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Old 11-05-2011, 08:35 PM
otterdive

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Where can I find the serial number on a Browning Belgium Challenger



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Hi everyone,

This looks like a very active, and friendly forum. I'm happy to have found it!

My grandfather willed me his Browning Belgium Challenger. I remember this gun from childhood, and all of the pictures I have seen on websites make me fairly sure it's a Challenger, not a Challenger 2. I cannot find the serial number anywhere, but I also cannot find anywhere that looks like a serial number has been filed away either. My grandfather was a bit of a trader, so it would not surprise me if it has been filed off. It's a mystery to me. I really want to make sure this gun is legal for me to own. Any help, pictures, advice, etc would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:49 PM
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Serial number should be on front grip strap. This area is often first to loose bluing if sweat from hands not cleaned off after use. Post a pic of left side and I can get you an approximate date of production. The serial number should have a "U" in it with one or two numbers after the "U" to designate year of production. A few early Nomads had the serial number under the barrel. It could be you have the frame from one of these with a later production barrel in place of the original barrel. Then there would be no SN.

And welcome to this forum.

SO
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:11 PM
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We need a few pictures and we can help you a lot.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:42 PM
otterdive

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I took a few pictures, but unfortunately, I guess I'm not allowed to attach pictures yet.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:54 PM
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Hmm, that's starting to make sense... maybe it's actually an early Nomad. The underside of the barrel has some symbols, but no numbers. I took the barrel off to look for a serial number. Nothing under there except for some machinist/inspector marks.

I really wish that I could post some pictures. I just don't think the serial number has been filed off the front of the grip frame... it just looks like normal wear.

Any suggestions for posting pictures?
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:27 AM
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Set up an account in photobucket.com. Upload your pictures to photobucket. Then copy the image code of the picture you want over to your RFC post. VH
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:28 AM
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If there is no slide lock (last shot hold-open) then it's probably a Nomad frame. Welcome aboard, and work on the pics.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2011, 09:36 AM
otterdive

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Hopefully this will work:







Let me know if you guys need to see a photo with the grip installed. Thanks so much for being willing to help!
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:09 AM
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OOOPs.

Copy and paste the IMG to here, from www.photobucket.com and it should work.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:43 AM
otterdive

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I changed the settings on my photo sharing site... can you guys see the photos now? Sorry, and thanks for the help.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:52 AM
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That's a Challenger(gold trigger is a clue as well as slide stop) I'm not seeing the serial number on the front of the grip where it should be.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:41 PM
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First, barrels are easy to swap from gun to gun. That said, assuming the barrel is original to the frame the blade front sight indicates it was made prior to mid-1968. The one-line, left side barrel address indicates it was made 1964 or later. There is a lot of wear on the front grip strap, but even with that there should be a serial number there????? Is there a trigger adjustment screw at the rear of the frame? Between the sides of the slide when racked to the rear.

RE - Under barrel stamps: The star over Y is an inspectors stamp. The other two are Belgium proofs.

SO
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:57 PM
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As SO said, the trigger adjustment screw would clearly indicate that it is a Challenger and not a Nomad. I don't see any indication that someone removed the serial number, but it clearly isn't there. The gold trigger and slide lock indicate a Challenger. Pre 1968 GCA wouldn't require a serial number, but all that I have seen, had one.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:25 PM
otterdive

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Gentlemen, thank you very much for the information thus far. I'm really enjoying the research.

OK, here's a picture showing the back of the gun... I believe showing the trigger adjustment screw:



And here's a close-up of the grip strap area. I really don't think any metal has been removed except for normal wear. How deep are the serial numbers stamped into the metal?



My next big question is what should I do if there is no serial number? If it's pre-1968, as you guys seem to be leaning, should I worry about getting in trouble over the gun?

Thanks again for the information!
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:51 PM
otterdive

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Sorry for the shameless bump of my own post. I just need to know a few things:

Can I assume, based on the pictures provided, that the gun is a pre-1968 Challenger?

If that is the correct identification, the serial number should be on the grip strap?

It does not look, based on my observations, and the photos, that as thought the serial number has been filed off?

Is it possible that the gun was never stamped in the first place?

If the serial number has not been removed, was never stamped, and is pre-1968, should I worry too much about owning the gun?

Thank you all for being willing to help out. The gun means a great deal to me.
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