The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

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The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

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Sincerely,

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Old Savage »

Thanks Hobie, don't usually see much info on these guns. Very smooth and very accurate.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Please thank Bruce for all the hard work that went into this article. As many know, Bruce is a forum member.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

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Well, thank you Bruce - missed the fact that he is a forum member.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Henry McCann »

Thanks Bruce...my dad bought two BLR's in the 70's. One in .308 and one in .358. Great guns, both of them. There is very little information about them out there.

I know lots of people don't like them, but we have had nothing but positive experiences with them. I sure wish I could find someone that would rebarrel one without wanting my home in payment.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Hobie, thanks for putting the article on your Blog. I hope it can be a help to some who might need or want some additional information.

OS, it was my pleasure. I was really surprised at the lack of any centralized information on the BLR's when I started the project. It took me over one year to complete and I hope to get new information from our readers that will allow for the article to be updated.

Henry, the barrel job can be done by either MGW, Z-Hat or Browning. I am not sure of their current prices though. The timing issue (beside headspace) is what is very critical on the early BLR's (such as yours) where the bolt head locks up into the receiver. It is much easier on later BLR's where the head locks into the barrel. If yours were a later Long Action 30-06, I would put you on one of these two receiver barrel sets.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =195528200
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =195672044

Note: I have not looked into which variation these two fit. I have no ties to either, but someone could get a good deal if they needed a receiver or barrel. Just reuse all your other parts to create a new rifle.

On the light side, how can anyone not like them. No safety, no rebounding hammer, very accurate, really good sights, many calibers, can be easily scoped, no vibrating magazine tube, either straight or pistol griped, takedown versions and they can shoot any bullet whether pointed or not. See, I just eliminated levergunners complaints. :D
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

I have been looking at a 7mm-08. I like the hammer safety thing where it folds such that it can't strike the firing pin but is instantly in correct position when cocked.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bigahh »

A very Good, and Interesting read Bruce! I also have learned to adjust to the trigger on my BLR. I love the rifle in every way except I just wish it had a heavier barrel to make the longer freehand shots at Whitetails from my tree stand. I just may look into this if it is a possibility in any way.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by txpete »

lots of good info thank you!!!.now I have to go pull my blr out and oil it :lol: :lol: .

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Hobie, that caliber was kind of slow getting tried/accepted around here, but it has now taken off and is gathering quite a lot of fans. I think it has earned a good reputation for accuracy and as a hunting round. I like the folding hammer also.

Bigahh, I see you have figured the trigger work out. :) I purposely did not go into that area of the article because of the risk. (BTW, for our readers - that little screw in the trigger group is not for pull weight - it works on the sear engagement and should not be messed with). I do not know of any source for a longer barrel. Because of the way the barrel attaches to the receiver in any model year, I don't hold out for any hope of after market or custom barrels. I believe that is also the reason that we can only find receiver/barrel combinations for sale as replacements.

Pete, carry that thing outside and use it.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by txpete »

thanks bruce maybe "after" deer season.I have a few friends that want to go pig hunting in jan/feb.right now I don't have a place to hunt deer this year but I do have mine dialed in :D .
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

No place to deer hunt! That is down right awful. Send the rifle to me and I will shoot a deer with it and send you some pictures. It looks like it could use some moisture and scratches and my hunt club is just the place.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by jimincolo »

Thank you Bruce for all your hard work, & thank you Hobie for posting its publication here & elsewhere.

One small note; the site reference listed in the treatise for identifying date of manufacture is apparently no longer in use. Instead, Browning has a "Date My Gun" choice. Go to your model #, & look at the chart.

I too have noticed some negative scuttlebutt regarding the BLR. I agree totally with Bruce that it is unfounded, as the rifle has so many positive features. The naysayers seem to come from both ends of the spectrum.

First, you've got the traditional levergun crowd. Sometimes, I think they forget that they have accepted such non-traditional models as the 99, 88, & Finnwolf. Maybe it's because Browning attempted an old look in a modern firearm. I agree, the gun can take a bit of getting used to.

Then, you got the bolt gun lover, who just cannot accept the fact that a lowly levergun can actually equal or better his groups at the bench.

Bottomline, the BLR has to be one of the absolute best hunting rifles available anywhere at any price. Think of all the attributes you want in a hunting rifle: weight, length, speed of acquisition & followup, accuracy, safety, etc., etc. The BLR has them all.

Long live the BLR, & long live the .358 Win.

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by au2183 »

Bruce & Hobie,

Thanks for a great article. Very informative! I own quite a few Brownings, including a lever, a 92 in 44 mag. Not a BLR, but it's still one of my favorites!
I have a question related to the article. Under stock repair lemon pledge or, "something similar" is recommended for minor repairs. Could you expound upon that? I have a few minor blems that I would love to blend in a little so they are not so obvious and I am open to suggestions. I have yet to find any method that works.

Thanks again,

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Bruce will be with you shortly...

Guys, if you'd do so, let folks know about this resource. I'm sure Bruce will be updating and adding photos after a while.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Lastmohecken »

Around 1990, I decided to give a Browning BLR a chance, and purchased a .308 win caliber, which wasn't one of my favorite calibers because it just seemed ho hum to me, being used to the faster .270 Win for the 20 years before that, having grown up reading Jack O'Connor, etc.

I started using the BLR, and being Lefthanded it really attracted me, even though I had gotten very good running a boltaction, I just always loved levers. I noticed pretty quick that the length of pull was just too long for me, and the trigger was not nearly as good as my boltactions. So, I took it to a good gunsmith and had him shorten the stock, and do a trigger job. And after that, the BLR just kept slowly growing on me, until it became and still is my favorite all arround rifle of all time, and the last one I would ever sell.

After 20 years, I absolutly cannot tell you how many deer, coyotes, wild dogs, etc that I have killed with that gun, with many being running shots. And on top of that, I learned to appreciate the .308 Win caliber as well. And for me, it really is the perfect combination of power, fast handling, resonable weight, etc. And on top of that, it's quite accurate, and I could have still been happy if the groups had been bigger, it shoots that good.

Several of my relatives have now ended up with BLR's and love them also.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by slowrider »

Bruce, Thank you very much for the informative article on the BLR. It's also very timely for me as I just acquired a '81 BLR in .243 manufactured in 1981. In fact, it's my first lever gun and occasion for making my first post to this site. My gun has a curious serial number. The last three digits that identfy the type show mine to be a BLR, not a '81 BLR Short Action which it most certainly is. I always enjoy researching the guns that I acquire and your article has certainly been a pleasure to read.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Lastmohecken »

Bruce, I enjoyed reading your article. My rifle is an early model 81 BLR, steel frame of course, and the flush mag.

I would like to add that I have had quite a bit of experience with both the flush model 81 mags and rifles using the older cuved bottom mags that hang down. I like the looks of the older rifles with the cruved mags, and I have found no difference in accuracy between the models, but I have run into a few reliability problems with the older curved mags, and while many rifles work just fine, I do believe they do not have quite as much reliability built into them as the new flush mags.

They don't hold the shells as securely in the mag, and will sometimes pop out at the wrong time, causing a jam, not to mention in you pocket also, if you carry a spare mag. Still yet, my brother in-law uses one of the older curved mag rifles, and gets along fine with it, but even with it, I can tell that reliability is marginal, but apparently reliable enough, however, my experiences have been less then perfect with that model.

Also, I prefer the older non folding hammer, to the newer lightening models, however some of the later steel framed models had folding hammer also, as I have one of those too. As far as I am concerned it was a fix for a problem that didnot exist. In the older model 81 manuals, the instructions were to never carry the hammer on half cock, but instead carry it with the hammer all of the way down, as the firing pin is the short enertia type, and will not touch the primer anyway. I have found this to be positive and safe, the problem if there was one, was people not being aware of the correct method of operation and relying on the halfcock position, as they did, on the older Winchesters and Marlins.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Again, thanks for the kind comments. I really did enjoy researching for the article and I will update it one day in the future as new information becomes available.

Terry, the Lemon Pledge repair comment was a fix that was stumbled across on the internet. It (and like furniture spray products) apparently contains a wax or something that can help fill up minor scuffs and scratches. I have heard that some waxes like Canube can also be used for minor issues. Maybe someone will respond that has something even better. To keep my safe queens shiny, I use a spray on silicone.

Slowrider, I can solve your mystery about the s/n real easy. Occassionaly, Browning has changed the order or way they issue/code s/ns. The issue period for a certain way was/is shown as spanning a block of years - like in your case the span went from 1976 to 1997. They used the last three digits during this (and other later/current) time periods to designate the model. There was no long action model in 1981 (they came in 91), so there was no need to designate different actions or models. Your last three digits should be 127, which designates it as a BLR Lever Action. Am I right? JFYI, prior to 1976, the letter K was used to designate the BLR.


Lastmohecken, I may be able to shed some info on the mag problem. I believe it was forum member Tycer who provided this information, but I will have to back and check my sources. Apparently there were two different designs of the magazine follower in the early BLR magazines. One had problems like yours and the other was apparently trouble free. I will respond back later today with more info.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by slowrider »

Bruce wrote:........ There was no long action model in 1981 (they came in 91), so there was no need to designate different actions or models. Your last three digits should be 127, which designates it as a BLR Lever Action. Am I right? JFYI, prior to 1976, the letter K was used to designate the BLR.
Yep, you're exactly right and that makes perfect sense, thank you.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Molasses »

I've got a negative BLR story I've been waiting for a good opportunity to repeat/ask about. I'm not inclined to disbelieve the teller, as the fellow is a good friend and the particular BLR was his pride and joy until this incident took place, after which he lost no time in getting rid of it. However, there's the possibility of his being mistaken as to the exact nature of the failure, plus I'd like to know if anyone here can relate any other happenings along these lines or speculate on the probablility of this event.

My buddy is a band member at one of the extreme northern Minnesota reservations and has hunted up there for many years, taking quite a few moose, amongst much other game. He had a BLR in .284 Winchester and was very pleased with its' game-taking abilities (missing no opportunity to brag on this rifle); if he had any complaint it had to do with it being too effective and ruining more meat than optimum. Until he plunked a bullet into a big bull moose that was heading for another zip code and he worked the lever for a followup shot with all the strength and effort that a big, strong, excited fellow with adrenaline coursing through his veins could muster and tied up the action, but good. Things went downhill from there, although the animal was eventually brought to bag. Here's the key bit that I'm curious about: Upon examination, a single piece of grit "like a grain of sand" was supposedly found to have discombobulated a nylon gear (derailed it, or made it skip a tooth and get out of time or some such) for the rack and pinion arrangement that runs the bolt fore and aft.

Comments?

I've never owned a BLR and am not familiar with their inner workings. Regardless of my friend's experience, I figure sooner or later, I'll end up with one simply because I like leverguns and they're something I haven't tried yet.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Well, a good writer I am not. I left (or inadvertently did) out a few tid bits of information as I thought they would really confuse the reader. My bad!

Here is a link to information provided by Tycer concerning the magazine follower(s). Many thanks to him.

http://www.levergunscommunity.com/viewt ... 86&start=0

Molasses, there was a gear stripping issue that was discovered with the Model 81 (only), that was corrected by the time of introduction of the Long Action in 1991. The issue was blamed on either very cold weather effecting the expansion rates of internal lever metals or an expanded/swollen cartridge case. I have no references stating that any internal parts were made of nylon. The issue was resolved by adding a hook to the lever body that engages a groove in the bolt body. This is another point where knowing exactly the year and model of a BLR is required for getting replacement parts. Now the funny part. All of the information I have been able to find with over one years research into this stripping issue has involved a moose in cold weather. ???
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Rusty »

Thanks Bruce that was pretty intensive research there. I think that's the only article I've EVER seen on the BLR. I keep running the idea of one through my mind but it just hasn't fully spouted yet.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Molasses »

Bruce wrote:Molasses, there was a gear stripping issue <break> I have no references stating that any internal parts were made of nylon. <break> Now the funny part. All of the information I have been able to find with over one years research into this stripping issue has involved a moose in cold weather. ???
Wouldn't surprise me at all if the part about the gear being made of nylon was due to my lack of attention while listening to the story. I've heard it a lot of times and my eyes start to glaze over pretty early in the telling.

About the other part, are you saying that the only incident you discovered was under very similar circumstances to my buddy's? It'd be kind of neat if it were one and the same incident and that he'd unwittingly managed to gain some tiny degree of fame, meanwhile being ironic in that he's been telling anyone within earshot that a tiny bit of grit caused the problem.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by hfcable »

Bruce, i seem to recall that the very first of this rifle design was USA made by some company called TRW. some of those rifles had problems, and few were made. i have seen at least one at auction long ago; ohio......maybe made in ohio? i recall the magazine article when those were first made in the mid 60s......or is my mind totally slipping?
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Rusty, go for it. You wont regret it if the issue (rifle?) has your interest. I used the internet as a primary search tool, but did manage to find or acquire some magazines and articles about the rifle that helped. A few forum members supplied some copies of past articles and before the day is over I need to come back and give them credit. "One was Old Skimisher". In addition to those, I ended up w/ over 30 pages of typed notes before I started compiling the data. A big help for me was thoroughly reviewing each BLR that was listed for sale on the Big 3 Gun Auctions.

Molasses, the few instances I found were on the internet, which tends to allow an issue to grow on its own. An article in a past American Rifleman magazine makes a reference to the hook on the lever. Otherwise, I can't find much more about the issue.

hfcable, you are correct. I give some details on the TRW production in a paragraph near the bottom of the History section of the article. I missed a couple of chances to buy a TRW made BLR over the period I was researching the article. If you ever happen to come across one of them, it is recommended that they not be shot. At the conclusion of the Browning/TRW partnership, a few of the rifles were given as gifts to TRW employees. The rest were supposed to have been destroyed (but were not apparently). Also, many were made from parts bin leftovers and reportedly were brought home as lunch box specials.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Well, some 500 have read the article so far.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Wow! Already 9th most read article of all time!
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

That makes the effort worth it! My next effort may be trying to get Browning to update/correct their serial number list.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Give you your additions and corrections (if any) and we'll get it posted.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Don McDowell »

To bad those idjust on American Rifleman tv didn't do a little research before they filmed the thing on the blr. :roll:
Once again proof positive it's not what you know , it's how well you interviewed for the job... :(
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Hobie, I was just making reference to the Browning Web Site having the order of the letter vs. s/n backwards and their date of who/where the rifles were manf. by. It is just the information in my article. In my research, I came across owners/collectors who were really confused by the information they have listed. I also have the two top (?) Browning collectors books and have found them to both be wrong also, in respect to s/n's, dates and locations of manf. for the BLR's.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Bruce wrote:Hobie, I was just making reference to the Browning Web Site having the order of the letter vs. s/n backwards and their date of who/where the rifles were manf. by. It is just the information in my article. In my research, I came across owners/collectors who were really confused by the information they have listed. I also have the two top (?) Browning collectors books and have found them to both be wrong also, in respect to s/n's, dates and locations of manf. for the BLR's.
I was referring to the Tycer noted info and anything else that might have come to your attention. I'm not pressuring you or anything, just offering to get it done ASAP. :wink:
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bluehawk »

Thanx Bruce and Hobie for the tech information . Some stuff I didnt know When my youngest son turned 16 he was allowed to pick any DEER rifle he wanted ( I was working part time at a gun store so I could get him anything he wanted WITHIN REASON )
He wanted something no one else in camp or around had, and he asked for the BLR in 7mm/08 He has since taken 9 deer with it Including a real nice 10 pointer he got in VA about 10 years ago
He alternates now hunting with his BLR in 358 Win. BOth of his are great guns and one of these days, im sure, he will own a few more ivarious other cals.
BTW testing in my sons BLR 7mm/08 has shown with at least 20 different bullets tested that flat based bullets shoot WAY better than any BT bullet I have tried with numerous powders Right now his shoots best with Speer 145 gr FB spitzer And Varget.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Hobie, I've got it now. I am hoping to get some reader input about variations and/or commemoratives that I have not uncovered. Let's give it a little time and I will update. BTW, has anyone found any typos or other such stuff that needs to be cleaned up?
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by M. M. Wright »

Bruce,
Thanks so much for the info. Got my first BLR at least 30 years ago. Found it in a gun show and it looked like some cowboy had carried it in the floorboard of his pickup for at least 10 years. The grip of the butt stock was worn almost to the metal by contact with his highlift jack! It is Belgian in .308. The bore has a lot of wear but still shoots great.
My wife at the time wanted one too and now I have been buying them for all my grandchildren, twelve of them. Some of the boys are old enough to hunt with theirs and I am still looking for more. Rifles, not grandchildren.
We've never had any problems with any of them. In fact one of the grandsons killed both his youth hunt deer with his 30-06 two weeks ago. My old reprobate is still in service with a nearly new looking butt and almost no bluing. One of the grandsons will get it someday.
My deer hunting plan this year is to give the BLR a rest and shoot my 45-90 86.
M. M. Wright, Sheriff, Green county Arkansas (1860)
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Bluehawk, it sounds as though your son has good tatses and knows what he wants. That is a good round.

MM, you can adopt me. I am already grown up, so I won't be any problem. I go to bed early, get up early and feed myself. Make mine a Stainless Takedown in 30-06. :lol:

I normally don't post links to other web sites, but here is a thread link covering stock refinishing. I have used this method of Permalyn, Rotten Stone and Bone Black. Third post down. It looks great on any stock, especially Brownings. You can substitute other oil type finishes and still get great results. I will be doing an old Belgium Browning Semi Auto .22 this winter using this process.

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthread ... er=2702095

Take heed of the warning concerning checkered areas. Also be warned that when you first put the mixture on, the stock will be entirely black. It will come around to a pattern after you sand or steel wool.
Last edited by Bruce on Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

Wow, 863 views so far. :!:
Sincerely,

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Well, while I am at it, I might as well post some other links that will help with Browning stocks.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=4984 ... CERTISTRIP
This is the stripper that seems to work the best on Browning stocks.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/advanced_s ... s=chromium
This chemical (Chrominum Trioxide) makes for some beautiful pattern seperation. You can pre mix and store it in a glass jar. Note - it will stain anything it touches a yellow color including exposed skin - for a long time. Wear gloves and old clothes - you can not wash it off of your skin. You can use vinegar on a cloth to cut the yellow tinge on wood (after applying the Trioxide) if you want, but the tinge will go away with sanding/steel wooling and when the finish is applied. Works to bring out the pattern. You should see what it can do for curly/tigertail/birdseye maple.

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categorie ... tyleID=225
Aquafortis is an old recipe that does the same as the Chromium Trioxide. Make sure you request the instruction sheet.

You can apply multiple coats of bone black, chromium trioxide or aquafortis to your taste. Sand or steel wool between applications. I have never tried combining them, but I may on this next project. All of them will bring out whatever pattern is there. I came across most of these while working or reworking old military stocks and long rifle (muzzleloading) stocks. While not related to the Browning epoxy type finished stocks, I can give another trick. On old stocks that have an oil type finish, you can draw the oil out by spraying the stock with a spray type oven cleaner. Let it bubble up and draw the oil out, then wipe off or wash off. Let it dry and do it again until you are satisfied. This process works best when you have warm (hot) weather. You can also put the wood (sprayed down with oven cleaner) in a black plastic trash bag in a hot area (ex. car trunk in July) and it will accelerate the process. Always finalize the completed process by washing the wood off with water. I use a garden hose to wash it down and then place the wet wood in my shop to slow dry for at least a few days. Don't let the heat crack/check your wood.

Browning always seems to use a good grade of wood on their products and I have not come across a Browning stock w/o some pattern to it.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

Just a little heads up. There is a reported TRW made BLR .243 for sale on a major gun sales site right now. Look real close and research is my best advice.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Canuck Bob »

Wonderful article Hobie, thanks to you and specially Bruce. I just read it and it answered an important question. I thought all steel receiver actions had hard to source clips.

These sure are nice rifles.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Bruce »

For those that posted questions and responses on Hobie's blog, I apologize that I had not responded sooner. Actually, I did not know there were responses there until Hobie woke me up.

I have a new lead on what may turn out to be a transitional BLR. I hope to get a look at it tomorrow. It appears it is a mid 90's production with a Model 81 steel receiver and a Model 81L (Lightning) barrel.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by awp101 »

Bump and can we sticky this? I looked at a .243 BLR carbine this evening and knew I needed to find this thread and article before getting too googly-eyed... :lol:
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Hobie »

The reason I put it on Shooting with Hobie is that it will ALWAYS be easier to find there... :wink:
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by KKlein »

Dear Mr. Hamlin!
I've read your article on the BLR with great interest and maybe have something of interest for you.

I've recently purchased an used BLR '81 in .308 Win. According to the serial number it's from 1994 (xxxxx NW 227).
Interestingly it has a steel receiver, flush magazine but also a hinged hammer spur.
This seems to be a quite unique combination. Maybe because it's from this period of transition from steel to alloy receivers?
Or isn't it unique at all?

I'd like to have your opinion on this.

I hope this post will reach you somehow, since this thread is quite old and "abandoned" for several years... Maybe someone can forward this post to Mr. Bruce Hamlin.

Best regards,
K. Klein
Last edited by KKlein on Mon May 11, 2020 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Lastmohecken »

What you have is a steel framed BLR, with the folding hammer safety. It's a good gun, assuming yours is in good shape. The folding hammer of that vintage really didn't work all that good, in my humble opinion, but it doesn't really hurt anything either. My first BLR is just a few years older then yours. I bought mine new, somewhere around 1990, and mine is basically the previous model, which does not have the folding hammer.

I later owned a couple of folding hammer models like yours and would not hesitate to buy one again if I wanted it. I have given a few of these BLRs away to family members but always kept the first one, which I still hunt with every year. They are generally pretty accurate, mine is in .308 win and will still generally shoot into about 2.5 to 3" for three shots at 200yds.

The original owners manual for my gun, (pre-folding hammer) said to carry it if loaded, with the hammer all of the way down, not on half cock like you would carry a Marlin or Winchester. The Browning has a short inertia firing pin and will not touch the primer. It's very safe that way. And I have tested both this model and the folding hammer model like you have with a loaded chamber and hammer all of the way down and actually tapped it with a brass hammer, just to prove to myself that is was safe. The folding hammer was an answer to a problem that didn't need an answer, just a another lawyer protection plan. So, IMO the best way to carry them loaded is still hammer all of the way down. As a matter of fact Browning had a recall on what is probably your model as the first folding hammer model didn't work that well when trying to use the folding hammer as a safety.
It's a feel good measure, but not needed.

Your gun would be preferred by me to the later alloy actions, that came later on. I always had a hard time warming up to them, and much prefer the steel framed model you and I have, but only in the short action calibers like .308 Win, which, I think is still the best caliber for that gun.

I have found that they could benefit from a trigger job, and mine has a been done by a gunsmith many years ago, but they need to be taken to a really good gunsmith, and not the average Joe. Personally, I also always shorten the butt stock, down to about 13-1/2" as they are really too long from the factory, once again, In my opinion, anyway.

Other then that your model and mine were the best of the lot, I think in general. I must say that in general, I have had more confidence in my old BLR, then any centerfire rifle I have every owned or hunted with and I have owned a bunch if them, in all action types. A full sized pickup truck bed would not hold all of the game I have take with mine in the last 30 yrs or so. Not bragging, just saying, I have had very good service out of mine for many years.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Pre70blr »

I'm now to this forum and I'm looking for the guy that wrote the big article on blrs he said if anyone has different information to let him know. I have a Belgium blr pre 70 the serial number is ##k69
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by Lastmohecken »

I don't know about pre-70 year models. But that original article was a good one on the BLR's. Me and my extended family and I have owned quite a few BLR's of different vintages, over the years. My first one, and still my favorite and most used, is an 89 or 90 year model, which of course is a steel framed model 81, pre-folding hammer version in .308 Win. I absolutely have no real idea on how many deer and coyotes, and other varmints I have taken with it, over 30 years. Mine had a trigger job done on it, in the first year or two of it's life and it has gotten better over time and use, to the point that it has a very good trigger for a leveraction. Having owned and shot about all vintages of the BLR, I prefer this vintage, to all of the others, and I much prefer the short action .308's to the long actions.

The only other thing that I usually always had to do, was have the butt stock (length of pull) shortened, and I always found them too long for fast shooting, in their stock length.

It's still my go to gun, although I have experimented with lots of other rifles, out of boredom more then anything else, as the BLR could always do it all, anything from a 20 yard running shot to a 300 yard standing shot, it was more then up to the task, and still is.
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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by JDL »

I'm hoping to make some meat with this one which I got last year about this time. BLR Lightweight T/D in .358.

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Re: The Browning Lever Action Rifle (BLR) By: Bruce Hamlin

Post by hfcable »

i have one just like that in 30/06
the 358 is really great
cable
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