Browning A5

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by beefyz, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. beefyz

    beefyz Member

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    Hi
    Need some advice. Was in the local gun shop today and came across something that i've always wanted; a Browning A5 in 16ga. I've shotgunned for years but mostly in either pump 12 or 20, UNLESS i pheasant hunt, then i use a 16 double. I like a 16 and never owned a semi nor a Browning and see this as my opportunity. Anyone out there familiar with the A5? The owner had a slew of customers in the shop so I couldn't get much info at this time. Barrel is stamped made in Belgium, looks about 28" and still fully blued but not shiny. I would assume either full or modified choke. The receiver bluing has worn off; it was not one of those stainless models. Stock in good shape. Asking price is $595.
    Should I have any concerns over its functioning ? I'm at the stage in life when i should be selling off my stuff rather than adding to it. OH sigh, boys with toys, so many guns and so little time......
    Thanks
    z
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Great gun
     
  3. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    Buy it today or you will be sorry tomorrow.
     
  4. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    As the others have said, if you want it
    buy it immediately
    My only condition would be demanding some kind of guarantee of functioning.
    Otherwise get it
    Ive had Japan and Belgium both, in
    shotgun and rifle, and there is no
    difference in functionality or fit
     
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  5. Saluki91

    Saluki91 Member

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    I just recently had my father-in-law's 16ga A5 refinished for him... they are a true classic!

    Something of interest, but not necessarily actionable information - When I showed the restored A5 to the owner of my LGS, and when I showed it to a member of my club who is also in the business, both told me A5's are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, especially among younger buyers.

    That being said, the price of the gun in question seems high to me - especially given the condition of the receiver. If you show the guy $500 in cash, will he make the sale? If you tell him you will pay his price, but you want a flat of ammo with it, will he bite? The worst thing he can do is say "No."
     
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  6. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    I don't have a 16 but I have the Belgium 12 with modified. She has taken many a Dove and Duck over the years and the only shotgun I ever use.
     
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  7. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    Bear in mind that Browning made Belgian A5's with both 2 3/4 AND 2 9/16 chambers. Be sure you're getting the 2 3/4 or you'll be sorry. Ask me how I know.
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    $600 for a gun with all the finish worn off is steep IMO unless it's truly collectible. For a user, sure. But not for that much IMO. If you get it make sure the spring is in good shape and the friction rings are oriented correctly.
     
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  9. beefyz

    beefyz Member

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    You got me there, never owned a Browning. 2 3/4 vs 2 9/16 ?????
    Forgot to mention also, its a plain jane 16, not the sweet version.
     
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  10. wgp

    wgp Member

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    $595 is as cheap as any A5 I've seen for a while. I've had a 12 that was too heavy, sold it, but have Light 20 that I won't part with. Not everyone likes them, think they are funny-looking, or the recoiling of the barrel bothers them, but they fit me and I shoot them well. I've noticed several friends who could afford any shotgun of their choice but they carry a well-worn A5. Try it.
     
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  11. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    The one I had was 2 9/16" chamber. Never heard of it at the time. I didn't know until the fired hull wouldn't fit out the ejection port, which led me to look more closely. Probably why I got it so cheap, and also why I sold it so cheap. 2 3/4" is definitely the most commonly available ammo. I'd heard 2 1/2 will run in the shorter chamber ok, and it's out there...just not that common. Don't think anyone makes 2 9/16" 16ga anymore.
     
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  12. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    2 9/16” (70mm) ammo is available but expensive. And you’ve got to order it over the internet. So I load my own, saving over $10/box.

    d91bpbm.jpg
     
  13. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    All the Sweet 16's were 2 3/4".

    This might help:

    https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html


    RST makes 2 shells specifically for 2 9/16th" chambered A5's.

    http://www.rstshells.com/store/p/135-16-Ga-2-1/2-A-5-Type-Vel-1200-1-oz-Load-Case.aspx

    http://www.rstshells.com/store/p/137-16-Ga-2-1/2-A-5-Type-Vel-1200-1-oz-Load-Copper-Shot-Case.aspx

    As noted, they are out of stock right now.

    70mm is 2 3/4", 2 9/16" is 65mm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
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  15. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    You're right, I meant to write 65mm. But, not all Sweet Sixteens are 2 3/4”. The lightened 16 gauge debuted in 1936, 70mm chambers didn’t appear until after WWII, later in Europe. The confusion may lie in the fact that the inscription SWEET SIXTEEN didn’t appear on the receiver until 1948. Prior to that, they were identified by their gold triggers and safeties.

    Here is a 1938 S16 with a 65mm chamber:
    Z6UWcAK.jpg
    You can see 16-65 on the barrel among the proof marks:
    JbIRPMK.jpg
     
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  16. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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  17. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    The A5 16 is an awesome shooter. Like they said, " make sure it is 2 3/4 " and make him an offer. You will ne glad you did.
     
  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I didn't know about that one-much better reference. Thank You!
    Yes, I did mean the ones with "Sweet Sixteen" on the side. I wasn't aware any before that were referred to as Sweet 16's.
    See, we both learned something new! :thumbup:
     
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  19. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    I like using millimeters when talking chamber length because it’s a lot easier to type 65mm or 70mm than it is to type 2 9/16” or 2 3/4”. But this time I screwed it up.

    The Browning website is unbelievably bad. But the contradictions there and the confusion it caused led me to this book:
    OCxZ6wK.jpg

    What I learned there, coupled with a C&R, prompted me to start collecting Auto-5’s. This display case holds about half of them.
    mkcFiIz.jpg

    They span the production from 1903 to 1984. All but one made by FN. The lone Miroku gun was engraved in Belgium.
    o2Z480F.jpg

    Most of what I’ve learned along the way I put down here:

    http://browningowners.com/forum/index.php?forums/browning-auto-a-5.129/
     
  20. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    ^^ Nice!! And thanks for that link to your posts. Also, I'd like to find an affordable copy of that book. Another shotgun that I find very interesting (and own 3) is the Ithaca 37 (another JMB design), and there's a great book (which I have) by Walt Snyder on the history of those as well.

    I only have one Auto 5, but I kick myself at least weekly for not buying some more sometime prior to about 1.5 - 2 years ago when good deals got almost impossible to find. I let a few from my favorite era (early/mid 1950s with solid rib barrel) pass in the high-$400 / low-$500 range. :(

    I just love handling and operating the old Auto 5s. A gun built like that would cost a small fortune today. And no, I'm not talking about whether or not soulless CNC machining and automated processing can achieve tight tolerances. I'm talking about craftsmanship. Some people can feel it and appreciate it, some don't. And that's fine, either way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  21. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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  22. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    I agree, that's a plenty fair price for the book. The cost of the book is not bad, but my main concern is that reading it would cost me hundreds of dollars in the same manner that the Ithaca book did. I learned more about the history of the company back in the day, and the variations of the gun, and it gave me an itchy bidding finger. :)
     
  23. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Not hundreds, thousands.
     
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  24. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    Browning has always been my favorite mass production gun manufacturer and my favorite Brownings are the A5 and their beautiful little 22 semiautoloader. Do I need say more?
     
  25. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    Gauging by what I own, my two favorite makers are apparently CZ/BRNO and Browning, in that order.
     
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