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 Post subject: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:36 am 
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I have a browning 16 guage serial number with x prefix indicates a 1948. All numbers match, frame, barrel and forend.
Gold trigger, gold safety forward of trigger. Barrel is sweet 16 according to the Browning historian. Got it from original owner that said he bought it in 1948 when he was in high school. The puzzel is it does not have "Sweet Sixteen" on the side of the receiver. Anyone got any ideas? Is it a Sweet 16?




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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:06 pm 
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Browning also made a standard weight 16ga. The Sweet Sixteen was about 10oz lighter and made from 1950 to 1976 in the modern FN model. Before that they were made from 1937 until 1940. From 1940 until 1949 "American Brownings" were made by Remington. Miroku made Sweet Sixteens in Japan from 1987 until 1992.

Here are some questions... What is the address on your barrel? Is there a letter A,B or C on the left side of your reciever? Does your gun have a gold plated trigger. Where is the safety? Does your gun have a magazine cut off?

Remember that Browning made many standard 16ga guns and the barrel from a Sweet Sixteen would fit a standrd receiver but since all your numbers match,your gun is probably as it was sold.

The gun that you described would be a standard weight FN 16ga Auto 5. If the serial # is between X13701 and X22600 the year would be 1948,probably. Remember that the Browning Company and all other referances will tell you that the serialization of A5s and particularly 16ga & Sweet Sixteens is not a pure science. I have a Sweet Sixteen that was delivered in 1937 and Browning claims that the gun came out in 1938.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:59 pm 
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Barrel marked, made in Belgium, & Browning Arms Company St Louis MO. with serial # X 15XXX.

Gold trigger and gold safety forward of the trigger.
receiver serial number also X 15XXX.

Barrel ring that slides over magazine tube has 3 holes in it about the size of a pencil - I'm told this is sweet 16?.

only markings on receiver other than the engraving is the Browning logo/trade mark on the left side and the broening St Louis address on the upper left.

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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:54 pm 
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The reciever should be marked Sweet Sixteen but the three holes in the barrel ring are Sweet Sixteen.

The serial # is for 1948,maybe. As I said, serial numbers are sort of a guess when it comes th A5 16ga guns.

Now comes the catch. I have never seen or heard of a factory gold trigger and gold front safety on any A5. I think that all of the old front safety parts were blued. Still nothing surprises me with old A5s. A gunsmith could tell you if the receiver is milled out by the factory to make your gun the lighter Sweet Sixteen if he is well versed on A5s. You may be able to tell the difference if you can get a standard 16ga and strip the receiver then compare the two.Also, the Sweet Sixteen will be 10oz lighter than a standard model.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:06 am 
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It sounds like you have an interesting gun. The "X" series were the first FN produced Auto-5 16 gauges with the 2 3/4" chamber. The series began with serial # X1001 and ran through serial # X99999, which was produced in 1953. Your gun does appear to have been manufactured in 1948. The FN produced A-5 barrels show the St. Louis address from 1930 through 1958 production. A gold plated front safety can be found on the high grade guns, but was not used on the standard grades unless it was some kind of special order. From your description, you have a Browning Auto-5 with a "Sweet Sixteen" barrel mounted on a standard grade receiver with a gold plated trigger and safety. Your gun was produced not long after FN resumed production after the German occupation of Belgium ended at the conclusion of World War II. Perhaps the gun was a special order. However, it is likely that it was assembled from parts on hand to keep production moving. In any event, if the gun is factory original, you have an interesting variation. After FN resumed manufacturing after World War II, much of this early production was sold to U. S. servicemen. I have a Browning (FN) "Sweet Sixteen" manufactured in 1958 and it does have a gold plated trigger. By that time, the cross bolt safeties were being used and the safety is blued. I hope this is helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:35 pm 
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Thanks Brad, I have always wondered about gold plated triggers on older A5s. I have several high grade A5s from the 1920 to the 1948 period but none have gold triggers. Two of these guns are Grade 4 guns that have factory gold inlay but no gold triggers. As I said above, nothing surprises me when it comes to older Brownings.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:30 pm 
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A5guy, I have a copy of the Shirley/Vanderlinden book on the Browning Auto-5 and included are a number of color photos of the receivers of high grade Auto-5's. Some have gold plated triggers and safetys while on others they are blued. Some of them also have gold plated screws and gold plated magazine cuttoffs. Many of these high grades have custom engraving and gold inlays, as well as high grade wood. A lot of them were probably custom guns. I guess my point is that there is just a tremendous amount of variation in the high grades as well as in the lower grades of A-5. These guns were manufactured in such numbers and variations that it is impossible to keep track of it all without a significant amount of reference material. Even with references, it is sometimes difficult to know just what you have. It's often just a guessing game. IMHO. Good shooting.

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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:15 pm 
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A5GUY & BRADL I really appreciate the input from both of you to my question. If this gun wasn't in such nice condition I wouldn't be digging so hard but it is a really beautiful gun.
Thanks. Erl


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:00 pm
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Thanks for saying thanks. It sounds as if you have a very nice and interesting gun. Good luck with it and good shooting.

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"I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless, but not men." Don Vito Corleone


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Browning sweet 16 ???
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:22 pm 
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i have a Browning Sweet Sixteen I picked up a couple of years ago. I would like to know what year is was made. I think it is a 1948 model. The receiver, barrel, screws and forearm all have X19518 serial number stamped on it. It also has a molly choke.The receiver has Sweet Sixteen engraved on it and its a shooter. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks




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