Low Serial Number Question

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by westacres, Oct 10, 2019 at 12:02 PM.

  1. westacres

    westacres Copper BB

    Hello from Michigan!

    I have been poking around on a few different forums for some information, so hopefully one of the forum experts (or anyone else for that matter) can chime in regarding this...

    I received two Belgian made Browning shotguns by way of a will, a Light Twelve and a Sweet Sixteen. My question is surrounding the collector value or overall value on them, as I have been unable to find anything up to this point that would help to determine anything for these two specific shotguns. Both shotguns have been kept in either a cabinet or a safe their entire life, and I would say that without being an expert in the matter, both of them are in pretty good condition overall.

    The Light Twelve has a gold trigger, and it has a serial number of L71 which indicates manufacture sometime between 1954-1955.
    The Sweet Sixteen also has a gold trigger, but its serial number is 8S and then underneath that it says 21708 and I believe that indicates a manufacture date somewhere between 1958 and 1967, but pinning down a more narrow range has been tough.

    At any rate, I am trying to find out a base for the value of these shotguns so that I might be able to price them accordingly when I am able to sell them. All I have been able to find so far are suggestions to look on other forums (gunbroker, etc.) but the value ranges are vast and I cannot find anything referencing low serial numbers and their potential value. If anyone has any suggestions or feedback, I would greatly appreciate it. I will also note that I have reached out to a few different collector sites as well as the Browning Collectors Association but have not heard anything back yet.

    L12.jpg S16.jpg
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    First off, these guns don’t have low serial numbers, though it may appear that way if you ignore the prefix. Production started before WWI and both of these were made in the 50’s. I get 1953 for the Light Twelve, and the “8” in 8S is for 1958.

    http://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date of manufacture.pdf

    The gold triggers were featured on the lightened versions of the guns to differentiate them from the standard models. At one time the trigger (and safety before it was changed) was the only obvious difference of the Light Twelve and Sweet Sixteen.

    The suggestion to look on Gunbroker, Completed Auctions is a good one. But you’re right, prices are all over the place. That’s because when it comes to collectible guns 90% of the price is determined by the last 10% of condition below 100. I can’t see enough of your guns to tell, but assuming they’re in nearly new condition I would guess a retail value of $900-1200 for the 12 and $1000-1500 for the 16. More if they’re unfired — and you can prove it.

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