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Browning Auto-5 Barrel - to chop or to chop?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by desidog, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. desidog

    desidog Senior Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Recently I acquired an old 12ga. Browning A5...it appears someone tried to get a 10ga. steel brush through the choke, and scratched it up badly. Since it is only about the first 3" of barrel, and theres a solid rib, I'm thinking of cutting it down a bit - but here's the question:

    Since i don't have much any use for a +/- 23" cylinder bore, is it possible to thread in modern removable chokes? or would the barrel be too thin to do this? ...and how much would you assume a gunsmith would charge for this job, since it is outside my range of ability?

    The alternative, i suppose is to make an 18.5" whippet gun; but i don't need or want that...so i guess i'd sell it to someone who does.

    Also, a separate replacement barrel would be nice, but i haven't come across any for a reasonable price; and the SN#'s already don't match between bbl and receiver, so i'm not worried about that aspect.

    Thanks for your opinion. -Dd
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Mentor

    Jun 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    Before chopping the barrel, try some emery cloth wrapped on a spindle driven by a drill to blend the scratches. It can't hurt and it may end up shooting acceptable patterns.
    As you're finding out, old Belgium replacement barrels are not too cheap when you're looking for them.

  4. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Senior Elder

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    My experience has been that the Belgian barrels are awfully close to too thin for screw-in chokes. If the barrel was choked FULL to begin with (as most of them were, and in fact were pretty much extra full), it might be easier/mo' better to simply have it reamed to IMP and salvage it that way....

    I will also tell you that my experiences in cutting down Auto5 barrels has led me to conclude that any barrel length shorter than 20" or so is asking for long-term reliability issues. The action is designed around known barrel weights, and if you remove too much weight then you wind up mucking up the reliability by making the barrels too light/recoil too fast. My 18" A5 riot gun needs a relatively dry tube and the friction ring set up for magnum loads even when shooting birdshot or low-recoil buck/slugs; full power buck and slugs really pound the snot outta the poor thing (and me!) and I have to try to avoid them.
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    Scratches do not mean the choke is compromised. Pattern it to know for sure thejn you should decide wheter or not to do any modifications.
  6. fecmech

    fecmech Active Member

    Feb 21, 2004
    Buffalo NY
    I would shoot it with the scratches, the choke should work fine and the shot is in a plastic shot cup anyway. I'd bet it would pattern as good as it ever did!

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