SOLD FOR: $10525
Make: Fabrique Nationale
Model: Auto 5, A5
Serial Number: 50038
Year of Manufacture: 1926
Gauge: 16 Gauge, 2 1/2″ Shells
Action Type: Semi-Automatic Shotgun
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “FABRIQUE NATIONALE D’ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE / BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE”. The right side of the receiver and the bolt are marked with several Belgian proof marks. The bolt is also marked with the last three digits of the serial number. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number. On the 27 1/2? barrel the barrel lug is marked with the serial number, the left side of the barrel is marked “FC ACIER SPECIAL” and with a series of Belgian proof marks, the bottom of the barrel has inspection marks, the top of the barrel extension has Belgian proof marks. The Cutts Compensator barrel on the left side is marked “C ACIER SPECIAL” and with a series of Belgian proof marks, the bottom of the barrel has inspection marks, the top of the barrel extension has Belgian proof marks, the bottom of the barrel extension is marked with the last three digits of the serial number, the barrel lug is marked with the serial number. The stock mounting screw has the last three digits of the serial number on its shank. The bottom tang is marked with the serial number on the right. The bottom tang inlet of the buttstock is marked with the serial number. The receiver has Grade 4 Type F engraving inlaid with gold with motif on the barrels at the rear.
Barrel Length: Each barrel has a solid rib. One barrel is 27 1/2″. The other barrel measures 26″ to the front of the installed Lyman choke, 25 1/4″ to the front of the Cutts Compensator and 22″ to the front of the barrel, proper.
Choke: The 27 1/2″ barrel is fixed Full. The other barrel has a Cutts Compensator threaded for Lyman chokes with a Lyman Spreader choke installed.
Sights / Optics: The 27 1/2? barrel has a silver colored bead mounted to the front of the rib. The Cutts Compensator has a brass bead at the front. Each rib is checkered for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered select walnut. The beavertail forend has finger grooves along the top on each side. We suspect that the forend is an after-market replacement, but the grain, color and checkering matches the buttstock quite well. The buttstock has a capped pistol grip, straight comb, black hard rubber FN Browning Automatics buttplate and teardrop carving at the front of the wrist on each side. There is a small filled hole in the belly, possibly from a previous sling stud. The forend has a small chip-loss on the inside at the right-rear. Otherwise, there are only a few minor nicks and handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has minor wear. Overall, the stocks are in Fine-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Gold
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore are both bright. There is no erosion in either bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. Each barrel has minor wear from the forend, mostly concealed when the gun is assembled and a few minor nicks and handling marks. There is some light scuffing and minor scratching on the receiver, most along the top. There is some thinning of the finish on the magazine disconnect assembly. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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:
-Browning faux-leather hard-sided luggage case fit for the gun and both barrels.
-An email from Jim Sloger of Cabelas discussing the FN factory records related to this shotgun by serial number.
Our Assessment: Browning Auto-5s are cool. Grade 4 Pre-War Auto-5s are even cooler. This set is just a little bit cooler than that. This is a Fabrique Nationale Auto-5 which was made in 1926 for the European market, which is why the only mention of Browning on the gun is the patent (depose) marking. We also have a little bit of information on this gun from the FN factory records which was provided by Jim Sloger of Cabelas. The gun was received in their warehouse on December 1, 1926 and sold December 13, 1926 to Schroeder Liege, a distributor for FN. Schroeder’s records were turned over to FN when they went out of business, so we also know that the gun was sold to Janssen Freres (Brothers) in Liege on December 14, 1926. The beautiful set includes a 27 1/2″ Full Choke barrel and a shorter barrel which is equipped with a Cutts Compensator threaded for Lyman chokes. Both barrels have a solid rib, and the fit and finish of the second rib strongly indicates that the Cutts Compensator was added at the factory. This is just a gorgeous gun with a neat history and a nice case included. Please see our photos and good luck!