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I am new to the forum and I was hoping someone could help me find some information about a Browning Auto-5 I inherited from my grandfather. The serial number is 4V 5xxxx. I think that the 4V means the shotgun was maufactured in 1964 and it is a magnum. Does this seem right? Also, do the next five digits have any meaning?
I am also concerned about if there is anything I should be concerned with while shooting. It is not ejecting shells and I am not sure if this is because it needs cleaned and oiled or if there is a problem that might make it unsafe to fire. Overall, it is a beautiful shotgun that appears in excellent condition. Any suggestions on shell size or tips on operation of this shotgun would be greatly appreciated. My grandfather is not around to help out with the questions so I am at this alone! :D
 

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You've got the year and magnum right. The other numbers are just the ID number the factory uses to keep records of the original configuration of the gun.

Your instinct on needing cleaned (thoroughly) and oiled (lightly) are also correct.

If you do not have the manual for the gun you can download one at the Browning site ( http://www.browning.com/products/manuals/index.htm ). That is your first best option for finding the correct diet for your A-5.
 

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I have never read anything that would indicate the A5 is prone to not ejecting spent shells. I have two A5s and they have never missed a beat. One is a 1962 that I acquired last year from an 80 year old first owner who told me the gun had never malfunctioned and had never seen the inside of a gunsmith's shop!

If, as Marlands has suggested, after a through cleaning, visual inspection and light oiling it continues, take it to a local 'smith for prognosis.

Because it belonged to your grandfather, I'm sure you will want to make sure it remains in good order.

Drop a note to let us know what the outcome is.

Good luck.
 

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The first question to ask is, "Are you using 3" Magnum ammunition?" That is what the gun was designed to be shot with and the ONLY ammunition that is likely to function reliably in the gun.
 

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You will want to visit the following web site:

http://www.browning.com/faq/detail.asp?ID=105

It shows how the spring and friction rings can be set up for various types of loads. Perhaps your ejection problem is due to not being clean, but perhaps it is due to the recoil system being set up for heavier loads than you are using. While I don't own an A5, I own a Franchi 48AL that features a very similar (if not identical) operating system.

From the instructions on the above website, it appears that the A5 can be set up to handle a wide variety of loads. In addition to the different setups moving the friction rings and spring around, Browning sells a lighter spring to allow use of 2 3/4" shells in a 3" magnum gun, I believe.
 

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Farmplinker,

That is an excellent link that you have given. Anyone with an A-5 Browning should print out a copy of that page and keep it and refer to it often whenever changing loads. It shows that the 3" magnum can be successfully operated with SOME 2 3/4" loads provided the friction rings and pieces are arranged EXACTLY as shown in the sketch. Anything different from that will result in the gun not cycling or the gun taking unnecessary pounding from the recoil.

A quick review of this link page will show us why the newer gas operated shotguns with a compensating gas system are superior to the recoil operated guns. With the recoil operated guns, almost any change in load intensity requires a change in the settings of the rings and friction pieces. With the compensated gas operated guns, you just insert any 2 3/4" or 3" shell and the compensation system takes care of the rest. There are no parts to lose or misplace or rearrange with the gas compensated guns. There are a few minor exceptions to what I've said in this paragraph, but for the most part, these statements are correct.
 

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You should be aware that "The Magnum shotguns have five rings, and only one setting. Starting from the recoil spring and going foward, the array is: steel bevel ring with the bevel forward, bronze friction ring, steel bevel ring with the bevel back, steel bevel ring with the bevel forward, and bronze friction ring. The two bronze rings are squeezed by the bevels to grip the magazine tube tighter. The A5 Magnum is different from the standard guns in more than just the friction rings. The barrel differs in the chamber, barrel extension, ejector and the distance from the barrel extension to the barrel hanger. The forearm is longer, to accommodate the longer stroke of the Magnum barrel. The recoil spring on Magnum guns is much heavier than the on on standard guns. On the Magnum shotguns there is only one setting. Even taking out some friction rings you might not get a Magnum gun to cycle with standard loads. You cannot switch barrels between standard and Magnum guns."

Information from Pat Sweeney, GUNSMITHING: SHOTGUNS. If you have a Browning A5 you want to own this book.
 
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Sweeney was right. I just returned from a trip to Saskatchewan where I watched factory 3" steel shot loads occasionally hang up in my father's beloved 1966 auto 5 magnum. The friction rings were set up for steel shot loads as recommended by the Browing website FAQ. The problem went away after my father cleaned and lightly oiled his magazine tube's exterior (which I thought was already quite clean). Since I am going to inherit this fine shotgun I am curious to know if others have found the auto5 mag so finicky.
 

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If anything, the Browning A5, be it magnum or other, has long had a reputation of NOT being 'finicky' at all. A real workhorse. Of course, any semi-auto needs to be properly cleaned and reasonably cared for. In addition, as with any gun, one should know what can and cannot be shot out of it. And how to properly adjust it for different fodder.

Don't want to clean you shotgun periodicaly? Get a double barrel--not a semi-automatic.
 
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I have an A-5 Light Twelve and they are wonderful guns. Mine is a 54 that I purchased from the original owner in near perfect condition. I do know that these shotguns need the proper ammo. The light can not use heavy loads due to the way the barrle pushes back to eject/load another shell. I'm pretty sure that the Magnum's need to use a heavier shell 1 1/2oz-2 3/4" or 3" shells so that the barrle pushes back enough to eject the shell properly. If you go to Brownings website you can download a manual that might help you.
 

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I have a light 20 Auto5 that I use primarily for skeet using relatively light loads ( 7/8 oz # 9 shot & 15.8gr of Unique).

The gun functions perfectly with the ring set for light loads.

Thanks for posting the link. I have bookmarked it in my favorites file.

Rod. :)
 

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I've got a Browning A-5 Magnum also. First time I hunted with steel shot I had the same problem. Browning told me to re-set the friction rings and use a high quality gun oil on the magazine tube. This solved the problem but you need to experiment a little with the quanitiy of oil used.

Matt
 
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I've got an auto 5 mag and I'm wondering if I'll screw anything up shooting slugs out of it. I inherited it from my grandpa and I'm new to the gun world and dont want to screw anything up.

-Thanks
 
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I have a A5 light 12 buck special. I am having a problem with it ejecting the fired shell but not cycling the next shell in the magazine tube into the chamber. I was shooting what I thought to be a heavy load and had the rings in the heavy position. The accuracy of this gun with brenneke slugs is amazing and I don't want to switch. I have just swithced the rings and will fire the gun in the morning. Has anyone esle experienced this problem?
 
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