My husband inherited it from his grandfather and we are trying to find out more about it (not to sell it, for personal knowledge). Dating these old guns are at best an educated guess.The dates listed here are based on records/logs with the range of dates.
Serial began with 1000 – 99999 followed by the model code 221 Sweet Sixteen and 171 Superlight 16 and two letter year( T=6, R=7, P=8).
see Browning Website 19761000 221 RT – Sweet Sixteen1000 171 RT – Superlight Sixteen19781000 221 RP – Sweet Sixteen19871000 221 PR – Sweet Sixteen Wow.
1953 – 1954 A - Series "A" in front of or above the serial number.
These guns were a transitional series between the X and the below R/S marked guns.
The serial number and dates are approximations only. I found what I thought was a very early 1948 Sweet Sixteen based on the serial number.
I decided to share it here since this is where much of my limited knowledge came from. Other factors need to be taken into consideration to properly date your gun.
I found three different lists but these dates seem to be the best.
My experience has been that you are correct in guessing along with us that your gun is dated 1951.
1947 – 1953 “X Prefix Series”1947: X1001 - X13666 1948: X13667 - X23501 1949: X23502 – X34600 1950: X34601 – X43700 1951: X43701 – X59400 1952: X59401 - X77700 1953: X77701 – X99999 1948 Introduction of the “Sweet Sixteen” in script engraved on the receiver.