Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Info on a Browning BT-99

    I have gotten into trap shooting lately. I originally was using a Mossberg 835, but pumps do not seem to be used by serious trap shooters (yeah, yeah, you were using a flintlock and outshot all the guys with Cesar Guarneris...). I have also tried a number of other things that worked at first but didn't function in the heat of competition. Anyway, I didn't want to go the super expensive custom shotgun route, so I found a used Browning BT-99 for $650 at the Oaks show last year. The BT-99 is one of the workhorses of the trap world. It didn't quite fit me right, so I've decided to sell it (but not on the shotgun forum) - but it's a fixed choke version. So I went about looking for information. There's a lot of information in the serial number. Browning uses 5 digits, 2 letters, and a three digit after number. The letters stand for the year of manufacture. My particular BT-99 is #####RN309. The R stands for 7 and the N for 9, so this shotgun was manufactured in 1979. The first 5 digits are the number of the gun off the production line (ie, 00001 would be the first). The 309 indicates the model. I have NOT been able to find what this number stands for. I called Browning, and they couldn't find it either. This is not a particularly special-looking shotgun, nothing fancy. If anyone knows what 309 stands for, please comment or drop me a line. Other pieces of information were found with a ruler - 14 1/8 LOP, 32 inch barrel. What about the choke? I called Browning and they told me to open the shotgun and look on the left side of the barrel. There was 32 (barrel length) and **. So I looked up Browning choke markings and found that *=Full, *- =Improved Modified, ** =Modified, **- =Improved Cylinder, **$ =Skeet, and *** =Cylinder Bore. The sales guy said that this was an Improved Modified, so he was wrong (shocking, a sales guy being wrong), the choke on this is Modified.
    So, I have a 1979, Browning BT-99 32" barrel, fixed Modified choke. Last lacking piece of information is what does 309 mean (other than cabalistically). Thanks in advance for all other information.
    A Russian tale: Prince Igor is hunting in the woods in the dead of winter. The icy wind makes his eyes tear. A bird turns to another bird and says,"Look! He's crying!" The other bird says,"Don't watch his eyes, watch his hands."

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyb View Post
    I have gotten into trap shooting lately. I originally was using a Mossberg 835, but pumps do not seem to be used by serious trap shooters (yeah, yeah, you were using a flintlock and outshot all the guys with Cesar Guarneris...). I have also tried a number of other things that worked at first but didn't function in the heat of competition. Anyway, I didn't want to go the super expensive custom shotgun route, so I found a used Browning BT-99 for $650 at the Oaks show last year. The BT-99 is one of the workhorses of the trap world. It didn't quite fit me right, so I've decided to sell it (but not on the shotgun forum) - but it's a fixed choke version. So I went about looking for information. There's a lot of information in the serial number. Browning uses 5 digits, 2 letters, and a three digit after number. The letters stand for the year of manufacture. My particular BT-99 is #####RN309. The R stands for 7 and the N for 9, so this shotgun was manufactured in 1979. The first 5 digits are the number of the gun off the production line (ie, 00001 would be the first). The 309 indicates the model. I have NOT been able to find what this number stands for. I called Browning, and they couldn't find it either. This is not a particularly special-looking shotgun, nothing fancy. If anyone knows what 309 stands for, please comment or drop me a line. Other pieces of information were found with a ruler - 14 1/8 LOP, 32 inch barrel. What about the choke? I called Browning and they told me to open the shotgun and look on the left side of the barrel. There was 32 (barrel length) and **. So I looked up Browning choke markings and found that *=Full, *- =Improved Modified, ** =Modified, **- =Improved Cylinder, **$ =Skeet, and *** =Cylinder Bore. The sales guy said that this was an Improved Modified, so he was wrong (shocking, a sales guy being wrong), the choke on this is Modified.
    So, I have a 1979, Browning BT-99 32" barrel, fixed Modified choke. Last lacking piece of information is what does 309 mean (other than cabalistically). Thanks in advance for all other information.
    If its in good condtion you got a great deal.
    Im seeing them listed starting at 1200 for the exact year and model you mention going up to 4,200.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    You may be able to find more info here
    One site said the bt99 309s were manufactured in japan.

    https://www.browning.com/products/fi...continued.html

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    I suspect that the "309" is a designation that has to do with features on that shotgun. Like the type of stock and forearm. IIRC, the BT99 was available with 3 different types of stocks and two types of forearms. It also came in several wood "Grades" from a matt finish to a high gloss.


    Last edited by Hawk; August 6th, 2019 at 12:35 PM.
    Toujours prÍt

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    The BT99 also comes in special additions. I know this because I have one It is marked Special Steel BT 99. This is a steel finish not blued and it has a laminate wood pieces.
    That is a good price for a BT 99. According to the net it is a nickle finish gray laminate stock pieces.
    I always stressed to my son"one shot one kill that was all that is needed". When He came home from Marine Corp Boot camp He was telling me about the Marines stressing "ONE SHOT ONE KILL" He looks at me and the light bulb went on Dad was now a whole lot smarter than he was 13 weeks ago.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    Might be cheaper to get your BT99 fitted to you. Most of time the only fitting that we needed was length of pull.
    Courage is being scared to death--but saddling up any way. John Wayne

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Info on a Browning BT-99

    Quote Originally Posted by phill View Post
    Might be cheaper to get your BT99 fitted to you. Most of time the only fitting that we needed was length of pull.
    I thought of that, but when I scoped it out, it was around the same to get a BT 99 micro with adjustable butt pad and cheek rest - especially if I sell this one. I think I found the answer to XXXXRN309. Unlike most BT-99s, this one has an ejector instead of an extractor.
    A Russian tale: Prince Igor is hunting in the woods in the dead of winter. The icy wind makes his eyes tear. A bird turns to another bird and says,"Look! He's crying!" The other bird says,"Don't watch his eyes, watch his hands."

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