THE BROWNING BARE BAR BEAR (and Hog) GUN
First of all, I'd like to see what I call the Browning Bare BAR Bear gun. Years ago, noted gun writer Massad Ayoob gave his opinion for those out backpacking or fishing as far as bear protection, particularly from a charging bear. Mr. Ayoob opined that the venerable BAR rifle in one of it's hard core big calibers fired rapidly four times into the bear's center of mass was the best weapon for that circumstance.
From what I've read about Alaskan bush pilots and homesteaders and those who live off the grid, a combination of large caliber rifles and hard kicking handguns are their choice. Some that come to mind from recent readings include the Glock 10mm, the Ruger Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum and the S&W .500, a 12 gauge pump shotgun shooting slugs or any number of rifles.
Lever and bolt actions I've read about backwoodsmen near grizzly's include .45-70 and others.
And just to make it clear, I'm not talking about hunting bears in any way, shape or form. I believe in avoiding them when fishing or getting to/from fishing spots. But if an encounter is unavoidable, I'd like to be the one walking away.
I agree with Mr. Ayoob. A reliable semi-auto BAR in a large big animal hunting caliber with at least 4 rounds is probably great, backed up by a S&W Model (6)29 or a Glock Model 20.
So although Browning makes an interesting hog hunting gun, it's not in big enough calibers for bear defense. It's also built sorta like a tactical shotgun would be, with a pistol grip. And by the way, the same suggestions below would make an awesome lesser caliber gun for hog hunting, instead of the tactical grip camo one you're selling now. The one EXCELLENT idea on your current hog BAR is the extended magazine.
Just expand this mag size to bigger guns. It doesn't even have to be detachable. Just replaces the stock mag. 10 rounds of .300 Win Mag would be plenty for a charging grizzly or any other number of ill meaning predators.
Here's my suggestions for the Browning Bare BAR Bear gun:
1. I call it Bare because it has a minimum of finish frills and is ultra heavy duty. It's a gun built for the woods. But by the same token, it include the bare necessities that a gun of this nature needs.
2. Make the stock like the Ruger Gunsite with add on fitting pieces and plenty of recoil padding.
3. Consider developing a higher capacity magazine for the large calibers that traditionally hold 3 in the magazine. I noticed the Hog BAR has a quick detach magazine. This gun isn't for combat, but if a charging bear were coming at you, how many rounds would you want on tap? 3? 5? 10? I'd think five was so much better than 3 and if it held 10 it'd be great. Make it a ten round fixed mag if you must, like an SKS.
4. Of course, detachable stock rails for the front and top of the rifle to mount a red dot if desired (fold down sights) and a laser/light on the foregrip.
5. I'm thinking traditional wood stock design, maybe with a synthetic option. Perhaps an ultra lightweight model featuring a skeletal kind of folding stock.
6. 16" or 18" barrel.
THE BROWNING HI-POWER PROBLEM
Browning, restore this gun to some level of greatness, and see your sales boom. I have one, and have owned several, and desire to own a few more.
First, just where is that Hi-Power replica in .22 LR that you've made so well regarding the 1911-22? The 1911-22 is the finest .22 auto I've shot since my Huntsman and Woodsman and Ruger Marks. Enough said. You're sitting on another little goldmine with a Hi-Power scaled down .22.
As far as full size Hi-Powers, I'm just glad you're still making them.
Secondly, please make a gloss blue finish Hi-Power with FIXED SIGHTS. Your current high end model with the blued finish has adjustables, which are great but add the option. Perhaps consider the converse for those buying the cheaper gun that might want adjustable sights.
Third, the use of the BHP as a concealed carry handgun AND a weapon of soldiers (see many pictures of Prince Harry and his Hi-Power) proves the BHP is a relevant defensive weapon still to this day.
How about a factory model that has some great features for those of use who couldn't afford a Novak custom back in the day. Let's see a REAL BHP Practical model with the Novak FBI modifications. As I recall, there were other models but the Novak stands out.
Fourth, bring back the consumer level BHP practical from the early 90's, both with fixed and adjustable sights. One of my favorites ever.
Fifth, how about re-introducing the compact line? Along with that, I am aware that some lightweight BHP frames were recently on the market, possibly from some foreign maker like Israel. An alloy framed full size BHP would be a very attractive carry gun for me personally, and I am on the lookout for an alloy frame to constuct my own lightweight model in the near future.
Sixth, I wish the beavertail was a tad big longer. Barring that, and I doubt that would change, including the option of an extra round hammer for those of us who, despite the greatest of care and lots of BHP shooting experience, have been "hammer bit" with the traditional hammer.
The BHP is a great gun, and given the huge 1911 market, and the 1911 market in 9mm guns, I really think some innovative introductions to your product line would be well received and profitable.
While my sister might think the 1911 model in .380 is a great idea for her, I'd sure love to have a full size alloy framed deep blued BHP with fixed sights.
And of course, I've always longed for a BHP with a deep, gorgeous blue finish on with a gold plated hammer, trigger, safety, slide release, mag release and a custom buttplate on the bottom of the magazine. Some pimped out thin-ish ivory grips with my initials inlaid wouldn't be so bad either.