Browning Auto 5 Fire Damaged Rusty Whippet Gun


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AJAX22
February 3, 2013, 03:30 AM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/pix572508405_zpsfdacd3da.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/pix430170068_zps70fd0a7a.jpg

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This sexy beast is a browning Auto 5,

while she is rusted solid, she is a John Moses Browning design.... so I have every confidence she can be restored to operative condition.

Once she is working, It is my intention to cut her up into a replica of the Whippet gun carried by Bonnie Parker (of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo). Bonnie's whippet gun was a 20 gauge, but I usually shoot 12, so it works for my purposes.

Should be fun.

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Trent
February 3, 2013, 04:28 AM
Man if you hadn't told me that was an A5 I wouldn't have known. And I owned an A5.

That thing looks like it has been through the wringer.

One question.. Was the fire hot enough to mess up the steel's hardness?????

rcmodel
February 3, 2013, 01:33 PM
It sure looks like it was.

If the springs are soft, the heat treatment in the receiver & barrel & bolt are also soft, and no longer safe to fire.

rc

Datsun40146
February 3, 2013, 03:01 PM
So you bought that one! I was within a hairs breath of pulling the trigger on that one. I think it was around 79.00 USD when I was going to bid. Glad it went to a good home.

AethelstanAegen
February 4, 2013, 12:04 AM
De-mil and spray-paint that thing before someone gets hurt please.

AJAX22 has given new life to some guns that I thought for sure were as good as scrap metal. He'll definitely make sure it's safe but if anyone can get that Auto 5 back up and running, it's AJAX22.

EMC45
February 4, 2013, 10:29 AM
I believe that gun is done. Be safe.

Trent
February 4, 2013, 11:31 AM
If it was just water damaged and rusted, I'd say "knock yourself out."

But fire damage, that's a whole different animal. There is NO way to know how long that thing was exposed to heat, or how high of a heat it was exposed to.

At the very minimum I'd scrap the barrel.

Usually they go for $300-425 depending on style, chamber, sights, and length.

But sometimes you can catch a used one cheap.

This one is bid up to 50 whole pesos right now with no reserve.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=328384112

AJAX22
February 15, 2013, 12:53 AM
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Making steady progress

AJAX22
February 15, 2013, 03:31 AM
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First round of Receiver Electrolysis is complete

AJAX22
February 20, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Second round of electrolysis went quite well

Red Sky
February 21, 2013, 12:17 AM
Poor Auto-5. :(

Good luck bringing it back to life.

EDIT:
Noteworthy from the last video, there was a plastic spring guide still intact in the gun - so it's doubtful it was in very much heat for very long. I'm sure that plastic would be turned to glue well before the heat treatment of the steel was damaged.

Trent
February 21, 2013, 12:55 AM
Doesn't look like there is any heat discoloration on that receiver.

Interesting.

You're making me miss my old A5, I sold it for $300 a few years back.

jaguarxk120
February 21, 2013, 10:29 AM
New barrel, bolt & lock should be rplaced. The reciever on the A5 only holds the parts, it does not contain any of the powder gas.

Refinish/restock, replacing springs and it should be good to go.

PabloJ
February 21, 2013, 10:40 AM
New barrel, bolt & lock should be rplaced. The reciever on the A5 only holds the parts, it does not contain any of the powder gas.

Refinish/restock, replacing springs and it should be good to go.
KaBOOM!:eek:

solvability
February 21, 2013, 10:45 AM
Shotgun is only about 14k psi and I suspect that one will be fine. I doubt it would let go suddenly if it was out of temper.

Trent
February 21, 2013, 10:55 AM
Shotgun is only about 14k psi and I suspect that one will be fine. I doubt it would let go suddenly if it was out of temper.

Considering the support arm (with some of your arteries) is running alongside that barrel when fired... I wouldn't want to be the one to test that theory. :)

Trent
February 21, 2013, 10:59 AM
Remember, heat treating is an odd thing. 400F will give a temper of 59 rockwell in 5160, a temp EASILY obtainable in a house fire (or a camp fire), but that'd be extremely brittle for a gun barrel. Now, if it gets over 700F you'll utterly destroy any heat treating and it'll be pretty malleable. Also not a good thing.

Without knowing the EXACT temperature it got to, the EXACT composition of steel, and the EXACT duration that temperature was maintained, and the EXACT amount of time it cooled (naturally or quenched with a fire hose), there is absolutely NO way to tell if that barrel is safe.

Period.

ABTOMAT
February 21, 2013, 11:31 AM
In addition to the heat treating thing, I've also read that electrolytic rust removal can cause hydrogen embrittlement in steel. I don't recall the specifics, though.

Sav .250
February 21, 2013, 11:36 AM
If you have the money and time, it will be like the Phoenix ,rising out of the ashes to begin a new life.

evan price
February 21, 2013, 12:11 PM
I like humpbacks, but I wouldn't shoot that one. Did it burn off the fore-end wood and melt the mag cap, or was the missing mag cap indicative of it being removed post-inferno and the wood survived?

IMHO if the fore-end wood burned off- the gun's toast, literally and figuratively.

If you took it off and it was just scorched like the buttstock, there is hope. New springs and some labor will have it running again possibly.

BisleyBlackhawk45
February 21, 2013, 02:27 PM
One thing I noticed...the rib still seems soldered to the barrel...not sure that is really any indication on how hot the fire was...still if it were mine I would not bring it back as a shooter.

The_Next_Generation
February 21, 2013, 03:13 PM
I would think that if the solder is still holding the ribbing on, that you should be good to go as far as the steel's strength.

FWIW, I would just put it in a vice once its all fixed up and fire 100 rounds through it in quick succession. I would think that if it can do that without issues, you should be good to go.

-TNG

Trent
February 21, 2013, 07:00 PM
I would think that if the solder is still holding the ribbing on, that you should be good to go as far as the steel's strength.

FWIW, I would just put it in a vice once its all fixed up and fire 100 rounds through it in quick succession. I would think that if it can do that without issues, you should be good to go.

-TNG

If that's hard soldering (brazed), which it likely is, the melting point of that is 840F. That's not a reliable indicator of max fire temp; there's a 440 degree range UNDER that point which would affect the steel's hardness.

If the brazing were melted, that would definitively tell you that barrel is toast, as pretty much all heat treating that's been done would be lost above 800F on most steel alloys.

But the fact that it isn't melted doesn't confirm anything other than it didn't hit 840F.

Red Sky
February 21, 2013, 08:23 PM
If that's hard soldering (brazed), which it likely is, the melting point of that is 840F. That's not a reliable indicator of max fire temp; there's a 440 degree range UNDER that point which would affect the steel's hardness.

If the brazing were melted, that would definitively tell you that barrel is toast, as pretty much all heat treating that's been done would be lost above 800F on most steel alloys.

But the fact that it isn't melted doesn't confirm anything other than it didn't hit 840F.
The plastic follower for the action spring in the receiver was intact as per the last video. While I agree with you on the solder, I'm fairly certain that polymer would be done for long before the steel was damaged. I'm sure he will be careful, either way - there are plenty of ways to go about this safely without discounting it out of hand.

Trent
February 21, 2013, 08:44 PM
The plastic follower for the action spring in the receiver was intact as per the last video. While I agree with you on the solder, I'm fairly certain that polymer would be done for long before the steel was damaged. I'm sure he will be careful, either way - there are plenty of ways to go about this safely without discounting it out of hand.

Only way I know of would be to get the barrel hardness tested. But based on the amount of half-burned logs I've seen laying around campfires the morning after, fire can be wildly different temperatures in just a few inches. The barrel might have been baked hard while the back end was not.

There's two ways to know for sure.. Doing hardness testing is the only for-sure way to know exactly what it's at, but it'd need to be done all the way up the barrel and you'd either need to know (from the factory) exactly what alloy was being used and what the hardness should be.

If it were me, I'd bolt that bad boy down to a bench when it's finished, tie a string around the trigger, hide behind the truck, and yell "HEY Y'ALL WATCH THIS!" as I pull the string a few times.

But I'm a reckless type who likes to blow things up "just because", and don't mind patching a leaky truck radiator with bubblegum to drive back home. So I'd probably do the latter. But that's just me.

kid_couteau
February 21, 2013, 09:46 PM
In for updates :)

Red Sky
February 22, 2013, 12:30 AM
Only way I know of would be to get the barrel hardness tested. But based on the amount of half-burned logs I've seen laying around campfires the morning after, fire can be wildly different temperatures in just a few inches. The barrel might have been baked hard while the back end was not.

There's two ways to know for sure.. Doing hardness testing is the only for-sure way to know exactly what it's at, but it'd need to be done all the way up the barrel and you'd either need to know (from the factory) exactly what alloy was being used and what the hardness should be.

If it were me, I'd bolt that bad boy down to a bench when it's finished, tie a string around the trigger, hide behind the truck, and yell "HEY Y'ALL WATCH THIS!" as I pull the string a few times.

But I'm a reckless type who likes to blow things up "just because", and don't mind patching a leaky truck radiator with bubblegum to drive back home. So I'd probably do the latter. But that's just me.
That's the mental image I was getting from the idea of "testing" as well, though I guess hardness testing should be possible enough with a known good barrel around that you don't mind making a small dent in. Besides, worst case is you get a nice explosion and a non-boring day.

Will be watching for progress on this one for sure. I just finished setting up my Auto-5 (only 12ga) for 3 gun - haven't once thought about using anything else.

Trent
February 22, 2013, 02:00 AM
Like I said above.. I really miss my old A5. :(

JohnKSa
February 22, 2013, 02:20 AM
If the springs are soft, the heat treatment in the receiver & barrel & bolt are also soft, and no longer safe to fire.I agree. If the springs need replacing then every other part of the gun designed to contain pressure needs to be replaced as well. I suppose that someone who really knows what they're doing (and a lot about the specific alloys in the gun) might be able to reheat-treat the critical parts..

AJAX22
February 26, 2013, 02:34 PM
Tracked down a replacement spring

Swov1PU3-DE

horsemen61
February 26, 2013, 10:13 PM
very cool

AJAX22
March 8, 2013, 11:19 PM
RFnqoViaHEg

Had a nutty idea....

What if we used a 1928 Tommy gun foregrip and some copper pipe/brass block to replace the conventional forend.....

Thoughts?

Anyone have a 1.5"X3"X5" block of brass they don't know what to do with? (bigger works too, longer would be awesome)

rcmodel
March 8, 2013, 11:44 PM
I admire your tenacity.

But what you are doing still worrys me.

rc

JohnKSa
March 10, 2013, 12:26 AM
No kidding...

At the very least, the critical parts that contain the pressure of discharge need to be tested for appropriate levels of hardness at several points on each part.

saltydog452
March 10, 2013, 02:57 PM
AJAX seems to have a challenging hobby. Good for him. Thanks for sharing.

salty

AJAX22
March 13, 2013, 04:41 PM
uRRiUeDbbn0

Screwdrivers showed up.... all I have to say is WOW, if you own a browning A5, you NEED these.... made life easy

ypsimark
March 13, 2013, 05:33 PM
The flashpoint of wood is 300C. Certainly hot enough to anneal steel. Perhaps when this is done a few (slightly overcharged) rounds should be shot off with a deadrest then the barel should be magna fluxed.

sourdough44
March 14, 2013, 07:20 AM
A family member had a fire 8 or so yrs back. I took some of his guns to go over. None looked as bad as this one though. That acidic water run-off, smoke & ash really does a number on the metal.

cota
March 14, 2013, 03:29 PM
Don't hit any metal components of this gun with wire wool or any other abrasive, and i personalty would not use the electrolysis method on this gun either.
The best way to remove all rust and blue from everything completely is to use Molasses and water, this method is chemical free removes only rust and blue no metal at all, is virtually free of labor or additional commodities once you have purchased your molasses.
Get a plastic storage container with a lid, and a 4 ft length of 4 inch bore plastic drain pipe and two blank ends with seals.
Get normal equestrian/ livestock molasses in say a gallon or 5 gallon container if you can get it.
Measure 9 parts water to 1 part molasses in to the storage box, mix in thoroughly, then lay your frame and all other components in the mixture, if you can lay the barrel diagonally in the container you are good to go, put the lid on and leave the parts to stew for a week.
If by any chance you can not fit the barrel in diagonally, you will need the drain pipe, just put the lower blank end on fill with the 9 parts water 1 part molasses mixture suspend the barrel in the pipe and leave that 1 week as well.
When you lift out your parts they will be covered in a brony orange film wash this off with a hose pipe or preferably a pressure washer nothing super high pressure needed a simple hobby type model will suffice, wash off the parts look and see how clean they are, if any stubbon rust is still present repeat the proses until the parts are all as new. Any deep pitting will be the only areas you will need to put any form of abrasives near the gun at all.
I have used this method for years any re blue jobs are made totally labor free until you get to the blacking proses itself, no more wire wool and oil ever.

jaguarxk120
March 14, 2013, 08:14 PM
The nice thing about the molasses treatment is that the stuff is biodegradable.

Small engine rebulders use the stuff on portable engine blocks.

AJAX22
March 17, 2013, 05:01 PM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/2013-03-16_12-05-54_185_zps76b9b3dc.jpg

AJAX22
March 17, 2013, 07:31 PM
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AJAX22
March 18, 2013, 01:17 AM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/2013-03-17_17-51-11_257_zps15e57f7a.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/2013-03-17_17-51-31_178_zps00d19e28.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/2013-03-17_17-51-25_163_zpsc8b37e1f.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/2013-03-17_17-51-02_90_zps76d9c98c.jpg

Triangle 66
March 18, 2013, 08:02 AM
I think it would look awesome with the Tommy gun foregrip attached to a modified walnut forend.

jaguarxk120
March 18, 2013, 09:46 AM
Clyde Barrow would have been proud to use a gun like this.:D

SleazyRider
March 18, 2013, 10:06 AM
This is a great project, and I enjoy following your progress. It seems that every time I look for a "project gun," I find something too nice for my marauding hands to ruin, so I will enjoy your project vicariously.

But please tell me you ain't fixin' to drill those holes in the grip as outlined on the blue tape. My eye says keep in in the Bonnie and Clyde tradition to some degree.

AJAX22
March 18, 2013, 07:13 PM
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The holes will be in the brass wrist reinforcement plate that I'm going to cut to replace/cover the wood that is too charred to leave on the stock.

AJAX22
April 4, 2013, 03:12 PM
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