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 Post subject: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:24 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
Hello all,

I picked up an old Auto 5 standard 12 the other day, and dating it is becoming tedious. Serial # is B305xx; It has the St. Louis address on the barrel but no Belgian proof marks. Serial # is on the side of the receiver. It also has the push-button safety and isn't speed-feed equipped. At first I figured it to be made around 1926, but I'm beginning to doubt that after some research. This is the first Auto 5 I've owned so I hope you all will forgive my ignorance. I'm a double-gun guy normally.

Any help is appreciated.
Mac




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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:40 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 2943
Location: Missouri
Hi, you’ve got an American Browning, made by Remington during the occupation of Belgium during WWII. Really just a Model 11 with Browning markings, Remington parts will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:51 pm
Posts: 2737
Location: La-Tx
Time fame for the gun will be between 1940-1947.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
So I assume there isn't any way to narrow that date down? Not that it really matters I'm just curious. If I were to replace the stock, what would I order for a new one, Browning or Remington?

Thanks again,

Mac


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 2943
Location: Missouri
Remingtons have a date code on the barrel, though I’m not sure if they applied it to their “Brownings”.
But you can look it up on their website and see if you find it. I know the websites say they made these until 1946 or so, but I’d be surprised if any were manufactured after 1942. Remington was pretty busy making war materiel after that.

I don’t have any personal experience with the American Browning, but I understand that Model 11 parts are needed. The receivers are definitely off the Model 11. However, Browning friction pieces and most of their springs will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:05 am
Posts: 123
Remington date codes should be on the barrel, at least they are on my two American Brownings: DK (Sept. 1941) on a 16 gauge and ARR (March 1946) on a 20 gauge. As Rudolph31 said, I think very few (if any) were made during the peak World War II years, but evidently there was some production shortly after the war ended.

As for which stock would fit an American Browning, I don't know for sure, but I would first try a Remington Model 11 stock. The American Brownings had the old classic Browning-style round knob stock while the Remington Model 11s had the flat knob style.

There is more information on the American Browning in the Shirley and Venderlinden book on the Auto-5.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:00 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
So, I looked my barrel over very, very closely and found a Remington-style date code of RTT. This code comes back to November of 1948. Which, if I'm reading correctly, isn't really possible since in 1947 Remington discontinued the Model 11 and A5 production went back to Belgium. Is it possible that this gun was just a "put-together" from left over parts? I'm sorry to keep asking these silly questions but this puzzles me greatly.

As far as the wood goes, I have decided to just refinish the stock and forend, since this gun is definitely a shooter and not a safe-queen. Metal is in good shape, and I have stripped and re-stained the stock and it's currently awaiting the first coat of oil. I sort of enjoy refinishing the old guns and then using them in the woods. I lucked into a Poly-choked barrel for an American A5 at a pawn shop recently and it seems to function well. Coincidentally, it's only about 500 numbers off my own gun. Funny how things work, huh?

Thanks again to all of you for your help and insight.

Mac


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:25 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4933
Location: WA/AK
The old Remington factory ledger only goes up to 30 June 1942 when they were up to serial number B16112 for 12-gauge Brownings. So, I'd estimate your gun is one of the last ones. The Remington Model 11 and Sportsman were still the autoloading shotgun offering in the Remington Arms Co., Inc. May 1948 catalog, and I've recorded Model 11 barrel date codes as late as AUU -- A = March UU = 1949.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:50 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 2943
Location: Missouri
The Browning website is full of contradictions. For example, they show serial numbers for years that according to them, FN wasn’t producing. According to the S/V book, FN started assembling guns for sale to GI’s in 1944, and was back in production and delivering guns to Browning by 1946. I had a 1946 Light Twelve. So don’t worry what that site says.

I’m surprised that Remington was still making guns for Browning in 1948, but like you said, they probably had plenty of parts to use up.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto 5 Date - I'm confused!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:16 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
That's sort of what I gathered. Ah well. It'll make a shooter even if it isn't a "real" Browning. My hope is to use it in the squirrel woods and, with the new barrel, on some doves and quail. As I said before I'm a Side by Side guy so hopefully this will be a nice departure from the norm.

Thanks again to all who contributed

Mac




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