SOLD FOR: $2825
Make: Fabrique Nationale
Serial Number: 69022
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1924
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 3/4” Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil Operated Tube Magazine Fed Semi-Automatic Shotgun
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “IMP CYLINDER 12 SPECIAL STEEL” and with Belgian proof marks, the bottom has Belgian proof/inspection marks, the right is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”. The top of the rib is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY OGDEN UTAH”. The left of the magazine lug is marked “128835” and with inspection marks. The bottom of the barrel extension is marked “586”, the top has Belgian proofs. The left of the receiver is marked “FABRIQUE NATIONALE D’ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE / BROWNING’S PATENT DEPOSE”, the right has Belgian proof marks and the bottom-front is marked “FN” in oval, “69022” with an inspection mark. The side of the bolt has Belgian proof marks and “22”. The left of the bottom tang is marked “69022”. The bottom tang inlet of the wrist has “102222” stamped. The shank of the stock mounting screw is marked “022”. The receiver has early FN type IV pattern factory engraving.
Barrel Length: 27 1/2″, Solid Rib
Choke: Improved Cylinder, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead at the front of the rib. The top of the rib and receiver are checkered for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with finger-grooved forend, semi-pistol grip, straight comb and horn FN Browning Automatic buttplate. The stocks have several scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a more notable ding in the round-bottom of the grip, a few more notable marks near the toe, and some spots of white residue on the right-front of the forend. There is a crack in the bottom-rear of the forend. There is a small loss in the front of the wrist to the left of the top tang. The checkering is generally well defined, a little more worn in the wrist than the forend. The LOP measures 14 1/2″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has light-moderate wear with worm holes at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in Good condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original to the parts, the barrel assembly is not original to the gun.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains approximately 90% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has a few light scuffs and scratches with infrequent spots of minor surface erosion, mostly on the right in front of the forend. The receiver has some scattered light nicks and scratches with infrequent minor surface oxidation. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good condition as not parts original.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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. While Browning received all of FN’s production to be sold in North America and was able to license production to other North American companies, FN also licensed the design to sell under their own name in other world markets. This example’s receiver markings indicate it was an FN made gun sale outside North America, and its barrel is from a 1928 vintage Browning-sold gun. The receiver is from a high-grade gun with an early FN Type IV engraving pattern having bird and dog hunting scenes on each side. The gun looks like it has served its previous owners well with light wear in the metal and a little more in its replacement stocks. Whether you’re looking to add to your Browning collection or want a classy 12 gauge field gun, this will be a nice addition to any safe in America. Please see our photos and good luck!