Browning a-5 custom for home defence


Rum Smuggler
December 13, 2012, 04:47 AM
I have a nice light 12 that i have used throughout my life for birds and even clays.
I have the original belgium 30" full choke vent rib barrel, a 28" modified vent rib portugal made and i am about to buy a used barrel to cut down for hd.
I will take all advice on this to heart and mind as i want to set this gun up real sweet. The reason is, I know and love this gun and i would rather use it than my new crunchy pump gun with 18.5" barrel. It just does not feel as good as my handed down light 12. All those years throwing that gun up with one boot stuck in the mud while a 3 roosters beat their wing in my face have made this gun feel more like a part of me than some piece of iron.
The stock comes right up where its supposed by pure muscle memory. I wont change that even though nothing is sexier than a cut down A-5
What i would like to do is add a small mag extension + 2 rounds.
Then get a second hand barrel and trim it an inch or two longer than the extended mag. This will give me 5 in the tube and I can keep the mag block flipped and the chamber empty and closed for general safety for dummies.
That way if a perp or an innocent grabs the gun they have to figure out how to get a round in the chamber before it can be fired.
I plan to have this as my ready go gun in a stash no one would stumble upon.
So if anyone has tips on setting this up, please let me know.
Also if anyone has pics of their a-5 any guage please post yours. Especially if they are your hd gun. I am wanting to find a 20 guage too as i love these guns.
Oh and as a last requirement for my custom job, I need to still be able to swap back to my 28" barrel to go shoot clays with the family.
Thanks and i hope all the browning fans come out of the wood work and tell about why they still love the hump better than their......

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evan price
December 13, 2012, 06:01 AM
Right after the election I was cruising my local gun store and saw a familiar humpback in the junk racks. Turned out to be a Savage 720. Barrel has two stars which I think is Improved Modified choke.

After negotiating a price that turns out to be about what the barrels sell for on eBay, I took it home.

A previous owner had put on a Winchester rifle buttpad which is not fitted right, and they also drilled a hole in the mag end cap for a swivel stud (off center of course) and then lightly sanded the wood and put on a thick coat of glossy, plastic looking varnish. At least it came right off with carb cleaner, and a couple coats of Johnson's paste wax made the walnut look good again.

The inside was full of carbon and dried oil, so more carb cleaner and some new light gun oil got it sparkly clean inside and out. I had to make a new mainspring screw because the head was all chewed up from the previous owner trying to remove it while under tension.

Took it out to shoot clays, and it points so well it's becoming my favorite over my usual pump Mossbergs.

I already replaced the mag end cap with a good used one.

December 13, 2012, 09:17 AM
I've wanted one of these A-5s for years, but admit I'll probably never buy one.

They were originally 8 shots, but were sleeved to 5 for import.

Fred Fuller
December 13, 2012, 11:49 AM
It should work just fine.

My grandfather bought two surplus Savage 720 riot guns with GI stamps sometime after WW2. They had 20" CYL barrels, and were deadly on quail. Their front beads were set on a block to bring them up higher - if your barrel doesn't have a vent rib, I'd add a bead block to get that bead up a little higher. Brownells sells them to be silver soldered in place.

I wouldn't cut the barrel any shorter than 20" if I were you. The Browning mag extension should still be available from Choate, their thread pattern is different so it needs to be for a Browning. Downside to the mag extension is that you can't use a barrel clamp on a long recoil gun, so you have to be careful not to bash the mag extension. It isn't the extension itself that will suffer - it's the threads on that thin metal magazine tube that are in danger from the added leverage the extension can apply under stress.

Rum Smuggler
December 13, 2012, 03:26 PM
JohnBT I have never seen one with an extra long fore grip like that.
I can imagine the cop or soldier that was originally issued that piece felt quite comfortable in less than ideal situations. It is in pretty rough shape, but i can see why it sold for $1200. Maybe one of the plastic furniture makers could make a repro fore end like that.
I could see going that route which would protect the extended mag threads.
Although it would have to be a kit that would push the threaded cap out to the end like the original.

December 13, 2012, 03:35 PM
I wouldn't cut the barrel any shorter than 20" if I were you. Concur.

The Auto5 is recoil-operated, and reducing the barrel mass will cause the gun to reoil faster/harder. Even with a 21" barrel, you will likely find that you need to put the friction rings on the magnum setting even for reduced recoil buck and such.

Sav .250
December 13, 2012, 03:44 PM
Instead of going to all that,why not find a used Coach gun. Seems like you could get one at a gun show (if you have any) for what you would spend on your change-over.
You want "fire-power" the Coach Gun certainly would give you that. 2 rounds available. Buck shot or what ever you like. Nasty!

December 13, 2012, 05:55 PM
I bought a gun to restore for very cheap, $125 bucks. it is a Savage 720 and someone had already cut down the barrel and had it threaded for chokes. did some searching and found out it was RemChokes (easy to find, cheap tubes). i bought an A-5 rebuild kit for it, which includes a new recoil spring, new friction ring and recoil ring, along with mag spring too. im going to turn it into my sporting clays/skeet gun and i repaired the forearm, stripped the wood down and installed a Kick-eez pad and spacer. i havent refinished the wood yet, but i am going to shoot it some before i do. im adding some homemade recoil reducers to the stock and the forearm and i think it will suit me just fine.

im excited to have something a little different out there on the course and its always nice to do the restore on it yourself.

December 14, 2012, 01:50 AM
I have a light 12 A5 vent rib that has been cut to 19" and Williams Fire rifle sights clamped on . I put in ALL new springs and friction pieces. The Light 12s have the uber kewl speed feed feature BTW. I got a 2 round Choate extension but they are now long obsolete and you will have to find one on gun broker or e bay. I put a long wood screw type QD stud thru the stock on the left side just behind the PG and use a Single point sling.I took a piece of industrial velcro and wood screwed it to the right side of the stock and velcroed on a plastic 5 round shell carrier. The stock is cut to 12.5" LOP with a Limbsaver pad with rounded edges. It was the hit of a Louis Awerbuck advanced SG class about 5 or 6 years back, butt ugly but a joy to quick shoot and the speed feed is the shizzle! I am gonna look up Louis this winter and give it to him as he has done so much for me, and I know he covets it. He can get the sights redone as they didNOT hold up on the recriprocating barrel.:)

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