A guest post from Shooting Editor and Shotguns Columnist Phil Bourjaily.
When I asked last week what guns you all think Browning should make I didn’t expect to read over 100 replies. Obviously, the question struck a chord. I’ve forwarded all your answers to my contact at Browning, who in turn forwarded them to the company’s firearms product managers. We’ll have to wait and see if they listen to you.
Counting up the responses (shotguns only, rifles are DEP’s area) it’s about a tie between a revived A-5, especially a Sweet 16, and a side by side. There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news: tooling for the BSS doesn’t exist anymore, and the high start-up costs aren’t justified for what would be a niche gun. It’s gone. If Browning introduced a side by side, it would have to be an existing gun, sourced from another manufacturer. Would you buy a Spanish or Turkish Browning? I’m not sure I would.
The good news is, a new Miroku A-5 is much more likely. It would probably have to be a custom shop item, but that could include a no-frills hunting model. A Sweet 16 would be a natural, too. I’d like mine with a ribless barrel for a little less weight.
The A-Bolt shotgun got four votes. It was a gun ahead of its time and I think there’s a market for it now. With modern slugs, it would be an absolute tack-driver by slug standards. Would you want it in 12 gauge, 20, or both?
My suggestion was for an alloy-receivered “feather” version of the BPS in 16, 20 and 28 gauge. The BPS is quality pump gun but overweight for upland hunting. If you could lose half or three-quarters of a pound with an alloy receiver and maybe a shorter magazine tube, it would make a great bird gun. Anybody else think that’s a good idea?