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November 18, 2008

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Bourjaily: The Ones That Got Away

Because my wife compulsively spends all our money on heat, electricity and similar luxuries (Do my kids really need new shoes? Couldn’t they just wear my old ones?), my gun fund is perennially tapped out. As a result, cool guns at great prices get away from me all the time. The latest was just last week. My local store took in a nice older 870 trap gun in excellent condition with well-figured wood and cut checkering. They priced it at $350. By the time I got home, figured out what gun I would trade for it and went back, it was gone.

Occasionally I get lucky. For years I was fascinated by the idea of the Browning Double Automatic. I wanted one desperately even though I had never actually seen one. In a stroke of serendipity, the same day I received a modest inheritance check, not one but two Double Autos magically appeared at my local store. I bought one of them, a Twelvette, loved it, shot a bunch of roosters with it, then foolishly sold it. Last year, I turned a windfall into an SKB 100 that I was able to grab before anyone else saw it.  At $500, it wouldn’t have sat unsold for more than a day or two.

All gun lovers have sob stories about the ones that got away. Share yours. It’s good therapy. On the other hand, if you’ve lucked into bargains on guns you always wanted and would like to tell us about it here, you can do that, too.


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WA Mtnhunter

Mr Bourjaily,

A while back you gave me some advice on the rubber o-ring recoil buffer in a old model Smith & Wesson 1000 autoloader.

I removed the old ring that was getting somewhat sticky (just like you said) and replaced it with a new "super recoil buffer" from Numrich Gun Parts that looks like it was made from the 7/8 radiator hose as you described!

That old Super 12 Waterfowler shoots well and has already accounted for some ducks and snow geese.

Thanks for your previous advice!

Any insight on a Browning 2000 with that odd left-side loading port similar to the Double Auto?

Phil Bourjaily

WA mtnhunter --
The B2000 was Browning's first gas gun, made from the early 70s to early 80s. It's got a humpback receiver and, as you mentioned, a loading port on the left side not unlike the Double Auto.
It was never a big seller for Browning, although it's a well-made gun and many people who own them like them. I've only shot one once, on a duck hunt in Arkansas years ago. It gave me no trouble and hit what I shot it at.
I'm glad your S&W is working for you.

WA Mtnhunter


My late father-in-law had a B2000 that is in my mother-in-law's possession. I clean and oil all his guns every few months and have for the last 7 years. I have thought about buying it from her at market value, but I'm sure she would give it to me if I asked.

I see them on the internet gun auctions, but know little about it other than it is in NIB condition and it has a fixed modified choke barrel. It certainly feels like a good upland bird gun (like this old waterfowler would know what a fine gun feels like!). There is also a pristine Browning Sweet Sixteen in there too.

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