Browning Auto-5 A-5 Magnum Twelve 28” 12GA Semi-Auto Shotgun 1983

SOLD FOR: $832

WOA#: WY240521TH001

Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms

Model: Auto 5 Magnum Twelve

Serial Number: 05071PX151

Year of Manufacture:1983 (https://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/auto-5-semi-automatic-shotgun.html)

Gauge: 12 gauge, 3” Shells

Action Type:  Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SPECIAL STEEL 12 GAUGE SHELLS 3””.  The top of the barrel rib is marked “Hastings Made in France”.  The left side of the receiver is marked “Magnum Twelve / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the underside has the serial number.

Barrel Length: 28”, Vent-Rib

Choke: Threaded, Improved Modified

Sights / Optics: The front sight is an Orange Fiber Optic rod fixed to the vented barrel rib.  The top of the receiver and barrel rib are serrated for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a flat-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, finger grooved forend and a ventilated brown rubber Browning recoil pad.  The forend has only a few scattered minor marks and compressions. The buttstock has a few light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The handguard is not original.  The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 14.25” from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition:  The bore is bright with no erosion. There is fouling at the midlength.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 8.5/10.

Overall Condition:  This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish.  There are a few scattered minor nicks and scratches and a couple of spots of faint surface oxidation. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear.Overall, this shotgun is in Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a magazine cutoff on the left front of the receiver, a safety at the rear of the trigger guard and a bolt release on the right side of the receiver. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This shotgun comes with its attached nylon sling, an extra forend in Excellent condition, a set of bushings and ferrule for the handgaurd, and a Hastings choke kit with Modified, Full, and Improved Cylinder Chokes.

Our Assessment:  The Browning Automatic 5, most often Auto-5 or simply A-5, is a recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun designed by John Browning. The Browning Auto-5 was the first mass-produced semi-automatic shotgun. Designed by John Browning in 1898 and patented in 1900, it was produced continually for almost 100 years by several makers with production ending in 1998. It features a distinctive high rear end, earning it the nickname “Humpback”. It is also an important piece of Browning/Winchester history.

John Browning had previously sold his designs to Winchester for lump-sum payments, turning over all of the patents related to a particular model. Winchester had gotten in the habit of having their engineers and attorneys assist Browning in filing for his patents, in order to ensure that when they received those same patents they would be airtight. Browning’s experiences with Colt and FN had convinced him that he would be better off licensing his designs rather than selling them outright, but when he presented this to Winchester, they refused his terms. This ended the relationship between Winchester and Browning.

Browning would eventually license the design to FN in Europe and later to Remington for their Model 11 and to Savage Arms for their Models 720 and 755. These designs went on to be a great commercial success, the first truly successful autoloading shotgun. This Auto-5 Magnum Twelve was built by FN in 1983 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is a Magnum model, chambered for 12 GA. 3” shells and has a 28″ barrel choked Improved Modified. This is a nice example of a vintage Auto 5 Magnum. This should still make for a great hunting gun for the lucky winner but would also make a neat addition for collectors. Please see our photos and good luck! – L.S.

Browning Auto-5 A-5 Magnum Twelve 28” 12GA Semi-Auto Shotgun 1983
Browning Auto-5 A-5 Magnum Twelve 28” 12GA Semi-Auto Shotgun 1983