SOLD FOR: $1125
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Sweet Sixteen (Auto 5)
Serial Number: 54718
Year of Manufacture: 1956 (“?” Date Code)
Gauge: 16 gauge, 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 – 16 GAUGE – SHELLS 2 3/4?” and with a series of Belgian proof marks. The right side of the barrel is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”. The bottom of the barrel has a series of proof and inspection marks. The top of the barrel extension is marked with “X / 890” and a series of proof marks. The left side of the receiver is marked “Sweet Sixteen / ® / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the bottom-front is marked with the serial number under “S”. The receiver, tangs and trigger guard have tasteful Grade I engraving.
Barrel Length: 28?
Choke: Modified, Fixed
Sights/Optics: There is a silver-colored bead on a base at the front of the barrel. There is checkering along the top of the receiver and barrel for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, fluted straight comb, an FN Browning orange rubber recoil pad, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have several scattered minor nicks and compressions seen mainly on the bottom of the grip and the buttstock. The checkering well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/4? from the front of the trigger to the back of the pad. The pad has minor discoloration along with very minor balding at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-to-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. There is no erosion, but there is minor stubborn fouling scattered about.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 94% of its metal finish. There is light operational wear along the sides of the barrel along with moderate finish loss/operational wear at the end of the extension. The barrel has intermittent moderate nicks that go through the finish, mainly on the top. The receiver has a few minor nicks scattered about, but nothing too significant. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in 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, 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 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 “Sweet Sixteen” model which was built by FN in 1956 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is chambered for 16 GA. 2 3/4” shells and has a 28? barrel choked Modified. The gun appears to have been pretty well cared for, and as such is in Fine condition. Good luck and happy bidding!