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 Post subject: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:03 pm 
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so today i took some money i scrounged up went to the gun shop and bought this browning bps i've been eyeing.

its used, but its practically new. it can handle up to 3 1/2" shells, its heavy (im using it for skeet and clays so im happy) and well...why bother listing what else it has because im sure you all know.

but i was looking at the barrel and it says "special steel" on it. do they all say that. or did i get something special.



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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:10 pm 
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They all say that. That is Browning's term for Proof Steel.


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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:28 pm 
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thank ye'

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:31 am 
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All BPS say that the barrel steel is "Special Steel". However, that was not always the case. Back in the early production of the Auto-5, about 1903 to 1915, FN made the Auto-5 with "Cockrell Steel" barrels. I'm unclear when they went to "Special Steel", though, but it was a long time ago.

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:57 pm 
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A5guy, I can add a little to narrow down the window a bit for the transition from cockerill steel to special steel (acier special) as somewhere between 1906 and 1909.

Droopy, Jeff Mull's 1906 straight stocker, has a cockerill steel barrel.

16g's were marked acier special when they were introduced in 1909.

Additionally, at the bottom of the third page of the following thread,
viewtopic.php?f=53&t=179695&start=40
Sauerfan provided this example
http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/60/128639.html
of what he speculated could possibly be a 1905. As it is marked acier special, I'd suggest, based on comparison to Droopy, that it is more likely a later 1906-08 model.

Perhaps Sauerfan can narrow the window down further when he gets his 1907 in. Hopefully he will chime in...

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:55 pm 
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Thanks, Decoy. I was once told by a old FN gunsmith that the Cockrill Steel barrels were from the 1905-09 era.

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Well, at the very least we know '03 through '06 guns were marked cockerill steel and '09 was marked acier special...we just need to find out about 1907 and 1908...anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:00 am 
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Gentlemen,

No, my 1907 did not arrive yet (unfortunately). But I again looked at Jeff Mull’s photo of his 1904 and his 1906 “Droopy”:

cpg1410/albums/userpics/Reciever_Left_s.jpg

Interestingly, the 1904 gun (on top with magazine cut off added) has an ACIER SPECIAL marking on the barrel.

Can’t remember, if the 1904 barrel is a matching one or not. IF it should be a matching barrel…. Well, in this case, the change from Cockerill to Special Steel wasn’t an abrupt one.

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Cockerill was the provider of the steel made to use in FN's barrel production, it was of the highest quality of the time, and was used extensively by FN in both military and civilian arms production. The company was established around 1814 and located in Seraing, Belgium, by the time of the early production A5's they had practically a century of experience producing high quality steel by the early construction of blast furnaces using coke for fuel instead of charcoal. They did not manufacture the barrels for FN, they merely provided the steel for FN's use in making them, FN's stamping of the barrels with the name provided testimony to their superior quality over other steels produced at the time.
Guns later produced with a stamping of "Acier" (French for steel) reflects the fact FN produced the gun for sales in Europe, not to be imported by Browning into the US, those imported to the US are marked in English " Special Steel".


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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:37 am 
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Decoy wrote:
Perhaps Sauerfan can narrow the window down further when he gets his 1907 in. Hopefully he will chime in...


Hi Decoy,

Today my new toys arrived – with some surprises. I haven’t seen them yet, as they were shipped to my father, who still has (although retired) his dealer’s license making the import/export procedure much easier. My father described them as follows (photos will follow next week):

1/ 1907 made A-5 SN 24924. Features:

Barrel: Matching to the gun

Barrel address: FABRIQUE –NATIONALE - HERSTAL-LIEGE. BELGIUM.

Steel indication: ACIER – SPECIAL

Chamber length: 65 mm (= 2 9/16”)

Receiver legend:

FABRIQUE - NATIONALE - HERSTAL - LIEGE. BELGIUM – BROWNING’S – PATENTS.
OCT. 9. 1900 – DEC. 17. 1901 – SEPT. 30. 1902 – JUNE. 16. 1903

Stock: round pistol grip / forearm not matching (replacement)

Recoil spring: square coil diameter

Issues: Stock seems to be beyond repair. If anybody has a used stock with pistol grip…..


2/ 1904 made A-5 SN 12400. Features:

Barrel: Matching to the gun

Barrel address: FABRIQUE –NATIONALE - HERSTAL-LIEGE. BELGIUM.

Steel indication: ACIER - SPECIAL

Receiver legend:

FABRIQUE - NATIONALE - HERSTAL - LIEGE. BELGIUM – BROWNING’S – PATENTS.
OCT. 9. 1900 – DEC. 17. 1901 – SEPT. 30. 1902 – JUNE. 16. 1903

Chamber length: 65 mm (= 2 9/16”)

Stock: Straight English stock and early forearm (matching SN )

Recoil spring: square coil diameter

Issues: Butt plate not original; Magazine tube bend (!); currently, the gun can’t be shot. This will be repaired. All in all, it seems to be in a good condition (except for the magazine tube, missing magazine spring, magazine follower and magazine spring retainer).

And now for the most surprising features of #12400:

The receiver has the same features like the one in Russia:

http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/60/128639.html

namely:

- safety type 2
- square cartridge stop
- punch port (“access hole”) located towards the cartridge stop, not over carrier screw
- magazine cut-off

On the one hand, I’m disappointed having no “suicide safety” model, on the other hand…. well, some new information.

Best regards

Martin

P.S: Decoy, I sent you two PMs

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:25 am 
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Gentlemen,

after my last post I asked my father for two other details of #12400.

These are:

1/ stock and forearm (both matching the gun) having checkering

2/ right side of receiver: no screw right to the carrier latch button.

The latter feature is quiet exciting, for my opinion. Normally, there should be present a screw necessary to secure the magazine tube to the receiver. But there is no screw and never was. This can only mean:

Contrary to Jeff Mull’s 1904 my 1904 #12400 had the magazine cut-off installed by the factory. Jeff’s has the magazine cut-off retrofitted, as the screw on the right side is present.

But his 1906 “Droopy” doesn’t have a magazine cut-off…..

Question now is: when began FN to install the magazine cut-off and when on a regular basis? It seems to me, that the magazine cut-off was an extra in the early years starting from….. when? In Shirley/Vanderlinden is shown (page 207) an engraved 1904 SN 7312 having all features of a 1903 gun. My 1904 # 12400 is completely different. Jeff Mull’s 1904 (I liked to know the SN of) is something in between: Punch port over screw (like a 1903), but already with the type 2 safety.

Seems, in 1904 were made a lot of changes. So, it seems to me, there are early 1904s (like the 1903 model), mid 1904 models (like Jeff Mull’s) and late 1904s (like mine). I’m presenting these assumed changes in a sketch:

Image


Best regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:24 pm 
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WOW, just WOW!! I’ve consumed several glasses of wine this evening, but this info is what’s making my head spin! FAN*F-ing*TASTIC post!! You definitely may be on to something!

First, congratulations on your new toys! Interesting they both are short chambered and have square recoil springs. Supports our earlier discussions. Does your 1904 have the closed-groove forearm? How ‘bout the 1907? Does it have the thick rubber buttplate?

Also very interesting also that your 1904 sn 12400 is marked ACIER SPECIAL, considering we’ve seen later examples marked COCKERILL STEEL. Also, you mentioned that it has the same features (like magazine cut-off) as the example from the Russian forum…are you saying the magazine cut-off looks exactly like the Russian example (which is different then what we typically see), or just that it is present?

As you know, I have been collecting information on these early A5’s, but the late 1904 through 1908 period is a bit of a black hole for me as very few of these guns made it to the states.

I don’t know the sn of Jeff’s 1904 gun, but I can tell you that I’ve observed sn 79xx as having 1903-early 1904 “characteristics.”

As you pointed out, a problem with your early/mid/late 1904 theory is Jeff's 1906 Droopy. I’ve also seen at least one other post 1904 examples (e.g., 1907, although may have been a remington) w/o the magazine cut-off… :?

Hey Martin, you do realize you're upsetting the apple cart? :wink: :lol:

Decoy

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:52 am 
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Decoy wrote:
Hey Martin, you do realize you're upsetting the apple cart? :wink: :lol:


Hi Decoy,

After I found out, what this saying means, I can say: I already DID upset the apple cart. :lol:


Decoy wrote:

First, congratulations on your new toys! Interesting they both are short chambered and have square recoil springs. Supports our earlier discussions. Does your 1904 have the closed-groove forearm? How ‘bout the 1907? Does it have the thick rubber buttplate?


Yes, the 1904 has the closed-groove forearm. Checkered, as the stock is. Both are matching the gun.

The 1907 does have a thick rubber but plate – but unfortunately, it’s too thick, as it is a recoil pad.


Decoy wrote:
Also very interesting also that your 1904 sn 12400 is marked ACIER SPECIAL, considering we’ve seen later examples marked COCKERILL STEEL. Also, you mentioned that it has the same features (like magazine cut-off) as the example from the Russian forum…are you saying the magazine cut-off looks exactly like the Russian example (which is different then what we typically see), or just that it is present?


As far as „ACIER SPECIAL“ is concerned: well, Jeff’s 1904 also has „ACIER SPECIAL“.

Cut-Off: no, currently I only that it is present – I don’t know yet, how it looks like. Will know more on Monday, when I will receive them.

Decoy wrote:
I don’t know the sn of Jeff’s 1904 gun, but I can tell you that I’ve observed sn 79xx as having 1903-early 1904 “characteristics.”

As you pointed out, a problem with your early/mid/late 1904 theory is Jeff's 1906 Droopy. I’ve also seen at least one other post 1904 examples (e.g., 1907, although may have been a remington) w/o the magazine cut-off… :?


Well, some advanced theories will die young. Like this 1904 early/mid/late one. :( I found out the SN of Jeff’s 1904 in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=134453&view=next

Surprisingly, Jeff’s is SN 12658. So, his 1904 is 258 numbers younger than mine is – but his one has all the early features, while mine is a more “modern” gun. That’s really confusing. :x

Anyway, I’ll take photos of #12400 as soon as possible and will start a new thread.

@outlawskinnyd: sorry for all the “spam” in your thread having nothing to do with your question.

Regards

Martin

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 Post subject: Re: got my first browning, have a question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Quote:
Yes, the 1904 has the closed-groove forearm. Checkered, as the stock is. Both are matching the gun.

You're very fortunate to have the original closed groove forearm...and matching checkered stocks no less! Any figure to the wood or just plain jane?

Quote:
The 1907 does have a thick rubber but plate – but unfortunately, it’s too thick, as it is a recoil pad.

Can't win them all.

Quote:
As far as „ACIER SPECIAL“ is concerned: well, Jeff’s 1904 also has „ACIER SPECIAL“.

I was going to say that we don't know Jeff's 1904 has a matching barrel, so could be a later Acier Special barrel. But, I see you found a link where Jeff states the barrel is indeed matching. Hmmmm...

Looking forward to seeing pictures!

And yes, sorry Outlawskinnd to have completely hijacked your thread on your new BPS! But I think you got the answer you were looking for...and then some.



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