Make: Fabrique Nationale in Belgium for Browning
Model: FN High-Power Safari Grade Mauser
Serial Number: L6940
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: .338 Winchester Magnum
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 “K”, crown over “R”, lion over “PV and a Liege proof, the right is marked with the serial number and “CALIBER .338 WIN. MAG. ONLY / MADE IN BELGIUM”. The left side of the receiver is marked “*” over “K”, a small lion over “PV” and the Perron proof. The underside of the bolt handle is marked “6940”, the top has a proof mark. The floorplate and trigger guard have gold-color filled embellished engraving. The butt plate is marked “BROWNING / PAD MADE IN USA”.
Barrel Length: 24”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass beaded blade, integral to a base that is dovetailed onto a finely serrated ramp base, which is fixed to the barrel and covered with a blued steel sight hood. The rear sight is a “U” notched leaf, which is in a base that is adjustable for windage and elevation. The top of the receiver has four drilled, tapped and screw-filled holes for the addition of a scope base (not provided).
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 a few areas of scuffing to bare wood, with scattered light to moderate depth handling marks. The flanks of the forend and cheek piece have some notable marks. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the factory brown rubber ventilated rubber recoil pad; the pad is set with an off-white and black spacer; the pad has no major marks and is in Excellent condition. The stock rates in about Fine 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 95% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some patina on the bolt handle and smaller spots on the body; the front sight base has some marks from the sight hood and the barrel has a few scuff marks, please see our pictures. The magazine floorplate and trigger guard have a few shallow dings. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine 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 1.70” long. The rifle has a hinged magazine floorplate. The trigger breaks clean at just under 3lbs. 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 some light to moderate depth handling marks; the flanks of the forend and left side cheek piece have notable examples of this. The metal retains about 95% of its blued finish, with some minor marks in the floorplate and trigger guard, which are embellished. The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp, with no erosion, making this a superb hunting rifle, chambered in an inarguably efficient cartridge; from Wikipedia “The .338 Winchester Magnum is a .338 in (8.6 mm) caliber, belted, rimless, bottlenecked cartridge introduced in 1958 byWinchester Repeating Arms. It is based on the blown-out, shortened .375 H&H Magnum. The .338 in (8.6 mm) is the caliber at which medium-bore cartridges are considered to begin. The .338 Winchester Magnum is the first choice among professional grizzly and brown bear guides in Alaska to back up clients where a powerful stopping caliber is required on charging bears. It is also the most popular medium-bore cartridge in North America and has the most widely available choice in rifles among medium bore rifles. The action length is the same as a 30-06 and most major rifle manufacturers in the United States chamber rifles for the cartridge including the semi-automatic Browning BAR Mk II Safari making it a very powerful combination against charging dangerous game. The cartridge was intended for larger North American big-game species and has found use as for the hunting of thin-skinned African plains-game species.” This rifle will make any new owner happy and should prove to be an accurate, well made item. Please see our pictures and good luck.