SOLD FOR: $1325
Make: Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 or (A5)
Serial Number: 70V63821
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Gauge: 12 gauge, chambered for 3” Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY MORGAN, ST. LOUIS Mo. & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM” with an assortment of specifications, a proof, and a date code. The right side of the barrel is marked “*SPECIAL STEEL-12 GAUGE-SHELLS-3?. The left side of the receiver is marked “Magnum / ® / 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: 30”, Vent-Rib
Choke: Full, Fixed
Sights/Optics: There is a brass bead at the front of the rib. The top of the rib is checkered and the top of the receiver is serrated to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with semi-pistol grip, brown ventilated recoil pad, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have just minor handling wear. The checkering is well-defined. There are no chips or cracks. The metal is just shy of the wood around the wrist. The LOP measures 14 from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad. The pad has light wear and has darkened with age; it remains supple. Overall, the stocks rate in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with no erosion. There are some faint streaks of fouling near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 91% of its metal finish. Most notably there is a cluster of light finish loss/scuffs on the right barrel shoulder near the receiver. Minor thinning can be seen on most edges. The scuff wear on the barrel is also present on the right side of the barrel. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about 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, 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, and was the first mass-produced semi-automatic shotgun. Designed by John Browning in 1898 and patented just two years later, it was produced continually for nigh on 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 units. The design was later licensed to Remington for their Model 11 and to Savage Arms for their Models 720 and 755. During WWII, production of the Auto-5 was moved to Remington alongside the Model 11 until FN could resume production after the war. This Auto-5 is a Magnum model which was built by FN in 1970 with engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is chambered for 12 GA. 3” shells and has a 30” vent rib barrel that is choked Full. This is a nice example of a post-war Auto-5, perfect for any Browning collection. Good luck and happy bidding!