November 29th, 2008

Sweet Browning Falling Block For Sale in Forum

We believe that every serious gun collector should have at least one falling block rifle in his or her collection. This classic design allows a very short, compact action. Falling blocks can be extremely accurate. Remember that the finest, long-range target rifles of the 19th Century were falling blocks. And the more modern BSA Martini designs were very successful rimfire target rifles in their heydey.

Compared to shooting a semi-automatic rifle, or even a modern bolt gun, using a falling block is a very different experience. It seems old-fashioned, but in a reassuring kind of way. The pace is slower, and there is something calm and purposeful about working the smooth under-lever and loading the case by hand. You “work” a bolt gun… but you “caress” a falling block.

Browning High Wall 1885

Right now there is a very nice Browning B-78 High Wall falling block for sale in our Shooters’ Forum Classifieds. Chambered in 22-250, it features a full octagon barrel and superbly-figured wood. The seller reports this rifle: “Is in 99% condition [and] shoots under 1” at 100 yards with factory ammo.” The $1,100 asking price includes a 6-12×44 Simmons Aetec scope, rings and bases, 125 pieces once-fired brass, and a Sinclair 22-250 bore guide.

This Editor has shot one of the older Miroku-built Browning B-78 falling blocks and it was beautifully built, with a butter-smooth action and gorgeous blueing. (Japan’s Miroku, which also builds Citori shotguns for Browning, is renowned for the superb metal-work and finish of their rifles and shotguns.) The B-78 was produced by Miroku from 1973 to 1982. This single shot rifle was initially offered in .22-250, 6 mm Remington, .25-06, and .30-06. .243 and 7mm Rem Mag was added to the standard rifle line and a .45-70 version was added on a heavier frame. The B-78 was discontinued in 1982, and then reintroduced in 1985 as the Model 1885 High Wall. The more recent 1885s feature a more traditional stock with a straight wrist and no roll-over comb.

Browning High Wall 1885

Chuck Hawks is also a fan of the Browning falling blocks: “The Browning 1885 High Wall is a modern version of the John Browning designed classic, widely regarded as the strongest and best of the American single-shot rifles. It is a very simple yet elegant looking rifle. It has an exposed rebounding hammer that cocks automatically when the ‘S’-shaped underlever is operated. The automatic ejector can be user set to throw the empty case out to the right or left, or extracted for convenient removal by hand.”

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