Bourjaily: Browning Maxus

Browning recently unveiled its new autoloader, the Maxus, at its annual sales meeting. They just now posted this video on Youtube as their way of announcing the gun to the world:

Some of the footage was taken last September in South Dakota, where I shot pheasants and targets with the Maxus for three days. I make a cameo appearance in there somewhere - shooting the gun, and carrying a dead rooster

Overall, my impression of the Maxus was positive. Essentially, it's a Gold 2.0, at least in terms of the gas system, and the Gold was already one of my favorite gas autoloaders. The gas system has been redesigned to work better with light and heavy loads, and to shoot cleaner. Only time and a lot of trigger pulls can deliver a final verdict, but so far it seems to work fine.

The forearm latch, borrowed from O/U guns, replaces the magazine cap. I am still trying to decide whether it's cool or gimmicky, but I'm leaning towards "cool." The "turnkey" magazine plug can be removed easily with a vehicle key without danger of launching the magazine tube spring. I suppose it's cool, too, if you are always plugging and unplugging your gun. I leave the plugs in my guns so I never have to worry about whether they're legal, so I could take the "turnkey" or leave it alone.

The Maxus is very light weight, probably just under 7 pounds. My contacts at Browning say that's what hunters are demanding these days. Me, I prefer some heft to my autoloaders, because I primarily shoot them for targets and waterfowl. Gas operation or no, if you shoot 3.5 inch shells or even a lot of target loads out of a sub-seven pound gun, you'll get kicked.

The Maxus will list for $1199 in basic black, 3-inch, with camo and 3.5-inch models costing more. They should be available by the second quarter of next year. Anybody lining up to buy one?