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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:26 am 
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thanks for your quick reply, i'm getting interested about what you say. i can't find how to post photos here, therefore please visit the browning album on SWG and see the 3 photos named "a5 rf" cpg1410/thumbnails.php?album=7

on the receiver only "light twelve" is engraved, no other words or design.
on the barrel the FN phrase in engraved.

thanks




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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:34 am 
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You've got a "World Market" Light Twelve. That is, it wasn't imported by Browning for sale in the U.S. and the markings differ here and there from what you normally see. Most often these guns were purchased by servicemen stationed overseas and brought back when they returned home.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Good evening all,

Apologies if should start a new thread rather than add to this but I am new to the Forum!

Just before Christmas I bought an Auto 5 from a gun shop on the understanding it was in a shootable condition. Once home, on closer inspection, I noticed the firing pin does not retract but drops forward once fired. Disappointed l called the dealer who in fairness offered a full refund or a small contribution to the cost of repair. It was left that I would make enquiries into the cost and let him know after the holidays.

I had sort of decided I would return the gun but came across this forum and thread and have been amazed at the amount of detail it contains. I am now in a quandary on what to do and hope some advice through this forum will help me decide.

The dealer thought the gun to be around 1924 but from the information on this thread it looks as if it could be as early as 1904 (serial no. 10652 and screws, holes consistent with the sketches).

So, a few questions I would welcome your opinions on!

I assume there must be a return spring for the firing pin? Is this an easy fix? I am waiting for a call back from a local gunsmith after the holidays but any advise would be appreciated.

There is no steel friction ring but reading this thread I understand some early models didn't have these. The brass friction piece is flat on one side and beveled on the other.

The bolt does not lock back if the hammer is cocked and the gun empty (dry fire with a snap cap the bolt will lock back when drawn and snap cap ejected). Should the carrier that lifts the cartridge to the breach be spring loaded in its lower position because if I manually pull the carrier down the bolt will then lock back. I am not certain if this is a problem or not? I am only using short snap caps so I can't be certain the gun will cycle correctly. Saying this, if I hold a round in the magazine with the cut off leaver and the bolt back on an empty chamber, when the cut off is released the round feeds no problem.

Finally, how do I post some photos!!!

Apologies for the wordiness of this post. It is difficult to keep brief when trying to describe.

Many thanks,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:06 pm 
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Hello Ade and welcome to the forum!

Standard advice is to "have the gun checked by a competent gunsmith". My experience is those guys are really hard to find! You could send your gun to Art's or Midwest Gun Works, but there are a few things you can do yourself. First, download the Field Service Manual, available here:

http://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgw ... ice-manual

Read the disassembly thread in this forum, and watch the videos available on Art's Gunshop and Midway USA websites.

As to your question about the firing pin, it does not have a spring. It is retracted when the bolt is out of battery by the "link" that connects the bolt ("Breech Block" in Browning-ese) to the Action Spring. You can see the pin in this picture:

Image

The Carrier is spring-loaded down. Your description is hard for me to follow but it may be that it just needs a good cleaning. A lot of gunk can accumulate in in 111 years.
Image

EDIT: I should have said that the carrier is spring-loaded down with the bolt forward. When the bolt is back the powerful spring in the carrier dog spring loads the carrier up.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:59 pm 
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Good evening.

Thanks for your quick reply and the welcome to the Forum.

I would love to send the gun to one of the American experts you recommend but unfortunately I live in Wales, United Kingdom!

Good news there is no firing pin spring to worry about although the pin does not appear to be positively retained as you work the bolt back and fore. I am a little concerned that the pin may be damaged if it fouls a cartridge when the gun cycles if it is not flush with the breech block?

Checking again, the carrier lifts fine when the bolt release is pressed but I cannot feel any downward spring pressure at all so guess the v spring shown in your photo may be the issue (I notice that the carrier flicks down from the raised position when the trigger is pulled).

I am tempted to try a few light rounds through it to see how it cycles, the dealer I bought it from did say it was safe to shoot but 1904 proof and modern cartridges??! As you rightly advise, it would be best if the gun was checked by a gunsmith first.

I am waiting for a call back from a local(ish) gunsmith who is checking the availability of spares with Browning then calling back, hopefully with a price to go through the gun for me. I am tempted though to field strip the gun myself given the excellent videos and advice on this forum.

As time goes on I am thinking I should keep the gun. If the dealer gives me the£25 he offered towards the repair I would have paid £175 (about $260) not a lot of money for a piece of history. It is a gun I was in awe of as a youngster and it does sit nice in the cabinet with my A1 and my father's B2G trap guns!

Regards to all,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Adrian,

You certainly got a bargain on your 1904 Auto-5. I would keep it even if I never shot it. 1904's are rare over here as Browning stopped importing soon after production started and didn't restart until 1923.

I wouldn't worry about modern shells. I have a 1903 that shoots them just fine. Yours should have a smokeless proof, look for P.V. among the marks. One thing, there are some with a 65mm chamber, so you'll want to check that. I suggest cutting up one of your wife's credit cards until it just fits in the chamber and see how far it goes. There's a chance that the chamber is marked, I don't know when that started (it's probably in this thread somewhere).

I took the barrel off one of mine and dry fired it. The firing pin remained exposed after firing. I could push on it with a pencil against the hammer/main spring pressure. The Field Service Manual actually mentions that the pin may slightly dent a primer when the bolt slams but not with enough force to detonate. I have never had a slam fire and I've fired thousands of rounds.

Sounds like your carrier spring is shot. Bad news -- those are hard to find. I modified a Remington Model 11 spring to fit one of mine. Good news -- the FSM shows how to use the new, trigger plate mounted spring to work in an old gun. I held my carrier up against the spring pressure and it too was kicked down when the gun was dry-fired. Worst case, you'll have a single shot until it's fixed, although it may work anyway.

Field stripping just entails removing the barrel and forearm, something I'm sure you've done already. If you want to go further you'll need some ultra-thin gunsmith screwdrivers. I encourage you to go ahead. You can pay a gunsmith, but unless he's familiar with the Auto-5 you'll be paying for his education while he's monkeying with your gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:33 am 
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Thanks again for your reply. I really do appreciate the time you are taking to help me out. The gun is definitely being kept now!

P.V. marks are present on the barrel, bolt and receiver so no issue there. I had read about some guns with a short chamber so will check mine straight away. I assume I should be looking for around 70mm for the longer (2 3/4?) cartridges (although I think I may have a box of 2 1/2 cartridges which converts to 65mm by my calculation). Apologies if I am asking a dumb question here but chamber length has never entered my mind using modern guns!

I will dry fire with the barrel off and see what the resistance is like. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. What I am beating myself up about is if you tip the muzzle down and shake the gun the pin falls forward so I am thinking it could foul the cartridge as it cycles. Sat thinking about it now I guess in proper use the pin will be held back by the empty case on the ejection stroke so as the bolt comes forward to pick up the new round the pin is back anyway. I need to get out in the field and try it, I'm probably over thinking things now!!

I have read the section in the FSM regarding the newer spring. Thanks again for the advice. Brownell's have a UK outlet and lists the new spring for £6 with £8 delivery. I will contact them on the off chance they can supply the older type spring for originality but it looks as if it can be sorted one way or another. I am also tempted by the set of Grace USA screwdrivers but at the best part of £40 that's almost a quarter of what I paid for the gun! Perhaps I'll go for just the bits at £8!

I will wait for the call back from the gunsmith and see what sort of prices he quotes. He appeared knowledgeable on the phone but I certainly take you point. With the videos and information available I am tempted to have a go myself.

Thank you again for your advice it really is very much appreciated.

Happy 2016 to all.

Regards,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:48 am 
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Oh...forgot to add I intend to take the fore end off and check the recoil stroke on the barrel. Not certain how smooth it should be but it tightens up and the rear end of its travel. Over thinking things again I hope!

No more ramblings for now.

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:18 am 
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Well, Art spends most of the first video showing how to make the screwdrivers yourself. I opted to buy the bits. Later I bought the Grace set; I've had no problems but Slim has had them break.

The "ears" on the firing pin are held back by the link until the bolt is in battery. You should not be able to shake the firing pin forward if you try it with the bolt to the rear. The good news is that part stayed the same throughout production if you need a new one.

Yes, 70mm = 2 3/4", and 65mm = 2 9/16" for shells marked 2 1/2". The S/V book states that all 12 gauge Auto-5's had 70mm chambers throughout production. Then Martin showed that at least some were marked 65mm. I'll post a picture of an early (1924) chamber mark, in this case a 16 gauge.
Image

A couple of years ago I disassembled a 1903 Auto-5 and documented what I found here:

http://www.browningowners.com/forum/ind ... to-5.2736/

Some of my ramblings may be useful.

Last, when I get a new-to-me Auto-5, I check it by covering the primers of a couple snap caps with tape. I chamber one, pull the trigger and eject. The firing pin should have made a hole in the tape. Then I load both in the magazine and cycle the action by pulling the barrel back as far as it will go and releasing. One snap cap should have loaded. Do it again and it should eject and the next one should load. A third time and another ejection and the bolt should lock back. Check the tape, if you didn't pull the trigger there should be no hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:09 am 
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Thanks again!

Will try this and let you know how it goes.

Regards,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:10 am 
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Gulp!!

Brownell's site lists firing pins at £112. Half of what I paid for the gun in the first place. Hope mine isn't broken....


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:46 pm 
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I know this is no help but MGW has them on clearance for $29. Stupid gun laws...

http://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgw ... /B1111165C

Your best bet may be to buy a parts gun. The guns themselves seem to be cheap, why pay through the nose for parts?


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Finally managed to get to the shooting ground today.

25 single shots all ejected no problem!

As I thought though, the gun wouldn't cycle as the protruding pin fouls the shell as the carrier lifts it to the breech. If I grip the pin between thumb and finger it feels as if I can rotate it through 360 quite easily so suspect it has broken part way along its length and the "ears" are just retaining the rear portion of the pin.
Not to worry, I will start the search for a pin in the UK at a reasonable price!

Checked the markings on the barrel, D=65 so a short chambered 12 gauge?
Shot a box of Ely marked "32 gram 67mm case for 65mm 2 1/2 chambers". No problems but a hell of a kick. Have some 28g loads which should be softer to shoot but they are marked length 70mm. Again, excuse my ignorance but could I use these? Measuring a few empty cases of the 70mm marked shells only appear to be about 2mm longer than the empty 65mm shells. I know 3" magnums are out of the question but would appreciate your thoughts on the 70mm marked shells.

Regards,

A very happy 1904 Browning Auto 5 owner!


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Finally managed to get to the shooting ground today.

25 single shots all ejected no problem!

As I thought though, the gun wouldn't cycle as the protruding pin fouls the shell as the carrier lifts it to the breech. If I grip the pin between thumb and finger it feels as if I can rotate it through 360 quite easily so suspect it has broken part way along its length and the "ears" are just retaining the rear portion of the pin.
Not to worry, I will start the search for a pin in the UK at a reasonable price!

Checked the markings on the barrel, D=65 so a short chambered 12 gauge?
Shot a box of Ely marked "32 gram 67mm case for 65mm 2 1/2 chambers". No problems but a hell of a kick. Have some 28g loads which should be softer to shoot but they are marked length 70mm. Again, excuse my ignorance but could I use these? Measuring a few empty cases of the 70mm marked shells only appear to be about 2mm longer than the empty 65mm shells. I know 3" magnums are out of the question but would appreciate your thoughts on the 70mm marked shells.

Regards,

A very happy 1904 Browning Auto 5 owner!


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:59 pm 
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If your gun was a 16 gauge, I'd say no, you wouldn't be able to shoot 70mm shells. But the 12 was designed for them and you only have a shorter chamber. Shooting the longer shells can increase pressure, some say to dangerous levels. But there's a chance that your chamber was modified over the years, so check it. I have heard that 67mm shells are safe to shoot in 65mm barrels, but personally I don't do it (on my 16's) as I reload.

When you order your parts, make sure that you order a new Action Spring and Action Spring Plug. Clean out the tube (hopefully it hasn't broken off). If it's broken you'll have to have a new one silver soldered on. Even Art's can't thread an old tube to fit (ask me how I know).

I'm glad that you're happy with your Browning. Working on them is half the fun.

Here's the link to Art's:

http://www.artsgunshop.com/

If you haven't already watched the videos, now is the time!


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Thanks, I'll add those to my shopping list.

I did try to measure the chamber with a depth gauge but couldn't feel a definite ridge or narrowing. I'll try your credit card method when I have a bit more time.

If there's any doubt though I'll keep to the shorter shells, the last thing I want is to ruin the barrel. Sorry but when you say "I have heard that 67mm shells are safe to shoot in 65mm barrels, but personally I don't do it" do you mean 70mm shells in 65mm barrels?

Had the safety come on after some shots as well. I assume it was through the recoil. A nice firm click and feel when the safety is operated so a bit surprised at that. I'll check to see all is in order when the trigger group comes out.

I have just seen a Browning 2000 for sale with 30" and 26" barrels. A bit of a worry as I think it could be my old gun, first 12 gauge my Father bought me when I was 13 or so. I was looking for a 2000 when I when into the shop and came out with the Auto 5. If I'm not careful this could be the start of a collection!

Thanks again for your help and guidance. I hope I'm not becoming a nuisance.

Regards,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Adrian,

No, I meant 67mm shells in a 65mm chamber. It's got to do with the 16 gauge. For years the standard shell had a 65mm fired length and pre-WWII Brownings were chambered for it. After the war the standard, in the U.S. at least, changed to 70mm. The 67mm shells were said to be safe in the old chambers. Whether or not they cycled in an Auto-5 I don't know.

I have a B2000 and like it a lot, but hate cleaning it. The Auto-5 is much easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:18 pm 
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Good Evening,

Would you happen to know the size of the four screwdriver bits suitable for the Auto 5?

I am looking at a few available in the UK. A Lyman hollow ground set looks promising but on comparison with the Brownell's set I am not certain if the largest bit will be big enough.

Many thanks,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:44 am 
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I couldn't lay my hands on the 4 Bit Brownell set, but the Grace screwdrivers are as follows:

All blades are between .022" - .028" . Widths are .295", .286", .230", .220", .218".

They are so close that I probably only need 3 of the set of 5.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:58 pm 
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Thank you once again! Very much obliged.

Called into the dealers last week. Explained the problems with the firing pin and carrier spring. Quite graciously he refunded £50 and managed to find a new style carrier spring for me. Very pleased with that.

Regards,

Adrian.




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