replacement barrel for steel shot

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by GENE S, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. GENE S

    GENE S Copper BB

    I purchased my A5 back in 1962 and now have discovered dove hunting here in northern New Mexico. WE have to use steel shot, and I have been told this will ruin the barrel of my lightweight model made in Belgium. With a bag limit of 15 birds per day I want to obtain a vet ribbed model in 12 gauge with improved cylinder choking, suitable for steel shot. I want to get really the right barrel the first time and how do I go about identifying my shotgun so I get the correct replacement? Prices for these barrels seem to be all over the place. What in your opinion is the best replacement barrels for the money for my A5 which I have now had for 57 years?

    Gene S.
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    Hello Gene, and welcome.

    If you ask Browning, they’ll tell you that the Japanese barrels with Invector Chokes are the only ones that are steel-safe. But I hear over and over again that modern steel shells have vastly improved wads and that it’s safe to shoot in any barrel that’s not choked tighter than Modified. Most of these people are in Europe and have no choice but to shoot steel, even for targets. I admit that I’m convinced.
  3. Nigel Martin

    Nigel Martin Copper BB

    Hi Gene,

    I’m UK based and also need to use steel shot for much of my shooting. I have a ‘65 12 gauge vent rib “world market” Auto-5 that is choked “full” according to the barrel markings, but a bore gauge confirms it has been opened up to “half” at some time in it’s life.

    It happily shoots modern steel loads and doesn’t show any signs of barrel bulging near the muzzle that you often read will be the consequence of steel shot failing to deform, as lead shot does, as it passes through the choke constriction.

    My local gunsmith is adamant modern steel loads, with full enclosing plastic wads, can be used without detriment on any “modern” gun, and he’s seen a lot more weapons than I have. So I have to agree with Rudolph, I’m convinced that the relatively light use you’ll put your A-5 to wont harm it, especially when you consider the quality standards FN applied to manufacture and metallurgy in the ‘60s.


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    Rudolph31 likes this.
  4. Ranger6

    Ranger6 .270 WIN

    Get you an invector or invector plus barrel and you have the best of both worlds. Can shoot steel all day and you will be able to put different chokes for all types of shooting. I have been shooting both barrels for some time now and wouldn’t go any other way. The invector barrels are more expensive, but your only gonna buy one. And of course if like me a set of chokes.
    Some say the invector plus has a better pattern then the invector, I’m gonna call bull. You do your part and the barrel will do it’s part.
    Rudolph31 likes this.

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