SOLD FOR: $1025
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 Light Twelve
Serial Number: 354241
Year of Manufacture: 1951 (delta date code)
Gauge: 12 gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS Mo. / * SPECIAL STEEL – 12 GA. – SHELLS 2 3/4″” and with a series of Belgian proof marks including the greek “delta” character date code. The right side of the barrel is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”. The bottom of the barrel has a series of proof and inspection marks. The left of the barrel lug is marked “354241”. The top of the barrel extension is marked “4 / 241” and with Belgian proofs. The inside of the forend is marked “354241”. The left side of the receiver is marked “Light Twelve / ® / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the bottom-front is marked with “FN” in oval and “354241”. The right of the bottom tang and the bottom of the wrist in the bottom tang inlet are each marked “354241”. The receiver, tangs and trigger guard have tasteful Grade I engraving.
Barrel Length: 29 1/2″
Choke: Fixed Full
Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead on a base at the front of the barrel .There are two lines of fine checkering along the top of the barrel and there is checkering along the top of the receiver for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, black horn FN Browning Automatic buttplate, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have a few scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are a couple of short cracks at the rear of the top tang. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips. The LOP measures 14 3/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered minor wear, mostly at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 90% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The barrel’s finish is generally strong with a few minor marks and light operational wear. The receiver has some scattered minor finish wear, a scrape on the left at the top-rear and a few other light marks. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good-Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a magazine cutoff on the left front of the receiver, a safety at the rear of the trigger guard and a bolt release on the right side of the receiver. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Browning Automatic 5, most often Auto-5 or simply A-5, is a recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun designed by John Browning. The Browning Auto-5 was the first mass-produced semi-automatic shotgun. Designed by John Browning in 1898 and patented in 1900, it was produced continually for almost 100 years by several makers with production ending in 1998. It features a distinctive high rear end, earning it the nickname “Humpback”. Browning presented his design to Winchester, where he had sold his rifle designs, but they refused his terms. He then went to Remington, but the president of the company died while he was waiting to offer them the gun. Browning then took the gun to FN in Europe and was so confident of his design that his first order was for 10,000 shotguns. The design was later licensed to Remington for their Model 11 and to Savage Arms for their Models 720 and 755. This Auto-5 is a lightweight model which was built by FN in 1951 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is chambered for 12 GA. 2 ¾” shells and has a 29 1/2″ barrel choked Full. The gun appears to have been well cared for, in Very Good-Fine condition. This should still make for a great hunting gun for the lucky winner but would also make a nice addition for collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!