Make: Fabrique Nationale in Belgium for Browning
Model: FN High-Power Safari Grade Mauser
Serial Number: L7819
Year of Manufacture: Late 1950’s to the early 1960’s; the “L” prefix indicates earlier production; Browning later switched to an alpha-numeric code that would have given us a specific date of manufacture.
Caliber: .243 Winchester
Action Type: Control Feed, Mauser-Claw Extractor, Bolt Action, Internal Magazine Fed, Rifle with Hinged Floorplate
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY / ST LOUIS MO. & MONTREAL P.Q.”, with “*” over “R”, crown over “R”, lion over “PV and a Liege proof, the underside is marked “243”, the right is marked with the serial number and “CALIBER .243 ONLY / MADE IN BELGIUM”. The left side of the receiver is marked “*” over R, a small lion over “PV” and the Perron proof, the underside flat has a series of test peen marks and “3 / E / 8 / 64 / Q”, the right side of the receiver is marked “7819”. The underside of the bolt handle is marked “7819”, the top has a proof mark. The inside of the stock is marked “7189”, which may be a factory mix-up in numerical order, since all four digits are found in the serial number. The floorplate and trigger guard have gold-color filled embellished engraving. The butt plate is marked “BROWNING”.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights / Optics: The rifle does not have iron sights; the rear of the barrel has two drilled, tapped and screw-filled holes. The top of the receiver has four drilled, tapped and screw filled holes for the addition of a scope base.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is checkered European walnut with a Monte Carlo comb and left side cheek piece; two quick disconnect swivel studs are installed into the stock. The stock’s gloss finish has but a few very light handling marks, please see our pictures, the grain burl is intricate and the checkers are sharp. The LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the black plastic Browning brand shotgun-style butt plate. The plate has a few shallow scuff marks, rating in Excellent condition. The stock rates in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows a few areas of scuffing on the barrel, light marks on the floorplate and trigger guard and some operational wear on the bolt body. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The rifle incorporates an FN Mauser action with control feed claw extraction (http://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/controlled-feed-vs-push-feed-rifles/). The forward receiver ring on the action is 1.49” long. The rifle has a hinged magazine floorplate. The trigger breaks clean at 3lbs 4oz. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is a Browning Safari Grade ‘High-Power’ rifle made in Belgium by Fabrique Nationale. The rifle has an “L” prefix, making it extremely difficult to nail down an exact date of manufacture; the date ranges from about 1959 to the early 1960’s. The rifle has a nice European walnut stock, showing only a few light handling marks. The metal finish is retained at about 96%, the balance is attributed to light scuffs and some operational wear on the bolt body. The rifle has notable balance and a crisp 3lb 4oz trigger pull. Chambered in .243 Winchester, ammunition is widely available; the cartridge has a track record of proven results; from Wikipedia “The .243 Winchester (6×52mm) is a popular sporting rifle cartridge. Initially designed as a varmint round, it may be used for wildlife and game such as coyote, blacktail deer, whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn, and wild hogs. It can also be used against larger game such as black bear or elk, but is sometimes said to be “too light” for such large game. Rounds of at least 90 grains are better suited for hunting larger game while rounds less than 90 grains are more suitable for varmints. The .243 is based on a necked down .308 cartridge case.” This rifle is sure to make any new owner happy, be it a savvy FN collector or someone looking for their next hunting rifle. Please see our pictures and good luck.