My first Browning!

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Horatio, May 19, 2018.

  1. Horatio

    Horatio Copper BB

    Hello to all! I want to share with you my joy! One day a few months ago I was at my local gun shop trying to fix a problem with my rifle scope. While there I spotted the distinct humpback shape of an Auto 5 on one of the racks. I couldn't believe it! I must mention that I live in Romania, a place where gun ownership is low, and old iconic guns are few and far between, with most people not even knowing what they are! I asked to see the Auto-5 and I instantly knew that I wanted it! It turns out it had belonged to an old man, who passed away a few years ago. As his children did not have the right to own a gun (they weren't hunters, sport shooters or registered collectors) the gun was placed in storage for a few years. The week I was there the store owner had decided to pull out a few of the old guns from storage and display them in the hope that they will sell (with the consent of the owners). It took three months for the necessary paperwork to be completed so that I could finally take it home (it turns out the former owner's children hadn't done the necessary legal steps required to inherit their father's guns, so the guns - including my Auto 5 - legally still belonged to the deceased)! I went to the store at least once a week to visit my Browning! After getting it home I took it apart for cleaning. I found a lot of dirt, but also a lot of old motor oil that had kept the gun rust free. The only rust was on the action spring tube, which I removed, and then I took it to my gunsmith and he re-blued the tube. The same serial number is on all parts, screws, furniture. The only questionable thing is the barrel that has two serial numbers on it. The gun's serial number looks stamped later, not at the factory, and the serial number of the barrel that is actually older! I exchanged a few emails with some very nice people at FN and it turns out the gun was made in Belgium in April 1939! I only paid 380 dollars for it! I took it clay shooting and it worked flawlessly! It cycled the light sporting loads on the heavy setting and I hope that doesn't signal a problem. I will try to post some pictures and see what you guys think! View attachment 1420 View attachment 1421 View attachment 1422 View attachment 1423 View attachment 1418 View attachment 1419 View attachment 1418 View attachment 1419

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    Dallas_CMT, kumpe and Rudolph31 like this.
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Hello Horatio and welcome to the site!

    That’s a great story. Congratulations on the purchase and on your ability to tear it down and put it back together.

    I’d like to see pictures of the strange serial numbers. Two numbers on the barrel is something I’ve never heard of.
  3. Horatio

    Horatio Copper BB

    I took these pictures today. You can see the two serial numbers (211178 which is on all the other parts but doesn't look factory stamped, and 191833 which is probably the original serial no. of the barrel). I suspect that some previous owner got a second barrel for the shotgun (either the original barrel came to a premature death or he just wanted a different choke) and the original barrel got lost somewhere along the 80 years journey that brought the gun to my gun safe. I also put some pictures of the other proof marks.

    Attached Files:

  4. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

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  5. Horatio

    Horatio Copper BB

    Thank you! Very nice info on the two sites!
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  6. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    You’re welcome!

    About your gun cycling target shells though set up for heavy loads, that’s only a problem if you plan on shooting more the powerful ammo. I have an Auto-5 that will only cycle heavy loads since I replaced the Recoil Spring. No amount of lubrication makes a difference. I could put the old spring back on, but it works great with buckshot and is now my dedicated Bowling Pin Gun. I do recommend a new Action Spring if you can get one.

    I talked about Auto-5 braking and recoil here:

    http://www.browningowners.com/forum/index.php?threads/auto-5-friction-pieces.8718/

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