The Browning Saltwood Shotgun: An Experiment Turned Sour

One of the Browning’s most well-known shotguns is the Browning Saltwood. The Browning Saltwood, so named due to its unique salt-impregnated wood stocks, are a line of firearms that were produced in the mid-to-late 20th century. The inclusion of salt as a desiccant in the stocks was intended to prevent warping and moisture damage, offering a longer lifespan for the firearm. However, the salt also proved to be a formidable foe, often causing significant rust and corrosion to the metal components of the shotgun.

The Browning Saltwoods were produced from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. The salt impregnation process was used as a method to speed up the drying of the wooden stocks, allowing for faster production and lower costs. However, it soon became apparent that the salt was causing more harm than good, leading to rust and corrosion of the metal parts. By the early 1970s, Browning had discontinued the use of salt in their stocks, although many Saltwood shotguns remained in circulation.

The Browning Saltwood shotguns are a product of their time, reflecting the post-war industrial boom and the drive for efficiency and innovation. Despite the issues with rust and corrosion, many of these shotguns remain in service today, a testament to the durability of Browning’s design and manufacturing standards. The Salt Shotguns are a unique chapter in Browning’s history, and their legacy continues to influence the company’s approach to innovation and quality.

The most distinctive feature of the Browning Saltwood shotgun is, of course, the salt-impregnated wood. This process, although ultimately flawed, represented a unique approach to firearm manufacturing. In addition to the salt stocks, these shotguns also featured Browning’s signature attention to detail and quality, with high-quality steel components and finely crafted barrels.


These shotguns were available in a variety of models, including the Superposed, A-5, and Citori, among others. Each model offered its own unique features and specifications, but all of them shared the salt-impregnated stocks and the high-quality craftsmanship that Browning is known for.

For some enthusiasts, Browning’s Saltwood shotguns have become sought-after collector’s items, with enthusiasts often seeking out these unique firearms for their collections. The controversy and history surrounding these shotguns only add to their allure, making them a fascinating piece of Browning’s history. The shotguns are a stark reminder that even in failure, there can be valuable lessons and enduring legacies.

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