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This is not a sour grapes post, I just want you to have a realistic idea of how this company's service department operates so that you are not disappointed like I was with the whole experience. I searched this forum and many others for reviews of Browning's repair facility before I decided to send it in. Had I known that it was going to go down like this, I would have just bought the mismatched barrel or sold the gun off cheap.

This is not an anti maxus post either. Provided the gun shoots as well or better than when I sent it off, I will continue to use it. I like the maxus very much other than the issues I've had with it so far.

I had 3 issues with my 1.5 year old Maxus this year.

1st issue: Early in the season, the operating handle fell out. It happened while I was headed back from the blind not while shooting. It was there when I left the blind and missing when I reached the truck. Most likely it got hung up on some brush and got pulled out. While I was surprised, I didn't blame Browning for something I most likely caused. I called Browning to buy a new one. I was told, sorry but we don't have any black ones to match your gun but they offered to ship me a silver one for free. Sounded like a great deal to me and I received it a week or so later.

2nd issue: The modified choke tube got stuck in the barrel and could not be removed.
I've been hunting with shotguns for 29 years and have never experienced a "stuck choke" before. I only put the chokes in finger tight and have a habit of checking them every few rounds. It was due to this habit that I realized the choke was not working loose like they normally do during that hunt.

I'm not sure what really happened, I suppose there could be a lot of explanations ranging from the threads getting damaged to the choke breaking but it was not coming out no matter what I tried. I soaked it in every miracle cure I could find on the Internet and even took it to a local gunsmith. Once he couldn't get it loose, I went so far as to put an easy out in there and couldn't break it loose with a cheater bar.

I called Browning and asked about buying a replacement barrel for the gun. $435.00 for another camo version but they no longer carry MODB barrels. So for $435.00 I could have a mismatched $1200.00 gun ($1700 after new barrel, tax and shipping) or just stick with the current barrel with the stuck choke that now had all the finish eaten off the muzzle from the various miracle cures that failed to break loose the choke.

I asked the person at Browning if I had any other options. They told me I should send it in before buying a barrel as they often can get the chokes out. So off it went to Browning.

3rd issue: The gun doesn't always cycle trap loads. It's an intermittent problem and since I was sending the gun in, I asked them to fix that as well.

My gun arrived on Feb 5th to the repair facility and slipped into the black hole that Browning calls its service dept. On Feb 10th, I received a quote for $88.09 to remove the choke which I approved right away. I thought, that was pretty quick and had high hopes I would have the gun back in no time! Unfortunately, nothing happened for a while and Browning's tracking website wasn't correctly telling me what stage my gun was in so I started calling them. I got a different story every damn time I called. The left hand had no idea what the right hand was doing. But the worst of it all was the absolute "I don't give a $&^#" attitude they had.

Eventually, they told me the choke was rusted in and wasn't coming out so I'd need a new barrel. They gave me a quote for a new barrel and what appears to be several replacement springs for the cycling issues.

The quote was for $401 and some change and the barrel would either be black or mossy oak shadow grass on my MODB gun. I know that choke couldn't have rusted in over the course of one day so I challenged the customer service rep on that. He tells me my only options are to buy the mismatched barrel and approve the quote or they can ship the gun back to me.

So after going round and round with the most unhelpful customer service person I've dealt with in years, I asked to speak to a supervisor.

Finally, I got to speak with the supervisor that told me my old barrel was not rusted but in fact it was bulged due to an obstruction and that is why the choke would not come out. It was the perfect excuse, they had me and my gun and I was already out around $100.00. I did not notice any bulging of the barrel when I sent it in but there is no effective way to argue that now that I no longer have possession of my gun. It is possible there could have been a weak shell that left a wad in the barrel but I certainly think I would have noticed that. I'm not a gunsmith or a machinist but it seems odd that a bulged barrel could lock up a choke tube?

So now I'm going to be into this gun for $1700 and have a mismatched barrel. I asked the supervisor if I could trade this in on a new version at a discount. He says no but thinks they might be able to find a matching barrel and he will call me back. When I get the call back he tells me he has located a barrel with the matching camo in the shop and they can get it installed in my gun right away.

All I can think is "if your company was ran more professionally and you actually had a handle on what inventory you do and do not have in stock, I could have just bought a new matching barrel 2 months ago!" But, I approve the quote and just want the damn gun back at this point.

That was over 2 weeks ago and the gun is supposed to be shipped back to me today or tomorrow.

I'll follow up on this post with the results of my repair once I receive the gun back. I hope like hell the gunsmiths at Browning are better at fixing firearms than their customer service team is at their jobs.

Has anyone else experienced a bulged barrel causing a choke tube to get stuck?
 

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Yes I have heard of a bulged barrel locking a choke up. Id lean a lot more towards a obstruction in the barrel since you already stated you knew it wasn't locked up before that hunt.
As for the mismatched barrel that's one of the downsides to camo guns. Patterns change and along with that companies start using the new patterns. That would be an easy fix for you. Buy the black one and have it dipped to match your gun.
The intermittent not cycling of light loads could very well be a spring issue or a dirty gun issue.
The only fault I see in Browning on your situation is the customer service dept not being more helpful as far as where your gun is in the process. They coulda handled that better imo. Hopefully you'll have your gun back and in good working order soon. I've always had good experiences with Browning and their products. Granted I only needed repairs one time but their service was great when I needed them. My wifes main duck gun is a Maxus and I've seen personally how great of a gun they are

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
 

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I had a wooden butt stock crack on my new A5 in January and sent it in for replacement. In doing so I ask if they could replace it with black synthetic and I would purchase black synthetic forearm. I received no response until I got my gun with full synthetic at no charge in March. I was completely satisfied, just had to be patient was all.

Just sharing my experience with Browning CS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Luvbowhuntn said:
Yes I have heard of a bulged barrel locking a choke up. Id lean a lot more towards a obstruction in the barrel since you already stated you knew it wasn't locked up before that hunt.
As for the mismatched barrel that's one of the downsides to camo guns. Patterns change and along with that companies start using the new patterns. That would be an easy fix for you. Buy the black one and have it dipped to match your gun.
The intermittent not cycling of light loads could very well be a spring issue or a dirty gun issue.
The only fault I see in Browning on your situation is the customer service dept not being more helpful as far as where your gun is in the process. They coulda handled that better imo. Hopefully you'll have your gun back and in good working order soon. I've always had good experiences with Browning and their products. Granted I only needed repairs one time but their service was great when I needed them. My wifes main duck gun is a Maxus and I've seen personally how great of a gun they are

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
I'm most frustrated in that they had a matching barrel the whole time, apparently they just didn't know it. I would have been happy with buying the barrel and shooting my shotgun for the past 2 months. Going that route would have also allowed me to keep the existing barrel and cut it open to find out what really happened to the choke. I'm not buying the bulged barrel theory locking up the choke just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mtncntrykid said:
I had a wooden butt stock crack on my new A5 in January and sent it in for replacement. In doing so I ask if they could replace it with black synthetic and I would purchase black synthetic forearm. I received no response until I got my gun with full synthetic at no charge in March. I was completely satisfied, just had to be patient was all.

Just sharing my experience with Browning CS.
I'm glad you had a positive experience with them. I did too the first time around. Although I'm not surprised you didn't hear anything about your request from Browning. Followup and keeping the customer informed is not their strong suit. For instance, even though they have my contact info they do not send you a ups tracking number when your firearm ships. I was told to just keep calling back everyday until it is shipped and then they would give me one over the phone. Welcome to 1980's level of customer service! :fingerhead:
 

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Okay, Browning's full of crap. I'll tell you the story, you correct me when I'm wrong, and then I'll tell ya why I'd bet I'm right.

My guess: The loads you were running were a combo of heavy payload and large diameter shot. By "heavy payload," I mean MORE than 1 1/4 oz. By "large diameter shot," I mean size BB or larger. And you fired more than a box of em through a factory flush-mount choke tube of "mod" or tighter constriction.

The reason you couldn't get the choke out is that your choke is bulged or broken at the threads, where the wall of the tube is thinnest and weakest. Using heavy payloads of large diameter shot put pressure on the choke, and the choke let go at the point of least resistance.

To make it fit on a page, I had the exact same experience (mechanically) with an SX2 (same barrel, same crappy factory flush mount choke tubes). I was running 1 3/8 oz BB loads through the factory mod. Scott Carlson (Carlsons Choke Tubes) thought he could get it out. Wound up destroying the choke tube, damaging the barrel, and destroying the threads. Ultimately had to have Stan Baker (patent holder for I vector plus barrel) re-thread the barrel in Seattle.

It's the crappy tubes. They won't handle heavy loads at even conservative velocities. When people ask which are better, flush or extended tubes, I always vote for extended. What happened to your gun (and mine) is the reason why.

If you didn't mushroom the barrel, it wasn't an obstruction. And they're not gonna admit to the tube issue, because that'd be a warranty issue. Shame on em.

Now, I may be dead wrong, but I'd bet I'm not. Sorry about the ordeal, bro. Been there. It sux.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
cannon said:
Okay, Browning's full of crap. I'll tell you the story, you correct me when I'm wrong, and then I'll tell ya why I'd bet I'm right.

My guess: The loads you were running were a combo of heavy payload and large diameter shot. By "heavy payload," I mean MORE than 1 1/4 oz. By "large diameter shot," I mean size BB or larger. And you fired more than a box of em through a factory flush-mount choke tube of "mod" or tighter constriction.

The reason you couldn't get the choke out is that your choke is bulged or broken at the threads, where the wall of the tube is thinnest and weakest. Using heavy payloads of large diameter shot put pressure on the choke, and the choke let go at the point of least resistance.

To make it fit on a page, I had the exact same experience (mechanically) with an SX2 (same barrel, same crappy factory flush mount choke tubes). I was running 1 3/8 oz BB loads through the factory mod. Scott Carlson (Carlsons Choke Tubes) thought he could get it out. Wound up destroying the choke tube, damaging the barrel, and destroying the threads. Ultimately had to have Stan Baker (patent holder for I vector plus barrel) re-thread the barrel in Seattle.

It's the crappy tubes. They won't handle heavy loads at even conservative velocities. When people ask which are better, flush or extended tubes, I always vote for extended. What happened to your gun (and mine) is the reason why.

If you didn't mushroom the barrel, it wasn't an obstruction. And they're not gonna admit to the tube issue, because that'd be a warranty issue. Shame on em.

Now, I may be dead wrong, but I'd bet I'm not. Sorry about the ordeal, bro. Been there. It sux.
That makes a whole lot more sense to me than what I got from Browning. I shoot BB a fair amount and usually when I do it's through the mod tube. This year I shot a case of hevi metal #3's, a case of hevi metal BB and probably 8 more boxes of federal BB. 3's through the Imp cylinder and BB through both the Mod and Imp cylinder. I was shooting Hevi Metal BB's when the choke became stuck. :huh:

Anyone else had trouble with the invector plus chokes and larger shot?
 

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In case that came out wrong, I don't think Browning's factory tubes are necessarily worse than anyone else's. I've broken both Remington & Beretta tubes from time to time as well. And I love browning shotguns. I just think their service dept is screwing with ya.
 

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It is unfortunate that a bad experience was had with Browning service, in their defense, my one experience went well.

We all need to walk in the shoes of whom we're dealing with on the other end of a CS phone lines sometimes. I'm sure they get their fair share of people with self-induced problems looking for warranty to cover mistakes that were made in a brief lack of judgement moment.......AND I'm not referring brokerbyduck issue was THAT,, but this is how CS likely has to perceive many complaints that arise.
Possibly with todays cost of ANY product bearing ANY name associated with quality allows the consumer to expect preferencial treatment regardless of how or why the problem occurred.
Companies are in business to make a profit, CEOs' need their millions to exist and workers still need to earn a decent living. Bottom line, products will continue to be produced as cheaply as possible to do what they're designed to do with the most return of profit.
Okay, my soap-box moments' over :clapping:
 

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I hunt with Broker and this kills me. I have never had a Browning, so never dealt with them.

I have dealt with Mossberg customer service, when I had a rusted shell blow up a barrel (absolutely my fault) they told me to send the gun in for a safety inspection. They replaced a couple springs and minor parts they said had wear, either from the blow up or use (again my fault). Installed a new barrel and sent it back and all they wanted was $18 and change for shipping.

My only other experience customer service wise was with Remington, I had a first edition V Max. When I had the cap issue and charging bolt loss the first 500 guns had they said send it back, 9 days later I had a whole new gun. Mind you that gun had a season and a half on it.....

What I don't understand in this Browning issue is the run around, half the time they had no idea where the gun was, or when it would be back. Browning markets the maxus as a premium auto at a premium price. Yet they do nothing for the customer. The Mossy I sent back was a $600 gun, they spent that fixing it at no charge. The Remington needed $45 in new parts they sent a new gun. Both in a mater of less then two weeks I believe during the season. Why can't browning even come close?
 

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Browning Maxus Gas Piston.jpg
Got it back today. The gas piston used to be one piece, now it's two. I had to do a little google search to make sure this was correct. Seems the newer models are 2 separate pcs? Would have been nice if there was a little heads up letter in the box letting me know the piston is supposed to be this way now.
Matching camo.jpg

The barrel camo matches the receiver and forearm well enough for me.

They also replaced a few springs and the button that releases the bolt. Barrel arrived with a full choke in it which is a nice bonus. I would have rather had another MOD but I was surprised they provided a choke. The white bead is gone and I now have a brass bead with some sort of green coating over it. Other than possibly turkey hunting, I don't care what color the bead is as I never use it anyhow.

Total damage was around $402.00 with tax not counting my shipping to Browning. Turns out they didn't charge me for the original $88.00 I thought they were going to.

A little over 2 months turn around time.

Now I need to go pattern it and then start shooting it to see if it's still as sweet shooting as it used to be.
 

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If you've ever been to the Browning service center you might not see what you expected.
I used to live about 10 miles from the place and if I had a problem I would just take my guns in. Don't get any ideas about this big huge facility with hundreds of people working there, I don't know how many smiths they have working there but a good guess would be 50-60 people that work in the whole facility.
Probably have to deal with several hundred repair issues every week, so your two month turn around time would be about right for the amount of people they have working there.
Another thing to remember also, Browning really never has made guns in the U.S. the vast majority of their guns are contracted out to other companies to make as are the spare parts. So if they need a part and their out they have to wait for next shipment from Portugal or Belgium or Japan to get here, which also ads to turn around time.
If they have QC issues or find out down the line one of their designs is a flop, Browning has to go back to their supplier and find out what happened and why, which can lead into I'm not paying for your mistakes issues between two separate companies.
Maybe this is why Remington is so much easier to deal with customer service wise, they have more control over their product, parts and production facilities...just wish they would bring the quality back to where it was several years ago.
 

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Glad you got your gun back. The pic and comment about the "now two-piece" piston has me confused, you're saying that the composite slide and the piston were one solid piece ? how old was your gun ?
I own a 2010 model SX3 and a Silver and they both dis-assemble as the pic shows. I've never taken down a Maxus, but with FN using the same gas system it's surprising they would be made differently. Just curious.
 

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23yearsago said:
Glad you got your gun back. The pic and comment about the "now two-piece" piston has me confused, you're saying that the composite slide and the piston were one solid piece ? how old was your gun ?
I own a 2010 model SX3 and a Silver and they both dis-assemble as the pic shows. I've never taken down a Maxus, but with FN using the same gas system it's surprising they would be made differently. Just curious.
Yup. Maxis is different. Originals had a sleeve & piston that were joined. I was unaware that they were separate in the newer ones. Good to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BT Justice said:
If you've ever been to the Browning service center you might not see what you expected.
I used to live about 10 miles from the place and if I had a problem I would just take my guns in. Don't get any ideas about this big huge facility with hundreds of people working there, I don't know how many smiths they have working there but a good guess would be 50-60 people that work in the whole facility.
Probably have to deal with several hundred repair issues every week, so your two month turn around time would be about right for the amount of people they have working there.
Another thing to remember also, Browning really never has made guns in the U.S. the vast majority of their guns are contracted out to other companies to make as are the spare parts. So if they need a part and their out they have to wait for next shipment from Portugal or Belgium or Japan to get here, which also ads to turn around time.
If they have QC issues or find out down the line one of their designs is a flop, Browning has to go back to their supplier and find out what happened and why, which can lead into I'm not paying for your mistakes issues between two separate companies.
Maybe this is why Remington is so much easier to deal with customer service wise, they have more control over their product, parts and production facilities...just wish they would bring the quality back to where it was several years ago.
Yes, after dealing with them I came to understand quickly that this was not a big operation like I had assumed. When I looked at their facility with google earth, I thought it looked a lot more like a distribution warehouse than a repair facility with all the truck bays that building has.

Had they been better at communicating it would have been a much smoother transaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
23yearsago said:
Glad you got your gun back. The pic and comment about the "now two-piece" piston has me confused, you're saying that the composite slide and the piston were one solid piece ? how old was your gun ?
I own a 2010 model SX3 and a Silver and they both dis-assemble as the pic shows. I've never taken down a Maxus, but with FN using the same gas system it's surprising they would be made differently. Just curious.
Yeah, the original piston and sleeve were stuck together pretty good. I read somewhere that they were supposed to come apart with some effort but mine sure wouldn't.

The new parts fit together the same, they just butt up against each other.

I'm gonna shoot it tomorrow so hopefully, everything is back to normal or better than original.
 

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Glad to hear your gun is back and the pattern looks to be a pretty good match. I have had great CS with Remington on ammo related issues but they screwed me on a 700 issue that they outright refused to fix / replace. It was a new unfired gun that had an undersize receiver and the scope mounts would not sit right, Not only that they were off center. all they would do is tell me that it is within spec and that I would need to use weatherby bases and adjustable mounts to get the scope centered. That was the first and Last Remington rifle I ever purchased for myself. As a dealer and gunsmith I have sent in many guns for repair and some come back within days while others take weeks and in most cases I never get updates but the gun just shows up one day repaired.

On the Mod flush mount choke tube, I have personally never seen BB shot cause an issue(I do believe it does happen) but have seen BBB, T and F cause a seized choke tube. I often ran BBB and BB thru my Benelli SBE I factory flush mount chokes up to IM with no problems but I can see how it could easily happen. IMO and after a LOT of testing I believe that you really need an extended choke for the best results with most non-toxic shot. I no longer use my flush mount chokes for steel shot although some of them pattern great. The extended chokes place more of the constriction outside of the barrel which IMO is the better option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
waterfowlhunter said:
Glad to hear your gun is back and the pattern looks to be a pretty good match. I have had great CS with Remington on ammo related issues but they screwed me on a 700 issue that they outright refused to fix / replace. It was a new unfired gun that had an undersize receiver and the scope mounts would not sit right, Not only that they were off center. all they would do is tell me that it is within spec and that I would need to use weatherby bases and adjustable mounts to get the scope centered. That was the first and Last Remington rifle I ever purchased for myself. As a dealer and gunsmith I have sent in many guns for repair and some come back within days while others take weeks and in most cases I never get updates but the gun just shows up one day repaired.

On the Mod flush mount choke tube, I have personally never seen BB shot cause an issue(I do believe it does happen) but have seen BBB, T and F cause a seized choke tube. I often ran BBB and BB thru my Benelli SBE I factory flush mount chokes up to IM with no problems but I can see how it could easily happen. IMO and after a LOT of testing I believe that you really need an extended choke for the best results with most non-toxic shot. I no longer use my flush mount chokes for steel shot although some of them pattern great. The extended chokes place more of the constriction outside of the barrel which IMO is the better option.
Just in case you haven't seen this: http://xmprecall.remington.com/pdfs/xmprecall-notice.pdf
 

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waterfowlhunter said:
On the Mod flush mount choke tube, I have personally never seen BB shot cause an issue(I do believe it does happen) but have seen BBB, T and F cause a seized choke tube. I often ran BBB and BB thru my Benelli SBE I factory flush mount chokes up to IM with no problems but I can see how it could easily happen. IMO and after a LOT of testing I believe that you really need an extended choke for the best results with most non-toxic shot. I no longer use my flush mount chokes for steel shot although some of them pattern great. The extended chokes place more of the constriction outside of the barrel which IMO is the better option.
You know, I have come to the conclusion that the top-threaded MobilChoke tubes were superior in that regard. Running case upon case of oz & 3/8 loads of BB's over a season, I have destroyed the tube on an 870 and an SX2, but I've never seen an unremoveable tube in a gun with mobilchokes. Maybe it has to do with the positioning of the threads. On the other hand, factory Mobilchokes might just be made better. Either way, I'm with ya. I don't run flush tubes for no-tox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The flush mount vs extended choke tube debate would be another good post that might save some shot gunners some grief. Personally, I put a pattern master code black in the barrel as soon as it was assembled.

I've never been a fan of extended tubes before but I really want to avoid another issue like I had. Seems like an extended tube is cheap insurance if it can hold up to a lot of shooting larger shot sizes.
 
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