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Browning Model 71/348

This is a discussion on Browning Model 71/348 within the Lever Action forums, part of the Gun Forum category; These Browning reproductions of the original Win. Mod. 71's are one fine rifle at probably half the price of an original in fine condition if ...


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Old October 26th, 2013, 05:35 AM   #1
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Browning Model 71/348

These Browning reproductions of the original Win. Mod. 71's are one fine rifle at probably half the price of an original in fine condition if you could find an owner willing to sell his original. Ammunition, 348Win., not a common shelf ammo these days but can be found and since I reload not a major problem.
Group of good friends of mine own a hunt camp on some 600 acres of prime deer hunting country here in WV and as always invite me to join them for "a good time had by all..." Well, up in years, knee surgery on the horizon in Jan.'14, but am going to go and use my 71. Spent some time at local range yesterday and put 26 rounds down range at 50, 100, and 150yds using the std. open sights. The original Mod. 71's have a great following but one of the complaints about them is the caliber/348 not being all that accurate. These rifles were not considered for long range accuracy but more for close in hunting as in thick forested areas and even for those "close encounters" with big bear at short distances. It has been said that he tolerances were not that close on the Winchesters compared to the much newer Brownings and whether that is true or not don't know. What I do know is that yesterday using Winchester 200gr Silver Tips factory the Browning 71 gave very good accuracy from both the bench and off hand. Recoil in this rifle/caliber combo is stiff and std. butt plate is a steel one and have a Galco leather Velcro pad on it to help and would say the recoil is similar to a modern 300WinMag hunting rifle, perhaps a bit more??
Lived in Alaska for some years and old timer/ex guide told me he liked to give his clients a little marksmanship test prior to the hunt by having them shoot at a 12" pie plate at something close to 100 yds. off hand, five rounds. He always felt a bit more comfortable when the client could keep at least three into the pie plate.
(He was not a big fan of scopes, bi pods, and all that "extra stuff.") Well, for me I did the test and was able to put 5 into the target; however, I cheated and used the std. SR 200yd repair center and kept those in the black with 3 10's, an 8@9'o'clock and an 8@6' o'clock, 5 total for a score of 46/50. Diameter of the 8 ring is 19", 9 ring is 13" and 10 ring is 7" From bench/bag the rifle could keep all 5 in the 10 ring which is certainly not match rifle accuracy, but not bad at all for this rifle. With a good receiver sight could most likely cut that group in half from the bench. These Browning rifles, although produced in Japan, are well made and actions are smooth as glass and unfortunately no longer made. Winchester is reproducing them today, but with a tang safety and modified(lawyer proof) trigger mechanism. Keep in mind that Winchester of old were all about lever guns and when the 71 came out it was an improved version of the old '86 in a then entirely new round 348Win.(it is simply the 50/110 case necked down to .348) and touted as the finest hunting rifle for all game in North America, from mice to moose. If you are a lever gun fan and can find one of these Brownings(made a carbine version as well a the rifle) they are one fine hunting rifle.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 06:13 AM   #2
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I must have missed this post previously...

I have one of the Browning 71's... a carbine-length Grade I, and love it. I bought it to hunt pigs with, which I haven't done just yet... but someday! I have no doubt this thing would take anything south of an Elk.

The Winchester 200grn Silvertip load is a pretty good one but, if you reload, Barnes has a 220grn and 250grn bullet available, Hornady has a 200grn. I use H4831 based on some old data I have, but I am working up some loads using IMR4895 in an effort to eliminate another powder on the bench. If you need reloading data, PM me and I'll let you have what I have found.

I have my carbine set up with a peep (Williams, I think) and it works very good. I do not shoot open sights very well, anymore, and the buckhorn rear was just about worthless... spend the money for the peep!


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Old December 3rd, 2013, 06:29 AM   #3
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charlie98,
That carbine version of the Brn/Win. 71 is one fine hunting rifle and very handy in brush or thick timber. In thick cover a hunting rifle is most handy if you can carry in one hand, barrel pointing downward and not drag the ground, quick to put into action so to speak.
I also struggle with the open sights and did buy one of those mounts from Doug Turnbull which allows you to mount the Burris Fast Fire II/III red dot.
The Burris is very small/compact and actually does not look all that bad even on this classic lever gun and helps a bunch for tired eyes. The younger generation seldom even know about the rifle, much less about the caliber, but for absolutely hard core hunting rifle out to 200+ yards, the 71/348 combo is tough to beat.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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A guy at work offered me one for $300. I brought the money but the jerk back out in the 80's.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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That was a bad deal for you rarely see them for sale on gun shop shelves. Not that many were made w/ Browning version, some few thousand or so in Std. grade and then think 1000 made in what they called High Grade. The current offerings by Winchester do look well made, but just don't like that tang safety and modified trigger, but that's just me.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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Im looking for a early long tang stock right now...the 71 I own (3 dig sn) had a maple stock, been looking but early stocks are hard to find...I re did the finish on the maple...turned out nice may re stock with that till I find a walnut. As you know the 71 is just a large frame winchester 1886..as a matter of fact you can swap the lower tang and lever from a 86 and it fits fine...saw on converted 71 years ago in Canada. FLAT DEADLY ON ANY GAME IN NORTH AMERICA INCLUDING MOOSE AND BROWNIES ( That is if the Bear is under 900 lbs)

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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That was a bad deal for you rarely see them for sale on gun shop shelves. Not that many were made w/ Browning version, some few thousand or so in Std. grade and then think 1000 made in what they called High Grade. The current offerings by Winchester do look well made, but just don't like that tang safety and modified trigger, but that's just me.
For a while, my brother had a matching set of 4... 1 ea of the rifle and carbine, high and low grades, same serial number, all packed in a 4-box they were shipped in from the factory. Bought it from a shop in Fishers, IN, lady's husband died and she sold all his guns to this shop. Sadly, he was in a money crunch some years ago and had to sell them.

I bought my 1886 from a shop in Norton, OH... he said he had to take a 71 for every 1886 he ordered... forced to take them. He said there was no interest in the 71's and he had to sell them at his cost just to get rid of them. I bought my 71 from Vance's in Westerville, OH on 12MAR94 for $550.

I think there were 3000 Grade I's and 1000 Grade V's... but don't quote me on that.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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My good friend has a soft spot for the 71. He and his son have one and I lost out on one in a local shop last year for $1200. His son has a deluxe model and his is a long tang pre-war model with bolt peep. Very nice.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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I have a Pedersoli 86/71 in 45-70 which is essentially a 71 in 45-70 caliber.
45-70 ammo & reloading components are a lot easier to find than 348 Win ammo & components.
The Pedersoli follows the JMB design faithfully except for the caliber for their rendition of the Winchester model 71.
The Pedersoli clone has none of the lawyer parts (rebounding hammer & that ridiculous tang safety) the new Miroku Winchesters do.
The Pedersoli 86/71 is very slick & accurate.

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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie98 View Post
I must have missed this post previously...

I have one of the Browning 71's... a carbine-length Grade I, and love it. I bought it to hunt pigs with, which I haven't done just yet... but someday! I have no doubt this thing would take anything south of an Elk.

The Winchester 200grn Silvertip load is a pretty good one but, if you reload, Barnes has a 220grn and 250grn bullet available, Hornady has a 200grn. I use H4831 based on some old data I have, but I am working up some loads using IMR4895 in an effort to eliminate another powder on the bench. If you need reloading data, PM me and I'll let you have what I have found.

I have my carbine set up with a peep (Williams, I think) and it works very good. I do not shoot open sights very well, anymore, and the buckhorn rear was just about worthless... spend the money for the peep!

That Browning model 71 pictured above is like a Winchester 1886 Extra Light with a pistol grip.

The Browning & post 2006 Winchester leverguns are made by the same company......Miroku of Japan. This has been the case for many years.

I have the 1886 EL and find the semi-buckhorn sights faster (target acquisition) than the peep sights. This is probably because I've shot my 2 pre-64 model 94s for many years. Miroku copied the very fine and precise sights of the pre-64 94s for their Winchester 1886 EL reproduction.

The new 1886 EL is considered a reproduction because even though the gun is a bonafide Winchester 1886 EL the serial number of the new guns did not start where the original Winchester model 1886 Extra Light Weight model serial numbers left off.

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Old December 4th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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To be honest, I don't like pistol grip lever guns, preferring a straight stock like the 1886.



Mate the straight grip stock to the 71 action = Utopia. But that's just me...

It broke my heart to sell my 1886, but it was a choice between it and the 71... and the 71 won out.

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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:19 AM   #12
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To be honest, I don't like pistol grip lever guns, preferring a straight stock like the 1886.



Mate the straight grip stock to the 71 action = Utopia. But that's just me...

It broke my heart to sell my 1886, but it was a choice between it and the 71... and the 71 won out.
I looked at my birth certificate and didn't see a place on the back for a renewal stamp so I assumed from that I was only here on Earth for one trip.
If I can't enjoy the things I love what the frack am I doing here?..........might as well stick a grenade between my butt cheeks and pull the pin.
I kept BOTH my 1886 Extra Light & the Pedersoli 86/71 (a 45-70 caliber model 71 clone).

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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:18 AM   #13
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No question the 348 ammo is not common compared to 45/70 and that is a negative, but some years ago did find a nice supply of ammo and components. The Pedersoli offerings from what I have read are first rate firearms and believe Turnbull uses them in some of his reproductions. The bolt peep was mentioned and got to thinking I might try and get that done and did find a 'smith that specializes in those sights and upon checking the price to have one installed was north of $400.00. Once it was explained to me the machining process required and time, I understood, but decided I would just have to live with what I have.

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Old December 5th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #14
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I looked at my birth certificate and didn't see a place on the back for a renewal stamp so I assumed from that I was only here on Earth for one trip.
If I can't enjoy the things I love what the frack am I doing here?..........might as well stick a grenade between my butt cheeks and pull the pin.
I kept BOTH my 1886 Extra Light & the Pedersoli 86/71 (a 45-70 caliber model 71 clone).
My birth certificate is not attached to my checkbook...

The reason I sold my 1886? ...to fund my Socom16. You are right, you only live once. I get far more use out of my Socom.

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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:12 PM   #15
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i have a browning 71 lightwieght that's NIB and never fired - just never got around to it.

have toyed with the idea of selling it, just take it out and look at it, then put it back.

guess some guns are like that........

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