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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:34 am 
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Okay, after reading through this very informative thread, I think I have almost nailed down my new (to me) Auto 5 16g a, as a Post-58 Standard Sixteen. Unfortunately, the first character of the serial number seems either worn or lightly stamped, and I can't decide if it's a 9 (made in 59) or maybe an 8 (made in 58). It's ?R 352XX.

I do wish the Browning site made a little more effort to explain the various letter codes for these years, and I'd very much like to thank those who have posted answers to others in this thread that shed light on the subject.

I'm going to try to add a pic, and I'd appreciate opinions, as I'm sure some of you have looked at far more of these stampings than I ever will.

Image

Thanks in advance.




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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:20 am 
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I am no expert, but it seems to me I read somewhere that FN either did not keep careful records, which seems not in keeping with the attention to detail in FN's manufacturing, or they lost them in subsequent corporate transitions, which is also odd. It would be good if the people who care for the records today and who know the history to put all in writing and so on.

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Last edited by BobBill on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Looked like a "9" to me. But I went and looked at my collection anyway--only one "8" out of seven Auto-5s--and you definitely have a 1959 gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:24 pm 
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Rudolph31 wrote:
Looked like a "9" to me. But I went and looked at my collection anyway--only one "8" out of seven Auto-5s--and you definitely have a 1959 gun.


Excellent. Thank you very much, sir.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:16 pm 
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I have been a "Humpback" guy since I got for Christmas a "Sweet 16" in the late 50's. To fill out my collection, I've picked up (used) a light twelve and a 20 ga "Sportsman". I"m trying to figure out where my LT was made and where it was made. It has a Japanese barrel but a friend looked at the serial number and said he thought the gun was Belgian. It has a five-digit serial which I find confusing when I look at the Browning "date your gun" site. The number is 32859. I don't care about its value, to me it's priceless. Can anyone help me out, please? Also, for deer hunting, is there a rifled barrel that will fit it? Thanks and Happy New Year!


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:24 pm 
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If I had to venture a guess, I'd say your light twelve was made in 1909. Don't think they mss any distinctions between standard and lightweight until 1953.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:11 am 
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Thanks, I'm not sure which reply refers to my post. The picture of the 1959 gun made me look more closely at my LT. There is an "L" above the numbers stamped on the underside of the receiver. I guess that means the serial number is "L32859". I'm still confused about the date and location of manufacture. As I said before, to me, the gun is priceless.

Thank you all for your replies.

Philgrannan


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:15 am 
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Philgranan,
The 'L' changes things a bit. L32859 would be a lightweight 12 in made in 1954 in Belgium by FN.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Thank you very much. I guess the Japanese modified-choke barrel is a later addition.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:06 pm 
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I just got a browning a5 20ga from my late grandfather. My dad said he dated it back to 1972. I myself think thats wrong, any webpage on dating i cant find it. Serial is 72z6891x ... that was under the receiver. the receiver and barrel say made in belguim.. pls help me out


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Your Dad's right! The 20 gauge is the easiest Auto-5 to date since it's stamped into the receiver. The "Z" means it's a 20. The "72" is the year. Together they make a prefix to your gun's serial number. From 1958 (the year of introduction for the 20ga.) through '67' a single digit was used for the date.

You probably went to the Browning website. Don't do that again, data is for the 12 gauge only and even that is confusing. Go here instead:

http://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/s ... acture.pdf

Enjoy your A5!


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:14 pm 
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I have a Browning semi-auto 22 with a wheel sight. Is there any way to get a more accurate date of manufacture than the range the site referenced provides? My rifle has the wheel sight and the magazine tube has the loop handle so it is probably early in the range.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:07 pm 
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I assume your rifle is from 1956-61. If so, you might call the Browning historian. The number is given somewhere on this site.

Also, my advice not to look at the Browning website is for the Auto-5 only. They MAY have done a a better job on guns put into production more recently.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Brand new to this forum but could really use some help dating my 12 gauge 2 3/4 Auto-5 that was passed down through my family from my Great-Grandfather who died some 30 years ago. The problem is, my Auto-5 has absolutely NO serial number on the bottom of the receiver in front of the load port. All it has in that location is a small FN with a circle around it. The receiver has browning markings on the left side. Both of my barrels have browning markings on the left side and small text "made in belgium" on the right. The number 0016 appears on the bolt. Their are some numbers on the barrels that I dont have in front of my but I didnt figure they mattered. They only number of consequence I can find is 188515 burned into the inside of the fore-stock.

I also have a 1951 winchester model 70 and a 1918 winchester model 90 that both belonged to my Great Grandfather. When I get more time I will put some pictures up.

Does anyone have a clue as to where I should be finding the serial number on this? Is the number on the fore-stock relevant?

thanks for your time.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:17 pm 
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double post


Last edited by Krullux on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:49 am 
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Location: Missouri
188515 is the serial number of a 1935 gun. It should also appear on the barrel ring and buttstock. The last 3-4 numbers of the serial number should be marked on the bolt, barrel extension, and carrier screws. I have observed the number on the trigger plate but don't know if that was standard practice.

The fact that your bolt has a different number probably means that either it or your forearm has been replaced. A-5 forearms tend to crack so it is probably the new part. Check the other places and you'll come up with the serial number.

The stock needs to be removed to see the number. It's easy to do--one screw, but this site has an excellent Auto-5 disassembly thread if you need assistance.

Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:57 am 
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Thanks for the help rudolph. I was able find the serial # based on your advice by disassembling the gun further. It was on both the inside of the aft stock and the arms of the receiver that extend into the stock. Last 4 digits were also on the longer screws as well as the bolt. The # was 180016 which apparently makes a 1935 gun. Only the forestock had a diff # of 188515. So my best guess is that the original came cracked or cracked soon after purchase. The symbols on the barrels (modified and full) were mostly incomprehensible to me.

The gun still shoots good as I used it to kill quite a few birds this last year. Funny how my buddies are sore shooting their brand new pumps but my ancient auto-5 is like baby kisses. I'm probably going to retire it though as the stock has very serious cracks. Working on those now. Need to figure what compound would best to put on the entire gun as a long term preservative. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:03 pm 
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You're very welcome. 180016 is a 1931 gun, according to the above cited website. You seem to have the only double barreled Auto-5 extant. Are they O/U or SxS?

Seriously, the number is on the barrel ring so you can determine which is the original. The choke is marked by "*". *=FULL, **=MOD, ***=CYL, **_=IMP CYL, **$=SKEET.

The other markings are Belgian proofs, date code, inspector mark, barrel weight, chamber dimensions, etc. There is a truly EXCELLENT explanation of the marks on this site, look here:

viewtopic.php?t=216472

I use Gorilla Glue to repair minor cracks. SERIOUS gunsmithing is above my pay grade, but this site has a wealth of information there also. Many use Art's Gunshop for restorations. He and his sons do amazing work. I've spent hours learning from his videos, available here:

http://artsgunshop.com

One last thing I should have mentioned BEFORE you took you gun apart. You must use very thin, hollow ground screwdrivers or you will ruin your screw heads. Hope this warning wasn't too late.

Enjoy your Auto-5 and let us know of your progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Thank you Rudolph31. I will give them a call. I too think it is 56-61 but couldn't find the breakdown on any of the tables.


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 Post subject: Re: Find your Browning manufacture date
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:44 pm 
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I have all of mine figured out but one number. It is a Trap model man. in 1983 but has the code "143" instead of J43 or T43.I can't find a "143" anywhere. Any thoughts?



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