Knowledge about the Browning A-5


September 28, 2006, 04:48 PM
This is the second time I have posted on this subject but last time I was a little intimidated to ask a few more questions. I have my Grandfathers old Browning A-5 in 16ga and I know very little about it. Before we go any further though it is worthy to mention that I am still very knew to shotguns in general so please take it easy on me.

1. How do you adjust the recoil system to handle heavy and light loads?

2. My dad gave me some shells he found at a local gunshop. He doesnt know a whole lot about shotguns either (at least not that he has ever let on to). My question is will the Browning hold up to #1 Buck or not? This is the Federal brand #1 buck and to be honest I can't even tell if its lead shot. Does anyone know if Federal #1 buck in 16 ga is steel or lead shot?

Some specifics about the gun. She is rather well used and has a lot of places where there is no more/very little blueing left. This is a Belguim manufactured A-5. It is set up for 2 3/4 16 ga shells.

I dont really want this shotgun to sit around collecting dust. It was my grandfathers baby and I dont think he would want it sitting around either. I dont really hunt nor would I know what to hunt with this shotgun. For some reason though, everytime I pick it up I feel the need to find a use for it. Thanks for reading my thread and sorry its so long. Any help would be appreciated.


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September 28, 2006, 05:16 PM
look under faq and then under firearms, then number 15. it will show you the diagram on how to do change the rings.

September 28, 2006, 05:29 PM
Read the manual, it shows how to adust the friction ring between heavy and light load. It's just a matter of moving the brass friction ring from one end of the spring to the other. Nothing to it. Go to the Browning website and search on "auto-5 manual" if you don't have have the manual.

Don't shoot steel shot out of an older Belgium made Auto-5. The steel used to make the barrel is too soft for steel shot and can be damaged. You can shoot lead buckshot all day and all night with no worries.

September 28, 2006, 05:49 PM
I reccomend you set your gun up for heavy loads first. If it don't cycle, then set it up for light loads.
Just a tip, a magnet will stick to steel shot.

September 28, 2006, 06:13 PM
Never feel intimidated to ask questions!

This is a great place, where friendly, knowledgable people abound. I've asked far too many questions, and there's always been a cheerful answer. (Thanks, all!)

I don't think buckshot is a problem, though other-than-lead shot can damage some barrels or chokes.

However, heed Chawbaccer's advice. And if you're really in doubt about a particular shell, don't use it. Try one out in a recent-production 870 or something it won't damage. A-5's can be blown to bits by improper loads -- not factory loads, but handloads mistakenly filled with double or triple powder charges. I'd be careful if I found someone's old handloads and knew nothing about them.

September 28, 2006, 09:38 PM
Thanks everyone! Checked the recoil system and it is already set up for heavy loads. I do have one more question. Its more out of curiousity than anything else but can the A-5 fire rifled slugs? I am NOT planning to do this but I was just curious.

September 28, 2006, 10:54 PM
I don't think rifled slugs would be a problem, but call Browning customer service to be sure.

September 29, 2006, 09:08 AM
Congratulations on your "new" shotgun. It definately deserves to be shot, and you will enjoy it. Especially with the sentimental value that it has.
Is it the Sweet Sixteen model? It will have the words "Sweet Sixteen" engraved on the top part of the left side of the reciever. For many, me included, this is akin to a holy relic.
I got one myself last year, and LOVE it.
It is great for pheasant hunting, clay targets and handles slugs fine. In fact, I posted recently that all brands of slugs hit the same point, and group pretty nicely too.

Dave McCracken
September 29, 2006, 09:43 AM
You have one of the best shotguns ever made. It will work with all lead shot, slugs and some Non Toxic but not Steel nor Hevishot.

It will definitely work with target loads though you may have to reset the rings to get it to cycle fully.

Go shoot some trap or skeet with it, your grandfather would like that....

September 29, 2006, 01:53 PM
Depending on what is available to you, skeet shooting would be an excellent way to use the gun. Also small bird hunting is alot of fun!

September 29, 2006, 02:53 PM
What choke is it?

Those old barrels had fixed chokes. Should be stamped on the barrel, somewhere.

A full choke and a rifled slug could be a bad combo. Also, a full choke would make skeet a bit of an extra challenge... Fine for trap, though.

If you plan to really use it a lot, get a reloader! 16 Gauge can be expensive ammo, but it's no more expensive, or even a hair cheaper, than 12 is to reload.

September 30, 2006, 05:03 PM
Thanks everyone. A friend of mine is going to introduce me to clay shooting. As far as I can tell there is no choke whatsoever. I looked at the barrel and it doesnt say. Again thanks everyone for the help. :)

September 30, 2006, 07:03 PM

Scroll down (way down) to the Browning forum. They have a thread with stickey for ring settings. Or sign up and post a thread. There's a fellow there who knows EVERYTHING about A-5's.

The first shotgun I fired was a A-5 Sweet sixteen. It took me over 30 years to find one like it, but it's in the safe now!

Great gun, you're fortunate.

PS: Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 2:35 pm Post subject: Browning choke codes..



* 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).

September 30, 2006, 08:11 PM
It appears that, according to that code system, I have a modified choke. I dont have any idea what that means but apparently thats what ive have. To be honest if the code hadn't been published i would have had no idea. So what does it mean?

Dave McCracken
September 30, 2006, 09:26 PM
Modified is the midrange choke, good from shots from 25 to 40 yards, in theory.

A general ranking of chokes will go something like this....

No Choke,Cylinder.

A bit of choke, Skeet I.

A little more,Improved Cylinder.

And more, Modified.

Even more, Full.

Cylinder is best for very close shots, Full for long ones.

Modified with the right loads works well for trap singles, many hunting situations and some SC presentations. It's a little tight for skeet. It's a little loose for best results on turkey.

It's the choke to have if you can only have one.

Go shoot some clays with it. Your Granddad will approve.

October 1, 2006, 06:26 PM
Thank you sir. Looks like ill be going out next weekend. :)

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