week I was given a .22 Browning semi-auto by my brother-in-law that he purchased in 1959. My guess is that it has not been fired in about 45 years, but is in almost new condition. I tried to take the barrel off to clean it, but cannot move the barrel lock enough to do that. I took it to a local gun shop and they finally were able to move the lock sufficiently, but I still have problems with it. They suggested I give it to their gunsmith for a complete check-out and cleaning, perhaps filing the lock to make it move more easily. Cost would be $75. Is this something I should do, or do you have any suggestions how I might do this myself?

  • #2
    Browning 22

    401,
    Congratulations....That's a great little 22....I bought mine in the 60s.....

    To disassemble the barrel from action the breech block must be held back a bit also.....they should be tight....perhaps a few drops of Kroil would help....it's available at Jackovich Tractor....the rest of the rifle is very easy to disassmble and clean.....good luck....I would also suggest you find a copy of NRA Firearms Assembly #3.....

    Vern

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    • #3
      .22 Browning semi-auto

      Let a smith do it. If the Browning, which is a Belgian made from that time period, is in good shape generally, it is well worth spending the $75.00, IF the smith knows what he's doing.

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      • #4
        The .22 is in excellent condition--no rust anywhere, including the barrel. There are a couple of minor creases in the stock where it has rubbed against something, otherwise like new. The gun shop did tell me that the stock has been refinished--now an oil finish, and they said it originally would have been polyurethane. That may hurt value but the wood looks really nice. Thanks for the help, guys.

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        • #5
          I owned one of these .22s. Bought new in `68. Traded it for a Browning Challenger. They are nice guns.

          Are you planning to shoot this rifle? $75 is one helluva price to lube the takedown lock and clean/oil the action. I would also be concerned about the `smith's remark that the stock has been refinished. I am pretty sure that Browning was not using poly finishes in the `50's.

          You might contact Browning and see if they have a local servicing gunsmith; maybe put a little 3-in-one oil on the metal and let it sit a few days. I don't think I would spend money "fixing" the gun. You got a really nice gift and heirloom. If you want one of these to shoot, buy a jap-made one or a norinco and put your gift away for posterity. If the gun is in pristine almost unfired condition, it might easily sell to a collector for a couple thousand dollars. Let that person "fix" it.

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          • #6
            I'll give lester a second on his good advice!

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            • #7
              .22 Browning rifle

              If you can find someone who would pay a "couple thousand" for a gun worth (if it is the plain Grade I) $350-425, go get 'em, Bro'.
              The man said he was still having problems with it after he got the barrel off. If he is not familiar with the gun, maybe spending the huge sum of $75.00 on a gun he got for free, to make sure it is properly functioning, isn't too bad an idea, but, that's just me.

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              • #8
                mauserboy,

                Maybe I missed something, but Hunter401 said he couldn't get the barrel release lock to function; not that he had any functioning problem with the rifle.

                Maybe you don't know that any Belgian-made Browning product carries heavy premium over the Japanes made same examples, but they do. Kind of like German made Weatherby MarkV rifles versus the Jap made ones. I don't really know for a fact, but suspect that the Browning retail line of firearms only came into being during the `50's. The Browning 22 auto patent was originally a Remington product, just like the Auto 5 design. As patents expired or manufacturers retired the Browning models, FN was contracted to produce the guns.

                I am in a bit over my head making those statements,(I may very well be wrong), but I do not believe that any commercial firearms marked "Browning" were sold in USA or anywhere prior to maybe 1955, and actually, maybe even later.

                I would take time to investigate the serial number and potential collector value of any 100% pristing Belgian Browning, especially one purported to have been purchases in 1959. Check out that internet gun auction site, I forget the address, and see what early models of these rifles are advertised for. My 1984 Shooter's Bible shows that a price of $280 and by then I'm pretty sure they were being made in Japan.

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                • #9
                  Browning confusion

                  The Browning Belgian made Auto .22 was introduced in 1956 and was still being made in Belgium until the mid 1970s when FN and Miroku acquired 90% of Browning. The Remington Model 11 was made under license from FN in 1905, who had been making the Browning designed Auto 5 since about 1903. Remington actually made the Model 11 for Browning during the early years of WWII when Belgian factories came under German domination. Browning renewed manufacture around 1946. Browning originally tried to sell the Auto 5 design to an American company, including Winchester, who weren't interested. Remington made the Model 11 until about 1950 when the Model 11-48 was introduced, forerunner of the Model 1100 and 11-87. The Browning Sweet Sixteen Auto 5 was introduced in 1936. The Auto 5 which was discontinued in 1998 went to Miroku manufacture around 1986.
                  You will find that the higher priced Browning Auto .22s, the ones for $1000.00 or more, are either the higher grade VI or VII which have engraving and gold inlaying and presentation or exhibition grade wood. The more unique or earlier grade Grade Is, such as mid to early fifties can command $500 to $700 depending on their condition and uniqueness, such as the .22 short only models. BUT, a standard grade I in 90-95% is generally what I stated in my earlier posting. I had experience with the .22Auto when I had my own firearms dealership a few years back and in my own personal experience since, and in the firearms dealership I currently work part-time in. Seems I can't keep away. I have always felt that if someone is unsure of a mechanism, be it a gun, car, motorcycle, etc. including myself, it is better to let someone who is [hopefully] properly trained to first check things out and okay the mechanism for use. It was stated that the gun hadn't been fired for many years. But, perhaps my 35-40 years of firearms experience has got me confused these days. You never know.

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                  • #10
                    Mauserboy,

                    Thanks for posting the info.

                    You never know what a special gun will bring. These little browning autos are great carrying rifles, fast to handle, easy to pack in a grip valise. Maybe you recall those medium to large big opening leather bags that could tote a lot of gear for the upscale outdoorsman. Like the leather mutton lined takedown shotgun cases and saddle scabbards.

                    My point is, not many of those rifles are going to be "pristine". You said "introduced in 1956". One of these in 3rd year of production in 100% cosmetic condition is something for a real fancier to consider. Collectible guns never seem to take a downturn. There just aren't that many.

                    Actually, I am not that enamored of the little Browning. 11 shots, the butt mounted tube and the lockup that was never too rigid made most of these also rans in the accuracy dept. Super nice plinkers, that's what they are to me. A good .22 for a girl or the wife.

                    From what I have seen collector guns sell for in Big Cities, I would suspect that a 3rd year specimen in pristine codition would have a tag of at least double what Gun Taders Guide posts. There is a heckuva difference between what a gun dealer will pay an owner and what a collector will pay an owner.

                    I regularly see Remington Nylon 66's and 10c's going for $250 or more in well-used condition.

                    I never owned or worked in a gunshop. I do know there are a lot of hack gunsmiths out there. Before I let anyone work on this gun, were it mine, I think I would see what other similar specimens, if there are any for sale right now, were ticketed at. Then I might inquire with a Collector Firearm dealer and see if they could do a ballpark appraisal based on digital pix. I would also wade through the 25 pages of listings on gunsamerica.com.
                    Seems that about $500 is the going price for the new Japanese rifles, maybe more in non-internet venues. How much do they go for new "up here"?

                    Good luck to hunter401 with his new rifle!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This was an old post of mine, but in case anyone is interested, I have a bit of information on the market for the Belgium-made Browning .22 semi-auto. I was at a gun show in North Carolina two weeks ago (January 18, 2009) and one booth had three Brownings. One was in excellent condition (Belgium, asking price $1150), one in good condition (Belgium, asking $950), and one in good condition (Japan, asking $300). This was at noon on the second and last day of the show--when I arrived. When I left at 3 p.m. I went by the booth again and both the Belgium-made .22s were gone, presumably sold. I checked the whole booth and did not see them in other racks. This does not confirm an actual sales price, but one would expect it to be not too much below the asking prices.

                      I was looking for an inexpensive .22 to which I could add a scope to take care of some nuisance squirrels, but found prices high, or at least I thought so. One old 'something' single shot was $200, two Remingon model 514's were at $195 and $200, plus several Ruger 10/22's were $300 or more. I guess prices have not been hurt by the economy, and I think people are buying firearms like crazy these days. One booth had three clerks helping filling out forms for buyers of pistols.

                      Finally, I will shoot the Belgium .22 given to me, as well as my first .22, a Remington model 514, but only at the range or plinking ie not hunting. Meanwhile, until I find a .22 to purchase, I have borrowed my neighbor and hunting partner's Japanese-made Browning semi-auto with scope and am giving the squirrels a fit.

                      Again, thanks to all the posters.

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                      • #12
                        My dad had one of these.

                        While growing up I relished the opportunity to shoot his fine little semi-auto over my single shot 22. He went and gave the doggone thing to my little brother but I was happy getting his 20ga. auto 5. He about wore both guns out but they still work great!
                        If anything is going to happen, it'll happen out there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          F.N.Browning .22 Auto Take down

                          New Zealand Calling.
                          Long way from Alaska, but keen to get over there.
                          I purchased new one of these F.N. Brownings 22's and agree that they are a little inaccurate over 75 yards due to the "take down" section. However the rifle is in pristine condition without any serial numbers, except for a number 77705 on the underside of the barrel ..On top is engraved Fabrique Nationale D'ARMES DE GUERRE.HERSTAL-BELGIQUE.
                          Brownings Patent Depose. .22 Long rifle Smokeless.
                          Some other hieroglyphs which mean little to me. PV M ?:
                          I think I purchased it in 1956, but can't be sure.
                          The stock is highly polished varnish finish. Maybe polyeurothane.?
                          Worth keeping?
                          Hasn't been fired in anger for over 35 years.

                          Cheers,

                          Mike

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Browning Standard Auto

                            I have one of these little rifles from the same era. Mine looked like it'd spent a few seasons inthe bottom of a canoe, however.
                            Often times, it's a LOT easier to remove the single screw holding the forend on, and removing the forend to get at the barrel lock. Nothing gets in the wood that way, and you can get a grip on the thing a little easier on the exposed sides with the wood gone.
                            Beautiful little rifles, and one in the condition described, even with the minor damage is a REAL treasure, and most likely worth paying for quality work. (heavy emphasis on QUALITY work).....
                            Have fun and enjoy that little beast! Just remember to keep an eye on the magazine tube!!
                            Mine has an annoying habit of sliding out and disappearing in the brush!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hunter401 View Post
                              This was an old post of mine, but in case anyone is interested, I have a bit of information on the market for the Belgium-made Browning .22 semi-auto. I was at a gun show in North Carolina two weeks ago (January 18, 2009) and one booth had three Brownings. One was in excellent condition (Belgium, asking price $1150), one in good condition (Belgium, asking $950), and one in good condition (Japan, asking $300). This was at noon on the second and last day of the show--when I arrived. When I left at 3 p.m. I went by the booth again and both the Belgium-made .22s were gone, presumably sold. I checked the whole booth and did not see them in other racks. This does not confirm an actual sales price, but one would expect it to be not too much below the asking prices.

                              I was looking for an inexpensive .22 to which I could add a scope to take care of some nuisance squirrels, but found prices high, or at least I thought so. One old 'something' single shot was $200, two Remingon model 514's were at $195 and $200, plus several Ruger 10/22's were $300 or more. I guess prices have not been hurt by the economy, and I think people are buying firearms like crazy these days. One booth had three clerks helping filling out forms for buyers of pistols.

                              Finally, I will shoot the Belgium .22 given to me, as well as my first .22, a Remington model 514, but only at the range or plinking ie not hunting. Meanwhile, until I find a .22 to purchase, I have borrowed my neighbor and hunting partner's Japanese-made Browning semi-auto with scope and am giving the squirrels a fit.

                              Again, thanks to all the posters.
                              I scored on a Belgium Browning .22 for $500 at an Ohio gun show after talking the guy down from $600 range. I love the little gun, and it was with box too.

                              Comment

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