Browning A5

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

  1. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Well, I would tend to think that one's favorite maker would be the maker of largest quantity.

    For me, that would be Remington and Ruger.
    Could be in the opposite order. I lose count.
     
  2. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Mine are Remington, Ithaca, Taurus (handguns) and Tula Arsenal (rifle) at two each. Three for Ithaca, if you count the grandfather clock.
     
  3. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i have had a A5 12ga lightweight for some time, two weeks ago i grab this 1963 in 20 ga 2-3/4 at a local gun show(bottom shotgun). i,m going to shot it tonight and our clubs trap shoot.
     

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  4. Down South

    Down South Member

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    I've got two Browning A5's in 12 ga, One is a light weight. I retired them years ago. Both are Belgium made.
    I think the price is good for a sweet 16. You just don't hardly ever see one anymore.

    When I started shooting Sporting Clays, I went from a Remington 1187 to a Beretta Xtrema. Then I got into skeet and went with a Browning Citori Sporting. I had Briley build 28 ga tubes for it. I had a great time with that Citori back in my shooting days.
     
  5. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    There seems to be a virus or something in my shotgun safe that causes short barrels. One Model 37 hasn't yet caught it, but the Auto 5 and a couple of Model 37s have. It works out well for me because I enjoy shooting the guns a lot more that way. I still have regular-length guns, but they rarely get out of the safe. Come to think of it, maybe they're catching this virus while they're out of the safe instead of while they're inside... :)

    DCtKPRW.jpg
     
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  6. cowboy77845

    cowboy77845 Member

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    I believe the A5 is the finest semi auto made as far as reliability and endurance is concerned. I have 3, a light 12,a magnum 12 and a light 20. I have a plate in my neck so I must shoot in a "heads up" position. I think it was designed for that. I know once I began shooting that way my scores improved dramatically. As far as I know, recoil springs and brass rings are easy to get. I suspect Art's gun shop has them in abundance. IMO the asking price is a bit high based on condition. I paid under 600 for both the 12 and 20 that I bought but that was a few years ago. I know the 16 ga has cult following so 16s may command a premium.
     
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  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    The 20’s command the premium. They’re light and handy like the 16’s but ammunition is much easier and cheaper to come by. With the 16, reloading is a way of life.

    Also, you know a 20 gauge Auto-5 will shoot over the counter ammo. With the 16, you’ve got to have a little more knowledge to avoid inadvertently buying one with a 65mm chamber.

    Last, the 16 debuted in 1909. The 20 didn’t appear until 1958. There are a lot more 16 gauge guns out there.
     
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  8. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

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    The A-5s have a good many parts available. Recoil springs and friction washers are fairly common as they are considered normal wear for regular replacement on an A-5.
    The A-5 is really entertaining, it sounds like it is making new parts, every time you pull the trigger. It is a real work horse, a little care and they last and last.
    I gave my A-5s to my son, three generations in the field.
     
  9. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

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    I've got an A-500R. Does that count?
     
  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    NO. :barf:
    In a shop I worked at, we had one that sat forever. It might still be sitting in the rack at the new (20 years now) location.
     
  11. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

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    "entropy: NO. :barf:"
    I was afraid someone might say that. I've had a good run with it. Bought it used in 1988. Been reliable until a few years ago when I decided to use some of my reloads in it. Crimp wasn't perfect and a few pieces of #8 shot escaped the shells and jammed the mechanism. I fixed it and now only run Winchester AA's in it. I really like it. Why is it in disfavor?
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    It was designed to resemble the A-5, but did that poorly, plus the stock that resulted was a poor design that kicked way worse than the A-5; the short recoil system only accentuated that.
    As for reliability and longevity, the Tri-Star TT-15 has a better record. You'll occasionally find the odd A-500 that got out and actually worked, like yours, but they are rare. I'd stick to the AA's also.
    I shot that one the shop had, just to say I'd shot one. and that's about all I can say that is positive. It, however, wasn't the only stinker semi that Browning came out with around that time. The B-80 and B-2000 were not much better. When the Gold came out, I was real skeptical. They seem to be OK though; they have quite a following amongst waterfowlers.
     
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  13. Skidsteer1

    Skidsteer1 Member

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    Please Howland, tell us. Thanks.
     
  14. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I bought one with the short chamber a few years ago. Didn't know such a thing existed until I got to researching why my empties wouldn't clear the ejection port. Loaded 2 3/4" rounds cycled by hand and seemingly chambered just fine. They also fired, but it was basically an expensive, complicated single-shot. Not to mention that shooting longer rounds in the shorter chamber is never a good idea.
     
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  15. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Nice looking collection, Rudolph31. A friend of mine has collected Browning Double Auto shotguns for the past thirty years or so and has over twenty of them in all colors and configurations and in super nice conditions.

    Do all (or any) sixteen gauge A5 shotguns have their receivers "scaled" for the 16 gauge format?
     
  16. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Thank you.

    The story goes that John Browning felt the only reason to chamber a smaller shell was to carry a lighter gun. So the 16’s receiver is not only scaled down, but scaled back. The receiver is shorter than it would be if he’d just reduced its dimensions proportionally. If you compare the left side of the 16 and 12 gauge receivers, you’ll see that the magazine cut-off is further forward on the 16; so much so that the steel at the front had to be milled to accommodate it. As a result, a bit of the barrel extension protrudes from a 16’s receiver. vOoU4vR.jpg

    PEor4wk.jpg

    Last, John Browning gave up on a 20 gauge version when he found it wouldn’t be lighter than the more effective 16. One of the advantages of the 16 was its length, 2 9/16” vs. 2 3/4” for the 20. Length makes a big difference in a long recoil shotgun. When Browning finally produced the Auto-5 in 20 gauge, the inventor had been dead for 32 years.

    I guess I should also mention the “American Browning”. These were guns made for Browning by Remington. Really just a Model 11, those 16 gauge receivers were merely scaled down, not back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  17. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Since I mentioned the barrel extension protrudes on the 16, I’ll mention that one of the ways to tell at a glance if a gun is chambered for 2 9/16” or 2 3/4” shells is to look at how much of it is showing. Half the difference in stroke was made by allowing the barrel to ride 3/32” further forward. The other half was accommodated by a sliding ejector.
    Compare these two pictures:
    yEQO6u3.jpg
    5pk6VM2.jpg
    You can see twice as much of the extension in the top photo. Older guns that have been modified for the longer shells often show an un-blued portion of the barrel extension showing. Or if re-blued, a definite color difference.
     
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  18. Skidsteer1

    Skidsteer1 Member

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    I have an old A5 long recoil with a plain barrel and English stock. Hazard a guess on chambering length?
     
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  19. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    Since you brought it up, I'm gonna guess the 65mm or 2-9/16" chamber... assuming it's a 16ga.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    A picture would help determine that, particularly of where the barrel meets the receiver.
     
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  21. Skidsteer1

    Skidsteer1 Member

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    It is a 12ga. Thanks.
     
  22. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    According to The Book, all 12 gauge Auto-5’s had 2 3/4” chambers right from the beginning, 1903. That said, I’ve seen pictures of barrels marked 12-65, which is 2 9/16”. Look for the stamp among the proof marks. There’s better than a 99% chance that it will say 12-70. I should add that in the 1920’s, the markings were different. Those showed chamber length over diameter, as in this picture:
    M5evHhm.jpg
     
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  23. Skidsteer1

    Skidsteer1 Member

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    Thanks Rudolph31. THAT settles the issue for me.
     
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