September 14, 2021
Handling the new Wicked Wing brought back a memorable 1993 goose hunt near the Mississippi River in far western Minnesota where Browning introduced their new Gold semi auto to a group of writers. My recollections of that trip were long drives to an area north of Chokio, Minnesota, where the geese were, and sharing a room with the legendary Grits Gresham, shooting clay targets by moonlight and the incredible explanation of how the Gold worked by Browning’s chief gun designer, Josef Rousseau. Nearly 30 years later, the Gold’s spoor can still be found in the new Maxus II.
Browning Maxus II Wicked Wing Specs
Chambered for up to 3 ½-inch shells, the Browning Maxus II will handle about any load from 2 ¾-inch target through those artillery rounds.Shooting clays with a couple boxes of Kent’s Elite target loads, functioning was fine. The plate said it shot to the left for me, common with about every gun I test as I need more cast off, which the included stock-adjusting shim kit would fix. Any normal target loads should run this gun just fine.
Browning Maxus II Wicked Wing At the Range
At the patterning board, I shot some 3-inch Federal Black Cloud BBs I had left over from goose season. The Inflex recoil pad and soft comb pad made shooting these goose thumpers fun. I patterned both the Invector Plus Modified (.0185) and Improved Cylinder (.0085) tubes that shot near identical averages: Mod. 61 percent in the 30-inch circle and IC 62.5 percent! That pretty much illustrated the fact that often steel pellets don’t care about what tube you have in the gun.
The Maxus II, from its shim-adjustable synthetic stock to the vent-rib barrel and extended plated choke tubes, is loaded with features. The bolt handle is long and heavy and the bolt release large and easy to find just before shooting time. The Lightning Trigger in its oversized guard is just that, crisp and fast! Semi-auto triggers are notoriously heavy, but not the Maxus II’s, that registered an average of 4 lbs. 15.2 ozs. with my Lyman Digital gauge.
It’s funny how good features last. The original Browning Automatic 5, launched in 1903, had Speed Loading as does the Maxus II! Shove a shell into the magazine with the bolt open and it is whisked into the chamber ready to shoot, and on the left side of both the A-5 and Maxus II is a magazine cutoff. Pull it back and it locks the shells in the magazine, making switching first-shot loads easy.
Wait until your buddies start drooling when you uncase this baby in the blind opening day! The receiver is Burnt Bronze camo Cerakote that is virtually Kryptonite proof. The camo pattern runs north and south with “Wicked Wing” on the left side. The barrel is also Burnt Bronze Cerakote while the stock and forend are clad in Mossy Oak Blades or original Bottomland. As an added touch, the underside of the pistol grip and the sides and bottom of the forend are overmolded with a tactile sure-grip material. Great for cold hands on an icy day.
It was fun to shoot what has become an even better shotgun that we all agreed was already a great gun. WILDFOWL staff members used them in early March on a snow goose hunt that utilized Briley extended magazine tubes, and the guns were infallable even with the modification and any sized shell that was fed into them. All they did was run and run, and kill birds, piles of them.
MSRP at your dealer runs between $1,940 to $2,070.