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Browning Safari DOM help please?

TWalkerTWalker Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2014 in Ask the Experts
I bought a Browning Safari rifle today in 7mm Mag caliber. I am having a terrible time trying to figure out the date of manufacture. The serial number is 58866L70. The action is a SAKO but the manufacturor is FN I believe. Any help from someone who knows the DOM is appreciated. Thanks!

Comments

  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,240 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Browning's serialization, during that time frame was a mess. I make it to be 1970, for DOM.

    Great caution should be observed though. That was right in the middle of the salt wood scandal. Check below the wood line, or under the buttplate for rust and pitting.
  • TWalkerTWalker Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you. I removed the stock. There was some light pitting on the right side frame rail below the wood line that looked like it was caught years ago and a couple of shiney spots on the magazine box where rust might have been at one time. The barrel is perfect as is the stock. The stock has no serial number and I removed the butt plate screws and found them like new. The gun doesn't appear to have ever been fired since leaving the factory. My guess is that origionally it had a salt wood stock that was replaced at the factory as well as any rust removed. Regardless, I picked it up cheap and I'm very happy to have it.
  • GrasshopperGrasshopper Member Posts: 13,945 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That will be one fine shooter,some of the best factory rifles made imo,The L70 should be a prefix I thought,,but-
  • TWalkerTWalker Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, the serial number doesn't make any sense, but L70 is a suffix not a prefix as expected.I've seen a few others with the same suffix.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,240 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TWalker
    Yes, the serial number doesn't make any sense, but L70 is a suffix not a prefix as expected.I've seen a few others with the same suffix.



    For some reason, during that time frame. Circa, late 60's early 70's. The serialization of Browning firearms, made in Belgium was suspect.

    It went so far, that many of the guns made in 1973 were marked with the digits reversed. The serial number had the date marked as 37, instead of 73.

    I always felt that Brownings transfer of long gun production to Japan, and .22 handgun production to the U.S. was the result of personnel problems in Belgium. As well as cheaper labor costs in Japan.

    I also had a Belgium made Challenger pistol, with the date as a suffix after the serial number.
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