Browning FN Auto-5 Sweet Sixteen 16 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1954 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,450

WOA#: WY240211DS003

Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms

Model: Auto 5, Sweet Sixteen

Serial Number: S11715

Year of Manufacture: 1954

Gauge: 16 Gauge, 2 3/4″ Shells

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

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS Mo. / * SPECIAL STEEL 16 GAUGE – SHELLS 2 3/4″”, with Belgian proof marks. The right side of the barrel is marked “MADE IN BELGIUM”. The left of the receiver is marked “Sweet Sixteen” above the flat and “BROWNING” above a bust portrait of Browning on the flat. The right of the receiver and bolt have Belgian proof marks. The bottom of the receiver in front of the loading port is marked “S / 11715”. The receiver has Grade 1 engraving.  Next to the trigger well there is aftermarket engraving.

Barrel Length: 28″

Choke: Full, Fixed

Sights / Optics: There is a silver colored bead at the front of the rib. The top of the rib and receiver are checkered for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, finger grooves running the length of the forend, straight comb and a black hard rubber FN Browning Automatic buttplate. The forend has a cluster of nicks and scratches.  The buttstock has some minor handling wear in the checkering, one notable scratch on the right-rear and a few other scattered light marks. There are no cracks. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures approximately 14 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has light wear with a few tiny losses around the edges and well defined lettering. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original to the parts.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with no erosion.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning lightly at some edges. The action has minor operational wear. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. There is wear around the muzzle.  The screw heads range are sharp . The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: None.

Our Assessment:  The Browning FN Auto-5 Sweet Sixteen 16 GA semi-automatic shotgun, manufactured in 1954 and classified as a Curio & Relic (C&R) firearm, holds immense appeal for collectors due to its historical significance, innovative design, and limited availability. The Auto-5, designed by John Browning, stands as one of the most iconic and enduring shotgun designs of the 20th century, with the Sweet Sixteen variant specifically chambered in the elegant and beloved 16 gauge.

This particular model, dating back to 1954, represents a pivotal era in firearms manufacturing and marks the heyday of Browning’s collaboration with the renowned Belgian firearms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN). As one of the earliest semi-automatic shotguns, the Auto-5 introduced groundbreaking features such as the humpback receiver and long recoil operation, setting a standard for shotgun design that would influence generations of firearms to come.

For collectors, the Browning FN Auto-5 Sweet Sixteen holds a special allure due to its classic styling, exceptional craftsmanship, and limited production numbers. As the demand for vintage firearms continues to grow, especially for well-preserved examples from iconic manufacturers like Browning and FN, the Sweet Sixteen variant of the Auto-5 remains highly sought after, serving as both a cherished piece of firearms history and a valuable addition to any collection.  Please see our photos and good luck!  C.J.

Browning FN Auto-5 Sweet Sixteen 16 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1954 C&R
Browning FN Auto-5 Sweet Sixteen 16 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1954 C&R