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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How often do you completely tear down your auto 5?
Do you rebuild (Spring kit) the gun at this point or just give it a good cleaning?
When you store it after hunting season, do you release the firing pin spring tension or no?
What screw driver set do you recommend for this task? The ones I purchased, broke soon after i used it on the first rebuild kit install.
I recently had an older Auto 5 with a broken locking block assy. It came with a one piece carrier, but i was able to replace it with a newer locking block and a two piece carrier.
I kept the old parts as they are stamped with the serial number just in case. MFG. date 1928
In the attached, you can see the 3 shot adapter is not for an auto 5, but I was able to replace it with a plastic one from MGW.

Wood Tool Musical instrument accessory Trigger Air gun
 

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How often do you completely tear down your auto 5?
Do you rebuild (Spring kit) the gun at this point or just give it a good cleaning?
When you store it after hunting season, do you release the firing pin spring tension or no?
What screw driver set do you recommend for this task?

View attachment 477427
What great questions to spend hours answering! Haha!

I’ll spare writing you a book on the mechanical aspects of the Auto-5, and a true expert and professional would be found at Art’s Gunshop or Midwest Gun Works, but I believe I can help answer some of your questions having been inside and out of several examples of the hump back for maintenance and parts replacement.

-Frequency of Disassembly for Cleaning-

If you are hunting regularly with your A5(s), you will want to at minimum remove the buttstock and trigger assembly once at the end of the season or anytime you get a lot of moisture or grit in the action. It is not necessary to be tearing down the gun after every hunt, and it’s not recommended that they be pulled apart all that often. For the most part, with the buttstock, action spring, and trigger assembly removed you can dry, clean, and lubricate everything you need to without going through the hassle of removing the lifter assembly and the bolt.

Honestly, most all A5’s in good mechanical working order are extremely reliable, and with good ammunition and proper lubrication will operate 100% while VERY dirty (personal experience with this in multiple hump backs has proven this to be true to me). Complete disassembly should be reserved for when the gun is in need of parts servicing or detailed cleaning.

-Rebuild Kit vs Deep Clean-

The answer is, ‘Yes’. Some guns need to be re-sprung and given fresh friction piece(s). Most commonly the recoil spring (large one under the handguard) is the spring that has taken a set and should be replaced. The action springs (drive the bolt) can also fatigue and take a set, but many times when the action is sluggish it will only need the spring and the recoil tube (action spring tube inside the stock at rear of the receiver) to be cleaned thoroughly.

It is never a bad decision to give an Auto-5 a fresh spring kit, as you won’t be hurting anything. However, if you have a well sprung gun that has friction pieces in good condition having trouble, you most likely need proper lubrication or a good clean, not a fresh spring kit.

A5’s tend to tell you when you need a new spring set, as recoil will start to increase and become ridiculous with standard field loads. To reduce it to a relatable cave man level of description for how to tell if replacement is needed, instead of a “BOOM-Kaschunk” recoil impulse you will feel a “BOOM-WHACK!!!-kkaaassschunk” as the over-driven barrel and bolt slam into the receiver. Heavily cracked stocks at the tang are sometimes a sign of a gun that was shot a lot with bad springs or over-lubricated.

-Storage-

If you are storing an Auto-5 for an extended period of time, it is not a poor idea to release the tension on the hammer spring and removed the barrel to allow the recoil spring to “rest”. Is this necessary? Technically, no. What wears out springs is use, not compression. Poorly tempered springs will take a set over time when compressed, but quality springs will not. This is especially true of the flat bar style spring of the hammer in an A5. There is nothing that stored energy will do to its temper if the hammer remains cocked. Old humpbacks that have weak springs are not so because they were stored cocked, bolt open, barrel up, but because they were used. Sometimes the springs were not that good to begin with and warranted replacement decades ago. All possibilities, but never from storage with the springs compressed.

-Proper Screw Drivers-

I tend to just file standard cheapo bits to perfectly fit the screw slots on my guns. You can buy dedicated A5 screwdriver kits from Brownells or Art’s, but the budget version works well and only takes a few minutes of your time. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. The most important thing though is you are using the proper sized bits for the slots, undersized or improperly profiled bits will tear up the finely machined screws and not only look bad, but ruin their viability in the long run as they will keep getting torn up.

I hope this helps answer your questions!
 
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Bird Plant Grass Tool Beak

Btw, I love hunting with A5’s! It’s just a good time. Here’s my Magnum Twelve with an early season Mallard.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Than
What great questions to spend hours answering! Haha!

I’ll spare writing you a book on the mechanical aspects of the Auto-5, and a true expert and professional would be found at Art’s Gunshop or Midwest Gun Works, but I believe I can help answer some of your questions having been inside and out of several examples of the hump back for maintenance and parts replacement.

-Frequency of Disassembly for Cleaning-

If you are hunting regularly with your A5(s), you will want to at minimum remove the buttstock and trigger assembly once at the end of the season or anytime you get a lot of moisture or grit in the action. It is not necessary to be tearing down the gun after every hunt, and it’s not recommended that they be pulled apart all that often. For the most part, with the buttstock, action spring, and trigger assembly removed you can dry, clean, and lubricate everything you need to without going through the hassle of removing the lifter assembly and the bolt.

Honestly, most all A5’s in good mechanical working order are extremely reliable, and with good ammunition and proper lubrication will operate 100% while VERY dirty (personal experience with this in multiple hump backs has proven this to be true to me). Complete disassembly should be reserved for when the gun is in need of parts servicing or detailed cleaning.

-Rebuild Kit vs Deep Clean-

The answer is, ‘Yes’. Some guns need to be re-sprung and given fresh friction piece(s). Most commonly the recoil spring (large one under the handguard) is the spring that has taken a set and should be replaced. The action springs (drive the bolt) can also fatigue and take a set, but many times when the action is sluggish it will only need the spring and the recoil tube (action spring tube inside the stock at rear of the receiver) to be cleaned thoroughly.

It is never a bad decision to give an Auto-5 a fresh spring kit, as you won’t be hurting anything. However, if you have a well sprung gun that has friction pieces in good condition having trouble, you most likely need proper lubrication or a good clean, not a fresh spring kit.

A5’s tend to tell you when you need a new spring set, as recoil will start to increase and become ridiculous with standard field loads. To reduce it to a relatable cave man level of description for how to tell if replacement is needed, instead of a “BOOM-Kaschunk” recoil impulse you will feel a “BOOM-WHACK!!!-kkaaassschunk” as the over-driven barrel and bolt slam into the receiver. Heavily cracked stocks at the tang are sometimes a sign of a gun that was shot a lot with bad springs or over-lubricated.

-Storage-

If you are storing an Auto-5 for an extended period of time, it is not a poor idea to release the tension on the hammer spring and removed the barrel to allow the recoil spring to “rest”. Is this necessary? Technically, no. What wears out springs is use, not compression. Poorly tempered springs will take a set over time when compressed, but quality springs will not. This is especially true of the flat bar style spring of the hammer in an A5. There is nothing that stored energy will do to its temper if the hammer remains cocked. Old humpbacks that have weak springs are not so because they were stored cocked, bolt open, barrel up, but because they were used. Sometimes the springs were not that good to begin with and warranted replacement decades ago. All possibilities, but never from storage with the springs compressed.

-Proper Screw Drivers-

I tend to just file standard cheapo bits to perfectly fit the screw slots on my guns. You can buy dedicated A5 screwdriver kits from Brownells or Art’s, but the budget version works well and only takes a few minutes of your time. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. The most important thing though is you are using the proper sized bits for the slots, undersized or improperly profiled bits will tear up the finely machined screws and not only look bad, but ruin their viability in the long run as they will keep getting torn up.

I hope this helps answer your questions!
Thanks 1776,
I've purchased several old auto 5's and the first thing i do is break them down to see if there is anything they are in need of mechanically.
Found a left extractor broke on one and a locking block broke on another so I've made it a point to always replace the spring kits on the new purchases.
I picked up a screw driver kit for the auto 5, but one of the primary ones tip broke on me first time i used it.
yes sir, I'm a fan of Art's videos. Very informative and I'm pretty sure I've watched them so many times that I can almost recite his comments when he was rebuilding the auto 5 20 gauge.
I'm not a collector, I hunt with them as well and can't wait to use the sweet 16 this year.
I see you used the BOSS shells. Are they as good as the hype? I picked up some for the 16 and suppose I will find out soon enough. Can't bring myself to pattern the boss shot, but I hear it's okay.
I reload my own bismuth for the auto 5's and it is different than slinging the steel.
Thank you sir for the reply and have a great evening.

Have a great evening
 

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Than


Thanks 1776,
I've purchased several old auto 5's and the first thing i do is break them down to see if there is anything they are in need of mechanically.
Found a left extractor broke on one and a locking block broke on another so I've made it a point to always replace the spring kits on the new purchases.
I picked up a screw driver kit for the auto 5, but one of the primary ones tip broke on me first time i used it.
yes sir, I'm a fan of Art's videos. Very informative and I'm pretty sure I've watched them so many times that I can almost recite his comments when he was rebuilding the auto 5 20 gauge.
I'm not a collector, I hunt with them as well and can't wait to use the sweet 16 this year.
I see you used the BOSS shells. Are they as good as the hype? I picked up some for the 16 and suppose I will find out soon enough. Can't bring myself to pattern the boss shot, but I hear it's okay.
I reload my own bismuth for the auto 5's and it is different than slinging the steel.
Thank you sir for the reply and have a great evening.

Have a great evening
The Auto-5 was meant to be hunted with. Having a safe queen is not my style either;i want to crush ducks and geese with every duck gun I own and I know they may pick up a smidge or ding along the way. Momentos of a life of good hunts is all a well worn shotgun says.

Yes, the Boss loads are 100% worth it for a factory Bismuth load. I have used them extensively in 10, 12, and 28 gauges and they work extremely well. I converted to Bismuth in 2019 with Boss’s product and I have been confident with the shot type’s performance since. I gave a couple boxes of the New generation Kent bismuth a try and was not happy with patterns or perfornce. They were not what I expected for the price and offered no value compared to Boss.

My 1946 Rem Mod 11, 1953 A5 with Power-Pak Choke System, and 1958 A5 Mag Twelve all pattern the Boss loads extremely well. I have been playing with loading their loose shot as well and it is a great product.

I know the price is hard to swallow, but I would highly encourage you to pattern a few rounds through your guns to make sure there are not any surprises. Sometimes the A5’s with the full chokes are too tight and want a smaller shot size or to be honed and polished out a few thousandths to really throw an amazing pattern. But, you won’t know until you start trying them and you owe it to the birds to find that out before you pull up on a flight this fall.

The Sweet-16 should pattern great. The 1oz bizzy charge is about equal to a 1-1/8oz lead magnum in payload height and in #4 and #5 shot there is more than plenty pellets to smoke mallards and little geese out to 45 yards when choked right. I will guess that your gun is choked Mod, so it should do well with the #4’s and the #3/5 mix as well. Share your patterns if you do put some pellets on the board.
 
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So I hear Winchester has a tin/bismuth load this year that leaves the muzzle at 1450 without any fragmentation.
Anyone tried this yet?
I have not seen it in person, but The New Hunters Guide did a quick test of it up against an equivalent BOSS load and found it to hold little advantage in performance for the price. (see link below)

Shoving Bismuth past 1,350-1,400 does little in the way of providing a ballistic advantage past 25 yards and the use of Tin plating is inferior to copper or nickel as it has a higher drag coefficient. The new Win load will kill ducks, but for the price it doesn’t make much sense versus lower cost options with equivalent performance.

 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good morning,
New question; I picked up a 60's era auto 5 magnum 20 several months back Unfortunately the length of pull was 13 and change with a recoil pad. I didn't like the new replacement stocks design and also needed it to be in the 14 1/4" range so I was able to source an original stock(Round knob) w/ butt plate for a 16 gauge. I had read where the 16 and 20 gauge stocks were pretty much all the same. Are there any "fitting" concerns I should be aware of prior to replacing the old stock?
 

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Good morning,
New question; I picked up a 60's era auto 5 magnum 20 several months back Unfortunately the length of pull was 13 and change with a recoil pad. I didn't like the new replacement stocks design and also needed it to be in the 14 1/4" range so I was able to source an original stock(Round knob) w/ butt plate for a 16 gauge. I had read where the 16 and 20 gauge stocks were pretty much all the same. Are there any "fitting" concerns I should be aware of prior to replacing the old stock?
All Auto-5’s were hand fit. Later century production and Japanese production were much more uniform, but hand fitting of wood stocks was still required in some ways. The 16ga and 20ga stock sets should be the same, but you’ll have to just dive in and see how the “new” stock interfaces with your 16ga’s receiver and trigger guard tangs. As long as it snugs up and the cross screw hole lines up, you are golden. Loose fit will cause cracking/chipping at the wrist and mating surfaces over round count.

Best I can offer you is that and a “Good luck!” on your stock fitting adventure.
 
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Most Belgium browning will outlast at least two owners with only minimum care.
 
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