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Thread: Browning Model 71

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Browning Model 71

    I recently ran across a large collection of guns, one local gun shop picked up two Winchester 71's and three Browning 71's, all new in the box (the Brownings, not the Winchesters). Apparently this guy had a major thing for these guns, he owned and shot Winchester 71's and bought a Browning 71 for each of his three sons when they came out, none of his kids wanted them or anything to do with them, so he kept them. One of them was left at the gun shop, so I put a deposit on it, it's a carbine version, new in the box, still has the wrapping on it. The shop wanted $925 for it so I decided now was time for one. Another local shop has half a case of Winchester ammo for it so I can get that to start with.
    My question is, I am looking for loads for it, I plan on using a 200 grain or close to that size bullet, my plan of course that this gun will be for whitetails next year, not to go after anything else bigger, at least not yet.
    Whatever cannot be remedied, must be endured.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    449
    The 200gr. Hornady flatnose works well on deer.I have loaded it for several friends with H-4350 powder.there is also a 200 gr. FTX bullet available.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Aug 2006
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    That's a good deal for a NIB carbine. I reckon the carbines handle a little better than the rifle version.

    There are plenty of good jacketed bullets available these days for the 348 and I believe Starline is making brass in the calibre now.

    Now you need hunt around for a decent aperture sight, but steer clear of the lightweight alloy Lyman 66's. Try to find a vintage steel Lyman or Redfield. You may have to alter the sight ever so slightly to fit. There is an outfit making reproduction steel Redfields, though they are quite expensive.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Sep 2012
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    NE Wisconsin
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    I have shot Elk with bullets from Hawk great caliber and fantastic little carbine. Congrats on a great find.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by David LaPell View Post
    I recently ran across a large collection of guns, one local gun shop picked up two Winchester 71's and three Browning 71's, all new in the box (the Brownings, not the Winchesters). Apparently this guy had a major thing for these guns, he owned and shot Winchester 71's and bought a Browning 71 for each of his three sons when they came out, none of his kids wanted them or anything to do with them, so he kept them. One of them was left at the gun shop, so I put a deposit on it, it's a carbine version, new in the box, still has the wrapping on it. The shop wanted $925 for it so I decided now was time for one. Another local shop has half a case of Winchester ammo for it so I can get that to start with.
    My question is, I am looking for loads for it, I plan on using a 200 grain or close to that size bullet, my plan of course that this gun will be for whitetails next year, not to go after anything else bigger, at least not yet.
    David
    I have had a Browning 71 since they sold em new in a box (30 years almost) have not shot it much but enjoyed it when I do. I fitted a Williams peep sight, bought a couple boxes of hornady 200grainers, 1000 hornady gas checks and a CBE 225 grain mold, have shot mostly cast GC in it over 56 grains of winchester 760, that load chronos 2350 FPS out of the 24 inch barrel - a really good hog load! The 200 grain hornady up close on a solid hog is too fragile for my liking, softer skinned game like Deer? it should flatten them. A softer cast boolit would be just effective too.
    I took the view early that this gun was for serious - not a plinker - so I wanted at least factory load performance
    I put a good recoil pad on it at the start and recoil has not been anything like the problem I was led to believe.

    Mine has had two mechanical problems
    1) the arch cutout on underside of the bolt that allows clearance over the hammer once it is cocked (same on a 92 or 86) WAS NOT THERE! somebody botched the maching (I hope) OR botched the design (big problem) - it was really stiff to cycle - I fixed mine myself but its not a job for the average tinkerer
    2) the lawyer inspired rebounding firing pin fouled up and the gun would no longer fire - I converted that too to a solid pin - proly not for the average tinkerer either.
    Had they stuck to the original 71 design neither of these things would have happened. The external finish is first class and I got a really nice piece of wood on it too.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy veeman's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    I thought the Browning version of the 86 and 71 didnt have the rebounding hammers? My 86s don't.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeman View Post
    I thought the Browning version of the 86 and 71 didnt have the rebounding hammers? My 86s don't.
    My Browning 71 doesn't either.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeman View Post
    I thought the Browning version of the 86 and 71 didnt have the rebounding hammers? My 86s don't.
    correct ---hammer is normal - has the proper half cock notch safety
    Firing pin comes in a bag ful of little pieces "Inertia" was the word I should have used 'stead of rebounding - but same end result - hammer strikes back part - back part shoots forward and hits front part which compresses forward against a spring till it fires primer - then spring rebounds pin off of primer - in between those two is a short little section floating on a retainer pin and pinned in the side of the bolt is a little dog legged latch piece that engages a notch in the floating bit and functions to block the rear part of the firing pin from contacting the front bit - the dog leggey bit has a little spring behind it that made a really neat hand spring for our 1860 army colt - I am thinking that is an out of battery safety mechanism that disengages (sposed to ) when the action is fully closed - figured it fouled up once it proly foul up again - why do we need all them litle bits in there anyway ?
    I found a nice parts drawing of an original 71 someplace and it had a solid one piece firing pin so I modified mine to match. The rebound spring still works to hold the pin back off the primer unless the gun is in the fired position - Think I got this right its near two years since I did the job on it. Maybe forgot something in my description.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Congragulations on the find and purchase. Great caliber, Winchester 71 is a superb handling rifle. A number of good powders shoot well. Ran across a stash of old Hodgdon 4831 (cardboard can vintage), good results with 200 grain Hornady. With cast bullets the Lyman gas checked 187 grain 350477 shoots well with H4831 (cardboard can vintage). With these bigger cases never shoot significantly reduced loads of slow burning powders. P.O. Ackley wrote an article about detonations in Rifles with reduced loads of slow burning powders.
    Rick

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check