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 Post subject: FN A5?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:34 pm
Posts: 33
Hi guys,
Was at a gun store the other day and immediately my eyes zero'd in on a humpback sittin in a carousel rack. Looked at the tag and noticed something was definitely wrong. Marked as a "Sweet 16", it wasn't. No scroll work, no "Sweet 16" engraving. However, it did have the brass ring in front of the longer skinny forearm, the receiver was plain, only for the Fabrique National writing along the left hand side. The buttplate did say "FN", and I don't think the barrel is original. On the top of the plain barrel was marked "Browning Arms Ogden Utah". The one thing that caught my attention though was the "suicide safety", in the trigger guard. Made me think it was a much older gun. With a price tag of over $1100.00 I wasn't too keen on even thinking of purchasing the shotgun. Wasn't in the greatest of shape, not terrible though but, to my thinking, the barrel is mismatched to the gun. Which really brings the value down alot in my eyes. When talking to the counter person, I brought all this up, and he said, "well I can let it go for $800". I didn't even think to check the forearm for cracks. My thinking, with all that i perceived as being wrong, was, "thats why after 7 months it still sits there with no home". Am I wrong here guys? What am I missing? Unfortunately I compare everyone I come across to the one I have. 5 digit serial number, solid rib barrel, everything matches, no crack, no dents, no hits, not runs, no errors. And, I have a second barrel, japan of course, that is tubed. My "Sweet 16" looks fairly new. I have turned down quite a few offers that I thought at the time were ludicrous. Any info or thoughts would be appreciated...... thanks in advance....




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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Missouri
I don’t know why you don’t think it’s the original barrel. The Ogden address was used from 1923 until 1930ish. Receivers on field grade Auto-5’s imported by Browning were plain until 1938, and the FN address was on the receiver until about 1932. It’s a safe bet the gun was made in the 20’s.

Unless it’s pristine, $1100 is way too high. My last purchase was a 1934 16 for $300 “out the door”. And it’s important for you to know that pre-WWII Auto-5’s had short chambers. To shoot, you’ve got to buy very expensive ammo over the internet, or load your own.

Last, many short chambered guns were modified to shoot 2 3/4” ammunition. I avoid these like the plague. First, there’s no collector interest in a modified gun. And second, the quality of the work is always in doubt.


Last edited by Rudolph31 on Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:28 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:34 pm
Posts: 33
I appreciate the response Rudolph, and I didn't know about the dates you explain. Now I do. The only place it says "Browning" is on the barrel. Would there be any more places of reference to Browning? It really is kinda beat up a bit, so I think even at 800 its a bit high. Personally I think he overpaid for it and is trying to recoup his money. If it was 3-400 it would be in the safe already. I just love 16! I have 3. A 54 Sweet 16, an 1148 in 16, and a Nobel 140 pump with a "NobelChoke" that i got for free. When did they stop making the safety in the trigger guard if you don't mind me asking......thank you


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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:13 am 
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mywrangler94 wrote:
The one thing that caught my attention though was the "suicide safety", in the trigger guard.


It is a handier word to pronounce than "left-handed wobble-rod goggle valve" in english. The latin term would likely be more difficult. The more thoughtful firearm scholars have determined that no safety could possibly necessary for a proper suicide. Any safety, no matter how poorly designed, could only be deemed an unnecessary hindrance. I have no answer as to why they put a suicide watch on death row prisoners.

Actually, (far more seriously) it is my favorite A-5 safety, actually. On an A-5 (or M-11) it is sometimes referred to as a suicide safety, but on an M1 Garand it is a "Garand-type" safety. Both are just trigger-guard safeties.

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http://randywakeman.com/


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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Missouri
There were three types safeties on the Auto-5. If you’re going to call one a Suicide Safety, the one on the prototype, first year production Browning, and the Remington Model 11 until 1928 would be it. You needed to put your finger inside the trigger guard to engage it.

Image

The second type is in the front of the trigger guard, like the M1 and M14 rifles. You don’t have to put your finger inside the guard until you’re ready to shoot. And like Randy they are my favorite style, especially when gold plated. Used on Brownings 1904-1951, but never on Remingtons.

Image

Cross bolt safeties appeared on Brownings in 1951 and on Remingtons in 1928.


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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Missouri
mywrangler94 wrote:
The only place it says "Browning" is on the barrel. Would there be any more places of reference to Browning?


It says Browning on the barrel, and below the Fabrique Nationale address on the receiver it says “BROWNING’S PATENTS DEPOSE”. Also, until 1953 the serial number was on the barrel ring, so you can match the barrel that way.

Image

Image

“Browning” is a registered trademark of FN, and has been since before WWI. The Browning Arms Company and its later iterations is an importer of guns. It’s unique in that respect because they also generally designed the guns they imported.


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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:34 pm
Posts: 33
That is the safety it has Rudolph. I didn't know there were others......thank you. I am going to go there this weekend and see if the barrel number matches......I appreciate all you guys filling me in the "little things". Seems those things are the most important.......I'll let you know how things turn out......


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 Post subject: Re: FN A5?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Missouri
Well, good luck. And remember, it still sounds like a $300 gun. They’re not rare by any means. And, if it still has a short chamber, it’ll cost a fortune to shoot if you don’t load your own. Check out this thread to see if it has been converted:

https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewto ... 53&t=79647

You’ll find that it takes a lot of modifications to cycle the longer shells.




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