Friday, August 12, 2011

The Browning Center Fire Pump Rifle

Browning BPR
Browning Dualis

By: Bruce Hamlin

Some of you may be familiar with an article I wrote concerning the history, models and variations of the Browning Lever Rifle (BLR).   That article was primarily written to cover the Browning line of center fire lever action rifles with a small amount of information covering other models of some interest to me.  That article can be found at

Two of those other Browning models were the center fire pump actions that they produced for just a few short years.  Those would be the Browning Pump Rifle (BPR) and Browning Dualis (European BPR version).  I won’t repeat my background or firearms/hunting history that I detailed in the BLR article, but I will go ahead and tell you that the BPRs in 30-06 are now my main go to rifles.  I still like my BLRs and who could not like a fine single shot rifle, but the pump rifles have taken over my interest.

One of the first issues I would like to cover is terminology.  I don’t know if it is regional, geographical or just a local thing, but we occasionally hear of pump action rifles being called slide action rifles.  Even though it is not the most common term used to describe the action, it does exist.  I have not spent a lot of time trying to prove which is the correct term, but I do note that the manufacturers seem to have a solid history of using the term “Pump Action”.  So, in my opinion - pump action it is!

Pump action center fire rifles have not really ever held the lead in rifle sales in most areas.  The exception to that statement is in some of the Northeast portions of the United States, where big game hunting with semiautomatic firearms is prohibited.  There, the pump actions appear to lead in sales and hunting use.  Also in those areas, it is clear that the Remington line of center fire pump rifles is the clear leader.  There are a few other brands of center fire pump rifles that have produced and sold, but like the Browning, they were never produced in great numbers or for extended periods of time.

I suspect that center fire pump action rifle sales come in about fourth behind semi-autos, bolt actions and lever guns.  I don’t know why that is, because I have very good reason to believe that rim fire pump action sales have a much better showing when compared to the other action types.  Maybe not first place, but I believe better than fourth.

For hunting purposes, the pump action is definitely faster to cycle and fire than the bolt action, should a second or follow up shot be needed.  Most sources (and some commercial ads) claim it is faster for the same reasons than a lever action rifle.  I have seen some mighty fast cowboy action shooters with some lever guns, but for most of us, I think the pump is a little faster.  However, I really don’t give much credence to which action is the fastest.  I try to make one shot kills, therefore accuracy and reliability are my first considerations.  Generally, I see little difference between actions, accuracy and reliability with the modern manufacturers when it comes to hunting situations - for most of us.

What draws me to the pump action rifle is the ability to cycle the action with my support (weak) hand, which allows me to keep the stock to my shoulder and my strong hand on the stock.  That allows me to recover a sight picture quicker and I don’t have to hunt for the trigger each shot like I do when shooting most lever actions and all bolt actions.  Also, it drives my hunting buddies crazy.  They think semi auto’s and bolt guns rule.

What draws me to the Browning BPR is the workmanship, quality, history, reliability and, finally, the fit.  I find that Browning firearms seem to fit me better and I can shoulder one with my eyes closed, open my eyes and generally I am looking straight down the sights (or scope) and the barrel, requiring very little adjustment to get a very good sight alignment and sight picture.  I find that when I do the same with most other brands, when I open my eyes, the barrel is always pointed up.  For example, I really have to get my head down on a Remington to get a good sight picture or alignment.  I know this is due to a difference in stock drop, LOP, my methods etc.., but to me - it is significant.

You have already probably noted that I have not written about accuracy.  To be honest, with today’s technology and manufacturing machinery, in my opinion most major quality manufacturer’s rifles deliver acceptable hunting accuracy with a variety of ammunition brands and bullet weights.  I can shoot fairly well and I do have some fairly high accuracy standards, but I have found most modern manufactured rifles will deliver.  The feeding/cycling of rounds from a magazine to the chamber must be flawless.  I don’t tolerate jams due to feeding issues or bad magazines.

Concerning center fire Brownings, I currently have a 1973 Belgium BAR  30-06, a 2009 BLR Lt. Wt. 81 30-06 takedown and two 1998 BPR’s in 30-06.  I do have a few other collectibles, but they don’t fit into this article. As I have previously written, I have almost converted my entire center fire rifle collection to only 30-06 rifles and I do not regret it. 


Production of the BPR began in 1997 and ended in 2001.  I have not been able to find solid information concerning the production years of the Dualis, but I believe it was close to 2001 through maybe 2009 or 2010.

The BPR barrels are stamped Made in Belgium - Assembled in Portugal, on the left side of the barrel just forward of the rear sight.  Just above that is stamped Browning Arms Company Morgan Utah & Montreal PQ.  The serial number is engraved on the lower left side of the receiver at the rear.  The visible proof marks are on the left side of the barrel near the receiver.  Browning S.A. is stamped on the right side of the barrel just forward of the rear sight.   Just above that is stamped PATS: U.S. 5,571,101   EUROP. 0692696  BPR Caliber 30-06 Spg. Only (for 30-06‘s).

I have seen no indication or claims of BPR or Dualis production by Miroku in Japan. 

I have not been able to examine a Dualis in person to verify its markings, but I think we can safely assume it is the same or nearly the same as the BPR.  The Dualis’ markings may be stamped in different languages due to its intended international market.

The basics of my research and a few related articles that I have found indicate that Browning developed the center fire pump rifle (BPR) in an effort to keep their share of the firearms (hunting/recreational) market, should semi auto rifles become illegal to possess in the Untied States.  Some misinformed people where trying to use the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (Sept. 13, 1994) to make it illegal to own any semi auto rifle, for any purpose.  The ban expired by Sunset Law in 2004.

The Browning family did make firearms in the United States in the 1800’s, but just for the sake of being complete with this article, no Browning named commercial firearms (as we know them today) have been produced/manufactured in the U. S.  There have been some prototypes designed and developed here, but not any commercial production by the Browning name.   Some other U.S. firearms companies have produced their own licensed versions of Browning owned designs/patents, but they were produced under that companies own name, usually with a different model name/number.

Browning’s have mostly been manufactured in Belgium (Fabrique National) since the early 1900’s.  Miroku of Japan has produced/manufactured some Browning named firearms since the early 1970’s.

BPR Serial Numbers

You can visit Browning's website - to determine the year of production of your rifle

Just like with the BLR’s, I can tell you that the website is absolutely wrong with the serial numbers, as far as the order goes.

The website states:

In 1975 Browning started using two digits for the date of manufacture:

The first part of the serial number identification is supposed to begin with the actual serial number, such as 1000.
The coded year of manufacture is supposed to be next as in - NR - followed by:
1E7 (Model Number) = Browning BPR Pump Rifle
Example:1001NR1E7  = A 1997 BPR Pump Rifle with a serial number of 1001.

Actually, it is the reverse:

A true example is: 1E7NR1001 = A 1997 BPR with a serial number of 1001

The model designator comes first, then the coded year of manufacture, then the serial number. 

The next mistake that appears is the supposed 1998 change to the serial number standardization system that was required to work in their Oracle program.  This meant a new system including a Model Number change was supposed to have taken effect in 1998 models.  My research and the 1998 BPR year models that I have seen do not support this.  All of the 1998 year model BPR’s I have been able to locate still use the same system as listed above for 1997 year models, only with the coded year of NP (1998).

A true example is: 1E7NP1001 = A 1998 BPR with a serial number of 1001.

Now for the supposed 1998 change, which apparently did not take effect until 1999.  Note: I have not been able to find a 1999 BPR to verify the change.

The website states:

In 1998:
The first part of the serial number identification is supposed to begin with the actual serial number, such as 1000.
The coded year of manufacture is supposed to be next as in - NP - followed by:
321 (Model Number) = Browning BPR Pump Rifle
Example:1001NP321  = A 1998 BPR Pump Rifle with a serial number of 1001.

Again, it is the reverse:

A true example is: 321NP1001 = A 1998 BPR with a serial number of 1001

The model designator comes first, then the coded year of manufacture, then the serial number.

Just like with the BLR’s, this one mistake will cause some buyers/sellers/ collectors a little problem, but you can trust me - they (Browning) have it wrong on their website!

Just for your information, I have seen references that state that Browning started each year’s serial number sequence at the number 1000 for all models.  I think that information is correct, and if so, the above BPR serial number would indicate that it was actually the first BPR produced in 1998.

You should print the Browning “date gun” link I have provided above, because with anything on the internet, it may disappear one day.   However, you can just use the corrected information I have provided with this following information to help you correctly date the year of manufacture of BPR’s.

1E7 = BPR Model Number for 1997 and 1998
321 = BPR Model Number for 1999, 2000 and 2001
NR = Coded Year of Manufacture 1997
NP = Coded Year of Manufacture 1998
NN = Coded Year of Manufacture 1999
MM = Coded Year of Manufacture 2000
MZ = Coded Year of Manufacture 2001

Dualis Serial Numbers

I have not been able to find any information on the serial numbering system for the Dualis.  Browning International’s web site does not offer the same in depth resources as the Browning North America web site.

I can only assume that since both are made by FN, they should probably be the same, but that is only an assumption.

Browning Center Fire Pump Rifle Models


In my previous BLR article I made a big statement.  I like BLR’s - a lot.  But I really like the BPR’s in the center fire calibers, especially the 30-06.  Actually, that combination has now become my favorite.  While I have not been into the BPR’s but a few years, I still plan to acquire every BPR in 30-06 that I come across.  If  I have the funds and it is reasonably priced of course.

The BPR Pump Rifle was introduced in 1997 and they were produced through 2001.  Some sources state they were not produced in 2001, but I have seen properly serial numbered BPR’s (year code MZ) for the year 2001.  I will note that BPR’s were listed in the year 2000 Browning catalog, but apparently not in the year 2001 catalog.  I can not explain why they were not in that catalog.

I have read one source that states the Browning Dualis (see Dualis information below) was supposed to have replaced the BPR for American sales in 2001, but I have seen no evidence that the Dualis has ever been sold or advertised for sale in the United States.

BPR (Browning Pump Rifle) in long and short action. Four calibers in long action .270, 30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag., 300 Win. Mag., and two in short action in 243 and 308.  The two regular long action and two short action barrels are 22” long.  The magnum barrels are 24” long.  BPR barrels are free floated and the rifles weigh around 7 ½ pounds.

The BPR uses the same scope mounts as BAR MK II’s and later BLR’s.  The BPR uses the same magazines as BAR MK II’s.  The BPR’s magazine capacity is four rounds for standard calibers and three rounds for magnum calibers.  The safety on the BPR is reversible for left hand operation.

The BPR was dropped from the line only 5 years (2001) of production.  

The BPR has an aluminum alloy receiver.

The trigger group assembly is held into the receiver by two steel pins which can easily be driven out, allowing the removal of the trigger group.

The single stage trigger is gold and the Gold Browning logo can be found on the bottom of the trigger guard.

The front sight is a ramp mounted brass bead with a sight hood.

The rear sight is click adjustable for both elevation and windage.  It is attached to the barrel by two screws.

The action release is a lever located on the lower right side of the receiver, just forward of the middle of the trigger guard

The wooden walnut forearm (checkered) is held to the two action (slide) bars by one single screw.  Do not replace the screw with a front swivel assembly.  Inside the front of the forearm are two small felt pads about the size of a dime.  I have seen reports were that their intended use is to clean the action bars or barrel.  That is not the case.  They are a barrier (buffer) between the wood and action bars, used to keep the two apart.

If you want a front swivel assembly, you have to use the type that goes around the barrel itself.

The wooden walnut stock (checkered) is a pistol grip type.  It has a black rubber butt plate, held to the stock by two screws.  The stock is held to the receiver by one screw headed bolt that is accessed by removing the butt plate.  The stock has a swivel assembly factory installed.

Neither the stock nor forearm has any protective finish on the inside.  I recommend a good interior coat of something like boiled linseed oil.  I use a regular silicon spray on the exterior of the wood.

The magazine floor plate is released by a sliding latch located just in front of the trigger guard.  The magazine can be removed from the floor plate assembly by slight hand pressure.

The bolt is a seven lug rotary type which locks directly into the barrel.  The barrel and receiver are intended to be replaced (if needed) as one unit.

BPR Owners Manual

Here is a link to the NRA Museum 1998 Dope Bag article concerning their introduction of the BPR.


This is basically a European BPR variation.  The mechanism, manual safety, and magazine catch are all identical except for some cosmetic differences. The operation is also identical, including the unusual pump action pattern. The standard barrel is 20 inches, but the same barrel is used for magnum rounds and is therefore shorter than the barrel used on magnum BPR rifles. The Dualis has a Express type sighting rib that also has a folding leaf sight; this rib can be removed, revealing drilling and tapping for a telescopic sight. The front sight has a bead of fluorescent plastic and no sight hood. The receiver housing is made from light alloy, but other metal parts are of high-strength steel. The stock and fore-end are of walnut; the pistol grip of the stock is unusually deep and is checkered. There are reports that the Dualis only has a magazine capacity of two rounds to satisfy European requirements, but they all have the same magazine capacity as USA model BPR’s.  The Dualis was introduced in Europe is 2001.  There are unconfirmed reports that it started being sold in North America in 2003.  Note: I have not found the Dualis was ever available in the United States.  If you find one in in the U.S (especially in 30-06) I would greatly appreciate the information.

The general information given for the BPR is the same for the Dualis, except where noted.

The Dualis was offered in the following calibers:  .308, 270, 30-06, 7mm Rem. And 300 WM.

All the calibers of the Dualis have a 20” barrel.

It has a folding leaf rear sight mounted on a removal rear sight rib.  It is drilled and tapped for a scope also.

It has a fluorescent plastic front sight on a ramp, w/o a sight hood.

The stock and forearm are walnut and are checkered.  They both have a different (European style) design.

Dualis Owners Manual

BPR Standards

As a standard, the short action and regular long action BPR’s have a 22” barrel and the magnums have a 24” barrel.  All Dualis barrels are 20”.

Below is an example BPR specification for the 30-06:

Specifications and features:
Browning BPR Center Fire Pump Rifle
.30-06 Springfield caliber
22" six groove button-rifled barrel
1:10" RH twist
4 Round detachable box magazine
Pump action
Single Stage Trigger
7 lug (three rows) breech bolt
Recessed bolt face
Rotating bolt
Side ejection
Gold bead raised ramp front sight/ w a sight hood
Click adjustable rear sight
Lightweight aluminum receiver
Checkered walnut stock
Checkered walnut forearm
Crowned muzzle
Hinged floor plate, detachable box magazine
Recoil pad
5-1/4 lbs. trigger pull
13-5/8" length of pull
19-3/4" sight radius
1-1/4" drop at comb
1-1/2" drop at heel
39 5/8“" overall length
7 lbs. 3 oz.

The difference in receiver length between short actions and long actions appears to be about ¾”.


My research shows that Browning depends on a natural product called Kanabe to coat its stocks, but that is not verified.  Citristrip has been reported as one of the better ways to remove the Browning epoxy type finish.  For minor repairs on the polyurethane finished Browning stocks, try Lemon Pledge or something similar.  I have not found a source for aftermarket stocks.  See below for information on factory replacement stocks from Midwest Gun Works (MGW).

If you ever have the stock and forearm off, I highly recommend that you apply a good coat of wood oil to the interior of both.  There is no finish on the inside.  If you want to strip and refinish the stock, here is a link to a process that results in a beautiful finish.  It is the third post down and make sure you take heed of the checkered area warnings.

I have not found any information on any gunsmiths who do trigger work on the BPR other than MGW.  I would assume any that work on the BAR could work on the BPR.

Besides the information on Browning’s website concerning repairs and parts, I have found that Midwest Gun Works (MGW) seems to be the best source for getting what you need.  They also have a good selection of parts and  diagrams. 

and some parts also. 

I have not found a Browning Field Service Manual for the BPR.  I have also not found any detailed assembly/disassembly instructions for it.  Personally, I have not found it to be difficult to disassemble or reassemble.  It is very much like the BAR.  Just pay attention to the parts relationship if you choose to have a go at it.

Commemoratives - Specials

None are known to exist.

Caliber Interchangeable Magazines

JFYI some of the BPR magazines (long vs. short action specific) are interchangeable.  Many are marked as being multiple caliber.

They are the same as BAR MK II magazines.

.243 & 308 interchange - four round

270 & 30-06 interchange - four round

7mm - three round

300 WM - three round

The Dualis magazine holds four standard rounds and three magnum rounds.  It is assumed that they also offer some interchangeability.


I will conclude this article by saying that the research into the BPR/Dualis has been very challenging and educational.  I hope I got everything right and I really strived to verify any information that has been presented.

I would ask that if you find any new information or conflicting information, that you contact me through the PumpRifle site and let me have an opportunity to review your sources and make additions or corrections as needed.


James said...

I question the dates of production of the bpr of 1997 -2001 as I owned a bpr 308 cal in 1973 and sold it in 1975 and have been sorry ever since. Please advise on how this might be possible.

Rusty Hanna said...

Rusty said
Hello Bruce Thank you for a very informative Blog on the Browning BPRs.
I have a Dualis .270 Win bought in Australia with the the serial number 321MV14977.
I purchase the rifle second hand but in as new condition.
I like the Rifle and agree with you about the action.
But I have two issues with it, I had to remove material from the stock in order to be able to get a a good sight line using the open sights, as well as to stop the recoil severely bruising my right cheek.
The second issue is the retaining spring on the action release is a lever is not strong enough and I need to replace it as it can lead to the action letting go when pulling the rifle into my shoulder to to secure it prior to discharge. This is very disconcerting! It was good to have confirmed by your article how to remove the trigger assembly.
The Dualis came with what appears to be a factory fitted front swivel assembly held in place by the retain screw on the wooden forearm.
Thank you again for the excellent blog.