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 Post subject: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3/4
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:08 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Krum, Texas
This post will show some of the quick external ways to quickly tell if an early 16 gauge A-5 was properly converted from a 65mm (2 9/16") chamber to a 70mm (2 3/4"). I hope to add another post later that shows before/after shots of the whole process, internal and external. All of the pictures show the standard 16 gauge (2 9/16) on the top and the magnum 16 gauge (2 3/4) on the bottom. By the way, the 2 9/16 gun has the original, worn rust blue, the 2 3/4 gun was reblued. Note the different colors and pay attention to them when shopping. The quality of work on conversions varies greatly - some complete and very neat, others incomplete and/or crudely hacked out.

1. If possible, measure the chamber. Jeff shared a method to make a simple chamber gauge in another post.

Jeff Mull wrote:
I made a simple chamber length gauge that I can carry with me at all times, in my wallet. It get me a simple yes/no answer when ever I stumble into a gun that draws my interest.

I took 2 credit cards and cut them down to a T shape with the long leg of the "t" at 2 3/4" and with one the width of a 16 ga and the other a 12 ga.

This is not a perfect system but it does confirm whether there is enough room in the chamber for fully opened shells without thier intruding into the forcing cone.

Credit for the idea goes to a friend of mine that you may see on the bbs's a lot, know as "Eightbore".

Jeff




2. Look carefully at the right side of the gun. Notice how the ejection port opening ("shell port" in the Browning manual I have) was enlarged towards the front of the gun. The distance from the front of the shell port to the front of the receiver is approximately 19/32" in a 2 9/16 gun, and exactly 17/32" in a properly converted gun. Also notice that the barrel sits farther forward in the converted gun. More on that later.

Image

Image



3. Look in the shell port and find the ejector at the back of the barrel extension, just in front of the breech bolt. It is the part that is round in the front and has two prongs that stick out in the back. Notice that the ejector is short and fixed in place in this 2 9/16 gun shown below.

Image

The ejector in the converted gun shown below is the same length, but has been modified with a slot so that the ejector can move forward and aft. If you are brave, you can make sure that the breech bolt stays open and reach in to see if the ejector moves freely forward and aft. If the bolt slams forward on your finger, you will be careful to never let it happen again. Some converted guns may be slotted, but the ejector may be corroded in place and need some cleaning before it will move.

Image


4. Remove the fore arm from the gun. 3/32" of wood was removed on the converted gun where the barrel guide ring strikes the fore arm so that the barrel can sit 3/32" farther forward than it does on an unconverted 2 9/16" gun. An unconverted fore arm should measure approximately 3 17/32" from where the barrel ring rests to the front of the fore arm. A converted gun measures approximately 3 7/16". If the wood was removed with the special Browning tool, it will be very neat and hard to tell it was ever modified at all. Note also the location of the serial number on the forearm of the unconverted gun. The number should match the receiver, barrel ring, barrel extension, operating slide handle, breech bolt, buttstock under the tang, carrier screws, and the shank of the trigger plate screws on this early of a gun.

Image

The back of the forearm was also cut 3/32" with a chisel to make room for barrel extension to move farther forward in the fore arm.

Image


5. Look at the top of the gun. Notice once again how the barrel sticks out farther on the converted gun. There will two different widths of the barrel extension sticking out of the receiver on the converted gun. If the converted barrel has not been reblued (this one has been reblued), the widest, farthest aft portion of the barrel extension that is visible will be bare, shiny metal. Look at the back of the fore arm on the converted gun. This one did not have enough wood chiselled out and the barrel is forcing the fore arm to spread wider than it should. I need to fix it. On a well-executed conversion, the wood will be neatly removed and each width of the barrel extension will fit precisely into a properly gouged out spot in the fore arm.

Image

That's a quick way to tell if you are looking at a 2 9/16 gun or one that has been converted to a 2 3/4 gun. Please post any comments or better pictures you have.

Keith




Last edited by Keith Groen on Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:01 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
Good thread. How about corresponding information for getting a 2 9/16" barrel converted AND functioning/fitting correctly on a 2 3/4" gun?


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 1:48 pm
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Location: Poolesville, Maryland
Keith,

Outstanding piece.

Worc,

How about making this a "sticky" on the top of the BBS

Almodux,

I think we determined earlier that a 2 9/16" barrel cannot be fitted to a 2 3/4" gun because of the difference in distance between the barrel ring and breech. Keith should have the details on this.


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:19 am 
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Location: North Dakota
Nice job, Keith! Very clear, informative and useful.

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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
Jeff Mull wrote:
Almodux,

I think we determined earlier that a 2 9/16" barrel cannot be fitted to a 2 3/4" gun because of the difference in distance between the barrel ring and breech. Keith should have the details on this.



I think Keith actually covered the issues earlier, like you say, but I guess I'll just quote it so that all of this is in one thread.
It can be done.:)


Keith Groen wrote:
The barrel that started life as a 2 9/16 and was converted to 2 3/4 will not work in a Sweet 16 without modification.

Here's a picture of the bottom of two barrels. The one on the left is from an older 2 9/16 inch converted to 2 3/4 inch. The one on the right is from a Sweet 16. The older flange is about 5/8 inch long, the Sweet 16 flange is about 1/2 inch long.

Image

The longer flange on the older barrel runs into the back of the Sweet 16 forearm and doesn't allow the barrel to go far enough forward. If I used a gouge on the inside back of the forearm it probably would work. I know that is one of the steps that must be done when a gun is converted from 2 9/16 to 2 3/4 because the barrel sits farther forward on a 2 3/4 inch gun (so that there is more room in the ejection port for the longer shells).

When the factory switched from 2 9/16 guns to building 2 3/4 guns, they must have decided it was easier to shorten the flange from 5/8 inch to 1/2 inch rather than mill out some of the wood on the forearm.

Keith


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 Post subject: re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:22 pm
Posts: 14
I recently purchased a 16 A-5 from the thirties. The gun came with box,manual,target pattern, and a letter from Browning stating they did not recomend conversion to 2 9/16 as the gun was perfectly balanced with the lighter shell. They did mention in the letter that they would do the conversion for $12.25. Apparently the original owner wrote them asking to have the conversion done. The letter was dated 1949.


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 Post subject: re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:22 pm
Posts: 14
Correct that-I meant converting to 2 3/4. Buc


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 Post subject: re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:08 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Krum, Texas
Sounds like you found a nice gun Buc. I've been looking for an old one like that with the box and test pattern for a long time.

Keith


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3/4
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 3
Gentlemen,
My conundrum: the FN A5 sn. 70454 (not Browning) I recently purchased has the 16-65 stamped on the barrel (not the original sn. 92935). The barrel has the solid rib. It shows obvious grinding, perhaps butchering would be better, of the barrel extension near the rim area of the chamber. The ejection port has been sloppily lengthened; the forearm shows evidence of having been grooved to accept the "hump" of the barrel extension which now protrudes, showing shiny, not blued, metal.

I took the barrel to a local 'smith and his chamber gauge read 2 9/16". The ejector is solid.
So, what is it? A converted to 2 3/4 model A5, a partially converted A5? (all numbers match except for the barrel)

I subsequently purchased an old cyl. bore barrel (of similar vintage sn. 52319) which has the longer chamber, ground rim area and movable ejector. This second barrel will cycle 2 3/4" and my 2 1/2", loads but the ribbed barrel will not. I have only used the 2 1/2" loads in the ribbed barrel.

I enjoy reading the opinions and banter at this site and hope someone will come up with suggestions to assist me to get the old A5 16 ga. hunting again.

Thanks,
Rick


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3/4
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:53 am
Posts: 28
Just ran into a a similar problem to wintu. I have an older 16 ga Browning A5. Although polychoked the barrel clearly marked as a 16/65. Looking at the ejection port and measuring it suggests modifications were made. (Read that as less than "unobtrusively"). The forearm stop has had wood removed and the barrel is sitting farther forward. This also suggested modification. BUT... (Always a but!)...the ejector is fixed and not floating. So this presented a conundrum. How to solve this... AHA! ... I took a sized 16 ga 2.75 hull inserted it into the EMPTY barrel (BEFORE YOU TRY THIS BE CERTAIN THE GUN IS EMPTY ...BOTH THE BARREL AND MAGAZINE!) and set the bolt home. Then I placed the gun butt on the floor and worked the action by pushing the barrel thru the recoil cycle. RATS! the shell hung up and would not eject nor would the barrel return to battery. But I DID get my answer. If this gun was modified the job was either poorly done or not completed ...either way.. Off to the smith before I can use it.

Dog


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:14 pm
Posts: 56
this was completely spot on!!! thanks for the information.

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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:27 pm 
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This information has been very helpful today :D

I'll add this link to keep the related info together:
Steps in converting a 2 9/16 Chamber 16 ga to 2 3/4 Chamber: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=80166&start=0

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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
I do have a 1920s, 2 9/16" solid rib barrel, converted to 2 3/4" running perfectly, on a 1960s 2 3/4" Sweet at the moment. It's an involved, meticulous process, and I'll wait a while to start another...but they can work without touching the wood. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 12
Location: ontario canada
this is probably a stupid question by why convert it,my old fn works fine and its not converted?


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
To shoot 2 3/4" loads, or in my case, utilize the cheaper short chamber barrels.


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 12
Location: ontario canada
how come i can shoot 2 3/4 shells through mine and i know its not converted?im confused lol is it possible mine is a long chambered gun from 1903?im new to this shotgun stuff lol


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
Magic. First, (if it has not been converted), you may have pressure/safety issues, though not always. Secondly, every single unconverted A5 16ga I've ever messed with would bump a 2 3/4" hull in the ejection port, jamming it. Converting to a sliding ejector reduces that to a drag, but still won't work. You have to do both the ejector conversion and the receiver relief to clear the spent 2 3/4". Other than you having a 2 3/4" gun to begin with, I'd say it's been converted...JMO. Have you looked at the barrel numbers denoting chamber? 65mm?


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 12
Location: ontario canada
all i know about my shotgun is its 1566 made in 1903 with all matching stocks and barrel.i looked at the dating post on this sight and came to that conclusion by the barrel markings and stamps.thats why i joined shotgun world is to find more info on it.the gun has been in our family its whole life.the only thing i noticed is it doesnt have the one friction ring.the brass one is their but the other is missing.i will have to check and i will take you some pics because you know alot more than me on the subject.the reason i dont think its converted is a relative of mine that origionaly owned it died in the great fire of northern ontario in 1922 and after that his firearms that survived went to the family farm and were stored in the barn rafters wrapped up in canvas and blankets and then my grandfather took them and stored them in his closet and then my dad when he was young took them and he used the browning for a few seasons and put it away and now i use it for birds.ill snap a few pics of it and maybe we can figure out the magical gun lol


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 733
Location: Alabama
1903? It's a 12ga gun, or a 16????? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: How to quickly tell if a 2 9/16 gun was converted to 2 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 12
Location: ontario canada
12ga




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