View Full Version : 1971 Browning FN Action Medallion Grade 458 Win Mag Rifle: A steal at $895

01-30-2010, 5:51 PM
I know this is the realm of black rifles, I am partly to blame for that as well. I admit, my collection resembles a mine of stalagmites, grown from coal.

But every so often you come across a deal too hard to pass up, a traditional long gun that has character and/or heritage that is too good to just set aside and ignore. Exquisite, fun, bolt-action shooting with classic craftsmanship rarely seen now days.

Thus... I picked this up today for $895: in very good used condition these will typically go for above $2000. Even in well-used condition I haven't seen these go for much less than $1700. As for the anomalies in question, I thought it was a very fair price; something I can experiment with and have fun too, without being too worried and have shelled out too much to hide it away as a safe-queen or baby it too much to really put it to use. I won't shudder every time I might be outdoors and a mist of rain looks to be in the works. And if I should be party to a big game hunt any time soon, say in Africa, I'll be ready. ;)

1971 Browning FN Action Medallion Grade 458 Win Mag Rifle: It's a Belgium made gun, very nicely done. Very little use, with no blue wear, no scratches or nicks to the receiver, barrel, etc. The trigger and action are amazing. This trigger is one of the nicest I have ever felt on an over-the-counter hunting gun. The wood has some scattered handling and storage marks but nothing major. The front tang of the trigger guard and screw had some minor rust and/or pitting. The screw under the forend is pitted and the wood surrounding it has blackened a bit with some wood missing around it. The bore is excellent, like new. The bolt face looks unused. It is excellent mechanically and has the correct head spacing.



01-30-2010, 5:54 PM
Wow, just wow. :eek: That is a work of art. Congratulations.

01-30-2010, 6:39 PM
Freaking excellent rifle. I love the checkering and engraved receiver. it was a STEAL!
Now get some low pressure varmint loads and enjoy yourself!

G-Man WC
01-30-2010, 7:22 PM
You stole it my man! -g

01-30-2010, 9:40 PM
That is dirt low price for a Madallion Grade and in 458, wow. I would also like to see more of this stiff in the rifle threads.

Have you done the go-through for the salt check ?

01-30-2010, 10:06 PM
Just beautiful. Congrats.

Freaking excellent rifle. I love the checkering and engraved receiver. it was a STEAL!
Now get some low pressure varmint loads and enjoy yourself!

ha ha

Varmint loads?!

01-30-2010, 10:34 PM
that sure is a beauty. The wood has such depth of grain.

01-31-2010, 11:14 AM
Now here's a coincidence. Running across this thread, while King Solomon's Mines is playing on TV..

That is one heck of a deal for that rifle. Wonder if they make some sort of sabot for that, so you can shoot, say, 30 cal bullets in it.

01-31-2010, 11:26 AM
Holy smokes!

That's a beautiful gun!

01-31-2010, 11:28 AM
What beauty, and what a steal..good stuff

01-31-2010, 12:10 PM
screaming deal, my man!
if you hand load, you can down load to make it tolerable.
perfect pig gun !
i occasionaly see big boomers like this for cheap. some guy gets a wild hair that hes going to africa and buys one and then either goes or doesnt go and its so expensive to shoot that it either stays like new in the safe or gets sold. usually at a big discount.

i recently passed on a 416 rem 700 safari for $800. no box but if it had been shot it wasnt much. it would have be nice to have but i didnt have a reason to need it. i should have bought it and just kept listing it on GB...

01-31-2010, 12:25 PM
Congrats on the deal. That gun is a thing of beauty!

01-31-2010, 1:22 PM
You can even load rounds with .45 caliber round lead balls

01-31-2010, 2:41 PM
Nice find. I hope you like it after you shoot it, LOL. Pull off the stock and see if the corrosion is inside. Browning should be able to tell you if its a salt-gun.

Nice for Africa. I hear buff tags are going for about $10K these days. Elephant tags are about $20K. Start saving.

02-04-2010, 3:23 PM
This will be my pissed-off bear deterrent next time in Alaska. Haven't got word back if it's a salt gun, but checking.


B Strong
02-04-2010, 4:42 PM
Excellent pick Cali - I don't know if this is your first .458, but if it is you'll be surprised how accurate the cartridge is.

I've got a older Ruger 77 in .458 that I did a little work to - glassed the stock, Timney trigger, and it will shoot cloverleafs off the bench at 100 yds...only problem is, that even with a limbsaver pad, you don't do much shooting.

02-05-2010, 7:58 PM
After review and checking serial numbers, I am 99% certain this is a salt gun. At the time of purchase, I just couldn't recall the manufacture dates and for some reason I thought the salt-wood guns were a few years later and mostly on the FN/Belgium Shotguns. Nope. :no:

Of course, I would have bought it anyway! :) I wanted an nice .458 Win Mag to shoot and not pay double or triple the cost I paid. And fortunately, it's not anywhere near as bad as the many horror stories I have heard about other guns fully succumbing to corrosion; however anyone can see the indication; the minimal pitting around the reinforcing screws and trigger guard, indicates it is a salt-wood; maybe just not as salty as others.

In any case, as soon as I get it home next week, I am going to do a silver-nitrate test on the wood - but I'm sure I know what that will turn up. Thus, since 95% of the gun is still good-looking, and if the stock indicates sodium evil, I am going to disassemble it and put my wood carving skills to work and hone out a very ornate custom stock out of Brazilian Rose-wood or ??? .

More to come.....


02-05-2010, 8:20 PM
Boy Howdy!

That rifle - for that price - is very rare indeed....

Unless it is truly rotten on the inside, I wouldn't worry. On the other hand, I can see an old English Walnut grained stock on that in my mind's eye.

Does she have a sister? ;)