Auto 5 Cases

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Auzzie, Apr 24, 2022.

  1. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    My Type III needs one of your cases
  2. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks for that. We’ll see how well things progress. Every collectible deserves a case to compliment and protect the gun.
  3. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    A few more photos and anecdotes.

    Handle: I postponed trying to figure-out how the early 'strap' handles are made. The heavier cases need a handle that won't fail under the extra weight and wear. According to my research, some early cases for heavier guns actually had post-type brackets and handles. Case manufactures eventually went to a post-style bracket and handle (and metal 90 degree 'stop' hinges) on all cases for added durability. So, being that this case is for a 2-bbl 30" Superposed with extra wood, I mounted a post-type bracket and handle. It takes a while to fit but it's much stronger and will be more durable. The photo illustrates how I marked the case to bore and file the tapered slots for a repurposed handle and bracket.

    Snaps: You recess the stud in one side of the barrel divider.

    Cover the 'button' side of the barrel divider with fabric.

    Then install the stud and button/snap.

    Cover the concealed 'stud' side with fabric. This prevents the stud from contacting the barrel or forearm between dividers, or wall and divider (in a single-bbl Superposed).

    Notice the rectangular recess in the front wall of the case (above photo). This is for the barrel strap and will be done with a router in the pre-assembly of the case. The barrel straps on the original cases are surface-mounted and always produce a bulge in the liner where it crosses the straps. Not a major deal, but I like clean lines and no 'bumps' that could cause the fabric to wear.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
    win7stw likes this.
  4. Biz

    Biz 20g

    Congratulations, you work is admirable. I would be curious to know what was the most challenging into finding the tools? sourcing the proper materials? and the assembly of all the components?
  5. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN


    I don't know where to begin.

    Adhesive compatibility is at the top of the list. Not all adhesives are compatible with vinyl, nor as convenient as aerosols even though they require 'masking' in certain applications, or suitable for all materials intersecting at one point (wood, felt, vinyl Tolex)

    Soon, I will glue the felt on the front and rear walls. the bottom portion attaches to wood - the upper portion attaches to vinyl Tolex. Dow 77 works for 'felt-to-wood' but is not compatible with vinyl Tolex. Tolex adhesive is good for 'Tolex-to-wood' but not 'felt-to-Tolex'. So, I have to make mock-ups using different types of adhesives at this transition - the last step before I can complete the interior. When you think you've reached the plateau, there is yet another obstacle to overcome.

    I found the rivets I needed in the UK after searching for 3 months. I still have to re-form the heads, convert 'solid' shank to 'split' shank, and bronze-plate them.

    I received 8 different fabric samples - after 4 months, I chose a 20 oz. 75%/25% wool/rayon blend billiard felt with Teflon coating. It is $60 per linear yard, delivered. But it comes in some beautiful earth tones and the 'purple' is simply ELECTRIC! This is probably the most rewarding discovery. My supplier will sell me whatever quantity I need at any time........even 1-yard. The Navy (bleu) is a perfect match and the 'gun metal gray' is as close as I've found.

    My cardboard box supplier would not quote a price for 50 boxes because HE thought it was ridiculously high.

    I am happy with the embroidered FN/Browning patches even though the supplier substituted 'white' everywhere their proof indicated 'yellow', the first go-round. 50-piece minimum order.

    I'm still trying to learn the nuances of the bronze-plating process.

    I haven't determined how to construct the 'strap' type handles. I'll eventually figure it out through experimentation and copious amounts of Merlot.

    So, there are still challenges ahead - I have only conquered a few of the ones, before.

    It is unbelievable how many individual 'parts' and 'processes' there are in these cases.

    Thank You for your support and friendship.
    KyBoB and Madman like this.
  6. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    This is truly amazing work. I can only imagine the struggles you have had sourcing materials, glue and what not. Then just doing the work. Excellent job sir! I would like to say that I have the patience to do this kind of stuff, but that would be a big fat lie. I commend you on your work and dedication.
    I was wondering if your ears were burning in the last day or two? I was thinking about your progress and where you were at. Glad to see all is well and you’re still at it. Please keep us posted.
  7. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks for your thoughts and kind comments. I figured a progress update was due - and might liven this place up a bit. I really appreciate all the responses and continued support. I'm not 'needy', but a good word never hurts now and then.

    I will update any significant progress in the coming days. I'm getting close to finishing this one. I just want it 'right'. It is for a special gun that deserves my best effort.

    One of my mentors inscribed his text, A World History of Architecture, to me......."Never undertake a project you don't intend to complete to the best of your ability."
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
    Auzzie and Ranger6 like this.
  8. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Anatidae may you forever now be bestowed title and referred to here as the "The Case King"

    In relation to the handles. Often thought the twin wire type handle on the old Gladstone work bags was very similar appearance and construction just the scale is bit different.. Possibly one of those could be good Donar for dissection and autopsy on how it's done? Just thinking.
    Anatidae likes this.
  9. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    That’s very helpful. I understand the principle behind the construction. I just need to experiment with how to form the ‘grip’ portion of the assembly. The ‘strap’ portion is pretty straightforward. I could make the grip out of wood or polymer but would like to use original materials.
  10. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    RE: Engraving details for the forearm screws and escutcheons.

    Here is an original forearm escutcheon and the end of a screw that was tack-welded. Also, the void around the escutcheon is a product of oxidation and its effect on the wood over the last 70 years. This is being addressed by a true wood 'specialist', now.

    The details on the escutcheon echo the detail on the hinge pin on the receiver and the opening lever pivot (minus the myosotis blossoms). I propose to use the spiral 'acanthus' detail in the center of the hinge pin, for the threaded end of the new screws to suggest the motion of the screw when turned (as do the lever and hinge pin - even though the hinge pin doesn't actually move when the barrel lug rotates, internally. BTW, the myosotis blossoms (or 'Forget me Not') are thought to be a symbolic tribute to the holocaust victims.

    These are the subtle details that provide a glimpse of the designer's (Funken's) creativity and intelligence. Mme Purgal sent a pencil drawing of her design for a gun themed 'Portuguese Discoveries' - the exploration of the World via sea in the 1400's. The lever pivot has a ship's wheel on it. When you open the action, you engage in the experiences - both, the act of shooting and subliminal thoughts of the historical significance of the various engraving scenes depicting expeditions by Columbus, Henri, Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco de Gama, and patron St. Vincent.

    Attention to detail. Guns can talk.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
    Auzzie and win7stw like this.
  11. Biz

    Biz 20g

    The engraving is absolutely superb. I assume that the engraving was done with a graver and a hammer. I do not believe Funken ever used a pneumatic engraver which make the work easier and faster. It is difficult not to be in haw (en extase) of such artistic work. I wonder how many hours were dedicated to creating this masterpiece.
  12. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Interesting your comment on myosotis blossoms. Belgian Lady who worked in our family florist shop echoed same sombre connection.
  13. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    ‘Auzzie’ - yes, a very subtle tribute. Thanks for corroborating this. I learned it from Sophie Purgal who said her use of the myosotis motif on one of her creations represents a secret or a dream to which we are all entitled.

    ‘Biz’ - Oui……burin et marteau, suelement. The same technique that the engraver of my choosing will be utilizing. The use of a pneumatic graver would not be considered for this gun (cette fusil) by a Belgian-trained hand engraver. It does not produce the same style. Merci pour vous commentaires.
  14. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    The following is an example of the research I put into the D5 - a page from the 6-page work request provided to the engraver. He is Belgian, so parts of the text (in green italics) are en Francais for clarification - using common 'gun parts' terminology translations.


    'Details' matter when discussing gun parts, engraving, and money.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  15. Jta5er

    Jta5er .270 WIN

    All these great pics inspired me to get up and put some conditioner on all my leather cases this morning.
    Out of a dozen I still like my prewar browning case the best. I’m scared to use it but I can’t wait to have a copy of it in tolex that I can use. I plan on putting several double gun(not a5)cases up for sale next week on flea bay, while I’m thinking of it, if any of you need a nice one for your double pm me and I will give you a better deal than the public. I got carried away and bought a dozen or so, some very inexpensive.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
  16. enfieldspares

    enfieldspares Copper BB

    Hello from the UK. I have posted a few words in the new members introduction part of the forum with some details about a Mastra gun case I acquired in December 2022. I have some links to the Mastra factory building in Cleveland and some links that will show images of my new to me guncase. I hope that other members find it interesting.
    Auzzie likes this.
  17. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Welcome to the forum from Down Under. Look forward to seeing some images of your case. There will be people here appreciate your input
  18. Jta5er

    Jta5er .270 WIN

    Found another semi auto case that I haven’t seen before?
    Auzzie, Anatidae and Ranger6 like this.
  19. Madman

    Madman .22LR

    Very nice! Can you tell where or who may have made it?
  20. Madman

    Madman .22LR

    I picked up these two interesting pre war cases along with some receivers and other parts. You just never know where you next piece in your collection will come from!
    Auzzie, win7stw and Anatidae like this.

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