Reader Jeff the Griz writes . . .
Last year my daughter joined her gigh school clay target team through USA High School Clay Target League (www.usaclaytarget.com). This is an awesome group that is normalizing shooting sports among teens.
Her school’s team is so large (49 students in 2019) they can only accommodate range time for 16 yard American trap. After shooting for the school, she did some skeet shooting during the club’s youth summer program.
She started with a single shot 20 gauge shotgun and quickly moved to an Remington 1100 20 gauge loaner gun at the club. Her enjoyment of the sport made the decision easy for us to invest in her own shotgun.
She was small for her age, so a 20 gauge was preferred. Then I had to consider length of pull and budget, added to the fact that sometimes she is shooting 100 shells or more per practice round.
Ultimately these factors pushed me towards a gas operated semi-auto.
A lot of shotguns fell into our $1000-ish budget. Unfortunately none were in the left-handed flavor. so a right-handed gun was chosen.
With all the ducks in a row, the options were narrowed. After spending weeks reading what information I could find on all the different brands and models, I ordered a Browning Silver Field Micro Midas shotgun.
This shotgun has a 26″ barrel and a 13″ length of pull. The gun uses Browning’s Active Valve System to manage light to heavy loads for shells of 2 3/4″ or 3″ in length.
At only 6 pounds, 2 oz unloaded, the gun is easy for her to hold, point and lead the birds. The gas system and 20 gauge chambering lighten the light shotgun’s recoil.
She has had the shotgun for almost a year and it has 1,680 rounds through it at the moment. About 1,500 of those shells were Remington Gun Club 2 3/4″ in the #7.5 or #8 shot size variety.
The last 180 were mostly Federal game loads or Remington Heavy Dove loads. I’ve added 5 shots of 3″ #5 Winchester Turkey to ensure 3″ loads do in fact cycle her gun.
This gun has never had an issue locking back on empty or ejecting. It has had one failure to feed that may have been operator error on her part, when the Browning was new to her.
The shotgun has had one failure to fire. This failure was likely an ammunition issue because the primer of that shell was deeply dimpled. There have not been any issues at all with failures to feed, but I must cautiously say this for two reasons.
First, for those unfamiliar with shooting American trap, only a single shell is loaded at a time and this shotgun has spent a majority of its use on the firing line of the trap range. Second, I am a bit OCD when it comes to keeping firearms clean, and this being a gas shotgun, I have never let it go beyond 250 rounds without a good scrubbing.
Cleaning is a must. This being a gas gun the gas piston gets filthy. This picture may be difficult to see, but this is only after 75 rounds of Remington Heavy Dove.
When I picked up the shotgun from my FFL I was extremely impressed with the fit and finish. The walnut stock is beautiful and the bi-tone finish on the receiver gives it a unique look. Unfortunately when I got it home, it took me nearly two hours to get all the grease off and out of every surface.
The only “new” gun that I have ever cleaned that was worse was a cosmoline-covered M44 Mosin I purchased for my 21st birthday. The entire time I cleaned the Silver Field Micro Midas I kept thinking to myself that Browning was really worried about these guns crossing the ocean from Japan.
Since owning the shotgun the only improvements added have been replacing the included flush-fitting Invector Plus-chokes with Browning Midas grade extended improved modified and skeet chokes.
Specifications: Browning Silver Field Micro Midas
Gauge: 20 gauge (12 gauge also available)
Capacity: 4+1 (2 3/4″ shells)
Barrel Length: 26 inches (a 24-inch models also available)
Overall Length: 45 3/4 inches
Length of Pull: 13 inches
Weight: 6 1/8 pounds
Chokes: Invector-Plus flush chokes (full, modified and improved cylinder)
MSRP: $1160 (about $900 street)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish: * * * * 1/2
Nice walnut stock and the bitone finish on the receiver is looks good. There are minor wear marks from the ejection of hundreds of spent shells, but the finish is holding up very well.
Reliability: * * * *
Keeping it clean and primarily loading one shell at a time for trap keep me from adding that fifth star.
Value: * * * *
The Browning Silver Field Micro Midas is a great youth-sized shotgun with a nice finish. This is meant to be a hunting gun, but it’s holding up very well for the amount of rounds its fired. The Browning website has a current offer of “insurance” for 50% off a full size stock for this shotgun.
Customize This: *
New chokes and … nope, that’s about it.
Overall: * * * *
This is a great firearm that’s held up well to a lot of shooting. I would have been extremely happy to have a shotgun like this for shooting clays as a kid. I know the Silver Field Micro Midas will serve her well the next few seasons.