SOLD FOR: $1255
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5
Serial Number: 328467
Year of Manufacture: 1951 C&R
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 3/4″ Shells
Action Type: Recoil Operated, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left shoulder of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS MO”. The left side of the barrel is marked “* SPECIAL STEEL-12 GAUGE-SHELLS 2 3/4”” and with a series of Belgian proofs and an inspector’s mark. The right of the barrel is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”. The left side of the barrel attachment bracket is marked with the serial number and the right side a series of factory markings. The bottom of the barrel is marked “18.4”, an inspector’s mark, “18.3”, and a proof mark. The extended metal of the barrel that goes into the receiver is marked “8 / 467” and with an inspector’s mark and two proof marks. The left of the receiver is marked with a circled “R” and “BROWNING” above a bust portrait of Browning. The right side of the bolt and the receiver are marked with belgian proofs, the bolt is also marked “467”. The bottom of the receiver in front of the loading port is marked “FN” in an oval over “328467”. The sides of the receiver, trigger guard, and tangs have decorative scroll engraving. The underside of the forearm is marked “328111”.
Barrel Length: 29.5”
Choke: Full, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a brass bead fixed atop the rib. The top of the rib is checkered and the top of the receiver has wavy serrations to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut with a high gloss finish with a pistol grip, finger grooves running the length of the forend, fluted straight comb, and a brown ventilated recoil pad. The wood shows just a few scattered light compressions and small spots of light finish wear. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures approximately 14 1/2” and 13 1/8” from the front of the trigger to the rear of the recoil and wood, respectively. The pad has hardened with age and shows splits and light material loss at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in about Fine-Plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is light thinning at all leading edges. There are some very faint hairline scratches on the receiver. There are a few spots of light finish loss on the bottom of the receiver. There is light operational wear on the bolt. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Fine-Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a magazine cutoff on the left front of the receiver, a safety at the front 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: This is an iconic Browning Auto 5 from Fabrique Nationale, manufactured in 1951. With approximately 97% of its original fish remaining, this shotgun rates in about Fine-Plus condition and is truly a hot piece. In its current condition, it would certainly make for a practical home defense shotgun, but why risk putting rounds through this beautiful collectable? One would and should be quick to add this to a vintage Browning Collection. Please see our photos and good luck!