The 6 types of Armes de luxe

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Biz, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Biz

    Biz Member

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first official post and thank you for having me among your community. I have decided to challenge myself by trying to find the 6 types of Auto-5 as described in the "Fabrique Nationale Armes De Luxes" catalogue. So far I have only seen type 1 and 6 on forums and auction sites. Has anyone seen any of the other types for sales. These types appear to be rare. This picture of a gun for sale, I believe is a type 1. The serial number is 33237 which would make it a 1909. Can anyone confirm?

    Thank you


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    Rudolph31 likes this.
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

  3. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

  4. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

    Good morning, Biz.

    I thought the charts would be useful. There's not a lot of difference between the first 3 Types, is there? Maybe that's why Browning chose to skip II and III. Like you, I've only seen Types I and VI.

    I agree your Type I is a 1909 gun. I have the equivalent Grade 2 from 1931:

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    Good luck!
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  5. Biz

    Biz Member

    Good evening,

    Like you Rudolf I find there is a lot similarity between the types. Referring to the pictures and the descriptions of the 6 types of the early auto-5 in the Shirley and Vanderlinden book, I would say that type 2 and 3 a very similar. Same goes for the type 4 and 5. It is may be, as you suggest, the reason Browning dropped some grade for the US market. However, those type were certainly marketed in Europe. Yesterday browsing through my notes I find a correspondence I had with one of our commun European acquaintances who send me a link to this Browning type 3. See attached picture.

    With respect to the finish described in the charts, I thought that rusted blue finish will always give a satin finish. But following the type descriptions , the blue finish goes from "black burnished" to "bright black". I wonder if it is possible to obtain this variation of brightness with the rust bluing technique?

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  6. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

    Biz,

    That's another very early example, from the trigger I'd say pre Great War. The guns illustrated in the charts look they're from the 1920's, so there could have been some changes. Although I agree your example is closest to Type III, to me it doesn't closely resemble any of the illustrations. Of course, with different artists no two will be identical.

    As for bluing, in one of Art's videos he says the shine is dependent on the amount of polishing done beforehand, and that mirror finishes are possible. He was talking about Salt-Blue, but I would guess the same applies to Rust-Blue.
  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

    Just looking at the examples in the S/V book, I see that the chart I posted doesn't apply to early Types II and III. Your picture looks exactly like the Type III illustrated on page 162.

    Page 164 shows examples of Types I through III adopted in 1922, and they don't match my illustrations either. The book goes on to say that Felix Funken started in 1926 but doesn't list any changes he may have implemented.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  8. SOG

    SOG Member

    Great information.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Biz

    Biz Member

    Comparing this document "chart" that I have attached that date I believe somewhere in the late fifties or the early sixties to the one posted by Rudolf and the two into the Shirley and Vanderlinden book, you can see the substantial change into the engraving that occurred to the 3 first type from 1909 to 1960. For the same period the type 4, 5 and 6 have remain almost unchanged. To complete this post, if it is permitted, it would interesting to attach the photos of the chart from the Shirley and Vanderlinden book.

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  10. Biz

    Biz Member

    Hello everyone,

    In my quest for the 6 type of the early Auto-5, I came across that interesting type 5 that have been restored. I am not to sure if it is a good restoration. This auto-5 is apparently a 1925 but the stock is around the 80's and the engraving was done somewhere in the 80's or 90's by Charles Servais now retired. As well, I am not sure if the type 5 had gold plated components. Here is information about Monsieur Charles Servais and some pics.

    http://www.littlegun.be/arme belge/artisans identifies s/a servais fr.htm

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  11. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful gun. I don’t know whether or not the gold parts are period correct either. Also, it looks like the artist made no attempt to exactly replicate the FN Type V scene — the dogs are not in the same positions and the trees are completely different. Notice also that the gun has been converted to fire 70mm ammo.

    Still, it’d look great in my cabinet!
  12. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

    OK, this in not a find, the pictures came from the internet. But it’s an early Type VI, possibly restored.

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  13. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 ON DUTY Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

  14. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

  15. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Well-Known Member

  16. Biz

    Biz Member

    The type 6 was, I believe the greatest achievement in design that Browning offered to its clients. This picture is vey clear and allow me to raise the question again regarding the so called "bright black finish", it doesn't appear to be especially bright. Is it possible that bright refers to the intensity of the black rather then brilliance???

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