Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Another New Boomer - Browning BLR - Joins The Collection

As I've been saying in my most recent two previous posts, I picked up something really nice at the Hessney Auction Company rod & gun auction this past weekend. I guess it's about time to tell you about it and show it to you.

It's a Browning BLR Lightweight '81 in 30-06 caliber. I think it is among the nicest looking rifles that I own even though its beauty is in its simplicity. I used to own one of these in 358 Winchester caliber but sold it for the idiotic reason that I thought that the ammo for it was too expensive. Yeah, back in 2001, I thought that right around $1.50 per round (for the least expensive stuff at that time) was too expensive. Oddly, that ammo is somewhat less expensive now. While that was very expensive back then, it was no reason to sell that rifle as I know now but was too foolish to realize back them. Luckily though, I made a nice profit selling it so the feeling of seller's remorse was not too bad.

Who am I kidding - the seller's remorse never went away. I have kind of, sort of, more or less wanted another one ever since I sold that one and have been kicking myself in mine arse for all these years for having sold it. To make up for selling it, I decided I wanted the takedown model but wanted it in as good a deal in which I got the first one (although that low of a price on a BLR probably would never happens again - I was at the right place at the right time and offered an excellent price beyond belief on that first one). While I did not get this one at anywhere close to the great deal at which I got that first one - and while this one is not a takedown model - it was still an excellent buy. I got it for at least $125 less than any I have seen offered online and at about $225 less than I would have had to pay at my local dealer (and he is offering it at the lowest price anywhere near to me). This one, like those I looked at online dealers and that my local dealer offers, was new in the box with papers. Such a deal - don't be a schmuck - buy two (good advice and if they had had two, I might have taken them both at the price I paid).

Not only was it new and an excellent deal, but it's in a caliber that on average is a whole heck of a lot less expensive than 358 Winchester and in a caliber that I believe I would be able to use on any big game in North America including the big bears. In fact, someone agrees with me even if it would be the minimal caliber for the big bears (polar and brown bears). So, it certainly is more than enough for deer or black bear which are about the biggest critters I might ever shoot with it. Then again, a man can dream of hunting those big bears or elk and moose and having enough gun - if those dreams ever come true - can only be a good thing.

The specs on this BLR are: caliber 30-06 Springfield, button rifled 22" barrel, 1 in 10" twist rate, open iron adjustable rear sight, ramp front sight with gold bead, receiver made of lightweight aircraft grade aluminum alloy, receiver drilled and tapped for scope mounts, richly blued metal parts with gold plated trigger, folding hammer (I have no clue) with two positions of half and fully cocked, box magazine with 4 round capacity, back walnut stock with high gloss finish, straight grip stock (I would have preferred a pistol grip but what the heck), cut checkering on stock and foregrip, black polymer recoil pad, overall length 43 inches, weight 7.25 pounds, year of manufacture 2015, made in Japan. (When I was a young kid, made in Japan = crap. When I was a teenager into my young twenties, made in Japan was the pinnacle of electronics, cameras and some optics. Today, made in Japan seems to be the thing with Browning and it looks and feels like fine quality to me.)

You will note that it is a lever action but is not tube fed as it has a box magazine. That means that you can load any type of 30-06 ammo into this rifle including FMJ without the fear of the pointed end of the bullet setting off the primer of the round in front of it as can and has happened in tube fed lever guns. That is a very good thing; then again, I have tube fed lever guns in 35 Remington and 30-30 Winchester and have had no such problems because, in them, I use round nosed ammo or Hornady's Leverevolution plastic tipped ammo (and man that Hornady stuff is seemingly much more accurate than the rounded nose soft points) but I digress, so back to the Browning.

I am going to order a couple of different types of ammo for the Browning BLR, as soon as I can afford it, to see which it likes best. That may take awhile because of how much I spent at the auction this past weekend and because I owe a lot on my credit cards right now due to buying a new washing machine, new dishwasher and some silver bullion (along with our regular purchases) this past month. I must have been crazy to have bought this BLR with my finances as they are but I had a some cash squirreled away just for something like this BLR and I dug up the stash and paid with that (well, at least with a check that is backed by it). Oh well, it makes me happy to  finally have gotten another BLR at such a good price and in a caliber I can afford. Remember I said I had seller's remorse for the first one I owned but then sold - well it has almost been abated - almost but not quite.

All the best,
Glenn B