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 Browning BL-22 confusing serial
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gopin2012
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2009 :  9:05:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am trying to date my Dad's Browning BL-22 .22 rifle. He can't remember when it was given to him by his employees (He thinks the early 70's). My brothers and I loved this rifle and now my father is generously giving it to my son on his 10th birthday. It is in excellent condition. My question is that the serial number is stamped on the bottom of the receiver at the front of the trigger guard(not the right side as Browning states). The serial # is 47B31889. The left side barrel is stamped BROWNING ARMS COMPANY MORGAN, UTAH & MONTREAL P.Q. (top row) and MADE IN JAPAN (bottom). I have read many differing opinions as to decoding this serial...The B means a Belgian built gun with the year of production precedeing it. This is not possible. The BL-22 wasn't produced anywhere in 1947. None of the numbers together make any year possible. I have seen others with this same issue and would appreciate some help. Thanks from a new guy. Doug

rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15924 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2009 :  9:34:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
According to the Blue Book, Miroku made the BL-22's in Japan between 1970 and 2003.

My take on your serial number question, is that "31889", is the actual serial number.

"B", is the product code, i.e. model/type of firearm.

"7", is the actual date of manufacturer 1977.

Don't have a clue what the "4" represents?

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BigLoop22
Member

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2009 :  2:44:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doug & Rufe,

The serial number in question, 47B31889, does not follow the guidelines on Browning's Web site:

http://www.browning.com/customerservice/dategun/detail.asp?id=21

In each instance listed, by Browning, either 4, or 5 digits start the serial number. From 1969-through-1975, Browning actually used the last 2 digits of the year of manufacture in the serial numbers ("69"=1969). Beginning in 1976, these are followed by a 2-letter date code. The remaing digits, 3 of them, indicate gun type & "grade" level.

Whatever the date is, it should be 2 digits, or 2 letters. Doug, can you re-check your serial number?

BigLoop22
---------------------------------


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rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15924 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2009 :  3:01:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BigLoop22

Doug & Rufe,

The serial number in question, 47B31889, does not follow the guidelines on Browning's Web site:

http://www.browning.com/customerservice/dategun/detail.asp?id=21

In each instance listed, by Browning, either 4, or 5 digits start the serial number. From 1969-through-1975, Browning actually used the last 2 digits of the year of manufacture in the serial numbers ("69"=1969). Beginning in 1976, these are followed by a 2-letter date code. The remaing digits, 3 of them, indicate gun type & "grade" level.

Whatever the date is, it should be 2 digits, or 2 letters. Doug, can you re-check your serial number?




The serial number information on the Browning is questionable at best.

I had a Browning Challenger pistol years back whose product code and Dom was a suffix to the actual serial number rather then a prefix as the Browning site maintained it should be.

We also have had numerous questions. regarding these anomalies with the Browning serials over the years. My theory is that something happened during the mid 60's-mid 70's time frame when Browning was moving their production out of Belgium. This is also the time frame when the "Salt Wood" stock fiasco was occurring.

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duckhunter
Advanced Member

8432 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2009 :  4:35:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
first 10 years they used a single number. 7=77 after the first 10 years moved to two letters.
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ripley16
Advanced Member

5280 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2009 :  07:52:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm in the same boat gopin2012 is in. I've looked all over the internet to try to translate my Browning BL22 serial number, which is, 37BO836X.


rufe-snow said;
quote:
Don't have a clue what the "4" represents?


Could it be the grade? That's the only difference as far as models that I know of.

It is a fabulously well made .22 rifle. I bought it to pass on to a grandson one day.



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Edited by - ripley16 on 10/19/2009 09:07:18 AM
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