Browning 380

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by KWM, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. KWM

    KWM Member

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    Pictured is a Browning semi auto in 380. My father purchased it in the 50's if I'm not mistaken. Ingraved on the left side of the slide, "Browning Arms CompanyMorgan, Utah & Montreal PQ Made in Brlgium." Right side of slide has no markings. Cal 380 along with an armorers mark is stamped is stamped on the barrel at the ejection port. The serial # is 71N039XX. No other markings visible. There are three slightly pitted spots on the left side of the slide. Any ideas as to the model and value. Sorry about the quality of the pictures. I couldn't getting the lighting right.

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  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I believe the adjustable sights were Browning's attempt to comply with 1968 GCA. Could be wrong, relying on memory, but I remember Browning taking that very streamlined gun and hoking it up with adjustable sights to gain import points.
  3. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    IMHO you're right, RJay. THis version of the Browning 1910 seems to be known as the Browning 10/71, with the 71 standing for 1971, the year of introduction. The longer barrel, adjustable sights, and thumbrest grips were all added to the basic Browning 1910 so that FN could continue to sell it in the USA after 1968 law went into effect. (Since the magazine only holds 6 rounds, they apparently did not use the longer grip frame of the 1922 version of the 1910.)

    Value is hard to say. FN offered these for a number of years, but sales were slow - by 1971, not many people wanted a bulky, single-action 380 for carry or home defense, and even fewer people wanted a 380 target pistol.

    Despite being scarce, well-made, and fairly old (40-odd years), not many people want one today, either, so they are a hard thing to sell. If you ask a price like $450 (give or take $50) it will probably sell eventually, but it could be a very long wait. A quick sale would bring only a rock-bottom price.

    Sellers on one of the firearms auction websites are asking prices ranging from $395 to $659, but I'll bet they are not getting any takers. (I am unable to search completed auctions there for some reason.)

    Just my $.02!
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  4. KWM

    KWM Member

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    Memory is a funny thing as we get older. I could have sworn he had it in the 50's. Oh well. It is what it is. I appreciate the information gentlemen.
  5. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Yep, I know what you mean, KWM. BTW, your father might have had a Browning 1922 in the 1950's (they were common wartime bring-backs, and very cheap on the surplus market), and traded it in on this in the 1970's. They look quite a bit alike, but the 10/71 has much better sights. The need for them also change with age.
  6. Remington 51

    Remington 51 New Member

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    We had a Browning 71 in similar shape as yours for sale on our local internet firearms forum that ran for a few months about a year ago. I believe it started around $450 and the seller dropped and dropped until he bottomed out around $300 or maybe even $275, still with no takers.

    While these pistols are finely made, they lack the class and the panache of the earlier 1910/1955 or even the 1922 Brownings. With the additions Browning added (as discussed above) to meet the GCA 68 requirements, the classic lines and the small efficient package of the original model were essentially ruined. I don't believe they sold that well and Browning dropped them after just three years or so. 1974 I think.

    For someone wanting a compact .380 package with good sights these days, well, there are a host of choices and the relative interest of the buying public in an average-condition Mod 71 that isnt that compact just isn't that great. For someone wanting a larger .380 package, there are still better choices, featuring double stack magazines, at similar or lower prices. The CZ 83 comes to mind as does the Beretta. That's too bad, really, because the 71 is a decent gun.
  7. cooltouch

    cooltouch New Member

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    My apologies for resurrecting a rather stale thread, but I just had to comment.

    I own a Browning Model 71 and, after reading the above comments, I find myself pretty much in agreement with the analyses, even though I just learned a lot that I didn't know before -- like about having to meet the 68GCA hooey.

    This pistol has been in my family probably since it was new, or close to it. Mine is 71N084xx.

    This is a very sweet shooting pistol, yet at the same time it's just kinda awkward to my hand. I wear an XL glove and the grip is roomy enough for me to be comfortable when I have my pinky positioned below the magazine. But my thumb wishes the thumbrest were just a skosh lower and my index finger finds the location of the trigger group just a bit higher than I'd like. So I have a few ergonomic nitpicks but other than those, it's a nice shooter.

    I'll be taking my Texas CHL class soon and this is the pistol I plan to use for the class, and probably to carry. What I don't like about it is that long snout. I'd really prefer something with a 2-1/2" to 3" barrel, just for drawing ease. Call me silly but I imagine myself pulling the Model 71 from concealment in haste, and the muzzle getting hung up on the holster or an article of clothing because it's so long and it has that big blade-style front sight! Maybe it's all in my head, I dunno.

    So I have no sentimental attachment to mine and I'm gonna see what I can do about getting the 380 I want, which is a Walther PPKS. They have equivalent values, at least on paper, so who knows?

    I suspect that I'll have to find a Browning collector to get a decent price for mine. But at least it's in collectible condition. It's hardly ever been fired, looks almost new, comes in a leather case with the manual. So it's got that going for it at least.

    I don't know how much prices for the Model 71 may have changed since this thread began, but the searching I've been doing tonight has been turning up consistent asking prices in the $600+ range for very clean examples. I found one listing where a Model 71 actually sold for $505. So its value is definitely on the uptick.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  8. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    I agree with the points you make, cooltouch. The Browning 10/71 in 380ACP has good sights and should have mild recoil, but the grip has never been praised for it's shape. It's too straight and square, and does not compare well even to the Colt 1903 in 380, despite the Colt being the older design.

    380 ACP pistols in the Walther PP size are out of fashion these days, because you can get 9mm Parabellum pistols that are about the same size, like the Kahr K-9 or the KelTec P-11. They often weigh less, too, since they are available with plastic frames.

    Personally, though, I encourage people to shoot pistols with mild recoil, as long as they have a reasonable amount of power. They are more pleasant to shoot, so people are more likely to practice and become better at hitting what they are shooting at. That's just my two cents, though - I have no training in defensive shooting.

    If I was looking for a 380 as a shooter, I would look into the Walther PK380, instead of the PP or PPK. It is a far more modern design, seems to have very good adjustable sights (that is where the PP/PPK is weak), and appears to be reasonably priced. There's another two cents for you!

    PS - It has been a while since I saw a PK380, so it may be bulkier than I think it is.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  9. cooltouch

    cooltouch New Member

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    Thanks for the responses, Lanrezac.

    I attended a gun show today, first one I've been to in over ten years -- I've been away from the scene for too long. Anyway, I'm glad I went because now I can put an image to some of the brands and models that I see discussed, a few of which I actually picked up and handled today. Like several Kahr models. I agree, many Kahr models are compact, but you know what? I'm not one of those folks who likes shooting big rounds out of small guns. And I guess Walther is like that too because the PK380 is not a small gun. I saw some today and I'm pretty sure they're larger than the PPKS. Still small enough for concealed carry, and also quite a bit cheaper than the PPKS, so you know what, I appreciate the heads-up on the PK380. I'll give it a closer look.
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