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 Post subject: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Hello everyone,
I lately acquired these 3 very early Auto-5, complete with matching serial number.
Image

In addition, it is interesting that the serial numbers a very close. I believe they were made the same week may be the same day.
Image

But the most interesting is the following. The two first specimen have a notch at the top of the ejection window. The third one has none. Is it a defect into the manufacturing process? Does any one have a hypothesis?
Image

Here is a close up of the notch.
Image




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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:42 am 
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Location: Missouri
Gibier,

Congratulations on your find. You have quite a collection.

I have a hypothesis, and you're not going to like it. It looks to me that the receivers were damaged by the operating handle when the bolt slammed home either with the barrel off or too far forward. The barrel can be too far forward if the magazine cap isn't tight or if the forearm channel is worn.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:42 am 
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Gibier wrote:
Hello everyone,
I lately acquired these 3 very early Auto-5, complete with matching serial number.
Image


Goodness, the notches are interesting. The fact that you acquired three very early A5s at once is stunning. Congratulations!
Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 442
Location: North Carolina
I agree with Rudolf.

The notch is consistent with having been made by impact with the bolt handle.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Thank you all,
Rudolph I would agree with you. Your hypothesis seem credible. 112 years of slamming will make is way into the receiver.
I would like to propose an other challenge to all. On the serial 8778 we can see marking on both side of the buttstock.
This side as the name of the hunted ducks in Canada with the last inscription being the number 12.729
Image

The other side has a list of consecutive number going from 8 to 20. Beside that list, there is an another column of number expressed in decimal. I don't completely understand what this is all about, but after studying these number it appears that some of them e.g. 8,10,12,16 and 20 the decimals correspond to the inside diameter of the barrel for these caliber. Why would anyone write this on a gun stock? I can't find an explanation for the other number in the list. Any ideas?
Image

And finally, the friction ring has nothing to do with the original one. I am not certain that it works as a friction ring. Why would someone go to the trouble to fabricate this nice ring instead of buying the real functional one?
Image


Last edited by Gibier on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Well the 12 .729 is the gauge and bore size of a 12ga.

On the other side is the guages and bore sizes for those guages... I'm sure someone here will know why, but if I were to make a guess it would be as some sort of a guide for training purposes? Not sure why someone would want the bore sizes stamped in their stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:03 pm
Posts: 1174
Location: DFW, TEXAS
Metal is strongest where it has a crease or an angle, like on a car's hood. These two receivers have a crease/angle where the notch is. Metal normally cracks when pounded from an edge, and will crack in the direction of the pounding, if no other flaw redirects the crack.

Notice the notches have radiused corners and a smooth flat edge. They were machined into the reciever, perhaps as a "just in case" the bolt handle came too far forward if the barrel wasn't screwed down correctly.

There is a picture of this notch on Pg 207 of the Shirley/Vanderlinden A-5 book; it was the only photo I saw that showed the notch and it was an early A-5 gun, serial #7312.

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
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Location: East Mountains, NM
I must have a different edition, but gun #7312 shows up on page 61.

Perhaps the notch was an early feature to assure the bolt would go fully into battery, and was found to be unnecessary? Also, a small notch in that location where the receiver walls are thin would be a dandy place for a crack to form.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Interesting. Maybe the receivers didn't crack because "Cockerill Steel" was soft. Or maybe they did crack and the cracks were dressed out with a file. The picture (on page 61 in my book also) shows a similar notch, but it's the only notch in the whole book. If it was an early feature, I think we'd find it on more guns. It's possible theses notches are how Browning found out about the problem of letting the bolt slam shut with the barrel off, and why they caution against it in the owners manual.

The data on the stock looks like some sort of training aid. Maybe even some crib notes put there by a student gunsmith!


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:56 pm 
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I love this website.

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:43 pm 
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NoDak Scotty wrote:
I love this website.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Hello everyone,
This discussion is becoming very educational. I have made a couple close-up of the operating handle and it seem to me that there is two factors that point towards a factory made notch instead of degradation caused by slamming.
The first one being the fact that the notch is wider than the "stem" that hold the handle.
Image

The second, if you look closely where the "stem" ( I don't how to call that part that hold the handle into the bolt) would hit the receiver, it appear pretty clean.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:55 pm 
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Nicely done, wish my pcs were that clear and focused.

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:22 pm 
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If those notches are factory, I'll have to change my opinion of FN craftsmanship. I'd like to see the same shots taken with the barrels removed.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:56 am
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Are the three ejection ports the same length? Were these guns owned by an institution or government agency?


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 10:00 am
Posts: 950
Location: South Dakota
None of my three first year guns are notched. I would have called them bubba notches but the picture of the notched 7312 gun in S/V seems very clean and confirms another A5 secret is exposed. I wonder if Martin has any info on this variation.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Hello everyone,
I am not a gunsmith neither a machinist and I don't know the quality of machining people were able to achieve in 1904?
I measured the length of the ejection window of the three gun and it range from 68.33mm to 68.59mm. The gun were bought from three different persons within 2 month. Here are similar shot without the barrels

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:48 pm 
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The notches look much cleaner in these shots. Could you please post two more with the barrels off and the bolts forward? I want to see how the operating handle mates with the notches.


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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:03 pm
Posts: 1174
Location: DFW, TEXAS
Would a 2 9/16 chamber converted to a 2 3/4 chamber need a notch?

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 Post subject: Re: Very early Auto-5 mystery notch
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
I've never seen a notch on a conversion. Martin's Timeline thread has some interesting comments on the 1903 and what he calls the 1904-A variant. Given the safety and lack of magazine cutoff, these guns are in that range. The length of the ejection port seems to indicate these were FN non-export guns chambered in 2 9/16" He does reference gun 7312 but nothing about the notch.

Could it be that in machining the ejection port, this was an operation that was done for 2 3/4" (70mm) guns? You had a bunch of receivers made to 65mm, but if you needed to produce more 70mm guns for export, just mill out the port until it was flush with the notch? What is the port length including the notch?




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