SOLD FOR: $1225
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 Light Twelve
Serial Number: 70G45564
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Gauge: 12, chambered for 2 3/4” 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 left side of the receiver is marked “Light Twelve / ® / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the bottom-front is marked “70G / 45564”.
Barrel Length: 25 1/2? with Vented Barrel Rib
Choke: Modified, Fixed
Sights/Optics: There is a silver-colored bead on a base at the front of the barrel. The barrel rib is checkered and the receiver is serrated to better reduce glare.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a semi-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. The checkering is well-defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/2? 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 and there is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The receiver has minor thinning on some edges. The metal has taken on a very light plum hue. The barrel has a few minor nicks closer to the muzzle. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked all with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine-plus 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, and 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 1970 with simple but nice engraving. It is chambered for 12 GA. 2 3/4” shells and has a 25 1/2? barrel choked Modified. The gun appears to have been well cared for, in Fine-plus 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!