SOLD FOR: $1000
Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms
Model: Auto 5 Light Twelve
Serial Number: 72G2862
Year of Manufacture: 1972 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html)
Gauge: 12, chambered for 2 3/4” 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” and with Belgian proof and inspection 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” in a cursive script, “® / BROWNING” over an engraved portrait of John Browning. The receiver has Grade 1 engraving. The underside of the receiver is marked with the serial number, “72G / 2862”.
Barrel Length: 25 1/2?, Vent-Rib
Choke: Improved Cylinder, Fixed
Sights/Optics: There is a silver-colored bead on a base 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 a flat-bottom semi-pistol grip, straight comb, ventilated brown rubber Pachmayr White Line recoil pad, and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have a few light nicks and handling marks. There is a more notable scrape on the left-front of the forend. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad, 12 5/8″ to the back of the wood, indicating it has been cut. The pad has light wear at the heel and toe and is still fairly supple. Overall, the stocks rate in about Fine 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 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. The receiver has some scattered spots of minor oxidation and light scuffing. The action shows minor operational wear. 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, 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 1972 with simple but nice engraving. It is chambered for 12 GA. 2 3/4” shells and has a 25 1/2? barrel choked Improved Cylinder, so it should make for a nice upland bird gun, even an interesting gun for the Skeet range. The gun appears to have seen limited and responsible use, so it should still make for a great classic hunting gun or a great addition to a Browning collection. Please see our photos and good luck!