Recounting an a5 story

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Jan 26, 2003
South Jersey
About 7 years ago I was in Italy on a working vacation. I met some nice gentlemen and they invited me to go bird hunting on their estate outside Gravina in the Puglia region. When I arrived the next day, they had a small group of hunters together, a dog handler and food of course. I was introduced around as "Wild Bill" even though my name is not Bill. Anyway my hosts took me around to pick out a gun for the day. They introduced me their game keeper, a New Zealander named Peter. Since we were going grey partridge hunting, same as our Huns, then i thought a long range gun would work best. He had a Beretta semi and Browning a5 Light 12 with a 28". Well having never shot one before, I asked for the A5. Peter showed me how to work it, then told "That is about the same gun I carried in the Indonesian jungle back in the ancient times". Turns out he was a NZ SAS vet, did 20 years in the service for the Commonwealth. He opted to carry the A5 with a 20" on reconassaince missions because of its ability to throw a serious amount of zinc coated ball to bust ambushes apart and to slow down pursuits. He said they used to remove or alter the sear to get full auto capability and machined a mag extension so they could carry 7+1 shells. The locals hated the shotguns, they could not shoot them and feared their firepower. He told me the locals looked upon the guys carrying shotties as super men. He told me he used to sit in helicopter cockpits, shooting the A5 out the window to supress enemies. Sounded like the gun for me. I had no reason to doubt this gentleman, he seemed to know his stuff, was very well regarded by his employer and was a man that garnered respect from strangers.

And so you know... I shot 4 huns that day, all at ranges over 40yds. The other guys did well also.. we feasted on partridge and greens all night wih some great wines and breads. Great dog work from some Broccas, a pointer with a hound face and a single Spinone or Italian Griffin.
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That reads good to me

When I was the Little tag along 40 odd years ago. One of my dads hunting partners only shot a square back, either the A5, or a model 8 Rem.

He might be the the last one to limit out on doves, but then again he had health issues, and picked the shots that would practically have the dead birds falling in his lap. He could make that old gun talk.

Fast forward ten years, we are at our favorite dove spot. An older gent that we had seen around for years comes along, asks if there is room for one old gent to sit under a tree close to the parking area, there was. He set up his stool, pulled out a Rem 11, 20 ga, and proceeded to smack just about every dove that got in range, after I had shagged almost a limit of doves for him, he asked me if I would like to try his gun a little, that was one sweet shooting hump back!

Fast forward to a few months ago, my A5 of almost thirty years, is setting in the rack, by the pro shop, waiting for the shoot off to be called, I am standing back listening to other shooters telling A5 stories, and hearing them ask why that hasn't been put away yet, a couple more knowing shooters did say it might not be done for the day. Shoot off's got called and that old goodie pulled it's wieght!

Now I can call that old gun Champ!

Love em or hate em they are awesome guns!
I've got a 16ga A5, and I really like the way it carries in the field. There's something about the way the "hump" on the receiver fits into my hand that feels very natural. Heck, I even like the suicide safety on it.
Suicide safety? Is it one of the in trigger guard versions... like a Garand? Why call that Suicide Type? I love that style and it works great for right or left handers. I wish manufacturers would bring that back
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