Browning A-5 questions/suggestions?

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Browning A-5 questions/suggestions?

Postby Dhdoyle » Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:14 pm

I was given a very old Browning A-5 Light 12. It came with a request that I take it out, hunt with it, and enjoy its company. It's in really nice condition, but I'm still going to have a gunsmith detail strip it, clean it, and inspect all the parts. If John Moses Browning's 1911A1 is any indication, his recoil-operated designs were hard on springs.

Now I have some questions...
I'm a lefty and I shoot left-handed. The stock is really comfortable, but I'm wondering how much trouble I might have with spent hulls bouncing off my face.

Second, I'm going to pattern it and see if I can live with the choke, but would I be ahead if I put the barrel away and installed a modern barrel with replaceable chokes? I really don't mind using bismuth for waterfowl, but a full choke might be a little tight for ducks over decoys...

Any suggestions? Anything else a new A-5 owner ought to know?

Thanks!
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Postby plainsman » Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:48 pm

I'd buy a new barrel and save the original for when you completely restore it
You shouldn't have any trouble with spent shells bouncing off your melon :laughing:
For one season at least.....enjoy the best auto ever made :hammering:
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Postby Wags » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:57 am

Sounds like a very nice gift! Your would be wise to see how Tungsten Matrix or Bismuth shot patterns out of your full choked barrel before you drop up to $300 for a replacement barrel. This may be a non-existent problem shooting over decoys. A good thorough cleaning and possibly changing out all the springs is not a bad idea. Midwestgunworks sells factory Browning replacement spring kits (with new friction rings) for the Auto-5 for around $59 last time I looked.

Since I shoot right handed I can't answer your questions about shells skimming your nose, but I have not heard this concern brought up in the past.

All I do for my Auto-5 Magnum is keep it clean as possible and keep a light film of my favorite oil on the magazine tube to help reduce the recoil. The Auto-5 is my favorite duck shotgun and it defy's the elements and works everytime.......... Enjoy your new shotgun.
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Postby mallardman77 » Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:01 am

You will not have a problem with empty hulls hitting you, at least I have never with my A-5.(Yes, I am a lefty too) Enjoy the gun, like the other guys said, it is a sweet shooter, reliable and one of the best auto's ever made. You now own a piece of firearm history!


BTW, let us know what year it was manufactured in. Here is a link that will help you find out what year your A-5 was manufactured in, if you don't already know.



http://www.browning.com/services/dategu ... .asp?id=13





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Postby Dhdoyle » Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:31 pm

mallardman77 wrote:BTW, let us know what year it was manufactured in. Here is a link that will help you find out what year your A-5 was manufactured in, if you don't already know.


Oops. Sorry for the delay... Late spring snow- phones and DSL out.
Thanks everybody for the comments.

It was shipped in 1926. The Browning historian has shipping documents within 10 serial numbers of mine. It's a Light-12, plain 27-1/2" barrel, with a small amount of engraving: scattered leaves and a small portrait of JMB himself on the left side of the receiver.

As for condition, it's obviously been hunted - a few stock dings... bluing is probably 80%. It's rusted on the top and bottom tangs in the stock, where you would grip it, and there's a rubbed line on the barrel about 2" long. Otherwise, well cared for. I don't know much about the condition of the bore yet. The muzzle is still blued inside, which is probably a good sign.

I'm looking forward to getting to know it this summer. I just hope I'll be able to keep my end up this fall.

Cheers!
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Postby duckbuster06 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:29 pm

Sorry to add on to the post but I recently acquired an A5 Magnum made in Japan in 1988. It doesn't seem to handle the light loads well. The shells I was shooting were Winchester/Remington 1 1/8 oz. 3 dr. 2 3/4 in. Is the gun made to handle these loads or does it need a heavier shell? Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I am new to A5s. Thanks! Oh yeah, the friction rings are set accordingly to the owners manual for light loads. I've tried everything. ????
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Postby mallardman77 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:48 pm

my belgian made A-5(light 12) has the same problem when I shoot light recoil trap loads out of it. I've never had this problem though when shooting a hunting load from it, which are usually max dram. I don't know if it has something to do with the low steel base compared to the high brass that are found on my hunting ammo. Maybe one of the other A-5 owners on the site could give you a little more info than me.





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Postby duckbuster06 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:50 pm

I'm thinking the mechanism might be a little dirty. However, just to get the mechanism out is hell with all those screws. :hammering:
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Postby gvegas88 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:53 pm

AHHH, I am also a lefty who shoots the great A-5. I got mine straight from my great uncle who bought it for deer and shot less than a box outta it, so I hear. Its gettin cleaned right now by a gunmith only because he requests I bring it to him right after dove season. oh well, about the shells, I don't have a problem with them in obstructing my focus or any residue in my eyes. Mines belgium and a full choke but I don't use it enough to get a new barrel, nor do I use it if its a chance of fowl weather. Congrats on the new weapon and good luck
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Postby gvegas88 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:58 pm

About that ring that slides on under the forarm piece, well I put it set for the light loads, that way it shoots both high and low brass just fine, but set the other way, it doesn't eject low brass. I can find out what to do if it still doesn't eject, i'll get back to you on it.
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Postby duckbuster06 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:21 am

The setting is for low brass shells on the gun and it wouldn't even attempt to eject them. The chamber wouldn't even open after the shot was fired. I've run into a dilemma with the mechanism. I've got every screw out except two that will not budge for anything. It was a pain trying to find the smallest screw driver head I could now it is even worse because these screws won't budge even if their lives depended on it. Any suggestions on either of these problems?!?! :help:
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Postby plainsman » Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:27 pm

no such setting as "low brass-high brass". Setting can be made for light or heavy loads. Remove one brass ring and the gun should cycle fine. Mine does.
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Postby duckbuster06 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:45 pm

Mine doesn't. Excuse me for not being exact. The setting is for light loads. What are the exact locations for the rings? I have one on top of the spring followed by a brass ring. Is this all it needs to shoot the light loads and steel? These two rings? thanks
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Postby mallardman77 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:28 pm

First off I would recommend that you DO NOT take the mechanism apart if you aren't 100% sure what you are doing. A gunsmith would be your best bet to do that. Now, as for the friction ring setup, I will try to explain as best I can.

For 2 3/4 light loads:


the friction ring (the thin steel ring) You will note that one side is flat and the other side has a bevel to it. This ring should sit up against the reciever with the flat side touching the spring, beveled side touching the reciever.

The bronze friction ring should be placed on top of the action spring, with the beveled edge fitting into the barrel ring that slides over the magazine tube.

For heavy loads, just reverse the position of the smaller friction ring, placing it on top of the spring, with the flat side touching the spring.



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Postby mallardman77 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:51 pm

OK, I just re read my last post and it confused me. So, I will show you in pictures. Sorry that the pics aren't the best quality, but they'll do.

This first setup is for 2 3/4 light loads....



Place small ring on mag tube first so the flat side will touch the spring:
[siteimg]1631[/siteimg]

put the spring on next:
[siteimg]1632[/siteimg]

now comes the bronze ring, beveled edge will go into the ring on the barrel
[siteimg]1633[/siteimg]


[siteimg]1634[/siteimg]




Now this is for heavy loads....

Spring goes on first
[siteimg]1635[/siteimg]

the small ring goes on next with the flat side touching the spring
[siteimg]1636[/siteimg]


then the bronze ring, with the beveled side facing out so it will sit in the ring on the barrel

[siteimg]1637[/siteimg]

and the barrel
[siteimg]1638[/siteimg]


I don't know if this is the same setup or not for 3 inch shells as my A5 is just a light 12, but the magnum model will setup just the same as a light 12 for 2 3/4" shells.

Another thing I found in the manual is to NEVER fire the gun without the wider bronze ring in place. This could cause damage as the barrel will travel to far back into the recieverand could cause the action spring in the butstock to break. I have fired mine without the thinner ring in place and it cycles fine, but have always kept the wide bronze ring in
Is it september the 8th yet???

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Postby duckbuster06 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:07 pm

Thanks for all the info and the pics, it is really appreciated. I was one step ahead of you today. I tried taking the mechanism out but decided against it after fighting with it. The gun is safely with a qualified gunsmith being cleaned thoroughly and checked over (out of the reach of my clumsy fingers!) Thanks for all the info. If there are any A5 mag owners out there with suggestions with the light loads they would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks again! :thumbsup:
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Postby tstrong » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:45 pm

Mallardman is correct. You can down load the manual on line and just remove some of the bands. Nothing shoots like my A5. I wish I could find a gun as reliable that shoots 3-1/2
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Postby bgoldhunter » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:37 pm

You can still get owner's manuals from Browning, just check out the website.

Mallardman, those were great pictures, and I'm sure very helpful. Here is what I have saved for reference:
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Postby Dhdoyle » Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:13 am

I have seen several recommendations around the net...

...that anybody wanting to take apart an A-5 should locate a Browning screwdriver kit. The slots are too narrow for common tools. Of course, a person may get lucky or may not care if they bugger the heads.

I'm not going to detail strip my own A5, as I've said. I'm having a smith do it. I dropped the trigger group out of my BPS once. Never again.

Cheers!
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Postby bgoldhunter » Mon May 01, 2006 2:19 pm

Very true! I used my Snap On screwdrivers for my grandpa's old Remmy Model 11, and even they didn't fit quite right. Brownell's has the correct screwdrivers for A5's and M11's (oh, yeah Savage as well).
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