John M. Browning is a legend in the firearms industry. But the one thing people don’t know is that Browning contributed significantly to the invention of shotguns. As a matter of fact, some of his greatest achievements are the improvements he made on shotguns. To date, Brownings Arms Company is one of the leading designers of shotguns, and the Browning BPS is just one of the many incredible weapons that this company makes.
So, why add Browning BPS shotgun to your collection? Well, this shotgun is one of the most reliable ones; it has a good finish that makes it resistant to water and abrasion. Plus, it has an ergonomic design that gives you a good hold even in inclement weather.
If you’re new to this magical weapon, here is a detailed Browning BPS review.
Things to Consider before Buying a Shotgun
The way pro-gun activists tell it, you’d think that you can just walk into a store, pay a few bucks and walk out with a loaded firearm ready for action. The truth is, however, purchasing a shotgun is not as easy. You should be well-informed and, more importantly, have the right documents. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Know the Applicable Laws
The gun laws in various states are as different as night and day. However, there are a couple of rules that apply to every state. For one, potential gun owners ought to have a valid state ID or driver’s license.
Two, they should fill out Form 4473, which is issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). This form explains the legal requirements for owning a firearm. For instance, you cannot buy a firearm if you are an illegal alien, felon, junky or mentally ill.
On the same note, it’s illegal to buy a gun on behalf of someone else. Buying a shotgun is not like buying a ticket to an R-rated film for your teenage brother; it’s a much bigger crime.
Establish a Purpose
Some firearms are designed to perform a particular task. The shotgun used by military personnel is not the same one used by civilians for personal protection. In this case, the Browning BPS shotgun is best suited for hunting. This shotgun is well-balanced, making it a pleasure to shoot.
Although some pump action type shotguns are advertised as being versatile, most of them area case of “a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none”. So, if you want to find a good shotgun, first determine how you want to use it then look for one tailored for that function.
Overview of the Browning BPS
Most of Browning’s firearms come in a variety of configurations, and their BPS shotgun is no exception. The two main variants are BPS Stalker and Hunter shotguns.
The Browning Pump Hunter is a pump-action shotgun available in 12, 16, 20 and 28gauge and .410. But the variety doesn’t end here. This shotgun comes with five different shells and two barrel sizes: the 48.75-inch and the 46.75-inch. It’s important to note that the .410 only comes with a 46.75-inch barrel.
The BPS Stalker is another tough contender in the category of pump-action shotguns. It boasts a composite stock with matte black coating. It also has a back-bored barrel, which means that its diameter has been increased beyond standard specifications. The larger diameter of the bore enhances its performance significantly.
Overall, the Browning BPS line of shotguns has been built with hunters in mind. The features explained in the next section make them very suitable for hunting both small and big game.
Features and Benefits
As we mentioned earlier, the most incredible feature of the Browning BPS shotgun is its durability. The forged steel receiver and sturdy stock contribute to the resilience of this shotgun. Also, the shotgun’s double slide bars are pretty tough. So, you don’t have to worry about them bending or twisting—and this gives you better performance of the gun.
Apart from its sturdy build, there’s another feature that sets the Browning BPS apart from the crowd, and one that I really like. I’m referring to its ability to hold all kinds of ammo. Why I love this feature? It allows me to hunt a different game. Whether I want to hunt rabbits or waterfowl, I can use this shotgun with a variety of cartridges.
As a rule of thumb, the 12, 20 gauge and .410 bore models work with 3″ Magnum, 2 ¾” Magnum, 2 ¾” Target loads and 2 ¾” high-velocity loads. The 10gauge BPS models are designed to shoot 2 ¾”, 3” and 3 ½” shells.
Browning BPS is a very versatile shotgun. One particular aspect that makes it versatile is thumb safety. Mounted on the top rear section of the receiver, the thumb safety is easy to access for both right-handed and left-handed shooters.
Another important thing to note about the Browning BPS is that it’s a bottom eject shotgun. This means that it sends fired rounds downward, out of your line of sight. The bottom-eject mechanism is also beneficial in that if you’re standing side by side to someone, then you won’t be sending the fired rounds in his direction.
Furthermore, this shotgun is fitted with the Invector-Plus choke system, which has a far superior design than the choke systems in traditional shotguns. This feature works in tandem with Vector Pro and back-boring to deliver consistent and dense patterns.
What to Keep in Mind
The Browning Invector provides just the right amount of constriction that you’d need for different shooting situations. That said, there are a couple of points you need to keep in mind about this choke system:
- Never use Browning BPS shotgun if it doesn’t have an Invectorchoke tube. This can lead to permanent damage.
- The Invector and Invectorplus choke tubes need not be used in shotgun barrels that are not supplied by Browning. Similarly, do not use other choking devices in shotguns made by Browning.
- If you’re planning to install or remove a choking device from the Browning BPS, first ensure that it’s fully unloaded. Also, the bolt or breech should be completely open.
Performance-wise, Browning BPS is user-friendly and has a very smooth action. Once you’ve loaded the chamber, all that’s left to do is to fire the gun. To shoot, push the thumb safety forward so that it’s in ‘fire’ position. With some BPS models, there’s a red warning dot that lights up to indicate this action. When you finish shooting, remember to put the safety in the ‘on safe’ position.
Pros and Cons
- There’s a lot you’ll like about Browning BPS shotgun. For one, it’s very reliable and accurate, almost as accurate as the Remington Wingmaster. Second, the shotgun comes in a range of options. This means that you’re bound to find one that addresses your hunting needs.
- Another plus of the BPS is the bottom loading and ejection, which sells any fired shells downward. And, thanks to the ambidextrous top-mounted safety, this shotgun equally suits left- and right-handed shooters.
- The only features we found lacking in Browning BPS is a lightweight design. Compared to other shotguns, this one is on the heavier side of the weight spectrum. Also, the synthetic stocks are less durable than the walnut stocks.
General User Impressions
- Fans of the Browning BPS shotgun love the forged steel receiver and twin slide bars. They also like the cycling dependability and smooth action, which very few shotguns can compete with.
- When it comes to assembly, there are conflicting opinions among users. While some find this easy, others claim that it’s difficult. Ideally, it can be difficult to assemble Browning BPS for the first time. But, once you’ve mastered the art, you’ll realize that assembling it is a piece of cake.
- Browning BPS has garnered the level of reputation that Browning Arms Company boasts. After testing it, we found the overly-advertised attributes to be true. It is long-lasting and has an uncanny ability to continue functioning regardless of what Mother Nature throws at it.
- Some of the features we liked most are the double-machined action bars, the convenient location of the top-tang safety, bottom eject mechanism for ambidextrous operation as well as its balance and smooth handling.
Browning BPS FAQs
How can one maintain Browning BPS shotgun?
If you’d like to pass on your Browning BPS to your kids someday, then one thing you’ll want to do is to keep it in good condition. Therefore, you should lubricate the metal parts after a few hunts or sessions at the clay ranges. The reason we recommend lubricating regularly is that some older Browning models are notorious for having chambers that rust very easily.
However, if you don’t use your shotgun that often, then you don’t have to lubricate it frequently. Essentially, you should inspect your shotgun regularly, and based on what you find, you can decide whether to lubricate it or not.
At times, you should also consider adding a small drop of gun oil inside the receiver track. Doing so prevents excess friction while also guaranteeing a smooth operation.
Are the Invector, Invector Plus or Invector-DS choke tubes interchangeable?
No, they are not. The standard Invector choke tubes were the original version. Later, Browning invented the Invector Plus and Invector-DS in that order.
When shopping for Browning BPS, it would be a good idea to confirm the type of choke installed in the specific model you plan to buy. You can do this by checking the details engraved in the barrel and the choke tube. Alternatively, just visit browning.com, look for your BPS shotgun and click the ‘Features’ section.
Can I have extra barrels made for my shotgun?
Yes, Browning offers additional barrels for their BPS line of shotguns and a few others. These include the Maxus, Gold 10 Gauge, Gold 12 and 20 gauge, Silver and A5. Just visit your local Browning dealer or order online from their site.
Can I buy BPS shotgun directly from Browning?
According to federal law, you can only buy a new firearm from a dealer, who should have a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). As a buyer, you also need to comply with the regulations stipulated in Form 4473.
Can I use any Browning BPS shotgun for hunting, sporting clays, trap, and skeet?
However, you will get a better outcome when you use a shotgun designed for a particular activity. There are specific features integrated into the different models of BPS shotguns that benefit each of these sports.
Does Browning offer any cleaning supplies for shotguns?
Yes, they do. You can buy their gun cleaning products separately or as a package that contains four main products—carbon remover, bore polish, gun oil, and solvent or degreaser. You can get these from your local Browning dealer or by contacting customer service.
Browning BPS is a versatile shotgun that is a pleasure to shoot. The durability of this firearm remains unmatched. So, whether you go for the Hunter or Stalker model, you’re guaranteed of getting an effective hunting companion by your side. Happy hunting!
Want more shotgun reviews? Here’s one for an over/under shotgun that you might like. And here’s one for a pump-action shotgun.
Aiden: Thank you for this very helpful article.
I am a left-handed shooter. I do not hunt but live close to a range that has trap, skeet, and sporting clays.
Have been studying shotguns that are lefty-friendly. The BPS pops up often in this regard. The bottom eject makes the gun friendly for me (lefty) and my adult sons (right-handers) when they come to visit.
You mentioned “specific features” to ask for depending upon what you plan to do with the shotgun. What should I ask for when I order a BPS for trap, skeet, sporting clays?