REPAIR: My First Auto-5

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Rudolph31, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    My first of many Auto-5's was purchased about 6 years ago from Cabela's. A 1947 standard 12 with a Poly-Choke, it looked just like the guns I saw hunters using when I was a kid. It was fun to shoot, but it bugged me that I couldn't get inside to give it a good cleaning.

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    And it was filthy in there. I finally discovered Art Isaacson's videos, ordered a set of Browning Screwdrivers from Brownell's, and plunged in. That this gun still cycled with that much crud in it was amazing. In the video Art warned about the rail on the old Locking Blocks being prone to failure but I was happy to see that mine was as good as new.

    This gun became my main shooter for the next few years. It was also responsible for my curiosity about the type and led me to collect a dozen more. I finally bought a Light Twelve as a replacement a couple of years ago and turned this one into a Bowling Pin gun with the addition of a magazine extension.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    The gun hadn't been used much since then, but a couple of weeks ago I brought it out to the range. Taking it out of the case, a pin fell out. It didn't look familiar but I decided not to shoot it. At home I tore it down and found no pins missing. I didn't bother to take the bolt group apart.

    On Wednesday I tried to shoot it but just got a click instead of a bang. There were no marks on the primers. I then realized what that pin was from -- it was the front half of the firing pin. Fortunately I have a spare.

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    Last night I tore it down again and removed the rear half of the firing pin. At that point the Locking Block came out and I saw what Art had warned about. What a disappointment! In 1958 Browning beefed up the rail and the old style aren't available new. Therefore I'd also need to replace the perfectly good Bolt, along with the left Extractor. About $250 in parts to fix a gun worth maybe $400.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    A fine looking firearm for it's age...
  4. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    My usual advice for others in this situation is to try Numrich Arms and eBay. Numrich doesn't have it, and eBay is another story. LOTS of parts on eBay, posted by lots of folks who know next to nothing about Auto-5's.

    Some of these parts aren't even for a Browning. I was close to buying a part then realized the rail was on the wrong side. Turns out it has rails on both sides so it must be for a Remington or a Savage. (I could tell it wasn't off a First Year gun.). Anyway, be VERY careful buying parts on eBay. In the end I ordered a basket of parts for $50 after getting assurances that the Locking Block was undamaged. ALL SALES FINAL is their motto. Wish me luck.
  5. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    OK...Good Luck !!
  6. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Thank you, Shooter.

    While we're talking about parts, I should mention Midwest Gun Works CLEARANCE section. MGW has the Auto-5 firing pin for $87.25. That is $17 cheaper than Brownell's, but if you go to the clearance gun parts, you can get one for $29.

    http://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgwi/prod/browning-auto-5-firing-pin/B1111165

    http://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgwi/prod/closeout-parts/B1111165C

    http://www.brownells.com/schematics/Browning-/Auto-5-sid404.aspx#r33sid404

    EDIT: As of 19APR2018, there are no more Auto-5 parts in the Clearance section.
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

  8. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    The parts came today. I was 90% sure the rail on the Locking Block would be broken, but it wasn't. The whole bolt group was there, so I also salvaged the Firing Pin. I put it together and shot a 23 at Skeet this evening.


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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  9. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    A look at the bag of parts I got for $50, along with my broken ones. The locking screws and the old style carrier spring are good to have, I doubt I'll need the rest.
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    2LBtrigger likes this.
  10. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    The butt stock developed a bad crack on this gun a while ago. I was planning on giving up and installing a composite stock, but a friend offered to fix it. He glued 2 hardwood dowels through the cracked area, then stained and checkered the repair.

    It's good to have friends...
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    2LBtrigger likes this.
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    He did a fine job on the repair....
  12. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Didn't he? I know that I could have made it, but it wouldn't have looked anything like it does now.
  13. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    [​IMG] Here are a few shots showing the magazine extension. I guess I could call this gun an Auto-8 now.

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    2LBtrigger and SHOOTER13 like this.
  14. blackduck

    blackduck .22LR

    Where did you acquire the mag tube extension? Man I would love to have one of those on my gun when the CO walks into our field to give us a check over. Plugged of course!
  15. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

  16. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

  17. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    And it's a "STRIKE"...!!
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  18. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Easy targets, but you’re timed and have to knock them off of the table. Knocking them down by hitting too high or low makes for a harder target and an extra shot. The last time I competed that happened and I had to reload, which killed my score. My best time was 4.07 seconds but some of the other guys were at 2.97.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  19. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Used to do Bowling Pin Shoots back in the 80's and 90's...with my Colt Gold Cup National Match 1911a1...and specialized ammo for the pins called Kaswer Pin Grabbers:

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2017
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  20. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 20g

    Cool loads. I used +P hollow points in my 1911 and they did fine when I did my part. Unfortunately, I guess I was in too much of a hurry and did poorly there, despite the fact that the Colt was the only gun I practiced with! The only event I won was Revolver where I used my friends Model 29. Reloads there can really hurt you -- especially if you aren't using a speed loader. I loved the way the .44 Mag knocked those pins clean off the table. I surprised myself as I don't normally shoot revolvers.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.

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