I just inherited a first-year Browning A-5!


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GJgo
October 12, 2012, 11:37 PM
It's like Christmas! :) Can you guys help me figure out what I have, and more importantly how to best take care of it? I recently inherited my Grand Dad & Great Grand Dad's firearms. One of the more interesting pieces is a 1903 (first-year production) Belgian Browning Auto-5 shotgun, serial number 23XX. It has definitely been used, but seems to be in remarkably good shape below the patina on the surface. I have a suspicion that I should clean it up but don't alter it in any way as not to miff up the value. It's definitely not for sale, but at the same time I'm curious as to what it's worth.

Here's some good info I found on it in another forum (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=216472), interesting that according to the info in post #2 mine was made for the non-U.S. market. I'll add some photos when I can get some.

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hammer502
October 13, 2012, 05:02 PM
i believe that there is a post for online appraisals(antiques roadshow) on this site.will try to find it. http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/publi...SA&Screen=arms here it is.

GJgo
October 13, 2012, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the link. I think I might also ping the Shotgunworld forum guys, I bet there is a wealth of information over there.

Here's a photo. :)

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=173401&stc=1&d=1350167066

1SOW
October 14, 2012, 12:33 AM
GJgo, congratulations. That IS a great Christmas present.

Maybe you'll find something to help me with mine. I also inherrited a humpback Belgiam Browning Sweet 16. I still shoot it sometimes at two-gun/fun shoot matches.

My dad bought it from his brother maybe around 1960 (?). I tried researching the serial number at Shotgun World and was diverted to the Browning info pages. The best I could tell, it was made between 195? and 1964. They wanted $40 to provide full info:eek:

I'm still trying to narrow it down. serial number is "X91705" I posted on ASK.COM with no luck yet.

On the Browning site, they show downloadable manuals for a number of older shotguns. The basic A-5 and A-5 Light is listed and downloadable. It shows breakdown, cleaning and lube instructions.

If I find anything I'll post here.

optimator
October 14, 2012, 01:55 AM
Shut your mouth! Nice gift! In my opinion, who cares what it's worth. If it were me, I'd leave it alone, keep it oiled up, and smile. Your a lucky guy! :D

jaguarxk120
October 14, 2012, 09:02 AM
The serial number "X91705" falls between X77701 and X99999, that is the range of serial umbers for the year 1953. That makes your gun 59 years old.

GJgo
October 14, 2012, 10:19 AM
Thanks guys, I'm pretty excited to learn more about it. I did end up posting a thread over at shotgun world with a bunch more pictures (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=310317&sid=a0251c90a49cd377f032898cb0cd94e4), feel free to check it out & discuss here. (Assuming you can see the pictures w/o being a member.)

TAKtical
October 14, 2012, 11:10 AM
Jackpot! That thing looks amazing for its age.

GJgo
October 14, 2012, 12:00 PM
Yeah, it & the others I inherited have all been sitting cased in a basement since sometime in the Seventies when they were last used. I was worried when I heard about them that they'd possibly be corroded, but they're all in fantastic condition.

If you guys can't see the pictures in the thread I linked let me know & I'll post them here too.

1SOW
October 14, 2012, 09:35 PM
jaguarxk, thanks very much. My son is 40 and will e-v-e-n-tually inherit this Browning.
Do you have a link to the info?
I'm getting senile I guess. I couldn't find anything that specific.

My uncle and dad used it for pheasant. It still shoots fantastically.

jl1288
October 15, 2012, 12:20 AM
Hey GJgo, jl here. I am not an expert on the Auto 5 or the Remington model 11, but you have a Browning that looks an awful like a Remington model 11. Most Brownings have a shell cutoff lever on the left hand side of the receiver particularly 1950's era Auto 5's and the model 11 never came with one. Also you have a "suicide safety'' the lever is inside the trigger guard while most brownings I've seen have a cross bolt type safety, and the model 11 switched to the cross bolt style safety somewhere around the mid to late 1930's. I'm guessing your Browning is a few decades older than you know. Also the brazed spot on the back of the receiver looks to coincide with where a model 11 might have to have been repaired because someone botched a fiber cushion repair job, if your up to it you'll need to take the action apart and peek inside the receiver to see just what is what. Where is RCmodel when his insight is needed? He probably can give you better info then I. You have a nice old gun that seems to be something of an enigma. Good luck...

jl1288
October 15, 2012, 12:29 AM
GJgo do a search on shotgun world for "Cockerill steel" there is a thread you might be interested in reading, I was.

jl1288
October 15, 2012, 12:34 AM
An old Browning decades older then first imagined. Enjoy it, but have it inspected by a good smith before you shoot any shells to be safe. For your sake and the old girl don't shoot steel out of it.

rbernie
October 15, 2012, 07:53 AM
Also you have a "suicide safety'' the lever is inside the trigger guard while most brownings I've seen have a cross bolt type safetyPre-WWII Auto5s came with the suicide safety.

Most Brownings have a shell cutoff lever on the left hand side of the receiver particularly 1950's era Auto 5's and the model 11 never came with one.How can you tell from the right hand view whether the left side of the receiver has the cut-off? Or am I missing something?

jl1288
October 15, 2012, 12:50 PM
There are more photos of the shotgun world forum of this shotgun, i'm not a mind reader..I also learned that some of the old Brownings did have a shell cut-off. Guess it has been around longer than I thought.

GJgo
October 15, 2012, 11:54 PM
Indeed, it's a 1903. Hopefully y'all can see all the photos I've posted at the SW thread, but here's one of the receiver in case some can't.

Here's the thread on Cockerill steel (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=211495).

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8332/8084069759_58555cc16e_z.jpg

jaguarxk120
October 16, 2012, 09:08 AM
I see you've found the Browning forums on shotgun world. If you do a search there are posts on the history of the A5, the author has drawings of the recievers showing the different variations. He posts his as a time line for the date of mfgr.

rbernie
October 16, 2012, 09:13 AM
Very cool! :)

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