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I am trying to find out a little bit more about this shotgun, it was presented to my grandpa in either 1969 1970 by (I believe) Ducks Unlimited. The serial really throws me off, the letters on in the serial are not listed on the site. I would really like to learn as much as I can about this gun, my family would like to know as well. If anyone can help me figure out if the scroll work is custom, what it might be worth, or just anything about it then I would be incredibly thankful for the help :)








 

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Greetings Narko:

I am quite confident I can tell you exactly what you have as I have several like kind guns. This is most probably a Browning Presentation Series gun made in 1977. This is denoted by the 9 digit serial number, (limited run, with P indicating the series and RR indicating the year), as opposed to the conventional 10 digit Browning serial number.

I need to check the serial number with my reference books to determining what grade of P Series this gun is and any distinguishing features to the model. However they are with a friend atm but you could assist me with what you have.

I need the following to confirm certain features as they will affect value significantly.

1: Thus far I count 5 raised gold inlays, 2 right -2 left and 1 bottom. Are there any more gold inlays on the trigger guard or tang?? (The waterfowl mallard series issued 1981, came in a walnut box has 7 gold inlays but I believe never came standard in two-barrel sets, only 3 barrel. The date on the serial number also does not correspond with the year the waterfowl series were made)

2: Gauges of barrels and length and please check choke as in Mod over IC? One looks like a 20 or 28 gauge. I cant tell if this is a 12/20 set or a 20/28 set or 28/410 set.

3: Very Important - Signature of Engraver, (found on left side of receiver bottom right.) It looks like it could be J. Baerten who was a Browning master engraver.

4: PLEASE... Very Important - check serial numbers on both barrel sets... do they match?

5: There were two types of grips. The Round Knob and the Flat Knob which is yours. It appears to be a short tang. Does the trigger guard metal extend down the bottom grip?

The Barrel address on the left side of the barrels. I can further confirm when it was manufactured with this

The presentation series P1 tp P4 varies widely in value. I don't want to render a value without knowing the above.

I sincerely doubt Ducks Unlimited is anywhere on the gun, but check anyway. If this was a gift from DU it was probably for an endowment, contribution or for service to DU. DU did hold auctions at annual/ event dinners for fund raising.

HoJo
 

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It's definitely a presentation grade, as opposed to grade1, pigeon, pointer, diana or midas. The problem is there were multiple presentation grades which were numbered one through four or five with all sorts of options and possible variations.

Browning also did special runs, which is what I think you have. The fact that it has waterfowl on both sides of the receiver, as opposed to waterfowl on one side and a pheasant, or any other upland bird on the other, makes me think you have a limited run waterfowl gun, possibly built specifically for Duck's Unlimited. Browning did several special waterfowl editions over the years.

I called Browning (I'm a shotgun nut and I was dying to know more a bout your gun) and the historian is out today. He's the only one who can tell you exactly what it is and when it was made. I will tell you this though...I also have an RR serial number gun and I believe yours was made in 1977. The historian can verify that though.

The person I talked to also said she's already received two other calls specific to your serial number so it looks like it's generating a lot of interest. I can tell you this...I believe what you have is going to be valuable. I would guess in the 3-5K range (or more).

Apologies to HoJo for duplicating some of his post. Didn't even realize he had posted until I hit submit.
 

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Hey Zanth:

Yeah, I gave Glen a ring at Browning and he is out for the day. And I called Art Isaacson at Arts Gun shop and then Rod Fuller.

Yes, this is either a Presentation Grade w/gold inlays or a special run gun.

If a P series I'm inclined to think this is a P2... why?

On all P1s I've seen, the engraving is not as deep and the inlays not as large or high relief.

Many of the P2s Ive seen show similar relief/depth of engraving. Buyer had a choice of gold inlay scenes which appear similarly placed. I am of the belief a presentation box was available as an option.

My P3 Funken and of the 8 or so P3s Ive seen, they have similarly placed inlays and scrolling but there is significant gold bordering/lining. But this gun being a P3 is still a possibility

Its not a P4 as this model had side plates.

The P series ran from '77 to '84. Inclusive was special order/ custom order/special run guns based on engraving, inlays, wood grade, and wood carving and wood finish. This has several premiums going got it.

Field Gun - one bead, no pad, hard rubber butt plate, wildlife gold inlays.
Multiple barrels - check gauges and see if any are 3" chambers. If so you might add P2M or P3M to the P series designation as "M" for magnum, (3" chambers.)

Master engraver?

Jose Baerten engraved for FN from 1955-to-1987 and held the title Master Engraver. Baerten was highly regarded for his wide range of styles and gold inlay work. There are photos of his work in Ned Schwing's book "The Browning Superposed". Be prepared to fork out $250 for this book... which is why mine is always borrowed.

Some engravers are considered by collectors to be superior to others. Superposed guns engraved by Vrancken, Watrin, Baerten, Funken, Bee and others will bring a premium over lesser known engravers. Even the master engravers had apprentices whom in some instances did the engraving with the Master touching up and signing his name. But these are on commercial grade superposed guns such as the Diana and Midas.

As mentioned , the "P" series denotes presentation grade guns. A total of 1488 were produced in various gauges. These were available as P-1, P-2, P-3, and P-4. A P-1 is the lowest level with P-4 being the most elaborate and costly. Of 12 gauge lightnings, only 117 P-1's were produced. There were 54-P2's, 28-P3's, and 20-P4's for a grand total of 219 (12ga) Lightnings produced.

Once I have the particulars I asked for I can give you a more precise value. The market is not as strong as it was say 2004-2008, but this is without doubt a fine collector's gun.

HoJo
 

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Hojo your knowledge of firearms never ceases to amaze me. And it's also nice to find a fellow Browning doubles fan. :D

And PS - I can't wait to see what you think this is worth. I think I was way off. Based on what you posted about total numbers produced and based on what I'm seeing on gunsinternational.com...his set will probably be in the 5 digit range. I had no idea they made so few 12 gauges. GI has a really nice pointer grade 2 barrel 12ga set listed right now at $8500 and some P2s in the 10-12 range.
 

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Thanks Xanth:

I had a fortunate rearing in boarding school where by in fall it was skeet and trap, winter was rifle and pistol, and in spring skeet and trap again. I was blessed with shooting superposed shotguns from an early age.

And please, don't let my head get too big. I'm known for my "epic phails" on occasion, even here. I'm thankful we have a great community here at SC. This is not a SC "mos" gun, but for our shooters here, we have an opportunity to see an extraordinary firearm. I might add fine shotguns are exceptional investments, especially given the current economy and Monetary/Fiscal policies.

While I don't shoot Brownings in competitions, the Superposed guns are without doubt some of the finest made. The Diana grade has always been my favorite. They may not be as "bespoke" as the Perazzis', Fabris', Holland & Hollands', Kreighoffs', Gambas', Kolars', or European guild house guns, but the Brownings are and always will be, a legend in their own right. No shotgun collection is complete without a Browning Superposed.

Without my books on hand I had a Homer Simpson "DOH" moment.

After the RR coded guns, (first year 1977) the P1s and P2s were acid etched and then carved over. This is why I thought it couldn't be a P1 at first. As such, the master engravers refused to sign these acid etched guns. However, all the P series RR guns were fully engraved. Hence, there is still the possibility this could be a P1 series gun as they were available with gold inlays.

In terms of value you're getting close. The second set of barrels, if a matching serial # could be worth $2,500 to $3,500 alone. If just another barrel with separate serial #, maybe $1,500-$2,000, (but highly depends on gauge and chamber.) If this is a 20/28 set, add at least 50% to base value, and if a 28/410 on a 20 ga. frame - add 75%. The box, if a registered option, could add at least another $1,000. Obviously, the engraver will play a very large part in value, which could put it over the top.

Just as a P series fully engraved gun, minimum value would be $7,000 -$9,000, (if only 12 ga.) just for the gun and one set of barrels. The condition looks 100% and doesn't even appear to have been put together. This could be another $1,000 to $3,000 condition premium.

Four years ago, guns such as this might command $25k plus. However, given the current economy, a $15k appraisal might be more realistic. Again it will all depend on registered features and engraver.

His best prospect if he wishes to sell this gun is at a bespoke gun auction. I can definitely see this set as a highly contested item. A dealer I think would perhaps offer 60% to 75% of value and a collector 80%+. His other option is to create a web page with a firm price based upon certified appraisal.

Narko contacted me a year ago about this gun. When he mentioned Duck's Unlimited, I was kind of skeptical. I've participated in many DU sporting clays, skeet and trap events and at best thought this might be a Grade 6 Citori. Now DU does hold annual banquets, auctions, and awards, but I never have seen a set such as this. Of course, it could have been a gift for an endowment or service to DU.

Admittedly, I'm just as excited as you just to see this. This is history, and yet, another universal truth underpinning Epic Goodness. I bet Fluffy is pulling her hair out.

HoJo
 

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I'm actually quite delighted with this thread. I like to think that I helped raise the tenor of this place and it is exciting to see the appreciation of fine weaponry.

Of course I'm still stuck with a cheapskate who refuses to buy me a Merkel.
 

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Hojo - I've always drooled over the diana grade guns as well. I've seen a few pointer grades up close and they're quite beautiful. I tend to hunt all my doubles so I've always been hesitant to drop that kind of money into one. However, I am seriously considering tracking down one of the BSS sidelock grade II's. I've always wanted one of those. Mainly because you rarely see them.

Fluffy - The Merkel's have always been on my wish list too. If we're handing them out I'll take a 280SL.
 

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Greetings Narko:

I am quite confident I can tell you exactly what you have as I have several like kind guns. This is most probably a Browning Presentation Series gun made in 1977. This is denoted by the 9 digit serial number, (limited run, with P indicating the series and RR indicating the year), as opposed to the conventional 10 digit Browning serial number.

I need to check the serial number with my reference books to determining what grade of P Series this gun is and any distinguishing features to the model. However they are with a friend atm but you could assist me with what you have.

I need the following to confirm certain features as they will affect value significantly.

1: Thus far I count 5 raised gold inlays, 2 right -2 left and 1 bottom. Are there any more gold inlays on the trigger guard or tang?? (The waterfowl mallard series issued 1981, came in a walnut box has 7 gold inlays but I believe never came standard in two-barrel sets, only 3 barrel. The date on the serial number also does not correspond with the year the waterfowl series were made)

2: Gauges of barrels and length and please check choke as in Mod over IC? One looks like a 20 or 28 gauge. I cant tell if this is a 12/20 set or a 20/28 set or 28/410 set.

3: Very Important - Signature of Engraver, (found on left side of receiver bottom right.) It looks like it could be J. Baerten who was a Browning master engraver.

4: PLEASE... Very Important - check serial numbers on both barrel sets... do they match?

5: There were two types of grips. The Round Knob and the Flat Knob which is yours. It appears to be a short tang. Does the trigger guard metal extend down the bottom grip?

The Barrel address on the left side of the barrels. I can further confirm when it was manufactured with this

The presentation series P1 tp P4 varies widely in value. I don't want to render a value without knowing the above.

I sincerely doubt Ducks Unlimited is anywhere on the gun, but check anyway. If this was a gift from DU it was probably for an endowment, contribution or for service to DU. DU did hold auctions at annual/ event dinners for fund raising.

HoJo
Sorry I tried to send you a private message but the site would not let me. Not even sure this sill work.

HonestJohn,

You seem to know mush about Browning superposed shotguns. I would respectfully like to ask for help in the ID of a superposed shotgun I own.

Sorry I have never used this forum before and still learning my way around so if you would like to email me I have several up close pictures I could send or I could try to upload here.
If you respond how am I notified? Well I will figure it out.

I have been to two gun stores and one expert who have been unable to ID. I sent pictures to Browning with the same results other than to send them money to research the archives.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks
Terry
 
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