Adapting my BPS to Home Defense

Discussion in 'Browning BPS Shotgun' started by bmumford, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. bmumford

    bmumford Copper BB

    I have a Browning BPS that I'm making into a very specialized do all shotgun. I have a 22" rifled barrel and scope for deer, a 28" barrel for birds, and a 20.5" turkey barrel that I'm looking to adapt further into a HD application.

    I'm not very familiar with changing out sights, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for better HD sights that are still acceptable for turkey hunting. I've been looking at XS shotgun sights that look promising Products&pID=specialty, but I'm not sure what it would require to mount them to my turkey barrel. Here are picks of my current setup. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. Billythekid

    Billythekid Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    I would love to make a BPS all purpose as well. The only thing that makes me nervous with the XS setup is that it is designed specifically for the 870. I would hate to drill and tap a barrel to find out it doesn't line up anyways. Have you checked out dead
    Ringer sights before? They seem to have a decent selection of sights for shotguns. My brother had a couple of different styles on his mossberg and seem to like them so far.
  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Welcome to the Browning Owners Forum bmumford !!
  4. bmumford

    bmumford Copper BB

    Sorry it's taking me so long to respond. Life got in the way. ;)

    I know what you're saying about mounting an XS sight. I have the same concern. I have an XS Big Dot tritium sight set up on my Glock 19 (which I'm using right now until my shotgun is ready), but XS doesn't have a solution for this rifle sight.

    Anyway, it's really frustrating sometimes owning a Browning because HD is taboo to this company. I'm still looking for a good replacement for the rifle sights on the turkey barrel. If you or anyone else reads this, I'd like your thoughts on buying this Williams sight set before it comes in: ... ptic-green.

    I special ordered them today (they're only $30). The one review specifically stated that, although they gather light extremely well outside, they're not very good inside and thus not recommend for HD purposes.

    That said, however, all HD weapons should have a bright weapons light mounted on them, which I plan on doing anyway, so if I get a light with enough lumins, I'm hoping that will make the fiber optics work well enough to get a good sight picture. If they don't, I'll still use the sights for turkey hunting so it's not a total loss.

    I know a lot of people aren't in my boat. Generally, people who have enough money to put together a comparably pricey BPS with two pricier barrels should have the money for a dedicated HD gun, but my philosophy of use has changed over the last couple of years, and that's where I got into trouble.

    I'm more inclined to use my Excalibur Crossbow now for hunting than my BPS, but I don't want to take a bath on all the money I threw at what is a very good all in one hunting solution. Especially since it's like new.

    Besides, deer and turkey gun hunting season is very short in Ohio. I can hunt deer for four months with my crossbow, but I can only hunt a fraction of that time with a shotgun. So now my primary POU for my shotgun is HD.

    I will say, however, that I'm sure there are other BPS owners out there that don't hunt as much as they thought they would, or don't hunt as much as they used to, or who could use a 2nd HD gun, or who don't even have a HD weapon and could benefit from this, so I will share any luck I have with this project on this thread. Even the BPS owners who have a dedicated HD weapon may be giving their BPS to a son or daughter who is on a budget, and they can benefit from this topic as well.

    I figure I can maybe get away with spending between $100 and $150 making this a very decent HD weapon. Probably far less. Most BPS shotguns would be two long for HD work, but the turkey barrel shortens my gun to the same length as a Mossberg 500/590.

    I removed the three shot adapter plug so it will hold three rounds instead of just two in the mag (I'll just have to add it back in for deer season). It's 3+1 now which is much more desirable than the 2+1 configuration (although 5+1 or more is better).

    I have a velcro SOE sidesaddle that works very well to store extra shells on the receiver (I highly recommend it). In fact, one of the advantages of the BPS (or an Ithaca for that matter) is that they don't have ejection ports on the side of the receiver so I can mount these cards on both sides giving me 12 on deck (six on either side). An Ithaca, because of the shape of the forearm, would be able to hold 14 BTW.

    That means—as is—my gun has 12 more rounds at the ready (that I could put into use without breaking a cheek weld or mounting cartridges on the stock). If I want more than four rounds in the tube ready to fire, however, I have to spend $75 plus shipping to get a mag extension which will up the magazine capacity to 7+1. That's not bad! It's also not likely necessary.

    Military spec (3443 test) only requires five, and with the rounds stored in the receiver, I'll be carrying 18 altogether which is overkill for most HD scenarios. So I may just stick with the 3+1 and save close to $100 forgoing the mag extension. I heard the average number of shotgun rounds spent in an HD scenario is two or three rounds anyway, so I'd likely be fine with the 3+1 capacity especially if I practice topping off from the bottom.

    One of the draw backs of not having a side ejection port, however, is not being able to quickly drop in a shell through the side port. It's not a big deal, and plenty of police officers carried Ithaca's for many decades without complaint. In my mind, however, that's still a consideration for an extended magazine tube.

    Once I have the right sight, weapon light, and optimal capacity figured out, this will be one hell of an all-in-one gun, especially for a left-eye dominant person (which is about 30% or more of the population). It's also a very smooth action, looks nice, etc... all of the reasons I bought a BPS from the start will be preserved, but this gun will now be an excellent deer, turkey, waterfowl, upland game, clay, and HD all-in-one gun. Along with a good .22LR, there's not much I can't hunt or protect myself and family from east of the Mississippi.
  5. bmumford

    bmumford Copper BB


    Okay, here is my Browning BPS all-in-one project thus far:
    - Browning BPS 12 gauge
    - 22" rifled barrel with cantilever rail and 3-9x40 Nikon Buckmaster scope with BDC reticle (for slugs)
    - 28" "Hunter" barrel w/ventilated rib
    - 20.5" turkey barrel with rifle sights (I upgraded the stock sights with Williams Firesights for $30)
    - SOE velcro shotgun card
    - UAG barrel clamp and Cabela's LED flashlight

    Notes: The barrel clamp and flashlight are only temporary. I got the clamp for only $11 (including shipping!), but it's plastic and rather flimsy. BPS accessories are anemic at best. Because I don't have an extended magazine, it's hard to find mounting options. Without an extended tube, you have to mount whatever clamp or rail directly to the barrel, and one option I found was almost $60. I tried the cheap alternative first, but I'll likely extend the mag at some point and replace it with a steel or aluminum mount that attaches to the magazine.

    I'll eventually get a new light for both aesthetic and practical reasons. This one isn't very bright, and a bright weapon light is like a weapon in and of itself. I've been researching Streamlight, FourSevens, Surefire, etc... that will come later. My index finger from either hand easily activates the switch at the butt of the light (shooting left or right-handed).

    The only thing I NEED to get now to fulfill it's home defense philosophy of use is a new choke. The turkey barrel is about as long as you'd want in a home defense shotgun. In fact, the overall length of my gun is about an inch and a half longer than I'd like it to be because the only choke I have is the turkey choke that came with the barrel. Keep in mind, the other 28" barrel has the Invector PLUS choke system, but the turkey barrel only comes with the regular Invector system (which are not compatible). The backbore/Invector Plus system is useless for a full-choke turkey gun anyway, but it would have been nice to use the improved cylinder choke from the 28" barrel.

    In addition to the turkey choke adding an extra 1.5 inches or so, it says right on it that it can not be used with slugs (which I like to have the option to do). There are relatively inexpensive Invector cylinder chokes that can mount flush with the barrel. That will reduce the overall length by about an inch and a half (making it about the same overal length as a Mossberg 590). Moreover, it will allow me the ability to shoot slugs while opening up the pattern to its full potential.

    Lastly, the SOE card is great. They come in 6 or 7 shell configurations. Because of the extra length of the BPS forend (compared to a Mossberg, for example), you're limited to the 6 shell (unless you want to modify the forend). I didn't want to do that and 6 is plenty. In fact, here's another advantage of the BPS. Because its ejection port is on the bottom, you can mount these cards on both sides of the receiver (if you really wanted to). I keep just one on my so I have a more comfortable position for my finger to rest, but it still works well putting them on both sides. Seen here, I can carry up to 11 shots on the gun (4 in the mag, 1 in the chamber, and up to six in the card). If I put a card on the other side I'd have 17 rounds. Personally, 11 is fine for me. Most shotgun HD encounters are 3 shots on average.

    Once I have the choke, it just needs a single-point or two-point sling to make it ready to do everything I want it to do. It's shaping up to be a very versatile hunting and HD weapon. Here's a pic:
  6. Billythekid

    Billythekid Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    hey thanks for the update, I have been thinking about getting a BPS for awhile now to make it kind of that all purpose shotgun but I have found it being slim picking in the home defense area for really any Browning firearms or at least accessories that are made specifically for brownings. Good to see that you are making progress on your project and keeping us updated. Look forward to seeing when its complete. for lights/mount options it really depends on how much you want to spend. I own a couple of Coast lights that seem to perform well and arent overly expensive or you could go with an Elzetta light/mount combo. It would be great if companies like ATI made stock/forearm home defense kit for the Browning BPS. Would make adding accessories a lot easier and give you the right length for home defense. for the chokes, have you looked into a tactical door breaching choke to give it that extra function?
    bmumford likes this.
  7. bmumford

    bmumford Copper BB

    Actually, I have (looked into tactical breeching chokes). They do make them for the standard Invector choke system, but it adds an inch or two to an already 20.5" barrel. The chances of me needing one are so remote that I'm electing for a standard flush choke to keep the gun as maneuverable as possible. It does look cool though. It might be good to have if I ever wanted to forgo the maneuverability in exchange for the ability to press the barrel against something I want to shoot though. I think my next purchase after the cylinder choke is a single point sling. As a defensive weapon, the sling could be the only thing keeping a would be attacker from using my shotgun against me if he were to catch me by surprise. Thanks for the comment and I'll keep the updates going as I move forward with the project.
  8. bmumford

    bmumford Copper BB

    Update: that cheap little plastic light mount ended up not holding up after a few rounds of trap. Yes, I shot trap with my HD configuration (flashlight included) to test it and it failed. I guess it's back to the drawing board. I was pretty sure a polymer barrel mount was a bad idea on a 12ga, and I proved it. Don't skimp on attaching things to a shotgun!

    Sidenote: because I shoot both left and right handed, I've always gravitated to the BPS as it's the most ambidextrous option on the market today IMHO. I've been frustrated, however, because of the lack of accessories available for it. I've often thought about sacrificing my beloved bottom ejection for a Mossberg. I favor them over the 870's because of their tang safety. I just learned today, however, that Mossberg 590's and 590A1's do not have threaded barrels for chokes. Part of the do-all project involves changing choke tubes unless I want to spend even more money on barrels. They also don't have rifled barrels available for them. That made me feel even better about my BPS project!

    I could configure a Mossy 500, but then I have a slightly inferior shotgun IMHO, so I'm pressing on with the BPS.

    I think my next step is to bite the bullet and buy a magazine extension. There are more mounting options for magazines than barrels (it's like a 100:1 in the market).
  9. Billythekid

    Billythekid Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Thanks for the update, post some pictures when you get a chance. Would love to see the progress made.

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