Q Last year I bought a Browning 325 Sporter secondhand as a gun to start both clay and rough shooting with. Shortly after I bought it, the gun would not fire the bottom barrel and then sometimes the top.
I have taken it back to the shop where I bought it who told me they fitted a new firing pin for the bottom barrel, but now the problem has started again. I am getting to the point of selling the gun as I am so fed up but don’t know what to buy instead. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Matthew Moss, York
A Please, don’t get too depressed over this problem, one of Browning/Miroku’s little faults is a tendency to misfire on the bottom barrel, usually caused by a weak mainspring or worn firing pin, both of which can be easily corrected.
The angle of the bottom barrel firing pin in these guns is quite steep, which means that the slightest wear can cause a misfire as the strike energy is not in a direct line to the primer. However, as the firing pin has already been replaced, and I would hope the mainspring at the same time, it is possible that as a fairly old gun it is filthy inside causing the strike of the firing pin to be slowed by muck and rubbish. This could be the reason why you are getting the odd misfire on the top barrel or it could be the inertia not re-setting due to the dirt.
If you like the gun and would like to keep it, may I suggest that you take it to a competent gunsmith for a complete service, checking both of the firing pins and mainsprings and then you shouldn’t have any more trouble. I actually own a 325 and it is my favourite ‘knock about’ gun for rough shooting as it is so reliable.
At around the same price bracket secondhand, the only other gun I would recommend is a Beretta 686 or 682: once again a very good, reliable gun, but no gun will be reliable unless it is cleaned and serviced.
Don’t forget, if you have had the gun for less than six months, it is the duty of the vendor to sell the gun fit for purpose and correcting these faults should be down to them. It is always worthwhile taking a secondhand purchase to a gunsmith to be checked for any obvious faults before this period is up. Tim Greenwood