Question about my new (to me) Browning BPS
I just bought the shotgun I've always wanted - a Browning BPS 12 gauge. I've wanted one of these since the first time I've picked one up, but the price tag always made me put them back down and buy the shotguns that were half of their price - mostly Remington 870's or Mossberg 500's.
Well last month, I was offered a Browning BPS 12 gauge for $250. I jumped on it, and I had never even seen it in real life - just pictures on a web.
I met up with the gentleman this past Friday to pick it up, and I'm even more impressed with it than I was with the pictures. She's a real beauty. Both sides of the receiver are fully engraved - the left with Pheasants and the right with Ducks.
I was told ahead of time that the barrel was in near perfect condition (it is), but that the receiver had some light surface rust on it (it did). However, a light scrubbing with some extra-fine steel wool took off all the surface rust, leaving a beautiful finished receiver that only needs a new blueing sometime in the future.
I looked it up - the last 5 of the serial number are NX152, making it a 1993 model BPS Hunter. However, something got me wondering - the barrel looks much newer than the rest of the gun. It's a "Special Steel" barrel made in Japan, and it has the Invector Plus choke system on it. It's labeled for 3" shells. From looking over the web that it appears Browning came out with Invector Plus chokes in 1989, so this might be the original barrel.
My big question though - How can I ensure (besides sticking a shell in it, which I'm not fond of the "try it" way of doing things) that this gun is a 3" gun, and not a 2 3/4" ???
I'm fairly certain that 3" was the standard back then, but before I shoot it - I want to be sure.
All the best,