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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
come spring i plan on joining some of the leagues at the local clubs and the begin shooting competitively. i shoot a Belgian Browning A5, and have no desire to use anything else. i've tried other shotguns, including the high end trap models that cost more then my car, but none of them feel as right or swing as smooth as the old humpback. as i've mentioned before, i lucked out big time, i bought it off the used rack and it fits like a glove. what i want to know is if there where ever trap and skeet models made? also i see trap shooters using single shots almost exclusively, does this mean that single loading a semi is not allowed? also are there any mods that can be done to the Auto 5 to improve it for this role? it has a full choked barrel now which will be saved for trap, and i'll watch gunshows for a more open choked barrel for skeet.
 

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Kevin.303,

I own both Belgian & Japanese A5s. Love John Browning's mechanical genius.

I've shot plenty of trap with my A5s & it smashed clays to powder when I do my part.

For skeet, I would suggest getting a 26" barrel with invector choke. I know they're not cheap. I've seen them for $300US, but I think it's a worthwhile investment if you're dedicated to shooting the A5.

If (a big "IF") you ever decide to sell your A5 & the extra barrel, you will get every bit of what you paid for them + a big smile of enjoyment that can not be bought. :)
 

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Single loading a semi-auto is not only allowed, it is mandatory unless you are shooting doubles. NEVER put more than one in the pipe when shooting singles. You really don't see many A-5s on the Trap or Skeet ranges, but that in now way should discourage you from using yours. Most Trap shooters prefer a gun that shoots a pattern a bit higher than a field A-5 typicaly does. But, that doesn't mean you won't shoot it well anyway. I agree about getting a second barrel for Skeet. If you can't find one with choke tubes, one with either Cyl or IC will work nicely. If you can find a deal on a used Full that was a 30 or even 28" that you could cut the choke end of the barrel off right at a rib post that would make you a very good Skeet barrel too. There are indeed a few arround. Some folks shot Steel in the old barrels and bulged or juged the choke on them. Just get out your trusty hacksaw and a file and have at it. Put a new bead on the end of the barrel, maybe, maybe not. You got yourself a cheap Skeet barrel! A-5s are a Love, Hate kind of thing. Not much inbetween!

BP
 

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Old A5's are indeed a love/hate kind of thing. Although they were the first commercially successful autoloading shotgun, and many were well built, I've never cared for their humpbacked design.

I believe there were factory skeet grade A5s made, but I am not aware of any factory trap grade A5s. Hopefully, a Browning expert will come along and provide more detailed information.

As noted, you will need different chokes (or barrels) to shoot both trap and skeet with the same gun. However, the A5's combination of low comb and tall receiver will make it difficult to maintain the "heads-down" position common to trapshooting. In addition, I've found that A5s tend to eject their empties straight out - and into the shooter next to you. This can be a nuisance, distraction, and perhaps even a violation of rules for a competition match (disruptive behavior, etc.). Be sure to fit your automatic with some sort of shell catcher to "housebreak" the gun.
 

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Keven,I have seriously considered doing this myself but for Sporting Clays,I have reached Master class and now find it hard to compete against the paid pro's.So to get the fun back I have considered shooting the A-5 specifically a 32" barreled model my friend has.As far as versatility I would have Briley in Houston Texas thread the barrels for screw in chokes (they may have to go with thin wall chokes) put a good recoil pad on it and have at it,..........by the way not many shooters know this but the very first National Sporting Clays Championship was won with an A-5.
 

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WinM12 said:
I believe there were factory skeet grade A5s made, but I am not aware of any factory trap grade A5s. Hopefully, a Browning expert will come along and provide more detailed information.
I am not a Browning expert :wink: but, I recall from the dim past (prior to the mid 1970's) that the Browning catalogue used to list the availabilty of a "trap" A5.

I have never seen one in photograph or "real life" and assume they must not have been very common. I assume they would have looked like a standard 30" A5 but with a straighter stock; as I recall, Browning was not really into montecarlo trap stocks in a general way until the mid-1970's.

I used to shoot some "passable" skeet, for a "trap guy", with an A5 but I do not shoot trap well with them due to the field dimensions and grip radius not suiting me for trap. This includes the 12g 3" Mag I used as a single shot with target loads, playing around about 25 years ago.

All I can suggest, is try it and see, it may work for you. As for shell catchers, the Birchwood Casey (much like the old Petersen) may fit and work on the A5.
 

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You may not need a shell catcher for your auto-5 when shooting trap. On my Mag 12 I set it up for heavy loads and use light loads. Just pull the bolt handle back to eject the fired shell and load the next thru the speed load.

I agree with the others that having a 26" or 28" barrel with tubes would be good. If you like the gun and shoot it well, it will be a good choice for any clay game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i have been using it with the rings on the heavy setting, want to try rolling my own shotshells and didn't want to chase them around.i plan on collecting a complete set of different choked barrels, and someday will splurge and spend the $500 on a new invector choked barrel. i've only ever shot trap once, scored 21, but did a lot of 5 stand with it since i bought it in july till mid october. the full choke makes anything other then a straight away, or head on shot difficult. i love my A5, plan to buy a lot more, it's one of my CDH guns. will just have to get out and practice, maybe buy a small mechanical thrower and practice before the season starts.
 

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I read somewhere years ago that the Remington M11 and Browning A5 were immediate hits with skeet shooters when first introduced, allegedly because they shot a little low, which was beneficial on falling targets.

There may be something to that report. I have a M11 "Sportsman Skeet" model that left the Remington factory in 1938. I shoot skeet with it as well (i.e., not that well) as with any other gun, but can't hit trap with it.
 

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texnekkid:
You might try to add a little moleskin to the comb to see if that helps. Do you know where it shoots? I bet that your other gun shoots a tad high, and that is the difference.

I have a Rem. M 11 and Browning A 5 and I hunt with them very little these days as I prefer to hunt and shoot targets with lighter recoiling guns like my Beretta 390 and 391.
 

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Thanks for the good advice Astomb, but I didn't mean to imply I was still trying to shoot trap with my M11. In my younger days, it was the only "nice" shotgun I owned and I used it for skeet and my first round of SC. The last time I shot it, however, was a couple of years ago to take a turkey.

For casual clay sports these days, I mostly use a Beretta 686E Sporting with an adjustable comb, a gun that works as well as the M11 for skeet and SC and better for trap. I still miss plenty, but look better doing it. :lol: You are of course right about the differences in POI; the M11 shoots very slightly low and the Beretta (as currently adjusted) about 60/40.
 

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I shot my first 25 on skeet with a Belgium made A5 mounted with a 26 inch Belgium-made skeet (stamped *$) barrel I bought on ebay about 2 years ago. I paid about $360 US to the seller in Canada. I don't know for certain, but I think these fixed choke Belgian skeet barrels are very rare today. I also have a Japanese Stalker "Light Twelve" model chambered at 2 3/4". My club members call it The Getto Blaster because of the synthetic stock looks kind of sinister. Nonetheless, my teammate and I came in first in the skeet league last year. I bought it on Guns America without a barrel. And then I purchased a new Invector Plus barrel from Mid West Gun Works, Festus, MO., for about $320. Reloading for these A5's can be a challange, although if you stick to 1 1/8 oz you should not have a problem. 1 oz loads using STS Remington hull, Remington 209 primer, Remington TGT12 wad and I believe 18.5 grains of e3 produce about 10000 psi. These should work with a minimum amount of light grease on the mag tube and the gun set "Heavy Load". 7/8 oz (International) loads also work, but you have to experiment with higher pressure, high velocity (1300 f/s min) with the gun set light with heavy grease on the mag tube. One thing is you never want to set the gun up for light load when shooting heavy loads. The gun will beat itself to the point you begin to do serious and expensive damage to it. As a rule of thumb, set the gun "heavy" enough so that it just barely cycles. I loved to shoot it at the time, and I learned a great deal about skeet shooting and particularly reloading. But in the end, picking up all those hulls became a nuisance to me and the other club members. I switched to a Beretta ASE 90 O/U and will never look back.
 
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