Review: Browning Maxus

I have always had a love of Browning firearms. I’m not sure where this interest has come from perhaps just from the ergonomics and aesthetics of the firearms or perhaps it is the fantastic reputation and innovation that has been shown by John M Browning and the company over the centuries. Unfortunately due to the sad state of affairs of UK firearms law I have thus far never been able to own or fire many of the firearms from this legendary name. It was with my interest in Browning firearms that  I was drawn towards choosing Browning Shotguns for my first purchase.I had shot clays for a few years but only fairly recently did I apply for my SGC.

I can remember being in the shop looking at all the guns when I picked up a Browning 525 O/U(which I will talk about in another article). The length and balance of the gun was perfect for me so I decided to purchase it. However I was also very keen to purchase a semi automatic shotgun and that is when the Maxus caught my eye. It stood apart from the others in the shop due to the eye catching finish and of course the “quick release” fore end.

I picked it up and again was amazed at how well it seemed to fit my frame as well as how light it was.  I left that day £2,500 lighter with 1 almost new 525 and a brand new Maxus  and I will never look back.

My particular model is the Maxus Sporting Carbon Fiber (pictured) which features a synthetic stock and forearms, aluminium receiver and coated steel barrel with a ventilated rib. It is chambered for 2 3/4″ -3″ magnum and is proofed for steel shot. In all it weighs in around 7lbs

Maxus Sporting Carbon Fiber

Browning Maxus Sporting Carbon Fiber

This was a favourite when participating in my first rough shoot as I felt it would be more forgiving of the wet(although with good maintenance this shouldn’t be an issue). The Dura-Touch® coating on the stock and fore end is also designed to aid in stopping heat loss as well as improving grip in wet conditions. Very much appreciated I can tell you!

The Maxus has many excellent features such as the quick release fore end which I have already mentioned but also a speed loader and a magazine empty.

The quick release is quite an innovative feature that aids in stripping down the gun for cleaning and maintenance. It functions similarly to the fore end on a traditional over under. You simply push a small button in and flick a lever up and the fore end simply slides off. This allows the rest of the gun to be stripped down.

Quick release mechanism for Browning Maxus

Quick Release Mechanism

To remove stock press button

To remove fore end press button

Pull lever out and slide fore end off

Pull lever out and slide fore end off

The speed loader is simple in operation and an excellent feature.  It allows you to leave the gun and magazine empty whilst walking but allows you to be ready to fire almost immediately if quarry presents itself unexpectedly. The principle of operation is simple. You leave the breech locked open and the magazine empty, when you load the first shot into the magazine it is immediately feed into the chamber and the breech block closes over ready to fire thus saving vital seconds fumbling to load directly into the breech.

The only down side to this feature is you cannot have 2 rounds in the magazine with the breech left open as they automatically feed into the chamber. Some models do feature a magazine disconnect which allows you to leave the breech open and have cartridges in the magazine.

The magazine discharge is another handy little feature on the Maxus which saves a bit of time and messing about. Just inside the magazine feed there is a little spring tab sticking out. If you wish to empty your gun you simply push this tab in and the cartridges will automatically feed  out of the magazine into your hand.

Browning Maxus Magazine Discharge

Magazine discharge tab (arrowed)

The Maxus also features Browning’s Power Drive Gas System. According to Browning this system ” has been designed to be more reliable in all conditions, fire a wider selection of loads, reduce recoil and cycle shells faster. The new Power Drive gas piston features large exhaust ports that effectively dump gases faster on heavy loads, while the piston has an approximately 20% longer stroke for superior reliability with light loads.”


Maintenance of the Maxus is very easy. The entire gun can be stripped down in less than 20 seconds(Faster with practice) after removing the quick release fore end the barrel, piston,spring and breech block to be removed.  I lubricate all moving parts with a light oil. Grease has been recommended to me for the breech block but I am going to monitor the effectiveness of this as I am wary of any grease getting turned into grinding paste.

Disassembled Browning Maxus

Disassembled Maxus showing barrel, magazine tube, gas piston and forend. Breech block is still in receiver

Browning Maxus Breech Block

Breech Block. To remove, cocking handle must be pulled out and breech closing button must be pressed to let breech slide out

After a lot of shooting you may also wish to clean the inside of the magazine tube out and lubricate it. This is fairly simple to do but if unsure you should always go to a professional gunsmith. To open up the magazine tube there is a little spring pin that must be pressed in whilst applying torque to the end cap. Once the pin is pressed in the cap should screw off as normal. Be careful when nearing the end of the thread as there is a very long spring inside under tension. When doing this I place a rag over the end cap and wear a pair of safety glasses.

Re-assembly is simply the reverse process. When putting the spring and end cap back on you may need assistance. Also the spring pin will need to be pressed in to allow it to screw in correctly.

Although I am a relatively new shooter I can say I am very happy with my choice(s) for my first shotguns and can see many years of happy reliable use ahead of me. The Maxus is ideal for new and experienced shooters alike. It is light, low recoil, accurate, reliable, easy to look after and most of all FUN!

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