SOLD FOR: $2250
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 Light Twelve
Serial Number: 5G97426
Year of Manufacture: 1965 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 12 gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS Mo. & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM” with a series of Belgian proof marks. The right side of the barrel is marked “** SPECIAL STEEL-12 GAUGE-SHELLS 2 3/4″”. The bottom of the barrel has a series of proof and inspection marks. The left side of the receiver is marked “Light Twelve / ® / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the underside has the serial number. The receiver, tangs and trigger guard have tasteful Grade I engraving.
Barrel Length: 27 1/2″, Vent-Rib
Choke: Fixed Modified Choke
Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead at the front of the rib and a smaller silver-colored mid-bead. The top of the rib and receiver have checkering for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, black hard rubber FN Browning Automatic buttplate, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The forend has a couple of nicks at the bottom-rear on the left. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. 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 around the edges. Overall, the stocks are in Fine-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 98% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges, most notable on the edges of the rib. The action shows minor operational wear. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Excellent 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 1965 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is chambered for 12 GA. 2 ¾” shells and has a 27 1/2″ vent-rib barrel choked Modified. The gun appears to have had a very gentle life, in Excellent condition with signs of little, if any use. This should still make for a great hunting gun for the lucky winner but would also make a nice addition for collectors with its high condition. Please see our photos and good luck!