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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:01 am
Posts: 14
Hi All.

I recently became aware of, and became facinated by, the Browning Auto 5.
I found sauerfan's posts on the development both facinating and very informative, thank you very much for taking the time to write all this up.

I found an Auto 5 for sale that I'm quite interested in. The problem is that the serial number suggests it's a 1912 gun, but the pictures of the gun does not look like the 1912 guns that sauerfan posted. And that is why I am here, to ask all of you for help.
The gun is unfortunately quite far from me, so I cannot go and see it myself. And I don't want to ask for too many pictures, as I do not want to show too much interest in the gun. :-) That might hurt my bargaining position. :-)

Anyway, the gun is a 12g and the serial number is: 38502.
Here are pictures of the left and right hand side of the receivers.
Image
Image

Any help identifying why the serial number and receivers do not match what I would expect, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Neil




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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 2950
Location: Missouri
That Auto-5 certainly looks like it's over 100 years old, but in actuality it's not even 60.

There are traces of the engraving that became standard on U.S. imports in the mid '30's. The corners of the ejection port are rounded; that change occurred in 1958. And it has a left hand cross-bolt safety that became available in the 1960's.

My guess is that the seller skipped the serial number prefix, which I would guess to be "0M" for a 1960 standard weight 12 gauge. And if he's asking more than $200, walk away.

Oh, and Welcome to the site!

EDIT: I just noticed that the gun is in the U.K. If the gun wasn't originally sent to the U.S. it will have a different serial number prefix, probably 2 smaller digits for the year of manufacture.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:01 am
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Thanks Rodulph,

for the welcome and for the reply.
Yes, I should have mentioned that the gun is in the UK.
To be honest, if the gun was 100 years old, I would have been happy with the condition. Gives it character. Or some such thing.
It's advertised for £300, just for info.
I'm interested in getting an older gun, so I'm going to give it a miss on age alone. There is another advertised for £350. This one the serial number dates as 1926, and the features like the safety supports that.
I'll look into that one instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:01 am
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Right. Another day, another A5. Another discrepancy that confuses me.
So, today I saw this newly advertised A5, and the first thing that jumped out at me was the straight trigger. That got me excited. And then I found the serial number, 50707. Straight trigger territory. Now I’m very excited. Then I noticed the advert says it’s a 16g. Now I’m a lot less excited, because 16g shells are twice the price of 12g shells and I’m looking for something I can shoot. But then I noticed that if it really is a 16g, the serial number makes it a 1926 gun. 3-4 years after the curved trigger came in. So how likely is it that this is actually a misidentified 12g? And how can I ascertain this? Sauerfan posted this proofmark link http://damascus-barrels.com/Belgian_All_Proofmarks.html that mentions the gauge and chamber length is stamped somewhere. Where would it be on the Auto 5? On top of the chamber? Below are all the photos I’ve got of the gun. I can ask for more pictures of the proofmarks if that would help matters. Again, unfortunately the gun is too far away from me for me go view it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Neil

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:01 am
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To update my post above, the gun has been sold. To someone that isn't me. So I will now never know if really was a 16g.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Location: Missouri
Sserpent wrote:
To update my post above, the gun has been sold. To someone that isn't me. So I will now never know if really was a 16g.


Yes you will. Not only was it a 16, but it had never been converted to shoot 2 3/4" shells. In the U.S., that would double the price of ammo if you don't roll your own.

Here's how to tell. When JMB designed the 16, he shortened the receiver to make it lighter. This exposed about 3/32" of the barrel extension. They're flush on the 12 gauge. After WWII the Auto-5 was made to accommodate the 3/16" longer shell. They did this by increasing the stroke 3/32" and using a movable ejector. So Auto-5's chambered for the 2 3/4" shell have twice as much of the barrel extension visible as those chambered for the old 2 9/6" ammunition.

Here's a view of an unconverted 16 from 1924:

Image

Compare it to this 1948 Sweet Sixteen:

Image


Last edited by Rudolph31 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
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Location: Missouri
As for the triggers, I've found that there was an intermediate version that was more curved than the original but less curved than those found on guns from the mid-1930's on.

First a straight trigger, circa 1911:

Image

Next a semi-curved trigger from 1924:

Image

And last a curved trigger from 1938:

Image


Last edited by Rudolph31 on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:01 am
Posts: 14
Wow, another variation, thanks Rudolph.
These guns get more facinating the more I learn. I'm dissapointed I missed out on it now.
Unfortunately, I cannot see the pictures right now, it looks like photobucket is down, but I'll make sure to check back later.
I've decided to move my Auto 5 buying adventure to it's own thread, as it's threatening to become quite lenghty....
https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=456326


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:09 pm
Posts: 3
Found another oldie :)

I posted on the previous page when I picked up an early 1905 serial numbered A5 but with changes described in the 1906 style (no-mag cut off). Straight stock (no pistol grip) and the finger groove on the fore end does not continue to the end of the timber. Serial 15592.

Today I bought another oldie - 1906 this time, again with no mag cut off. Again its not in perfect condition and I will need to clean the rubbish refinish off the stock but it is straight with no cracks - original and numbered to the gun. Serial 21651.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:45 am
Posts: 22
Hi Rudolph,
Finally picked up the parts gun I mentioned a while back for £55 rather than the £100 the dealer wanted for it originally!
Just about ready now to get into my 1904 to finally see what is going on.
One query. I understand I will need a 3/32 and 1/8 punch (or should it be 2.5mm and 3.0mm if FN were working in metric then?) But are they solid or roll pins?
As always, much obliged for your help.
Regards,
Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Location: Missouri
Adrian,

Good to hear from you. Once again I had to go back and reread the entire history -- you certainly are making a career out of this project!

All the pins are solid, I believe roll pins weren't used until 1958. Now, GO TO WORK!


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:45 am
Posts: 22
Thanks Rudolph.

Well, after the best part of two years in the planning I think you are probably right!

Next post with photos of a disassembled Auto 5!

Regards,

Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:03 pm
Posts: 3
Newbie here:
I just acquired a (what I've learned from this forum) a 1928 Browning
A5 with all original parts and furniture. The S/N is 1144XX with a sideways
small g on the barrel in the "10" date code position. It is an 18.2 18.3 choke
and smokeless powder approved H P V on the barrel. Barrel is solid ribbed
and stamped Browning Company Ogden Utah. It came with 100 rnds of
Winchester Ultimate 12Ga 7.5 shot ammo. I'll clean it and lube it before
I get home to Tucson and a chance to shoot it. 12 Full Special Steel barrel
stamp.
Should I keep this old gun original? I paid next to nothing for it.

Thanks,
Mick
Tucson/Santa Paula


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:45 am
Posts: 22
Hi Mick.
My opinion, for what it's worth, would be to keep it original.
As long as the gun is safe to shoot it would be a shame to lose all those years of patina. It would be like deleting it's history if it were to be refinished.
Regards,
Adrian.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:03 pm
Posts: 3
Ade Webb wrote:
Hi Mick.
My opinion, for what it's worth, would be to keep it original.
As long as the gun is safe to shoot it would be a shame to lose all those years of patina. It would be like deleting it's history if it were to be refinished.
Regards,
Adrian.


Thanks Adrian,
I have decided to keep it original and just shoot it when I get it home
to Tucson.

Mick


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:46 am
Posts: 7
I believe that from what I've read the serial number given would make it a 1938???
Kirk


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:15 am 
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Posts: 2950
Location: Missouri
kirkp wrote:
I believe that from what I've read the serial number given would make it a 1938???
Kirk


Hello Kirk, and welcome.

1938 would be correct for a 16 gauge, but the gun in question is a 12 so 1928 it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:03 pm
Posts: 3
I put about 20 rounds through it last wed. at the range. Shoots like a new gun. I cleaned it and put a little lube on the magazine tube before shooting. Not a single failure and very nice recoil.
I also have a 1953 "pretty" version of the same gun which shoots well but kicks just a little more
than this one.
I cleaned it and put it away in my safe. I'm keeping it just like it is!

Thanks,
Mick


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:12 pm
Posts: 1
I have a 12 gauge "FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BEGIQUE" shotgun with a "MODIFIED 12 SPECIAL STEEL....... 1Kg 065." barrel. The serial number is "137411"

During a Goggle search I came upon a series of exchanges that lead me to believe that you may have some interest in this shotgun. If so, please respond.

Sincerely, EB Olson


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 Post subject: Re: Timeline for the Browning Auto 5 1903 – 1940
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 2950
Location: Missouri
I’ve just become aware that Martin’s drawings are missing. Fortunately, I copied them. I can’t insert them where they belong, but here they are.

Image

Image

Image

Image




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