Browning Light 12 - any good?


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rick_reno
February 8, 2006, 06:22 PM
My neighbor has a Browning Light 12, s/n 7G94xxx on the gun, the barrel has M83898 and is 30 inches long. It's marked "Made in Belgium" and is in very good condition. Anyone know how to determine what the choke is? or when it was made (I looked at the Browning s/n site and it might be a 1957 gun, but I'm not sure). He'd like to get $400 for it - is this a good price for this gun? I like the way it points, comes up and is on target very fast. He knows I don't have $400, but is willing to let me work it off in snow moving/wood chopping/lawn mowing.

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Rpriestlyjr
February 8, 2006, 06:35 PM
To find what choke it is, look on the side of the barrel for 'stars.' If there are two (left side, I believe) then it is Modified.
It is a very good gun, and I can't complain because I hace one myself (paid $100 a year ago, also in very good shape).
If you want to get him down, take it to a range with him and have him prove that it will function properly with all size shells. Have him show yo uhow to change the friction piece around for magnum shells.
If it works flawlessly in both configurations, offer $300 and see how far he comes down from that. A bit of haggling can get yo ua better price.
Just make sure it works correctly and you will have a very nice shotgun.

rick_reno
February 8, 2006, 07:33 PM
I noticed some instructions inside the forearm for heavy, light and medium loads. Some kind of printed sheet they stuck in there. We can try it out in the backyard.

Rpriestlyjr
February 8, 2006, 07:47 PM
Yep, you'll have to remove the barrel, then the brass friction ring and either replace on either the front or the rear of the magazine tube for either light or heavy loads. Check out www.browning.com and you can download the owners manual for free. The site can tell you prettymuch everything, even the date of manufacture.

texagun
February 9, 2006, 09:30 AM
I have a Browning Light Twelve that I purchased new in 1956. The serial number is 3G22XXX. Don't know if that will help you date yours or not. I think the serial number vs. mfg. dating can be found in the Blue Book of Gun Values in the back pages. They are excellent shotguns and well-worth the price your neighbor is asking. Mine was ordered with the Poly Choke direct from the factory and it has been a very versatile gun, good for everything from quail to geese. Be sure and download the manual and read it carefully to learn how to set it up for the loads you will be using. You can also get on Browning's website (www.browning.com) and they will send you a manual in the mail.



http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y46/w5lx/BrowningA-5Light12SideView.jpg


http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y46/w5lx/BrowningA-5Light12Closeup.jpg

Onmilo
February 9, 2006, 12:08 PM
Back in the bad old days we used to call the monstrosity on the end of your barrel a 'soup can'.
It would knock a hundred bucks off trade in right off the bat because nobody wanted to buy a gun with a Poly Choke.
Fools,
That 'soup can' was the best thing going for multiple choke options prior to the interchangable choke tubes.

How many people want a Belgian Browning with a 30 or 32 inch full or extra full choke barrel today?

I have cut more than a few down to 28 or 26 inches and installed Colonial thinwall choke tubes in them.
I make the customer sign an agreement to not shoot steel shot loads through the barrel before I do the work too.

Oldnamvet
February 9, 2006, 01:41 PM
Texagun,
That is one sweet looking shotgun. It is obvious you have taken VERY good care of it. I should have looked so good when I was 50!:D

Rpriestlyjr
February 9, 2006, 08:39 PM
So true, that the PolyChoke is kind of ugly, but a great thing to have. Don't have to worry about much with it. Except Xtra Full is right next to Cyl. Messes up a deer pretty good.

EVIL5LITER
February 10, 2006, 12:46 PM
The polychoke knocks more than a hundred bucks off a gun. This past gun show I saw two very nice Sweet Sixteen's going for about 600-800 under what they would just because of the polychoke.

cajun47
July 4, 2007, 11:07 PM
do they still make browning shotguns that look like that?

RNB65
July 4, 2007, 11:12 PM
do they still make browning shotguns that look like that?

No, Browning stopped making the Auto 5 a decade ago.

My Dad owns the same gun pictured above, complete with Poly Choke. It's a nice shotty.

Regolith
July 4, 2007, 11:19 PM
My parents own a Browning Auto 5 Light 20. Pretty nice gun, but I could never hit anything with it. Its my mother's, so it was fitted to her. I used it in my early teens before I was big enough to handle a 12 gauge.

Big Az Al
July 7, 2007, 01:18 AM
I bought my first light 12 almost 30 years ago, I paid $378 for it,

I see plenty of A5's 12ga light or standard move thru a couple of shop's here, at anywhere from $400 to $600. They have all been in as good a shape as the one pictured above.

Me I like the problem children so to speek, craked stock, no finish, somenut filed off the checkering, just plain sad. These usually for 199 to 350, and heck I like them what can I say.

Let your goodwill, be your guide, and if you only feel you can pay so much and that to high tell him and let him have a chance to test the market, if you get for less doing that, offer him a beer and then enjoy the gun!

Always A Soldier
May 9, 2009, 12:44 AM
I have a Browning Light twelve that i have shot all my life. it belonged to my grandfather and then my father and so forth. where is the best place to find another gun of this kind. it dont have to imaculate but operational. if anyonje can help me with this it would be appreciated greatly.

rbernie
May 9, 2009, 04:32 PM
Gunbroker and AuctionArms always have some on auction.

rcmodel
May 9, 2009, 04:46 PM
Browning Light 12 - any good? It must have been pretty good.

It was in continous production longer then any other shotgun design, before or since. (1903 - 1999)
The design was used by FN Browning, Remington, Savage, and others.

That didn't happen because it was a bad shotgun!

Over

jlv08
May 10, 2009, 06:33 PM
They are great shotguns and one of the few that's been out of my reach financially.

Not that I could not have been able to afford one but ,to me , just to nice of a gun for me to trudge in the mucky muck here in the Va. tidewater in search
of Bucky Tinemeister.:D

For that I have used Rem.870,Mossberg,Winchester 1200,and now NEF.

Field grade is as fancy as I get.:)

Jazzyla
September 13, 2009, 02:30 AM
I just purchased a Browning Light 12. According to the serial number it was made in 1950. It's in very good shape. How do you determine the choke size? It has one star stamped on the left side of the reciever. It also has FN stamped on the recieved and on the butt plate. Can anyone share information about this gun? The barrel length is 25 3/4 inches long. Also, when loading, I can only get one shell in the gun. I can't figure out the trick to make the shells go into the bottom the gun: It want let me push them into the loading channel. Yes, it fires the one shell that enters the chamber. Thanks a million in advance.

orphanedcowboy
September 13, 2009, 05:02 AM
* designates full choke (F).

*- designates improved modified choke (IM).

** designates modified choke (M).

**- designates improved cylinder choke (IC).

**$ designates skeet (SK).

*** designates cylinder bore (CYL).


I just purchased a Browning Light 12. According to the serial number it was made in 1950. It's in very good shape. How do you determine the choke size? It has one star stamped on the left side of the reciever. It also has FN stamped on the recieved and on the butt plate. Can anyone share information about this gun? The barrel length is 25 3/4 inches long. Also, when loading, I can only get one shell in the gun. I can't figure out the trick to make the shells go into the bottom the gun: It want let me push them into the loading channel. Yes, it fires the one shell that enters the chamber. Thanks a million in advance.

Press the "bolt" release to load the magazine

Yours is a Full choked gun and a Standard 12, not a Light 12. There is very little difference in them though, lighter relief cut and drilled barrel lug is the biggest difference. Your barrel should be serial numbered to your gun, they stopped that sometime in 1953. Your gun also has a single piece carrier, the reason you must depress the bolt release to load the magazine.

PM me the serial and I can give you more info on the gun, a specific date of manufacture, date in the warehouse.

The butt plate is horn and should look like this:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g45/Orphanedcowboy/Browning%20Auto%205/a2d2aa12.jpg

Yea, I like them too:

Latest Light 12:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g45/Orphanedcowboy/Browning%20Auto%205/DSC01222.jpg

Jazzyla
September 13, 2009, 07:34 PM
Thanks Orphanedcowboy: The serial # is: 298323. The gun is the same as the picture that I assume is yours. When I drop a shell into the chamber and close it, I still can't get a shell to go in from the bottom. What is this gun really worth? No, I do not want to sell it,I'm just curious. As a matter of fact,I am going to refinish the stock,possibly re-blue it and install choke tubes in it. Then again I may leave it as is. One other thing,that safety is a pain in the butt-hard to push on and off. I've oiled it and it is still hard to operate. Other than the few minor problems-I think that it's a great gun. Thanks again, jazzyla

Jazzyla
September 13, 2009, 07:41 PM
Opps! Over looked the big print at the top-I pressed in the release bolt and I was able to get a shell into the bottom.Thanks again

orphanedcowboy
September 14, 2009, 01:32 AM
The serial # is: 298323

That gun was in the warehouse in the first half of 1950

Starting serial was 288551
Ending serial is 306650

That was roughly 18,000 guns made or about 3000 per month, putting your guns approximate manufacture around February or March of 1950.

I could be wrong about your gun being Light 12, look at the barrel ring and see if the ring is drilled and the serial matches the gun, if so, it is indeed a Light 12, if it is solid then it is a Standard.

Your safety probably has 59 years worth of junk in it. Spray it with some good solvent and blow it out with compressed air, it make take several tries to loosen it up good. The front safety is the second generation/style of safety, and is a bit cumbersome to learn and use. I really like that style of safety, once I figured it out it was really a breeze.

If you have no intentions of selling the gun, value isn't important, and it is worth more in it's original condition. I wouldn't refinish it myself, but that is me. Pictures would be a huge help in assessing actual value if you really want to know.

The serial number is 3G22XXX

This gun was actually made in 1963 based on the 3G serial. They started with the #G/M/V style serial designations in March 1958.

Example:

Light 12
8G = 1958
9G = 1959
ect.

Standard 12
8M = 1958
9M = 1959
ect.

Magnum 12
8V = 1958
9V = 1959
ect.

and in 1968 they went to a 2 digit year code, 68, 69, ect until the end of Belgian production in 1976.

This info is directly out of the Shirley and Vanderlinden book, Browning Auto 5 Shotguns, The Belgian FN Production.

Another sure sign is to look at the grip checkering, if the two sides of grip checkering are joined like this:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g45/Orphanedcowboy/Browning%20Auto%205/f1027799.jpg

then is is a very early/pre-1963 gun, if there is a gap it is post 1963

VA27
September 14, 2009, 08:46 PM
Years ago I decided I wanted a tough, reliable shotgun. I asked a friend of mine about his, a 1976-mfg Browning Light Auto5.

It was ugly. It had about 30% of the original blue left. In it's life it had fallen from a helicopter at least twice. The forend had been repaired with JB Weld. The stock was cracked at the wrist and had been wrapped with copper wire and then coated with JB Weld. One little end of the wire poked out of the JB Weld and if you got careless when you shot the thing it would claw a little meat off your face.

I asked him if had any idea of the number of rounds he had fired through it. He put a pencil to it and figured he had shot pretty close to 270,000 rounds through it, most of those being #1 and #4 short magnum buckshot.

I asked him if it had ever been in the shop for anything. No problems, in fact he said that he had never really cleaned it. After he finished a days shoot, (100-125 rounds) he would lock the action open, pump AvGas down the barrel, spray it with WD40 and stick it in the case.

I went right out and bought one and it served me well.

When my friend retired, the gun was transfered to his replacement and served several more years before being replaced. It did go back to Browning one time. The new guy decided to replace the stocks with synthetic and when he was taking the buttstock off he broke the recoil spring tube (it was rusted to the wood).

When they decided to retire all the Brownings they tested all available semiauto guns. The only one to go the distance was the Benelli Super 90.

I went out and bought one.

Jazzyla
September 15, 2009, 12:47 AM
According to your information-the gun is a light 12. It also has light 12 stamped on the reciever. Thank you so much for the information that you shared. I do have two more questions that I hope that you have knowledge of: (1) I saw an artical that stated that this gun could be converted to shoot 3" magnums. If that is so, how can this be achieved? (2) When I try to eject all three shells from the gun,only the one chambered will come right out. The other two will not kick out like I thought they should. Is there a trick to making them come out easily? I do believe that the cut-off switch is in the correct position. Thanks again

orphanedcowboy
September 15, 2009, 03:44 AM
It cannot be converted, post a link to the article of you don't mind.

The mag-cutoff lever should be forward. If it is not chambering a round from the magazine, it may be dirty. In it's current condition, flip the gun over and look at the loading port, specifically in the area of the mag-cutoff. There will be a little "knob" keeping the shell from leaving the magazine if it isn't forward.

If it is forward, it may just need a good "60" year cleaning.

PM me with your email, I have a couple of manuals that will make this easy for you.

Jazzyla
September 15, 2009, 11:56 PM
Orphanedcowboy: You can reach me at jazzyla9@gmail.com Thanks a million.

ArmedBear
September 16, 2009, 12:26 AM
do they still make browning shotguns that look like that?

With that huge humpback, no rib and a polychoke? No.

With a modern rib, modern chokes, and a less drastic geometry, but the prince-of-wales stock and the same checkering design? Yes.:)

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=020B&cat_id=011&type_id=368

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/images/011368m.jpg

It's gas-operated, self-compensating for light or heavy loads, and it doesn't dance a jig every time you pull the trigger.

If you want a long-recoil gun, Franchi still makes them, but again, with more user-friendly geometry, and a rib.

http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/48al.php

orphanedcowboy
September 16, 2009, 04:05 AM
I like to dance a jig, besides I prefer mine to go boom each time I pull the trigger.

You can still find them, and they will outlast any modern gun you can buy new.

ArmedBear
September 16, 2009, 09:21 AM
I prefer mine to go boom each time I pull the trigger.

Me, too.

There are other guns that will do that quite well. This isn't 1948.:)

kentucky_smith
September 16, 2009, 09:50 AM
My 1911s, Bhps and my Glocks all dance a jig when I shoot them, maybe I should get rid of them and get one of them waltzing revolvers. :rolleyes:

orphanedcowboy
September 16, 2009, 02:35 PM
This isn't 1948

And it is a shame too! :mad:

rbernie
September 16, 2009, 03:12 PM
If you want a long-recoil gun, Franchi still makes them, but again, with more user-friendly geometry, and a rib.
I have both Auto5s and 48ALs. I like both very much, but they are different beasts.

The Auto5 has features that I like, such as the post-war Speed Load capability and oversize cross-bolt safety, that the 48AL does not have. On the other hand, the 48AL is slightly easier to strip, is lighter and trimmer due to its aluminum receiver, and can be bought (at least in the smaller gauges) for far less than a comparable Auto5. The 48AL also has some features that are kinda goofy, like operating the shell release latches off the barrel and not off the bolt (meaning that you can't empty the magazine by cycling the action), and having the bolt release on the left side of the receiver.

In the end, some folk don't like the long-recoil action - ArmedBear, you are clearly one of 'em. :) I don't find the shooting experience of the long recoil action to be markedly different from that of my other autoloaders (Winchesters and Remingtons, mostly), but I do feel that the Auto5 has a far greater longevity than other gas-loaders.

It's funny how many gas-loaders I pick up these days that simply don't 'balance right' compared to a long-recoil design. Some do, but many feel overly thick and front-heavy in the off hand (not in the barrel) when compared to a Light12 with a longish non-vent rib barrel....

ArmedBear
September 16, 2009, 04:12 PM
It's funny how many gas-loaders I pick up these days that simply don't 'balance right' compared to a long-recoil design. Some do, but many feel overly thick and front-heavy in the off hand (not in the barrel) when compared to a Light12 with a longish non-vent rib barrel....


I'm with you there, as well.

Lots of shotguns suck, and suckiness is overrepresented in semiautos. The Auto 5 just isn't the only one that doesn't.:)

(Yes, some Browning gas guns tend to be some of the worst offenders in the "muzzle-heavy slug" category, though I haven't tried a Silver yet -- the similar SX3 does feel quite good. Fortunately, there's life beyond Browning. It's all sunshine and rainbows out here, I promise.:D And Browning probably shouldn't have dumped the Auto 5 until they had something else that was at least its equal in the handling department.)

Daniel B
September 16, 2009, 07:05 PM
I have my grandad's light twelve in the save. Great gun. its fitted with a vented recoil pad that makes the only bad thing about taking it into the field the weight.

Unfortunately it isn't a safe queen. It has been a working gun since the day it was purchased in 53. The stock has some wear to it. The finish is worn in a few places. But load it up and pull the trigger it will still go bang every time.

I tore it down last year for a good deep cleaning. I doubt it had ever been taken down further than removing the barrel for cleaning.

Great guns. Not as preferred to use as the newer LIGHTER guns currently produced. But who cares. 66 years of use and can still knock just about any bird out of the air.

ArmedBear
September 16, 2009, 07:10 PM
Not as preferred to use as the newer LIGHTER guns currently produced.

...but as rbernie notes, there are many current guns that are neither lighter, nor preferable...

And I'm not even an Auto 5 afficianado.

xmanpike
September 16, 2009, 07:20 PM
I have one that was my great grandfathers and I believe was made in 1931 FN factory in Belgium prior to the Nazi's bombing it. It has original barrel, stock, and forearm. Recently replaced the friction rings and hunted it last weekend for dove in Uvalde, TX Shot my limit Saturday despite torrential pouring of rain. Great gun.

HaZnavy
October 3, 2009, 01:11 AM
I have just inherited my fathers Belgium Browning Light 12 (#68G35388) and a Japanese Light 12 (#3G3662) and need an age for insurance purposes.

If I understand the aging process correctly, the Belgium is a 1968 Model and the Japanese is a 1963 model but just need confirmation from the experts.

Thank you.

Tod

orphanedcowboy
October 3, 2009, 02:16 AM
I have just inherited my fathers Belgium Browning Light 12 (#68G35388) and a Japanese Light 12 (#3G3662) and need an age for insurance purposes.

If I understand the aging process correctly, the Belgium is a 1968 Model and the Japanese is a 1963 model but just need confirmation from the experts.

Thank you.

Tod





They are both Belgium guns, if the 3G gun has a Japanese barrel, someone added it.

This gun was actually made in 1963 based on the 3G serial. If the 3G gun has a Japanese barrel, someone added it.

The 68G gun is a 1968 model


They started with the #G/M/V style serial designations in March 1958.

Example:

Light 12
8G = 1958
9G = 1959
ect.

Standard 12
8M = 1958
9M = 1959
ect.

Magnum 12
8V = 1958
9V = 1959
ect.

and in 1968 they went to a 2 digit year code, 68, 69, ect until the end of Belgian production in 1976.

This info is directly out of the Shirley and Vanderlinden book, Browning Auto 5 Shotguns, The Belgian FN Production.

rbernie
October 3, 2009, 11:22 AM
The Browning web site also has this information, if you need to demonstrate it.

http://www.browning.com/customerservice/dategun/detail.asp?id=13

HaZnavy
October 3, 2009, 06:51 PM
Orphanedcowboy and rbernie...thank you very much.

Tod

scurbo
October 6, 2009, 05:01 PM
Orphaned Cowboy. I'm hoping a Tarrant County neighbor can help me identify the year a shotgun was made and what it may be worth (ballpark). Browning Light Twelve - Belgium made. Serial # 37677. It is in immaculate shape. The shotgun belonged to my girl-type-friend's father who passed away last fall. I would like to buy the shotgun from her but want to know what I'm stepping off into.
Thanks, tuffy d.

orphanedcowboy
October 6, 2009, 06:04 PM
Browning Light Twelve Question
Orphaned Cowboy. I'm hoping a Tarrant County neighbor can help me identify the year a shotgun was made and what it may be worth (ballpark). Browning Light Twelve - Belgium made. Serial # 37677. It is in immaculate shape. The shotgun belonged to my girl-type-friend's father who passed away last fall. I would like to buy the shotgun from her but want to know what I'm stepping off into.
Thanks, tuffy d.

If that is all of the serial # it was made in the last half of 1912. Are there any other letters or digits? Are the screws serial numbered to match? What about the barrel? Wood? Pictures would be a huge help in given a ballpark figure/value.

I sent you a PM with my cell phone number, give me a shout and I will take a look at it for you.

NoAlibi
October 6, 2009, 07:51 PM
Even though my eyes and reflexes have been meandering in a southerly direction over the last decade, I occasionally still manage a respectable score on the skeet field and in the game fields.

However, I have never been able to shoot the Humpback with any consistency at all. For some reason when I shoot low gun (international skeet and in the field) and mount the gun to my shoulder my eye seems to focus on the back of the hump and before I get back on track the target/bird is no longer presenting a reasonable shot.

Is this just a mental block for me or do other shooters experience the same thing? :confused:

andrewstorm
November 3, 2009, 12:27 AM
I had a light 12 and it was a caddy of a gun,only dont try to shooot buckhammer remingtons,more like hunter hammer!

rbernie
November 3, 2009, 09:18 AM
s this just a mental block for me or do other shooters experience the same thing? I've never had this issue. I also keep both eyes open when mounting the shotgun, and that helps keep me focused on the target.

NoAlibi
November 3, 2009, 10:19 PM
I also keep both eyes open when mounting the shotgun, and that helps keep me focused on the target.

No can do. I wear contacts with a mono-vision prescription. This allows me to see relatively near and far without wearing bi-focal glasses or expensive bi-focal contacts that didn't work for me. Most folks can adapt to this prescription, but not everyone. My right eye, my master eye, is set at a focal distance to see the front sight of my pistol the clearest and almost equally clear, the rib and both beads on my shotguns. My left eye is set for distance.

If I keep both eyes open and I shift my focus to the target my left eye takes over resulting in shooting behind a left-to-right crossing target and ahead of a right-to-left crossing target.

The downside to this is that the clay target is never really clear when I see it with my master eye, but I've learned to live with it and it doesn't appear to cause me a problem discerning leads. However, for pistol work with open sights it is a great benefit because it just about forces you, at least me, to maintain a focus on the front sight.

rbernie
November 4, 2009, 09:38 AM
I am set for monovision via surgery, but I had my left eye set for close up and my right eye set up for distance. :)

NoAlibi
November 4, 2009, 03:18 PM
I am set for monovision via surgery, but I had my left eye set for close up and my right eye set up for distance.

Sure hope you're a lefty!

I almost never notice the rather large difference (There is a limit the number of diopters for it to work.) in focal distances - it's just that automatic and I never cease to be amazed at the function of the human brain. Notwithstanding the current political climate! :D

I might mention one other downside. I'm a former Marine pilot (C-123, C-130 and U-10A) as well as a current General Aviation pilot. I've noticed that when depth perception is really critical, especially on landing, that there has been a problem with the alternating focus (I am not aware of it while it's happening, but the results are obvious.) as my eyes pick out certain reference points. Not a hazard with most tricycle gear airplanes where you are mostly looking over the nose, but in some tailwheel airplanes that require a real high nose attitude you are forced to look on either side for reference it becomes a critical problem. It is solvable - I have special prescription bifocals I put on over my contacts when I'm in landing mode. You might find some parallels like this in some of the specialized things that you do.


I wish you a successful outcome on your surgery. BTW, if you haven't been warned about aspirin and other drugs that affect platelet aggregation you should have a talk with your surgeon - very important in eye surgery if you want to minimize floaters!

GooMan
November 4, 2009, 05:24 PM
In 1971 my dad and grandfather each bought a brand new Belgium made Light 12. My dad hunted with his the rest of his life but its still in good shape. My grandfather took his hunting a few times and just didn't like it so it stayed wrapped up for years until I got it and it is almost perfect. Since I got my grandfather's my dad bought my brother one made in the late 60s some years back. I love them and love to shoot them. We have all 3 of them in a safe but honestly don't shoot them that much anymore.

Jerry68
November 6, 2009, 11:24 PM
I have a Browning Light 12 that my Grandfather purchased new in 1953. This gun has not missed a single duck, pheasant or deer hunting season since it was purchased. Say what you will, but I have seen a lot of newer semi shotguns turn into single shots in a muddy goose field, and more than one SBE go belly up in a duck blind, but am hard pressed to remember my A5 failing to go bang and cycle... YMMV.

shufly
January 2, 2010, 12:10 AM
Picked up a coveted, for me A5 from a debt ($100.00). Gave the gun to my son and am interested in possibly improving. Stock is scarred and bluing is compromised. Will a new stock ($200.00) and possible new blue help or hurt the value. Gave it to him as a good way to learn about the mechanics of guns and pride in hunting successfully.

ArmedBear
January 2, 2010, 11:51 AM
Will a new stock ($200.00) and possible new blue help or hurt the value.

Not enough information.

A new stock won't hurt the value if you keep the original. Just don't toss the old one in the fireplace. New blue often reduces the value of a collectible gun, because a collector would rather know what condition the gun is really in, and original is always more collectible.

Fixing up a non-collectible gun that's near junk status will improve its value, though generally not enough to justify the cost of doing it for resale purposes. I.e. you have a $100 gun, and if you threw another $350 at it, you might have a $250 gun. Either way, in general, an old A5 is a gun of very limited utility by modern standards. Even a beat-up Mossberg 500 can be used for skeet, trap, goose and pheasant, if it has screw-in chokes.

Personally, I would leave it alone. He doesn't need a restored gun to learn about shotguns. Furthermore, I don't know what your son thinks about the thing, but having been a son myself, I can hazard a guess that he won't think and feel everything his father believes he should. Save the money for the next gun he'll get. It's a field gun with a fixed choke and probably a plain barrel, and let's just say the A5 is an "acquired taste" on several levels. If someone gave it to me for free, I'd take it, but it probably wouldn't ever leave the closet until I wanted a few bucks and sold it.

shufly
January 2, 2010, 07:51 PM
Good advice. The gun is in decent shape just been handled rough. I only ask for advice if I'm prepared to take it, this time I got what I asked for - thanks.

manifest12
March 12, 2010, 08:50 PM
Browning Light 12 - made in Belgium - circa 1956.

Serial #90---

The barrel is stamped with * Special Steel - 12 Gauge - shells 2 3/4

Anyone know what kind of choke it might have and if the special steel refers to the barrel or the ability to shoot steel shot?

Thanks,

texagun
March 12, 2010, 09:03 PM
Browning Light 12 - made in Belgium - circa 1956.

Serial #90---

The barrel is stamped with * Special Steel - 12 Gauge - shells 2 3/4

Anyone know what kind of choke it might have and if the special steel refers to the barrel or the ability to shoot steel shot?

Thanks,

I have one from 1963. DO NOT shoot steel shot through that barrel. You will stand a good chance of ruining the barrel and destroying it's value. The choke markings on the barrel are as follows:

BROWNING CHOKES AND THEIR CODES (ON REAR LEFT-SIDE OF BARREL)

'*' designates full choke (F).

'*-' designates improved modified choke (IM).

'**' designates modified choke (M).

'**-' designates improved cylinder choke (IC).

'**$' designates skeet (SK).

'***' designates cylinder bore (CYL).

scchokedaddy
March 13, 2010, 03:04 AM
Do I like A5's? Don't know if I like them, probably more like LUV them things!! I currently own light 12, 16 standard, sweet 16 and 20 Belgium, also own 2 12magnums,light 12, and sweet 16 "jap" guns. Also got a Double Auto. Deer gun is most of the time Brlgium Lighy 12, sometimes Magnum, and when the notion strikes Belgium Sweet 16. Shooting skeet 20 gauge, shoot it all day no problem{this one has weaver style chokes}. One of the magnums is for turkey shoots[ 32 inch invector plus barrel]. Use double auto for trap[this one has cutts chokes]. Sometimes depending on which course I shoot I will shoot one of the Sweet 16 for clays. Once you get used to the Browning shuffle, you won't go back. Also shoot 1148's and 48's. Love the recoil operated shotguns. Good Shooting to ya'll

Sauer Grapes
March 13, 2010, 11:23 PM
Gotta luv the A-5. My father paid 212.00 w\tax in 1968. My favorite shotgun still!

lsgibb
September 27, 2010, 05:53 PM
Hey guys, some very good information here.
My dad just passed down to me his Auto-5 shotgun that he bought used in the late 70's. I'm trying to date it but the only #'s I can find on it are on the bottom where you insert the shells in the magazine it says FN then below that it has a letter L and then below that it says 8272.
On Browning's dating page the only thing I saw that has any L letter in the serial code were from 1954. So was this made in 1954? Also it only has one star on the barrel so I guess that means it is a full choke? Is there any way to add an improved or modified choke to it?

hitechredneck
November 15, 2010, 04:54 PM
I was doing a search and found this thread... lots of great information... I have a question regarding the Belgium made Brownings...

I have a Auto 5 Light 12 made in Belgium - around 1975. It was passed down to me by my father. It is still in the original box and has never been shot and I am trying to get an estimate of what its value is.

Serial # 04865RN211

Barrel # S49844

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

texagun
November 15, 2010, 05:12 PM
I have a Auto 5 Light 12 made in Belgium - around 1975. It was passed down to me by my father. It is still in the original box and has never been shot and I am trying to get an estimate of what its value is.

I would think about $800 to $1000 around here. Blue Book of Gun Values (30th ed.) lists a 100% gun at $775 for plain barrel, $1150 with vent rib. So somewhere in that area. I would pay that for one. They are great old shotguns.

Capstick1
November 16, 2010, 05:16 AM
The reason you can only put one shell in your Auto Five is due to the magazine disconnector being activated. On the left side of your reciever is a lever. This is the magazine disconnector. Take your finger and push this lever back in the opposite direction. This will allow you to load more than one round into your shotgun.

Jerry68
November 18, 2010, 04:02 PM
Few things in this world are as sexy and functional as old Brownings, especially Auto 5's.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v626/jerry68/Brownings.jpg

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