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April 15, 2008

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Bourjaily: What Guns Should Browning Make?

A guest post from Shooting Editor and Shotguns Columnist Phil Bourjaily.

Last week I was lucky enough to travel to Japan with three of my gun-writing colleagues to visit the Miroku factory, which has made Browning guns since 1966. It was an eye-opening experience which I’ll be recounting in an upcoming Shotguns department. After we toured the plant, the Miroku brass gathered us in a conference room and asked “What guns should we make?” Because they thought we were firearms experts, and because they are very polite people, they carefully wrote down everything we told them. We had a lot to say, much of which, if the Japanese know what’s good for them, they will consign immediately to the Miroku shredder.

So let me put the same question to you Gun Nuts, who are the real gun buying public and therefore the experts whose opinions matter: what guns would like to see Browning make? Should they revive the A-5?  How about the A-Bolt shotgun? Or, is there something new you’d like to see come out of the Miroku factory?

Here’s your chance to be heard. Make some noise.


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Gregg Zarnstorff

A lot of good comments.... but I think Browning and other gun companies need to look to the current trends in the market and to consider how older models can fit in todays market.

While the A5 was popluar and has the cult following, what is needed to reintroduce it is to put together a Small Frame A5 for 28 gauge and .410. Anyone having a collection of A5's, would HAVE to buy a small Frame or 2 and Browning wouldn't have to compete with Benelli or it's own used guns on the market.

The ABolt slug gun was a decade ahead of slug development when it was first introduced and needs to be re-introduced in 20 gauge, then 12 gauge.

.22's will be more popular in the next 5 years, given the dramatic rise in cost of ammunition. Any new .22 rifle will need to be adaptable and versatile. The BuckMark rifle needs to be replaced with something that's more accurate and have a solid receiver.

A HiPower .22 Pistol with adjustable sights. A HiPower 9mm/40 S&W in titanium.

Bring back the BDA in .380 in both a double stack and single stack version with the trend in CCW.

I beleive we will see a resurgence in reloading with the price of ammo, and with a trend to smaller calibers and guages that use less lead,less brass, less powder for less enxpensive shooting.

The Miroku limited editions still have life in them, but I'd do it under the Winchester brand. Again, I'd go to the smaller calibers like model 92's in .32-20 or .357/.38 special.

A low-wall 1885 in the new .327 Federal cartridge would be very versatile with the choice of 4 different cartridges- 32S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Mag; .327 Federal.

WIth the 100th Anniversary of the 1911 approaching, it is only fitting that Browning introduces a Limited Edition copy of the original spec. WOW.

That' enough for now.


The BT-100 in stainless. Used models are in the $2k range in trapshooting circles. Current BT-99's should have the entire trigger assembly be removable just like the 100 did.

Joe Nordin

I'm going to follow the crowd and say they should immediately begin producing a mass wave of A-5 Sweet 16's. Also, I would like to see them make a decent bargain bolt gun and follow suit to the Marlin's XL-7 and Remington's 770. I think that they should also make their bolt rifles (the A Bolt and my fantisized cheap gun for a poor student like me) available in the wonderful .35 Whelen cartridge. It was huge in sales for Remington and I think if they were to make an inexpensive (around 500 bucks) .35 whelen, it would be huge sales or at least I would buy one hahaha.



Dr. Ralph

How about their semi auto .22 in .22 WMR, or at least the lever action in WMR? The A-5 is ugly... don't get me wrong I own a Belgian humpback but don't think it would be successful now, and yes the Super Black Eagles work but are way overpriced.


I am sorry I have not had time to read all of these great suggestions. I have been in the turkey woods, returning home from church and cleaning my rifles along with writing my junior senator. Anyway here is my suggestion. The future of the small gauges, 410, 28 and 20 does not look good as more and more areas demand the use of non-toxic shot. Browning should link up with Winchester Ammo and develop a 3 inch non-toxic 16 gauge shell. It would work in many of the fine SXSs and other guns mentioned above, especially a "new" Sweet 16 A5. Not everyone wants to shoot a 12 and I think a new 16 gauge chambering would be great in the uplands that must remain "lead free". I am sorry if some one has already posted this concept but I need to write that senator again.

Dr. Ralph

W-15... need I say more? Blackriflemania is alive and well and living in the woods somewhere near Columbia, South Carolina. Those boys (FN) are already making M-16's they might as well stamp Winchester on the side of one without a selector switch and get in the game. Tell the Miroku's they owe me...


Yes it's true, the 6.5x55
is no PUNK!

I have a
Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Serial # 12xxx 16 inch barrel and I love it!

Clay Cooper

Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Serial # 126xx I have , I've won a many turkey shoots!

Mountain Man

Never owned Browning period.I always thought they were to$$$ for me. I have always used Remington till lat 2ys and they bought out several Co's and made cheap firearms. Saw today, that they are bringing out a Dble sx srifle in 30-06 and 45/70 at about 900.00. They bought EAA acouple years ago, and UAA sold teh gun for less than l/2 of what Rem is asking. I will stick with USA made gun now. Just got my MArlin XL7 and love it. It will shoot as well at 150 yds as my REM 700 CDl will at 200 yds, but teh 700 has a 24" bbland teh MArlin has a 22.In time, with much pratice adn several round run th the MArlin I expect i to improve. So let Browning continue t make the high $ cheap stuff and I will buy USA until it comes to scopes, bincs, thenI ill go with Nikon as mid range in 4 and bet optics I ever looked thru for hours. I got all the guns I need now, just need oppotnity to use them and go hunting more. When Bush sends me that gold mine, will book hunts in all states. We as huntes,better help our USA Co's make it, or we only will have the China junk to buy soon. O, I live in a small town,and yes, most of us have guns and go to church, so RAmbo better get off the small time stats if he plans to make it to Denver.Denver, Co. is a hunting State, be to bad if someone mis-took him for a ELK?????. If one of teh other two make it, they want have time to wry about guns, they will be busy cleaning up the mess we go now.GAs at 4 Bucks a gallon. Bring on the Beef and tators, can keepa cow wher I live adn go space fr a tator/bean patch. Also, may kill a few deer to mix with the beef on Sunday Lunch.I've heard about enough about the Dems taking our guns away,sounds as if the Elephant is way ahead of them now. What are the small towns to do with out guns, with no law inforcement near by? Protect ourselves with our guns is our only choice. Load um up and heard un out. Shoot straight and save ammo.Keep a good supply on hand. Plus lots of wood, l/2 gallon Jars at the Still and copper tubing.Yep,Jack Daniels is made in a Dry County. But good old Moon-shine is made near by, no label, but taste great.Hey, if that Jack-Ass comes this way, will get a cup of shine and see my shot-gun in my truck, and my 38 in my bibs.

Winchester 70

Abolt Stainless in 338-06.


The problem with choke tubes in a double is they add weight out front and throw the balance of the weapon off. They also require a thicker tube which takes away from the aesthetic lines of a fine double. The real issue is that the Japanese don't know how to produce a classically choked double.

I may be wrong on this but I think Miroku only does shotguns for Browning; FN in Belgium and South Carolina USA produces rifles and handguns with the Browning label.


How about if, maybe, Browning simply made available the stuff they advertise in their catalog? I was and AM quite enthused about the BLR Scout/Takedown, called my dealer to enquire about spending my hard earned dollars to put one in the safe only to discover that they, while advertised, are NOT really available. My dealer tells me this is not unusual for Browning. Don't tease me. If you put the pretty pictures in the catalog, put the pretty firearms in the BBT and send it off to my stocking dealer when I get the money. They don't need more/new/different/etc. Where's my BLR Takedown/Scout? Not available.

Cody B.

Bring back the BSS! The one that I had experience with was incredible. That gun would hold a pattern further than any shotgun I have every shot--and I've shot a lot!

John Baule

Good to know there are other shooters who have an affinity for the 16 gauge. Just heard the Browning is doing a production run of 16 gauge in their pump action shotgun, with a frame scaled for the gauge? If so, I'm interested. A Browning "highwall" in .30-40 Krag would get my attention. Bernie Kuntz, drop me a line at
[email protected] I'd enjoy hearing from you


If I were looking for a 'Survival gun' Browning would not be my choice anyway. Savage used to make the 24C .22 over 20 Gauge which fit the bill nicely. The piece of rot .22 over .410 so called survival gun currently produced isn't worth the powder to blow it to hell. I would like to see Savage reintroduce the 24C in .22 LR over 20 Gauge; you can actually aim it as a rifle and point it as a shotgun. The 24D I have in .22 Mag over 20 Gauge is a good second choice.

Hint a survival gun has to be able to hit what you want to eat; it also has to be with you when you need to survive. Browning did design what many feel is the ultimate survival gun -- the 1911 .45 ACP. You can have it with you when you need it and you can hit what you need to hit with it. Browning (FN)also makes the 'Hi-Power' which fills the bill. Going into a situation where you know ahead that you need to be prepared to survive a combination rifle/shotgun is a good choice. If you aren't going into the bush a sidearm is your likely option.

Hope this makes some sense.


I would love to see a BAR in


1. The Model 12 pump shotgun, built the old-fashioned way. Keep the safety in front of the trigger and the ability to keep your finger on the trigger to pump off rounds.

2. An field grade Citori with double triggers. Long have I pined for an old Superposed with double triggers, which I have been told exist but which I have yet to see.

Interesting ... just noticed an ad at the bottom of the page from the Sierra Club, for a sportmen's hunting photo contest. What's the scoop with the Sierra Club and hunting/fishing/conservation nowadays?


SD Bob, I don't understand the apparent fascination with high-gloss finishes. They look like the of faux-walnut paneling in a BMW. The fake wood stock on Beretta's Onyx Pro is a good example of poor taste. Are the people who buy these guns the same ones who have bobcats and coyotes laser-etched into their kitchen cabinet glass? That white onyx 20/26 with a satin finish and steel bead might be the prettiest and best shooting gun out there—or the Silver Pigeon, if you're the type who calls a tie a cravat. But lose the gold trigger, unless you've released a successful rap album.

And another thing: Why the hell are companies putting fiber-optic (read: plastic) beads on well-made over-unders? You can see them better? Yeah, and you can hit more ducks with a SBE.

Jim in Mo.

WA Mtn hunter, you said it man. I was ashamed after I made a suggestion and then thought about it. Phil B. and the boys got duped. THEY flew half way around the world so they could give the Japs. ideas how to make a product they could import into our country and take our money back home, for free. Mr.B's first suggestion should be to build a plant here and if they need to pick our brains he would be happy to offer suggestions for a nominal fee of course.
Those people are experts at stealing ways and means of doing things for years. Autos, Optiks etc.

Jim in Mo.

Dr. R,
Regarding your post at 9:05pm last night. PLEASE sell me your 'ugly' humpback. And I'm serious, they are beautiful.

norm klopfenstein

Lots of good suggestions,but did anyone add making a repro of the Winchester mod. 61 pump? If they can duplicate a mod 12 and a mod 52 and make money, surely they can do a 61. They are going for 800$ and up here in the Heartland in 90% or better.


Lightweight BLR with…

•Chambered in .308
•19 inch barrel
•Fiberglass Stock
•Stainless barrel with a matte low glare finish
•No gold trigger
•Optional 8 round magazine

If I could buy this rifle I would sell all the other ones except my .22

Mehul Kamdar

I have a mint Browning A 5 that I dearly love and I would buy a new one in whatever gauge it is made in a heartbeat. But the product that I hope FN-Browning would bring back most is their Mauser rifle - the Supreme / Olympian/ BMS or whatever they wish to call it. Yes, they do offer Dumoulin rifles through their custom shop but they are not the same as a true Browning Mauser sporter.

Del in KS

Last night I was talking to a hunting buddy up in Iowa about Brownings. Seems his father in law left him 2 very nice Belgian Auto 5's. A sweet 16 and a light 12. Both have vent ribs. They have been fired but not very much. He is thinking about selling them and wants to know what they are worth. Sold my last BB years ago. Any ballpark suggestions guys?

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