Auto-5 Spits Live Shells When Fired

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Rudolph31, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    This happens a lot and I've answered it more than once. So I've decided to post it so there's something to point to the next time it comes up.

    It's important to understand the feed cycle to understand why this happens. Imagine that there are three shells in the gun, a red shell in the chamber, a white shell next to load, a blue shell as the third shot. The way it is supposed to work, the white shell is already partially out of the magazine and is resting on a part pinned to the bottom of the bolt called the Locking Block Latch. This part has another function, but right now it's functioning as a shell stop. When the gun fires, the bolt and barrel recoil aft and the white and blue shells follow. They don't go far because when the barrel moved out of battery the Cartridge Stop moved into White's path. The returning barrel moves the Cartridge Stop back flush with the receiver and White and Blue continue aft until White's rim hits the Carrier Latch. This part moves like a seesaw and when the aft part moved flush with the receiver, the front part moved into Blue's path, trapping it completely inside the magazine. This also trips the Carrier up, elevating White into the path of the soon to return bolt. As the Carrier Latch returns to its normal position, Blue emerges from the magazine but is stopped by the Locking Block Latch . (Whew!)

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Notice that there are three parts that function as shell stops, the Locking Block Latch, the Carrier Latch, and the Cartridge Stop. The first two have other functions, but stopping shells is all that the Cartridge Stop ever does.

    But it's the Carrier Latch that's generally the culprit here. If the front doesn't move far enough into Blue's path, it'll continue aft, causing a double feed if the Carrier is still down, and spitting out the bottom if the Carrier is up. Note that it's the third shell that falls out; if the gun is only loaded with two, operations appear normal.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
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  3. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    The Carrier Latch. This part seems to cause most of the problems on an Auto-5.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Thread made a sticky...
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  5. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  6. Wingman

    Wingman .270 WIN

    Great write up R31, I learnt alot from that thank you!
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  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    You are welcome! But it's one thing to diagnose a problem, quite another to fix it.

    I have several guns in my collection that spit shells occasionally; mostly they're the ones like my 1908 Remington that get shot so seldom that I don't worry about it. But last week my #1 shooter, a '65 Light Twelve started doing it.

    The FSM doesn't have much guidance on the subject, so I tore into into it and shot from the hip. I put the shell stop side in a vise and increased the bend slightly. On reassembly it worked so well it wouldn't allow anything to escape, ever. I tapped it with a punch a few times and I think it's fixed.

    Tonight is Skeet Night, we shall see.
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  8. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    ===========

    Easier to find now my friend....
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  9. Wingman

    Wingman .270 WIN

    It still astounds me that with all that is going on in these guns that they still work so well after so many years. I took my 1950's gun out bird hunting yesterday and it performed flawlessly apart from when I stuff three 1oz loads in and didnt change the rings to light setting!
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  10. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    I agree. A while back, I tried to explain the operating cycle on another forum. There IS a lot going on. How Mr. Browning designed this with the tools available astounds me. Here's what I wrote:

    WARNING: Skip he next paragraph if you're not a total Auto-5 geek.

    The barrel and bolt are supposed to be locked together for the full rearward travel, at that point the carrier dog engages the operating handle, and as the bolt/barrel start forward, the bolt can only move about 1/4" against the handle, withdrawing the locking block. The barrel moves forward by itself, tripping the cartridge stop, allowing the next shell to move back and trip the carrier latch. The carrier moves, the dog releases the bolt, the shell is chambered, and the gun is ready to go shoot again. Note that extraction and ejection take place while the bolt is being held to the rear.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
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  11. Wingman

    Wingman .270 WIN

    But its a bit of a double edge sword I guess in that I do often think that there is alot to go wrong with an Auto-5 so it's gonna break at some inopportune moment!

    But so far neither of mine have failed me!!
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  12. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    This update is overdue, but here's how my "repair" worked. I'd bent the front of the Carrier Latch to prevent more than one shell at a time feeding. I'd overdone it a bit but a rap on the stock got things moving. Once it was cycling there was enough vibration to keep it going. This worked for 50 rounds. With the last box of shells I still had to rap the stock but also started experiencing double feeds. Huh...
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  13. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    That Light Twelve had been sitting in my gun safe since before Christmas. Today I had to drop off a Double Auto at Art's so I took the A-5 with me. Art had it completely apart in about 30 seconds. He said you should bend the rear of the Carrier Latch to make the front function better. He took out my bend and bent it at the rear, but it was still not right so he replaced it completely. The later, stamped parts are flimsy compared to the original milled ones.

    It test fired fine so tomorrow it gets the acid test. Fingers crossed, because I really like this gun.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  14. jryser

    jryser .22LR

    Art is the man!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  15. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Genius At Work...!!
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  16. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Off topic, but about the same gun. Art had pointed out that my forearm would soon need to be replaced. A slight amount of the unblued barrel extension was visible at the front of the receiver. The forearm takes the brunt of the barrel's cycling; when it flies forward, the barrel ring slams into the wood. Eventually the wood starts to crush and the barrel sits further and further forward. Art said they'd been unsuccessful with bushings and the only fix was replacement.

    Since there was such a small amount of silver showing, I assumed I had more time. But a couple of weeks ago after shooting I noticed the forearm was badly split. Normally during a shooting session I'll retract the barrel a little and tighten the magazine cap every few shots. But this time I had given the gun to a new shooter I was helping while I was testing out my newly repaired 1947 Auto-5 (my first). Between coaching him and checking the other shotgun I completely forgot to tell him to check the cap. A loose cap will cause even a new forearm to split, so I'm not sure exactly what happened.

    I repaired the split with Superglue, but decided to replace the forearm with a new one I had on hand. It doesn't match the butt stock but I can always put the original back on if I want to display it.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  17. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

  18. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    OK, Shooter.

    In this light it doesn't look much different.

    [​IMG]
  19. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Here it's more obvious.

    [​IMG]
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  20. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    And a close up of the repaired split.

    [​IMG]
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