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  #1  
Old 02-17-2011, 11:13 AM
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Browning 81 BLR .222 REM Lever Action


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I'm new to hunting and my grandfather decided to pass down an old lever action that he used to use. I looked up how much these run for and found one NIB for 2k. Mine is in near mint condition (no scratches or other marks) and everything is from the factory. Browning discontinued the .222 in 1990 making this somewhat of a collector's item from what I understand. Just wanted to hear some thoughts about the possible value of this rifle, if I should keep it as a collector's item especially since my grandfather gave it to me, or if I should sell it and get a bolt action with a more common caliber? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2011, 12:06 PM
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BLRs are fine rifles, but I'd suppose it depends on a couple of things what you should do with this one. The cartridge is perhaps not the most useful around, especially if you're wanting a rifle for big game hunting. It would certainly make a fine shooter though, if your wants run towards punching paper. The difference in value between a 20-30yr old rifle that's NIB and rare and one that's used but in excellent condition, can be significant and my opinion is that the value of your nice BLR is nowhere near the one you saw NIB and probably well under half that much. I've always been a fan of family guns handed down, but I'm also a fan of using any gun that you might own. Not a fan of cabinet queens here at all. If the rifle means something to you and it will be used, keep it. If you're wanting to sell it for the $$ perhaps you should make sure it's nothing you'd really want to keep as a family "piece" before doing so.

Good Luck.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2011, 12:11 PM
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I definitely like the idea of a family gun but I don't want to be a collector before I even own a gun I can go hunt with. I know it has no significance to my grandfather other than it shoots true. I know browning makes a good rifle but like stated, the 222 is rare and doesn't exactly have the most knock down power and I would primarily using my gun for white tail, hogs, coyote, etc.. I am going to weigh the options but I don't want this gun to go unused if I could get a decent bolt action in maybe a .308
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arpolly View Post
I definitely like the idea of a family gun but I don't want to be a collector before I even own a gun I can go hunt with. I know it has no significance to my grandfather other than it shoots true. I know browning makes a good rifle but like stated, the 222 is rare and doesn't exactly have the most knock down power and I would primarily using my gun for white tail, hogs, coyote, etc.. I am going to weigh the options but I don't want this gun to go unused if I could get a decent bolt action in maybe a .308
It sounds to me like you have great plan in mind then. And, it sounds to me like you'd get a lot more use from a .308 or similar. Perhaps you could work a trade out with a collector for a mint BLR in .308 or something similar.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2011, 12:55 PM
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Sounds to me like you've already made your mind up to get rid of it for something else. I'm hoping you're not using this as a back door attempt to avoid the restriction of new members not being allowed to post items for sale until a minimum number of posts have been made and/or a minimum amount of time as a member of the board. If such is the case and a sale is negotiated, you will be permanently banned.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2011, 01:42 PM
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I am not trying any backdoor or sneaky stuff. This is in no way me trying to sell the rifle just trying to get on the forum to hear opinions for more reliable sources than myself. I have somewhat sold myself out of the idea of keeping it just because I can only afford one rifle right now and would like something a little more common and multipurpose.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2011, 04:28 PM
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That rifle would be excellent for coyotes, but the caliber is a bit light for deer or hogs, IMO. The 222 is a varmint cartridge, and a darned good one.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2011, 04:59 PM
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Like you already know, this rifle could be a real shooter as most Brownings are. The .222 is an accurate round with a long and distinguished benchrest background.... more than suitable for varminting and prediator work. I wouldn't rule it out especially if you intend on handloading. The .308 would work well for what you want. Your gun ... your decision.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:01 AM
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Well I am going to most likely end up bringing it around to different gun shops or seeing where I should sell it and get myself a little more practical rifle depending on what price range I find myself. .I will more likely be invited to go hog hunting than anything else so I need something that has the power to take down hog or deer. I do appreciate the comments and will let you know when I know more.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2011, 05:03 PM
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Why not send it back to Browning and get it rechambered to another cartridge, .308? That way you're still shooting grandpa's gun, and it will be cheaper.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2011, 01:25 PM
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Rechamber, if possible, is a good was to turn a $1200 gun into a $400 gun. Bad idea IMO.

Byron
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:03 PM
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Since the 222 uses a smaller case head than the 308 does, rechambering will require a new bolt as well- probably cheaper to get a new rifle by the time you rebarrel and install a new bolt.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:37 PM
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Rechamber was an option until I asked my grandfather his connection to this rifle and he said get the best rifle for your money, the only purpose of a rifle is to shoot and shoot well. I went to the first gun store I could find in Dallas and was offered 1100 so I'm thinking that I will use that to put towards a new rifle, scope, case, etc.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2011, 05:38 PM
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My brother in law has 14 calibers of BLRs and the 222 is the only caliber he is missing. That is a great price, trade it up. Just so you know my BLR is one of my most accurate guns I own. So check out a BLR in other calibers.
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2011, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arpolly View Post
Rechamber was an option until I asked my grandfather his connection to this rifle and he said get the best rifle for your money, the only purpose of a rifle is to shoot and shoot well. I went to the first gun store I could find in Dallas and was offered 1100 so I'm thinking that I will use that to put towards a new rifle, scope, case, etc.
$1100 is a bit more than I thought you'd be offered for it. I'd check online for what similar rifles are selling for.

Let us know what you end up with.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2011, 03:07 PM
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Thank you for all the advice. So y'all know I ended up with 1450 for the BLR, as I said, it was in pristine condition. Sold it to a gun shop in Dallas. Now going to be on the market for a Rem 700.
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:17 PM
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Good Price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arpolly View Post
Thank you for all the advice. So y'all know I ended up with 1450 for the BLR, as I said, it was in pristine condition. Sold it to a gun shop in Dallas. Now going to be on the market for a Rem 700.
Hi Arpolly,

I only just seen your posts and was good to see you got a good price for your 81 .222 . I had one myself in good cond and sold it for 1000 here in Aust years ago . They are very sort after here for Lever Action shooting and can go for as much as 1500-2000 in ex cond here .

Groz form Oz.
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2011, 07:54 PM
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If I remember correctly, only a handful of .222's were released in the US, the majority were distributed in Europe and Australia. The .223's (like mine from the early 80's) were supposedly meant for the US market. I have been fooling with BLR's since the mid-70's and have yet to see my first .222.
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2011, 12:43 AM
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The old BLR rifle with the steel receiver, before they switched to alloy, is a great rifle and the .222 is a great cartridge.
The combination is in huge demand here in Western Australia for lever action target competition and we have a gunsmith here who does a roaring trade converting other BLRs like 223 etc to this combo.
As has already been stated the .222 is an excellent varmint cartridge and has one of the worlds best reputations for accuracy.
I just sold one due to the fact that I didn't have a use for a long range varmint rifle and mine would shoot MOA or better all day long with factory or hand loads.
As a hunting round for deer and hogs it would not be ideal but no hog or deer will walk away from a clean head shot with one if you need to harvest meat.
Back in my grandfathers day a tool that did its job well was a tool to be cherished. If you don't need that particular tool, I'm sure somebody else will need it and cherish it.
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