SOLD FOR: $1225
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 or A5 Light Weight
Serial Number: 5G99711
Year of Manufacture: 1965 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 12 gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS Mo. & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM” with a series of Belgian proof marks. The right side of the barrel is marked “* SPECIAL STEEL-12 GAUGE-SHELLS 2 3/4″”. The left side of the receiver is marked “Light Twelve / ® / 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: 29 1/2″
Choke: Fixed Full Choke
Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead in a base at the front of the barrel. The top of the barrel has a strip of matting to reduce glare. The top of the receiver has a square groove for a sighting plane. The groove is serrated for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, ventilated brown rubber Pachmayr White Line recoil pad, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have minor handling wear with some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches, primarily on the left sides of the forend and buttstock. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 3/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered light wear, mostly around the edges. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. There is no erosion in the bore, but there is some stubborn fouling in the choked portion at the muzzle-end.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The balance is mostly in scattered light nicks and scratches on the barrel. There are a few other scattered minor marks and infrequent spots of minor surface oxidation. The action shows faint operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good-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 & 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”. It is also an important piece of Browning/Winchester history.
John Browning had previously sold his designs to Winchester for lump-sum payments, turning over all of the patents related to a particular model. Winchester had gotten in the habit of having their engineers and attorneys assist Browning in filing for his patents, in order to ensure that when they received those same patents they would be airtight. Browning’s experiences with Colt and FN had convinced him that he would be better off licensing his designs rather than selling them outright, but when he presented this to Winchester, they refused his terms. This ended the relationship between Winchester and Browning.
Browning would eventually license the design to FN in Europe and later to Remington for their Model 11 and to Savage Arms for their Models 720 and 755. These designs went on to be a great commercial success, the first truly successful autoloading shotgun. This Auto-5 was built by FN in 1965 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is a Light Twelve, chambered for 2 ¾” shells and has a 29 1/2″ barrel choked Full. The gun appears to have seen a little use, but has been well cared for, in Very Good-Fine condition with a great bore and minor wear. 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!