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Old 09-19-2011, 06:33 PM
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Default A classic .22 auto rifle: the Browning!



I'm starting to put together an article on a rifle that's been around long enough to be called a classic - the Browning .22 Automatic. I thought you might be interested in some facts on this little rifle.

It was designed by John Browning and first marketed way back in 1914. Fabrique Nationale made them for the European market, and Remington sold them in this country as the Remington Model 24. Early models had a loading port in the top of the wrist of the stock; later models load through a port on the right hand side of the stock, near the center of mass of the stock. They've been made in both .22 LR and .22 Short. I remember shooting one as a gallery rifle at a state fair back when I was a kid in the '50s.

The Remington Model 24 was made in the U.S. from 1919 to 1935. FN started importing their version to the U.S. from Belgium in 1956, and continued to do so through 1974. Then in 1976, production was handed off to Miroku in Japan, and current manufacture still originates from there.

The little rifle is trim and smooth. It's a takedown design, easily disassembled into two parts without tools at the juncture of the barrel and receiver via an interrupted thread arrangement. The tightness of the joint there can be adjusted.

Ejection is downward from the bottom of the receiver, making it suitable for either left or right-handed people, and keeping gasses and debris from striking the shooter's face. The Belgian examples feature hand checkering of the stock and hand engraving on the sides of the receiver. Japanese versions have machine-initiated checkering and engraving. The rifle holds 11 .22 LR cartridges in the tubular magazine, and the rounds feed from the top of the bolt; a unique feature as far as I can determine. Several grades have been made, varying in stock finish and engraving, some with special metal finishes and inlays.

Over half a million of these little jewels have been sold since 1914, and the rifle is still regarded as one of the best autoloading .22s out there. John Browning was reputed to have been very proud of this particular creation of his. This "Grade I" example was made by FN back in 1959 - it's darn near eligible for Social Security, but it still shoots great! The rifles have never been cheap, but they exude quality throughout.

Perhaps some of you have one or more of these rifles - post some pics if you do!

John
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:06 PM
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Default Squirrel rifle

Hi John,
These are neat little rifles. What a treat to carry too!
Here is mine.

Thanks
Mike
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:13 PM
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Fascinating design the way it loads through the side of the stock but the plunger is in the butt....
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:57 PM
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They are nifty little rifles but the tiny receiver makes the buttstock look hugely out of proportion. I much prefer the later BAR .22 which was, sadly, discontinued.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:13 PM
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As a teenager I was green with envy since a buddy had one and my rifle was a Winchester single-shot. As an adult I bought the first one that I could afford, and I have been using it steadily for more than 30 years.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:36 PM
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Would love to show you mine, but my house was broke into in 1982 and it was taken. It was a gun I had always wanted. They also took a Sako Finnbear, Winchester 101 O/U 20ga, Browning Sweet 16 and a couple of Remington shotguns. Heartbreaker! The next day or so I went to Buckhorn Trading Post in downtown Dallas, that was right next door to the Police Department and bought a Series 70 Colt 45 and a box of Federal Hollow Points. Man, did I want them to come back!
Bought that gun for one reason. Still have it and the ammo, never fired. Still have receipt.
That's the bad, the good is you have inspired me to go buy me another Browning 22.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:51 PM
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I have a Japanese version that wears a Leupold 4x Rimfire Special scope. It is a gun that I have always wanted. Sadly it took me 30 years to get it. It is accurate, fun to shoot, and has quality machined blue steel and walnut construction. Browning has done a good job keeping their quality level high.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
They are nifty little rifles but the tiny receiver makes the butsttock look hugely out of proportion.
Most guys who like this rifle also like boob jobs.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:36 PM
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My dad had one, serial # 1T13737. He sold his Model 63 Winchester for the princely sum of $50 to buy the Browning from Donís & Benís Liquor Store in San Antonio, around 1960.

He was real proud of the Browning. Dad passed away in 1995, and we were unable to locate his Browning .22 or his Auto-5 20 gauge at the ranch near Hamilton or at home in San Antonio. He never told me he had traded them off, so Iíve always wondered what happened to them.

Nice guns!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:58 PM
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I have one of the old Belgian "wheel sight" guns, and it is just a joy to carry and shoot. Don't have pics handy but will try to get a couple in the near future. One thing I've learned the hard way, though. Don't wear long sleeves. The empty cases will be shucked right up 'em and those things can be HOT when they're stuck against your forearm!
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:43 PM
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Got one of the Belgians with the old "wheel" adjustable sight, also got a newer Jap model that I use a lot(don't want to scratch the "real one"). Both are dynamite shooters and just about the most reliable guns I own. Haven't ever cleaned the Jap in over 20 years-just a wipe down where there is crud when broken down. It still works without problem. I keep the "real" Browning clean and wall mounted. Shoot it every few years just so I can say I did.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:41 PM
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A really neat and unique looking rifle. My sister has a Miroku and I killed a rabid raccoon with it at her place...

The little critter was sufferin' but he had the good fortune to be taken out with a pretty rifle.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post


I'm starting to put together an article on a rifle that's been around long enough to be called a classic - the Browning .22 Automatic. I thought you might be interested in some facts on this little rifle.

It was designed by John Browning and first marketed way back in 1914. Fabrique Nationale made them for the European market, and Remington sold them in this country as the Remington Model 24. Early models had a loading port in the top of the wrist of the stock; later models load through a port on the right hand side of the stock, near the center of mass of the stock. They've been made in both .22 LR and .22 Short. I remember shooting one as a gallery rifle at a state fair back when I was a kid in the '50s.

The Remington Model 24 was made in the U.S. from 1919 to 1935. FN started importing their version to the U.S. from Belgium in 1956, and continued to do so through 1974. Then in 1976, production was handed off to Miroku in Japan, and current manufacture still originates from there.

The little rifle is trim and smooth. It's a takedown design, easily disassembled into two parts without tools at the juncture of the barrel and receiver via an interrupted thread arrangement. The tightness of the joint there can be adjusted.

Ejection is downward from the bottom of the receiver, making it suitable for either left or right-handed people, and keeping gasses and debris from striking the shooter's face. The Belgian examples feature hand checkering of the stock and hand engraving on the sides of the receiver. Japanese versions have machine-initiated checkering and engraving. The rifle holds 11 .22 LR cartridges in the tubular magazine, and the rounds feed from the top of the bolt; a unique feature as far as I can determine. Several grades have been made, varying in stock finish and engraving, some with special metal finishes and inlays.

Over half a million of these little jewels have been sold since 1914, and the rifle is still regarded as one of the best autoloading .22s out there. John Browning was reputed to have been very proud of this particular creation of his. This "Grade I" example was made by FN back in 1959 - it's darn near eligible for Social Security, but it still shoots great! The rifles have never been cheap, but they exude quality throughout.

Perhaps some of you have one or more of these rifles - post some pics if you do!

John
I have two of them - one that fires shorts that was obtained as a gift from an Uncle who was a Methodist Minister and taught me to shoot at the Lone Star Ammunition Factory at Karnack, TX. It is Belgium made. The other I purchased a few years ago, fires Long Rifles and was made in Japan. I will take some pictures and post later. Both are in near Mint condition.

Tommy
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default '56 with wheel sight

Here is a 1956 model. I was told the finish is not original by a local collector. However, the guy that sold it to me said it was, as it was a special order for a local sport celeb. Can anyone tell me how the fore end and stock were finished in they're early days? This one has a high gloss finish.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:34 PM
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My father-in-law has one. Sweet rifle!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:01 PM
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A friend told me he remembers buying one in Germany (FN made) for 8 dollars (US) back in 55 or 56. It was brand new. It had a straight grip as opposed to a pistol grip. He said it also had a blond stock. Mine is the old wheel sight. Wonder what scope would be "period correct" on the old grooved receiver?
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_Strong View Post
I have two of them - one that fires shorts that was obtained as a gift from an Uncle who was a Methodist Minister and taught me to shoot at the Lone Star Ammunition Factory at Karnack, TX. It is Belgium made. The other I purchased a few years ago, fires Long Rifles and was made in Japan. I will take some pictures and post later. Both are in near Mint condition.

Tommy
I also have two of them. One in .22 short, and the other in .22LR. Have you tried CB shorts in yours? Mine functions reliably with them. Quieter than most air rifles that I own.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:51 PM
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I got the itch for one a few years back These are the sellers pics.





f.t.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:04 AM
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I bought mine back in the early 60's and it was really a tack driver. In fact it still is.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:59 AM
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You can tell the born on date of your 22 cal Takedown..
Browning Autoloading Takedown .22 Rifle History: MGW

Here is a pic of my grade II Browning Takedown, made 1970..

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sipowicz View Post
Most guys who like this rifle also like boob jobs.
There are guys who don't like this rifle and boob jobs ?
Regards,
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:58 AM
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I like boob jobs.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:57 PM
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I really want to like these rifles, and have owned two of them through the years, but no more.

I would like it a lot better if it was a fixed barrel instead of being a takedown, but I know that puts me in a very small minority.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:42 PM
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I've recently acquired one of these, Japanese made tho, nice little rifles.

Looking to get the carrying case for it - Browning still carries them but, the hard cases are kind of pricey. Mine did not include the cantilever mount or rings so looking at these too.

Bruce

Browning AS-22


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Old 04-19-2013, 02:00 PM
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Guess I'm weird--silicone enhancement doesn't do a damn thing for me. More of a natural fan.

Having gotten that off my chest, to coin a phrase, I'm a Marlin 39A guy, but always wanted one of the lovely little Brownings. Now that I know that they made one that will cycle .22 Short, I may dream about it tonight.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:26 PM
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Well, if you think your barrel might be a tad loose, and you wanna tighten it up, go ahead and get a large zip lock bag. How do I know? Well lets just say the the detente and the spring for the barrel latch got plumb away from me. Ordered another this afternoon. Put the latch end of the barrel into the zip lock in case you somehow push the latch catch all the way back and out of its track. While on this subject, do the rings with the notches all the way around have one that is larger so that the latch can catch on that one? Mine does. I think there is also a witness mark on the ring housing. Just making sure mine hasn't somehow wallowed one of the notches out.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgh4445 View Post
Well, if you think your barrel might be a tad loose, and you wanna tighten it up, go ahead and get a large zip lock bag. How do I know? Well lets just say the the detente and the spring for the barrel latch got plumb away from me. Ordered another this afternoon. Put the latch end of the barrel into the zip lock in case you somehow push the latch catch all the way back and out of its track. While on this subject, do the rings with the notches all the way around have one that is larger so that the latch can catch on that one? Mine does. I think there is also a witness mark on the ring housing. Just making sure mine hasn't somehow wallowed one of the notches out.
Not exactly sure what you're asking, so forgive me if I answer incorrectly. The barrel adjusting ring (which is the part I think you're referencing) on both of mine has no notches that are larger than the rest.
I also can find no witness mark anywhere.
I adjust mine while the rifle is still partially assembled. I simply unlock the barrel lock, twist the barrel assembly to loosen, adjust the ring one click, and twist the barrel back to check fit. I do use the large plastic bag trick when working on items with small parts or springs that like to get away.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:45 AM
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[/URL]
How about a better pic of that wood? The Japanese guns tend to have much more interesting stocks than the Belgian guns, at least in the grade 1 versions.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:59 AM
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These are neat little rifles but i really prefer Brownings
BL-22 lever action .22's with their short throw action and
classic shape and reliability. The autoloaders recievers
look out of proportion to the rest of the gun.
But i have heard they we're fun and reliable little guns to
shoot.

Chuck
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:17 AM
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Also, Norinco made a pretty nice copy of this rifle, too.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chud333 View Post
These are neat little rifles but i really prefer Brownings
BL-22 lever action .22's with their short throw action and
classic shape and reliability. The autoloaders recievers
look out of proportion to the rest of the gun.
But i have heard they we're fun and reliable little guns to
shoot.

Chuck
I like my BL-22, but it's not as accurate as my semi and it's a miserable gun to break down and clean. I sometimes wonder if John Browning actually designed it as most of his other designs take down very easily and are EZ to maintain.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:25 PM
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I bought one a few years ago from my aging neighbor. He bought a few of them back in 1991 and a few Winchester Model 42 shotguns in 410 bore.

Over the years he has sold the Brownings and most of the Winchesters.

I bought it, put it together, took it apart, and put it back in the box:


Some day I'm going to take it out and shoot it! I just have so many shooter .22's that I have no "need" to shoot this one!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:51 PM
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Thanks Tupperware. That answered my question quite well. Looks like I might need to order a new ring. One of the notches is noticeably wider than the others. Probably why I'm getting a wobble I can't tighten up.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tupperware View Post
I like my BL-22, but it's not as accurate as my semi and it's a miserable gun to break down and clean. I sometimes wonder if John Browning actually designed it as most of his other designs take down very easily and are EZ to maintain.
John Browning died in 1926. He never even dreamed of the BL-22 or other recent designs made by the firm bearing his name.

Frankly, I am not enamored of most recent Browning designs. Some seem weird and others are just cosmetic variations of Beretta designs. Those look better in the original Beretta form.
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