Browning A5: Japanese or Belgium?


June 7, 2005, 10:35 AM
First off, I know the Belgium one is going to be better. But is it worth the increased asking price over the Japanese version?

They were clueless about this stuff over in Rifle Country, so I was hoping the wise old sages here could shed some light on the Browning Japanese vs. Belgium war.

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June 7, 2005, 10:52 AM
Worth the difference? Only if you have the money. ;)

Seriously, the Japanese ones I've seen are just (nearly, almost) as good. They do say Made in Japan on them after all. ;) Heck, maybe they're better, but I don't feel like arguing today.

Having said that, I am going to buy my uncle's Belgian A-5 Magnum when he decides it's time to sell it. His Belgian .30-06 BAR, too. My dad had a Japanese .280 BAR and it was a fine rifle, but I'm holding out for the older, more expensive one. He quit deer hunting when he was 78 or 79 and offered it to me, but we decided to let it go.


June 7, 2005, 10:55 AM
didn't know about a war. Of course the Belgian stuff is classic. The Japs never had "salt wood" and their barrels are good to go for steel(with a proper choke ,of course). :cool:

June 7, 2005, 11:38 AM
My dad has a Japanese A-5, and while I haven't handled a Belgian to compare it with, it's still very nice.

June 7, 2005, 01:13 PM
The Browning I'm familiar with manufactured no guns. AFAIK, they had their designs produced by whomever. Shotguns by Remington during the wars - the so-called "American Brownings;" FN; and of course Winchester and Colt but usually under their logos. The Mirokus I am told are actually better than the Belgians - this from a retired Browning exec, but the collector value resides in the Belgian Brownings. So far...

June 22, 2005, 09:34 PM
Well, I just bought a Belgian Browning A5 Light Twelve.

Looks to be in very good shape, for $440 bucks. I think I did alright.

Next up, a Sweet Sixteen.

June 22, 2005, 11:14 PM
TheJap Brownings are very fine indeed. My 1885 couldn't be better.

June 23, 2005, 12:42 AM
What is "salt wood"?

June 23, 2005, 02:01 AM
In layman terms it is a process that Browning used in the late 60's early 70's to quicker cure the stock and forearm wood. It seemed after time the wood released it's salt into the steel and rusted some beautiful firearms, and cost Browning a bundle of bucks. Thats why you hear the term salt years/guns when talking about Brownings.

June 23, 2005, 06:53 AM
IIRC- salt absorbs water- they didn't have enough dried wood at one point so they quick dried some with salt.Some salt remained in the wood and later rusted the guns.....BTW the Japanese Brownings are made by Miroku ,a fine maker [they didn't use salt !]

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