FN Browning Superposed Grade III Nelly Watrin Engraved 20 GA Over Under Shotgun, MFD 1960 C&R

SOLD FOR: $5,776

LSB#: 200115LL30

Make: FN, In Belgium, for Browning.

Model: Superposed, Grade III

Serial Number: 18148

Year of Manufacture: 1960 (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. / SPECIAL STEEL – 20 GA. – SHELLS 2 3/4? & 3″”, the right is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM” 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 “15.4”. At the breech on the left, the top barrel is marked “**” and the bottom “**-“, the bottom-left of the monoblock is marked “18148” and there are inspector marks on the bottom of the monoblock between the lugs. The left of the forend latch is marked “18148 / A5”, the top of the cocking piece is marked “18148”. The top tang is marked “18148” and the water table is marked with Belgian proofs. The receiver has Grade III engraving with the “fighting cocks” scene on the left, pheasants on the right, a retriever carrying a pheasant on the bottom, all surrounded by fine scroll and border engraving which continues onto the guard, forend iron, lever, and safety switch. Each side of the receiver beneath the game scene is signed “N.WATRIN” (Nelly Watrin). The safety indicators on the top tang are inlaid with gold.

Barrel Length: 28?, Vent-Rib

Choke: Modified over Improved Cylinder, 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., 4.4 oz.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece finely checkered select walnut with round-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, and horn Browning buttplate. The stocks have a few scattered minor marks with a concentration of compressions on the right of the wrist in front of the checkering. The checkering is well defined, mostly sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has a few scattered worm-holes and light wear at the heel. Drop at comb is approximately 1 5/8″, drop at heel 2 3/8″. The cast is about neutral. Overall, the stocks are in about Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Silver Gray

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bores are bright, there is no erosion.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 93% of its metal finish. The barrels have strong finish with minor wear in front of the forend from disassembly/reassembly and a few minor marks. The majority of the balance is in the receiver. The clear coat over the receiver’s metal shows crazing with oxidation having penetrated to the surface underneath, most notable on the right. The screw heads are sharp, though the forend’s screw head does not sit flush to its escutcheon, indicating it has been turned. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Very Good-Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions 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: This shotgun comes in a Browning “Hartmann” style Superposed case. The exterior of the case has minor storage wear and the interior has light wear from the contents, in about Fine condition. Also included is a pair of snap-caps and an Outers Silicone Gun & Reel Cloth in a green tin case.

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 wonderful example of FN’s post-war work from one of the most interesting periods of Browning engraving. 1960 saw the retirement of Felix Funken who would be succeeded by Luis Vrancken and Andre Watrin. This Grade III Superposed was made in 1960 with the engraving scenes applied by Watrin’s wife, Nelly. Interestingly, FN’s female engraver’s were asked to use their maiden names for payroll purposes, but Nelly Watrin was the exception to this rule. From its gorgeous game scenes and fine scroll work to its silver gray finish and beautifully figured walnut, it’s easy to see why the Grade III Superposed shotguns are among the most sought-after for collectors. This example is in Very Good-Fine condition with some light wear in the stock and some oxidation which has gotten to the receiver through crazing in its clear coating. The gun comes in a nice Hartmann-style Browning case and will make an excellent addition to any Browning or over-under shotgun collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

FN Browning Superposed Grade III Nelly Watrin Engraved 20 GA Over Under Shotgun, MFD 1960 C&R
FN Browning Superposed Grade III Nelly Watrin Engraved 20 GA Over Under Shotgun, MFD 1960 C&R