Make: FN, In Belgium, for Browning.
Model: Superposed Lightning, Grade I Long Tang
Serial Number: B96873
Year of Manufacture: 1962 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/superposed-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 3/4? 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 – 12 GA. – SHELLS 2 3/4″”, the right is marked “PATENTS No 2.203.378 – 2.23386 / MADE IN BELGIUM”. Concealed by the forend when assembled, the left of each barrel is marked with Belgian proofs. At the breech on the left, the top barrel is marked “*”, the bottom “**”, the bottom-left of the monoblock is marked “96873” and there are inspector marks on the bottom of the monoblock between the lugs. The left of the forend latch is marked “96873”, the top of the cocking piece is marked “96873”. The top tang is marked “B96873”, 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: 30?, Vent-Rib
Choke: Full over Modified, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a white bead in a base mounted at the front of the rib and a smaller white mid-bead. The top of the rib is checkered for glare reduction.
Weight: 7 lb., 11.5 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with pistol grip, straight comb, and black rubber Kick-Eez buttpad. There is a large Clay-Busters California Trap Club sticker on the left of the stock. The stocks have several scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with concentrations at the right-rear of the forend and bottom-front of the grip. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/2″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the pad, 12 5/8″ to the back of the wood. The pad is still supple with light wear. Drop at comb is approximately 1 3/8″, drop at heel 1 1/2″. The cast is about neutral. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as cut.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright, there is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 87% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The barrels have odd finish wear along each side which almost looks like a fabric pattern, perhaps from a case. There is wear on the barrels in front of the forend from disassembly. There is handling wear on the bottom of the receiver and forend iron, guard and bottom tang. The controls show handling wear. The action has operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly including the ejectors. The shotgun features a single selective trigger which is inertially set. The action closes with a satisfying ‘clunk’, 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 but functions properly when manually set. 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 in about Very Good condition, showing tight metal and wood fit, retaining about 87% of its metal finish with great bores, the action is still spot on and the trigger is crisp. We believe this shotgun was made in 1962 based on its serial number, but we have not been able to find much information about a “B” serial prefix. Val’s SST is still known as one of the most reliable and ingenious of its kind, even though the patent is nearing 100 years in practice. With 30″ barrels each choked Full over Modified, this is going to make for a nice clays or hunting shotgun. The Lightning is a slightly lighter weight variant of the superposed, making for more comfortable sessions on the range or in the field. This shotgun shows evidence of use and responsible maintenance, it should be a good shooter for lifetimes to come. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable (THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS): This C&R CAN be transferred in California. All C&R firearms must be transferred through your local dealer OR at our Simi Valley location; we cannot ship directly to a C&R holder in California. Out of state residents can disregard this section – your local laws apply.