Bricktop wrote:I suspect semohunter already had his mind made up before he began this topic, but decided to chum the waters.
I read a lot of hyperbole from the Auto 5 disciples that seems to omit a little history.
Yeah, the Auto 5/Browning long recoil system was and is a great gun. Hell, the Franchi 48 is still in production and countless Auto 5s and Auto 5 derivatives are still in service and will continue giving good service long after most of us are gone. However, this same "is it worth it" nonsense was applied to Brownings at one time.
My dad bought his Sweet 16 for a cool $142 -- about $1100 in today's money -- in 1963. The argument back then was why spend that kind of jack on a Browning when you could get an Auto 5 knockoff for a lot less money (Remington Model 11s and Savage 720s were plentiful on the used market) or a Remington 11-48 or one of their then-new gas guns for about $100.
He messed around with a Savage 720 for a while and even bought a new Winchester Model 59 for about $85 in 1960 before resigning himself to buying his Auto 5. Was it worth it? You'd have to ask him, but he still has it. He's killed innumerable quail, doves, cottontails, swamp rabbits, squirrels, and a few ducks -- my granddad borrowed it and killed a deer in about 1968.
I suspect in another 50 years the "is it worth it" nonsense will focus on some future shotgun and the Auto 5 disciples will be replaced with Benelli devotees.
But "is it worth it?" Does it fit your budget? Does it do what you want it to do? Do you like the way it looks?
When I got into this waterfowl "madness" back in 1967, you weren't considered a serious
waterfowler unless you hunted with an A-5 and used Winchester ammunition in it.
Remington 1100's were labelled the "poor man's" S/A and oft derided as sheet metal
shotguns and Federal ammo was regarded as "crap".
IMO, the extensive hand fitting and finishing given to A-5's likely contribute to the legend and lore of their dependability as they came from the factory, ready for the field with all the "bugs" taken out which is sadly lacking in most all of today's mass production shotguns.
However, like anything with tires, teats or moving parts, they will give you "trouble" and wear out or break.
The testament to the long-term durability of the A-5 is simply how many are still in service decades later which is probably why many "older" waterfowlers and even some of the young pups are going retro with their shotgun choices and spurning the waterfowling shotgun du jour marketing hype so prevalent nowadays.
Remington 1100's are relatively easy to work on and like Chevy's, parts are widely available which (IMO) is probably why they number in the millions as Henry Ford proved that philosophy would work with his model A car.
A-5's are like a high-maintenance red-headed woman. Touch her gently.
If you are looking for an A-5 (of old) the dead giveaway that someone ignorant of the above statement has been messin' with her is to examine the screw slots to see if they are "boogered" up. This is usually proof positive they did not know you have to use gunsmith quality hollow-ground screw drivers. That observation alone should knock a couple hundred $$'s off the price as Lord only knows what misdeeds may have been done to the internal parts as well.
My grandkids will probably be shooting the A-5's they inherit. The Beretta's & Benelli's I have, may or may not still be functional at that point in time as that fact has yet to be ascertained via the test of time.