Browning Gold Hunter Problems that New Buyers Should Know About

The Browning Gold Hunter is a gorgeous shotgun with wood trim. Whether you are upland hunting ducks or shooting, the Browning Gold Hunter fits pretty well.

But a far sinister side to the gun is going to be the topic of today’s discussion.

The most common problems with the Browning Gold Hunter are: FTF problems, problematic extractor claw, cycling problems, failing in cold and action not closing.

I will give you the solution to these common issues in this article. Additionally, you will get authentic reviews from users as well. So, stay tuned!

Features & Specifications of Browning Gold Hunter:

Gauge12 & 20 bore
GripCut Checkering
Product weight119 ounces
Product length11.125 inches
CapacityFive 2 3/4″ shells
MaterialBlack Metalwork
Barrel length26-30 inches  
Barrel MaterialSteel
Common Browning Gold Hunter Problems and Solutions
Browning Gold Hunter

Common Browning Gold Hunter Problems and Solutions

FTF ProblemsClean and lubricate specifically.
Problematic Extractor ClawFile the extractor with a diamond file.
Cycling ProblemsClean and lubricate.
Failing in ColdLubricate the gun.
Action Not ClosingClean recoil return spring.

1. FTF Problems

The gun stops working after every usage if you have not cleaned it. This is because issues arise when the gun is greasy. This is a problem with many autoloaders.

A thorough cleaning of a new gun is needed first to get rid of any extremely heavy packing grease.

The result of not cleaning the gun regularly may get you about 4-5 FTFs in 100 rounds!

The Fix

If you follow these following steps you can go on without an FTF for about 1000s of rounds:

  • Disassemble the gun, remove the buttstock, break down the action spring, and scrub everything with Hoppes #9 and steel wool.
  • Use nylon bristle bottle brushes, steel wool, solvent, and a drill motor to clean the magazine and action tubes. Then wash or examine with non-chlorinated brake cleaner.
  • Soak the piston in Slip 2000 for a day or two. Rotate the interior sleeve and use a brass bristle brush if it’s really dirty. But giving the gun an overnight rest and a spray down is typically enough.
  • Use synthetic grease on high-wear spots via dabbing method.

2. Problematic Extractor Claw

It is a problem with the design of the firearm. After some rounds, the barrel detent becomes sharper.

It becomes sharp to the point that the sharp edge snags the tips of the shells as they are being chambered.

Problematic Extractor Claw
Problematic Extractor Claw

The Fix

To prevent the shells from hanging when put into the chamber, you will need to work a little bit with a file to remove that edge.

After a few months of heavy use, repeat. It can be quickly corrected with a diamond file, but heavy use will make it reappear.

3. Cycling Problems

When there are rounds in the magazine, the bolt opens halfway and tries to eject one of them. But when there aren’t any shells inside, the bolt doesn’t open at all. This is a cycling problem.

The Fix

A broken gas piston is usually the reason behind a cycling issue.  The recoil spring housing should be lubed along with other areas.

Cycling Problems
Cycling Problems

Take off the recoil pad, remove the stock nut, and pop the plunger and spring retainer pin (slowly).

Then draw out the spring, clean the tube, and reinstall. Reassemble the gun without lubricating the spring.

Then check your gas port and clear the magazine tube of carbon. Clean it with a scrubby and gun cleaner. Also, clean the piston.

4. Failing in Cold

In cold weather like 8 degrees or less, the gun fails to work. Even if you lubricate with the thinnest lubricant, it fails.

The Fix

The factory spring gets gummy from moisture. Sure-cycle the stock spring. Clean or replace the spring.

Additionally, carry some ‘Rem Oil’ in case the pistol breaks on a frigid morning in the middle of nowhere. Just apply some to the gun and it should start working smoothly.

5. Action Not Closing

The action won’t fully close or won’t go back in firing position. The bolt component partially closes, preventing the cannon from firing.

The Fix

Gunk can gather on the recoil return spring. Take the stock off, clean the spring assembly with Gun Scrubber or something similar, and lube it properly.

Try to use smooth-cased shells when shooting (not the ribbed shells like Federals).

User Feedback on Browning Gold Hunter

Users have recently been fixated on some bad press on the shotgun. But most of them consider this a good gun.

Its low recoil is considered a plus by users. But let me clear the underwhelming aspects first.

The gun has to be cleaned after each usage. This is irritating. A lot of effort goes into its maintenance because of this.

Additionally, the resale value is poor. It makes one doubt the credibility of these firearms.

Some users rave about the positives of the Winchester, which is a similar firearm built in the same facility. It is a direct competitor for the Browning Gold Hunter.

Moreover, mass-produced guns perform by the standards of any mass-produced product, disappointing after some usage. I would say, the moment you leave the store with it, they start depreciating rapidly!

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Browning Gold Hunter

Based on comparing the specs, features, practicality, and performance, I have found the 3 best alternatives to Browning Gold Hunter

Winchester SX3

Internally, the Browning Gold Hunter and the Winchester SX3 are almost similar (e.g: the gas systems). Mechanically, they are different.

SX3 requires less cleaning than the Gold Hunter. So a win there. Overall, there is not much difference between the two.

Remington 1100-G3

They are two quite different firearms, but both are of high quality. Remington 1100-G3 firearms have an outstanding combination of quality and dependability.

Browning Silver

It is based on and extremely similar to the Browning Gold. The Winchester SX2/SX3/SX4 and this rifle are nearly identical, except for a few minor cosmetic and weight variations. It handles light loads well and is quite dependable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is the Browning Gold and Silver different?

The Gold has a magazine disconnect which the Silver lacks.

What is the wood quality on Browning Gold Hunter?

Usually the Gold models have very nice to great wood on them.

When does the Browning Gold Hunter start to jam?

Around 100 rounds.

Why is the Browning Gold Hunter jam-o-matic?

The aluminum piston and also the factory greese that Browning typically packs their guns in are mostly the problem.

What is the quality of the Browning Gold Hunter?

Most Gold’s springs, even when fairly new, look worse than most other auto loaders after years of neglect.

What are some Browning Gold models with mag cutoff?

Gold Fusion and Gold Superlight (SL) models all have mag cutoff.


Although there were a few issues with the Browning Gold Hunter’s pre-2000 models, they were fixed soon after.

Regarding the jamming issues, just lower the trigger group and clean it as well as the interior of the mag tube about every six months. More frequently after a rain shower, or in extremely dusty or sandy places.

Clean the spring and tube in the butt stock perhaps once a year. And your rifle is as good as new.

Regarding resale, even $900 is a bargain for these weapons.

I am 70% sure you’ll like the gun. Let that guide you in your purchase! Cheers!

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