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 Post subject: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Gentlemen,

just recently I bought a new toy. It's an Auto 5 made in 1904, SN 11,884. A 1904, variation C, to be exact.

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Except for the ugly rubber recoil pad it is in quiet nice condition (at least, I am satisfied with the condition) and all original and matching - even the early friction piece is the original first issue.

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What I like: it has a marking "AD. JANSEN ARMURIER" on the stock next to the sling swivel.

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This is a dealer's marking of Adolphe Jansen in Brussels, who was a royal gunsmith of the Belgian king. So, the gun first was sold in Belgium.

The matching barrel has the usual markings for the European market (FN's barrel address and "ACIER SPECIAL") and comes with a short 65 mm chamber (= 2 9/16").

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BTW: the 1904 variations. Meanwhile I gave up to catalog all different variations of the year 1904. Nearly any possible combination of features seems to be possible in that year:

Variation A: like "pure" 1903s, that means, with safety type 1 and without the magazine cut-off.

Variation B: A5s having a 1903 SN and black powder proof only but having the "1904 service pack" installed in 1904: type 2 safety and magazine cut-off. Screw on right side of receiver (for securing the magazine tube)

Variation C: like variation B, but made in 1904. Magazine cut-off lever with flat back or already with ribbed back. Still with screw on right side of receiver.

Variation D: punch port moved towards front edge of receiver. No screw on right (example: SN 12,400).

And - recently discovered:

http://tir-collection.forumactif.net/t3 ... ing-auto-5

Variation E: type 2 safety, magazine cut-off (flat back type), punch port in front, but with the screw on right side of receiver. SN 14751.

In short: nearly any combination is possible in 1904. Just the best year for screw counters - like me. :wink:

Regards

Martin



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Last edited by sauerfan on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:53 pm 
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BTW: the magazine cut-off. I was already aware of FN's European patents (UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria) for this device. The first filing was of course in Belgium on 23rd January, 1904. But recently I also discovered the relating US patent No. 845,075, which was filed on 19th January, 1905 and what was granted on 26th February 1907.

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This US patent is interesting for two reasons:

1/ as FN had patent rights in the US until 1921, this is one explanation, why Remington, Winchester and others did not incorporate a magazine cut-off in their guns. Well, ONE explanation. Maybe they simply didn’t like it.

2/more interesting: as in the US only the inventor(s) is (are) allowed to file patents, we know by this US patent now the inventors. And they are: Henri Frenay and Hans Graeve.

Frenay is well-known: he was FN's General Manager and the person who signed the Auto 5 contract with John M. Browning. Graeve is unknown to me. At least we know from the patent his nationality: he was German (" a subject of the King of Prussia"). Honestly, I like that. :wink: Anybody who knows more about Graeve?

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:03 am 
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interesting friction piece. thanks for sharing pictures of your "new" 1904 A-5.


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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:18 pm 
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bluewing77 wrote:
interesting friction piece.


Hi bluewing77,

yes, an interesting design in deed. But very fragile and the slits are acting as predetermined breaking point. In other words: these friction pieces are break-prone. When I took off the steel ring I noticed, the friction ring was already broken.

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I planed to change the friction anyway, but I hoped to save the whole thing in one piece.

Well, I have a complete unbroken 1st variation friction piece from my 1907 made Auto 5, so I have one complete friction ring at least.

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Anyway: FN very quickly decided to change this design. Most probably in or around 1909.

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Very nice! It looks to be in a little better shape and has some more bluing left than my 1904-C.

I will have to check on my friction ring to make sure it isn't broken. I have had it off the magazine tube but had not taken the steel collar off of it.

Sauerfan, what camera do you use? Your photographs are amazing. My camera is 9 years old and only has a resolution of 3 megapixels. I took my pictures with it set to macro mode but that didn't seem to help much.

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:18 am 
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Hi Dale,

regarding the friction piece: well, probably you will not have the early version with the half-cuts. I noticed on your gun a recoil spring with round diameter coils. So obviously, a new(er) spring is installed and I guess, also a new(er) friction piece will be present. It doesn’t matter, as these are normal wearing parts.

Regarding photos: thanks, yes, I’m trying to make goods photos. I’m not really satisfied with the photos of #11884, but they are OK.

I’m using a seven years old Ricoh Caplio GX with 5.5 megapixels (available successor is the Ricoh Caplio GX 200 with 12 or so megapixels). Well, the megapixels aren’t the factor which matters. What matters is the macro ability. Macro photos should be possible at a distance of 1 cm (app. ½”). There are some cameras with this ability on the market – nearly any price range. My father is using the Canon PowerShot G11 – and he’s very satisfied with it.

But the camera isn’t the most important factor. Light, set-up and imaging software is (are).

My preference are:

Light: outdoor photos at cloudy sky resulting in a shadow-free photo.

Set-up: even (uniform) background, like a blue paperboard. And always a distance between to object to be photographed and the background to avoid any shadows and for creating a three-dimensional impression. A distance of some inches already will help – 10, 15 inches are better. Here’s a little impression of my “studio set-up” and the resulting photo (of my 1904-D # 12400).

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Note: it was too sunny and the result isn’t the best. Just wanted to show what I mean and I took some quick pictures at non-ideal conditions.


Imaging software: necessary to correct some flaws like blue cast, darkness, shifting. I can recommend a freeware software “Photofiltre”:

http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm

An easy to learn and to use program. Make sure to install also the plugins “measurements” and “WB”:

http://www.photofiltre-studio.com/plugi ... ins-en.htm

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Excellent advice, sauerfan.

And by the way I do have a "square" recoil spring, it's just that the photos didn't show it well enough. And the friction ring is indeed a "cut" type like yours.

Regarding my camera's macro mode-I found that it wouldn't focus if I got too close to the subject. Maybe the background ( the floor) was too far away and causing my problem. I will have to do some experimenting with it.


Edited to add: I did a little disassembly work today and found that the buttstock and trigger group serial #s match the receiver-so the only odd part is the barrel, but it is from the correct era, according to the serial number. I wonder what the story is with this old shotgun? I think I will take a chance with the Browning historian and see what he can find.

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:16 am 
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DKA5 wrote:
Excellent advice, sauerfan.

And by the way I do have a "square" recoil spring, it's just that the photos didn't show it well enough. And the friction ring is indeed a "cut" type like yours.


Hi Dale,

ah, I see! I wish you luck that your friction piece isn't broken!

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:44 am 
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A very interesting A5, Martin.

Congratulations!

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:32 am 
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Thanks for the interesting thread and the great pictures. And congrats {hs# on the very nice A5's. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:35 am 
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Gentlemen,

a little update: meanwhile, the wood on #11,884 has been refreshed and the brown recoil pad was replaced by an orange recoil pad. The metal (of course!) wasn’t touched.

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I’m quiet happy with the result. For an Auto 5 being 107 years old the condition is quiet OK.

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:44 am 
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High quality work & even higher quality pictures. Congrats on a very nice find. As usual Martin, you did it justice!! Thank you for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: Browning Auto 5 SN 11884 made in 1904 (1904-C)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Excellent work, and a beautiful gun.




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