Best Browning Shotguns for Beginners: Which Style Should You Get?


Browning shotguns are considered some of the best in the world, and they are a great choice for beginners. When it…

Browning shotguns are considered some of the best in the world, and they are a great choice for beginners. When it comes to ease-of-use, manufacturing quality, and design elegance, Browning stands second to none. Whether you prefer a semi-auto, side-by-side, pump, or over-under shotgun is the real question.

Learn everything you need to know about the best browning shotguns for beginners. Find out what the difference between styles is, and what is best for the style of shooting you prefer. And, discover the historical milestones behind some of John Browning’s legendary shotgun models. 

Browning Shotguns for Beginners: Which Style Should You Choose?

Browning shotguns, rifles, and pistols are about more than meets the eye. The true genius and beauty of a Browning firearm are the inner-workings. In 1897, John Browning founded a gun company that lives in the American lexicon to this day and revered worldwide.

What makes Browning’s firearm designs so popular – even to this day? Browning innovated timeless design improvements to the standard of his day, which all manufacturers adopted soon after his invention. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned shooter, you can’t go wrong with a Browning firearm.

When it comes to shotguns, Browning is a great choice for your first, or fiftieth shotgun. When you get a Browning, you know it is a shotgun on which you can rely for its versatility and quality longevity. With standard cleaning, upkeep, and maintenance, your Browning shotgun will easily outlive your grandchildren.

Browning Break Barrel Shotguns: Double-barrel SxS and O/U

Break action barrels are featured with Browning’s double-barrel Side-by-Side (SxS) and Over & Under (O/U) shotguns. One of the most classic shotgun designs, break barrel shotguns are a great choice for beginners because of their intuitive function. A break-action double-barrel shotgun holds one shell in each barrel at any time, and some older styles feature a double trigger.  

On browning double-barrel shotguns, after you fire the first shot the trigger automatically resets for the second. So, it fires your 2-shells as fast as you can pull the trigger. Once your shells are spent, the barrel manually breaks open, extracting or ejecting the empty shells, which you can replace with new shells.

Browning break-action shotguns are very user-friendly and durable, which makes them an ideal choice for new shotgun owners, sport shooters, and game hunters. The Browning O/U Superposed is their flagship double barrel with the Citori as their budget model, both are a favorite amongst shotgun collectors and shooters, alike. They can safely fire a variety of shell sizes and gauges, and cleaning is low-maintenance compared to other styles.

If you don’t have a double-barrel Browning yet, check out what’s available in an upcoming auction near you. If you are a new hunter, a double-barrel O/U or SxS shotgun is one style you won’t ever grow out of. Even after you add other shotgun makes and models to your collection, your double-barrel Browning is one that you will return to, over and over.

Browning Pump-action Shotguns: Single-barrel Auto-eject

In adverse weather conditions, a slide-action shotgun is a great choice. Browning pump-action shotguns are great for hunters looking for durability, reliability, and a higher ammunition capacity. Whether it’s gunked up with mud, sludge, or anything else, the pump-action performs when other shotguns malfunction. 

Like a double-barrel Browning shotgun, pump-action Brownings, like the Browning BPS, allow you to shoot a wide range of shell sizes and gauges to best hunt different kinds of game. Since shells are cycled manually, by pumping the slide, your physical force serves to eject anything clogging up the barrel. And, the Browning BPS ejects spent shells from beneath the action, instead of on one side or the other, which makes it a great pump-action for anyone, regardless of whether you are right or left-handed.

Browning Autoloading Shotguns: The Original Semi-Auto Shotgun

In 1898, John Browning changed the world of shotguns with the first-ever shotgun autoloader. When it comes to hunting, autoloaders are ideal for hunting fast game, like birds or rabbits, as well as the game that might need a few shots in quick successions, like a bear. The original design for his Browning Auto-5 or, simply the A-5 remains widely available today.

As far as the function of an autoloader shotgun, it combines the best design elements from a break-action double-barrel and a pump-action. Similar to firing a double-barrel shotgun, a semi-auto shotgun fires about as fast as you can pull the trigger. But, unlike a double-barrel, the Browning A-5 Autoloader fires 5 shells from an internal tube magazine before you have to reload. Loading the Browning A-5 is similar to loading a pump-action, in that shells are loaded one-by-one into the magazine tube, located under the barrel. After loading all 5 shells into the magazine tube, the shooter pulls back the bolt to load the first shell into the barrel. The recoil energy generated from the discharge, then automatically cycles the next shell into the barrel. 

Like all Browning shotguns, the A-5 is versatile in the range of types of shotgun shells it can fire. Autoloaders, however, are higher-maintenance when it comes to cleaning the firearm. Furthermore, the internal mechanics don’t react well to dirt and grime, which can cause a misfire. 

Eventually, your collection can grow to include each of these types of shotguns, and there’s no better place to start than with Browning. You can find these and many more Browning shotguns at an upcoming firearms auction near you. Or, talk to an estate auction specialist about consigning a piece from your firearms collection to sell at an upcoming auction.