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Old 01-24-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
TonTo
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Question Browning A-5

OK, I have a Browning Auto-5 that belonged to my uncle purchased in 1958. I looked up the #'s and it is mid production 1952, #361***. 1952 is the year production went back to FN (Belgian) afer being interupted by WWII. From 1940 to 1946 production of the Auto-5 was turned over to Remington. Serial number is on the side of receiver. "ABC" for American made Version. (A=16 gauge, B-12 gauge, C=20 gauge). Who built these guns from 46-52? My serial number is on the bottum of the reciever, and the bbl is stammped,"Browning Arms Co. St. Loius, MO". It does have the magazine cuttoff that Remington, or Savage mod 11's wouldn't have and mod 11 production stopped in 47.
The guns fore stock has a hairline split, I heard this had to do with the friction rings being set too light. So I looked up how to set them, sure enough they were not just too light but one was backwards, ok thats fixed and I will glue the stock. I still haven't fired this gun myself, looking foward to busting some clays with her.
Then I noticed in the online manual I was reading the loading instructions. It says to first open the slide and it will lock back, then introduce the first shell and the gun will accept it and close slide , then top off mag tube. Here's my problem, the flore plate will not open with the slide locked back. The only way to open the floor plate is by first pushing the release button, which of course releases the slide ( this hurts like hell if your finger is in the way trying to figure out why the plate won't open). I can load with slide closed by pushing the release button as I feed each shell, then cycling the slide and topping off the mag. The loading procedure in the manual seems alot easier, and one of the advantages of the design. My gun won't do it . Is there something wrong with this gun(broke, jammed....), was it built without this option ( and by who), am I looking at the wrong manual, just doing it wrong. Should I even be worried about it? Any auto-5 educated advice or info would be appreciated

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Old 01-24-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Browning A-5

Have you tried dropping one in from the top??? Pull back the bolt, drop one in, push button..... Yea, you should be able to push one in from the bottom but kind of slow. A good cleaning might turn the tide....??? Your on-line manual can guide you through it....

Basically, remove buttstock and recoil spring before opening up everything else....

By the way.... Finest autoloading shotgun ever built.... I've got 4, need a couple more....
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Browning A-5

Yes I can lock it back, drop one in and release or stick one in the bottom and jack the slide. I just had no idea it was meant to be loaded from the bottom with the slide locked open and then pick it up automaticaly. At first I thought it was jammed or something, gun is clean and hasn't been fired in years, but the more I mess with it it seems the gun is just not capable of being loaded this way. Was this a feature that was avilable on all auto-5s or am I just looking at the wrong manual?

If Remington built them 1940-46, and FN retook production in 1952, I assume moving back too Belgium, who built them from 47-52? And could they have left this feature out of the design.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Browning A-5

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Originally Posted by TonTo View Post
OK, I have a Browning Auto-5

Then I noticed in the online manual I was reading the loading instructions. It says to first open the slide and it will lock back, then introduce the first shell and the gun will accept it and close slide , then top off mag tube. Here's my problem, the flore plate will not open with the slide locked back. The only way to open the floor plate is by first pushing the release button, which of course releases the slide ( this hurts like hell if your finger is in the way trying to figure out why the plate won't open). I can load with slide closed by pushing the release button as I feed each shell, then cycling the slide and topping off the mag. The loading procedure in the manual seems alot easier, and one of the advantages of the design. My gun won't do it . Is there something wrong with this gun(broke, jammed....), was it built without this option ( and by who), am I looking at the wrong manual, just doing it wrong. Should I even be worried about it? Any auto-5 educated advice or info would be appreciated
Hmm...maybe I'm NOT understanding your predicament here?

On Auto-5s the buttom must always be pushed to release the Floorplate.

So when they say to load it with the Bolt retracted, they're talking about dropping one IN through the Ejection Port, then pushing the button then holding the button IN and loading the Magazine with the remaining shells.

On your cracked Forearm, it is most likely to be caused by the Forearm getting wet and swelling with the Magazine Cap on tightly.

Cracked Forearms are fairly common on Auto-5s.

Having the Friction Ring in the wrong position for the loads you're shooting is going to batter the Receiver more as the Friction Ring Washer is designed to dampen the increased force of the Heavy Load's recoil, while the force applied by the Recoil Spring is always the same in the return-to-battery direction.

Another thing to note is that that reversed Friction Ring Washer is often the way they're set up to shoot Light loads. The Barrel's underlug also has that bevel, the same as the Friction Ring Washer. With Heavy loads the bevel/S on both sides adds resistance. With Light Loads, the added resistance is often too great for the mechanism to fully cycle, and the Washer has to be turned around to reduce the friction.



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Old 01-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Browning A-5

I think you might just be reading it wrong. (no disrespect meant at all).
Pull back the slide and "introduce" the first shell, then close slide which loads the first shell. The proceed by loading more through the bottom into the magazine.
Its a great gun! My dad shoots it.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Browning A-5

Actually, I may stand to be corrected here.

One of my Auto-5s is a newer Belgian "Light 20" Auto-5, and I think that on that one they've made the Floorplate in TWO pieces (so that the spring loaded Floorplate is free to move up/down WITHOUT pushing the button)

So on those newer Auto-5s it's possible to have the Bolt locked "open" and push one into the Magazine, and then when your thumb is out of the way the shell flies back and trips the internal Bolt Release, loading that first shell.

So I think what's going on here is those instructions you've mentioned are for the NEWER model Auto-5s.

Your's is not one of those.

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Old 01-24-2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Browning A-5

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Originally Posted by billc_sbio View Post
Actually, I may stand to be corrected here.

One of my Auto-5s is a newer Belgian "Light 20" Auto-5, and I think that on that one they've made the Floorplate in TWO pieces (so that the spring loaded Floorplate is free to move up/down WITHOUT pushing the button)

So on those newer Auto-5s it's possible to have the Bolt locked "open" and push one into the Magazine, and then when your thumb is out of the way the shell flies back and trips the internal Bolt Release, loading that first shell.

So I think what's going on here is those instructions you've mentioned are for the NEWER model Auto-5s.

Your's is not one of those.

Ahhh OK thank you, I was starting to think something was screwy with it, wrong manual , it did seem to be a cool feature though.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Browning A-5

Okay..... I just went down into the man room and tried a couple of things with an "old" gun... The magazine lock out lever must be pushed forward to load a cartridge from the bottom. The floorplate would operate properly but nothing beyond that if the lever were not pushed forward....
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Browning A-5

disregard my earlier post...

Just went down and messed with the A-5 and Holy Smokes that can really get your fingers good...

I guess you can load it from the bottom with the slide open but you have to be quick...
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Browning A-5

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Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
Okay..... I just went down into the man room and tried a couple of things with an "old" gun... The magazine lock out lever must be pushed forward to load a cartridge from the bottom. The floorplate would operate properly but nothing beyond that if the lever were not pushed forward....
Yes, what I'm talking about is called the "speed loading system", apperantly it is only available on the later model guns, the manuals offered on the browning site are apperantly for the late model guns as well. The picture on page 8 of the manual clearly shows a shell being fed from the bottom with the slide open, I just thought hey this gun won't do that,then , why won't this gun do that?....mystery solved, was never ment to do it. If the magazine stop is holding a shell in the mag and slide is open however, by simply switching the mag stop off it will load a shell and release the slide, which does seem to be part of the system, but the floor plate will not open with the action open which is required for the speed load system.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Browning A-5

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Originally Posted by Adjhunt View Post
disregard my earlier post...

Just went down and messed with the A-5 and Holy Smokes that can really get your fingers good...

I guess you can load it from the bottom with the slide open but you have to be quick...
Yeah I do know the feeling, did that last night,tip of my index finger is purple and have a crease across the nail
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Browning A-5

The one I tested was made in '56. I've got one made in '49 and I'll see what it does....... It has the safety in the trigger guard.... I've never fired it so don't know what to expect....
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Browning A-5

All ine are old Belgiums, and they all speed load from the bottom IF the mag cut off in NOT engaged.
If the mag cut of IS engaged, no shell can be inserted into the mag tube at all.

I agree with Bill on the friction rings. The one I was packing last weekend on the chukar hunt would only cycle trap loads with both the friction ring AND the bevel ring removed. (I suppose I could've moved them to the rear of the spring, but I just stuck them in my pocket.) This particular gun was a "Light 12" model and I found that kinda strange as one of my other A5's works fine w/ the friction ring in place and beval ring flipped flat side forward.
Must be a differance in spring pressure between the guns. Surface finish and oil/no oil on the mag tube will also affect the friction of the ring. Oh well, flip as required.
That's the beauty of the design, it will cycle all loads....just gotta fiddle around until you find the right combo that works for you and your gun.
Perhaps in my case I should switch springs between guns and fudge the weak spring toward the upland gun and the stronger spring toward one of the loaner/back-up duck guns.
Hunt'nFish

All my A5's were non-functional & had cracked forestocks when I bought them. Broken old style single peice firing pins, since replaced w/ the newer/stronger 2 pc design. I cleaned the cracks w/ acetone, dried, and simply wicked some slow cure super glue Loctite brand into the cracks and lightly clamped them until cured. It with absorb the glue, so I wicked in more on the inside until the crack wouldn't absorb anymore. Considering I planned to refinish the stocks anyway, a simple sanding was all that was required to make the fix disappear. Nothing more remained except a tiny hairline that wasn't any more noticable than the normal grain structure of the wood. While I was at it, I also wicked as much glue into the wood cross grain ring as it would absorb, wiping off excess with a rag. Same with any tang cracks on the butt stock. Best to spread, wick, and fix micro cracks BEFORE they grow.
Hunt'nFish

PS: UPDATE......one gun, the "Light 12" is from 63 (3G 17xxx) and it appears to be of the "newer" speed loading design as Bill described.
The others are older and do not speed load. Meaning the feed ramp will only move when the button is depressed and/or shell fired.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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Default Re: Browning A-5

Yeah, just wait til you play with the 3" Mag version!

TWO Friction Rings, DOUBLE Friction Ring Washers, Extra Spacers!

Getting your 3" Auto-5 to work with lighter loads, the possible combinations are ENDLESS!

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