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Browning Auto-5

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Sergei Mosin, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    John Browning stopped working on a 20 gauge version before WWI. The reason being that he couldn’t make it lighter than the more effective 16. To him, the whole point of a smaller shell is a lighter gun.

    When Germany occupied Belgium in 1940, Remington supplied guns to Browning. Really a Model 11 with a magazine cutoff and pseudo-Browning engraving. But it was offered in 20 gauge.

    FN-Browning got around to offering a 20 gauge version in 1958. These guns were based on the 16, and were dubbed the Light Twenty, as they used the same lightening techniques as the Sweet Sixteen. There has been a lot of confusion over the name, as until 1973 just TWENTY was written in script on the receiver. That year the full name was applied. So, all 20’s are Light Twenty’s. There never was a standard-weight.

    When JMB designed the 16, he didn’t just scale down the receiver, he shortened it. So on the 16 and 20, part of the barrel extension pokes out of the receiver. The previously mentioned advice about it poking out too far still applies. In this case look for an un-blued crescent of silver.
     
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  2. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    There is no reason not to shoot buck shot in the Auto 5. The only thing that matters in terms of recoil is the weight of the shot charge and the powder charge/muzzle velocity. There's nothing inherent about buck shot that makes it recoil more than, say, #8 shot. Nine pellets of 00 buck shot weighs 1.1 ounces, so essentially the same as many bird shot loads (bird shot typically ranges from 1.0 oz. to 1.125 oz.) However, a lot of buck shot, despite being about the same weight as bird shot, is often loaded to higher velocity, so those do recoil a little more than typical bird shot that is loaded to a lower velocity. But the difference isn't very much, not nearly what internet myth would have you believe.
    Here's a chart with various shot charge weights and muzzle velocities. Note the energy differences, which will largely correlate to recoil. http://www.ashlandlakegunclub.org/tactical/buck_shot_info.html

    The Auto-5 will function perfectly well with higher velocity buck shot and with the friction rings in the "light load" position. In fact, an Auto-5 will function reliably for thousands of rounds without any friction rings installed, but definitely not a good idea due to the beating that the gun will take without the damping that the friction mechanism is designed to provide.

    An interesting read on the Auto 5:
    https://www.randywakeman.com/ConfessionsOfaBrowningA5Fan.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  3. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I absolutely love mine. Belgian model with no rib, other than some "checkering". Its light and handy with an unbelievably light and crisp trigger. A twig literally set it off once. Glad I was practicing safe point of aim at that point.

    But man it will really run through the 20s as fast as you can pull the trigger.
     
  4. Wooden

    Wooden Member

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    I too have looked at these because I love Brownings and am currently looking for a new grouse gun. My dad LOVES his Sweet 16 in imp cyl. I have to say a lot of the surprisingly affordable older Browning A-5's are VERY heavy for what they are. Like about as heavy as my Cynergy OU in a similar confirguration. Which that may/may not matter to you. The newer ones are a lot lighter.
     
  5. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I have a Franchi Black Magic 20 ga auto in addition to the A5 20g. The Franchi feels about half the weight. But also doesnt look as cool
     
  6. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    There are much more knowledgeable people concerning shotguns than I am. I DID cause a minor crack on the forearm of my Sweet Sixteen after shooting 00 Buckshot and Deer slugs through it. I just use the Browning s for Upland and Waterfowl now. I have a Mitchell short barreled six shot pump loaded with No. 4 Buckshot to repel boarders should the need arise.
     
  7. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    All I can say about the Browning Auto 5 is that I wish I owned one.
     
  8. bbrownie

    bbrownie Member

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    love my auto-5,s. 12GA. and a 16GA..
    Brownie
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Might want to look at a Franchi 48AL. About 6.5 lbs in 12, less in 20 or 28. The Italian A-5.
     
  10. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I guess that you could say that I'm pretty much a fan of both the original and the Franchi relook at the Browning long-recoil semiauto shotgun. At the moment, I have seven (7) Auto 5s, all post-war Belgian Light 12s or 20s. My range gun for years was a 1936 Auto 5. I've also owned (but sold off) a bunch of 48ALs; three in 12ga and two in 20ga. The 20ga 48AL in particular is an utterly sexy beast and a joy to carry afield.

    But in the end, I've moved to the Benelli M2 Field in 12ga or 20ga as my go-to semiauto shotguns. The 20ga is less than six pounds empty, and the adjustable drop/cast/LOP/comb makes them a joy to fit. The Benelli lacks the Auto 5s edges and girth, and they carry in the hand really well. They don't have the pure mechanical appeal of the Auto5, but they're simply a better shotgun for most uses.

    And yet I bought another Auto 5 20 (1973 vintage) two months ago - just because it was available, well cared for, and they are simply fantastic guns.
     
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  11. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    I've had a Browning Auto-5 since 1985 and taken everything from Duck, Goose, all kinds of small game and even deer with a Verney Carron slug barrel.

    But what a coincidence! I just acquired one of these a few weeks ago.
    It seems well built. I haven't even gotten out to try it yet.
    It's very light. I thought I'd use it for small game and maybe trap. Dunno yet.
    My wife alsoo seems interested in it given how light it is.
    IMG_4826s.jpg
     
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  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Very nice!
     
  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    disagree on the plain barrel. Ok otherwise.
     
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  14. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Three out of five folks that came in the shop with auto5s had no clue how to set the friction rings, even with the decal in the forend. Not stupid, just ignorant. That can be fixed. I have other customers who were plain stupid.
     
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  15. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I know prices have gone up but both of the Belgian light 12's I looked at yesterday were tagged at $1200!
     
  16. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I bought a Remington copy 2 yrs ago. In better shape and cheaper than most Browning A-5.s .
    As for the 20 g, Bonnie Parker is said to have favored it. Shows up in 1 or 2 pictures of the gang.
     
  17. ozarkhillbilly

    ozarkhillbilly Member

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    The thing I learned about auto-5 is do not put very much oil on the mag tub where the recoil and friction ring lives, that does effect recoil. I learned this the hard way. I am used to running my AR's wet so when i heard a drop of oil I just wet it down like i would my AR and learned my lesson.
     
  18. wgp

    wgp Member

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    This is a wonderful old gun. Don't sell the 20 short, that is the one I use. I had a Light 12 for a while, but it was just too heavy. My bird guns are a Benelli M2 and the Auto-5 Light g20. I know some think the Browning is funny-looking but mine just fits and points as well or better than anything else I've tried.
     
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