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Browning Auto 5 Fire Damaged Rusty Whippet Gun

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by AJAX22, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [YOUTUBE]V1OzKwLE2IU[/YOUTUBE]

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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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  2. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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?????
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  4. Datsun40146

    Datsun40146 New Member

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    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.
     
  5. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    De-mil and spray-paint that thing before someone gets hurt please.
     
  6. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Senior Member

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    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.
     
  7. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I believe that gun is done. Be safe.
     
  8. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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
     
  9. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Senior Member

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    Making steady progress
     
  10. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Senior Member

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    First round of Receiver Electrolysis is complete
     
  11. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Senior Member

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    Second round of electrolysis went quite well
     
  12. Red Sky

    Red Sky New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  13. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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.
     
  14. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    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.
     
  15. PabloJ

    PabloJ Senior Member

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    KaBOOM!:eek:
     
  16. solvability

    solvability Member

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    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.
     
  17. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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. :)
     
  18. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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.
     
  19. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    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.
     
  20. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Senior Member

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    If you have the money and time, it will be like the Phoenix ,rising out of the ashes to begin a new life.
     
  21. evan price

    evan price Senior Member

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    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.
     
  22. BisleyBlackhawk45

    BisleyBlackhawk45 New Member

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    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.
     
  23. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Member

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    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
     
  24. Trent
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    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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.
     
  25. Red Sky

    Red Sky New Member

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    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.
     

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