Sold For: $6225
Make: Made by FN in Belgium for Browning
Model: Auto 5, Grade 4
Serial Number: 164506
Year of Manufacture: 1930
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 3/4? Shells
Action Type: Long-Recoil Operated, Tubular Magazine Fed, Semi-Automatic Shotgun
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS MO / ** 12 SPECIAL STEEL” and with Belgian proof marks, the right is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”, the bottom has Belgian proof/inspection marks. The bottom-rear of the barrel and bottom of the barrel extension are each marked “32”, the top of the barrel extension has Belgian proofs. The top-front of the forend is marked “102264”. The left of the receiver is marked “FABRIQUE NATIONALE D’ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE / BROWNIN’S PATENT DEPOSE”, the right of the receiver has Belgian proofs and the bottom-front is marked “FN” in oval, with the serial number and an inspection mark. The right of the bottom tang is marked “164506”. The stock mounting screw’s shank is marked “4506”. The right of the bolt has Belgian proofs. The receiver has Grade 4 Type VI engraving inlaid with gold with motif on the barrel at the rear.
Barrel Length: The barrel proper is approximately 24 1/2″ with a vent-rib, 26 1/2″ to the end of the installed adjustable choke.
Choke: An adjustable choke has been installed.
Sights / Optics: There is a white bead in a base mounted to the rear portion of the adjustable choke assembly. The top of the rib and receiver are checkered for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with round-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, textured black plastic Browining buttplate and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have some scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches with a couple of more notable marks at the left-rear of the forend and the left-rear of the buttstock. There is a thin scratch at the bottom-rear of the forend which may appear as a crack in the photos, but it is not. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 7/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has minor wear at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in about Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue & Gold
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There is handling wear at the bottom and front of the receiver. The action shows light operational wear including on the bottom of the barrel in front of the forend. There are a few scattered minor nicks and scratches. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly disfigured with a useable slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Fine condition.
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: Browning Auto-5s are cool. Pre-War Auto-5s are even cooler. Pre-War Grade 4 Auto-5s with the distinctive gold-filled type VI engraving are among the coolest. This example is a 12 gauge made in 1930. The gun has been equipped with a set of replacement stocks which have a dark stain which complements the metal’s deep blue finish with gold accents and it has also been set up with an adjustable choke. It looks like this gun has actually seen some responsible use in the field, and the adjustable choke will help make it as versatile as it is beautiful. This will make a neat addition to a Browning collection and would make for an eye-catching gun at the range or a classy field gun for the lucky winner. Please see our photos and good luck!