SOLD FOR: $3,025
Make: FN, In Belgium, for Browning.
Model: Superposed Lightning, Grade I Long Tang
Serial Number: 31038V4
Year of Manufacture: 1964 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/superposed-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 20 Gauge, 2 3/4? & 3″ Shells
Action Type: Over / Under, Top Break Shotgun with Ejectors & Single Selective Trigger.
Markings: The left of the top barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST. LOUIS Mo. & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM”, the right is marked “SPECIAL STEEL – 20 GA. – SHELLS 2 3/4? & 3″” with patent numbers. Concealed by the forend when assembled, the left of each barrel is marked with crowned “E / LG / *” in oval and “20-75” in oval, the right of the top barrel and the bottom of the bottom barrel are each marked with a Belgian proof and “15.7”. At the breech on the left, the top barrel is marked “*” and the bottom “**”, the bottom-left of the monoblock is marked “31038V4” and there are inspector marks on the bottom of the monoblock between the lugs. The left of the forend latch is marked “31038VF3”, the top of the cocking piece is marked “31038V4”. The top tang is marked “31038V4”, the bottom of the receiver is marked “Lightning / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John Browning and the water table is marked with Belgian proofs. The receiver has Grade I engraving.
Barrel Length: 28?, Vent-Rib
Choke: Full over Modified, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead at the front of the rib. The top of the rib is finely checkered to reduce glare.
Weight: 6 lb., 6.5 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are checkered walnut with round-knob pistol grip, straight comb, and textured black hard rubber Browning buttplate. The stocks have only a few scattered light marks, the most notable a nick at the front edge of the wrist on the left. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/8” from the front of the gold-plated trigger to the back of the buttplate. The drop at heel is approximately 1 3/8? and the drop at comb is approximately 2 1/8?. The cast is about neutral. The buttplate has scattered minor wear, most at the heel. The stocks are in about Fine-Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright, there is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The finish is lightly thinning at some edges. The bottom barrel has minor finish wear from disassembly in front of the forend. The receiver has a few scattered minor marks, the most notable a nick on the left flat at the bottom-rear. There is light operational wear including from the safety/selector on the top tang. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Good condition and would rate Fine-plus but for the trigger (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: When the bottom barrel is selected to fire first, the action functions correctly. When the top barrel is selected to fire first, we could not get the trigger to re-set, allowing only the top barrel to be fired. It is unclear if this is an intentional modification or a mechanical issue. The ejectors function correctly. The shotgun features a single selective trigger which is inertially set. The action closes with a satisfying ‘clunk’ with both barrel sets, indicative of FN’s legendary craftsmanship, resulting in zero movement between the barrels and frame. The safety does NOT set automatically when the action is opened. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: After the death of John Browning, his son Val would complete an over under shotgun with a single selective trigger and ejectors; the Superposed was introduced in 1931, it was an instant success; the factory did not produce any of these shotguns during WWII but just after the war ended, the factory came roaring back to life, creating some of their best product to date. This is a post-war FN produced 12 Gauge from 1964, appearing in Fine-plus condition, but with the trigger not re-setting when the top barrel is selected to fire first. It is unclear if this is an intentional modification or a mechanical issue. The gun shows tight metal and wood fit, retaining about 97% of its metal finish with great bores. This shotgun shows evidence of light and responsible use and should be a good shooter for lifetimes to come. Please see our photos and good luck!