Browning FN Belgian Auto-5 A-5 Magnum Twenty 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1973
SOLD FOR: $1750
Make: FN in Belgium for Browning
Model: Auto-5 Magnum Twenty
Serial Number: 73X50769
Year of Manufacture: 1973 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 20 gauge with 3” Chamber
Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY MORGAN, UTAH & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM” and with Belgian proofs. The right side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING AUTO_5 / **SPECIAL STEEL 20 GA. SHELLS_3″_28 / BROWNING PATENTS”. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number at the front. The left of the receiver is marked “Magnum Twenty / BROWNING” and with a bust portrait of John Browning. The receiver has tasteful Grade I engraving.
Barrel Length: 28″, Vent-Rib
Choke: Modified, Fixed
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a steel bead at the front of the ventilated rib. The top of the rib is finely checkered and the top of the receiver is serrated to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with finger-grooved forend, flat-bottom pistol grip, straight comb and black hard rubber FN Browning Automatic buttplate. The stocks have scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches, the most notable are in the buttstock. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is well defined, generally sharp. The LOP measures 14 1/8″ 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 bright. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The barrel has only a few minor marks. The receiver has some scattered light scuffs and scratches, mostly on the left side where there is one more notable scratch toward the top-rear of the flat. There is also a more notable mark on the bottom-right next to the trigger. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is 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 & 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 1973 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is a Magnum Twenty, chambered for 20 GA. 3” shells and has a 28″ vent-rib barrel choked Modified. The gun appears to have seen a trip or two in the field, but has been well cared for, in Fine 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!